Written by: PP on 18/09/2013 23:21:15

I dare say you haven't heard the hardcore genre pushed outside of its boundaries by this much since the avant-garde, genre-defining releases by Refused during the 90s. The sophomore album "YPLL" by Retox, who counts The Locust founding member Justin Pearson on vocals, is simply that innovative in its expression, keen to experiment far outside of the genre confines, resulting in a soundscape that feels both caustic and venomous at the same time.

Firstly, Justin Pearson's vocal expression is manic to say the least, feeling as intense as it does aggressive despite never reaching over into screaming. In fact, the half-yelled, half-sung style gives it one of those maddening vibes where you simply can't predict whether he goes up or down in the next line. At the same time, the riffs zig-zag in every direction, borrowing equally much from chaotic hardcore and mathcore as they do from punk and old school screamo elements. There's a constant sense of chaos present in the soundscape, yet the precision in the riffs is unnerving. "Biological Process Of Politics", for instance, goes insofar as Psyopus inspired nonsensical grindcore with its instrumental landscape, only to return to the Refused undertones shortly after. Another band that you might draw parallels to on for example "Greasy Psalms" is the short-lived and criminally underrated Since By Man, whose tight energy was almost comparable to the frenzied stuff put on by Retox on this record.

So yeah, "YPLL" is a challenging listen. It takes the conventional wisdoms of hardcore and twists and turns them into almost unrecognizable shapes, while still keeping the core energy and feeling in tact. It's not as groundbreaking as Refused was, but then again, can anyone ever be? In its current form, it serves as a nice reminder that not all hardcore needs to be one-dimensional in its nature. If anything, it offers a window to the potential found within angry, pissed off music when played by a bunch of individuals that just want to tear their instruments apart in every way imaginable.

Download: The Art Of Really Really Sucking, Modern Balls, Greasy Psalms, Soviet Reunion
For the fans of: Since By Man, Refused, The Locust
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.05.2013

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