Review: “Self-Tightled” EP by LIFETIGHT

Putting it simply, LIFETIGHT are a hardcore quartet formed from the ashed of Lock & Key with a glowing reputation. Comprising vocalist Thomas Smith, guitarist Danny Reeves and a rhythm section of sticksman Josh Murphy and bassist Elliott Black, the band are loved among their peers, including the likes of South Croydon’s Bad Sign. Add to that frontman Thomas Smith’s performance on “Broken Teeth” by Oxford Hardcore crew MSRY‘s new EP “Safety First” and you’ve got yourself some tasty looking live shows without trying too hard. Released in September 2017, LIFETIGHT’s “Self-Tightled” (get it?!) debut EP is a four tune affair with a 14 minutes and 13 seconds that shows no compromise. The EP (Spin) kicks off with opener “Energy” that sets the tone, raising from a riff that sounds like it’s coming from an old scratched vinyl into driven guitars. There is a catchy and infectious groove throughout as Danny Reeves delivers riffs-a-plenty over the underpinning rhythm section which at one point even sees drummer Josh Murphy bring out some “Roots” era Sepultura tribal patterns. The heart of the matter is perhaps Thomas Smith’s thick vocal delivery and positive lyrics about dealing with mental health issues. Rather than taking a Nu-Metal approach, the band are strictly hardcore and have made a clear effort to make each ounce of energy count in a positive direction, while creating music that sticks in your head.

“Misguided” continues the flow, pace and general fun filled aggression with some chunky riffs. Clever use of riff breaks and string suppression tones and little touches of colour to the sound while the vocal delivery is second to none. “Big Boy House” reworks a familiar sounding riff in fine fashion and it will take you a while to realise that it’s “Bulls on Parade” by none other than Rage Against The Machine. Who could fail to be inspired by a bit of RATM?! They’re one of the finest bands this World has ever produced! Lyrically the song continues the heart-on-the-sleeve approach of Smith’s lyrics without them taking any hit on his uncompromising vocal style. The riffage is then developed into a full on hardcore attack including a Beartooth-esq breakdown, before returning to that familiar bounce. “Dreams” is about following your dreams and standing up for what you believe, introducing a trademark hardcore gang chant of “FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT” alongside some pummelling drum fills and a tasty bass line. As the track begins to fade, it comes back in with a shout of “LIFETIGHT” for one more breakdown to close with some style. Massive riffs, impassioned vocals with thought provoking lyrics and a power house rhythm section? What more could you possibly want? This is Hardcore at it’s finest. [8.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Energy
  2. Misguided
  3. Big Boy House
  4. Dreams

“Self-Tightled” by LIFETIGHT is out now via Crooked Noise Records. You can snap up a copy over at Amazon.

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