On the 20th of November Bridge Nine Records will bring out Malfunction’s first full length album. While their EP on Reaper Records sounded a bit generic, this time Malfunction seem to have found their own sound.
Fear of Failure was mixed by Taylor Young who earned his stripes in Nails and Twitching Tongues. Young’s influence is clearly present on Malfunction’s debut album. Fear of Failure sounds raw and messy. Its guitars are noisy and distorted, its vocals filthy and aggressive. Malfunction aren’t a Nails rip-off though. On Fear of Failure they deliver some kind of mosh-friendly modern hardcore in the style of their label mates Expire, Backtrack or Bent Life.
Unlike many other hardcore albums Fear of Failure is more than just a collection of songs. It’s a coherent entity. Opening track ‘Drained’ starts with noise that covers up a subtle guitar riff. When the noise clears and the drums kick in, Malfunction treat you to ten pieces of furious hardcore. Although Malfunction’s sound is messy, its riffs are tight as hell. Malfunction sound harder than ever. On ‘Cut Off’ a heavy breakdown is immediately followed by an even heavier one. Sometimes Malfunction leave a little room for ephemeral beauty. At the end of ‘Discontent’ a crushing riff quickly ends a melodic guitar part.
Lyrically Fear of Failure is consistent too. ‘Constant cycle of repeated mistakes. Others prosper, I just seem to drift’ sings vocalist Zak on the previously released track ‘Drift’. The theme of failure is repeated throughout the record. Needless to say, Fear of Failure isn’t a happy record. The 8th track on Fear of Failure is an instrumental called ‘Sonic’. The song goes in the opposite direction of ‘Drained’. This time a melodic guitar is gradually covered up with noise. ‘Sonic’ strangely isn’t Fear of Failure’s closing track. Malfunction have two more songs in store which creates the impression that you’ve just witnessed a perfectly constructed set and the band decides to play two encores. Decide for yourself whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
What’s for sure, is that Malfunction is a promising young Hardcore band with a great debut under their belt. With Fear of Failure Malfunction have discovered their own identity. Malfunction are definitely a band to keep an eye out for. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they’ll be crossing the pond to invade European territories in 2016.
Track list – Fear of Failure:
2. Fear of Failure
3. Cut Off
4. Window of Illusion
5. Final Thoughts
Written by Wannes Dewanckel