Shocks - The Heat [EP] (Cover Artwork)


The Heat [EP] (2015)


Well, I stumbled over the name SHOCKS quite a few times now and read some very positive reviews of their debut EP The Heat, so I became quite curious what's behind all those praising words. And well, if you're into straight-up metallic hardcore with a mid-90s vibe, The Heat has everything to run on repeat on your stereo.

What really sticks out about this release is the constant intensity during it's short running time of 10 minutes. There's not a single moment to breathe through and whenever you think, things couldn't get any meaner, Shocks grab your head and hammer it on the table. In other words, this record is pure fury from start to finish. "Landplagues" kicks things off with a pounding bass-line, that has a classic mid-90s vibe what brings early Strife to mind. After a fast-paced start the song drops into hell of a brutal dissonant double-bass part (think of Turmoil) to later get followed by a groove-laden breakdown just before the fast onslaught continues. Aside from the sharp riffs, the vocals truly stand out on here. The angry delivery has much in common with Lou Koller from SOIA or even Kevin Baker from All Pigs Must Die, what I really appreciate a lot. Up next is "Open Books", another fast paced song with chunky riffs and some absolutely pulverizing breakdowns. It's not that Shocks play breakdown after breakdown, but when they throw one in, they do it without compromises. I also like the subtle melody in the end of the song - maybe something they could expand on in the future. Side B starts off with "Into The Wild", a thick instrumental intro-track, that should cause massive pit-action when played live. This one's definitely made to throw some windmills. "I Won't Make It Mine" is the final track on here and to me the most brutal one. This nailbomb of a song blows right out of the speakers with furious beats and frantic riffs. The moment the mosh-part clocks in and the singer screams "She's a black widow" is probably the most devastating one of the entire record.

Even though Shocks keep it simple, it's not so easy to find a perfectly fitting comparison. On the one hand they fall into the category of no-bullshit acts, such as American Nightmare, Panic or (due to the metallic riffs) Pulling Terth. On the other hand there is this massive groove and they offer those metallic wall-of-sound guitars that have lots in common with The Hope Conspiracy and Turmoil. However, if you like any of the mentioned bands, it's a must to give this a listen.

Accompanied by a really nice artwork and a powerful production The Heat is a damn promising debut. I really hope Shocks can deliver a full-length, that shines with the same intensity. If you like hardcore with all guns blazing, don't miss out on this one.