Poison Headache – Poison Headache (Metal Blade)

Genre: Metallic Hardcore/Extreme Metal

Phil Sgrosso has spent most of his career playing slick, melodic metalcore in As I Lay Dying and Wovenwar, but clearly there’s always been a more aggressive, rawer side to his music. Having played on and off with his buddies Andy Kukta and Kyle Rosa since high school, he’s recently taken the time to focus on their Poison Headache project – and the result is this abrasive mix of hardcore and extreme metal.

Acts like Converge, Trap Them and Black Breath spring to mind as tracks like Conspirator fly out of your speakers, and the San Diego trio- while not particularly original – do a hell of a job of lacerating your ear drums.

Rot with Me pushes deep into death metal territory, and there’s more than a hint of Entombed to the creepy (and altogether excellent) Gray Skies, while Death’s Design is a cascade of crusty crossover: this is street smart hardcore that doesn’t need to flex any macho muscles to beat you into submission.

Granted there are bands of this ilk writing more potent songs, but Poison Headache are a worthy addition to the scene – and credit to Sgrosso, Kukta and Rosa for finally getting their act together and unleashing this ferocious debut.