Hardcore is a cruel mistress. Fickle fans are quick to dismiss bands for being unoriginal; yet music straying from established preferences gets tossed aside just as easily. Most listeners will lump Norway’s RIFU into one of these categories, and really, it doesn’t matter which one.
RIFU get pushed back and forth between hardcore and punk influences. They bang away with more rage than a band like Avail, but lack the intensity of a Pg. 99 or the focus of a Converge. On the album Bombs for Food, Mines for Freedom, RIFU doesn’t thrill, nor do they do anything unforgivable. This new disc is a blistering album to be sure, but you’ve probably heard it before.
Under 38 minutes long, the album is compact – only the first 2 minutes are wasted on an intro track. Overall the mix is good but the rhythm guitar sounds muddy, most likely because they play a lot of low-end chords fast. One of the larger sonic drawbacks is the singing. The vocals can be grating, even for hardcore punk. Luckily there are various singing styles, from hardcore screams to punk rock shouts. Lyrical content is vaguely political, so the words won’t date the album too much – just in case you revisit Bombs for Food, Mines for Freedom in 2020, which you won’t.
All tracks are loud, fast and sweating with discontent, but the best among them include “Sold Out World” and “Come All and Blow Your Brains Out”. If you like hardcore punk, you can give them a fair shake by visiting their website.