Review: Self-Titled by MTXS

Hailing from the South East of England, MTXS have built themselves a reputation for fusing sub-genres of hardcore into one fast, heavy and grove laden sound to pack a cohesive punch. Having already toured with the likes of Oceans Ate Alaska & Our Hollow, Our Home in Portugal, the quintet have also got a reputation for a riotous live show!

“Sleep” starts the bands self-titled album off at beatdown hardcore pace while some throat shredding unclean vocals kick up from frontman Paul Collins. The pace then builds through a spoken word section into a gang chat that gives the song a punch before slowing things down once again.  “Hellfire” delivers a hookier riff while having more of a hardcore punk vibe going on and introducing a clean vocal in an almost spoken word rap that sounds like it belongs to a band on Suburban Noise Records. The closing punchy breakdown delivers the sort of riffage that will see circle pits take off. “Deadeye” steps things up with a stomping riff and some pounding drum work while adding atmospherics that have Lotus Eater leanings. Indeed the chugging mid-section guitars cross over into a more tech-metal style while the haunting whispers and under laying leads give a third dimension and style to the bands offering. “Still” then provides a dark atmospheric build instrumental that gives a short but slow burn build into “HGV”. Dark and brooding, “HGV” combines the brash sounds of the tech-metal leanings atmospherics with the sort of beatdown hardcore sound that you’d expect from Knocked Loose. Indeed the “Arf. Arf.” before the pace shift is classic Bryan Garris. The seemless blending of sub-genres within a single song is testimony to the bands quality musicianship.

“Hate” combines the slow fast tones of beatdown hardcore guitar work with a fist raised sing-a-long chorus. The quality of the production shines at this point because of the raw sound choice. Big drums from Connor Mollison in the mix alongside Moose Boakes’ chunky bass lines while allowing the guitars to deliver. “Suffer” returns us to the hardcore punk sound and pace while delivering a simple message “do not suffer alone” with breakdown upon breakdown then slow the pace towards the end of the short and sweet affair.  “Dwelling” kicks the pace back up a notch with a hurricane swirl of pounding drums and stop-start riffage. Low guttural vocals are thrown into the mix to give something heavier while the blast beats are a surprising nice touch. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the closing verse which delivers something of the Every Time I Die sound with a Keith Buckley inspired lyric. “Scum” is a punch in the face of a song, lyrically tearing into it’s victim with some real spite and vitriol. It’s a head banger of a track that mixes it up and even stops to open a bottle of beer or two before it’s final breakdown. “MTXS” announces the bands name over a fast breakdown to announce they’re here, which would have been better as the album closer. It’s the bands anthem of the future and at 7 seconds will no doubt be played 3-4 times over during the live show. The actual closer “Tyrant”, which samples American President Donald Trump, starts off a rampage and gives us a surprise guitar solo before kicking into the chugging riffage. It’s pretty obvious finger pointing and shouting is done really well and will no doubt give the band something to worry about should they ever decide they want to tour the US. Rudi McDonald and Aidan Cooper’s dual guitar attack shines on this closer and bodes well for the future. Indeed the inclusion of something that has politically aware lyrics as well as some of the socially aware pieces gives another dimension to an already wide ranging band. [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Sleep
  2. Hellfire
  3. Deadeye
  4. Still
  5. HGV
  6. Hate
  7. Suffer
  8. Dwelling
  9. Scum
  10. MTXS
  11. Tyrant

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