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Scald (NI) | "Fluke"
So the worm has turned. Two albums down the line since they went all longform headfuck, Belfast’s most unsparing trio have come full circle, reprising the punk inspired, Voivod influenced, alien grindcrust that made them so essential in the first place. Reinvigorating is hardly the word: this is as heavy, brutal and charismatic as it comes.
Scald are not your average band, and even less so in Irish terms. Unlike many stragglers their age, they have been consistently relevant since day one (in the Jurassic somewhere) and have always produced quality in anything they’ve set their hands to.
Quite aside from their genetic mutations these last ten years, age has brought them surety in their convictions. Where other bands claim darkness and an evil intention, Scald beat the lot, violating the very Eucharist for this album’s generous packaging. That’s never been done before: not by a million other bands, high profile and low, who’d consider themselves antichristian. Would your band?
Of course you wouldn’t. The reason is that you wouldn’t have even thought of it, let alone actually done it. And that’s what has always set Scald apart – the ability to envision and then execute. This band are not raking over old leaves by returning to the straight up crust of their past. Rather these five tracks, spearheaded by the hammering morse code of ‘Larva’, ram home the point that they do what they want, when they want, how they want. It’s all fantastic.
An obvious highlight is found in ‘Lumbricoid’, with its hardcore punk thrust made unique by Pete Dempsey’s high pitch bark and newfound honest bellow. The lyrics as well betray this bands much understated intelligence, and taken whole, this cd blows away almost everything going on Irish soil today. With its experience, it’s deeply satisfying grind and its amazing, deep rooted combination of the honest and the surreal, ‘Fluke’ could well come to surmise everything Scald are: and we thought ‘Born With Teeth’ did that.
Ten years on, they’ve reprised it. How worth the wait it’s been. Even the most promising of our young bands - and there are a handful - must bow before this stuff. Listen and learn. Buy or die.
4.8 / 5 - Ciaran Tracey ::: 01/01/08
For more reviews see Scald review pages.