We’d better address the elephant in the room from the outset. Yes, Swarf Damage‘s guitarist Blake is a part of the three-man team of The Worship Metal Podcast. Yes, we realise that even by reviewing Swarf Damage‘s self-titled debut album we could be accused of bias / nepotism / a lack of impartiality (delete where applicable). No, we don’t give a fuck!
We pen nuthin’ but 100% honest reviews here at Worship Metal and, obvious connections to the band aside, an honest review of Swarf Damage is what you’re gonna get! Don’t like it? Feel free to take it up with your local councillor.
Now that that’s over and done with, we can get on with reviewing this shit-hot muthafucker of an album.
Hailing from the soggy, windswept shores of the Isle of Man, Swarf Damage have been threatening to heat things up with a full length album for a while now, and after gigging relentlessly in the IOM and over in the UK – with a 2024 support slot to the mighty Discharge(!) on the horizon – we’re glad we finally have their debut release nestled safely in our sweaty, greasy mitts.
Listen up! There ain’t one duffer on this lean, mean, crowd-killing machine (not-a-one) with Swarf Damage‘s 8 tracks carefully designed to cut deep with scalpel-like precision. “Four Minute Warning” and “Kill to Survive” are blatantly the ‘big hitters’ – and are so damn catchy you’ll be growling/barking along upon your very first listen – while “Cult Of The Red Light Queens” is a mostly mid-tempo, chest-thumping delight and demands movement of each and every one of your available limbs. Penultimate track “Decayed” is then a swift kick to the scrote that leans heavily into the punk aspect of Swarf Damage‘s sound, and stands out as a highlight in an album stuffed with many peaks and precious few troughs.
Most importantly, these are songs that translate incredibly well in the live environment. Take it from us – as we’ve seen ’em live a fair few times – 4 minutes in a Swarf Damage pit is not only all you deserve, it’s all you’re gonna be able to handle (especially if you’re an atrociously unfit, Guinness-swigging, middle-aged fat bastard like yours truly).
Scary looking cunts standing in a castle.
Kudos must go to frontman Michael Cowley whose open-wound lyrics to “Father” prove that Swarf Damage are a band with brains to accompany their blatant brawn. While emotionally challenging, “Father” could hardly be considered a ballad (the day Swarf Damage write their own “Fade To Black” is the day we kick Blake off the Podcast)…. but its certainly got more depth than 99% of the hardcore / crossover out there and should be commended for being so openly raw and honest. Hats off to you fella.
At its core, this mean-spirited prick of an album goes straight to ya face with its stripped-back, hard hittin’ blasts of old-school noise. No fucking around, no time-wasting, just 8 tracks of short and savage crossover thrash. And we fackin’ love it! 8/10
Swarf Damage‘s self-titled debut is released independently on Friday 8th December, 2024.
Nip over to Bandcamp and pick yourselves up a copy!
Michael Cowley – Vocals
Dan Wade – Bass
Andrew Scott Blake – Guitar
Keith Harris – Guitar
Brian Duffy – Drums