Short, fast, fed up. These are the words that Specks use to describe their debut EP. They’ve got the short part down, seeing as Twopenny Hangover’s runtime clocks in at just over seven minutes. That doesn’t make it any less fun to listen to Specks rampage across six tracks of ass-kicking, bug-eyed hardcore.
This is hardcore veering into noise. The dissonant bends of “Pathos Ethos” will wrench your guts, while whatever-the-fuck-that-sound-is at the beginning of “Old Horses” will rip and beat you with them. So far, the Converge and Dillinger Escape Plan vibes are strong on the EP’s first half.
But it’s on “A Fistful of Fifties and A Day Without Fear” that Specks find their old-school spirit. Along with the awesomely named “Pick Up Your Teeth,” they channel Napalm Death’s earliest rampages and the no-nonsense hardcore four chords of a band like Cro-Mags. From here on out, things are a nice balance between the two. “Oh Hell” sounds like the heaviest thing Fidlar never wrote, while “Low Score” has exactly the type of freewheeling hardcore fans love.
Finding those hardcore fans will be Specks’ biggest challenge. They live up to the ‘short, fast, fed up’ motto, and certain audiences will eat this up. The fact that they come from London Ontario, home of Single Mothers and Dead Tired, will help them greatly. Specks have the energy and spirit that many of hardcore greats displayed at similar times. If they can build up a steady fanbase through shows (which are probably going to be terrifying affairs) they could have a bright future. It’s far too early to tell, but it’ll be interesting to see this band play out. They’ve got the chops, now what they need is the profile. Keep at it like they do on Twopenny Hangover and they’ll get it sooner rather than later.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Mike Milito