I received the reissue of "Shooting Blanks & Pills" from Parisian quintet Cowards some time in the past year or so. I didn't do a review for it. I don't remember my excuse, but I'm sure it was good. So now that I have a promo for their new LP, "Rise To Infamy," I thought maybe I'd give them the press they deserved. However, this bad boy has already been out for about a month, but as I write this I am also eating a container of watermelon that had an expiration date of yesterday. I am nothing if not consistent.

What we have here are ten songs of sludgy and chaotic blackened hardcore. Okay, I know that is a pretty stupid description, but that's the way it works these days. Every band needs to fit into a genre because....well I'm not really sure. Cowards sometimes sound like a hyper Eyehategod or a lethargic Converge, take your pick. "Shame Along Shame" opens this can of worms and lulls you in a little bit with some of the doomy riffs at the end of it's six minute run time. From here on out Cowards get a little more spastic. Their faster songs make me feel a little claustrophobic with the sheer amount of noise they pack into their sound. It is the sludge and doom ridden parts that give me a chance to breathe a little and that is when I like Cowards best. That isn't to say that they get worse with speed, it all sounds good, I just find myself liking the slower parts better.

This release was handled by three(!) different labels and is available on multiple formats, as well as free to stream, which I'll include below. That level of label interest is entirely warranted though. Cowards present an unsettling group of songs on "Rise To Infamy" that I don't recommend listening to if you're enjoying your day.