by Hywel Davies
Music falls into two categories. There’s Employed To Serve and Pantera; then all other music. It’s that simple.
British noise is churning out the ugliest noise on the planet as far we’re concerned and it is glorious. Math-core, hardcore, metalcore – just all the cores – have embedded themselves into the fabric of the underground. It is one of the very few heavy based genres that actively seeks to continually push the very boundaries of its sonic onslaught. We say this with the utmost conviction. All too often, this floppy dick of an excuse always seems to lifelessly cling to shit and unimaginative bands when they drop another pile of dog-chum and claim it’s really ‘ground-breaking stuff.’
This is a generalisation, and of course doesn’t apply to all. Still, the point being made is when you’re trying to describe music that is actually bringing something so raw; so gritty; so god-damn exhilarating and fresh, it criminally falls on deaf ears. Listening to ETS gives us the same feeling that every generation must of felt when they found those bands that shaped scenes and truly made a mark on rock.
As Holy Roar Records alumni, ETS are continuing the grand work many bands under that label have achieved. With two albums under their belts, including one EP, their sound is nigh on impossible to sum up in one word. If we had to pick, ‘nasty’ certainly comes to mind. Beautifully executed chaos that stamps your skull into dust; exactly what you want from any hardcore band, really!
Though their 2015 album Greyer Than You Remember helped to shape the direction the band and is like smashing the complete works of Tolkien straight into your face, it’s 2017’s The Warmth Of A Dying Sun that had us fall to our knees. Like a snarling rabid dog, there have only been a few records in recent days where being so uncomfortable never felt so rewarding. From start to finish, this gem is just mouth-watering. Peaks of apocalyptic darkness met with sheer vulgar dissonance and ferocity are surmounting elements that have made ETS one of the bands you need in your life.
Touching on the turmoil that comes with growing up, TWOADS is all centred around the band’s own personal experiences. “When you leave full-time education, you lose you safety net,” vocalist Justine Jones states in the August issue of Metal Hammer. “When you’re at school, you’re told everything. You have to be somewhere every day. When you hit 25, you’ve had a long time being outside of that structure and more time to do things wrong.
“It’s mad how many paths you take in life; when you get older, you realise how many bad mistakes you can make along the way, but it’s being grateful for what you have.”
Live, they are a force of mighty devastation. Understanding their music on record is like taking the first steps into a world that sends you on a journey, as all good music should. However, to get the bigger picture, seeing Jones screaming into the mic at full pelt will strike the fear of God, Zeus and motherfucking Thor into your soul. Guitarists Sammy Urwin and Richard Jacobs (the latter joining last year) hammer home riff after ugly-faced riff as bassist Jamie Venning holds it all together tightly. And drummer Robbie Back… fuck knows what he’s doing, but tell you what, it isn’t half bad.
It is imperative to have this band in your life and if you hold heavy music to any sort of degree, there is no way in nine rings of hell you will not be totally engrossed by ETS.
Catch Employed To Serve at ArcTanGent festival this week.