Review Summary: Fuck you.
Straight from Brendan Radigan's opening scream on album opener "Swallow Your Tongue," it's clear that xFILESx are fu
cking angry. Hailing from New Bedford, the band play hardcore in the vein of early Ceremony, Weekend Nachos and Charles Bronson. With 22 songs in sixteen minutes, Excruciation
, the band's only full-length, demonstrates exactly what they're capable of.
Obviously, the album is greater as a whole than as the sum of its parts. While it's difficult to pick stand-out songs, most songs on the album have stand-out moments. "Head On A Stick" demonstrates how the band can slow a song right down, similar to Ceremony's "Kersed," before the tempo picks up and the song explodes in an ACxDC-esque manner. "Jesus Fish Out of Water" highlights how the band can switch between powerviolence sections to the two-step sections we see in hardcore, and it's the variety like this which sets Excruciation
above its peers. The songs range from the immediate six second length of "A Cozy Treat" to the almost lengthy in comparison album closer "Wreck Yourself," which falls just under a minute and a half.
But it's vocalist Brenden Radigan (The Rival Mob, Mind Eraser) who makes the record what it is. Radigan's delivery of his lyrics, while often ridiculous (see "Ay Guy"), is absolutely furious, and it's difficult to feel anything but anger and contempt whilst listening to the album. His yells of "Everybody knows that you're a piece of shi
t" towards the end of the aptly titled "*** 'Em" are another stand-out moment on the album. Lyrically, he explores breaking edge, unemployment, the local scene and self-pity.
Boasting 22 songs in sixteen minutes, Excruciation
may just be one of the genre's finest offerings.