Inspired by “a need to rage harder and faster than anyone else,” Oxford’s MSRY are one of the most exciting bands emerging from the UK’s underground hardcore scene.
The trio of Kial Churcher (vocals), Charlie Bishop (guitar) and Keir French (drums) formed in late 2016 from the embers of various previous projects but united in their shared passion for playing in a heavier outfit. As the band tell us: “We’d all been in previous bands around our area and we’d known each other for some time, it was all just the right time and right place for us all to be in a band together. Charlie and Kial weren’t playing any music at the time and wanted to get back into a band while Keir’s band at the time was winding down.
“We’re all massive fans of hardcore and had never really been in a band that wanted to do it. We put a major focus on a chaotic live performance rather than playing perfectly live and that collective mindset paved the way for us three from the start.”
That focus on their live show has already seen them bag support slots with Employed To Serve, Press to MECO and Carcer City. And they describe their sound to us as: “It’s definitely a mix of the punk and heavy aspects of hardcore mixed with some melodic tendencies and maybe a dash of beatdown? Perhaps if The Ghost Inside got drunk with While She Sleeps people might get an idea of it.”
The trio release their second EP Safety First on Friday (6 July), from which they’ve already released the title track and latest single Broken Teeth, which have both been well received. As the band tell us: “The reception so far has been really good, we’ve had a lot of positive comments about (the two tracks) both as recorded works and in our live shows, so we’re incredibly excited to see what the reaction is for the rest of the songs on the EP.
“We’d say to expect more hard-hitting and heavier songs on the EP. The last EP we did focused more on personal struggles and was a starting point for us as a band. A lot of the material was pieced together from previous works that were brought together. But with the new EP it’s a lot bigger and heavier without trying to lose too much of the melody that we had from our previous work, which is always a fine line to walk along.”
They’ve managed that transition superbly. The EP is unbelievably heavy at points, with delicious driving low-tuned riffs and bone-chillingly good screamed vocals, while retaining that melodic edge.
It kicks off with a staccatoed guitar riff intro to opening track S.I.C.K. then a scream of “Bleugh” that brings in drums under the guitar riff then drops into a fast-paced screamed opening verse. The drums drop out again, then another blast of guitars leads into another fast-paced verse, which ends in a blast of booming guitar chords alongside building riffs that gives way to a final smash of intense vocals.
Next, Broken Teeth opens up with a darting riff that kicks into life in a wild opening verse, then a really cool section of booming descending guitars over a huge bassline gives way to another wall of huge metal vocals. A huge scream gives way to another blast of huge low-tuned guitars then big screams bring the track to an intense ending. Check it out in the video below:
And the brutality continues with Freedom, which begins with a huge onslaught of screamed vocals and low-tuned guitars, then stabby high-pitched guitars kick in alongside chugging chords with pounding bass drum driving it along. Chaotic vocals are countered by snippets of spoken vocals, then the opening low-tuned riff takes centre stage before a brief pause gives way to a monumental metal smash-up then a final blast of screamed vocals.
Title track Safety First dives straight into heavy metal chords and pounding drums that continue into a breakneck first verse that will be the perfect fuel for moshpits across the country. A “bleugh” cry gives way to a mini breakdown with bursts of guitar, then a building section into a mass of screamed vocals alongside more melodic guitar chords in a huge chorus, which ends on a brief pause before launching straight into another blitzing verse. It ends with a really cool guitar riff that kicks in with a cry of “Fuck” then a couple of screams of “Safety first.” Check it out in the video below:
The EP concludes in similarly heavy manner with Trump Card, which opens up with a blitz of screamed vocals and booming guitars and drums, then drops into a recording of a speech about terrorists. Then huge screams come in over huge guitar chords and distant synth sounds, before exploding into life with a cool chugging riff that feeds into a wild chorus. More recordings of speeches by Donald Trump follow, supported by an awesome riff that takes us through to a typically heavy ending, then finishes with more recording of Trump saying “drive out the extremists.”
This is an awesomely hard-hitting EP with relentlessly heavy screamed vocals and delicious riffs and drum support that sees MSRY make a firm impression on the increasingly impressive UK metal scene.
The EP is supported by a tour that began last night in Oxford, continues tonight at Aatma in Manchester, then takes in Glasgow, Bridgwater and Norwich, 229 The Venue in London on Sunday (8 July), then finishing up at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar in Brighton on Monday (9 July). More info and tickets are here.
On their live show the band tell us to expect: “Energy, a lot of strobe lights and flying bodies, if there’s things to climb we will climb them and jump off them, we like to entertain people with a show of chaos and blinding lights. We want people to go ‘What the hell just happened?!’ after seeing us. Just come and check us out if we’re at a town near you, you won’t regret it!”