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Album Review: Warbrain - 'Paranoia'

2 April 2012 | 5:13 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Warbrain keeping the hard in hardcore.

Melbourne’s hardcore scene has historically produced some of the country’s best and most prominent bands from Her Nightmare to Carpathian. It shows no signs of slowing down either, arguably looking like the most promising locale in the country for hardcore by producing the likes of Iron Mind and Hopeless in recent years. With melodic, two-step driven hardcore on the decline, like it or not Aussie hardcore’s future looks more like hard riffs and breakdowns. Enter Warbrain. With members from two of two of the burn city’s hardcore staples, Carpathian and Hopeless, the five-piece have solid credentials without even playing a note.

Having released a demo in 2010 and ticking off some respectable touring mileage, the six-track, Trial and Error-issued seven inch “Paranoia” is the band’s debut studio release. Warbrain’s style is similar to much of the hardcore coming out of the US recently, combining an energetic NYHC feel comparable to Backtrack with the more metallic stylings of Dead End Path. Receiving its second pressing just recently, the EP starts strong with opener “Alone”, setting the tone with hard yet groovy riffs. The song’s climax and one of the highlights of the entire record is prior to the breakdown where frontman Lloyd Carroll growls the pit call “shhhadddoowwss”. Carroll’s raspy voice suits Warbrain’s hardened style like a glove, every now and then throwing in a cheeky flicker of melodic vocals in the vein of Leeway’s Eddie Sutton. The longest track “Crossroads” offers evermore tough-as-nails riffs, infectious rhythm and some mean gang vocals. The fifth track “Hell On Earth” presents further lashings of groovy, metallic riffage, with the title track “Paranoia” providing a final knockout blow.

Amongst a cohort of bands like Phantoms and Relentless playing heavier, tougher hardcore, Warbrain are already looking to be a mainstay of the genre’s future in this country. “Paranoia”, while not doing much more than reinventing the wheel, is a solid and very listenable debut. If this is an Australian hardcore release that you’ve been sleeping on, get with it.

1. Paranoia

2. Capture

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3. Crossroads

4. The Depths

5. Hell On Earth

6. Alone