(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
Early March saw the official arrival of the five-song “Mankind’s Worst To Know” EP from Belgium’s OUR COMMON SENSE.
The first thing that sparks your senses here is the amalgamation of genres this quintet have so masterfully blended into their own potent sound. Post-hardcore, groove metal, psychedelia, noise rock, sludge, doom, and the kitchen sink are melted down and refined into an alluring concoction.
The EP appears to be the début offering from OUR COMMON SENSE – vocalist Thomas ‘Wispas’ De Wispelaere, lead guitarist Seppe ‘Seppemits’ Beatslé, rhythm guitarist Stijn ‘The Rat King’ Beeckman, bassist Jelle ‘Lucifer’ Beatslé and drummer Glenn ‘Engelmolski’ Thienpont.
The opening track here, “Medusa“, unfurls with a bit sleight of sonic hand misdirection, as the minimalist delivery of plodding drums and aggro vocals leave you unprepared for what looms.
Some feedback whines into things before a crushing goddamned riff bursts forth and takes the song’s reins. Chunky and chugging, it winds and weaves its way into your aural inlets. You won’t soon forget its demand for your attention, either. Then another unexpected instance of melodic pause before it returns to continue to worm its way inward, along with the heavy vocals accompanying it.
There is no real break to speak of before the second song “Inhale…” rolls out with an abundant southern metal flare, after some initially isolated bass lines. Soon, the groove gets going… rising, falling, as a bit of spoken word is inserted prior to the return of the acid-corroded vocals. They don’t stay in that state though, eventually there are brief respites from the musical heaviness as a more tortured tone is applied to those utterances.
Everything hinted at on those earlier cuts is given the full treatment with “Take The Shot“, an explosive, uptempo rager while “…Exhale” finds the crew taking a bit of a breather, at first anyway. It is brief and far from lasting as things detonate into massive riffs and dense doominess before periodic one-eighties into melodic musical nuances. For the record, this latter number has quickly become one of my favorites from this EP and the sample (which I believe is an excerpt from Martin Luther King, Jr.) adds quite a profound touch amid the bluesy psyche rock that soon emanates from the song itself.
Arriving at the fifth and final piece here, “Sorrow” is a pummeling flood of massive, uptempo tumults of dense music. Sure, the groove is present again, as are the periodic shifts in the overall feel of the tune itself thanks to detours into more calmer, laid-back playing, etc.
OUR COMMON SENSE and their “Mankind’s Worst To Know” EP (at Bandcamp) is quite a killer surprise, it’s always nice to find bands that are carving their own unique sound out of the bedrock of already existing influences. This debut is a monumental move from the band, quite an enjoyable one too and it will be interesting to see what is to follow.