Review: “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure” by Borstal

One of the many side effects of the absence of being able to play a live show during the years of the Great Plague that has been 2020 and now early 2021 is that projects that might not have otherwise seen the light of day and remained a twinkling in their creators eyes have come to fruition. Recorded, mixed and mastered at Monolith Studios by Charlie “Squid Commander” Wilson in Tottenham, England during September 2020, “At Her Majesty’s Pleasure” being a fine example of that, the debut offering from a brand new UK Hardcore band featuring vocalists Pierre Mendivil of Knuckledust fame and drummer Nick Barker (Brujeria, ex-Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Testament) alongside  members of Dripback and King Of Pigs, all of whom would have been otherwise engaged in other activities had things been different.

Police sirens and samples about violent crime, build a tension before “Refuse To Lose” kicks in proper with all the crossover Thrash riffs you could want delivered at Hardcore Punk speed with Mendivil’s usual bark and bite, as ever the rabid dog inciting the moshpit action. It’s a socially and politically aware cut that gives you plenty to think about and get educated about as well as being a banger of a tune, reminiscent of the works of the New York scene in the early 90s. That hard as nails start eases up a bit for “Karma” which has more of a Hardcore Punk vibe, front loaded with gang chants and it’s pretty obvious that someone has crossed Mendivil and they’re going to get it while everyone else gets their two step on and it’s whirlwind final flourish is a majestic circle pit inciting segment that is excited to perfection. What really works here is the combination of styles in the melting pot. The Hardcore Punk of “We Stand As One“, a blue collar workers anthem may have a softer heart but benefits from the heavier drum sound Barker brings which pushes it along at a higher tempo than it might otherwise have been and the same can be said of the heavier guitar tone. The fist pumping anthem that is “Vicious Circles” is the obvious single as it encompasses every facet of the Borstal sound in one easily digestible cut, the clanky bass drive being a pleasure your can’t measure which benefits from being bigger in the mix and bleeding out over the guitars. The classic ocean of feedback brings in “Worm Food“, a track that says “I’ve got your back” with the gallop of breakneck speed, a whirlwind riffs and typhoon of rapid fire drumming that is a real stand out before the EP closes on a cover of “King of the Jungle“, by The Last Resort. A real family affair it sees guitarist Lee Kitchener get his father and Brit Oi legend Mr Arthur Kitchener involved, making a guest appearance that is no doubt one of the few opportunities that they have had to work together, a moment they can be proud of as they make it their own in style [7.5/10]


  1. Refuse To Lose
  2. Karma
  3. We Stand As One
  4. Vicious Circles
  5. Worm Food
  6. King Of The Jungle (ft. Arthur Kitchener) (The Last Resort Cover)

At Her Majesty’s Pleasure” by Borstal is out 1st April via 4 Family Records and is available over at bandcamp

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