PENGSHUi - PENGSHUi | Album Review

Raucous grime-punk outfit PENGSHUi are ready to crack your cranium open with the burst of sonic discharge that is their self-titled debut album. Forget what you knew about Hadouken! or Astroid Boys, this trio are the rawest, hardest, most aggressive take on this crossover style sound that you’ve ever heard. Brace yourselves.

“YES MATE, COME ON”, belts bar spitter Illaman as the hum of Chris Hargreaves (AKA Fatty Bassman) 4 string feedback machine kicks in like a boot to the face on opener ‘Wickedest Ones’, invoking high intensity bouncing (or at the very least an irresistible head-bopping movement). It’s a triumphant declaration and demonstration of their signature style. Second track ‘Nobody Cares’, despite being released well before the album was even announced, still packs a sizeable wallop, held steady by Pravvy Prav’s drum beats, the call of “round and round we go, round and round we go” is sure to kickstart the circle pit every damn time, and in just two songs PENGSHUi have created a vivid imagining of the sheer velocity of their live presence, these songs were made to rattle your ribcage.

'Blame' keeps up the intensity, with wobbly bass noise reminiscent of Enter Shikari's Common Dreads era, whereas 'Wiseman' (featuring Footsie, early grime pioneer) boasts big brassy sounds that fall somewhere between that Jaws and Godzilla themes, and a more traditional grime sound. It's no surprise that PENGSHUi have managed to uphold such a high quality of sound engineering with their debut album, as all three members have long-standing experience both onstage and in the studio, Pravvy having drummed previously for the likes of Foreign Beggars and Maverick Sabre (just to name a few), Illaman with his own solo material and time spent as part of Goldie's live band amongst other projects, and Fatty as an original member of Submotion Orchestra.

'Lights Out' features guest vocals from Foreign Beggars very own Orifice Vulgatron for another blast of hard and heavy swagger, and coming in straight after 'Leave It', another previously released single, it continues the records one-two punch trend of two tracks placed nicely between vibey interludes, tension building hype moments they've laced throughout the album to bring it that much closer to what you might get from a live experience. Saving the best til' last they've slapped 'No Joke' in the last segment, one of the most raw, attitude laden outbursts of sound, the wobble of the bass strings closer here to what you might expect from a big chunky riff metal band, Illamans cackling and yelling all over the song craft it into a unique sound that's equal part rowdy as it is tongue-in-cheek. They cap the record out with call to arms anthem 'Rise', a tasty piece of defiance in the wake of social division, a rally against the faulty system.

An ambitious band with an ambitious sound, Illaman has stated his intent to make it to the big leagues; “The guitarist in my old band passed away. We always used to talk about crazy it’d be to play in front of 25,000 people. When he died, I decided I would love to honour his memory by playing to an audience that’s fucking big like that,” and with a demonstration as impressive as this, PENGSHUi are sure to smash that goal with all the force of a raging bull in due time.

Score: 9/10

Pengshui is released Friday 21st February via MVKA Records. The band will be touring this March alongside Kid Brookie. Dates below.