Bailer – Disposable Youth


Cork four-piece, Bailer, are already a force in the underground after their blistering performance at this year’s Bloodstock Festival. As the most promising band from the Republic of Ireland’s hardcore scene, many look on with interest at how they’ll develop, and there’s no doubt Century Media will be listening to the group’s debut record with eyebrows raised. This is a quartet with a big future, and it’s easy to see why after one listen to Disposable Youth.

We won’t do Bailer the injustice of calling their music metalcore. They play the heaviest form of metallic hardcore and ramp up the intensity levels to the point of needing an industrial ear defender. Chris Harte’s guitars are chunkier than the thigh muscles of Conor McGregor and just as heavy as Hatebreed. Yet this band also groove. Check out the proto-hip hop bounce of the drumbeats on opener, ‘Blackout’, and listen to the roar of Alex O’Leary as he tenses his solar plexus like somebody about to receive a punch from Tyson Fury. Those guitar crunches sound like power wash tools spraying down a jeep at point blank range. “I always knew you’d stab me in the back – sad but true,” screams O’Leary on ‘Bastard Son’. You can feel the baseball bat in your grip as you get ready to smash up the front window and door of your nemesis.

The world of heavy music has an abundance of hardcore bands muscling in on metal territory, many of them good at what they do, some forgettable. Like Knocked Loose, Bailer are in the camp that attract the extreme metal crowd as well as the street soldiers. ‘Cruel Master’ features a collaboration with Conjurer guitarist, Brady Deeprose, and showcases an impressive mastery of the guitar fretboard beyond the downward chugs and ringing fifth chords. This is another thing that distinguishes Bailer from their contemporaries – ‘Scourge’ draws inspiration from the iconic chord choices of Killing Joke circa 1983’s Fire Dances LP. For every drop-tuned palm-mute, we get a flurry of obtuse arpeggios to feed off the churning bass grooves. The magnificent ‘No Apologies’ avoids the obvious cut-throat chug riffs with more inventive noise rock progressions over the d-beat drums. But when they launch into a breakdown, they do it with a finger outstretched for the nuclear button. See if the reverberations in the back of your neck are still there after they crush you with a collective staccato smash and roar of “I don’t want your sentiment – it’s bullshit/ I don’t want to hear it.”

As an artist with roots in the ethos and DIY spirit of hardcore, it’s inevitable that Bailer have a punk undercurrent to their sonic onslaught. But there’s no pogoing here – just murderous aggression with bludgeoning metal riffs in place of the standard punk rhythms. ‘Gateway Drug’ will remind you of Eric Smith from End You in the way O’Leary spews blood from his lungs. They’re not averse to stepping on the octave pedal either to shift the guitars down a few semitones. Those grinding doom riffs towards the end of ‘There is a Love that Remains’ will make you feel like your feet are trapped in blocks of ice as you try to surmount an upstairs escalator. If this doesn’t make the veins in your eyes throb, nothing will.

You’ll be off balance and bloodied as the last gasp of “slow decay!” drowns you in a maelstrom of white noise at the end of closing track, ‘Fester’. Yet the adrenaline keeps your legs wobbling under your trousers and your pulse racing. Disposable Youth is the cold shower you need to awake from the drudgery of routine life.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 12/11/2021

Record Label: Blood Blast Distribution

Standout tracks: Blackout, Cruel Master, No Apologies

Suggested Further Listening: Extinguish – Extinguish (2021), Killing Joke – Fire Dances (1983), Hatebreed – Weight of the False Self (2020)