The Arusha Accord
Nightmares Of The Ocean
by Hugh Platt
If you were to anatomise UK metal scene, with different regions of the country as bodyparts of some enormous humanoid landmass, then until recently the suburban strip between London and Reading would’ve been that crevice between the country’s thigh and its genitals. As in: its fairly useless, producing nothing except greasy and rancid-smelling sweat.
But over the last few years, it seems that this grim crucible has forged gang after gang of young angry bands tearing huge swathes of metal out of suburban dullness. That grotty Home Counties’ tedium that gave us the brute force of Malefice and the epic grooves carved by Exit Ten, has now given us the off-kilter rhythms of The Arusha Accord.
The Arusha Accord don’t so much disregard established song structures, as seem confused that such a thing could even exist. The title-track barks its vocals over a series of stuttering melodies, before the track wanders into a series of breakdowns that tease hints of concealed heaviness, without ever settling into a predictable groove. Stabs of bass guitar lunge out of the mix like laser-guided stiletto daggers.
‘Death Of Thieves’ takes a minute out to bathe the listener in melody, before tearing you open with some caustic screamo. Bad mathcore lends itself to flabby experimentation, tripping over itself ’til it sounds like a bag of cats stuck in a drum kit as it is thrown down some stairs, but Nightmares Of The Ocean is as taut and lean as they come, barely a beat or lick wasted.
Sometimes the spectre of Dillinger Escape Plan looms a little too close, as if the EP is a math-rock ouija board used to channel Miss Machine. But looking past the mathcore necromantics, the beginning of something fierce is here. The suburbs are waking up.
Nightmares of The Ocean EP by The Arusha Accord is out now on Basick Records