Label: Geenger Records
Date: October 15th, 2021
Has anyone of you heard of a band with two (physical) releases under belt that has yet to appear on CD? Not counting those who go fully online (don’t even get me started on those). Me neither, but here they are. A Serbian hardcore punk band called Bronze. This, their second outing, is available on vinyl only. At least at the moment of writing this review. The previous EP came out on cassette tape. Going old school, are we? Well, there are some grey hairs in the line-up, so that might be a dead giveaway. But there’s still something ticking in these guys. No, not the pacemakers.
Joking aside, Bronze are not stuck in the Stone Age. They are very much aware of the 21st century and the advantages of internet. Their debut EP was posted online only. The two singles that announced this album were also spread through the world wide web. And “Ticking Bomb” is basically a compilation record, though it might well stand as the first full album by the Belgrade horde.
The LP contains everything Bronze published to date. Ten songs in total, clocking just under half an hour. As per standards of the genre, of course. The genre in question being hardcore punk of the old, west coast USA provenance. Mostly. The quartet is influenced elsewhere, too. As best portrayed in the chorus for the most recent song of those featured on “Ticking Bomb”. “Oppressing Superior” is way deep within the metalcore range, as are the certain pieces of other tracks as well. Like in the title track, or the opening of B1, “Human Zoo”.
In short, the guys are dancing on the borderline of metalized hardcore and hardcore punk. With the mentioned “Oppressing Superior” even hitting the death punk margin for a short bit.
But this categorization is of lesser importance here. The whole point is that “Ticking Bomb” is exploding all the time. This or that genre, never mind. The release is packed with furious energy throughout. Not the least because of the brilliant production work, but the power extracted from the instruments, one and all, is astonishing. One does actually feel the drummer pounding mercilessly, the singer going sore after each song recorded and the strings breaking in half.
There’s the key to understanding this record. It’s built upon the day-to-day frustrations of its creators. Once the timer stopped ticking, the bomb within simply exploded into heavyweight hardcore. They felt it while creating and recording “Ticking Bomb”, no doubt, and you will feel it, too. To a point of screaming these lyrics out loud because they relate to you as well. They relate to all of us actually. It’s ticking within us all. Once it blows up…
Oh, and I’m not a fan of the clean voice, thankfully used in just one short instance. Other than that, this is a killer surprise for your record player’s New Year celebration!