Review Summary: Strap on those hiking boots, grab that old pair of ripped jeans, and avoid that white shirt at all costs: this will get dirty.
In short, what obscure American hardcore act Tortured
have done with their Wasteland
demo is taken hardcore punk, a genre already renowned for its gritty character, and crafted it into the dirtiest thing this side of your local garbage dump. Everything here is intense and unpolished as anything you've ever listened to. The 5-track EP, in typical hardcore fashion, has an average track duration of under 2 minutes, and clocks in at just over 8 minutes in its entirety. And thank God for this: the average human being would not be able to sit through more than eight minutes of what Tortured
present here. Everything here is, as previously stated, really
rough and unpolished. The guitar tone is virtually nonexistent, and while it could be described as sludgy, that descriptor just does not do suitable justice to the pure filth of the relentless barrage of noise with which Tortured assaults the listener. The bass is similarly dirty, and arguably plays an ever greater role in the music than does the guitar itself, making itself heard over everything else in the mix at all times. Everything about the vocalist is fitting with the band's name: imagine Infest
's Joe Denunzio, except pushed back in the mix and yelling into a pillow, all with liberal amounts of added fuzz for good effect. There is nothing light or happy present in a single moment of this underground gem of aural torture, as Tortured
's first demo truly is a wasteland. No melody, no respite, and no positivity are present here, leaving some of the nastiest, most unrefined, and dirtiest lo-fi hardcore you've ever heard free to pummel any positive feeling or semblance of mental cleanliness into submission for 8 straight minutes. Adrian Monk, you have been warned.