The Smoking Hearts - Victory!
Quitting a band via text message is an ever so slightly off way of beaching, but that is exactly how The Smoking Hearts were informed of the departure of singer Rodd Lethal soon after the release of their debut album. Undeterred the band soon recruited Ben Mills to take over shouting duties and have been touring their hearts over the last 19 months.
So far, so creditable but then they had to go and spoil the party by releasing Victory!, a thirty-minute shot of identikit punk/metal/hardcore that sounds better on paper than it does coming out of your speakers. There may be plenty of energy on display but, even with the mercifully short running, the unwavering formula of loud bit, louder bit, dull shouty vocals, guitar break, another loud bit wears thin very quickly. You'll find yourself longing for a bit of relief from the unremitting pounding on this lacklustre offering.