To throw in the usual ‘brutal’ and ‘aural assault;’ cliches and simply pass off this six-track mini-album from this Scarborough band as ‘another hardcore record’ would be doing HORSE IN TRANSIT a great disservice.
Sure, the cliches are accurate enough, but there is more to these guys than simply thrashing out any old ramshackle noise.
Opening track ‘Hollow’ for instance had me thinking for the first of its two minutes duration that I was about to listen some sort of grunge infused effort. Fortunately, the second half morphs (well, more like ‘erupts’ ) dramatically into a cacophony of screamed vocals and searing guitar solos. It’s a really promising start, and with it being so brief at just two minutes duration, leaves me wanting more.
‘Chicken Run’ then sort of carries on where ‘Hollow’ left off. This time, the vocals vary between the more screamo style of the previous track and a more guttural growl. It’s all a bit frantic, but the song does have its little breakdowns and tempo changes that offer a little respite. The drumming is fast and furious and again attention and time is devoted to allowing the lead guitar a bit of freedom to roam where it fancies. The gang-shouted backing vocals add a bit of exciting variation.
‘Lucky Strike,’ is pretty much more of the same, but it slowly begins to dawn that HIT incorporate and cleverly meld their hardcore aspects with a more conventional rock sound – especially where the big guitar riffs are concerned.
‘Two’ lasts a mere one and a half minutes and as you can imagine is pretty intense. It’s like the band have thrown everything they’ve got into one mighty big pot and brought it to the boil … but forgot to turn down the heat again, resulting in all that noise spilling all over the place.
‘I Am,’ features dual vocals in a ‘scream-off’ sort of situation a la Blood Brothers gone metal, before the EP closes with ‘Survival Plan,’ throws in something different in the form of ‘properly sung’ choruses that owe more to heavy rock or even melodic punk than hardcore. Again there is some really good guitar work going on here, supported by those chunky riffs.
For its variation and non-reliance on the screamo / gurgling / metal type vocals (although they do appear in moderation) I’d say this is my favourite track.
It’s an exhausting listen I have to say, and there are many, many bands out there that produce this type of sound. But HORSE IN TRANSIT prove here that they are not simply a ‘one trick pony’ and with a bit more variation like that evidenced in the first and final tracks they will continue to bring something fresh to the hardcore stable.
(Released through Mercurial Records on 28th January 2013)