Volp unleash a swirling eddy of turbulent noise laden hardcore flowing with rock based grooves on their forceful debut Vortex.

Release date: February 6, 2024 | Emergence Records | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp

Volp are a self-described noise hardcore band from Paris, France. Following in the tradition of Daïtro, Volp shares the waters with a growing swell of aggressive French music alongside bands such as Birds in Row, Celeste, EUX, Lorne Malvo, and Tenace. Volp released a self-titled EP back in 2021, which while brief and more raw definitely showed some real potential that they’ve mostly come to realize on their full length debut Vortex. Volp takes their own spin on things enough to set them apart stylistically from other artists in the region. They draw as much from sludge and grunge as from early 00’s screamo. Attacking the sonic possibilities from another angle in this way is refreshing.

“Abscess” kicks the album off with this echoing lonely drum beat enveloped in a wall of noise. Sort of like an empty metal trash can being beaten on at the far end of an empty alleyway somewhere dark and foreboding. Harsh screams join up with the full drum kit and some crunchy guitar riffs developing a rich taste of what Volp have to offer throughout Vortex. Noisey riff laden swampy catharsis. Sections of this record are just so fun, groovy, and danceable?

Fishing for influences Volp cast a wide net. The band has variously been billed as post-hardcore, screamo, noisecore, and metallic hardcore. Here we arrive at the limitations of genre labels. When used as a descriptor screamo is almost completely useless. But the difficult to describe nature of the genre ends up being one of the most loveable things about it. Because like life and boxes of chocolates, screamo is unpredictable. You never know what you’re gonna get with a new screamo record until you put it on and have a listen for yourself. That’s why this style of aggressive music is so beloved and enduring. It’s never boring and has an inherently uncomfortable nature for who knows what sort of musical twists and turns are just around the bend.

Not content with the frenetic sprint of hardcore, Vortex builds up energy over time as it snowballs. In contrast to their fairly straightforward EP Volp have taken a little more room to breathe incorporating elements of post-rock. “Powerless” and “Rupture” sit kind of propped up against one another. Whereas “Powerless” winds down into this noisy drone outro, “Rupture” builds up from a slow guitar driven melody. These two tracks pair up quite nicely and give a real sense of cohesion to the first half of the album.

But it’s on the back half of Vortex that Volp really hit their stride. “Flesh Drift” and “Red Roof” are easily my favorite songs on the album and really showcase the sound Volp has developed. “All the Things” opens with this saucy little breakbeat before switching into the main riff, which recalls the sweet riff off the opening track further tying the album together. I also love the way they have the bass guitar way up in the mix. Highlighting the bass this way really complements their drums which have this laid back almost blues rhythm to them at times. By leaning harder into their rock influences they have come up with something that is less abrasive and more engaging. While the album starts out with the whimper of a lone drum beat, it certainly goes out with a bang. “Razor Mind” is the longest and heaviest track on the album and leaves a memorable impact.

Vortex appeals to a wide audience. Fans of hard rock looking for something with a little more edge and someone who wants a break from the neck snapping brutality of emoviolence will both find something to enjoy here. Overall Vortex is an excellent extension of what Volp started out with on their EP while leaving plenty of room for further growth and exploration.

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