ARTIST: Toxic Shock
ALBUM NAME: ‘Twentylastcentury’
RELEASE DATE: October 2017
GENRE: Thrash Metal / Hardcore Punk
Members: DK, Wotte, Wally, White and PC
Toxic Shock is a thrash, hardcore punk band from Antwerp (Belgium). The band first formed in 2010 after a long and gruelling hunt for the perfect vocalist, which they thankfully found in front man Wally. Once the band had a solid union they started releasing material such as a demo tape in 2011, an EP in 2012 and finally an album entitled “Daily demons” in 2013 from Refections records. The bands main Influences are eighties Venice bands such as Slayer, old Metallica, Anthrax and NYHC. Since the release of their first full album in the 2013 the band has undergone projects such as a split 7″ with Iron Reagan (Reflections Records), a Record Store Day 7”(FatKat Records and Toxic Waste Records) and a 7” with Team Panini (Lost Youth Records). With quite an impressive resume to date the band has just released their latest album-“Twentylastcentury. “
Truthfully knowing nothing about the band, I was quite excited to learn what Toxic Shock was all about and see if they lived up to the likes of their very strong influences. That being said I grabbed my Bazooka, turned it on full volume and let the first track begin. The first song of the album gives you an eerie impression as you listen to its namesake “iceberg” break. A play on words perhaps as this song is the first to break the ice for what is to come from the rest of the album. The Lyrics of this song somehow took me back to the late 80’s/90’s coming of age movies where they would use this type of metal to typecast the “bad boy”, the metal head, older guy who appears hardcore but is actually a genuinely nice guy who has been through a lot in his young life.
Onto the next. It was at this point, Track 2 pumping through my speakers that the neighbours started peeking through their curtains and wondering what the hell kind of one man metal show am I trying to throw in my back yard. Zoning them out I am back to business, focussing on “Serpent’s tongue’s” introduction which reminded me of the likes of Iron Maiden, then as the song progresses and the lyrics begin, their sound morphs and becomes more reminiscent of the sounds of Pantera. Their vibe in this song is fast and intense as with most of their music. It gets the adrenaline pumping and gets you pumped for life.
Track 3” Immobilized and Paralysed” had things toning down musically and physically as you start to ease into the beautiful, slow introduction. The introduction gives you a very dark, strong early 90’s impression which I wish was carried throughout the song. This song continues and develops into something deliciously grungy and it is here that the band feels quite old school, like something I would have listened to in my early teens when I was discovering myself and the music I enjoyed.
Track 4“366ick Days” reminded me a lot of Green Jelly. This song feels a lot more aggressive, more frustrated and a sense of questioning why things go so wrong at times is apparent in this song. The 6th track“Evil Presence” is by far the hardest and fastest track on the album and had me thinking of Randy from Idol Hands. The vocals are quite present in this song and carries out the feel this album seems to be creating in terms of facing difficult times.
Considering both “366isck Days” and Track 5 “1986” the 10thth track called” 2016 Mentality” has one imagining that the year 2016 was quite a challenging one for the band. These songs feel like the peak of hard hitting emotions, when everything in life comes to a head and you have had enough, leaving you with the impression that the time has come to strike back and revolt.
To end things off, much to my disappointment and my neighbours joy. The emotional tone of this album projects a lot of anger, a statement to the world that these guys are their own boss, and no one can ever try to change them. The songs flow together exceptionally well; you almost feel as though you are listening to one song. All the songs just flow with ease into the next, which is what I loved when listening to the entire album. Each song picks up where the previous one ended. A fabulous effort from this international firecracker of a band, an album I’m sure many “misunderstood” peeps are going to be dying to get their hands on.