Infirmities- Paid in Blood

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The debut EP from Californian punk band Infirmities delivers eight tracks of no-nonsense, old school punk in under eight minutes. Each song delivers a furious blast of loud, thrashy guitar riffs, chaotic drumming and shout-along vocals with the force of an angry rhino and the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Their lyrics are as simplistic as their primitive guitar riffs but the songs are actually fairly well put together and their incredibly short length keeps them from getting dull. Opener “World Of Sin” sums up Infirmities’ style with its anthemic, group-chanted choruses and rushed verses that tumble over themselves with a nervy, destructive energy – like a train wreck on fast forward. The playing is as ragged and unrehearsed as you’d expect from punk, but a bigger problem is the production. The drums sound rather sterile and the vocals are way too loud in the mix, totally drowning out the guitars. This robs the music of a lot of its vitality, and while vocalist J Hawk probably roars like a beast when rocking out live, here his raspy snarls sound forced and at times a bit ridiculous. There are still some good moments- “Brood Of Vipers” seethes with righteous fury and boasts a dramatic thrash metal intro and “Infirmities Anthem” lives up to its name with its sing-along chorus and some decent riffs.  Hearing these guys tear through this set at some dingy basement gig would be quite a thrill, but this EP never delivers enough of that energy to make up for its shortcomings.

5/10

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