Much like the pairing of the words Barbed-wire and Toast, the phrase British Powerviolence has that eye-brow raising incongruity to it. Somehow for the most part we missed out on the whole MITB & Slap-a-ham storm that kicked off in the late 80's and early 90's, opting instead for a pill popping dance rave scene ; for the record an unfair trade off in my books. In the rare instances people think of British powerviolence the only real names that come to mind when straining are Witch Cult, XharoldshitmanX and um, well there is um the Afternoon Gents kinda if we cut out the grindy parts... Clearly there are more (I would hope so, Luke weigh in here!), but from an international dimension our Powerviolence assets seem meager at best, especially when compared to the number of grind bands we have both true and false (eyes wander around Merciless Precision). Sure there are countries with no known Powerviolence export (eyes shift to the other side of the room looking at Vatican City and others, followed by a disappointed head shake), but we have no excuses, there are probably towns in California who can boast more Powerviolence bands than our humble collection of four nations powerviolence stock, thus the arrival of a new and incredibly decent Powerviolence band is worthy of a ~250 word intro, that and the fact I have a bad habit of wanting to write everything that comes to my head.
Let us welcome fresh from the kennels Gets Worse, who are a still bloodied new born pedigree of the British extreme music scene, boasting a direct lineage to the likes of K-Cider swiggers The Afternoon Gentlemen, noisy grind act Macho Insecurity and Noisier still Joe Pesci. Its a 10 minute romp around that doesn't really resemble any of the aforementioned father bands in any static way, beyond their stellar musicianship, but rather going for something pro-actively fresh and moderately ambitious, a gamble that has paid off.
The presentation has a very distinct tone to it, hallmarked by a lingering reverb fuzziness, which becomes more pronounced and agitated in the active moments of guitar use and vocal annunciation, which deeply defines the uniqueness of the band, but creates a small personal annoyance in staining some of the more expressly intense moments by detracting their full energy potential. You take the good with the bad though, and the good considerably outweighs the bad in this regard, especially since the very nature of the slithering digital hiss and high pitch audio dynamic has given the band the pedestal to stand out amongst its peers, and the minor annoyance is easily ironed out with a bit more post production magic.
Percussion carries a certain bluntness to it and has a activating approach in steering the schwerpunkt of the listening experience into the guitar and vocal grinder,its nothing theatrical or medal worthy, but non the less a solid and tight drum performance, which wouldn't suffer from being brought closer to the foreground. Vocals are two tiered affair jumping from bassist to guitarist offering a binary set of screams, one more gruff and the other substantially more higher pitched also being the culprit of the reverb rattle. Whilst the string work brings a collective of influences, predominantly Weekend Nachos and their heavy bass stomping, but others such as crossed out and to a lesser extent Despise You leave their fingerprint smears over this release.
Overall the release is faithful to the Powerviolence canon, but mixes up things in such a crisp and compelling fashion, coupled with the wholesome musicianship it really makes this release one for the books. Much like any demo, a splash more mixing and mastering varnish would not go amiss, but for a first demo it does boast better production than most. Everything taken into consideration, this is a band to keep a watchful eye on, and indefinitely worthy of a play through.