Introducing to the floor… ‘Pride of Nowhere‘, the first LP unleashed by The Smoking Hearts. Since the guys joined forces three-years -ago, this album follows their two independently released records ‘Blood Money‘ and ‘Give ‘Em Hell‘.
Clocking in at 29-and-a-half minutes…exactly, the 13 tracks of this LP begin with the title track which has the energy that should lead in to something pretty special. Unfortunately, once you’ve gotten to ‘George Street Wrestling‘ (a nod to the band’s rural roots) your ears become all to accustomed to the hardcore-tinged punk n’ roll thunder that dominates the rest of the album.
In a truly aggressive style, the band sound as though they’re brawling in their own ring as each element of their sound is trying to muscle-in. There seems to be a concentrated battle between Lethal (vocals), Barker and Nobba (guitar), Calvin (bass) and Matty on the drums as (without too much focus), they combine the thrash of Motorhead within the underlying rhythm of the Ramones.
The non-stop raw energy of each track can become a little overbearing as there’s little diversity on offer. That being said, fans of hardcore punk will dig the thick riffs, fuelled by powerful, extended guitar shredding that is un-relenting throughout – this, coupled with eyebrow-creasing vocals will make you want to treat the poor lad’s voice box to a pack of soothers.
Despite the fact that these characteristically punchy tracks would benefit from better mixing, this album is a great tribute to the punk movement of the 70s. The problem is that it doesn’t hit any harder or develop on that formula. The lyrics are raw and hard-hitting on ‘Daddy’s Little Disaster‘ while ‘Give ‘Em The Suit‘ jeers at the monotony of life and desperately begs the listener to question conformist attitudes. Of course, we also get to explore the ever-accessible adrenaline-pumped themes of aggression and partying hard through ‘One-Eyed Drunk‘, ‘Message In A Molotov‘, ‘Stab Twist Kill‘ and ‘Thrash B4 Gash‘ to name a few.
This is a great record if you need a bit of thrashy punk to get you up in the mornings, but it’s not so great if you’re all about intelligent experimental tracks.
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