Watchcries by WatchcriesRelease date: December 5, 2016
Label: Holy Roar Records
Watchcries are an exciting prospect. Hailing from coastal Brighton the four-piece pack an eclectic punch of animal rage and bruising violence, backed by an exhilarating burst of ferocious energy, which does not let up one bit through this short but audibly bombarding EP. This self-titled release perfectly displays everything you need to know about Watchcries from their riotous instrumentation to their punchy yet aggro-packed songs, offering up just a mere taster of what they’re capable off.
Featuring ex-members of such bands as Torpor and Dopefight, Watchcries fuse metal, sludge and punkier sounds with that charge of grindcore brutality that takes no prisoners. The EP boasts crisp production and an abundance of talent and clarity behind the instruments, proving no debut jitters here.
Watchcries display a special bond, a cohesive unity ‘twixt musicians that grants a pleasant cacophony in that place between the ears, and quite frankly it’s great to hear a band so local with such talent. Nats Spada is the beautiful beast behind the mic blessed with dulcet tones to match the most hardcore of testosterone-fueled growlers. Steve Barry’s booming bass lines are slickened with a viscous sludge of doom-bringing intensity that almost vibrate their way down your spine with an earth-shaking rumble. Guitarist Paul Hale shreds down to the bone with deep chugging riffage and frenzied tremolo picks creating the harsh and unforgiving blood that rushes the veins of the tracks. Ant Cole sits behind the kit dealing death blows in spades with a hardcore kick in the balls. From devastating blackened shots of blast beating to summoning that anarchic furore of punk and rebellions music, Cole’s precision in delivering Watchcries assaulting sound should be lauded as should all members.
‘Daymares/The Sleep of Trust’ puts the boot on the pedal from the get-go, storming into a teaser of blast beats with a penetrating black metal tremolo riff swarming through the intro. The pattern shifts all too soon into a groundshaking sludge/hardcore mire of vehement swaggering chugs and doomy bass plucks. Spada’s vitriolic rasps transform into clean vocals before returning amid gang vocals. As an introduction to the band it’s a pretty damn good statement of their intentions, shoving you into everything you need to know face first.
‘Obelisk’ rolls in with thunderous hits before grooving into a bouncing mix of punk and grindcore brutality. Ant Cole’s cymbol crashes reign fluidly as if each hit were an act of defiance, whilst gang and clean vocals break through the caustic stomp n grind of more sludge-infused chugs, spitting out a grim fervour for their work. Third and final track ‘Recast The Shadows’ opens with deep plucked bass chords followed by the rebellious whack of punky riffage and kicks. Dirty guitars and catchy hooks take us to a frantic but brief crescendo of stunning blast beats and hammered-home skin pounding, finishing with a climactic fury of cymbol crashes. Doom-fueled chugs and discordant stabs carry us through to the end.
Watchcries don’t hide behind any fancy exterior but rather strut around with bare-knuckle vigour. This is down and dirty music with all harm and hatred bared as wide as the bands gnashing teeth. They make that kind of vital music made to dive head first into a whirlwind moshpit to. Watchcries don’t so much sucker-punch you but rather full-on mallet you in the face until it’s awash with blood. The three tracks on show speed by with unrelenting grit leaving you mopping up the drool and wanting more. Luckily the band are in the studio prepping their debut LP, which I can guarantee will be on your one to watch list as well as mine.