Recording, mixing and releasing an album online within a couple of days is one very impressive feat and one accomplished by Momentum with apparent ease, and managed a guest appearance from Protestant’s Cory von Bohlen to boot. The London hardcore band, who feature four members of Light Bearer and ex-members of Fall of Efrafa, recorded this new effort Herbivore one weekend recently and by mid-week was unleashed upon the world via free download with a vinyl and tape release to follow in the new year.
The band released, it has to be said, a stunning LP last year entitled Whetting Occam’s Razor that was a furiously demonic, 52 minute long slab of melodic hardcore laden with diatribes of anti-religion and purging the ideals of patriarchy but also touching on animal rights. While still a hardcore record by all accounts, it was an album still characterised and influenced heavily by the atmosphere and grandiose nature of Light Bearer, made all too clear by the running time and pristine, spacious production. Herbivore on the other hand is still the same band, but consciously more raw and abrasive.
As the album title may have suggested in some regards, Herbivore’s themes are that of veganism, animal rights and much more overtly so than its predecessor, forming the basis for each song. It’s an ideal held fervently by their members and presented unabashedly and even aggressively in the lyrics and the overall approach and presentation of the record. Herbivore’s sound is simply confrontational and belligerent hardcore punk and as even the band put it themselves “sloppy”.
Herbivore isn’t as expansive as Whetting Occam’s Razor in a sense. If anything, Momentum have taken a conscious step or two back, to make a record more poised for recklessness and in tune with the hardcore punk that inspired them to begin with it. The album is short and laden with strident call-to-arms anthems like I Am Not A Living Grave and Barbarity that lay down a furious and heartfelt gauntlet.
However, it’s the urgency of final track Conscientious Objector that rings loudest, its missive deafening; only to fade to silence before the hidden track, a cover of The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder, not exactly a surprising choice of cover from one perspective, creeps in, followed by a sample of a lengthy speech given by Phillip Wollen on animal rights.
The band is passionate about their beliefs and presenting them in a way that makes sense to them. Whether you agree or not with the lyrical content is a discussion for you to have with yourself and peers, coming to a conclusion that makes sense to you too. But musically above all else, Herbivore is a triumph. Held up to Whetting Occam’s Razor, it’s like night and day – two abjectly different records, but ones still crafted by the same beating hearts of its creators.
Herbivore is available for free download.