It makes sense to write about two of LA’s heaviest, Ruckus and Twitching Tongues, in same review since these two bands share most of their members. Both bands feature the brothers Young, who are playing various instruments (in Ruckus: Colin plays drums and Taylor guitar and in Twitching Tongues: Colin sings and Taylor plays as well guitar) and are largely responsible for writing their material and recording their music too. Aside them both bands feature same bass player, other common factor is that both band put out their first LP just a while ago. Twitching Tongues – Sleep Therapy actually originally came out already earlier this year, but the vinyl version’s pre-orders landed just couple weeks ago. Ruckus’s as well first full-length, Of Malice And Man, had it’s problems too, it was meant to come out through infamous Double Or Nothing Records, but it turned out to be released through Harvcore Records, who did a great job with it. I received both LP’s (bit over) two weeks ago and have been giving ’em a lot of listen lately, both bands are pretty damn heavy in their own way and are no doutb very good in their respective styles.
Sleep Therapy LP
Twitching Tongues caught my attention through Ruckus, since i had gotten into them, on their Human Pollution CD, that was released by german label, BDHW Records. Later i heard that Colin was singing in Twitching Tongues, so i checked it out and turned into liking their stuff quite a lot. It was totally different styled music than Ruckus, drawing inspiration from slow heavy metal, alt-metal influenced hardcore and such kind of shit. Twitching Tongues cross the line between hardcore and metal and they do it with unique style and ambition. Bands like Life Of Agony, Type O Negative and Only Living Witness came to mind then and still do, when listening their new LP, Sleep Therapy. Prior their first full-lenght the band self-released a Demo and a CDS/7″ -single, Insane & Inhumane, on BDHW / Photobooth Records, that featured the demo remastered and two new tracks, plus Pentagram cover – Forever My Queen. Sleep Therapy features 8 songs, including those two from the single, here on the LP they deliver astounding display of how the band has crafted their material, sounding nothing like most of new hardcore (and related) bands around, with still sounding hardcore. I managed to pick the “Type O Negative”-green vinyl as a pre-order package, that included also Type O -nodding t-shirt and the CD version of Sleep Therapy. Additional nice detail on the vinyl was that it was wrapped with a band, that has pressing number stitched into it, mine was 163 / 200.
Sleep Therapy is truly well knit album, there’s no fillers and new songs work out together beautifully to make it all sound very whole. It doesn’t matter that Insane & Inhumane and Voluntary Confinement re-appear on the LP, cause they sink in together so well with newer songs like, Astigmatism (Of The Phallic Muscle) and record’s starter, I Fell From Grace Feet First. This 8 song LP is, if you ask me, one of this years best hardcore (and related) records, that if you can (like everyone should) listen to some other music than hardcore, too. Just check out Sleep Therapy’s epic conclusion, Arm In Armageddon Part 1: Freezing and Arm In Armageddon Part 2: The Peril Of Our Seasons, it should be enough to impress anyone, who likes good music.
There’s two songs off Sleep Therapy on Twitching Tongue’s Stereokiller site:
Twitching Tongues -Facebook
Of Malice And Man LP
As you might know, Los Angeles has been the place to follow, when it comes to amazing metallic hardcore lately. Alpha & Omega and Xibalba are just few names who have come and taken hardcore world by storm. But then there is Ruckus, who first hit their chugging metallic mayhem via BDHW, on their previously mentioned MCD, Human Pollution (interesting trivia, Dwid (of you all know which band), has done the artwork for the mcd). These guys delivered impressive metallic hardcore, somewhere between New Jersey bands such as Second To None, Fury Of Five (Taste The Steel cover was on the MCD) and other metallic monsters like Grimlock (who they would later cover too), Merauder and All Out War. From that standpoint it probably wasn’t a big surprise, that i’m all over this kinda stuff. Ruckus was also featured on Earthquake Split CD with Xibalba and San Diego’s metallic beatdown hardcore monster, World Of Pain, where they delivered some new songs, but it still left me waiting for the full-lenght, yearning for more. With time taken on hassle with labels and shit, they hit up online promo off The LP, which featured some cover goodness (Bad Brains and Agnostic Front) and couple tracks from Of Malice And Man.
Of Malice And Man LP came out through Harvcore and i received mine on same week with TT LP. Limited vinyl version was black this time and i was lucky enough to snatch one of those in the pre-order phase. Ruckus had put in their heaviest tracks this far to the record, they sound just like a band of this style should sound, uncompromising, heavy and rough. Metallic hardcore is huge these days, but these guys have put their influences into pieces and made their own roadmap out of it, thick riffs and overall very tight playing can be heard well on the LP. Previous MCD’s title track, Human Pollution, that did not appear on that release, is first track on Of Malice And Man. Next three songs really raise the gear and let you know that Ruckus “ain’t ta fuck with”, Les Incompetent, Cognitive Genocide and Destructive Criticism present perfectly how these guys roll, heavy riffs, solid menacing vocals and lots of mosh. I’m not talking about anything like mid-Euro ultrabeatdown, cause Ruckus is on totally other level compared to that stuff, there’s so much more variety going on, faster parts pace nicely the heavier ones and there’s still plenty of those crushing breakdowns. Admist new songs they have included new versions of older songs, True Testament (off Human Pollution), Damn Age and Dead Weight (these two were available online as demo-versions, some time after Human Pollution MCD), that have some new kick in ’em too, through new recording and heavier sounds of the LP in overall. Ten songs is pretty good length for hardcore record and Ruckus maintain to keep it interesting throughout the whole record, without any problems. These guys are among my favorite bands from Los Angeles and also on top of current heavy hardcore today, with bands like: Harms Way, Lifeless, War Hound, Bottomfeeder, Ready To Die, Xibalba and World Of Pain.
You can listen couple songs from Of Malice And Man from Ruckus Stereokiller:
Or listen the whole LP here at Blow The Scene.
Pick out one or even both of these records, if you like what you hear. Hardcore bands are not making huge bucks, so support the scene and help them out. Go see ’em play if it’s possible, Twitching Tongues is coming to Europe in Summer so i’m definitely trying to catch them somewhere. Ruckus played a tour last year (mostly) in Germany, but i hope next time they come over, they’d play some scandinavian dates too.