AlbumsFebruary 6, 20232,909 views

Big Laugh Consume Me


Consume Me
1. Artificial Peace 2. Abomination 3. Square One 4. Mask 5. Animosity 6. Shadow Figure 7. Consume Me 8. Last Laugh 9. Blowin' Smoke 10. The Fall
2023 Revelation Records
Our score 8

2/6/2023

Personally, I’m all for the mixing of genres and taking punk and hardcore into new sonic spaces. Certainly this has resulted in some of the most exciting and engaging releases in the past few years (Turnstile’s Glow On and Vein’s This World Is Going to Ruin You immediately come to mind) and punk’s overall musical landscape is all the better for it. That being said, there’s still nothing that hits quite like a great straight-up hardcore record, and Milwaukee band Big Laugh are here to hammer that point in with their excellent debut full length, Consume Me. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it’s purest form while still maintaining the band’s own signature take on genre, the album serves as an excellent follow-up on the promise of their 2020 EP Manic Revision, also released via legendary hardcore label Revelation Records. All of the elements that made that EP a great listen are present here, bolstered by a recording that makes everything sound bigger and better than ever.  Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it’s purest form while still maintaining the band’s own signature take on genre.

While certainly never straying from the confines of punk and hardcore, Consume Me manages to feel like a celebration of hardcore in general, with slight sonic nods to multiple different eras of the genre. Big Laugh’s manic hardcore fury could be compared to the likes of classic bands such as Negative Approach and Void as well as their more current and contemporary peers in Armor, Gel and Scowl, to name a few. Raging, fast, straightforward hardcore is the name of the band’s game, and it’s clear from the opening notes of “Artificial Peace” all the way to standout closer “The Fall” that the band is here to take no prisoners.

There’s an energy and sincerity in the performances laid out on this record that are impossible to fake, not to mention absolutely essential to a memorable hardcore record. With only a handful of songs passing the 2-minute mark, and many far below that, the brevity of Consume Me works to it’s benefit overall, as the record makes it mark quickly and will stay stuck in your head more and more with every repeat listen. Revisiting the record was certainly a rewarding experience, with additional standout moments popping up every time I came back around to it.

Consume Me also sounds fantastic from a recording standpoint, walking the very fine line between a clear and crisp sound while still maintaining the raw, uncompromising spirit of the punk and hardcore in it’s blistering nature. These songs sound huge in scale and execution, but also never sound overly polished or overproduced, a caveat that has definitely served as the nail in the coffin for the intensity and momentum of so many hardcore records in the past. While nothing quite compares to seeing hardcore music in a live setting, kudos to Big Laugh for putting out a record that comes damn near close to showcasing the same urgency and excitement they bring to the stage.

Bottom Line: While I can’t imagine those looking for something new or genre-bending in hardcore will be blown away by Consume Me, but there’s definitely something to be said about how hard a well executed straight up hardcore record of this caliber can hit. Big Laugh are certain to bring in tons of new listeners with their full-length debut, and it’s no doubt that those same listeners will be excited to see them wreck stages across the US and beyond in 2023 and the years moving forward.



5 comments

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anonymous 2/6/2023 10:18:05 PM

Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre. Featuring 10 songs that all serve as blistering examples of hardcore in it's purest form while still maintaining the band's own signature take on genre.

anonymous 2/7/2023 2:21:08 AM

Anal

anonymous 2/7/2023 2:49:54 AM

I bet that guy passed out on the drill field from dehydration. That happened to me. lol

anonymous 2/7/2023 10:48:09 AM

Blistering straight-up hardcore in its purest form, amirite?

NorthFromHere 2/8/2023 7:55:20 AM

Certainly this has resulted in some of the most exciting and engaging releases in the past few years (Turnstile's Glow On and Vein's This World Is Going to Ruin You immediately come to mind) LOLOLOLOLOL