SSS - _The Dividing Line_
(Earache Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (8.5 out of 10)
Speed metal, they used to call it -- that bastard offshoot of thrash and hardcore punk whose bandwagon was derailed somewhat prematurely when Death released _Scream Bloody Gore_ back in '87. The art form wasn't quite lost however, and to this day continues to have its disciples. With heavy music experiencing something of a midlife crisis at the moment, it's almost a given therefore that a band like SSS would have crept out of the woodwork at some point.

Showcasing a distinctly more refined blueprint to the one that spawned last year's _Short Sharp Shock_, the Liverpudlians actively recall the halcyon days when bands like Napalm Death were attempting to take music to tempos previously alien to human ears. The album's lo-fi production rings an even greater degree of vintage pathos out of the gloriously reckless proceedings, and the riffs are as basic and stripped down as you'd imagine them to be.

Unlike the many others who ply a similar trade however, SSS don't discount the value of clever songwriting, and raw as these songs may be, they're also seeped in infectious and hard-hitting hooks. Thus while tracks like "Can't Burst the Bubble" and "Hammerhead" never eclipse the two-minute mark, they are virtually guaranteed to stick in your subconscious for a significantly lengthier stint.


(article published 24/10/2008)

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