Dragged Through The Dirt - Justice For The Damned
Artist: Justice For The Damned
Album: Dragged Through The Dirt
Review by Steve Jenkins
Sydney based heavy hitters, Justice For The Damned, have been around for a little while now, working hard, making a name for themselves and winning over fans with their impressive live shows and intense sound. The genre in which this young band play is defined by short, brutal riffs with no filler and definitely no frills, and that is definitely what we get with their new album, Dragged Through The Dirt.
Formulating a perfect blend of hardcore with metallic metal, JFTD are one of the country's hottest bands right now and this release is sure to boost them to that next level that they've been working towards. The album starts off with the pounding aggression of first track 'Dragged Through The Dirt', as the band unleash all their might on the guitar, drums and bass respectively, with enraged vocals being spat out in a forceful nature.
After setting the stage with the opener, the second track, 'Please Don't Leave Me' spirals off into a chaotic fury of hostility. The drums are charting at insane speeds while the guitars are pulverizing the mix with furious riffs. That level of intense chaos is kept up for most of the album. The band knows how to create dynamics and builds in their tracks too, which help keep the songs fresh and not repetitive. A fine example of the dynamic approach is the third track 'Those Eyes' which features more melodies winding through the heavy wall of distortion.
When the music takes a pause back from speedy power violence to slower and more brooding beatdown, it never loses its intensity. The vocals keep the rawness and brutal sound throughout the entire album, with piercing and visceral screams, to an auditory assault of harsh growls, this gives the tracks more of an impact and edge. His performance across this entire album is stellar. The guitars have a sludge appeal to them, really focusing on the slightly more melodic grooves that are present. The guitar work is simple, brutal and 100% effective. Rarely breaching out from the maniacal riffage infesting this release, the few times that they do delve deeper into the guitar work are well done and appreciated. Another important thing on this album is the production, it's perfect. No, it isn't crystal clear and nor does it sound like it was recorded on a computer, in fact it's quite the opposite. It's raw, real, fuzzy, harsh and loud as hell. This only makes the album sound even heavier than it already is and I've got to give JFTD props for making this release sound so damn nasty, well done.
Justice For The Damned have hit the mark on this release by unleashing a short, concentrated burst of metal and hardcore that abandons indulgence in favor for immediacy and a no frills, catchy approach to songwriting. How the band will change (or not change) their sound in the future remains to be seen, but it has become very clear that Dragged Through The Dirt will go down as one of the best heavy releases of 2017, and rightfully so.
8.5 out of 10 stars.
Dragged Through The Dirt is out August 11th via Greyscale Records. Pre-order HERE.
Watch the music video for the track 'It Will Always Be My Fault' below:
JUSTICE FOR THE DAMNED TOUR DATES AUSTRALIA
w/ Ocean Grove, Broken, and The Beverly Chills
FRIDAY AUGUST 4 - WOOLY MAMMOTH, BRISBANE 18+ SATURDAY AUGUST 5 - OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY 18+ FIRDAY AUGUST 11 - FOWLERS LIFE, ADELAIDE LIC/AA SATURDAY AUGUST 12 - CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE 18+ SOLD OUT w/ Hindsight, Staunch, and Honest Crooks
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1 - YMCA HQ, Perth AA* SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2 - Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+* FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15 - Crowbar, Brisbane 18+ SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16 - Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle 18+ SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17 Red Rattler, Sydney Lic AA MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18 - RAD Bar, Wollongong Lic AA FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22 - Enigma Bar, Adelaide Lic AA SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 24 - Phoenix Youth Centre, Melbourne AA * Justice For The Damned only