Artist: Still Bust
Title: A Few Things We Might Agree On (A Few Things We Might Not)
Format Reviewed: MP3
Format Release: 20th May 2013
Reviewed By: Ben Chapman
Still Bust are an unpredictable hardcore punk quartet from Gloucester with a love of long song titles. Despite having played together for ten years, A Few Things We Might Agree On (A Few Things We Might Not) is the first full length record in the band’s authentically riotous career.
An album of a widely indulgent fury combined with restless technical ability, its songs won’t stand still. Prominent drum fills give impatient pace and energy to every riff, which shift confidently into certain dread inspiring grooves of heavy distortion on a whim. It’s some tight but eccentric hardcore played with an oddly erratic precision, topped off with some healthy progressive leanings (those piercing angular melodies and wayward song structures) that are a boon to Still Bust’s interesting brand of punk. The frequent use of two main singers helps provide the catchy lines as well as add conviction to all the roaring.
The album opens abruptly with If You Don’t Like Video Games (You Probably Have Other Interests), where dissonant guitar harmonies stagger out the riffs like an emergency siren interrupting wave after wave of chugging distortion and head-knocking percussion. Sounding chaotic but neatly put together, the songs often show off the band’s technical skill and ten years of experience within the genre whilst still managing to sound freely formed and exciting.
How Much We Sound Like Rise Against (And Other Things We Shouldn’t Say to Each Other) features an excellent riff about a minute in with chords full of effortless dooming heaviness. This dormant power soon ramps up into some swift melodic shredding with a menacing discordance. Excellent use of group shouting and a crushing double time breakdown at the end aids the incremental effect of the main guitar riff’s increasingly warped variations.
First World (Band) Problems stands apart as an almost upbeat track with sections of chirpy high pitched chords above the bassline’s steady bouncing interspersed with more edgy parts patched together with spiny dissonant melodies and clashing rhythmical stabs.
The effect is at times harsh and offensive, such as in the brilliantly concisely-titled, musically blunt, Ball (Sac Magique)’s brutal drumming. At other times this harshness is oddly listenable, the variety and challenge of the music’s complexity grows upon the listener, they notice the guitar’s jarring loops of trebly wails in This Box is For Standing on (But Look How Big it is!) match the sufficiently manic vocals satisfyingly. Stillbust’s slightly disturbed sound is an intense and arresting force. After the rush of A Few Things We Might Agree On…, we can only hope that Stillbust’s second album doesn’t take the decade it took to release the first.