Lock & Key


Written by: MAK on 31/05/2016 13:45:48

Lock & Key have been a Marmite band within the UK hardcore scene over the last few years. Their social status within that scene has sounded somewhat rocky depending on who you ask, they are loved and hated at probably an equal amount. What can’t be denied is that for such strong reactions, the band are clearly doing something right to get noticed in the first place. A lot of that is based on their sheer brutality and their ability to deliver that when performing live. In that, they hope to further that status by providing monster songs on their debut album “Peaceless”.

The near forty minutes in which this album takes place will dominate your ears with ruthless breakdowns, relentless energetic drums, the occasional two-step groove and a barrage of savage vocals. It’s trademark metallic hardcore with a hint of melody hidden within the brutality, but, for the most part, “Peaceless” doesn’t stray from a course of annihilation. Opener track “Hostile” sets this tone as a name that says it all in a 'balls to the wall' statement of what this album is.

Vocalist Rich Lardner is as ferocious as ever with deep coarse shouts that aren’t too dissimilar to Joe Kenney of Pay No Respect. In fact, “Never Ender” could easily be mistaken for a PNR track with the same kind of high tempo energy, two-step grooves and all-out tenacity. That along with a track like "Unclear State of Mind" are laced with dark lyrics aimed towards the haters as a response to all the negativity aimed at the band. Lock & Key pull no punches as they deliver their message with dominance.

If you’ve heard this kind of metallic hardcore before then there is nothing on “Peaceless” that will surprise you. That might please the occasional mosh-warrior, but a lack of clear diversity does hold the album back in places. And that is its biggest downfall, Lock & Key have emulated some of their genre peers in creating a monstrous sound, but their inability to make this album truly stand out against them is a shame.

Lock & Key have succeeded in creating songs that are individually awesome to rock out to, but the album as a whole is a big blur of the same throughout. Occasionally the odd grooves and some vocals catch your attention but they are not enough to make you want to continue listening to this album in one sitting. Nothing is at all anthemic, or hooking for that matter. “Peaceless” was predictable the moment you started listening to it, and that works for a band like Hatebreed that has been doing this for a long time, but not a debut album. I would hope any further releases are slightly more adventurous.


Download: Unclear State of Mind, Never Ender,
For The Fans Of: Pay No Respect, While She Sleeps, Counting Days, Burning Bridges
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 08.04.2016
Crooked Noise Records

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