Crawling forth from the swamps of Florida like an unfathomable, grimy beast, spewing corrosive acid in every direction, comes Meatwound‘s sophomore LP, Largo.
Comprised of Florida hardcore scene veterans, of whom have served time in Combatwoundedveteran, Headless Dogs and others, this quartet have acquired the skills and know-how over the years to craft a gritty, bitter hardcore release. That’s what Meatwound delivers on Largo; unyielding anger and ugliness.
Compared to the murky, cantankerous lurch of its predecessor, 2015’s Addio, Largo opts for more noisy, controlled chaos, while retaining the group’s penchant for groove and sludgy sprawls. Clocking in at just under a half hour, Largo wastes no time pummeling listeners with gnarled hardcore and swells of caustic atmosphere.
Concussive percussion, hammering bass lines and intermittent dissonant guitar chords make their grand entrance through a wall of swirling feedback on the record’s rambunctious opening track, “Seance”. After a few seconds of buildup, the song becomes a hellacious maelstrom of noisy, sliding guitar riffs, malformed metallic hardcore groove and frantic rhythmic assaults. It’s an unyielding, nearly cacophonous bombardment of seething, metallic vitriol that is only heightened by frontman Dave Shook’s hoarse, throat-searing yells.
Following “Seance” is the triple-threat of “Pigs, “Jungle Heart” and “Reproduction Blues”. These heart-arresting tracks show the band digging deep into their hardcore roots to unleash abundances of stampeding rhythms and rampaging, mosh-worthy riffs. “Pigs” is the most aggressively hardcore of the trio, with its barrages d-beat-esque violence that bleed into the band’s dirty chaos effortlessly. “Jungle Heart” weaves together buzzing dissonance, off-kilter riffs and oppressive noise seamlessly atop surging punk rhythms, resulting in a truly volatile tune. Finally, “Reproductive Blues” focuses more on grungy, propulsive groove that is sure to inspire the occasional circle pit and/or drunken brawl.
The menacing “Fleshtag” lets the putrid punk take a backseat in favor of a three-minute, slow-burning crawl of throbbing bass lines, tension building drumming and a menagerie of atonal, disfigured guitar conjurations. The sensory assault of angular, aberrated madness eventually transforms into a climax of bombastic groove and grit. The final two tracks, “The Killer, The Princess and the King” and “Largo” slowing things down to a mid-paced march. These songs, while naturally enveloped in noise and feedback, chug and lumber across five-minute runtimes, with the occasional hardcore flourish and pseudo-sludgy riff along for the ride.
Largo gets in, gets out, and leaves a trail of bodies in its wake. Meatwound took the sound they introduced on Addio and made it faster, uglier and more vicious than one could have hoped for. Those looking for a good throttling would be foolish not to dive into Meatwound‘s singular, visceral world.
Release Date: May 12, 2017
Label: Magic Bullet Records
Favorite Tracks: “Seance” and “Pigs”
For Fans Of: American Heritage, Rorschach and His Hero Is Gone