OB-GD17-001.pdfThe latest offering from Manchester label Icecapades, who also have 7″s from the likes of Slowcoaches and Sex Hands, is by none other than London art punk quartet Vertical Slump (members of DIY cornerstones Shopping, Gloss Rejection, Omi Palone, and Circuit Breaker). Recorded back in Feb by Mark Jasper at Sound Savers, Ruined Value is a 4 song intro to the band. It was mastered by North London Bomb Factory – who specialise in punk and post-punk – with credits including Seeds of Doubt and Charles Howl…so the EP has the credentials.

First track, ‘Tether’, establishes the scene; this is claustrophobic icy post-punk – the guitars feedback being denied a full sound before the piercing drums are introduced. The vocal changes often, starting with an echoed verse, left with more emphasis on the chorus, then developing into a more immediate shout for the rest. I prefer the shouty vocals, those being more decipherable.

The sound has a lot of jarring elements, but this isn’t to the detriment of the EP. The change in vocal style, with contrapuntal synth, relentless percussive elements, the churn of the guitar, the dirge of the bass all add up to something that’s certainly not gothic (as with so many bands with the same influences), but it is a strange concoction – devout DIY noise in muddied reflection of early Wire, or a faster scuzzier Josef K. The rhythm here is more forceful though, there’s definitely something unsettling about the stressed pulse of the bass and guitar parts. This reaches its epitome with the intense vigour of ‘Sentinel’ as the lyrics return after the bridge. Expect no compromise.

Release Date 02/10/2015 (Icecapades)

Vertical Slump Official | Soundcloud

Zach Roddis

Hi, my name is Zach Roddis, I love the attitude and ideas presented in the diy scene/s across the UK (and beyond). I blog about the bands, gigs, and labels that are doing interesting things that you won't find elsewhere (click on DIY Narratives on the top menu).