The big review: – This World Is Going To Ruin You

Massachusetts hardcore crew navigate the negative on startling second full-length, This World Is Going To Ruin You.

The big review: – This World Is Going To Ruin You
Olly Thomas

The bleak worldview espoused by Boston quintet permeates their tense, anxiety-inducing work. Chunky, pit-destroying riffs may be undeniably present on this astounding second album, but they’re merely one element in an unpredictably chaotic tornado of sound which blasts the listener in any number of directions. This World Is Going To Ruin You is a record fuelled by hardship, grief and disappointment, and vocalist Anthony DiDio’s uncompromising lyrics don’t hold back when exploring painful events, while ultimately suggesting that the only way to break through these difficulties is to rediscover – and take strength in – yourself.

The band’s previous album, 2018’s Errorzone, laced a pugilistic hardcore attack with electronic elements, drawing notably from drum’n’bass. Rather than sticking with this mode to further sharpen a signature sound, have instead doubled down on darkness and density on its follow-up. Even the place of its birth, a locked-down studio in COVID-blighted New Jersey, fits into the sense of a bunker mentality here, this record the work of a unit physically and emotionally concentrated on the renewal of their very identity. Clearly, these five men are not the only people to have had a shit time of it these last two years, but in drawing deep from their own experiences they’ve unleashed a collection which, for all its seething malevolence and misanthropy, taps into something universal.

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, 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, 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.

So, This World Is Going To Ruin You takes the listener from the womb to the funeral, or perhaps to the new beginning of Wavery’s line, ‘Bring yourself back to birth.’ Conceptually and musically, it’s a startlingly ambitious piece of work from a truly iconoclastic band. Their volatile negativity should, by rights, lead to an alienating experience, but instead summon a catharsis which feels timely and invigorating.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Knocked Loose, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Jesus Piece

This World Is Going To Ruin You is released on March 4 via Nuclear Blast

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