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RSJ new album

Metalcore band RSJ have been around since 2002 – and yes, the name is a direct reference to Rolled Steel Joist, the girder used in construction. It is an in-joke with the band, referencing ‘good support and a piece of heavy metal’. The band has been going fourteen years, but in their early days they gained underground success very quickly, thanks to their stints of being a support act for Funeral for a Friend, Raging Speedhorn and Orange Goblin; scored by being noticed for their high energy live shows.

They have also opened shows for the likes of American Head Charge, Soilwork and Enter Shikari, which goes to show that this band mean serious business, even if their videos for Nice Day Out and Collectively we are Tall might suggest otherwise. ‘Collectively…’ actually went viral on it’s release, as it features the band and an array of their metal head friends doing aerobics in a gym to the track, whilst of course dressed in spandex leotards, leggings and neon leg-warmers.

2016 is now here and RSJ has released their fourth full length studio album, ‘Giant Glenn’ – a hard-hitting slab of pounding guitars and screaming vocals, ten tracks of brutal ear-shattering metal. The album was recorded live, but it does not suffer for it – in fact, it matches to the rough and ready sound of RSJ very well indeed.

The first track Giant Glenn is one minute thirty seconds of pure solid screaming, making it a dynamite introduction to the album, complete with thundering metal chords and drums. Although it is a short introduction, it truly sets you up for the rest of the album. F*** Off Joe is another solid track. With an addictive chant throughout, slamming the message home that RSJ mean business.

Right Turn Clyde and Bloody Mary are more additions to the strength of ‘Giant Glenn’, with ripping guitars and bellowing vocals, with a shredding guitar piece and melodic vocals in the short Bloody Mary track. Bloody Mary also features Olly Simmons from The Qemists on vocals.

Dear Jane is another short but climatic track, featuring a melodic guitar interlude – which is almost calming and relaxed for RSJ. It is a decent little respite in the middle of the album, before Hit the Road Jack begins. This is the single track for ‘Giant Glenn’, which has also been given its own music video – which is a surprising deviation from RSJ’s usual comedy clips. It also features vocals from Raging Speedhorn’s John Loughlin, completing the list for star appearances on this album.

Continuing the theme of titles featuring names, Gordon’s Alive is up next. It is a decent track full of technical guitar work and ferocious vocals. Dear John is a spoken word piece about the culture of rock and roll, where the live recording of the album is particularly apparent with the sounds of the crowds participating as the monologue continues.

After the brief change of pace Dear John provides, we slam back into RSJ’s typical sound once more on For Pete’s Sake, with jarring guitars and brutal vocals, chanting interwoven into the structure of the song. Another solid track from the boys of York, and one of my more preferred tracks on the album.

Play it Again Sam offers a strong finale for the fourth album of RSJ, being the longest offering on the album at five minutes thirty seconds. The pace slows down with this track, until the climatic guitars pile in halfway through, Dan Cook delivering his top-notch vocals throughout. The track winds down with an atmospheric guitar piece which ends the album.

Overall, ‘Giant Glenn’ from RSJ is a decent metalcore album, and worth picking up if you are into the genre, or are a faithful fan of the band – I don’t think you will be disappointed! And with high standards and reputation that RSJ offer, picking up ‘Giant Glenn’ is a pretty good idea.

Niki Flynn

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