July 31, 2012 - Bridge Nine
Like a horse carcass hurled off a skyscraper, Soul Control’s bloody, guts-smeared post-hardcore works best when it’s blurring by at terminal velocity. That’s not to say the Rhode Island crew aren’t good at any speed; on past releases like 2009’s (vaguely Refused-esque) Cycles and last year’s (far more Refused-esque) Get Out Now, there’s an undertow of churning menace that helps rein in the savagery. On the group’s new EP, Bore Core, things get even heavier—and crazier. “Reek” is the disc’s most traditional Soul Control song, if such a thing could be said to exist. Lurching and jagged, its open-throttle riffs and curdled melody carries frontman Rory Van Grol’s accusatory rage. “Ugly” and “Anxious,” though, sink deep into the subjects of their titles, together forming a thick stew of acidic, atmospheric sludge. In particular, “Anxious” is a big step forward for the band, mixing ambient drones and slithery hooks into a unsettling meditation. But it’s the EP’s first two songs that do the most damage. “Appetite” and “Headtrippin” are full of buzzing, contorted grooves that are faintly reminiscent of Pissed Jeans but mostly pay homage to Nirvana, imagining if Kurt Cobain had taken a hardcore detour ca. 1990. In fact, the digital-only bonus track is a passable if uninspired cover of an admittedly third-tier Nirvana song, “I Hate Myself And Want To Die.” But with the rest of Bore Core being such an anthemic, accelerated mutation of Soul Control’s sound, there’s no need to count that against them.