Hardcore bands don’t tend to age well, which means there aren’t a lot of bands in the style you could describe as “institutions.” Cleveland’s Ringworm are among the few active hardcore bands that fit the bill, though purists might object — a sizable chunk of their DNA comes from thrash metal. (This might be the secret to their longevity, as metal bands tend to have better luck keeping their blades sharp over the years.) Aside from a five-year hiatus in the late ’90s, Ringworm have been at it since 1989, and they’ve refined absurdly tough-sounding stompfests down to a science during the interval since. The upcoming Snake Church brings the official Ringworm LP count up to eight. Unsurprisingly, the band has chosen not to change horses midstream. That’s a good thing! You can’t be an institution if you’re not reliable.
The title track for Snake Church appeared with a minimalist music video in tow a few weeks ago. Today we’ve got a follow-up in the form of “Shades Of Blue,” which slows the band’s razorwire whipping to a South Of Heaven crawl. The Don Tyler-directed video is a bit of a novelty in that it’s a (creepy and corpsey) narrative continuation of one of Ringworm’s few past music videos, specifically the clip that accompanied 2005 fan favorite “Justice Replaced By Revenge.” It’s a little uncomfortable to watch, but Ringworm’s vibe has always been pretty greasy. Check it out.
Snake Church is out 7/29 on Relapse.