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Album Review: Burnt Sugar by Gouge Away

Hardcore punks Gouge Away release their new album Burnt Sugar on 28th September via Deathwish Inc. Mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker) and produced by Jeremy Bolm of Touche Amore, the band dive into personal and social political subject matter without getting the bends on their way back to surface. Carrying an emotional vulnerability and honesty that few bands own in today’s music world.

Fuck the frills, fuck the grandiose, this is pure unbridled hardcore punk rock and it doesn’t get much better than this. Straightforward and straight to the point, the cacophony of big riffs and screamed vocals come together in a mass of raw emotion that connects with the listener and gets the blood rushing.

As you’d expect with any hardcore punk record worth its salt, this record doesn’t hang around. Eleven tracks clock in at just over 26 minutes and the majority of tracks come in shy of 2 minutes. There’s no fucking about; passion and riffs are the order of the day and nobody is going to get in the way.

‘Fed Up’ and ‘Hey Mercy’ are early highlights, but the raw punk that blossoms in every track is worth noting – there’s no duds. The bassline of ‘Ghost’ is sumptuous and hypnotic, add in the driving riff and you’re reminded of the early nineties. ‘Dis s o c i  a  t   i    o     n’ simmers with latent aggression before ‘Can’t Relate’ explodes with visceral punk energy in a very relatable way.

The chaos of ‘Wilt (I Won’t)’ is a joy to experience before closer ‘Raw Blood’ has an L7 feel mixed with Sonic Youth feedback and purposeful discordance. Excellent stuff.

AD Rating 7/10

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