SHIT LUCK – Self-Inflictive. Self-Destructive. (2014) — REVIEW


SHIT LUCK - 2014 JGIt was early 2013 when Floridian SHIT LUCK first impressed me with their demo SLOW DEATH. Ultimately their blackened crust was on point in most regards: a rusted maelstrom whose success when blending abused styles was engaging, memorable and quite loud.

It was like a decrepit engine roaring as it tears itself apart, unhinging from the struts and shearing metallic grime from it’s pieces. The tape itself had some quality issues, or at least mine did. However I enjoyed the shit out of the digital copy all of 2013.

This year they’ve released a two track EP through bandcamp. Unexpectedly nuanced while remaining weighty, desolate and urgent Self Inflictive. Self Destructive. brings out new shades that are nested well within ripe ideas from SLOW DEATH.

These guys also have been nice enough to put it up for free, so you don’t have an excuse to miss out.

Like Black Monolith they’re a newer group that, after their initial promising emergence, I feared would be swallowed by the surging ‘blackened-everything’ wave that seems to be finally settling.

Much to my surprise this year both of these acts have provided evidence that they have more to say and very convincingly too. And in the case of SHIT LUCK the offering is indeed small yet significant, even grabbing my attention away from more infamous groups.

Composed of two songs, there’s no dampening of the tattered and hostile atmosphere which was significant before even while evolution is taking place.

Listening to the first song “Piteous Fruition” takes one at first back to the previous bone corroding demo. Slightly quieter without complaint (more leveled I suppose) with the drumming still capturing a good deal of attention, being a notch tighter and busier this round. Especially that snare sound which remains prominent but the snap is lessened.

On this recording the hollowed and fraught vocals scorch psychological territory in a strong cadence and clear rhyme. The shouts attack first attention seeking through fallacious suffering and the damage this type of lying can do. The final song reflects on depression-through-brain-chemistry acting as a cage, weaponizing in a cycle that seems to decent to inescapable truths.

Off the count “Piteous Fruition” feels pretty standard but dives quickly into nonstop clouded, catchy destruction. The shadowy temolos breaking up powerful cascading power chords, morphing into jumpy rhythms which get trashed by kicker blasts.

This intermittent grinding keeps shit really intense. Vocally the shouts drift from that into hoarser, more strangled tones always with a bit of reverb.

At one minute in an ugly break down commences, percussion collapsing on top and that riff is deadly. It switches into a hypnotic rocking in clean with minimal drums, and when the distortion comes back holy fuck watch out. The progression is simple and does not run longer from there — instead there’s a bleary march of feedback and whammy concoctions under a “doomsday” sampling.

“Dysthymia” leads immediately from this chaos, but more powerfully with a snare roll that echoes South American slamming death metal more then ever; but not as piercing. It doesn’t stop for the guitar rhythm at all and resonates to great effect. The shouts more adamant and cracking with disgust.

It’s a fervent start which plows over the song for the first twenty seconds before a darker descent of warped power chords — really gratifying — then a drop off into a breakdown with a gouging bend.

Split with a blinding blast and not resting there, the next section has such an addicting rhythm that is made more furious by the vocal assault carrying thoughts of cleansing anti-therapy through deep depression.

Drowning in therapeutic misery will help me see
The aspiration to progress doesn’t mean anything.

Depression will guide me into absolute truth.
Leave me here to learn how to live or to die.
I will find my own way out.

Day to day, breath to breath—I long for my own death.
Let me die alone without a second thought.
Without any ties to this rotting world.

The harmonies from the distant lead coupled with the fiery blasts and rolls hook into the brain with ease. It pulls this second act of the song together. However I think this is where you hear the production (through grit and noise) kind of overwhelms this great moment, as it gets lost a but in the fuzz. Discernible still but a bit buried.

It climbs and climbs to a brief peak, precipitating a very calm and gentle moment that expands quite comfortably. Later a slight addition from high-hat and sampling wind and fuzz. The oceanic or shoreline feeling, the washing clean ebb continues searching with small additions from the kick or toms and no vocals. Getting a bit of that Narrows vibe by the end.

Overall this is a decent refinement relative to the last two releases, and those were thoroughly awesome without much need for refinement. “Dysthymia” is my favorite but like last year there’s no going wrong either one you hear.

Admittedly the whole ‘clean valley cleaving through mangled hardcore’ is not an unheard of approach these days, but in the context of their formula and the inspiration they draw on the result is something pretty damn satisfying; sometimes exciting. Especially after the huge dose of energy leading up to it which retains all the vigor of SLOW DEATH and more.

Those into crusty and dark assaults intermingling attitudes of Alpinist, Narrows, and Young And In The Way should give this a shot. It hits a sweet spot, I only wish it was a bit longer.

Go to their bandcamp and consume this, and later when the tape pressing comes out if you’re into that grab one. I’ll be updating this post once I see it go up.

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