You know you've done something right on a Hardcore record when your intro track makes the person listening want to boot their laptop through the nearest wall. Prowler are a London based five piece who have been an important part of the UK Hardcore scene for over a decade now and whilst it does feel like a while since we've heard anything from them, their new release The Curse has landed to smack you in the face with some real force. This isn't a band looking to reinvent the wheel in any way, and in all honesty why would you want them to when they're this good at writing massive fuck-off Hardcore tunes? There's no doubt about it, this is your pretty standard Hardcore album, but it's a standard Hardcore album done very well indeed.
The opening few numbers on the record grab you by the throat right from the off with Devilman and the title track surely set to become permanent live additions going forward. In a sub-genre that has honestly become so over-saturated it's a real plus that you've got bands like Prowler who are able to achieve the basics with the right balance of menace and power. There are too many bands who lose a bit of sight when piecing together tracks with focus so overwhelmingly towards the climactic beat-down - this isn't an issue here. Prowler have been around long enough to understand that this element does of course still have the real 'pay-off' feel to it, but needs to have the rest of the track backing it up as well - the track No Egos particularly highlights this.
Shared MVP status on this record goes to both vocalist Nathan Jordine and drummer Rory. Jordine's vocals in particular are a guttural cacophony of authority throughout as he drives each track as well as anyone can in Hardcore. Like, he's properly not fucking around.
A downfall slightly is the fact that it probably could've had a few tracks trimmed out in order to have delivered a bit more of a concise impact blow. At twelve tracks you're risking a bit of listener fatigue - something true of most records in Hardcore and this one is no different.
Overall then, Prowler have been underrated in the genre for far too long. This record looks to address this as they come flying out of the blocks with a level of momentum we're sure will continue in to the subsequent live shows.