Boddicker – Crime Upheaval

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Label: Self-released/independent

Bandcamp stream: Link

I’ve been feeling pretty stressed out recently. I know why, and I know there’s not a whole lot more I can do about it, but that still doesn’t stop that awful pressure in my chest and aching in my head at times. I’m sure everyone knows that feeling, where you’re having to keep things repressed so that you don’t totally lose your shit, and the latest release from Boddicker is a fitting soundtrack to that tension I just can’t seem to release. Their latest release, Crime Upheaval, is just over twenty minutes of dirty, aggressive, punked-up power-voilence/hardcore/fastcore/whatever. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to quit your job and live a life of crime and anarchy; just the kind of thing you need to cope with the daily grind, short of actually following through with such desires.

There is absolutely no messing around on this record, and not a single moment that lasts for longer than it needs to. Everything is honed to a deadly edge, perfect for attacking your senses; the imagery conjured up by titles like “Halo Of Bullets” and “Vigilante” suits the music perfectly. It’s hardly one dimensional though, and a huge variety of influences is apparent, but not so much so that it’s crass and obvious. There’s hints of Eyehategod, Japanese hardcore, and primitive death metal, but not to the extent that they overpower the powerviolence feel of the songs; they succeed at enhancing them instead, and there’s plenty of shifts of tempo and emphasis throughout the album to keep things interesting and intense; “The Isolationist” slow things down to an EHG-esque crawl before “Drygluch” picks the tempo back up, and Crime Upheaval benefits greatly from such contrasts. Even after the rush of raw power has worn off from initial listens, there’s enough going on here for the record to remain interesting, which is more than can be said of a lot of other powerviolence records.

And good grief is it intense; I’m not sure I can emphasise that point enough. There’s times where, if listened to in the wrong mood – where your negativity threatens to overwhelm your senses – that Crime Upheaval risks being too intense a listen for it to be healthy. It’s been a while since I heard anything that felt this much like a blow, like the music was taking on some tangible quality to press down on me with a physical force that should not be possible. Of course, you don’t want music like this to be a passive listening experience, but this record is so raw, so hateful, so god-damned powerful that it should probably come with a health warning – and I mean that in the best possible way. Which is possibly the highest praise you can give to music such as this.

Crime Upheaval is available for free streaming and download via Bandcamp. A cassette version was on available on tour, but has sold out.

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