Haematic (Western Medical)
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., April 4, 2014
Fuck me? No, fuck you! So goes the counter-punch thesis of this feminist punk quartet's ferocious debut LP. Retaliation abounds in the inspired lyrics of Arielle "Relle" Sonnenschein, who sings with a stiff upper lip and puts exclamation points in all the right places on Haematic as she rages against gender roles and rapists. "You think you'll come and take it? You could never break me!" she roars with a napalm throat in "Brittle Brutal." Similarly, on "Hostile (PTSD Love Song)," she charges, "I wanna ruin you because you ruin me!" Empowerment, for Feral Future, comes from growing up quick, seeing as 2012's Come Out Swinging EP captured a hamfisted hardcore screamfest. Sonnenschein's found her voice, complementing the band's time-bomb dynamics with tempered melodies, as Kate Moyer's assaultive guitar carves out jagged progressions that adds variance to heavy punk textures. There's no downplaying Mike McCarthy's efforts, either; the Spoon and Trail of Dead producer (and Western Medical label owner) takes bold license with the album's grating interludes of agonizing guitar feedback and white noise. A couple of anthems short of greatness, Haematic takes back the power.