Reveling in gritty, lo-fi guitar tone, Snakes’ debut EP is an open display of the bands’ taste for blood. From the very first seconds of “Thin the Herd,” the listener is crippled by piercing feedback. After a quick 4/4 count, Snakes rips through a minute and a half of heavy, vitriolic hardcore, complemented by barking vocals and pin drop-precise drums, making for a killer opening track, and the kind of mood-setter that makes you want kick a hole in your mom’s drywall.

“Cold and Lost” is a sludgy, bass-led jam that is sure to have every head bobbing along for the first minute, before picking up the pace and diving into a thrashing, dark hardcore riff a la Young And In The Way or Cursed. Their drummer really does a fantastic job on this album, by perfecting every hit, keeping the mood dark and brooding and the listener on the edge of their seat—knowing that he could switch it up at any time. Subtle, not show-boating, this is kick ass.

The title track spans their inventory, so to speak, giving us a mere 56 seconds of riff-heavy, solid-as-a-rock, dark hardcore. This song is reminiscent of Ringworm’s “Consumed” in the two most-important ways: it’s darker than hell, and it’s the first song I’ve heard since “Consumed” that actually made me love dark hardcore. A lot of bands try, but Snakes gets it.

There’s a million things I could say about “Confined,” but holy shit, you need to listen to it for yourself. At 1:28, I didn’t fucking know what to do with myself. Out of nowhere, this song just became my favorite dark hardcore song of the last decade.

This EP is fucking great. Parts of it were a little too derivative, but they derived it from the best bands in their respective genre; so, who the hell can blame them? Overall, incredible debut. Can’t wait to see what these guys do next.