Since forming in 2012, Menshevik have been concentrating on writing a hybrid of classic UK Hardcore, with a healthy dose of pure, authentic, raw, old school Punk Rock. This E.P. being the result of that very idea. “Ceasefire” was put together in August 2013 in London’s, Artspace Studios, which is owned by Hundred Reasons guitarist Larry Hibbet. It would seem that the guys hit the nail on the head, as this short collection of compositions shows a furious mix of said genre’s, fused together creating a perfect equilibrium of infectious tunes, that are just dripping with all the ingredients that guarantee your face to be melted clean off in a live setting!
Opening up the E.P. is title track “Ceasefire”, which fades in and boxes you around the head a few times before a rolling, chugging intro, led by bassist Dan Hawcroft and drummer Tim MacDonald suddenly kicks off into a snarling fast paced blitz of old school Punk riffage. Gang vocals and tempo shifts insure a huge sound and create an unpredictable captivating listen. “Ceasefire” is a belter of a track and has all the elements for extracting the wet stuff from the pours when witnessed live.
Next up is “Muzzle” which just attacks from the get go and does not stop kicking your ass for all 1.05 minutes of it’s glorious duration. This track dips toes into the Hardcore and even Thrash genre’s and is reminiscent of early Suicidal Tendencies in parts.
“Conditions” comes out of the gates, packed with energy and awesome old school riffs. A mid-song breakdown see’s the low-end heavy tones raise it’s beautiful head, before vocalist Rob Dempsey leads the pack with some meaty gang vocals. Have I mentioned that these songs are gonna be huge live? “Conditions” is a testament to my recommendation, as it just has all the elements that simply destroy when played live.
The production on this E.P. is fantastic. With a warm low end sound that just vibrates through the flesh and warms the inner core. “Draw The Line” and “Security” are just a couple of these six cuts to display this. Production duties were handled by Hell Is For Heros, Will McGonagle and mastering by Capdown’s Kieth Minter, who in my opinion have done a stand up job on the delivery of the audio.
Closing track “Textbook Slaughter” is a personal favourite and is the very embodiment of Menshevik. A stand out quality group of musicians, who have stripped back the bullshit and created a true, pure sound. The melodic gang vocals on this track just raise the hairs on the back of my neck. The key changes fluctuate with ease and display the super fine and highly addictive riff’s ripped out by guitarist Steve Pitcher. Kudos to Dan Hawcroft for outstanding bass duties not only on “Textbook Slaughter” but throughout the entire E. P. Fantastic!
Sound is something that I find extremely important and I feel that as part of this review I should highlight that while listening to “Ceasefire” on vinyl the clarity of the high and low end of the music is just impeccable. Don’t get me wrong, the digital format is surprisingly warm and of a supreme quality also. However, should you be lucky enough to get your hands on a copy of the exclusively limited 7″‘s that Dry Heave Records will be selling in the next few days count yourself as one jammy bastard!
This writer grew up with Thrash and although Menshevik don’t flirt with that genre much, I can see a whole audience of Thrashers lapping up these tunes as they have the dirty, tight riffs and driving rhythm that you would most likely find hanging around with Municipal Waste and DRI. Basically, Fucking Awesome stuff!
Overdrive Rating – Menshevik- “Ceasefire” 5/5
Menshevik will be supporting Killswitch Engage in Dublin’s Academy on Wednesday 29th January and The Limelight, Belfast 30th January. Do not miss this chance in catching their performance.
Words – Oran O’Beirne
“Ceasefire” is out January 27th via Dry Heave Records.
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