Never under estimate the power of a single or a music video if you’re in an up and coming band. After all, we witnessed the 25th December 2019 premiered video for “Spent” by Neck Wrung and thought the song was so good that we’ve gone back to review their 2018 EP “Garrote” to show them a bit of love and spread the word that we think they’ve got what it takes. Who are Neck Wrung? They claim to be a Heavy Metalcore band residing in La Crosse, Wisconsin and their mission statement reads “Neck Wrung is the culmination of the anger, sadness, stress and loathings a person is capable of experiencing in life. These feelings are painted into authentic and aggressive music, thoughts being expressed from deep within the confines of the human mind. We hope to share this form of therapy with as many ears as possible, and while it may sound extremely angry (it is), the real intention is to help others as much as it helps us.” We said “claim to be” referring to Neck Wrung’s choice of self genre tag, something which a number of bands make an interesting choice on – it’s how they see themselves perhaps, but not how others see them. For us, “Spent” crosses sub-genres with a bit of Beatdown Hardcore, a bit of Nu-Metalcore and a bit of Deathcore in a mix that is like a bottle of Brewdog IPA.
The December 2018 released EP “Garrote” simply has all music written, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered by the band themselves with no outside influences except for a pair of guest appearances from Evan Gillen from Minnesota Progressive Metallers All That We See and Guy from Rough Life. The artwork is by Ben Hoagland. “Dishonesty” sees Neck Wrung doing a Metallic Hardcore take on the kind of material that Traitors have been creating of late with a Deathcore groove chug and some off kilter downtuned DJent style bounce in the riff department. They keep things strictly downtempo for the most part, allowing their vocalist to spill his guts while shredding his throat until he’s coughing up blood. “Rejection” has that phat bass sound underpinning the skull crushing stomp sounds of slab after slab of riffs that play on the silence between them in varying degrees of break.
EP title track “Garrote” has the aforementioned guest vocal appearance from Guy of Rough Life fame and continues the juddering, lurching riffs while battering the living daylights out of the drum kit. It’s the beast from the depths that epitomizes the bands sound and is a Meat tenderizer of a tune if we ever heard one. “Ill Will” sees Evan Gillen, often credited with live photographs of the band and from All That We See step up to the microphone. What he gives the track is a higher pitched vocal variation that steps away from the anvil heavy guttural lows of Deathcore and these Gentlemen have beef as they deliver a twin vocal hydra venom laden attack that pours scorn on their crosser. “Nearsighted” mixes up the riff attack with some brighter moments before the adrenaline fueled battering starts, bringing out swirling riffs that that threaten to pull ships into the black depths of the ocean before crushing them with the weight of pressure. “Garrote” is a powerhouse debut that lays down the gauntlet. Go check it out [7.5/10]
Garrote (ft. Guy from Rough Life)
Ill Will (ft. Evan Gillen from All That We See)
“Garrote” by Neck Wrung has been out since December 2018. They’re promising new music in 2020.