27 May 2013
by Ollie Connors
Fresh from a rarer-than-rocking-horse-shit set of shows with former outfit The Locust, vocalist Justin Pearson gets back on the Retox wagon, with second full-length YPLL following on from their 2011 effort, Ugly Animals. The quartet have the same vein of frenetic energy as The Locust running through their music, but this is a far more concentrated, honed and incendiary approach to punk rock than Pearson’s be-costumed experi-mentalists could ever muster.
This record whizzes through your synapses like a day at a Formula One race – clocking in at a combined total of 20 minutes for 12 tracks (making the average track time of under two minutes), this is a full-frontal assault from beginning to end, a relentless maelstrom of sonic fury. Pearson’s vocal is wonderfully corrosive throughout; constantly confrontational as he imparts his nihilistic views on our global ills. His cynical sense of humour shines through, especially on their quite fantastic song titles: ‘Don’t Fall In Love With Yourself’, ‘Congratulations, You Are Good Enough’ and ‘The Art Of Really, Really Sucking’ chief among these.
The band members have been gifted with an abundance of technical ability, however the real strength of this album lies in its simplistic, straightforward nature; imagine Burn, Piano Island, Burn-era Blood Brothers fed through a powerviolence grinder, and you’re somewhere close to how fantastic this band sound at full pelt. The band save the best ’til last with finale ‘Consider The Scab Already Picked’ – at over three minutes in length, it’s a virtual prog epic in context with the rest of the album, and signs off YPLL with an almighty curtain-closing riff.
Watch the video to ‘Mature Science’ by Retox:
YPLL picks up where Ugly Animals left off and develops on its ideas and themes wonderfully. The album may be of “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” in length, but Retox always were for people who like their punk rock brash, hellacious, and served with a side dish of malevolent, caustic anger.
Sounds Like: The boot up the arse hardcore punk needs every once in a while
Standout Tracks: Soviet Reunion, Consider The Scab Already Picked, Congratulations, You Are Good Enough