If opening salvo RIP comes at the listener like a train crashing headlong through the worse storm in living memory whilst the brakeman plays early Black Sabbath tunes on broken bagpipes, at least you can’t say that you haven’t been warned. Consider it the shot across the bows, the challenge to the listener, the initiation ceremony. Pass the test and what lies beyond is a loud and uncompromising, redlining ride through grinding riffs, thundering bass lines and relentless backbeats that skins punk of its feathers, boils hardcore down to its bones, hones the jagged edges of garage rock and shows metal that you can make the most dramatic and dynamic sounds from often the simplest of elements.
It also reminds us of the musical heart that was beating at the inception of grunge before too many of its musical travellers set their sights on a stadium career, not least because Admission was recorded in Dave Grohl’s now legendary 606 studio on the very desk that concocted Nevermind.
But one analogue desk and a dash of pathos do not an album make. Dearly Beloved works because although they shed blood, sweat and beers to forge this unholy sound like primal musical blacksmiths, as they do so the melody of the hammer strokes beat out a raucous melody. It may be cold, hard and brutal but within a couple of tracks it will have infected your psyche and by the end of the album you will either want form a band and go on the road with them or possibly invade a small country. Win win.