GUST from Sweden are going to release their debut record Fuck Life via Iron Plague Records – you can figure out that this isn’t exactly the soundtrack for a dinner with your boy-/girlfriend. At least not if you hope to score later in the evening instead of moshing in your living room, which might be the better choice sometimes anyway. But back on topic: GUST play this sort of darkened Hardcore that is quite en vogue at the moment, you know how it goes: mid- and up-tempo beats, a bit of metal, harsh vocals, lyrics about struggles and fuck-ups in daily life, all sewn together with a cloth of sinister athmosphere and somewhat dark images. Sounds not too bad, heh?
To be honest, I’m caught between a rock and a hard place with this record. Basically, GUST do everything just right within that kind of Hardcore they chose to play: The production is really good – direct, harsh, with lots of mids, powerful but still raw enough to rip some ghastly flesh wounds. The biggest strength of GUST are the riffs for sure, sounding somehow familiar in all their severity and darkness, but coming very varied and due to this being interesting enough to be enjoyed more than just once.
The song writing is, all in all, fine as well. Besides (probably) Rise And Fall influenced Hardcore, GUST do not back away from bits of primitive Metal à la Celtic Frost or a few D-Beat’ish moments, which adds a lot of flavour to the menue.
That said, I’m not able to avoid pointing out some foibles as well: The vocals are powerful and have an absolutely fitting tone, but during the length of the record the voice is really evenly – a bit variation would clearly do no harm. And secondly, the mere fact that GUST do nothing wrong here is also their biggest weakness: There’s nothing happening that surprises the listener and there’s nothing on this record that hasn’t been done exactly the same way countless times before. I mean I’m surely not a fan of too experimental or progressive music, but a bit of uniqueness would make this record a lot more interesting and outstanding. What Fuck Life lacks is essentially nothing more but the infamous icing on the cake
But how it is, Fuck Life is a solid Hardcore record whose only problem is that it is too much of a solid Hardcore record. Capisce?