Emerging from the darkness in early 2016 and spat out of their native Houston, Lace are a blend of vitriolic hardcore and bitter, abrasive post-punk designed to tear down the world around them. Bursting onto the scene playing a brand of aggressive, lo-fi hardcore, Lace began to earn fans worldwide with their six-track demo released mere months after forming. Those early recordings were bleak, stark visions of their Texas hometown and found the band tackling personal feelings of depression and displacement whilst making rare live appearances in support of touring bands that rolled through their hometown (Total Abuse, Dropdead, Protomartyr, Elysia Crampton).
When time came to record their debut full-length record for Funeral Party Records (Death Bells, Night Sins, Draa, Soft Kill, Fearing) it seems Lace decided to take an abrupt, defiant turn – blending their gritty brand of hardcore with an acidic and resentful post-punk sound.
Human Condition launches into life with fierce opener “Amnesia” – drenched in feedback & visceral noise before punching you in the gut with razor-sharp guitars and vocals that spit raw emotion into your ears. This rage barely lets up throughout the nine tracks of scorn that follow.
What separates Lace from the pack is their seemingly innate ability to draw on very deep and human feelings and present them through their music in a way that takes you through an emotional voyage as the record progresses. Human Condition still deals in the familiar outsider feelings, antisocial lonerdom and unrelenting anxiety that fans of their early work will be familiar with but the early lo-fi sound has been replaced with an altogether more accomplished production that only serves to fuel the venomous rage in the songs – never taking away from the raw anger, speed and volume of the music.
Human Condition is a cathartic collection, repeatedly dragging you through the desolate despair of the music whilst at the same time offering a brief hint of hope. The short blasts of hatred heard on “Moral Trip” and “Roman Candle” are countered by the reverb laden, Swans-esque “Mapplethorpe (The Leper Song)” and “Tension”. The feedback heavy “Paradise, Coming Down” is an aptly titled conclusion to a thrilling record. Lace are never too rigidly attached to one ferocious sound.
This is an incredibly strong and accomplished debut work that sees a maturity of sound far beyond their years. One can only hope that Lace can now take to the road with the same venom and drive that has spawned Human Condition so they can spread their message and bile to punks the world over and give this record the attention it rightly deserves.
Human Condition will be released 13th of April 2018 through Funeral Party Records.