The fifth album from Jud opens at an unabating speed- thrashing guitars and pounding drum beats leaves you in no doubt what this album is about. The tracks make you feel part of the musical process- sucking you in and then spitting you out somewhere in Universal (track 3). This track is moment for the listener to catch their breathe before being whisked away again through the rest of the album at breakneck speed.
Tracks 4 and 5 are the highlights. Daylight (track4) shines through the darkness which Jud excel within. The track stays close to the grimy guitar formula. However with lyrics like “the bad days will fade away” leave the listener in no doubt that Jud might appear tortured souls they still remains a message of hope. Likewise Accelerate sees Jud at their best. The track descends from on high with a crescendo of noise giving way to a song packed with withering statements. Lyrically this is best song on the album. Yet behind the noise the song masquerades as a break-up song with moments of sorry splattered across it.
The middle tracks not as ear grapping as the opening numbers. They sail closely to Jud formula of despair tinged with hope. However this is not to say they are bad songs- both are thoughtful songs built around crunching guitar riffs and pulsating rhythms. Just compared the opening they appear a little lackluster. After this wobble, the real Jud reappear with “What are you made for”-forged with soaring guitars and heartfelt vocals of revenge. A grimy number which will surely become a live favourite. As the album heads to closer the speed picks up again. The relentless drumming driving the tracks on as hard they can. Track 11 is a temporary halt and gives the listener time to reflect on what they have heard and where the album has taken them. The second to last track reverts back to hard rocking glow which basks within the album. “Unless” has all the hallmarks of an album closer- its slightly softer sound with a slow burning brilliance controlled by a military style rhythm.
I like to believe that Jud live in a volcano and come down to shower us mere mortals with songs filled with darkness splashed with hope. Within this volcano the band forge songs out of molten lava creating music with a raw energy and passion. Jud have a zealous and fervent for the music they create which is plastered across everything they fashion.
Despite the wobbles, Sufferboy clocks in with everything- pounding rhythms, dark brooding lyrics, crescendos as well as slower moments to create an album the band can be proud of.
Review by George McSorley