Review: “Self Titled” EP by Groblin And The Ballistics

It has taken us a good while to finally get to this point. We had a bit of a roller coaster ride just getting here – corrupt hard drives and broken interfaces – but we are very glad it all happened and after re-recording and reworking songs we have managed to make the best out of what we have created” said Groblin And The Ballistics vocalist Rob Wheeler in the press statement for their self titled EP. The quartet hail from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and have looked to create the embodiment of the grim sounds of a Northern industrial town by blending DJent tones and rhythms with Metalcore, Deathcore and Nu-Metal and drawing influence from both Lotus Eater and Gloom genre pioneers Loathe.

An eerie haunting programmed introduction sets “Sweet Dreams” of with the brooding sense that this is going to the a Sweet Nightmare. Bludgeoning DJent groove laden with poly rhythmic undertones a caustic Deathcore vocals are the order of the day and as with a fair amount of Gloom material, you can hear the melodies and nuances underneath the layer of noise that shrouds the track like a Black cloud. There are hints of a Deftones influence in the mix that add soft textures to the driven core elements that comprise their sound. “The Ordeal” is either a tale of a broken relationship or something much darker and catapults us into a World of funky popping bass sounds as it drives a steak through the heart of anyone who says you can’t DJent in 2020. The lyrics of this one are as unhinged as the vocal delivery and it makes for a serious accomplishment to hold it together when playing these live. “Bigger Picture” slows things down to make room for some groovier riffs but if you think that means clean vocals, you couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a wide variety in the vocal stylings and rather than having one voice per section, often Groblin And The Ballistics change the voice with the meaning of the vocal line itself. This cut has a huge breakdown section that brings it to a crescendo and is so distorted and off kilter that it could be a Marmite moment for some. Similarly “Hollow Way” sounds almost out of tune in places with the audio layering replicating the distortions of reality in the lyrics and that warped sense of the cover art. Its a very fine margin between sounding awesome and sounding like a train wreck and it’s a tightrope that the band traverse with every song on the EP. This song itself has the heart of a pop punk affair and the clean vocals would shine through if it wasn’t for the dirty sounding atmospheric. The pre-release single “Seeing Red” is a battering ram of a track that encompasses in one song the whole of the bands sound, with some haunting ambient moments and some go for the throat DJent with the bass lines given almost equal standing in the mix. Raw and chaotic but with enough control to keep it on the straight and narrow, Groblin And The Ballistics have created something that is at times a challenging listen but is ultimately rewarding [7/10]

Track listing

1. Sweet Dreams
2. The Ordeal
3. Bigger Picture
4. Hollow Way
5. Seeing Red

Self Titled” by Groblin And The Ballistics is out 31st January and will be available here

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