We Are Knuckle Dragger

Tit For Tat

 

01. Mr Son Of A Bitch
02. Basic Smash Your Face In
03. I Hope You Like Pain
04. Bad Wee Bastard
05. Get The Horizon Yourself
06. The Mashed Avenger
07. Nerty Nerty
08. Comparison Ford
09. iPhucker
10. Mucker
11. Timmy Mallice
12. Billy Played The Lambeg
13. Bas Rutten VS Rasputin

[04/02/12]
[Sapien Records]

Sometimes you just stumble upon a record that completely and utterly perplexes you. It doesn’t sit right, it doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t even sound right but yet you keep going back to it. You could listen to anything, there’s a plethora of tried and true albums that have served their purpose endlessly over the years, but there’s just something about it — some unknown quality that wants or needs you to understand it. So you keep going back and torturing yourself over it. But eventually, something clicks, ‘cold and unforgiving’ becomes ‘warm and familiar’ and those once strangers become the closest friends you’ve ever known.

We Are Knuckle Dragger are vile and Tit For Tat is dirty and raw. Their math-y noise rock will leave you bewildered and confused, but there’s that unknown draw to it — opener ‘Mr. Son Of A Bitch‘ tumbles and falls upon itself in a flurry of time signatures and offbeat rhythms that leave you wondering what parts were intentional and what ware genuine mistakes. But after a few cursory listens, their Harvey Milk meets Keelhaul style chaos becomes surprisingly memorable. From there on, ‘Basic Smash Your Face In‘ and ‘I Hope You Like Pain‘ follow a similar pattern, churning out a ruthless maelstrom of psuedo-riffs, while even venturing into some techy sludge territory and pulling off a convincing Melvins impression.

From there on the band taunts you, willing you to turn away. ‘Comparison Ford‘ opens with what can only be described as atonal yelling set against a stuttering drum beat and ‘The Mashed Avenger‘ ends in some sort of sludgy funeral dirge — it’s all very abrasive and yet it shows all the hallmarks of a band who are aware they’re toeing the line and do well to stay just the right side of it. The brilliantly named ‘Get The Horizon Yourself‘ grooves and lurches forwards like a post-hardcore version of Meshuggah or a grittier version of Helmet and provides the center point for anyone looking for more ‘straight forward’ material.

Production comes from none other than the legendary Steve Albini, whose previous work in the studio includes Nirvana, Helmet and even Neurosis. It’s clear Albini saw that the band needed his patented noisy ‘live band’ approach and it serves them well. Every single dissonant skronk and squeal cuts through as clear as day while still maintaining the gritty atmosphere that is so synonymous with his work.

Tit For Tat is the complete antithesis of all the pristine, crystal-clear metal that seemed to be so pervasive earlier in the year — it’s a warts and all noise rock offering with no regard for entertaining you. It’s clear this Geordie trio have no interest in making friends. But, by god, they’re charming bastards.

 [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bunuoLTcbM]

We Are Knuckle Dragger’s Tit For Tat gets…

4/5

 – DL

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