Death Metal, Hardcore, Metal, Punk

Skin Ticket – Homicidal Ideations (Review)

Band:Skin Ticket
Album:Homicidal Ideations
Genre:Hardcore / Death Metal
Country:USA (Phoenix)
Release Date:8th of February, 2021
Released viaSelf-Released (Tape)
Lower Class Kids Records (Tape)
Wormwood Records (Vinyl)
Cover Artwork ©Skin Ticket, 2021

At the beginning of last year, I started planning my label introduction for Lower Class Kids Records, which eventually resulted in label head Nino starting to write at Transcended Music Blog (one of the luckiest coincidences). Before we started with the interview, Nino sent me a bunch of tapes and I listened through every single one in order to add shorter reviews to the article. One of these tapes, though, was stuck in my head because of a very distinct character. As the title says, it was Pure Fucking Chaos by Skin Ticket, which announced exactly what you were to expect. This EP was an absolute beast, tossing feedback noises at you while blasting everything away. I came back to this EP many times and started following more diligently in order not to miss the next and hopefully full-length release. When it was announced and I also found out later that it was going to be released on Lower Class Kids Records (next to Wormwood Records), I went absolutely crazy.

Skin Ticket is hard to describe if you want to instantly head towards a genre, since this music is taking place at the very edge of at least three different styles. There is a large amount of Punk Rock this band makes use of, yet there are at least as much influences of Death Metal and Hardcore that constitute the sound. Pure Fucking Chaos especially got stuck in your head because of the vicious feedback-laden sound that is also the major aspect I was looking for when going into Homicidal Ideations. The band expanded between the releases, having been a band of three members on Pure Fucking Chaos, there are now five musicians blasting sonical fury into your ears.

Homicidal Ideations opens up just as you want it to, initially starting off with a brief sample that instantly crushes right into the mid-tempo stomping Hardcore / Death Metal hybrid you want to punish your ears with. The sound definitely links to the previous release yet the production increased when comparing, which means that the degree of feedback was slightly diminished but the chaotic soundscape surrounding the music is still maintained. This music still moshes between mid-tempo and down-tempo sound, drastically inviting you to demolish whatever comes close to you and combining the most bone-breaking features of the genres mentioned above.

When the album opens after the intro track with “DBAC,” the focus of the lyrics on this album instantly become clear. This first track is pretty much a shoutout on how to perceive this album, stating that this is not only going to be mere music but rather an opinion that is going to be slapped right into your face. It opens up with the words “ARISE – STAND UP – FOR WHAT YOU FUCKING BELIEVE” which pretty much makes it clear that Skin Ticket is not only interested in blasting your ears off. Throughout the album, these five guys from Phoenix address especially those issues that a major share of the population tends to downplays as minor issues today such as racism, police violence and violence against women. It feels as if addressing these issues has become “too regular” for a lot of bands, whereas worldwide events of the recent years have shown that the most important dangers arise especially from these areas. Going by the choice of words, Skin Ticket makes use of when addressing any of these issues, it becomes clear that this is not just the regular stuff that served as a topic for their lyrics. The anger, the frustration, the hatred that oozes from the words that are vigorously delivered on this album portray that these are exactly the issues that Skin Ticket wants to face – they want you to get up your ass and act without talking. Just go by the album title Homicidal Ideations, which is the medical term for thoughts about homicide.

An absolutely necessary aspect in order to uphold the blasting sound on a Skin Ticket release is correctly setting the drums into the mix, and this is also what this production delivers. You can get that the drums sit right in the center and slightly in the forefront of the mix in order to get across this stomping rhythm that accompanies the entire sound. The snare received a rather damp sound with less sustain and thus feels like a jab hitting your face any time it is hit. The vocals are somewhere in between Hardcore and Death Metal, easily switching back and forth and also convey a certain IOWA vibe throughout the entire album. Although the sound itself differs a lot from IOWA, it feels as if especially the interplay between guitars and vocals always carry a certain subtle Slipknot tone.

This album was originally released on cassette tape by the band (which means US release) and is now going to be released in two different tape versions on Lower Class Kids Records, although the swirly tape edition was gone within minutes – better make sure to grab a regular tape then! In the future, we can also expect a vinyl release of Homicidal Ideations on Wormwood Records, which is going to be massive as well.

Counting merely 18 minutes you might guess that this is too short for a longplayer, but the hatred that is spilled on this beast is enough to get you going for several spins in a row. If you enjoyed releases by Terminal Nation or Scalp last year that followed the pattern of merging Death Metal with Hardcore and politically charged lyrics, you should not sleep on this Skin Ticket album that gains its individual character from the furious energy that comes across from front to back.

9 / 10

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