This Is Hell have rightly placed themselves amongst the elite of modern hardcore, along the likes of Comeback Kid and Propagandhi, particularly in the latter half of this decade. Two solid albums and seemingly endless touring have begun to carve out a respectable and deserved reputation for this hardcore quartet, especially after some rough patches in recent months including parting ways with long time label Trustkill.
This new EP, Warbirds is the first new batch of material from the Long Island natives since 2008’s Misfortunes, featuring three new original tracks and two covers. “The Search” wastes no time setting off like a fucking cannon. It unleashes Travis Reilly’s throat shattering vocals on top of some welcomed shred from guitarist Rick Jimenez. Meanwhile the title track is just over a minute of frenzied aggression. Here, the band sticks rigidly in familiar regions, but still keeps things intriguing.
The last of the new tracks, “Worship Syndrome” continues the unrelenting trajectory of Warbirds and could easily warm up next to various live staples in the future, as it’s replete with demanding sing alongs.
The first of the two covers is the band trying their hand at “Crazy But Not Insane”, a number from influential hardcore mob Warzone, which sounds exactly as one would anticipate it to.
The peculiar element of Warbirds is to be found on the fifth and final track, “Never Tear Us Apart” a track as you probably know is by INXS. It’s interesting when these scenarios happen, polar opposites, This Is Hell covering INXS. It opens earnestly with Reilly’s coarse bellow jutting in, and you know then that his tried and tested vocal style won’t deviate here. It does what it does, and is attention-grabbing but is still a tad unnecessary.
Wardbirds’ three original offerings do one thing for definite, sate the appetites of fans (for now). The new full length follow up to 2008’s Misfortunes couldn’t come quicker.