For their two album career, The Ghost of a Thousand were perched to become an iconic force in hardcore. Their integration of the coolness of indie rock into their barnstorming riff assault gave their relentless punk charge an unshakable swagger, which can still be heard in the chutzpah of Marmozets and Zoax. Since the quartet played their last show in 2011, the members have popped up in various projects, but hearing frontman Tom Lacey fronting a band full-time again has always been an enticing prospect. With five years under their belt, Yards have confidently developed their approach to hardcore on their debut full-length ‘Excitation Thresholds’, and it’s less strut-worthy and more panic-inducing.
Immediacy is a key factor to delivery on this album, which becomes apparent as opener ‘Future Tyrants’ tears through listeners speakers in an instant, offering feral metalcore rhythms and drum patterns which at first listen follow no real pattern, but exist to increase the song’s disarray. If you can survive the first few seconds, you’re in for a thrilling ride across ‘Excitation Thresholds’.
By creating sludgy textures, Yards permeate their music with a dense outer shell, but an emotional vulnerability is cradled between masses of brutality. Single ‘The Attic’ offers haunting strokes of post-hardcore melodies that fans of No Omega will fall head over heels for, while the terrifying ‘BL-755’ trudges through dirgey riffs, making listeners feel trapped in a confined space.
Unquestionably, for Tom Lacey, Yards is a huge departure from mainstream teasing hardcore of The Ghost of a Thousand, but his gutsy performance throughout ‘Excitation Thresholds’ shows that the chaotic route is one that matches his volatile conduct as a frontman. Leading the band in buildups of tension before violent release in the form of thick and crusty breakdowns, this album is like a natural disaster in musical form. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better sounding headfuck from the British underground this year.
‘Excitation Thresholds’ by Yards is released on 25th August on Truthseeker Music.
Words by Andy Davidson (@AndyrfDavidson)