BROKEN LUNGS – Love Is Temporary And So Are We

On this follow up to ‘The Price of Decadence’, Broken Lungs aren’t thinking small. Their ‘Love Is Temporary And So Are We’ EP kicks off with a devastatingly heavy chord, followed by another, underscored by a fierce bass rattle courtesy of Alex Dewhurst. It’s a relatively simple musical device that’s guaranteed to jolt the listener, but whether you’re already a fan or approaching these Brummie hardcore merchants for the first time, they immediately have your attention.

From there, the superbly angry ‘Push Notifications, Pushing Me To The Limit’ works through various different hardcore moods, each one as brutal as the previous. The heavier moments blend hardcore punk with a bristling metallic energy, even when attacking at a mid tempo, and the punkier elements bustle forth with an equal intensity. It isn’t long before the band’s take on a very angular brand of arty hardcore has the listener fully within its grasp, and it’s impressive how guitarist Daniel Cruse is able to slide effortlessly between the various riffs and tempo changes. This is great, but it’s when breaking into a massive sledgehammer of a breakdown with Daniel wielding a truly huge guitar sound, accompanied by Joe Jones in full scream, that the track really hits. When going for a full on, groove-laden hardcore assault, Broken Lungs sound like the musical equivalent of a truck; no amount of musical twists detract from their impressively angry sound. In modern hardcore terms, there’s a lot here to unpack, but these four minutes are never less than thrilling.

An EP highlight, ‘Pity Party’ applies the band’s brilliantly noisy stance to a more traditional hardcore approach at first, before leaning into a heavy and angular arrangement that delights in an ever changing riff. Transitioning from the punky, the band explores terrifically heavy post-metal, before moving into a buoyant mosh pit baiting slow grind. Arrangement wise, it has a little of everything needed to create a very natural tension – and that’s before factoring in the gang vocals used to create a huge hook at the eleventh hour. It often feels like a track that’s more concerned with intense riffs than vocal prowess, but Joe puts in as many hard yards as before, sounding truly committed to the hardcore cause. From the outset, ‘Catholic Guilt’ sounds as if it’ll bring more of the same – and it does, to a degree – but the band ensures listener fatigue never sets in by dropping into a slower, heavier riff at the midpoint, then teasing with a lighter atmosphere before the inevitable huge climax presents itself. There’s an all round mood here that sounds like bits of the Saving Face back catalogue, only far more intense. Then, at the point where they sound like they have no more to give, drummer Dan Hartman drops into a round of amazing pneumatics that allow Broken Lungs to go full on hardcore, with hints of the short lived inertia. (full stop always intentional) informing their huge sound. In terms of crossover hardcore/screamo, this is absolutely superb.

Quietening down for a moment, ‘Scatter The Fragments’ shares a selection of cleaner guitar chords with a muffled spoken word accompaniment, but the sedate mood doesn’t last. The lead vocal crashes through with an insane amount of intensity, and its juxtaposition with the mellower music makes it sound like Bobcat Goldthwait has stepped in for a monologue. With the riffs increasing, everything soon sounds more natural, but the vocal remains unsettling – in a good way – and continues to lend a sharper edge to a riff that veers towards the 90s emo of bands like Quicksand. Although designed as a stand alone piece, in many ways, it plays like an extended intro to the title cut which, stretching across almost six minutes, stands as Broken Lungs’ ultimate show piece. Here, you’ll find an opening groove that falls squarely between hardcore and smart, angular metal that really works guitarist guitarist Damian and drummer Dan into a stupor, but as before, Joe’s vocals sound immense when colliding with some of the more abrasive musical elements. The whole track’s great, but if you’ve made it this far, the highlight is likely to be the coda where the riffs slow down to share a rather pointed and repetitive refrain, whilst Joe wails like someone amid a breakdown, and an uncompromising lead guitar texture adds extra atonal elements.

In five songs and a little over eighteen minutes, this release assaults the audience with a bigger variety of angry vibes than some hardcore acts manage in twice that time. With their solid combination of crushing riffs and spiky lyrical content, Broken Lungs not only sound huge – and sometimes even bigger than that – but also ready to take the UK hardcore underground by storm. ‘Love Is Temporary…’ may be short, but it’s an utterly immense listen.

May 2024

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