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Liverpool’s Short Sharp Shock are the combination of the spit and snot of British punk, west coast thrash and east coast hardcore. Imagine, if you will, tea and toast on the lawn, with Anthrax, Slayer, early Suicidal Tendencies, Sick Of It All, and DRI blasting away in the background and you’ll get the picture. Their third album, ‘Problems To The Answer’ is 25 songs in 43 minutes, and SSS have a lot that they want to get off their chest. And quickly. 23 of the intense ejaculations range from the 6 second hyperblast of ‘Direct Action’ to the 2 minute 40 diatribe of ‘Dismantle the Dream’. The only two songs that stray past the 160 second mark are, surprisingly, instrumentals, ‘Future Primitive’ at 4 minutes 19 seconds, and ‘Strangenotes’ at a whopping 8 minutes and 3 seconds, and though the latter is probably the weakest track here, they both give a good insight into the versatility and musical capacity of the band. Dave’s drum work is effortless, packing the songs with enough controlled aggression to fuel a real war on terror. Magill’s bass sound is akin to that of Frank Bello’s abrasive tone, his serrated lines cutting through Broomo’s rapid riffs and contorted lead breaks. Foxy’s frantic vocals are a rabid discharge of vehement bile. And with Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway contributing to a couple of tracks, the collective spleen explodes like a nailbomb. This is an album of uncompromised attitude, angst, and anger, masticated and spat out like bullets. In an era of windswept, nose-length fringes and rainbow-rash tattoos swamping the scene with unconvincing angst, ‘Problems To The Answer’ is a breath of fresh ire, a petrol bomb amongst the pigeons scavenging for scraps of scorn in a complacent landscape. A circle pit soundtrack, this is a heavy, fast and fun thrash/punk hybrid, heaving with high velocity thrash riffs and vintage hardcore. This album isn’t seeking to break down any barriers, only to assert the thrash-or-die in-yer-face attitude. This can’t be faked. If you don’t like it, then don’t listen to it. No timewasters please.
Earache Records
Review by Jason Guest
6th June 2011
1) The Kill Floor; 2) Out the Loop; 3) Birdshit; 4) Laughing Leads to Crying; 5) White Bread; 6) Eat Me Drink Me Burn Me; 7) Foreign Body Plot; 8) Roar; 9) Sick Pleasures; 10) Direct Action; 11) What Would Cards Do?; 12) Man Against Man; 13) Tales Out of School; 14) Rats Nest; 15) Cathode Control; 16) Painting By Numbers; 17) Quick Fix; 18) Future Primitive; 19) Trapped Inside Two States of Mind; 20) Politics of Convenience; 21) Here Comes the Neighbourhood; 22) Deep Sleep; 23) Speed Freaks; 24) Dismantle the Dream; 25) Strangenotes
"A circle pit soundtrack, this is a heavy, fast and fun thrash/punk hybrid, heaving with high velocity thrash riffs and vintage hardcore."