Review: “Safety First” EP by MSRY

Oxford’s Miserable Hardcore trio MSRY comprising vocalist Kial Churcher, sticksman Keir French and guitarist Charlie Bishop released their second EP earlier this month with a little help from Thomas Smith of Lifetight. The band are renowned for a high energy live show that leaves everything (blood, sweat, tears, wallet, keys, phone, kitchen sink) on the stage – and capturing that on a studio recording is something that has often eluded other bands, perhaps most notably Brutal Deluxe and letlive. Their debut EP had more than a hint of a Cancer Bats influence on their sound, Churcher’s voice naturally having a bit of the Liam Cormier about it. The decision to include a version of their song “Hail Destroyer” in their live set seemed both bold and fittingly honest. So how does the new EP compare?

There is an out-take style intro to “S.I.C.K.” before the guitars kick in proper that has you thinking you’re listening to a rough demo for a moment before things kick in a proper and the opening vocal hits with a “Blegh!”. There is something of a Tom Williams, Stray From The Path groove and bounce feel to the guitar work and Kial Churcher is vocals cut like early Cancer Bats material. The production is raw but effective, the drum sound being most effected by that side of things and sounding muddy or dampened in places. There is a distinct effort to only have a single guitar track here which is very pleasing for us as it takes away our previous criticism of the band – backtracking a bass and second guitar for live shows is too much. “Broken Teeth” features a guest vocal spot Thomas Smith of Lifetight and starts off by coming out of the gate fast before slowing up a pinch for that groove element to return to the mix. The high energy and intensity of the material doesn’t let up and if anything, Smith being on the track pushes the band to go harder and that works in their favour. “Freedom” adds to the carnage with a Teresa May speech sample buried into the mix while Churcher spits and snarls his opinion across it. It’s suitably fitting in style and weighty substance while also paying homage to all of the bands influences. Drummer Keir French flexes his muscles before a momentary pause and deliberately slowed breakdown section that adds a stomp factor. Title track “Safety First” delivers the best chorus of the EP and elevates the vocal performance with a more emotive approach to the delivery and utilising more control. Lyrically, it’s a far more personal track after the political outburst of “Freedom” and while none of the EP is re-inventing the wheel in any shape or form, it’s damn good fun. If there is a chorus that will have fans singing a long in the pit and members of other bands on stage to help out, it’s the title track, which as title tracks should do and often don’t that shines. Closer “Trump Card” is a another pretty obvious political statement piece that shows how World aware and politically charged MSRY are. All the elements that comprise the bands sound are present and correct as they whirlwind through the place, throwing everything up in the air. The riffage is bouncy and well honed, the drums pound out the beat and that Trump sample adds fuel to Churcher’s fiery and fierce vocals. Mission accomplished by MSRY from start to finish, “Safety First” is a fine offering of politically charged high energy hardcore that shows a big step up from it’s predecessor and is well worth an investment [7.5/10]

Track list

1. “S.I.C.K.”
2. “Broken Teeth” feat. Thomas Smith of Lifetight
3. “Freedom”
4. “Safety First”
5. “Trump Card”

“Safety First” by MSRY is available over at Music Glue.

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