LIES! – Mind Pollution


LIES! started life as a metallic hardcore group in 2011, then went on hiatus from 2014 until 2021 due to the work commitments of vocalist, Rene Smit. They announced their return in style in 2022 with their well-received Rebirth EP and continue their momentum with their new album of nine songs over fourteen minutes. Clearly, they don’t mess around, and they make sure you won’t be left behind, either.

An ominous drone gives way to a razor-sharp sixteenth-note groove with monstrous roars in the opening title-track, and the band sustain this level of intensity for most of what follows. The guitars are as lethal as a slurry pit and make good use of the higher strings in the chord formations of the chorus. A chunky Helmet bassline powers the last hurdle of track number one while your headphones throb against your ears like mutant organisms. You can feel your lip curling up as your nostrils wince at the thought of what you’d like to do to those that wronged you in ‘Wounds into Wisdom’. If you’re not wearing a vest for this music, you’d better buy one. Pantera and Prong fans will enjoy the metallic crunch of this song. Rene Smit sounds like a man bench pressing at the highest level of human strain.

Drummer, Marcel Oldersma, is the colossus in the band that keeps everything ticking like a well-oiled machine. Listen to ‘Propaganda’ if you want a lesson in how to calibrate the double-kick pedal for maximum impact. Axemen, Sander Oldersma and Frank van den Beld, thrive in a tone similar to the debut Burner record – it’s malicious and proud to be a bludgeoning presence in the mix. Look at the results: ‘Resurrect’ is a skin-scraping dagger of metallic hardcore like Cro-Mags possessed by Terror. The drum fills are more violent than a horse infected with rabies.

It’s surprising that the first spin of this album does not reveal its true class, but a second analysis will remove any doubts. A gang vocal chant from LIES! is like a call-to-arms for the humble gym spotters of the world to unite and arrange their next book club discussion. Could the guitarists get any further underneath the strings with their plectrums? Forget about When Harry Met Sally, you need to attune your mind to Slayer meets Sick of it All for ‘Hunting Season’.

We don’t know what type of career kept Rene Smit so busy in the last decade, but he appears to have the severe stomach cramps that made Kurt Cobain self-medicate with heroin. ‘The Cleansing A.D.’ is how you welcome in the dawn of year zero. You know that hardcore music will be pissed off with the world, and you seldom need to check the lyrics to understand the message. So, get out there, roll up your sleeves, and take back control of your community from the racketeers, religious braggarts, absentee landlords, and drug-pushers that threaten its cohesion.

JVB


Verdict


Release Date: 08/12/2023

Record Label: Coretex Records / Diorama Records

Standout tracks: Mind Pollution, Propaganda, Hunting Season

Suggested Further Listening: Earth Crisis – Gomorrah’s Season Ends (1996), Terror – Keepers of the Faith (2010), Rise Above – For Better or Worse (2023)