Review Summary: 'when you're alone, and life is making you lonely, you can always go....'
With a band name like ***ing Invincible, it is immediately obvious that this outfit aren’t shooting for subtlety. In fact, they’re shooting for the exact opposite. Fronted by ex-Daughters vocalist Alexis Marshall, ***ing Invincible are a crushingly heavy hardcore band who create dissonant, aggressive soundscapes through an inspired combination of brutal instrumentation and shrieked vocals, all too an amiably repellent effect. On their second E.P., Downtown Is Dead
, F/I show that they have sacrificed none of the energy or aggression found on debut E.P., Very Negative
. The eight vicious tracks on this release are all pleasingly consistent and refreshingly chaotic, laden with semi-groovy but almost cryptically assembled fretwork that seems to contort throughout the release; an explosive vortex of powerviolence-infused rage.
Marshall has spun gold into the band’s sound, despite demonstrating a surprisingly different vocal style than is seen throughout most of Daughters’ discography. The semi-spoken, tonally fluctuating readings has been stripped away and replaced with a piercing, almost overpowering screaming technique that perfectly suits the qualities of the music, thundering through disjointed song structures at breakneck speed and spewing bile in every direction. The tracks are all somewhat freeform in structure, but all display an inherent understanding of the subtleties of musical form, in direct opposition to the defining sound of the release. Guitar riffs spiral out of control and percussive breaks display a schizophrenic lack of finesse, but it is all in keeping with the warped aesthetic the band set out to create. All of the elements come together in one hellish cataclysm of discordance; conflicting, but never clashing in an unpleasant manner.
The no-holds-barred style of Downtown Is Dead
seems to ensure that the scene will react favourably to a release of such artistic decadence, but there is something far more interesting about the band’s music, and this is the use of musical aggression as art form. Of course, ***ing Invincible are far from the first band to employ such a motif, but the supremely creative writing and deceptively expansive nature of the music serves to give the release an extra dimension that other bands of the same ilk seem to have trouble cracking. This isn’t senseless aggression; this is carefully structured and even more carefully maintained hardcore that doesn’t stray far from genre acceptability, but isn’t afraid to throw some genuinely inventive qualities into the mix. The remarkably intelligent structure buried beneath the layers and layers of distortion cement the band as one to watch, and a welcome addition to the hardcore scene.