It seemed that the UK hardcore scene shed a tear back in 2015 when Kent five-piece Feed The Rhino decided to take a bit of a break. Yet, here we are almost three years later and the band are back on all cylinders with their new effort, ‘The Silence’.
If you were expecting this record to live up to the qualities of its namesake then you’re heavily mistaken. Based on their previous offerings, it’s pretty clear that Feed The Rhino aren’t known for doing anything quietly, and you’ll be happy to hear that ‘The Silence’ is absolutely no different.
‘Timewave Zero’ gets the party started by practically smashing the door in. Despite a slightly deceiving soft electronic opening, we’re soon subject to savage, gritty guitars bursting through your speakers. The first line we hear from vocalist Lee Tobin is emphatic and energised as he belts “Mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror, mirror on my fucking wall”; you can almost hear his throat ripping to shreds from the enraged passion pulsating out of his voice box.
Lead single ‘Heedless’ carries a melodic tint amidst the heavy-hitting, hardcore verses – not too dissimilar to the funk-feel rampant rock of Rage Against The Machine – before Tobin‘s cleaner vocals enter over a half-time chorus attuned for a more widespread rock-loving audience. This style of grand-like, arena-filling choruses is heard a fair bit more throughout this record, with tracks like ‘Losing Ground’ and ‘Fences’ indicating the band are focusing on a lighter, more catchy set of choruses this time around. As big they feel, the record does tend to drop a bit in intensity during these moments, but, for the most part, manages to stay strong.
It isn’t all like this mind you, with ’68’ and ‘All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy’ ditching the arena rock choruses and getting back to the venom-spewing growls we’ve latched and favoured from the band. It’s at these moments where both the record and Feed The Rhino are at their best, harnessing both their angst-ridden riffs and groove-ridden, thunderous percussion.
The album closes on ‘Featherweight’, a song which was originally shared way back in 2015 before their downtime, and it’s relentlessly wild. It’s up there with the most intense of tracks on the whole record. The compressed, cut-up vocal mash intro sets the mood, before scratching, scathing muted guitars clutch at the midst of the verses, pulling you in for a sharp burst of punchy hardcore hysteria. This one is a proper belter of a track.
‘The Silence’ is a fantastic release from the band, now officially back from a two year period away. It’s clear to the ear that there are bigger choruses, as the band possibly aim for a wider audience, but we still encounter the typical ferocity you come to expect from a Feed The Rhino record. Without question, hardcore is happy to have one of its heavyweights back.
Written by Dylan Tuck (@dylankightuck)
Writer for DEAD PRESS! | Literature undergrad with a love for all things punk | Often found sipping on coffee or craft beer, whilst attempting to write some words.