EP Review: Starve To Survive - 'Have Me To Waste'


Dissonant hardcore outfit Starve to Survive share their intense sophomore EP, ‘Have Me to Waste’

Newcastle quintet Starve to Survive explore an ominous sonic territory on their sophomore EP ‘Have Me to Waste’. Five tracks of pulsating breakdowns and rhythmic changes, a dark tension lies at the core. A menacing atmosphere haunts the opening of ‘Tremor’, as threatening electronics creep in before exploding into a whirlwind of pummelling drums and leaping basses. Looming electronics permeate throughout the track, whilst snarling guitars and harsh vocals achieve the sense of unease being aimed at. It’s not an EP designed for easy-listening; there’s an unresolved tension that lies at the heart of the work, leaving you on the edge of your chair as they push and pull with the texture. ‘Dismal’ conveys pretty much what it says on the tin; with ripping breakdowns, bleak lyrics, and slamming chords, it pulls you into an almost suffocating atmosphere as the low-tuned guitars smother you.

Dissonant riffing open up ‘Back & Forth’, laying forward a solid rhythm for you to headbang and mosh to. At first glance, it seems like a relatively straight-forward sonic terrain for you to navigate as the beat is always present, but this driving force breaks down when you arrive halfway, as thundering breakdowns pull the tempo back and manipulates it according to it’s own wishes, and as all falls away for a quiet ending, you’re reminded of the haunting opening. The sudden changes and brakes on ‘Twinge’ are slightly jarring at first, but it all adds towards the overall dark feel of the album and builds towards the ‘dissonant hardcore’ sound that the band advertises themselves with.

‘Dread’ wastes no time in cutting in, slamming into you with screams laid over a sustained dissonant chord, before it jumps it evolves into an ever-changing rhythmic beast, with feelings of triplets and syncopated rhythms all joining in on the action. Finale ‘Have Me To Waste’ wraps up the cacophony of vocals and instruments in the same unpredictable way as the previous tracks; the shrill electronics contrast against the growling, guttural basses and low-tuned guitars to harness a final sense of turbulence. You’d be forgiven for thinking the apocalypse was coming as an agonised ‘have me to waste’ is repeated. A violent expulsion of sound, the EP offers a look into the potential intensity of the band and this most likely won’t be the last you hear of them.

Words by Athena Kam

‘Have Me To Waste’ is out now via all your usual streaming points