What Makes You Tick?

Church Road
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. More Love
02. Code of Conduct
03. World to Witness
04. Lowlife
05. Premium Dream
06. Self-Hatred
07. Zoo
08. Black White Blue
09. Ugly Heart
10. Flesh Prison
11. In Heaven

Nail down the furniture. GOING OFF will make you want to jump off it, throw it around and possibly even set it on fire. So nailing it down won't help. Sorry about that.

This is a raging bastard of a hardcore record. With a sound so sweaty, caustic and snotty that it often sounds like the band are actually playing in your living room, this Manchester-based crew have a surplus of old-school spirit and the righteous anger that any discerning hardcore band will find fairly easy to locate in 2023. There are diversions into less traditional territory — sludgy riffs that sound like MELVINS on quaaludes, bursts of gnarly post-CONVERGE noise — but GOING OFF's chief focus is to deliver manic (and metallic) hardcore punk with merciless, pit-inciting breakdowns. And like EARTH CRISIS in their youthful prime, every moment teeters on the brink of chaos and (hopefully good-natured) violence. From the bilious sprint of "More Love" onwards, "What Makes You Tick?" is a riot waiting to happen.

The best moments suggest that GOING OFF are more twisted than their straight-ahead demeanor would initially suggest. "Self-Hatred" veers off on a crushing, doom-core tangent; "Low Life" starts slow, speeds up and then slows down again, but woozily, like a warped record on a turntable; "Flesh Prison" takes a nosedive into dissonance and spite, with no cloying posi-vibes to spoil the anti-party. A closing cover of David Lynch's "In Heaven" may be the most unhinged thing released on (I'm going to assume) colored vinyl this year. Elsewhere, the short, shit-kicking likes of "Premium Dream", "Zoo" and "Ugly Heart" are delivered with heroic amounts of vitriol and elbow grease. A powerful but purposefully raw production adds to the sense that GOING OFF are upholding some cherished DIY values here. The urge to shout "Yes! Proper hardcore!" is almost overwhelming.

"What Makes You Tick?" almost certainly won't replicate the absolute madness that is known to erupt at this band's shows, but it's going to cause some serious mayhem either way. This is one of the gnarliest, snottiest hardcore albums in recent memory. Excellent work.

Author: Dom Lawson
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