Thursday, April 4, 2024


**and1/2 out of *****

The Bellingham, WA based outfit MEM//BRANE drop their first non-demo offering the SUBCUTANEOUS EP, a blast of aggression, energy, and fury as the four songs slam with purpose and power. 

The quintet (ELLIE - Vocals CHAD - Guitar TYLER - Guitar EVE - Bass DANIEL - Drums) are fighting mad, pushing for Trans rights. The group open the album with a recording of artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz reading from his novel Close To The Knives. The impassioned words kick things off and the rocking guitar groove follows, as the band gets cooking with "The Rock Against Which I Am Shattered". The opening effort uses a sludgy bass break to kick things into overdrive with a hardcore slamming finale. 

Unfortunately, like many acts in this genre the vocal style is comprised of indistinguishable growling and for a band clearly fighting for a worthy cause, this is a bit of a let down. On the flip side, the muscular hardcore punk flexed by the group is winning on all levels. "Chain Breaker" has fiery drums, chugging riffs, tempo shifts and a glorious ending while the super fast hardcore of "To Catch A Falling Knife" shifts between supersonic and stomping with speaker rattling bass and crushing guitars. 

The songs run longer than typical hardcore/punk efforts and they are consistently engaging with shifts and multiple sections delivering the goods. Closer "Transgender Refugee" would be more effective if the lyrics and message could be understood in the tune, but the mix of slamming and screeching sounds works well. 

A powerful blast of hardcore punk from the Pacific North West, MEM//BRANE's  SUBCUTANEOUS EP is a great springboard for the band to launch from.     
Support the artists, buy the album, peep the EP below:

No comments:

Post a Comment