Stingray Fortress Britain LP
Here’s another instant classic to add to the list of contenders for album of the year: STINGRAY’s Fortress Britain, a caustic, abrasive, and scorched-as-fuck album that sounds absolutely hellish, with brutal vocals and big riffs to match. Comprised of prominent members of the UK punk/hardcore scene, STINGRAY sounds seriously pissed, and presents a takedown of imperialism and British rule, illustrating the decaying landscape of modern life. Sonically, it’s a smoldering cauldron of fury influenced by the likes of EXTREME NOISE TERROR, CRUCIFIX, and NEUROOT, and from its first note, Fortress Britain rips through your speakers and grabs you by the throat. “Burning Swine,” a stomping kick in the teeth, features a metallic breakdown that is as infectious as it is heavy. Title track “Fortress Britain Crumbles” is a revved up D-beat fever dream featuring an excellent bass lead that is massive, dwarfed only by the even bigger lyrics: “Walls of London blown to bedlam / Under the boot of a million desperate.” You can hear the venom in every word, delivered expertly by the demonic narration of Tin Savage. Closer “Inner City” begins with another bass lead, echoing drums, and a build-up that’ll give you goosebumps. Fortress Britain may have influences from the past, but this shit is timeless. If modern life is hell, STINGRAY couldn’t have provided a better soundtrack.