Put together by members of *Shels, Fireapple Red and Devil Sold His Soul alongside alumni from across the British alternative music scene, March of the Raptors are about as close to a super group as the UK underground has ever got. And their self-titled debut, a dangerously fast and furious firecracker of a record, is pretty darn super too.
If you know what just one of the above bands sounds like then you may know what to expect here, and if you know what they all sound like then you’re pretty ready for it too. And if that’s confusing- considering the breadth of styles that could cover- then you’re actually on the right track. Sharp, scowling, schizophrenic, and sampling something from pretty much every alternative genre, this thing has got issues. Opener ‘Perish In Flames’ barrels along on punk percussion, quick riffs, and a mangle of roared verses and clean choruses, managing to be corrosive and catchy at the exact same time, ‘Grace Of God’ adds an air of doom and sludge to the mix despite continuing at breakneck speed, and final track ‘Unto Themselves’ is a proper epic that could be both Rise Against returning to their hardcore roots and some post-rock behemoths deciding to concentrate on the rock for once.
Despite the variety and skill on show though, it’s all over in the blink of an eye and while it might bite hard on first listen this is a record unlikely to go further than soundtracking a few ferocious parties and finishing mid-table on some end-of-year lists. But it is passionate and honest and heartfelt and, it is worth remembering, just the first snarls from an outfit that feel like they’ve plenty of room to expand and improve and eras left to run.
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