The number of young bands I hear appropriating the Swans and Iron Lung-style blast and stumble sound is steadily growing to the point where I’m starting to worry about saturation. Crippling Fear also like to chug along before ratcheting into speedy punk and hardcore that’s noisy and confrontational with a standout sharp, pinging bass and tense, slashing guitar. The vocals are all hoarsely howled, and the whole experience nails that reedy, underproduced ’90s punk sound to a black shirted T. Jacob Bannon-style wails war with death grunts atop drumming that’s all meat and no filler.
The Office-checking “Nard Dog (Andy Bernard is a Mad Pimp)” is all double bass head charge, rocking a nod along groove that shines despite some rather sour backing vocals while “Life Support” follows in the groove of Minor Threat’s “Filler.” Where Crippling Fear are at their best, however, is when they start shedding the straight hardcore sound and go for something more challenging like the shifty riff of “Columbian Necktie” or the twanging noise of “Damages.”
This fastcore/PV sound is quickly becoming a crowded field, but Crippling Fear are a solid if rather unoriginal band at this point. But it’s certainly enjoyable for what it is. Download it here.