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Born from a jam between friends who just so happen to be members/ex-members of various underground metal acts past and present, Dripback is a new project featuring Ted Maul guitarist Luca Gdrax, drummer Hellhog (Pure Negative, ex-Ted Maul), bassist Adam Da Rat (ex-Labrat) and two River Freshney members, guitarist Lee4 and vocalist Wez4. Apparently, their goal was to make music with no agenda or longer term goal beyond a bunch of mates having fun but it seems their jamming has come to greater fruition and materialised in the form of a debut EP released on Siege of Amida Records, thus here we have their debut offering, 'Inhaling the Ashes', up for scrutiny. So are the results of this laidback jam-based venture worth your time and money? By fuck are they, oh yeah. While there's a discernible jam kind of vibe inherent in the six tracks on offer, Dripback have clearly honed their collective talents and music spewed forth from their jamming origins to craft some well structured, exhilarating tunes. After an initial burst of resonantly pounding bass on half a minute opener 'Hold Your Horses', there's a brief pause for a yell of "come on you cunts" before the short hardcore-esque instrumental number concludes with its repeated up tempo motif, climaxing with guitars/bass ringing out with the verbal proclamation of "trust fucking no cunt" which then segues into 'Kick Out Time'. And it's on this second track that Dripback's diverse soundscape begins to emerge, as it does over the course of the other four tracks. While there are punk-edged hardcore underpinnings throughout, Dripback have also coloured their heterogeneous soundscape with bursts of thrash riffing, passages of blackened death, an infectious groove infused grind and some well-placed, efficacious break-downs that add to, rather than detract from, the songs. Add to that mix down-tempo doomier moments such as the intro to 'Distrust', an emotively effective use of clean guitar over palm-muted power chords towards the end of 'Dilapidated Soul', and an innovative injection of pinched harmonics into the riffing during the mid-tempo sections of 'Under the Floor', and you have yourself an eighteen minute slab of genuinely exciting, fresh sounding, contemporary extreme metal that transcends its hardcore foundations. Vocal-wise, Wez matches the changing feel of the music by switching styles as and when it suits which manifests mainly in a low-toned guttural death delivery and hardcore snarling, and there are also other random divergences such as the collective gang-style shouts on 'Kick Out Time' and 'Dilapidated Soul'. Perhaps the most astonishing fact about Dripback's debut is that it was recorded in just forty eight hours. Astonishing, I guess, because it sounds so mammoth. Not mammoth in an overly polished production kind of way as there is a distinct rawness to the overall sound, but a rawness that has been enhanced with hard hitting chunky resonance and perfectly fitting for the music. I guess that's no surprise considering famed producer Russ Russell was involved during the forty eight hours, although a lot has still been achieved in a narrow time period. And the spontaneity of the recording sessions also shines through in the final product as there's not only a great, natural sounding flow, to the whole thing but it sounds as if the musicians involved are having a fuck load of fun. Go check out now. Recommended.
Siege of Amida
Review by Mark Holmes
6th June 2011
1) Hold Your Horses
2) Kick Out Time
3) No God, No Master
4) Dilapidated Soul
5) Distrust
6) Under the Floor
"...an eighteen minute slab of genuinely exciting, fresh sounding, contemporary extreme metal that transcends its hardcore foundations."