Statues on Fire – Living in Darkness (Snubbed Records, 2019)

Living in the Darkness is the third album by Brazilian melodic punk band Statues on Fire. “This record is a MUST HAVE for fans of melodic punk!” proclaims the promotional material. That’s a pretty bold statement for promotional material to make. As far as I was aware, remarks of that kind are only legitimised when coming from a neutral source? And are quoted in advertising material in the close run up to release or post release? What the fuck would I know?

Anyway. What’s the crack here, then? The sound of this album to me seems to encapsulate the more metallic end of the Epifat era cannon of the 1990s such as Strung Out before they sucked (i.e. An American Paradox onwards), Pennywise, Good Riddance and Swedish influences such as No Fun At All and Adhesive. Beyond this, there seems to be an element of the first couple of Thrice records (Identity Crisis and Illusion of Safety) – again before the band in question began to suck unrelentingly, yet in this case they only had a few decent songs anyways.

Let’s put all that to the side. It’s pretty good, this. Very fast, very tight, and played with unfettered fury, yet retaining that essential edge of melody that spells the subtle difference between an emotive and compelling work and a total yawn fest. I’m also grateful that this is largely free of that dynamism killing stop-start twiddly bullshit that complete tits seem to live for these days. This is straight up heavy riffing, slick leads and powerhouse drumming.

The lyrics are based on their view of society, economics, politics, and human relationships. And of course how these key elements of life experience interact and effect the futures of everybody, no matter where you come from. Unless you’ve been lucky enough to have a very privileged upbringing in which you’ve been sheltered from life’s hardships. Anyways, commentary here is given in a rough-edged yet clean vocal style that reminds me of somewhere between Nikola from Millencolin and Tim McIlrath on the first couple of Rise Against records (although everything after the first one kinda sucks, as I’m very fond of reminding people at every opportunity).

But aye, pretty decent stuff this. Well worth shaking a few quid at. Definitely the type of thing that you’d expect to find on Garrett Wadford’s Bird Attack Records imprint. Tony of Nurgle rating 9/10

Listen on the bandcamp player below:

You can get this from Snubbed Records on red vinyl

Find out more on the Statues on Fire Facebook page

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