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Battalions : Nothing To Lose

An unadventurous 2016 debut from UK's Battalions, swiftly eclipsed by their sophomore follow-up.

UK Sludge mongers Battalions come from a (really) long line of filthy acts and grubby, bluesy ne'er-do-wells. (Gurt, Slabdragger, Diesel King, et al.) Which, perhaps, is a problem. Battalions' own take on this sort of straight down the middle, no nonsense, jugular baiting cacophony with its Hardcore vocals, a few rehashed Eyehategod riffs scattered about, and heavy Stoner pretensions has, it must be said, been done to death. And then some. Complete the picture with plaid shirts, baseball caps, some rather serious looking beards along with a healthy dose of hop-based beverages, and the only question remaining is to the musical quality of 'Nothing to Lose'...

Well, it's not bad, but overall its not too good either. I think their follow up 'Moonburn' is far, far better and actually a rather fine sounding, superior beast. That said, with more and more listens 'Nothing to Lose' does thankfully seem to relinquish some of its rather generic charm in certain places and become a curious thing in and of itself. For example, 'Blood Bed' at first glance appears to be a rather crass reworking of 'Supernaut' but over time the song creates a vile stench all of it's own, and knocks you flat out in the process. Elsewhere, and rather unfortunately, all the good work is undone with naff song titles like 'Shitstorm Troopers', along with too much obvious musical bludgeoning and plenty of unremarkable riffs which seem to pepper the majority of the album.

'Whiskey and Wine' might be the defining moment here. Combining a thoroughly mundane opening section with a fantastic bluesy midriff that would have Eyehategod asking for royalties, you get the feeling this was a band trying rather gingerly to find its feet. There's some real promise in there, but they don't seem to be able to harness it to any great effect for much of the record, which they most assuredly do on the follow up. As such though, there's nothing wrong with 'Nothing to Lose' but generally speaking you'd be better served by any of the other bands listed earlier. That is unless you want to skip straight to Battalions' aforementioned sophomore outing 'Moonburn', where I think you will find a far better sounding and more or less fully formed unit waiting confidently to slap you sideways into the middle of next week. Happy Days.

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Reviewer's rating: 5/10


Tracklist :
1. A Coward's Manifesto
2. Hood Up Knives Out
3. You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Sons And Your Souls
4. Whiskey And Wine
5. Blood Bed
6. Bog Faced Roy
7. Deadbeat Dad Beat Dead
8. Shitstorm Troopers

Duration : Approx. 28 minutes

Visit the Battalions bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-02-13 by Matt Halsey
Rotten Copper
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