A rampage of glorious desolation broaching emo, hardcore and punk – Crewe’s UNIVERSITY share the tear-sodden thunder of ‘Notre Dame Made of Flesh’ via Transgressive Records.
First catching wind of the enigmatic UNIVERSITY at their Green Man set a couple weeks back, I came away marvelled at being so overcome by a band containing a permanent fourth member playing Xbox 360 live on stage. And yet, just so compelling were these newcomers, who together uncorked such a dynamic eruption of emotion and noise, that I anticipated the arrival of a new release with all the eagerness of one who sits staring out the window for the arrival of a long-awaited parcel.
Expressed with all the rawness of therapy, and wholeheartedly executed like the unprompted ripping of a band-aid from its wound, ‘Notre Dame Made of Flesh’ lays bare all the aching demons of plagued hearts in one fell swoop of enervating performance. The furiously dextrous drumming rushes like a man scrambling up a cliff face for survival. In the extended instrumental sections here, wiry, bone-clawing guitars are powerful and gnawing like a gremlin hoard. And then there’s the tortured blindsiding, vocal screams, each howl baring its own desperate shard of bleak confession – “I don’t wanna be my Dad, or anyone else from the Past” // “I don’t wanna go outside, just in case I burn my sides.”
While all being so arresting and compelling, as the aforementioned preoccupation with old school gaming suggests, here is a band who also hold a cheeky glint in their eye – they see themselves as “like getting punched in the face by a gorilla but then being cuddled afterwards”. Whether or not you agree, It’s time to go to UNIVERSITY to find out.
Photo by Holly Whitaker
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