Released: 2014, Prosthetic Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
True to their name - an abbreviation for Short Sharp Shock - Liverpool, England's, SSS don't waste any time messing around. Echoing the likes of Discharge/The Exploited, DRI, Sacred Reich and older model Napalm Death - at least musically - SSS play with a dogged urgency that rarely stops to take a breath, offering a snub-nosed dose of old school thrash, hardcore/punk and grindcore mashed together in a crossover blend that hits in quick, controlled bursts.
The band's fourth album Limp.Gasp.Collapse doesn't quite take things to the ridiculous extremes of 2011's Problem To The Answer - which crammed 25 tracks into its 41 or so minutes, including eight that clocked in at under a minute. But it's still a barn-burner, blasting and hammering through 13 of its 14 songs in a brisk 27 minutes, until it concludes with the droning but rather monumental 10-minute slog of “Crushed By Drudgery” that recalls Napalm during their late-'90s “experimental” phase.
Despite the frantic pace of the material - made all the moreso by the breathless diatribes of curiously named frontman Foxy - SSS have a real knack for crunchy, blunt-instrument hooks and meaty, driving rhythms, so nearly all of the songs make an impression instead of flying by in a blur. Even the here-and-gone likes of “Pig Owned,” “The Sleeper Awakes” and “Burn All Fields” - at less than a minute each - connect on the strength of Stu Taylor's lock-step guitar rabble. For all of its fury, Limp.Gasp.Collapse is a surprisingly catchy album – relatively speaking.
The band get a hand here from Carcass' Jeff Walker, who scatters his scabrous background vocals throughout the album, bringing a nightmarish sort of “worse cop” emphasis to Foxy's already unrelenting “bad cop” griping. So there is still plenty of ugliness to be found here.
SSS certainly don't break any new ground on Limp.Gasp.Collapse. But they've taken something old, stomped their own, well, stamp onto it and deliver the material like there's not tomorrow. And that's plenty good enough here.