Tuesday, October 7, 2014


In my experience and travels, smaller and relatively unknown cities produce the best punk hardcore thrash bands. When you’re not in an overpopulated city singing about scenes and paying excessive amounts for practice pads, you’re left to really write about your surroundings. Whether you’re pissed off, bored, or wasted, it gets a lot more real. Angst without a pose and screaming volumes minus “noise-permits” sharply come to life in all of their brutal candidness. Such is this case with Scatterbox’s brand new full length “Ritual”.

This thing rips from beginning to end, no apologies and no breaks on the tempo speed. This radioactive thrash blast comes courtesy of the Washington/Idaho border and sounds like a mutated update of Gang Green, Toxic Reasons, and classic Suicidal. A pounding and frenetic rhythm section highlights the Crash-esque vocals of singer Tom White. The punchy production shows off the sinister chops of drummer Scott Rozell and bassist Ryan White. From the opening car bomb of “Mining for Mold” and the blood soaked roar of “Fear, Profit, and Puppetry”, you know that you are never coming off this trip alive.

The band has some moodier moments with the burning “Something’s Gotta Give” and deathly delivers with the hard-hitting anthems “Born To Rule The World” and “Dance”. Hyperactive skate thrash with just enough melody to provide the perfect chaser for these high-octane double shots. The guitar interplay of Justin Smith and Mark Cogburn lays on the riffs heavy and catchy, bringing to mind the six string wizardry of NOFX on their classic “Ribbed” album. The vitriol of small town America screams loud and clear on this uncompromising effort of safety-pinned sophistication.
-Kevin McGovern