London negative hardcore outfit Yards plunge to the darkest depths with their debut LP

Excitation Thresholds

The first time I heard of Yards was back in 2013, they had just released EP1 – which was followed up by the aptly named EP2 less than a year later.

The London hardcore mob are a self described negative hardcore band, a description couldn’t be any more true.

Beneath the crust / hardcore punk facade Yards have successfully injected a gamut of their influence into Excitation Threshold – the result is a well rounded and considered and incredibly vicious punk record.

The band features Tom Lacey, the former front man of the now defunct hardcore punk band The Ghost of a Thousand.

Taking the energy from TGOAT and channeling inspiration from the likes of Converge and another former UK heavyweight November Coming Fire.

The chaotic and noisy hardcore punk is of the previous two EPs is still prominent, however, there is a grander scale to the writing and to the overall tone of Excitation Thresholds.

Yards are most at home in the dark, playing incredibly well into the cover art for the record – dark overtures of the instrumentation drag the listener tooth and nail into a swirl of violent emotion, bloody knuckled and torn, alone and lost.

Everything You Love Reduced To Rubble ramps up the dense atmosphere – shrill Victorian doll house melodies mix sharply with the sheer discordant cacophony of Axe to Fail era Converge riffs.

BL-755 is where the band are at their most creative – the crackle of guitar feedback, the rumbling of the bass all works together to punctuate the album with a slow, foreboding song that fits perfectly encapsulates cover art.

If there’s one word that describes this record – it’s feral, the instrumentals are savage and lyrics are barks through blood and sinew – an LP where every note, every word carries actual weight.


From The Depths

hiss spun

Chelsea Wolfe
Hiss Spun – 2017
Sargent House

“A mysterious hum [that] resounds in the deep sea for about an hour” – Chelsea Wolfe on her influence for Hiss Spun.

Chelsea Wolfe presents her concept for Hiss Spun – the mysterious hum –  Wolfe takes the disembodied and abstract, and constructs a fully realised identity. There’s an irresistible heaviness and pressure to Hiss Spun, grounded in this concept, not just musically but tonally. Each song; whether folkish or industrial carries an obvious emotional weight.

Hiss Spun is the culmination of Chelsea Wolfe’s long term flirtation with extreme metal influences. On Hiss Spun the gap between subtle influence and actuality has shortened. The juxtaposition between Chelsea’s ethereal vocal and the layers of extreme influence creates a sense of beautiful unease. This is no more evident than on Vex – where it is impossible to ignore the terrifying cacophony created by Aaron Tuner’s guttural presence.

Kurt Ballou‘s production provides Hiss Spun with it’s weighty atmosphere and murky textures. However, there are moments of disconnect, where immersion with the depths is broken and the record becomes somewhat drowned in dissonance. Queens of The Stone Age’s Tray Van Leeuwen takes up guitar duties for the record. Fluttering between riffs that wouldn’t be out of place on a NIN record to somber melodiesThe quality of the collaborators on Hiss Spun give the record a concrete identity. Adding to the incredible musicianship Wolfe has demonstrated in previous records and adding a new dimension to her well known gamut of influences.

Ultimately Hiss Spun demonstrates why, Chelsea Wolfe, at record number six shows no signs of stagnation or slowing down.