Saturday, 6 January 2018

Review: Social Virus - Social Virus EP [20th December 2017]

Although Tel Aviv (and Israel in general, for that matter) has quite an intimate punk and hardcore scene, there has been a lot of new bands popping up lately. Not just ones with members of already established bands but actual NEW BLOOD. One of them is possibly one of the youngest hardcore bands EVER - Social Virus. With an average age of about 15, these 4 friends have already been getting attention for their age alone but as their debut self titled EP proves, the hype is not totally unwarranted.

Social Virus might be young but they have some actual hardcore chops. Consisting of 3 songs in English and 3 in Hebrew, the music on this EP incorporates the musical simplicity and aggression of old school hardcore punk mixed with the more lower tones and breakdowns of more modern tough-guy hardcore. Sticking to what hardcore should be, the songs are all quite personal and from the honest point of view of a teenager, as opposed to just being random songs about hardcore, unity and other such clichés.

Although the song HaShomeret Bat Zonah (The Bouncer is a Bitch), written about an incident involving the boys being refused entry to a punk show, has already gained a huge following alone, I personally wouldn't consider it the EP's stand out track. The 30 second long Still Here might be super short but is the best song by far, from its frantic intro by drummer Guy right to singer Atir's "Bleh!" (which is a bit of a cliché but I'll let it slide). I Was A Kid is also a highlight, not only for the catchy "So much different, so fucking different" chorus but also for the relatable content. Even at the age of 15, you start to realise that life isn't all that easy.

The overall production is more "demo" quality than sounding like an EP. In a way, it works well with the material as it makes the songs sound a little "gritty" but you can't help but think that they could sound even better and fuller with a higher quality mix.

Social Virus as a band are definitely going places but have a bit to learn. One suggestion I would like to make (not that my word really means anything) - you don't need to swear so much to sound "punk" or even more "adult". Obviously, it helps accentuate our frustration but if it gets overused, it can get less effective and cheapen everything. That was advise I was given which I've learned to appreciate more with time.


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