No pause for breath and no punches pulled

With combined histories in bands like Terror, Agnostic Front, Madball and Hatebreed, S.O.S. knows what hardcore is about.

Succinct, savage and speedy, “I Owe You Nothing” fires off seven tracks in under twelve minutes. There’s no pause for breath and no punches pulled. Pooling their talent and experience, these five guys serve it up just the way it should be.

The intro track “Decontrol” is cleverly deceptive, a mid-paced metal-flavoured instrumental that abruptly explodes into the flurry of blows that is “Keep Me Outside”. An explosion of rage that’s over almost before you know it, “Part of the Disease” steps up next with just as much raw aggression as though a bar-room brawl has tumbled out into the street. “The Hard Truth” takes a step back like two pugilists circling each other, with a sinister, catchy metallic riff and a breakdown groove around Scott Vogel’s shouted chorus, underpinned by Beattie’s jangling bass line. If that’s a respite, it don’t last long. The title track enters the fray, all furious skull-cracking old school hardcore like someone’s pulled out a baseball bat and started smashing heads. But Vogel saves the height of his fury for “Never a Brother”, the longest track of the set with a looser, Hatebreed-like feel yet nothing is held back. It’s almost as if the rest of the songs are leading up to this, as Vogel spits forth his lyrical take-down like a hail of bullets. “Choking on Dust” is the coup-de-grace, a final kick to the head that leaves the man down.

That’s it. “I Owe You Nothing” is like a fight. It does the damage and then it’s done, leaving you reeling and wondering what the fuck’s just happened. S.O.S. does in just ten minutes what hundreds of bands fail to do in half an hour or more, and they do it well.

1. Decontrol
2. Keep Me Outside
3. Part of the Disease
4. The Hard Truth
5. I Owe You Nothing
6. Never a Brother
7. Choking on Dust