Hour Of Reprisal - A New World From the Ashes of the Old (Cover Artwork)

Hour Of Reprisal

A New World From the Ashes of the Old (2023)

Final War Records

Ok, I’m just going to do a quick one here because I want to shout these guys out a bit. UK straight edge bands aren’t exactly numerous anyway, but ones that hail from East Anglia (Norwich, to be specific) and who drop their debut record a mere 2 years after forming are even less common. Add to that, the fact that the band have formed this record pretty much exclusively around the ACAB movement/ideology, then I think I’m pretty safe in assuming they’re in niche of a single band.

Hour of Reprisal are not fucking about. This record is 7 songs over less than 24 minutes, but it certainly makes its point in that brief time. They spread their time pretty evenly between surging, furious hardcore of a pretty savage and modern ilk; squeaky panic chords, pinch harmonics and last but by no means least, rabid vocals that sound like they could well have been laid down by someone who has just broken out of Broadmoor. As I alluded to, the majority of their music deals with policing, the deeply-entrenched bigotry, racism, homophobia and corruption that has been found to be an innate part of most major police forces (by independent enquiries and by their own people, I might add) in the last few years here in the UK. Not that I’m blind to the fact that this is true of police the world over of course, but I think hearing a young band articulate their grievances so directly and with such unwavering aggression is just incredibly enlivening.

I’m not saying this is a perfect record, not by any stretch. In fact, some of the riffing is a little rudimentary at points and the cymbals are used too much, but in terms of heart and potential? I love these guys. Brief, furious, targeted. I do love when hardcore is so specific in its targets. And with song titles like “1312”, “Failed State” and “Rat Nest” there’s not much ambiguity. But then these guys are pretty new. Nuance and subtlety is for people with a little less fire in their blood maybe. Certainly for people whose message requires it more than this. As far as Hour of Reprisal are concerned, the police are state-sanctioned terrorists, acting with impunity when they attack, extort and intimidate the general populace (and particularly the working classes). And that they’re afforded this privilege by a government who have a vested interest in enabling that suppressive regime whilst gaslighting the very people they’re victimising through giving the police these powers. So when the subject turns to civil disobedience, fighting back and the very subject the album is named after, it is genuinely thrilling.