Forming in 2014 with the intention of bringing something fresh to the London LBU scene, urbanite stompers Ironed Out swiftly became a staple of the community in little to no time. Incorporating more melodic traits and grime based vocals with brutalising hardcore, the sextet swiftly became favourites on the live circuit, dominating stages and igniting melees across the continent alongside hardcore behemoths Madball, Terror, Incendiary, Backtrack and countless others in the process. The confines of the stage may be their natural home, but even with live music currently off the cards it doesn't mean Ironed Out have been in hibernation, quite the opposite in fact. Released October 16th via GSR is We Move As One, the group’s debut long play and a record that encapsulates the frothing rage bubbling upon the surface of society.
Documenting abhorrent societal ills such as widespread class and racial based bigotry, We Move As One see’s the band further amplifying their core values of passion, integrity and inclusiveness with bloodied teeth and clenched fists. Even with the record’s greater focus on melodic motifs, the raw earnest rage of their craft has been intensified since the release of their 2018 EP In These Ends, something made evident with the pulverizing mission statement of ‘Pavement Strong’. Introduced via the means of a translucent interlude, the opener is a swinging affair, with clean leads and groove only adding welcome contrast to a skull cracking breakdown that is set to be the catalyst for utter calamity when Ironed Out take to the stage once again.
A prominent focus on rhythm on a record such as this may a cause for concern for some, especially given Ironed Out’s precedence within the stereotypically violent LBU community, but We Move As One’s consistent inclusion of more melodious leads adds welcome juxtaposition and broad variation. Whereas many of their peers strive for nothing more than swaggering brutality in a manner most merciless, this record showcases that groove and contrast is needed when amplifying raw aggression and urban venom. Lead single ‘Ain’t Raw’ and a newly recorded version of their classic ‘ACAB’ showcases this fantastically, with the borderline metalcore guitar leads and choruses allowing the hardcore beatdowns to hit harder and with greater force. It also allows the far more vicious tracks to flex their bulging muscles, such as in case of the straight up beatdown of ‘All Hope Is Lost’ and ‘Pagans’, a track showcasing raw tone and fretwork that’s akin to UKHC titans Malevolence and even New American Gospel era Lamb of God.
Of course though, one of the more prominent features of this record and Ironed Out’s work in general is the grime influenced vocals of Dave Mkbu and Louis Gino. Whilst grime vocals have featured in a variety of hardcore bands over the years - often to varying levels of success – the two respective frontmen’s styles flow in a way that’s simultaneously fluid and angular throughout the record, further embellishing the raw fury prevalent. Perfectly engineered for en masse two-step bedlam, ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ is the best example of the dual vocalist dynamic within this record, with Mkbu and Gino trading lines with bonded chemistry.
Whereas this is debut is idealistic for all hardcore inclined, there is a case of overshadowing within the tracklisting. The more-so melodrama of ‘Crazy Old World’ and the borderline celebratory optimism of ‘6 Weeks’ does decelerate the urgency of the record, and in the case of the latter, may be an unprecedented surprise. Never the less, We Move As One is, for a lack of better eloquence, hard as nails. Resonating the justified rage of today and the concrete integrity of the national hardcore scene, this album is proof that there’s still plenty to emerge from the LBU scene.
We Move As One is released October 16th via GSR Entertainment.