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Album Review: 'Boredom Kills' By Assfell

We review the explosive debut from the Alexandria-based hardcore punk trio.

Its a bit hard to imagine Egyptian punk music. House music? Mashi. Techno? Shaghal. Metal? Absolutely 7aram (we joke), and yet punk curiously never seemed to really have a place in a culture that epitomises rebellious angst.The debut EP of hardcore punk trio Assfell - comprised of Amin Rida on drums, Cherif Herrawi on guitar, and Ziad Ashraf on bass and vocals - clocks in at an almost mind-bogglingly short runtime of three minutes and 12 seconds, which isn’t to say that the project is lacking in any sense, rather it delivers an explosive and to-the-point barebones intensity that's a welcome departure from the overproduced rock albums and meticulously tedious electronic compositions we’re used to hearing. Look no further than the track Elwa and you’ll get the message (or lack thereof) that Assfell is trying to deliver; they’re here to “fuck shit up" – no socially conscious agenda or deep, ‘meaningful’ lyrics to be heard. 

The title track, Boredom Kills, begins with an almost deceivingly soft bass-guitar-led intro eerily reminiscent of early Nirvana; the track then takes an explosive turn into hardcore-punk territory, with blazingly fast distorted chords and screamo-metal tinged growled vocals that deliver an inflammatory intensity few Egyptian rockers can match. 

These Nirvana similarities continue with the longest track on the brief EP, So Much Going On, which can almost be viewed as a homage to the grunge giants. Some of the lyrics on this cut, such as “we had nothing better to do, but we’re still better than you,” make the entire project - especially their band name - seem like one large inside joke. That being said, Assfell deliver their music with an authentic intensity that makes us itch to hear what they come up with next; maybe we’re watching the blossoming of an Egyptian punk scene.

Check out Assfell on Their Facebook, Bandcamp, Instagram and Soundcloud!