Tourniquet is a metalcore band from New Jersey and on their first EP Anatomy Of Obsession they effectively squash all preconceived notions of the genre flat as a pancake. What sets them apart is the fire in their playing and obvious passion they have for the past. Not to mention their intensity, which is off the charts throughout this four song collection. It’s a ripper of an EP that grabbed my attention within the first minute and held it tight until the end. And continues to do so spin after spin.
You’d have to go back to the 90’s to hear some of Tourniquet’s influences, their style shares much with some of the early pioneers in metalcore. The problem with this genre is that once the 2000’s hit bands came out of the woodwork and the genre subsequently watered itself down. The angular fast parts gave way to a more commercial — safe — sound and the breakdowns that once put the hard in hardcore went soft. More to the point it turned into something akin to, at best, third rate melodic death metal and that’s even giving it too much credit. As time went on fans jumped ship and stopped paying attention, band’s got softer, and metalcore became an unrecognizable shell of itself.
Enter Tourniquet to right the ship. The furious speed that surfaces in “Lacerate” reaches near grind levels. The slower but no less punishing tempo in “Ruins Of Distress” leans heavily on the brute force of hardcore. And the breakdowns? Look no further than “One Sixteen”. Pouncing out of the gate with a Converge like rush of explosive guitars and double time drumming then settling into the kind of breakdown that hasn’t been heard since before metalcore went downhill. For such a young band they have an immense level of control in the tension and release through each track. But also the songwriting is that of a band with far more miles behind it. No Mary Poppins lyrics here, they opt instead to dive deep into humanity and expose some cold hard truths veiled in their lyrics. Their live show is equally incendiary, check out this footage (here) shot at The Barbary in PA, courtesy of hate5six.com.
On Anatomy Of Obsession, Tourniquet start their hopefully long career off on a stellar note as well as set the bar extremely high for any band hoping to follow in their footsteps. They breathe new life into metalcore and at the same time pay incredible tribute to their influences. The fact that they’ve successfully combined the past with the present and absolutely own it is an anomaly in a genre that has been devoid of excitement for a long time. The future is indeed bright for Tourniquet.
Mike Fink was nice enough to answer a few questions regarding the band, their sound, and future plans. Read on to see what he had to say:
Tell us a little about Tourniquet and what inspired the formation of the band.
I’ll start off by saying first and foremost, we are a Straight Edge band and we represent New Jersey. We do whatever we want to do, and we started this band to play music that we want to hear.
In listening through to Anatomy Of Obsession it’s clear you guys have a deep appreciation for both metal and hardcore, furthermore an ever deeper well of influences that you have effectively molded and shaped into your own beast. What specifically are some of these influences and how did they shape and affect your writing and music?
We take influence from so many different places that it’s hard to answer this without rambling. But aside from the obvious? We listen to a lot of industrial, screamo, death metal, electronic, nu wave, etc… all of which I’m sure will make their way into our music to some capacity.
The genre Tourniquet calls home is aggressive by nature and this is possibly a rhetorical question but what is your mindset when you are writing and creating music? In addition, the four songs here pack a huge punch full of fire and obvious passion for the music, can you run us through your writing process?
Tough question. I’d say we have a very chaotic mindset when it comes to writing. Nothing is off limits. We don’t intend on boxing ourselves into one sound and I’m sure that’ll be even more apparent in the future. We let the songs write themselves and do whatever comes naturally rather than forcing anything.
Do you have any plans for a physical release of Anatomy Of Obsession in the future? Any possibility of a long player later this year?
Yes, we are self releasing the EP on cassettes, which we will have on our upcoming tour in July with a band called Without from Savannah, Georgia. As for an LP, we haven’t really decided. We’re just going to keep writing and go with the flow. Whether it be another EP or an LP, I don’t know; but I can say for sure, there will be a record in our future.
Many thanks to Mike for his time.
I’d like to give a shout out to @erickjpressman for turning me on to this band and for setting me on one hell of a great journey. Thanks man.