“Value of Self” EP from Habits

Buffalo New York Hardcore quartet Habits have been on our radar since their brilliant single “Six Years Deep” dropped and we even went back and reviewed their EP “No Joy” in anticipation of “Value of Self”. So as genuine fans of the band, this is what we’d call a highly anticipated release! The first surprise with the EP is probably the track listing – “Six Years Deep” isn’t on it and instead we get a trio of brand new Pizza oven fresh tunes. Part of that is down to th fact that the trio of tracks sound raw, like they’re being played live perhaps, with none of the more polished sound of the previous tunes. It’s up front and in your face from the very start.

Starting with an “Memoirs of a Murderer” era King 810 vibe and some raw aggression fueled guitar work, “Still Think” then takes a downtempo dive like a plane that is locked in a flat spin. The Metallic Hardcore groove has is backed by some serious punch on the kit. It’s a savage start has plenty of bark and bite. The title could be replaced as lyrically “Still Believe” is the more prominent phrase. Title track “Value of Self” ups everything with an Integrity vibe and plenty of finger pointing during the uncleans. “Can you hear yourself?” Is the battle cry as the venom pours out with a harsh almost rap-screamed spoken word. Fans of old school Sepultura will also love some of the bridging breakdowns with have that raw material pummelling sound of that era of the band. It’s unrelenting and unapologetic, which is exactly what it needs to be. As the slower than usual opening blast beats of “Don’t Think” kick in, you know it’s going to be a savage anthemic cut. Blending elements of Hardcore Punk, Downtempo Beatdown groove and Metal, it’s a brutal affair that delivers a punch in the face from someone enduring an evil. The seamless genre shift is a master stroke. [7/10]

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