"Wipe Us Out" (EP, 2016)
Grow Your Own
I first came across Sanction This on the Birds of a Feather compilation (also on Grow Your Own records), and although I was initially put off by the name (redolent as it is of Jobseeker interviews and general dole-scum wallowing) and the thrash-o-rama intro, it turned out that Sanctify Genocide was one of the stand-out tracks on the CD.
Presented here on 7” vinyl (with free badge for early orders) with two other songs, the aforementioned intro improves with repeated listenings. A detour into a drop-out featuring the rhythm section pounding along on their own pushes it into something that wouldn’t sound out of place on the first Sex Gang Children LP, until power-chords similar to the Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Alles herald the guitar crashing back in. You can even hear the words - which I am happy to say are a vicious old-school attack on religion (“No, I won’t be lost/ Not me/ Not me/ I won’t declare loyalty/ And perish in the crypt”), which is always welcome at the House of Hydra.
The best track on the EP is easily Erase Us which like Sanctify Genocide is a re-recorded version of a track from the And Still They Fucking Continue long player. Stretched to nearly twice its previous length, this has inventive, chiming guitar work and despite having less lines than a Ramones B-side (“Erase us/ Wipe us out” is all you get) and with a good portion of the playing time consisting of just bass and drums swathed with feedback, this builds into something reminiscent of Neurosis circa Souls at Zero, but with a bit more space in the mix, although I’m also reminded of Lard/Pailhead (it certainly has that Wax Trax atmosphere to it). The bassist is definitely touched by the Hand of Goth (this is a good thing), and I’m pleased to report that the drummer clearly knows what hi-hats are for, and goes to work on them with gusto. Moody, menacing and atmospheric, I really can’t think of a single bad thing to say about this track.
And then we come to the slightly disappointing Media Trap, which starts well but slips into generic hardcore thrash. It almost redeems itself at the end with a slower end section featuring cries of “Media/ State / Media/ Hate”, but it’s really not up to the standard of the other two tracks. Having said this, the choice to re-record those two particular songs shows that Sanction This clearly understand what it is that makes them special; which bodes well for future releases (hopefully a full length CD in 2017).
Another great record from Grow Your Own records, and definitely a band to watch. 7.5/10
Nick Hydra (December 2016)