Created from a hardcore/post-hardcore cocktail of UK greats like Bastions, Grappler and Goodtime Boys, Terrible Love were always on to a winner based on the reputation of its members alone. Their debut EP Change Nothing, however, isn’t a record that takes too much from previous projects, but instead creates a sound which is reminiscent and forward thinking in equal measures.
Terrible Love seem to have taken on a vintage style with Change Nothing. Musically, the combination of brash hardcore combined with the slow building, atmospheric crescendos of post-hardcore creates a sound which clearly shares inspiration over musical generations and genres. Vocally there’s a likeness to Five Knuckle, with lyrics delivered in an almost spoken word style, with each and every word clear. Vocals descend with emotion as the musicianship builds to create something raw and brash, perfectly capturing moments of lyrical bitterness.
There is a distinct lack of overdriven guitar or bass sounds, with a natural brutality chosen instead. This creates an anger which sounds organic and works perfectly alongside the vocal delivery. I can’t remember the last time I heard a set of recordings which have embraced early hardcore and everything that came after. As songs progress and flow there are some wonderful fuzzy soundscapes created, with soaring guitars gently catching the ear to create an almost comforting quality.
It is refreshing to listen to a hardcore album which doesn’t descend into brutality as it’s main focal point, with moments built with an intelligence, and touches of delicacy. At times guitars take on an almost angular quality, along with choppy bass and razor sharp drumming, making this release really stand out. There is honesty in both the writing and recording, creating a genuine, emotive connection between artist and listener.
Change Nothing is a five track statement of intent. There’s a diversity throughout, but an uncommon (for hardcore at least) ebb and flow track-to-track. This is a curious release and curiosity is a wonderful thing.
I am left with one thought as this EP comes to a close; why is this not a LP?
Change Nothing EP is out now as a special edition 12″ via Big Scary Monsters.