Hard To Swallow – self-titled LP
The mid 1990s wasn’t the best period for DIY music in the UK. There were scatterings of goodness, sometimes even greatness – Baby Harp Seal, Dead Wrong, Fabric, Broccoli and Bob Tilton come to mind (early Bob Tilton, tho, when they combusted on stage in a wild Born Against style). But for me, it was Nottingham’s Hard To Swallow that stood out severed head and shoulders above the rest. And for heaviness. You can always rely on the Midlands for heaviness. Heaviness with violent, intense overtones. Which is exactly what HTS delivered. No disrespect to the later lineup that recorded the album Protected By The Ejaculation Of Serpents of 1998, but it was all about the first demo recording of ’95 – the tracks that ended up spread amongst the early split 7″ records and compilation appearances. Which is what this 2019 release mainly consists of: twelve tracks of prime Hard To Swallow. A stomping whirlwind of Extreme Noise Terror dual vocals with wild Kyuss-style stoner-rock breakdowns (mental jazzy basslines!) interspaced with ferocious Neanderthal-style power violence. Yeah, I could run through the long list of connected bands… but do your own fucking homework.