Review: Ithaca – The Language Of Injury

You’ve already heard of Ithaca. And if you haven’t you will soon. The knowledge that they were the next cab off the rank at Holy Roar Records was enough to generate huge anticipation and the debut album has now arrived.

It would be an exaggeration to call The Language Of Injury a hype record, but it dropped into a scene that was champing at the bit. And it might very well be the best potential that London metallic hardcore has to offer.

‘New Covenant’ clears up any confusion about what Ithaca’s debut might have in store, starting with the kind of screeching feedback that either gets you going or puts you off, and meandering through everything that’s great about the British scene in 2019: riffs and brutality, and the space to suffer them.

The screech is a hallmark of The Language Of Injury, one of the many hints at whence Ithaca’s myriad influences are sourced. There’s Code Orange and there’s Converge and there’s a shitload in between.

But when it comes to landing blows the riffs are where it’s at. The brilliant ‘Impulse Crush’ has more than its fair share and the title track, well, it’s a fucking rager.

There’s already much more to Ithaca’s game than brute force. ‘Slow Negative Order’ demonstrates craft and sounds glorious – see also the aforementioned ‘The Language Of Injury’.

Ithaca share with the very best bands of their ilk the ability to lace their songs with depth and glitches and clever little touches all at once.

From the haunting clean vocals knocked back in the mix throughout, to the familiar metallic chug of ‘Clsr.’ and ‘Youth vs Wisdom’, there’s always something vice-gripping your attention.

The prevailing view seems to be that Ithaca have a big future and a classic record in their locker, and that The Language Of Injury is only part of the way there. I think it’s better than that. And if they can progress from here, the sky’s the limit.

The Language Of Injury is out now on Holy Roar Records.

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Chris Nee