It’s been a long time coming for German Punk rockers Engrained. Formed in the early 90s, their extensive touring history has paid off, with success ultimately crowned with this debut effort.
Surfacing on a higher pedestal, Engrained now have a chance to build on the popularity they have in their homeland and distribute themselves to a wider audience with this rocky ride of catchy hardcore punk.
If the intensity of Black Flag is too much, but you like a touch of hardcore, then this album will probably strike the kind of balance you’re looking for. Definitive rock and roll influences are made even more obvious with the lyrics shouting a repeated ‘rock n’ roll’, but Dead Man’s Hand is a strong opener from Intro, with a bundle of energy that allows one to ponder about the potential it has in an intimate venue on the live stage.
Deep Rooted undoubtedly has teeny aggression and angst embodied within it, which is partly reflected by simplistic lyrics and also by the catchy riffs throughout. This culminates in You’re The One For Me, which flirts with the fringes of melodic vocalisation and raw, street angryness.
A reflective track at the end of an album is always a nice way to wind down, but For All… is about as inventive as it’s title suggests, wrapping things up in a sleepy and unimaginative aura. Deep Rooted isn’t a complete disaster by any means, it’s simply lacking that extra propulsion to spark inspiration, making it an average record.