Ringworm - Scars (Victory Records)

Five full-length albums and twenty years since their inception, Ringworm's latest album is anything but subtle.

 

With an opening track entitled Angel Fuck, it's pretty obvious that Ringworm's latest opus isn't going to be jam-packed full of family friendly ballads. And it isn't. Instead it's start to finish hardcore punk crossover of the finest degree. 

Vocalist Human Furnace may have one of the daftest pseudonyms in music but his delivery is anything but laughable. His voice, backed by the simplistic-yet-perfectly suited chugging of Matt Sorg and John Comprix (guitars), Mike Lare (bass) and Danny Zink (drums) conjours up images of sweaty, graffiti-addled, 200-capacity venues with beer, clothing and teeth being thrown idly across a crowd of crazed mentalists. Songs like Voluntary Human Extinction doffs a cap to the seminal Lowest of the Low from former tour partners Terror, yet the melodic instrumental interlude Burning Bridges suggests a, dare I say it, gentler side to Ringworm. However, the second instrumental, Empty, is just that; it sounds like a song that they simply couldn't be bothered to write lyrics for.

It's possible to make comparisons to everyone from GG Allin to Malefice with Scars. Mr. Furnace's sneering old skool punk rock attitude meshes perfectly with the 21st century, metal-tinged musicianship, but retains the hardcore edge sadly lacking in a lot of the supposedly hardcore bands around today (as mentioned in previous articles, I'm looking at you Throwdown).

This isn't a ground-breaking album and the very nature of their crossover sound may mean it slips under a fair few radars but Ringworm have produced a top notch effort in Scars. It's loud, fast, angry and real; bring on the pits. 

Scars is out now on Victory Records