REVIEWS ROUND-UP: Oni – Petrol Girls – Profiler – We Struck Gold – Limbs


ONI – Loathing Light (Ironshore Records)

The development and progression from Jake Oni’s 2016 debut, the tech metal minded Ironshore to second offering Loathing Light is something quite notable. Always technically proficient, Oni has made the most of his exposure to a host of successful musical others (for one, he worked with Mark Morton on the latter’s solo record), and their class has rubbed off. That isn’t to say that ONI is reliant on the guest interventions and mentorship and guidance of others, more to say that the eponymous mastermind has become the proverbial sponge, moving on his ability to write engaging, memorable metal tunes, with the emphasis on energy, and setting a series of barbed aural traps to ensnare both the willing victims and the unwitting.

Moving to a more open and carefree approach that allows zest to splatter from the speakers, there is an element of the better moments of the Soulfly canon to some of the riff patterns and songs, and Oni allies this to a notable improvement both vocally and also terms of in writing melodies and appropriate vocal refrains.


Whether it is the drag-you-to-the-floor metal wrestle of opener ‘The Lie’, mid-album anthem ‘Heart To Stone’, the elastic neck-snap and djent-flecked stagger of ‘Battery Tomb’, the savage collab with trap metal act City Morgue of ‘War Ender’ that threatens to cave in metal club night dance floors as it brings the bounce, or highlight ‘Secrets’ (featuring both Iggy Pop and Randy Blythe in a violent vocal trifecta), Loathing Light deals up everything an impactful contemporary metal album should have – riffs and breakdowns to make you gurn and air-rhythm guitar, throat shredding verses and empowering raise-you-up choruses. Loathing Light goes a long way to fulfilling the potential that ONI has long promised.

8 / 10



Petrol Girls – Baby (Hassle Records)

If your preference for punk is born from a craving for nice three-chord runs, surf rock melodies and preppy choruses, Petrol Girls’ third album, Baby, is not the album for you. Taking a step back in terms of pace compared to some of their previous work, if not indignance or attitude, once the snarl of ‘Preachers’ has set an unmelodious tone, the four-piece set about the noise rock of ‘Feed The Fire’ and establish the uneasy, off-kilter approach, vocalist Ren Aldridge eschewing melody to rattle the senses.


However, if uncomfortable, abrasive music with a series of genuine and important messages (‘Fight For Our Lives’, featuring Janey Starling, covers femicide and fatal domestic abuse, and mental health and burn-out are also covered), with some delivered with a glorious irreverence (‘Baby, I Had An Abortion’) and some with a straight middle-finger (‘One or the Other’), is part of your palette, then there is very likely something for you here.

7 / 10


We Struck Gold – Feel Nothing EP (Dreambound)

These are crowded fields, bands plying metalcore (and adjacent) styles of music find themselves attempting to plough these days, and where there are plenty of alternatives on offer, bands have to try and develop a USP for themselves, or a different hook. We Struck Gold’s hook is a right one, leaning in on the heavier, more hardcore influenced side of things, especially on ‘Something To Prove’ and the fight-and-sing ‘Giving Up On Giving In’ that more than make up for a stock opening pair of songs (less is, sometimes, more…).


Consistency and competency will only get you so far, though and on Feel Nothing, the band’s fourth EP, and fifth release overall, it is moments like the more discordant rock of ‘I’ll Find More Peaceful Days’, that sits more in the Alexisonfire ridealong truck, or the punkier ‘Momentum’ (featuring Jay Kucera of Skywalker) that provide that moment or two of difference. There’s enough to indicate that, while gold is yet to be mined, WSG are at least, potentially, digging in the right place.

6 / 10


Profiler – Profiler EP (Sharptone Records)

Pulling together the torpor and glacial veneer of a Stephen Carpenter’s stab and ooze riffing approach, UK nu-metal tinged alternative act Profiler launch themselves with four songs that stitch together elements of Deftones and the descending rhythmic judder of Jinjer, while vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Mike Evans mixes up the vocal influences, leaning one moment on melodies and modes borrowed from Lord Mike Patton, and at others gazing towards Linkin Park.


For a debut release, Profiler is a competent first attempt, well produced and sitting, as a nu / metalcore release, in a popular sweet spot. That said, there is little to stand out, and the influences are a little too stark, with the level of the output being significantly behind their heroes.


6 / 10


LIMBS – Coma Year EP (UNFD)

Further developed both in terms of having crafted their own sound and identity, and in the quality of their output, is US post-hardcore outfit LIMBS, with more of a mini-album than an EP, serving up seven songs of impassioned exorcising of bottled grief with music that partners aggression with melody, well-crafted to allow the peaks and troughs and push and pull; ‘Spirit Breaker’ in particularly bringing things down expertly to allow a re-building into an Architects-styled chorus.

Most of the sub-genre tropes are here, of course, and there is an element of familiarity from that. But contempt is not the response that is bred here, more acknowledgement that, having begun to move on from their debut, and by finally releasing new material, LIMBS get the chance to re-energise their careers this year, and have the chops and musical ability to get people behind them.

Buy the EP here:

7 / 10