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Album Review: Only Fumes And Corpses - Who Really Cares What Really Lasts?

What a difference a word can make. Had this five-piece hardcore band from Ireland decided to call themselves Fumes And Corpses, hardly anyone would have batted an eyelid at their name, yet for some unknown reason they went ahead and added the Only, giving them the most ridiculous band name since Arse Full Of Chips. Dig at band name over, Only Fumes And Corpses are the next band to emerge from a burgeoning Irish Hardcore scene (The first being the excellent Famine). They play hardcore that is heavily influenced by Comeback Kid, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

The elongated intro to opening track, ‘Futile Promises Of A Listless Mind’, makes you think Only Fumes And Corpses are going to be a metalcore band. The track soon morphs into the kind of hardcore popularised by Comeback Kid and Momme Reisch’s vocals are distinctly modelled on those early CBK albums. However unlike Comeback Kid, Only Fumes And Corpses have a distinctly morose feel to them. When Reisch screams "your wrath to bear, my axe to grind", you feel his fury on every level. The band display their excellent ability to be both catchy and doom-laden from the onset of the album to the close.

‘September’ is the perfect example of this. It has plenty of hooks, and catchy gang vocals, yet when the track stops mid way through, the following crescendo of noise is full of despair.

The band don’t only do morose fury, they also do short sharp shocks of pummelling hardcore, like ‘Rat’ and album closer ‘You Lose’. These short bursts are intense and furious, yet sound effortless in the mix. Though the tracks start to sound very similar after a while, the band always manage to throw something a little different in to the mix to keep the listener’s attention, whether it’s reverting to thrash intros (‘The Weight Of Your World On My Shoulders’) or dropping reggae-infused jams into the mid-sections (the brilliant ‘X Marks The Cross’ and ‘Wreck’). Whilst listening to ‘Who Really Cares…’, it’s not hard to imagine yourself staring out across the burning remains of a city, don’t get me wrong it is only hardcore, but there is such an underlying element of despair that you really feel it. ‘Apathy Resumes’ is a truly apocalyptic track, despite its brevity. The drumming throughout is relentless and set the furious pace.

‘Who Really Cares What Really Lasts?’ shows a great deal of promise, and the band are at their best when they forge away from the Comeback Kid worship. They are definitely a band to watch if you feel more at home with This Is Hell than the Get Up Kids, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.


'Who Really Cares What Really Lasts?' by Only Fumes and Corpses is available now through Lockjaw Records.

Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!