Fight Amp - Hungry for Nothing Review
by Mark Hensch
Calling a band Fight Amp raises certain expectations. For one, listeners anticipate a level of bare knuckles brawling found in the UFC. Beyond that, most would suspect a band with such a moniker capable of delivering only walls of pulverizing sound.
Thankfully, Fight Amp's latest album does just that. 2008's Hungry for Nothing is just what it says---a lean mixture of sludge metal and blistering hardcore punk.
The animalistic power violence on offer here contains a starved energy most bands lack. All eight songs feature desperate catharsis, the likes of which is filtered through 20 years of hardcore tradition. Bottomed out with a low-end chug more reminiscent of modern sludge metal, Fight Amp possesses a powerful sound indeed.
Cooking in this boiling morass of turmoil is a wide range of influences. First picture a disgruntled Motorhead pumping iron and beefing up on steroids. Next, let them start an underground fight club with evenly matched opponents such as Kylesa, Unsane, Black Flag, Mastodon, and Today is the Day. The resulting melee is Fight Amp in a nutshell.
Seeing as Hungry for Nothing is Fight Amp's full length debut for Translation Loss Records, the heat is on for passionate music. Chock full of spastic brutality and sweat-drenched energy, the album fires on all cylinders.
"Dead is Dead" stutters with hammering percussion, the likes of which pounds a stabbing nail of guitar squaw straight into the skull. The vocals, meanwhile, are merely atavistic yowls. They combine with dense chords and create hypnotic auras. Lastly, the band showcases its High on Fire influence by careening through a massive breakdown all before a glorious crash-and-burn.
Out of the smoking wreckage emerges the sinister "Late Bloomer." "Bloomer" stomps out a Morse Code of extremity while assaulting listeners with catchy swells of grimy sound. Devolving into a frenzy of hardcore confrontation, the song ends on a manic note.
"What a Drag" slows the album's tempo. It drifts by on polluted clouds of misanthropy. Backed by formidable skins work, the song builds itself into a churning whirlpool of down-and-dirty malice.
"Samhain" kicks off with a heavy yet melodic chord recalling the Misfits, only with more sonic force. The whole thing sounds like a Black Flag show played in a thousand gallons of mud. Like bubbles of weightless crud, subtle melodies gradually float from the sinkhole.
"Lungs" masters stop-start mayhem worthy of Converge. It stumbles through urban decay like a drunk lost on his way home.
"Bound and Hagged" is a highlight, its punk melodies storming through cavernous metal. Fiery intensity ratchets things up a notch, and the rhythm section engages in some of their most towering moments.
"Get High and F*ck" sure rocks. It is the aural equivalent of an avalanche crushing a brand new car---unexpected but pummeling. The band even busts out a killer solo---if by solo one means the last wails of a guitar beaten into submission.
"Dumb Luck" rounds out the crowd, sporting nothing but crusty muscle, blinding speed, and a surprising tunefulness. Hearing its waning but still furious vitality, one almost pictures the band playing the whole disc in a basement somewhere, hungering for more.
Loud, fast, and memorable, Hungry for Nothing recalls an era where speed metal lobbed dirtballs alongside more punk influenced acts. This album is a haymaker right from song one and simply never stops the beatdown. Roll with the punches and pick this up.
Fight Amp's Hungry for Nothing
1. Dead is Dead
2. Late Bloomer
3. What a Drag
6. Bound and Hagged
7. Get High and Fuck
8. Dumb Luck
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Fight Amp - Hungry for Nothing
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