Review: “Surface Noise” by Judiciary

Hailing from Lubbock Texas are Judiciary, a West Texas Hardcore quinet signed to Closed Casket Activities, the home of among others, Vein. They’ve been sharing stages with Risk It, Sanction and Year of the Knife to name but a few over the past year, so that should be a hint as to what you’re about to get into. “Surface Noise” is their full length debut…

…The album spin kicks into life with “Social Crusade”. Classic Crossover Thrash riffage accompanied by some socially aware lyrics and whammy bar laiden solo work. There is something of an 80s Trash vibe thanks to Taylor Young to the production and mix that suits the band perfectly. Think Power Trip or Cro-Mags and you get the idea. “Karma’s Knife” swings in at pace, upping the ante with a faster more groove laiden set of riffs that puts everything on full tilt. There is still time for that solo flourish before things slow down for the the final verse of caustic vocals. “Temple” features guest vocals from Brody King of God’s Hate. It’s the first of three cuts to make use of the bands friends and the extra depth in the guest vocals complement the higher pitched bark of Jake Collinson really well.

Next up is “Stronger Than Thou”, a track that features Bryan Garris from current genre kings Knocked Loose. There are no clean vocals on this record. All of the quartet of vocalists are doing unclean vocal parts. It’s the difference in pitch between them that makes it work. Garris delivers a stand out performance around stompier riffage than of the earlier material, perhaps designed to suit him more. “Burden of Truth” continues the air of a call for violent retribution to rejection with its thought provoking lyrics that will keep you coming back as often as the ocean of riffs and hooks. “Pure Fury” uses the final speech from “The Great Dictator” by Charlie Chaplin, the same sample that Stick To Your Guns used to great effect. It isn’t a new song, it’s a reworking of one from their July 2017 split with like minded Canadian crew Mortality Rate and features guest vocals from their frontwoman Jess Nyx. This version is 45 seconds longer and is very much the repeated punch in the face!

“7.65mm” brings a Juggernaut if sound to the plate with a face stomping attitude. There is something of the Integrity vibe about this one, it’s a Mosh Pit call to arms. The sixty seconds of “Zero Hour” is an instrumental pallette cleanser of classic clean toned guitar against a white noise background that bursts into album closer “War (Time Is Nigh)”. It’s a cathartic rhythmic pounder of a track that as with the rest of the album should have you smirking from ear to ear. The album and the band aren’t doing anything new. But what they are doing is putting their spin on a style that works and has a deeply satisfying headbang ability! [8/10]

“Surface” by Judiciary is out now via Closed Casket Activities and available over at bandcamp.

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