There’s a saying in the UK that it’s grim up north and what better place for a Hardcore band to emanate from than Manchester, in this case a five-piece called Going Off, who formed in 2020.
The band have been prolific over the course of their short life span, producing the Live in Salford and Live at Noiseboy MMXXI live sets, a self-titled and Destroy EPs and What Makes You Tick that came out towards the start of the year.
Kill List (Church Road Records), their latest EP, sees the band maintaining their prodigious work-rate.
“Crossroads” is brutal mid-tempo metallic Hardcore with a heavy emphasis on breakdowns and pig squeal guitar feedback. It’s just over a minute long and serves more as an intro than anything else. A decent start in any case. “Pay The Price” displays more of a Post-Hardcore/Industrial touch a la Helmet/Killing Joke before some nasty sounding blast beats muscle their way in and smack you square in the chops.
There are also some excellent manic Rasta vocal stylings reminiscent of Benji of Dub War/Skindred. Cramming this much musical diversity into a mere minute and a half is no mean feat, and Going Off have achieved it in spades with this outstanding track.
Remember that purple patch in the 90’s and bands such as Stuck Mojo, Orange 9MM and Downset? That’s exactly what “Teeth” hints at, as well as Nu-Metal before that genre’s hyper commercialisation and subsequent decline, back when it still had originality and integrity.
“Weak Links” is catchy with fat grooves present, demonstrating a band unafraid of employing a little melody on occasion.
There are some tough street vibes, too, like vintage Biohazard that help make this such an endearing earworm; it will certainly get the pit moving.
“Smile” with its sheer ferocity makes you want to do anything but what the title otherwise suggests. It starts at a fair pace as you’d expect for a Hardcore outfit, but also seems to tip its hat to Doom Metal (consciously or otherwise) – such is the sheer heaviness of the music.
“Bed Of Concrete” is Groove Metal-era Sepultura, which affords for a pleasantly nostalgic blast from the past. “Better Than Me” is a short (actually the shortest on the record at forty-nine seconds) punchy number that reminds one of contemporaries Drain and segways nicely onto Kill List’s longest track by a country mile, “Servant To The Skin.”
As with”Pay The Price,” the band’s love of Grindcore/D-Beat is demonstrated at the start of the track, albeit briefly. It’s a shame that there are only glimpses of this side to the band’s repertoire especially as they do it so well. It’s no deal breaker, however; for speed freaks out there, it helped inject some much-needed momentum to the album as a whole.
There were some excellent moments to be found on Kill List, and if grinding, metallic, breakdown Hardcore is your thing, then this should be a top priority listen. It may not be reinventing the wheel, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Buy the album here:
8 / 10