Review: “Self-Titled” EP by Pressure Cracks

So for those not in the know, Pressure Cracks are the second post-Letlive. project from frontman Jason Aalon Butler following The Fever 333. As with The later, this new band are a supergroup of sorts, with Werewolf Congress guitarists Dan Bieranowski (The Mistake, ex-Scars Of Tomorrow) and Kevin Fifield (ex-Scars Of Tomorrow, Gone Without Trace) alongside bassist Ryan Doria (All Or Nothing HC, Old Rivals), and Bill Galvin on drums. So that would be a hardcore band then…? The Southern California quintet put out single “Be A Wolf” in mid-May and turned heads.

Recorded, Mixed, Mastered by Rollie Ulug (Teeth guitarist & vocalist, but also known for work in Fallen Angel, Nuns With Guns & Wage Slave) in Santa Ana, California and comprising 4 tracks, the EP starts with “Collages & Collagen”. Bathing the listener in feedback before a bloodcurdling scream from Butler and some Every Time I Die-esq driven guitars. A furiously delivered vocal verse before an atmospheric spoken word section that threatens to explode twice before Butler’s surprise “Blegh!”. A chunky bass riff to close with some impressive hardcore vocal range my come as a surprise before we’re trust headlong into single “Be A Wolf”. It’s hardcore punk, socially aware, politically conscious and highly moshable. Balancing of buzz-saw guitars against schizophrenic lyrical content and vocal delivery in perfect harmony and balance. Not so much verse-chorus as repeated lines in a whirlwind of anarchy, creating a statement piece. “Stay Inside, Stay Alive” features guest vocals from Cameron Miller of Seizures, utilising the second vocalist to add depth in the low end and range in the post chorus. It’s a song that starts of measured and then descends into it’s anarchy before pulling itself back from the edge once more. Fierce musicianship against furious vocals from the very off. “No Yourself” releases a tornado of break neck paced guitars before pulling it back to breakdown on breakdown. Vocally leaping around like a cat on a hot tin roof before dropping into an melodic passage with dialled back guitars and some soulful vocal toils. It’s motion out of that and then back into it creates a dynamic, an ocean like groove and ability to build atmospherics that bodes well for the future. Pressure Cracks debut asks more questions than it answers. Is it going to be Jason Butler’s focus over The Fever 333? It certainly does more for Metal and Hardcore lovers than his other band. It certainly shows what Butler is capable of and if it’s a direction he wants to go in, then we’re all for it. [7.5/10]

“Self-Titled” EP by Pressure Cracks

00:00 – Collages & Collagen
03:13 – Be A Wolf
06:40 – Say Inside, Stay Alive (Ft. Cameron Miller of Seizures)
09:20 – No Yourself

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