Manx maulers Swarf Damage formed five years ago but have only really got themselves into top gear this year; A couple of singles came out early in 2023 and now here we are with their debut full length, a self-titled effort that’s a more than worthy addition to the Brit metal pantheon.
That said, there’s an undeniable NYHC bounce to tracks like Batten Down The Hatches and Four Minute Warning that gives the band’s music added dimension and appeal. Four Minute Warning manages to throw in a bit of early-career Discharge primitivism into the mix to boot; If your brain is anything like mine then that makes for a pretty mouthwatering mix.
The band have hit the sweet spot square on on most of these tracks, maintaining their inherent spit n’sawdust DIY Britishness but adding a sheen of sophistication and songwriting suss that is brutally enhanced by a punchy mix that gives every band member ample space to breathe and, more importantly, impress.
In this day and age where we’re exposed to half-baked efforts from ‘artists’ who would never have got near a recording studio in their lives twenty years ago, it’s refreshing – and so, so unusual – to come across a band so fully-formed and ready for the fray on their debut as Swarf Damage. The self-assurance in their songwriting, the sound they’ve forged which pays respect to the past whilst resolutely looking forward, the devastating heft of their individual instrumental and vocal contributions all point to a band that has a very bright future indeed. Had this album come out a month ago it would have been near the top of my album of the year considerations, and I’m sure that bruising bangers like Doom or be Doomed are going to be blasting out of my speakers for a fair while to come. Required listening!
Swarf Damage releases on December 8th.