SANS - SANS | EP Review

Hailing from the winding streets of inner Bristol, SANS are a technically interesting, if not face melting proposition. A band that are removed from mundane standard convention, the South West trio have spent the last several years melting flesh and short-wiring synapses with their sweat soaked mix of post-punk, noise, hardcore and just general aural relentlessness. It was something the group expressed turbulently with their 2019 debut Misophonic Songs, a record that firmly put them on the map of all things wild and idiosyncratic. Whilst a full year hasn't even past since that record, the group are back with a self-titled EP in the form of 3 open hand blows to the nose that will leave one dizzy, disorientated and well and truly concussed.

In true vein of the band’s nature, this isn’t an EP of polite subtleness. First track and recent single ‘Aztec Drips’ forgoes introduction in favour of an off-kilter, borderline drunken post-punk lurch that pounces into a full on punk offensive with quaking overdriven riffs, seething drawling vocals and sheer unpredictability. It’s a fever dream, one that showcases SANS experimenting on their already bizarre sound with rustic, disembodied saxophones and eclectic fervour.

Following track ‘Deja Vu’ continues to prove SANS versatility and stature as a shapeshifting creature of ravaging sound. The way the track flips from frantic runaway punk to quiet, meditative lulls of almost childlike peace and vice versa offsets any form of standard convention yet ensures the material is utterly thrilling. With abrasiveness enjoyed by the likes of JOHN and USA Nails combined with the explosive mentality associated by bands such as the Brighton noise-punk contemporaries DITZ and fellow scene mates Downard, such material is the outpouring of cabin-fevered DIY mayhem. In relation, closer ‘Flip-Flop’ - like the name suggests - expands on such dynamics whilst seeing the act roughly toy with grating static and femur shattering breakdowns.

This entire EP, much like their aforementioned debut, is off-kilter, unbalanced and roguishly violent in a manner not unlike one of the many unpredictable drunks you could encounter within Bristol late on a midweek night. However, it’s attacks are direct, intentional and land with trained precision. SANS’ self-titled EP is a dangerously thrilling brawl of unpredictable punk noise and a melee of genre dynamism, that in all, should be experienced by anyone fancying something authentically dangerous.

Score: 8/10

SANS is released May 22nd via Breakfast Records. Check out their Bandcamp here.