Recorded at Rhythm Studios by Paul Johnston. Produced by Paul Johnston and H8 Target.
This is a self-released demo/promo EP from Birmingham-based hardcore/punk/metal band H8 Target and to be honest, if I hadn’t seen the CD packaging (cover that’s clearly been printed on an inkjet printer, white-label CD) then I would never have guessed that it was a demo.
The recording quality is fabulous. It doesn’t have the raw, sounds-like-it-was-recorded-in-a-bathroom feel that some demos suffer from. This has a good balance between high-end guitar parts and drums and low end bass and meaty-sounding distorted guitar riffs. If anything, the recording as a whole leans towards the mid-/bass-end but that only adds a gravitas and heaviness to the recording.
From the opening riff this EP demanded my attention. Usually I listen to a recording over and over during the week before I make a decision on it. Well, I’m now on my second listen through and I’ve already made up my mind. And the whole thing is only 14′ 10″ long.
“Never fade” has a fabulous, rumbling riff not even a minute into the song. This must be a fabulous song to play live. It’s definitely metal… erm, hardcore… no, metal again… nope! definitely hardcore… who cares! It rocks!
“So far past sick” definitely starts in a very hardcore vein: pounding drums, staccato-ed riff, screaming vocals. And… well, it doesn’t really let up. I can imagine bouncing along to this at a gig.
“Inspiration” opens with a clean, picked riff accompanied by bass. Drums and guitar two join in as the song builds to another hardcore inspired riff, verse and chorus. At about 1′ 50″ the song slows. Open chord. INSPIRATION! shouted over the top of it. And then the build… It’s all very Biohazard. But it’s a British Biohazard and it’s brilliant.
From the outside (a homemade album cover and white label CD) it doesn’t look particularly impressive. But it’s what I often say about houses: you should never judge them by what they look like outside: it’s how they are inside that counts. And inside this is fabulous.
The final word goes to my son Joshua (6) who said about the cover, while nodding his head along to “So far past sick”: “I love how that line goes along and that line goes down and it looks like a sniper’s target, pointing at a dragon’s head. It’s cool!”
It is cool.
Review score: 90%