Monday, 3 April 2017


The new EGS LP is finally available to order. 250 copies in a full colour gatefold sleeve with download. Listen here:

The LP costs £10 plus postage.
Here is what Noel Gardner had to say:
You won’t need a recap of why, how and when the world has become worse since 2011, the year in which Endless Grinning Skulls released their first, self-titled album. More helpful, though, might be the veneration of ‘Risus Sardonicus’ – the Nottingham band’s second LP – as a righteous, savage soundtrack for fucked-up times. Over 10 songs and 32 minutes, EGS reach deep into the history of protest-minded punk and hardcore, boiling down decades of experience and encyclopedias of knowledge into a red-hot slab of sound.
Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t some jejune “hey, at least all this business is gonna Make Punk Great Again, right guys?” garbage. Great punk never went away, and as it goes neither did Endless Grinning Skulls, despite the six-year stretch between albums. They’ve kept the fires burning with three seven-inch singles: ‘Fear, Ignorance, Control’ (2012), a split with Bristol thrash masters Violent Arrest (2013) and ‘Endless Grinning Spirits’, a 2015 tribute of sorts to the infamous Japanese hardcore subgenre ‘burning spirits’. As on that scorching two-tracker, ‘Risus Sardonicus’ finds EGS trading as a trio of Andrew Morgan (guitar), Alsastair Gordon (bass) and Steve Charlesworth (drums) – previous vocalist Patrick Lawlor has now departed, with mic duties now shared between the guitarist and bassist.
It’s clear from the off that the new slimline lineup retains all the heft and more on wax, Gordon charging in with a rust-throated attack over a powerful staccato guitar as ‘Neoliberal Towers’ opens ‘Risus Sardonicus’ at full throttle. At over four minutes, it’s practically an epic for a first track on a hardcore album, but keeps its energy the whole time. ‘Austerity? Violence!’ amps up the swirling noise, bringing EGS’ D-beat and classic Euro HC influences to the surface, but always feels controlled.
‘The Iron Cage’ delivers another jolt to the chest via tungsten-tipped guitar leads and crust-tastic snare rolls, while ‘Tubes’ is just under two minutes of righteous thunder that will boil the brains of anyone who loves the Swedish hardcore continuum, from Anti-Cimex onwards. A slower and groovier tempo is introduced on ‘Guilt Games’, whose sound harbours elements of classic anarcho, gothic rock and feedback-streaked dirge punk.
“I want to tell you a little story / True or not, you decide” begins ‘Septic Ascetics’, preceding a suite of lyrics raining hellfire on the Catholic church and its history of abuse and crookedness. A guitar solo that buzzes like a swarm of metallic hornets and spreads like a rash increases the pressure before ‘Crutches’, the shortest song on the album at 84 seconds, delivers a gnarly hardcore whack. “So cold… so fucking cold” intones Gordon on ‘The Pressure Of Life’: semi-spoken and sardonic, fitting like a glove with a riff that locks in from the start, doesn’t change its ways and doesn’t need to.
‘Rot’ ventures further inward with Morgan throwing out lyrical references to “paranoid confusion” and a “black dog barking”, over stirring, anthemic anarcho, before ‘Risus Sardonicus’ bows out in majestic style with ‘End Times’. Powered by thunderous drums and a cochlea-clawing noisepunk guitar tone, this closes the album over nearly six minutes and lives up to its can-hoarding title with an itchy intensity that’s equal parts Killing Joke and Rudimentary Peni.
This aural powerhouse arrives on 12-inch vinyl courtesy of Viral Age, Morgan’s own label. He’s also responsible for the sleeve art, a lurid and eerie collage work, and the ‘End Times Gazette’ leaflet insert, done in timeless typewritten cut’n’paste fashion. Made by three musicians with over 70 years’ collective experience (Charlesworth was a founder member of UKHC pioneers Heresy in the mid-1980s and was until recently in Geriatric Unit alongside Gordon; Morgan’s past/present bands include Army Of Flying Robots and Bloody Head), ‘Risus Sardonicus’ glows with love for the finest in guitarbassdrums noise pollution, likewise disgust for the rotten excesses of 2k10s society and the evil that men do. It would sound equally fresh, and equally powerful, in 1984 or 2024 – but it’s fresh out the oven in 2017, and all should hail Endless Grinning Skulls
I also have a new zine available called UNDISCLOSED SOURCES which contains some of my old cut and paste flyers for 593 collective gigs. A4, 24 pages, black and white.
£3 plus postage.
I have also updated the distro page with new stuff including Paranoid live flexis, Girlpower LP's, Thisclose 7"s and more.