Saturday, January 14, 2012


Very much so the subject of reasonable amount of hype at the moment among the local scene, Shackles have just unleashed their debut 7", "Maunder". Pressed by Arrest Records, this green variation is the more limited run of 100 (or possibly something like 96, I can't remember). A wider press on black also exists. Seminal PV inspired heavy hardcore from Byron Bay, these guys play a very good interpretation of the heavier, moshier style of hardcore popularised by American bands like Mind Eraser and the like, though with less blasts and more of a focus on heavy breaks. This would have to be the best example of an Australian attempt at this music for at least three years, in my opinion anyway.

If there's any gripe I have with this release, it's the recording style. Don't get me wrong, I really like how heavy this thing sounds, I just can't quite ignore the fact that there are definitely parts that sound very 'doctored'. There are certainly more than a few occasions when a blast sounds triggered, or the beginning or end of a song sounds like it's been blatantly chopped off digitally. It's not a massive problem, but it's certainly a detrimental factor. Just come across as a little amateur sounding. I think i'd prefer more of a live sounding recording.

For those playing at home, Shackles are the fellows for whom I released a tape a few months back. Of the four songs on that tape, two of them see another release here, amongst an additional nine tracks from the same recording session.

Included in the glued card sleeve are two inserts, one with this photo of Mark that includes liner notes and thanks list, and a second with the lyrics.

Overall this is a fantastic record and will certainly be a favourite of mine for 2012. The band have just recorded another handful of songs to be included on an unnamed release that they tracked with the same fellow who recorded this stuff. I hope it sounds a little less perfect. One of my favourite Australian bands.

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