Sheffield’s Dead Harts built a reputation around scorching live shows and their pulverizing take on hardcore – 2016 saw the band part ways, and out of the ashes.. The Family have risen. Ex-DH vocalist Matthew Baxendale and former guitarist turned bassist Dominic Bass have pulled together a new crew of rebels, this time finding themselves on a less metallic, much more scuzzy path. After debuting their single Radio Headphones earlier this year, the band recently have launched their debut EP – the aptly titled Welcome to the Family.
The first thing fans of DH will notice is that as opposed to the Dillinger Escape Plan meets Norma Jean sound of their previous band, the South Yorkshire mob have taken a much simpler and downright filthier approach to their music. Ain’t Gonna Happen Like That opens proceedings with an almost glam rock stomp before Baxendale lowers the tone with snarling vocals, venting his spleen about someone who has crossed him. For those hoping that some remnants of hardcore remain, the band do just that, but this time it’s more in the vein of Gallows/Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes as can be heard on degenerate anthem My Kinda Scum.
The production, loose as it is, pulls everything together, helping the record sound grimey as heck, all the while retaining the classic garagy-vibes of Bleach-era Nirvana. It’s a record that feels raw and pained but one than upon repeated listens finds it’s melodies and catchy vocal lines getting stuck in your head for days.
Welcome to the Family is a bold move and almost a leap in scenes for Baxendale and co, but one that works as an exercise in simple, snotty punk sounds. Fans of Dead Harts will no doubt be interested in seeing what some of the boys are up to now and will be happy that despite a change in sound, no intensity has been lost.
Welcome to the Family is available now on all streaming services.