Scavengers is an upstate NY crust/hardcore band conceived in early 2016 by current and ex members of First Blood, Recon, Hell Mary, You and I, NY in 64, Lariat and Forgery. As you may have gathered from this (only partial) pedigree, these dudes are not only busy on the music front, but also may have been around the block a time or two. It turns out that is a crucial ingredient in churning out a fully competent and thoroughly blistering 20 minutes of crust laden hardcore, which they have in the form of their debut LP Progress to Oblivion.
This is a band that fans of mid-90’s crust/hardcore will salivate over like hungry dogs. It points itself solidly in the direction of iconic bands like His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy, Turmoil, and Unbroken, yet leaves you with the feeling that they have managed not to borrow too heavily from any one of them.
Engineered, mixed, and mastered by Scot Moriarty of NJ grinders Organ Dealer at Backroom Studios, Progress to Oblivion hits you hard and fast with the perfect mix of impact, clarity, and enough grime on the surface to make it feel real.
The record comes blazing to life with opener Not Immortal and immediately rips away at the listener with dense up tempo riffs and engaging dual vocals courtesy of bassist John Torn and guitarist Dave Huffy. The track segues into a classic section of mid-tempo crust that pushes into a fierce, raging breakdown to finish things out. This is the blueprint for a lot of what happens on Progress to Oblivion, and that’s not a bad thing. Scavengers seem to be oriented toward producing a flawlessly updated version of 90’s crust rather than trying to experiment with other genre influences. In a world of post-everything and bands bringing together disparate ideas from all over the map to try to make them fit together (often awkwardly), it is occasionally refreshing to see a band that knows exactly how to sound and just nails that to the wall. Scavengers is that band.
Other highlights of Progress to Oblivion include mid-album tracks Artifacts and finisher October 1, 1997. Artifacts starts off with a blast of brutality and then settles into some serious mid-tempo heaviness that evokes the best moments of HHIG’s Monuments to Thieves era.
October…is a fast and furious ripper for the majority of its length, with some grimy sounding bass breaks during the bridge parts, and then it slides its way into a huge sounding monster of a riff that brings home the last minute or so and finishes the record strong.
The era of Trump is certainly likely to produce a new crop of crusty, pissed-off, politically oriented hardcore bands who will attempt to tread the same ground that Scavengers is already firmly planted in, and probably far less competently. If that’s the itch you’re looking to scratch, then do yourself a favor and give Progress to Oblivion a few spins, and get fucking angry.
Progress to Oblivion was released 1/13/17 On Wax Deli Records and is available through bandcamp at https://scavengersny.bandcamp.com/album/progress-to-oblivion
Check out Scavengers on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/scavengersny/
Also, rumor has it that Scavengers puts on a furious live show, if they’re in your hood, check them out this winter and spring –
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Label: Wax Deli Records
Favorite Tracks: Not Immortal, October 1, 1997
For Fans Of: His Hero Is Gone/Tragedy, Turmoil, Unbroken