Glasgow’s Lotus Eater announced their signing to Hopeless Records a little over a year ago, and, aside from a single release, fans have been waiting for what new depths the quintet would plunge to.
After much anticipation, ‘Social Hazard’ has answered that question with the thunderous sound of aggression and unforgiving song structures.
Proving their place amongst newfound label mates, Lotus Eater rips through seven tracks in less than twenty minutes. Opening with ‘Thug’, blast beats pierce juddering guitars and sludge inspired breakdowns. Using mere seconds to display the tone of the record, ‘Social Hazard’ doesn’t dare to pull any punches.
Continuing on, ‘Yuck’ and ‘The Fear’ both display an intelligent take on hardcore, dismissing the conventional structure of half-time breakdowns. Instead, both tracks push through riff after riff without hesitation whilst an industrial backbone highlights the irregular breaks displayed.
Whilst both tracks hinge on relevant social commentaries, ‘Freak’ overshadows its predecessors by creating an unrelenting journey into the effects of bullying. With guttural vocals and pummelling blast beats pulling in opposite directions, the bouncing breakdown is a welcome break from the disorienting yet glorious chaos on display.
Considering the first half of the record is pounding and uncompromising, it’s a shock when ‘Mother’ brings space to an otherwise claustrophobic record. Still maintaining its bite and galloping tendencies, the track manages to squeeze in spaces to allow the vocals to cut through the wall of distortion.
Ending on ‘Jawless’, the group show further expansion among their arsenal. Whilst still retaining the EP’s dominating aggression, the song displays clean vocals that not only jump above the rhythmic guitars, they also manage to become front and centre of the track. Ending on ringing chords, the sound of a group giving everything they have fades out a solid release.