Review: “Blessed With Less Than Nothing” EP by Dripback

Featuring ex and current members of Labrat, Ted Maul, River Freshney and Pure Negative, London quintet Dripback have a history of showing a complete disregard for what’s new or hot and instead taking their genes and influences to create a furious mix of elements of hardcore, death metal, punk and grindcore to make their own sound. 2011 saw debut EP “Inhaling The Ashes” Produced, Engineered & Mastered by Russ Russell (Brujeria, Napalm Death, Evile) who returned for 2014’s debut full length “Failed Futures” and in between times the band smashed up venues with the likes of  Soilent Green, Biohazard, Lock Up, Nasum and Pig Destroyer as well as playing Bloodstock and Download Festival. Then things slowed down but in September 2018 they returned to the studio and recorded a new EP which hasn’t seen the light of day until now…

…Once again managing to persuade Russ Russell to sit in the chair and handle producing, engineering and mastering means that “Blessed With Less Than Nothing” gets that instant seal of approval and stamp of quality upon it and when the feedback of the title track soaks in, you know what time it is. Gradually building up through some tub thumping to galloping hardcore riffs and an opening line “the future’s s***” cracks an instant smile with the dark atmospheric and socially aware lyrics, Dripback are indeed back. Flinging in some blast beat laden breakdowns that cross Hardcore Punk and Black Metal and then adding more Norwegian inspired guitar work and Blackend Death Metal vocals… they’ve played a blinder and will drop jaws by the end as this is right out of the playbook of Integrity. Grassed anyone up lately? If you have then “Forked Tongues” could well be about you as the furious rage of the search for a snake comes to the fore at breakneck speed. The gang chant moment is on point while the throat shredding vocals are like bullets through plate glass windows and if you thought the relentless high energy output of the first couple of tracks would be hard to maintain, you’d be wrong. Dripback cut it up with “Lack Of Substance“, which takes the best elements of the first two tracks and combines them to burn the house down. A nostalgic early 90’s Metallic Hardcore vibe is present throughout the EP but there is so much more to the dark oppressive atmosphere and furious lyrics from a vengeful mind on this one. Bringing in the second London Gangster spoken word intro is the knuckleduster to the head that is “Mouths Sewn Shut“. A big bass drive gives that Hardcore Punk feel but when the riffs kick in, speed metal is the flavor of the day with tales of a bleak future that will keep you locked in your box. Crossing over into Agnostic Front territory for a couple of brief moments as you would expect, this EP is a demonstration of pure power. Single “Altered States Of Consciousness” closes this chapter and is a fine summary piece for the sound of the whole record while throwing down more lead work and gang chants in the process. Having seen the return and success of Desolated last year, Dripback are back. Lets hope this time, they’re here to stay [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Blessed With Less Than Nothing
  2. Forked Tongues
  3. Lack Of Substance
  4. Mouths Sewn Shut
  5. Altered States Of Consciousness

Blessed With Less Than Nothing” EP by Dripback will be released on 20th March via 4 Family Records with pre-orders available over at bandcamp

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