If you’re already feeling frustrated at being unable to attend live shows, wait until you hear IRONED OUT. Metallic hardcore has always been custom designed to get bodies moving and beers flying, but albums as explosive and individual as this one come along only once in a blood-splattered blue moon. With a collective pedigree that includes stints in several legendary UK hardcore bands (including the god-like KNUCKLEDUST), this London-based wrecking crew are not offering anything wildly revolutionary, but by infusing their breakdowns and beat-’em-ups with the gritty spirit of hip-hop and, in particular, UK grime as well as crafting songs that have hooks and heft, they’ve spawned something subtly new and unusually thrilling.
After a bewitching, Sabbath-like intro, the inevitable destruction of your own furniture will probably begin with “Pavement Strong”. With all the commanding, clobberin’-time clout of the metallic hardcore greats, IRONED OUT come blazing out of the starting blocks, spitting rugged street poetry over wave after hulking wave of concrete-encased riffing. Frankly, it’s ridiculous, exuding the swagger of prime HATEBREED and the much-missed STAMPIN’ GROUND, but with an oh-so-modern sense of real-world fury driving the whole thing forward. Meanwhile, vocalists Louis Gino and Dave Mackboo‘s mixture of conversational threats and all-out bellowing adds several additional layers of charisma and menace to the whole thing. The song’s final beatdown, it hardly needs stating, is ignorant as fuck.
Perhaps surprisingly for a band in this subgenre, IRONED OUT maintain standards throughout their debut. There is very little repetition here, just a veritable shit-ton of killer riffs, smart song ideas and moments of balls-out rock ‘n’ roll fury. Both “Crazy Old World” and “Ain’t Raw” are perfectly pitched bursts of motoring yobcore, with strong echoes of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, doing IRONED OUT no disservice whatsoever. Meanwhile, the Londoners showcase their obvious and presumably cherished debt to thrash via “Pagans”, “Stranger Than Fiction” and the bone-snapping, mid-tempo grind of “ACAB”, a song title that does have a certain 2020 ring to it. Elsewhere, “All Hope Is Lost” is a snotty, swaggering, multi-tempo beast, with bonus gang vocals and a skin-shredding final crescendo, while “6 Weeks” is a superlative circle-pit stomping soundtrack, with spine-tingling bursts of melody simmering below the surface.
The closing title track’s claims that “there’s nobody better” might seem a little audacious for a band releasing their first album, but the exhilarating reality is that IRONED OUT are the best thing to happen to metallic hardcore in a long time. And this album is really going to make you want to flip that coffee table.