Comply or Die: Post-Hardcore from Northern Ireland

It’s funny how your discovery of new bands seems to take you on strange geographical trips, both real and metaphorical.  For example, I’ve just returned from the home of Rock’n’Roll and the Beatles, Liverpool [real], and in the last few weeks have been seeking out bands from Poland, Australia and now, it seems, the lush greenery of Northern Ireland [metaphorical].  And I’m glad I did.  For one of the bands I’ve unearthed has been Comply or Die, hailing primarily from the beautiful city of Belfast. 

Comply or Die came to my attention because I happened upon a split ep they did in April last year with the excellent Slomatics – whom I also discovered because they did a split ep with Conan, who of course hail from Liverpool, which takes us full circle again.

The band formed in 2008, and features Matt Crothers on Drums, Michael Smyth on Guitar and Vocals, and Ian Pearce on Bass and Vocals.

Following on from their 2010 release, the ‘Invocation‘ ep, ‘Depths‘ was their latest full-length album release and it also followed said split ep with Slomatics, 2011 being a busy year for the band.

Unlike Slomatics, who purvey the slowest of doom jams, Comply or Die offer more of a hard-hitting yet tuneful hardcore attack on their album.  Showing a load of styles that range from mid-paced hardcore to low-dirty riffs, the album pleasingly features a couple of instrumentals as well as more straightforward vocal attacks.  Heavy, thick riffs abound, with staccato drum slaps holding together the rhythm through varied changes of pace and time signature.  The style, always changeable, almost hints at a more heavy version of NoMeansNo in their earlier days.

The band has had a hiatus since the release, and I was eager to find out more about what they are planning.  I caught up briefly to Guitarist/Vocalist Michael on what the band is up to at the moment:

“At the minute we are just about to play our first show in about six months with War Iron & Astralnaut in Katy Dalys June 9th doors 5pm £3.50 in. We’re going to be playing some new songs we’ve been working on over the past few months. These songs have taken on a different feel to the previous material moving towards a heavier sound and songs that focus more on structure and riff rather than a lot of effects which the previous material was littered with. I think each release has seen us take steps away from the previous sound while always retaining the bands own distinctive wail.

Expanding on his description of the musical direction of the band , he added:

There’s also a lot more focus on vocals this time around and that’s something that has never been a big part of the band but this time there’s a conscious decision to have more vocals and put more effort into lyrics and vocal structure.

For those of us interested in what CoD does next, he offered a hint about where they are headed:

Were in the middle of planning a tour so that should hopefully see us finally play down south. Then past that we are still writing a lot of songs right now seeing what works and what sounds best then we will pick the best and record those so I’m sure there’s some kind of release not too far down the road.”

Check out the last album and buy it from the Bandcamp site here:

 

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