RECORD REVIEW – ‘Surface Noise’ by Judiciary

When it comes to hardcore music there isn’t a whole lot of reinventing the wheel that needs to be done.

The formula has been pretty tried and tested for decades, but the key is being able to craft something that has an impact.

This is exactly what Texas’ Judiciary have done with their debut full-length Surface Noise.

After releasing an EP and a split record with Mortality Rate, there were high expectations for the next instalment from the crossover band.

And the wait has not been in vain.

Drawing on the tradition of metallic hardcore, Judiciary certainly lean into the metal influences of their song writing – there are even riffs in opening track ‘Social Crusade’ and album closer ‘War (Time Is Nigh)’ which wouldn’t be out of place on an early Machine Head record.

Something that sounds out about this record is the recording production, every song just sounds huge and when the band take a pause for a breakdown, when the riffs come back in, it feels pummelling.

Showcased in the song ‘Temple’ the term crushing may be banded around too easily as an adjective, but that is what this song is, it feels like the band have put a 10-tonne weight on you and won’t let go until they are good and ready.

There is a nice guest spot from Knocked Loose’s Bryan Garris on the track ‘Stronger Than Thou’ which again isn’t a song that has any frills or tassels but does what you want from a hard-hitting hardcore song.

Now, usually I am not one for bands re-recording songs they have previously released, but for the beefed-up version of ‘Pure Fury’ I will make an exception.

Everything about the track sounds heavier and better produced so when Jess from Mortality Rate comes in it just feels vicious and ferocious.