Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Review: Ironed Out - Us and Them EP [2015]

   For those who don't know me, my "hardcore" background comes from being introduced to the band Knuckledust through a Terrorizer compilation CD and then being taken by friends to my first London hardcore show. Since then, up until I moved to Israel, I have been going to London shows and supporting Rucktion Records' releases. Ironed Out is a new band on the scene; kind of a super group, including members of some of my London faves such as the previously mentioned Knuckledust and 50 Caliber.
    For those familiar with the whole Rucktion/LBU scene, this band has that same tough-guy London swagger with more of a "rap" emphasis, similar to that of other London band TRC's earlier work. On this EP, they also incorporate something which, to me, is pretty closely associated with London hardcore bands; using samples from British movies and TV. We can hear it in the EP's intro as well as in third track ACAB (which is a sample from British sitcom Only Fools and Horses about the police aka "the old bill").   

   Unlike more popular rap-hardcore bands like Biohazard and Madball, Ironed Out take more of a leaf out of E-Town Concrete's book, using melodic guitar parts as well as groovy riffs. Penultimate track on the EP, Built To Last (not a Sick Of It All cover), even has singing in the chorus. Personally I love that, but I remember a time when this side of the London scene made fun of Your Demise for introducing singing on their later material. On the other hand, Your Demise's sound pretty much completely changed so that was probably more the issue.
    Built To Last stands out as one of the EPs best tracks, along with final track Survivors. The whole EP is heavy and groovy; totally my sort of thing. However, there are a few issues. When the music kicks in on ACAB, especially when listening on headphones, the first guitar's chugging seems a little off which is a little distracting. Luckily the rest of the track compensates for that. There is also a section nearer the end of the Never Gonna Change, where the guitar part and the drumming seem out of sync but once again, everything sorts itself out and the groove is back on track. One other criticism is, as much as I've always loved the scene, the whole shouting "LBU" thing every so often and talking about the scene just doesn't really do anything for me anymore. It's like when a rapper says his name quite often. That aside, this is a perfect band for fans of E-Town Concrete, Fury of V, TRC and most things Danny Diablo has had a hand in. With bands like Hacktivist and TRC having gained popularity over the years, there's a possibility that Ironed Out will not just remain a hidden gem.

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