Anyone who’s been paying any sort of attention to the hardcore scene of our fair isle in the last few years will be well aware of just who Crocus are by now. At a casual glance over that particular musical network's flyers , it's nigh on impossible to not come across the Cornish troupe's name, usually alongside those of the now defunct Throats, or the criminally underactive Maths, amongst other staples. Unlike those two sets of their compadres, however, Crocus are happily, rudely, and undeniably still here, and bashing out a sweet and hellish racket into the bargain.

Like the contradictions implicit in the juxtaposition of their moniker with their music, Crocus’ Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust is a record practically busting apart with paradox. Its nine tracks span less than 25 minutes, at odds with the monolithic epic that its title might suggest. That said, the terrain covered in the time is fairly extensive, even if the distance isn’t, and Our Memories… finds Crocus switching up between eye-gouging grind and fidgety post-hardcore at the twist of a time signature. That the opening drone of 'If Love Is Madness, Then I'm Madly In Love', which perhaps has more in common with the likes of Kyuss than any of the more expected reference points, segues into 'This is Pain's blastbeats is symptomatic of Our Memories... as a whole. By the time 'All Of You', two minutes of setjawed and wiry tension comes rattling out of the speakers, it can feel like you've been listening for half an hour. 'All Of You' appears six-odd minutes into Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust.

Of course, no band are beyond reproach, but those aspects of Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust which can be counted as ‘weaknesses’ seem a little indistinct in their context. The record’s Spartan production does nothing to make the listener any more comfortable, and at times muddies the overall clout of the instruments, but of course, with music like this, comfort was probably never too close to the main objective. The band's vocal scrape, too, is hardly the strongest in modern heavy music, and against certain passages it can grate, but likewise, with the screamed/sung duality subject to so much overuse in Crocus’ general ballpark, and such often poor overuse at that, vocal melody could be rendered trite in this context.

Our Memories Dress Me In A Dead Lust, then, is simultaneously infuriating, wonderful, and all the other applicable synonyms and antonyms. It’s particularly difficult to settle into, which as is characteristic of the record, pulls in two opposing directions, proving both its main strength and weakness. However, it’s difficult to fault Crocus on their artistry, and when Our Memories… hits the high watermarks that it does at its best moments, it can smash the breath from your lungs with technical weight behind one fist, and visceral joy the other.