I don’t know a whole lot about the Chinese metal scene, but if this release by Tumourboy is anything to go by, it sounds like it’s in the rudest of good health at the moment.
Originally released in the band’s homeland last year, Damaged System finds itself being expanded and re-energised in 2017 for a wider release courtesy of German underground label Witches Brew – and you’d be mad not to take advantage of it’s greater availability.
Mad, that is, if you fancy adding a bit of eighties inspired thrash and crossover to your metal diet. These blokes look all of sixteen in their promo shots, so they can’t possibly have grasped what makes great thrash by being around at the time that great thrash was actually being made. No, they’ve learned their trade, and learned it quick, giving tracks like Noise, Beer, Love and the excellent title track a real urgency and authenticity some of their older, more experienced peers in the retro thrash movement can’t muster.
Nuclear Assault come to mind a lot throughout Damaged System, the hardcore-style backing vocals and simple yet effective drumming having a real whiff of New York circa 1985. It’s great stuff, and if you shut your eyes this music is coming straight outta Brooklyn rather than Beijing…
Confusingly Sacrifice of Technology starts off with some funky bass and drumming pulled from the seventies glam rock playbook, before locking into a surgical chug that with a beefier production would have screamed ‘Bay Area, 1987!”, but that really is the only point on the whole record that might have you scratching your head a little – everything else is straight down-the-line general issue thrash and all the better for it.
There’s so much of this kind of music being made today that it’s sometimes a bit overwhelming to know where to listen next, so let me do you a favour and give you some advice; If short, sharp doses of simple yet well executed old school thrash get you hot under the collar, you should head Tumourboy’s way soonest. Damaged System may only be thirty two minutes long, but it’s thirty two minutes used very well indeed.
Damaged System is out now on Witches Brew