(N) Scrimshaw EP Review

By Shane Douthwaite
I’ll admit now that up until I received this EP I avoided hardcore music with every ounce of my being; as I had always been skeptical towards it, believing it was the death knell of modern metal. Then I discovered Scrimshaw…
Scrimshaw’s sound is as brutal as it is genius; mixing a no bullshit hardcore attitude with no holds barred old school thrash riffs. Scrimshaw are not for the faint hearted and DEFINITELY not for posers and this three track EP is the perfect embodiment of that sound.
Kick-starting proceedings is Scrimshaw’s signature track and the code by which they live, ‘Drink, Toke, Thrash, Repeat’ (which appears on their wonderful band shirt). This track features my personal highlight of the EP; a gang chant outro of epic proportions which is about as addictive as the old blue Smarties. The song begins with a mid-tempo opening before blasting to rocket car speeds, and showcases just how well they can achieve a deep sound with a solitary guitarist (Chris) and solid bass work (ex-bassist Lee) especially during the solo– the bass riff feels furious and expertly filled. Of course Arthur’s manic vocals help in achieving the depth as they are so dominating and are situated somewhere between terrifying battle cries and audible screams.
The other two tracks, St. George’s Glory and Scrim-Bong-Shaw are both frantic riff laden hardcore thrashers which display Scrimshaw’s talent for sheer ear splitting aggression. The first fifteen seconds of St George feature a riff that almost has the same chord progression as the opening to Airbourne’s ‘Armed and Dangerous’, before becoming the pugnacious yet technical riff you’d expect from Scrimshaw. The song at one and a half minutes is very short but the last twenty or so seconds feature an utterly fantastic breakdown with epic drumming from (ex-drummer) Matt and some devilish guitar work that’ll leave you wanting more after you’ve furiously banged your head which such furiour one would expect to gain a brain injury.
The latter song makes for more sense if you have seen one of their live shows, where they bring a plucky member of the audience onto the stage and coax them into partaking in a beer bong. The opening is somewhat uncharacteristic of Scrimshaw with a melodic guitar riff with a little bit of string bending – it seems like something you’d expect from an alternative band and it shouldn’t work, but it does – very,very well. Scrim-Bong-Shaw also features a testicle shriveling ending full of Arthur’s angry screaming.
Overall Scrimshaw have created a very neat and professional sounding EP which is definitely worth hearing. Even if you are not of a fan of Hardcore this EP should be a contender worthy enough to win you over; it is practically impossible to NOT like Scrimshaw and their no holds barred, genre busting debut EP. That being said I do feel that the EP needed a track or two more, to show even more of their depth and variation.
Devil Horn Rating: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/