Featuring an album cover that immediately grabs the attention, this is a band that fuses hardcore and metal into an ugly ball of condensed violence.
Hearing this description, and knowing that there is an ex-member of As I Lay Dying in the band, you may be forgiven for thinking that this is some modern metalcore outing. You would be mistaken. This is not shiny, stadium-friendly metalcore, but rather a channelling of the earlier, nastier sides to both styles. Imagine, if you will, an unholy combination of Converge, Entombed, All Pigs Must Die, Poison Idea and 80s punk know-how.
The album positively explodes out of the speakers, all belligerence and defiant swagger. This is music that couldn’t care less, causing destruction for the sake of it and revelling in the chaos it creates. And yet, despite all of this, there’s still a considered, restrained side to the band that allows them to keep focus, structure and even inject some sophistication into the mix here and there. I also like the effective use of leads and solos.
The singers’ voices are all raw anger and intensity, having powerfully shouted voices that they occasionally use to scream a bit too. The vocals are full of passion and fire, and it’s very easy to listen to. Well, assuming you’re used to hearing men getting all shouty a lot, I suppose.
I like this way more than I thought I might when I first heard of the band. Considering the style they play and the fact there’s only 27 minutes of music here, Poison Headache have managed to produce an album that has a fair amount of variety on it and one which hits the spot emotionally, musically and, judging by some of the riffs, even physically. This album crushes, destroys, and lots of other superlatives that basically means it fucking rocks.
A very impressive and enjoyable début, pretty much essential if you’re into heavy, angry music played with feeling.