Release Date: 17 June 2016
Format: LP Vinyl
|VHS Gift of Life Limited Vinyl LP + Download
Gift of Life, the first proper full-length by VHS, follows in the footsteps of their previous EPs, with the band self-recording their amalgam of Lost Sounds' trashy discontent, early Big Black's trebly guitar stabs, and Only Theatre of Pain-era Christian Death's black reverberations. The harsh reality of frontman Josh Hageman's day-to-day existence working on the periphery of the medical field played a direct role in the overall theme of the album. Those fatalistic views and medical themes are on full display on "Wheelchair," where a punk pulse underscores Hageman's harrowing description of a life lived in chronic pain with drugs serving as the only escape. The album continues on to "Hospital Room," where wiry guitar leads and ominous chords provide the soundtrack to a scene of misery and tragedy within the sanitized walls of Western medicine. Elsewhere, the themes of addiction and exposure take on more universal themes, such as on the culture-gorging lament of "Binge Everything" or the panopticon-paranoia of "Public Act." If you've ever worried that punk has gotten too antiseptic, Gift of Life is here to deliver the grime.