1. Pushed Too Far
2. Tyler Durden
3. When Valkyries Fly
4. You Fucked Our Rock And Roll
5. Live Die Scarred
6. Killing Zoe
One word description of this EP – awesomeness.
Right from the word go, TIA grab hold of your scruff and shake you around like a rag doll for 6 songs of metallic goodness. I have a belief that there are certain kinds of metal music that one can use to illustrate what the word ‘awesome’ means to someone, and this kind is exactly what I’m talking about. As with their live show, the album is packed with anger and its expression, both in terms of its instrumental feel and lyrical themes. From the honest dissing of people that piss you off (Tyler Durden), to what appears to be a real-time description of how to escape a homicide attempt on you (Killing Zoe), the standard general-metal theme of struggle (in multiple senses) is present with little savoir faire. What makes the vocals unique is the delivery – most of these lyrics are delivered in an intensely sneering nasal scream, which is more typical of genres like black metal, thrashcore or grindcore, none of which these guys are. Set against guitars and drums that draw appropriately from different genres at different times, their overall sound is unique to them.
It’s worth exploring the various styles they adopt through the songs to get a better idea of what they sound like, because while catchall terms like ‘aggro-rock’ are perfect for describing their attitude, they’re also fairly nondescript. There’s little by way of ‘solos’, and guitarist Miroslav seems to compensate for this by adding riff after riff. He has a real flair for playing fluid metal hooks that would make Tom Niemeyer (Accüsed/Gruntruck) proud, and accenting the rhythm in a more dissonant, heavy metal manner. The shredding, however, has the thick yet unabrasive texture of alt rock. This clever approach allows the guitars to blend well, while still letting the component parts be distinct and interesting in themselves. The drums and bass move between hardcore and Noughties metal, often within the same song. Acting as the effective High-Tension Wire of the songs, the rhythm changes they execute aren’t breakdowns, but more subtle variations on beats. Such finesse is always good to see in a metal-oriented band, many of which tend to be overly simplistic in their thinking. Overall, they sound like they are the logical Descendents (hehe) of crossover thrash pioneers, the Cro-Mags.
Pushed Too Far kicks off the album with its solid and driving feel, and moves smoothly into Tyler Durden, which is probably their catchiest song (although the extent to which you can sing along to any of them is limited). Live Die Scarred has an almost funk riff that is quickly translated back into metal-land, and is quite anthemic in its feel. Their ‘best’ song is probably Killing Zoe, in which the balancing act between all of the different musical directions is very well executed, and the choppy shredding will drill itself into your brain. All of this is packed into songs that are a little over 3 minutes at their longest, and this brevity makes the songs even punchier. Clocking in at somewhere around 15 minutes, it makes for a well-spent quarter-hour.
Oh and did I mention it’s free? That just makes this release even cooler – for those that like metal-esque music of any kind, there’s really no good excuse not to give this one a listen.
— Shashwati Kala