TITLE: NO ONE WINS
LABEL: QUALITY CONTROL HQ
A further contribution to the world of excellent Southern hardcore comes in the form of Game. An upcoming band on the scene, this London four piece recently dropped their first full length album and follow up to 2017’s flexi release ‘Who Will Play?’. Coming in at around twenty five minutes, ‘No One Wins’ contains eleven tracks of blistering hardcore. After a short instrumental intro, we’re graced with the thick wall of noise and guitars that is ‘Trwoga’, a fast paced, tension building song that sounds like a full auditory attack, delivered with breakneck no-nonsense attitude. The album starts, therefore, as it means to go on and next up there’s ‘Oczarowanie’, another furious track of under two minutes in length – as a lot of these songs are.
An interesting aspect of Game is their heritage. ‘Oczarowanie’ is Polish for “enchantment” and is screamed entirely in the Polish language which takes a while to actually notice given the style of music anyway. ‘Trwoga’ is Polish for “fear.” The mix ups in lyrics utilising both English and Polish make for a more intriguing listening experience and certainly don’t take away any enjoyment not being able to understand them. In fact, hearing the Polish accent cut through the English lyrics on other parts of the album, such as ‘Chimera’, actually adds to the impact.
“dark, menacing and epic with some retro metal influence”
Tracks such as ‘Medusa’ bring in a more classic metal influence and offer more variations in rhythm and technique, with a stomping memorable chorus and a well constructed guitar breakdown. It gives a little respite to the full on pace of the record and would be a strong contender for single. While some of the songs are the standard type of stuff you’d expect from your average hardcore album, ‘No One Wins’ definitely has these little hidden gems which makes them stand out. ‘Acid’, for example, is another great track which brings something different to the table, sounding dark, menacing and epic with some retro metal influence. ‘Curse’ is like Iron Maiden hardcore, and ‘Foundation & Empire’, which ends the album, is the longest, most epic track of the bunch with its swirling dramatic guitars and over five minutes in length.
The dark, death metal type themes being dealt with in the lyrics have obviously been done before too but not quite in this same musical fashion. It’s like some kind of weird cross between Sabbath, Maiden, Misfits and Minor Threat put in a modern context. But it’s these kinds of more unusual, intriguing styles of songs which will make Game stand out from their competitors in the hardcore scene and while it’s still early days for the band, there’s a lot they can build on develop on from here.