Black Years – Black Years II

Black Years - IIBand: Black Years
EP: Black Years II
Label: Footloose Records
Release date: 13 February 2015
Sounds like: A punk-drunk rock ‘n roll bruising

I’m pleased that the detuned, scratchy and gnarled fist of bloody punk rock is slowly bursting back on to the scene. Bands like the volatile, southern-hardcore swagger of American Standards, the brash stagnant hate of Ex Wives and the party jam beer-backwash splash of En Garde are all making the ‘three chords and fuck off’ brigade look very promising at the moment. Step forward Black Years, a four-piece outfit from Chester, who seem keen to join the ranks or at least, tear through with their own brand of venom-infused sounds. There’s something incredibly engaging about Black Years, stretched over the three tracks on offer on this 7″ EP – they’re not afraid to mix up their sound, catering for all on this brief, yet memorable slab of punk rock wax.

Opening track Bourbon Legend, rages past with mic-swinging terror, raw-riffs slicing past with churning, wild abandonment. The roar of “no future, no hope!” from vocalist Rich is a scathing bite of gruff-street punk menace. This reminds me strongly of The Smoking Hearts; direct, blunt aggression channelled perfectly; switching from a thrashy speed attack, to a stamping head-banging strut. Second track, Lovers, sits on the melodic hardcore fence and utilises the clean/unclean vocal back and forth superbly. You can sense the eagerness and coiled energy in Black Years on Lovers – from the wild and unpredictable guitar solo, to the euphoric chorus and the crunching finish. The swaggering, bar room brawl shenanigans of Criminals feels like it’s fallen off a Every Time I Die record – cocky, brash and cheeky, it mixes gang-vocal chants and thick crunchy riffs that you can practically taste.

II is an impressive EP – Black Years have done their homework; they know what appeals and how to get the formula for hardcore rock’n roll down to a ramshackle and cocksure art. Great job.

You can purchase II through Footloose Records.


Black Years
Footloose Records

Lizard Hips

Junior Vice President of Keep It Fast. In other news: I work in social media, talk about dinosaurs, run a book club and have amazing facial hair. I am also a male man who is still not dead.

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