The Path To Righteousness

rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Regressing Forward
02. Hunting Season
03. Lessons of the Past
04. Caught Slippin'
05. The Path to Righteousness
06. Ulterior Motives
07. Born II Lose
08. Shift
09. Sick & Tired
10. T.Y.D.O.
11. Cycle of Grief

Glue down the ornaments and strap yourself to the sofa. GROVE STREET have come to smash your windows, flip the furniture and give UK thrash the scare of a lifetime. Named after a location in "Grand Theft Auto", but hailing from the mean streets of Southampton, UK, this band have already earned a reputation for causing utter carnage. "The Path Of Righteousness" aims to capture the feral energy of those live shows, while also establishing GROVE STREET as heavyweight contenders in the broader modern metal world.

Debut albums need to hit hard, especially when the band in question is peddling furious crossover thrash. After the now obligatory '80s synth overture, "Hunting Season" belches forth in true metallic hardcore fashion, with monstrous, mid-paced chugging, scything SLAYER-like breakdowns and enough attitude and snot to make the police think twice. Older readers may be reminded of everything from the UK's much-missed STAMPIN' GROUND or the ever-vicious EARTH CRISIS circa "Gomorrah's Season Ends", but GROVE STREET wear their hardcore influences with pride and strike a shrewd balance between punk attitude and metallic technique. Whatever the thought process behind the formula, there is no denying that "The Path To Righteousness" is full of songs that noisily demand the listener to trash their own living quarters.

"Caught Slippin'" is a turbulent and dark onslaught; the title track is a bewildering maze of riffs and grooves, that morphs into a fiery, mid-paced thrash lap of honor; "Ulterior Motives" has the brutal swagger of prime BIOHAZARD, and a particularly gruff and bug-eyed vocal from frontman Ben "Sully" Sullivan; "Born II Lose" lurches from D-beat rock 'n' roll to bruising, head-nod hardcore, stopping off at trippy post-punk for a few disorientating moments along the way. And just to ensure that every chair in the room has been upended, "Shift" is a slow-burning crossover beat-'em-up with a nasty dose of the funk. More chaos erupts during "Sick & Tired", which surfs in on waves of old-school street core, before tearing off on a punk rock tangent, and "T.Y.D.O." is an exuberant salute to the kind of righteously fast-as-fuck, thrash-fueled hardcore that turned SUICIDAL TENDENCIES into kings of their scene 40 years ago. The closing "Cycle Of Grief" draws events to a close with flashes of dark drama and more surly, concrete block riffing. Job done, as they say.

The only slight downside to GROVE STREET's first full-length is that for all their adrenalin-drenched highs and moments of psychotic aggression, these songs are plainly going to cause even more destruction in the live arena; not a bad thing in the end. Nonetheless, "The Path To Righteousness" is not going to improve anyone's ability to drive sensibly or sit still for more than a few seconds. GROVE STREET have zero chill and it's thrilling.

Author: Dom Lawson
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