According to UK Scumscene, “the only thing that seems to be on the minds of Irk with this EP is to melt your face off with heavy music”. They weren’t kidding. Indeed, Leeds based trio Irk form a medley of ferocious squeals and fractured bass lines. From this scuzzy sound, the band have chalked out their new, rather biblical sounding EP, Bread and Honey.
The heavy music, in reality, comes off as a bit of mess. Within the hit and grit of the heavier genres, the paradigms of some sort of song structure should be found, no matter how loosely. Alas, this goes wanting within ‘Bread and Honey’. In an even more warped manner, comes the gruesome and disturbing lyrical bout that fumbles over the bass-trodden ‘You’re Welcome’: “God is in my newspaper // God is in my penis and testicles // God is in my Diet Coke’. It’s torn, it’s rotten, and, in parts, it’s heavily sexually violent and misogynistic.
The lyrical intent is clear in its creativity, trying to be provocative, abstract and controversial. In execution, however, it is plainly out of sight and by no means revolutionary or cleverly applied to a broad sound made up of much, much more than just racket and lyrical vulgarisms. In the meat of the EP, the richer sounds of what bands like Flats, Iceage, Invisible Elephant can be found in tracks like ‘Care Taker’. Despite the bust and bother that such an attitude-soaked sound produces, Irk’s repetitive bass riffs and angrily implosive lyrics gather little momentum, and spoil from the inside out, like hollow granite: fruitlessly to be metal, with all the added greasy flavour of punk.
Irk’s sound is a work in progress then, as ‘Bread and Honey’ has shown. Behind the band’s front of poisonous lyrics and crashing rhythms lies little more than an entangled ball of musical string, awaiting to be unravelled and put into use.
*Originally for No-Title Magazine*