M-Sixteen - M-Sixteen (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


M-Sixteen (2007)

Fond of Life / Chorus of One

Guilty. I'm guilty of somehow unconsciously careening into a narrow and dangerous mental path that's associated new punk solely with the English-speaking Western World. Great Britain, the United States, Sweden (they speak English there, right?) and Australia…those are the only places good punk comes from, no? The swift slap in the face taking these puerile thoughts to task comes courtesy of the French band M-Sixteen on UK label Fond of Life and the Italian Chorus of One label.

A thunderous galloping rhythm launches the opening track "Equilibrist" that skits forward with the frenetics of A Wilhelm Scream and razor-throat screams that call to mind a wailing Matt Caughthran of the Bronx fame. As with most of cuts on M-Sixteen, the song screams by faster than expected before meeting a wall of feedback and distortion that closes most of the songs on the album. "The Change" follows and is arguably one of the better numbers along with the gang vocal-laden "Violent Apathy" and angular hardcore of "Monster."

Though the Wilhelm Scream comparisons are both necessary and relevant, M-Sixteen trades in the dicing technical guitar work of AWS for many a furious barrage of chord alternations and more group vocals than the Scream have ever put forth. While the native French speakers clearly don't have quite the bitter poetics of Nuno, M-Sixteen vocalist Renaud gets his point across more in tone than words, and it suits the whole just fine.

In short, M-Sixteen's style of new-school melodic hardcore is top notch, and if whispers of A Wilhelm Scream and the Bronx aren't enough to rouse your interest, check it out for yourself.