Nembutal – Demo

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Label: Yamabushi Recordings

Sometimes, all you need is a blast of rage and hate. Nembutal deliver that and then some on this demo cassette. Packing five songs in to roughly 13 minutes, this is a mix of hardcore/grind/powerviolence that hits all the right buttons. Rough day at work? Stick this on. Argument with your significant other? Crank this up. Feeling generally pissed off and/or wanting something to solo-mosh to? You get the idea. It’s energetic, it’s angry, and it’s pretty damn awesome.

“Dosage//Altercation” begins with a sludgy, heavy as tar intro and sample about suicide, setting the tone perfectly, before the tempo is kicked up. Hyper-fast drums and riffs are the order of the day, and even when things slow down a touch to allow some dynamics in, they’re still generally pretty fast and aggressive. Wayne’s vocals alternate between screeches and hardcore bellows, suiting the music perfectly – the lyrics might get lost in the mix, but what he’s saying doesn’t especially matter, it’s all about how he’s saying it.

As you’d hope for with this style of music, there’s a real punk attitude on show, that mix of danger and a hint of fun that characterises much of the best punk and all its bastard sub-genres. Likewise, the riffs strike the right balance of aggression and melody, both during the blasting, fastcore sections and the slower breakdowns and introductions. On which note, some of the riffs these guys play are superb; most notably the introductory riffs to “Complications” and  “Nembutal”, which have real groove to them that is sure to get pits going when played in the back rooms of pubs and dingy basements. Fourth track “Decay” is also pretty noteworthy too, for the fairly unsettling melody of the intro, and the crazed, super-short guitar solo; whilst closer “Misfit” opens with a fine sludgy, brooding riff before switching to full speed, and the punk riffs towards the end are absolutely great.

But really, as you’d expect with this style of punk, it’s music as experience and catharsis. Whilst it’s undoubtedly the kind of music that is designed to be played live, there’s still huge amounts of energy and attitude emanating from this demo, and these five songs are a superb outlet for letting off some steam or adding bad-tempered energy to your day. Which is pretty much what you’d hope for from a band sharing a name with a sedative that has been used to execute people.

Demo is available to stream and download via Bandcamp. A cassette version is available from Yamabushi Recordings, limited to 50 copies, and coming with free stickers.

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