Kuntsquad-S/T album. FFO: In your face, original, raw, crushing and unrelenting punk/metal. Oh man, are you actually ready for the best Australian punk/metal cd you have heard in 10-15 years; if so strap yourself in. Kuntsquad's debut album has arrived and it is DEVASTATINGLY CRUSHING ON EVERY LEVEL. Don't even read this review, just grab a digital copy today, pre-order the CD, buy the merch and sign up for life with this band. We have a killer long-form interview next week that details most of the DNA, influences and degrees of psychosis in this band, until then; press play on the album link here, like right fucking now and enjoy the dark, hectic madness that is Kuntsquad.
Did you press play, no well do it now and let's get into this!!!.
Kuntsquad is an extreme band that sits somewhere between death metal, black metal, hardcore punk/crust and every variation in between. They are exceptionally experienced players with exquisite tastes in extreme music and all the years of scintillating live shows have resulted in a fit that is rare. This rarity results in a heavy-as-hell album that doesn't let up for a second and is tightly played and executed. Throw in Jason Fuller's ridiculously punchy production and you have a ripper of an album. The production showcases how interwoven all the players are in this unit and no one instrument smothers any other, and it really pushes vocalist Paula's utterly acerbic vocal style. Having seen this band many times, one could suggest I would know exactly how the record would sound, no, nope, nah. This album came out at me like a deranged rat in a corner. Hell yes!!!
This review is based on the original Australian limited edition CD release, which has a slightly different track list(like one track in a different position). Black
is a stinging opening instrumental that has a ferocious start to a frankly pulverizing 14-track release. Slave
is the skin-peeling track that pushes you hard each time live. It like most tracks is as punk as it is metal. The main concept you need to grasp is Kuntsquad is so consistently grievous with their original audio violence that none of it seems forced or on-trend. You may pick up on gritty and various flavours of black-death-thrash metal, crust punk, and hardcore, but as a devoted music fan and journalist; you cannot categorically state this track sounds exactly like blah, blah blah. And that fact is something both rare and truly worth celebrating in an age of copycat city. Melbourne unfortunately has that affliction across the board, way too many generic death metal, hardcore and crust bands that have zero original style and simply act as a cover band for an extreme music fave band. Back to the release, from the second track onwards, there is little time to breathe with the energy of the band combined with dynamic, crunchy and live-sounding production. Gods of War
is a frenzied, venomous attack on the senses with its mayhemic drumming combined with Paula's deranged vocals, Necro Nightmare
follows and these tracks definitely showcase how tight and interwoven this band is; that ability live that seems like a band who click perfectly and nothing is overdone; but each track hits like a precise military strike. Add to this the brilliantly spiteful riffs of the nuclear bomb guitars of both Paula and Steve. The guitar work is super thrashy and is hellishly groove based in a non-wanker way. Their playing is very entrancing, it bites you right in the carotid at the same time and makes every track super memorable, and overall the whole release needs to be played on repeat; with a resulting zero dullness; just raw grandeur.
In many bands, the rhythm section is almost an afterthought, but in Kuntsquad it not only compliments the vocals and guitars, but it also provides a base that is completely equivalent to a battle squadron that drives every track forward and dominates the overall sound. This is a four-piece band of overwhelming force.
Stomp has consistent warlike riffs and demonic vocals in a mad tempo like peak Anthrax on meth. Piles of endless aggression on this track, and the intensity builds so much. Utter earworm, like most tracks. Xhrist was one of the early singles from this album and its obvious why this is confident, gritty and moody; and a huge fan fave live with that main slaughter-like riff. And the song is Death Metal meets raw Black Metal perfection. Psych Ward B is a track I have always loved with the dual vocal glory and the stomping rhythm of the song. And a cool, cheesy solo for extra points. Soul Resist is a track I was initially not into with its Boganistic gang vocal charm, but the groove on this is ridiculous and this song gets better with each listen; it has an epic depth that has a flair that sells itself. Vomitorium Compendium has a retro sample to kick off this savage beast of a track, this reminds me of cool 90's Melbourne crust punk bands; nostalgic and brutal work that is stunning.
Sit Down is a slight twist to the previous tracks, this has that excellent Lunachicks/L7/Riot Grrrl vibe that thrills my ears; I love a track that takes you on a journey and this creatively mixes harmony and hostility. An immense highlight of the release. Take Control continues the path with some killer backing vocals, acidic riffage and wild tempo changes; really shows how skilled the band is, i.e. capable of doing so many varied styles, whilst being completely original.
Psycho Killer contains first-class songwriting with almost a blues meets Crust/Hardcore vibe that surprised me. So much contained in one track, this is a gem. Out Alive channels that Riot Grrrl style and also some cool alternative metal style with hardcore punk; but the main focus is an utterly dirty groove and unruly vocals. Fuck closes out this classic album, and indeed a riotous way to finish this maddened soundtrack. This is gravelly beauty, the riffs are super blackened metal and the tone is way darker and so punishing. And the ending is dramatically apt.
FMD, what a release and well worth the long wait. You can see why labels all over Europe were fighting to sign this band with Wormholedeath being the lucky label to sign them. This is easily one of the best releases of the year already.
Support this quality band hard!!!
Out now(and physical copies via Wormholedeath records soon):
Watch these epic videos:
The launch is next month, grab tickets here:
Buy merch and catch the band live asap!!!
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