Opening piece Welcome Home provides a belligerent introduction, leading into savage single The Killing Womb. Even on this relatively straightforward, breakdown-laden track, there’s a feeling of things going haywire, a sense that only becomes keener as the band barrel into the sub-minute blast of Versus Wyoming. As the record continues, there’s a gradual broadening of its sonic horizons. For all their insularity, Vein.fm do welcome some unexpected guests, with features from rapper Bones, Jeff Smith of seminal screamo outfit Jeromes Dream and Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, the latter contributing the album’s first moments of melody on Fear In Non Fiction. Wherever You Are is a subtle, sombre meditation on loss, while Magazine Beach weaves what could be a disembodied rave vocal sample into its fractured-but-accessible narrative.
Sampled voices proliferate, often muffled or mixed just too low for easy comprehension. This feeling of sensory overload is common on an album where hardcore is deconstructed, undergirded by a head-wrecking sonic density that even recalls the work of peak-era Public Enemy producers The Bomb Squad, albeit with strafing, squalling note-bending replacing jaggedly looped brass samples. Towards the album’s close, Vein.fm progress further into their reflective side on the cocooning Wavery, before multi-part closer Funeral Sound achieves closure via haunting pianos, another spoken word section and a slowly-building intensity.