Album Review: Junkbreed – Music For Cool Kids

Album Review: Junkbreed - Music For Cool Kids
Reviewed by Dan Barners

Portuguese crew, Junkbreed, is a Frankenstein’s creature of a band, being stitched together from the likes of Primal Attack, Seven Stitches and Switchtense for the express purpose of delivering pulse-pounding post-hardcore, mixing in a healthy dose of punk, heavy metal and hard-rock whilst they’re about it.

Although the band’s sound maintains a consistency across the forty-odd-minutes of the record, there’s nothing predictable about Music for Cool Kinds’ eleven tracks. It’s as though the band have used the post hardcore foundation and are the architects of experimentation: a thick and meaty riff here, a dissonant guitar line there; all of which add up to a continually interesting listen.

Lead track, The Thing, is built around a resolute slab of rhythm guitar that is a pleasant surprise as many post hardcore releases tone down the six strings. Not Junkbreed, for Music for Cool Kinds is awash with in-your-face riffage: My Own Mistakes opens with something of a delicate eastern feel, before crashing into a massive, pit-filling, exploration into one’s personal life choices; and as much as you resist, the sonic draw of Lust is Normal will be just too darn enticing to ignore.

Amid the savagery of the guitars, you’ll find some more refined sections, with Junkbreed visiting the past, reinterpreting the musical motifs heard through the 90s Alternate scene on Morphine on Command and Being the Rat, while infusing Karma is Coming not only with an uncanny cosmic feel, but also a Marilyn Manson-esque Industrial sound.

Album Review: Junkbreed - Music For Cool Kids

And what self-respecting band can look to the 1990s and not incorporate a whole load of groove? Album opener, Wild Risk wastes no time in laying down some irresistible patterns, using the hefty bass to drive the rhythm forward; Out There manages to be both groovy and edgy, applying dissonant guitar patterns and creating something not too far removed from the Dillinger Escape Plan.

As mentioned, Music for the Cool Kinds is a chimaera of a record, brimming with ideas and styles that take you back on a nostalgia trip to the 90s and beyond. Right Here and Now and Blood Runs Gold display their hard-rocking credentials proudly on their sleeves, with the latter featuring the kind of progression that sounds like a Motorhead outtake.

Junkbreed have put together a fine collection of songs that are the sum of their parts. Constantly interesting and eminently listenable, Music for Cool Kinds can even be enjoyed by those of us who never met the criteria to even apply.

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