Review: Kidnapped – Nowhere Is Sterile (self-released, May 21)

a3679267634_10Any band would be hard pressed to successfully follow up the short, slamming dose of thrashcore fury that was the Connecticut four-piece’s 2020 demo, but Kidnapped is hardly “any band.” Either they’re ingenious prodigies or they listen to even more hardcore than I do (or both) because there are countless moments throughout Nowhere Is Sterile that briefly remind me of other fantastic bands—Iron Lung in the way the blurring blasts and elastic tempo changes of opening track “Bled” feel at once boneheadedly brutal and artfully intricate; Aerosols in the strangely infectious harsh-vocal motifs and gunked-up gallops; even (at the risk of making your ears bleed from hearing about them too damn much lately) Gulch in how basic power chord plods are used in a manner somewhat analogous to breakdowns—but even as I’m writing the comparisons down they feel somewhat tenuous, because Kidnapped’s style is not just entirely their own, but also tightly bound into a seamless package of musical aggression, allowing them to pull off things like the vicious, chugging 7-time coda of “Circling the Drain” or light-speed cacophony of bite-sized closer “Unwound” without fraying at the edges. I might be imagining things, but the drums seem to have markedly improved for this first full-length effort, mapping the serpentine skeleton of the dizzying riff arrangements on “Pedestal” and pulling together “Herd” for a thrashing close that I’m surprised hasn’t resulted in any holes in my wall (yet). The whole thing is over in barely ten minutes—but it will remain ricocheting around your skull long after that. Best hope you don’t have too much brain for it to tear up.

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