Editor's Rating

Have a listen to 'Worlds Apart

Rating out of 10

Sanity Check – Slaves To A System

Release Date: 10th September 2016

Bandcamp: https://sanitycheck.bandcamp.com/album/slaves-to-a-system

I first discovered Newcastle hardcore outfit Sanity Check at the Trapped Records all dayer back in January. Instantly, I was hooked on the grooves and the violence they created in the pits. Afterwards, I hunted out any music I could. At the time, only a two track demo was available. It did its job, it replicated the sounds I heard live. It was raw, packed full of two-step rhythms and represented that violent side that was shown at the Trapped all dayer.

Eight months later and we have ‘Slaves To A System’, the long awaited second release from the Newcastle lads. Sanity Check returns with a fresher sound and some new faces behind the band. Instantly from the opening title-track,  you can tell the production of this new EP is greatly improved. It’s nowhere near as raw and lo-fi as the demo was. There is somewhat a hint of professional evolution.

Sanity Check has admitted to pushing towards a thrashier sound and it’s noticeably seeping in during ‘No Way Out’. The tone of the riffs are crunchier and a two-step segment midway through just shouts hardcore/thrash crossover. Not too dissimilar to how Broken Teeth sounded on their most recent release, ‘At Peace Amongst Chaos’, ‘Worlds Apart’ also picks up the pace, the beats are more intense and the riffs get heavier. A small guitar solo is even thrown in for good measure to emphasise that thrash influence.

The overall vibe I’m picking up is somewhere between now defunct hardcore bands Survival and War Charge. Take the side to side beats and fun atmosphere from Survival, then the riffs, grooves and ruthless aggression from War Charge. You then take the vocal styles from both bands mentioned and throw them into a blender and you end up with Sanity Check. All of these are factors to create some real pit starters, some aimed to be enjoyable, others aimed to kick some major arse.

‘Slaves To A System’ is a major improvement compared to a demo that was already pretty decent. Sanity Check really has stepped up their game and I look forward to hearing more in the future. The EP contains everything you really want in a hardcore release; killer hooks, aggressive vocals, inviting gang shout segments, pure energy and a mixture of fun and violence.

For fans of: War Charge, Survival, Broken Teeth, Cruel Hand

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