Blistering New Skacore album by Glory Hunters - We Play Muzik
It is a deeply troubling time that we live in. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic (although the media don’t admit this now) and deep into a war between Russia and Ukraine. While Russia is lambasted by the world, their people are suffering as a result of decisions made by their leaders – sound familiar? Glory Hunters are a Russian skacore (well that’s as close to cataloguing this awesome sound as it goes) who stand with Ukraine, opposing the invasion and fascism and have been around for a decade with a couple of full albums under their belt.
With this as a backdrop, Moscow based Glory Hunters unleash their latest album ‘We Play Muzik’ and it is 10 slabs of high energy, hard riffing, horn laced, hardcore ska punk / ska core. But this is not a blunt tool like a hammer, smashing a wall of noise. This is extraordinarily complex with multiple time changes but at no point does the danceability disappear.
How to describe them… elements of mid 90s Fat Wreck punk rhythm guitars, song structure of Redeemon meets Rocket from the Crypt, definitely some Cardiacs in there, Voodoo Glow Skulls horn section X3… every time I listen (20+ times so far), there’s something new. This is a truly great album – Damn it if there’s not some Disco Volante era Mr Bungle in there too. As they say - too ska for punk but too core for ska. This stuff shouldn’t sit together and work but it does!
The whole thing is sung almost entirely in Russian and for us who are not schooled in the art of the Russian tongue, the vocals become another instrument. The abrasive vocals add to the chaos of the sound amidst crushing drums and rolling riffs which are juxtaposed by the staccato horns and syncopated rhythms of the breaks. This album is everywhere in your head.
Occasionally, skacore can lose the ska aspect within the mix but the truly accomplished horn section are brought high up and punch through with clarity and accuracy. I’m looking to find stand out tracks but am really struggling. Because they ALL stand out. The anthemic chorus and solos in Hard To Play, the downright simplicity of Back to Childhood, the brutality of Muzik, the instant skankiness (ie danceability not being ‘skanksy’) of Run Away, that slapped bass and the way the horns build in Hypocrite and slightly uncomfortable deconstructed beginning of Self Conquest which closes with a solitary piano reminding me very much of the last few bars of Epic by Faith No More. This album is a triumph in trying times and refuses to be pigeon holed.
As this is on Pookout records, you will know a couple of things...
1 - the quality will be top drawer
2 - the vinyl is gonna be sooo freaking good to look at
Skacore / Metalliska fans are gonna love this. FFO Beat The Red Light, Redeemon, Folly, Frail, Faintest Idea, Omnigone etc The speakers are bouncing!
April 30th 2022
Released May 1st on Pookout Records from https://www.pookoutrecords.co.uk/product-page/glory-hunters-we-play-muzik-12
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