Nothing about Skin Failure resembles the status quo. The artwork is cartoonishly metal; the band’s logo is metallic spray paint; and their debut is a concept album that follows the travails of an interdimensional Jesus.
Radillac (Small Pond) finds the five-piece eschewing any sense of normalcy. Will Gardner (vocals), Paul Stallan (guitars), Toby Stewart (guitars), Dave Larkin (bass) and Sam Simpson (drums) have no tendrils of a cheeky record company trying to impose its will on the product. But listener beware: your ears will be pushed to their very limits.
‘Radical One Amphetamine Dreamland’ decides to nurture a staticky morass into a goosebump-inducing, auditory earthquake. ‘Sleeveless Jesus The Void’ is a true headphone check, erupting into a raucously smooth riff. As dizzying as the introduction is, the song settles into as much organization as you can expect from this group, consisting of members of Black Peaks, Memory Of Elephants and Kainoah.
That Jesus figure alluded to earlier? He’s busy being thrust into an amphetamine-powered wormhole and finding a home in London during the 1980s. On ‘Meat Pond Down By The River,’ Jesus encounters a deity-figure Jeff Bridges in a more easily digestible track that still incorporates cutting harsh vocals.The rhythm section is a stampeding golden horde of drum and guitar ambushes (‘Full Throttle Nothing Pt. 2: The Montage’).
As long as you don’t take Skin Failure too seriously – they certainly don’t – Radillac has much to offer in the way of progressive thrash, hardcore and whatever else the quintet formulates. Gardner can’t help but offer his exceptional rendition of King Diamond-level wails coupled with guitar notes that can easily be mistaken for the vocal’s continuation (‘Southern Fried Homicide: The Radillac Battle Sequence’).
A revised bible following the detailed musings and happenings of Skin Failure’s Jesus very well could be an addition to a hypothetical reissued Radillac. After what’s been done over the half-hour-long record, it certainly wouldn’t be the craziest thing they’ve created.
7 / 10