Grand Collapse – Along The Dew
Probably the best UK hardcore punk album for 2017.
This record is, in a word, amazing! The band is fronted by the son of the profoundly missed and loved by the punk world Stig of Icons of Filth but they don’t rely on media hype or any punk credentials because of that.
Grand Collapse are just hellbent on pursuing their own musical direction. It’s not just Calvin on the vocals that really nails it down, but everyone in the band is doing an excellent job to deliver some of the best and intriguing punk-rock for the last decade. I won’t exaggerate to say that Along The Dew is among the best UK hardcore punk releases of 2017!
All the anger we hear and feel in these eleven songs is just the essence of what hardcore punk should be all about. The drumming and guitar work on this LP are fuckin’ incredible. Grand Collapse play from start to finish with such an intensity and ferocity that you’ll feel the rage deep inside your skin.
Besides the galloping music lies also a solid lyrical foundation. The lyrics are extremely well-written, political and fun to read. They all stand out as short essays, written from a personal perspective, that depict issues like animal rights, domestic violence, arms trade, supporting the refugees and telling the fascists to fuck off. We have all the inspiration that comes out of a punk band, but the way they are written in this one are a breath of fresh air since you don’t have the boring political rants that you’ll find in most of other punk bands. It’s more like this Propagandhi type of lyricism that I’m sure you all love to read.
My personal highlight of the album is the song “Through Bloodshot & Blurry”, one of the longest tracks on the record. Top-notch lyrics and a guest appearance on vocals by the folk-punk singer Efa Supertramp. Efa’s vocals are a great addition to Grand Collapse’s music and I’m totally hooked on this song. Another great idea in the album is to also have a song in the Welsh traditional language Cymraeg, something that Efa Supertramp already does a lot in her own music and lyricism. In Along The Dew, this is the tenth track “Llygaid Gwyrdd” (Green Eyes).
What’s more to this is also the great artwork. I love the woodcut graphics and I’m a sucker for Frans Masereel or Clifford Harper. Here we have a great work by the talented John Abell and we have a killer poetic description of the front cover art in the opening song that’s also the title track of the record. You know, all hunters deserve to die and all the creatures in the woods can help to make it happen more painfully and dishonestly. Fuck hunters forever and ever! Besides the title track there’s another one about dead hunters. The 36 seconds rager “Luciano Ponzetto” is about the Italian trophy hunter of the same name who posed with a dead lion in 2016. The prick had it coming, of that there’s no doubt, as Grand Collapse say.
All in all, it’s a high octane punk with plenty of hardcore bursts that are enveloped in catchy melodic tunes. Great artwork, some of the best lyrics you’ll find in today’s hardcore punk genre and a total dedication to the punk ethics. Highly recommended whether you’re a hardcore kid, a crusty type of punk, or anyone going to shows and supporting the scene.