The debut album from Kent based bruisers Spreading The Disease is a lengthy affair. Eleven tracks in total with a running time of just under fifty minutes. Strangely enough, I had just been discussing with a friend how disappointing it was that the current state of affairs in the modern world had little or no influence on many of today’s musicians. Punk reared it’s head in the early 70’s in America, with acts like New York Dolls and Television providing the blueprint, but it was the voices of the British punk movement that really established it as a DIY cultural phenomenon and made the American scene look bloated and contrived. Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Sham 69, The Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers… the list is endless, all fuelled by civil unrest and seething resentment of the establishment. What do we have now? Millionaires like Prophets Of Rage with their megaphone lyrics and fists in the air. Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me, especially since you are preaching from your mansions and hot tubs. The time is ripe for a new breed of angry, pissed off musicians and bands to give a voice to the disillusioned. Bands like Spreading The Disease, in fact. The music is very much 2017, but the attitude could be the division in Thatcher’s Britain instead of Brexit. ‘Insurrection’ is angry, and rightly so. Like Therapy? once famously said, “The world is fucked, and so am I…”
Opening track, ‘Find My Path’ begins life going one way, then takes a sharp turn to the left as the pounding beats kick in with the aggressive vocals from Connor Russell Snyder not too far behind. It’s the shortest track on the album, and one that only hints at the carnage to follow. ‘Words Unspoken’ is the first example of the anger contained within ‘Insurrection’. A strong mix of clean vocals and raw growls, it is five seething minutes. ‘Dischord’ is packed full of vitriol, with the lyrics are spat out. A pit-inducing, powerful track with a creepy ending. With a title like ‘Dischord’, you know that it’s not going to be all peace and love. The same could be said for ‘Greed’, ‘Whores Of War’ and ‘Brexit Wounds’, but it’s ‘Spreading The Disease’ (the song) that chucks it’s hat in the ring as the stand out track on the album. Lyrically, it’s angry and topical; “We live in a system that’s rotten and twisted…”. Musically, it mixes it up with a false ending half way through, before the band pummel the listener with the nastiest of grooves heading towards the climax. Like a speeding train crashing through red lights on the way to destruction, it totally slays all in it’s path.
Another highlight that shows a different side to Spreading The Disease is the semi-ballad ‘Can’t Let Go’. Beginning with a soft acoustic intro (Alice In Chains-like), it soon settles down with some blood-curdling vocals from Snyder. A ballad with growls? Yep, that actually is a thing. The ethereal backing vocals are a nice touch, and especially effective during the spellbinding guitar solo.
‘Insurrection’ is a strong, modern debut album. No quarter is offered, and none should be expected. Check it out here.