Volunteers : Know Yourself

Volunteers are the UK's most positive hardcore band around at the moment. Regressing back to the old school hardcore sound, which I like to refer to as 'round-a-bout' music; fast, aggressive, and a bit repetitive. Featuring members of hardcore punks 'Mouse and Chevette', Volunteers give the listener 15 tracks of that DIY ethos that the South Coast is renowned for.

'Know Yourself' is Volunteers' 2nd full length release and is intoxicated with the daily requirements everybody needs before a 10 hour shift at work. The cover work of the album seems to be stolen from the Asian-Man record sampler released a couple of years back.

Ethics and social politics are major themes in the band's songs. One word titled songs such as 'Love' and 'Fighting' open up ideas and problems that face the band in everyday life, for example, the song 'Travelling' asks; is it really worth polluting the earth just to see things you see in the pictures? The rhymes the band incorporate into their messages are simple but indeed very clever and easy to remember.

Musically, this album is amazingly average. This sound is obviously quite deliberate since the band prioritise their messages over the technicality of their music. Volunteers' music would be great live and fun to pit with, there's nothing better at a hardcore show than a fast band who can keep time together and play at an aggressive rate without having to have a breakdown in the middle of a song.

The production of the CD is anything but a disaster. Volunteers have a sound that would be hard to capture on CD and is prone to being a complete failure, luckily Kay Buckham has engineered the sound to near perfection.

Overall, Volunteers are a band playing something that they feel is needed in a music scene that is increasingly becoming inebriated with bands who play in Drop C# and sing about girls. The 4 piece are certainly at the forefront of a brewing musical revolution.

Luke Digweed (!), Room 13 website