Rough Justice: UK Metallic Hardcore Quintet’s Debut Album Worth the Wait

Though they just dropped their debut album earlier this month, Rough Justice are not new to the hardcore scene. "Myself and Ed (guitar) started Rough Justice in 2011," vocalist James tells me of the UKHC band's formation. "We’d really fallen in love with hardcore during 2009/10 and wanted to start a band to play shows in the local area.

"We wrote two songs, recorded them and released them as a demo just us two. I played drums initially and Ed played guitar and bass on the demo and, when it came to the vocals, I just gave it a go and we were both pleased with how it sounded. Once the demo was out, we asked our friend Harry to play bass and Josh from Malevolence to play drums. We were a four piece up until 2015 when our good friend Elliot joined the band on second guitar."

Featuring a combination of new material, and songs that Rough Justice have been performing live around the UK over the last decade, Faith In Vain is a killer helping of metallic hardcore. "When we started the band," says James, "we were super-inspired by the sound of bands like Bad Seed, Dead End Path, Incendiary, Foundation, Naysayer, and other East Coast, Richmond, and Reaper Records bands.

"Around this time, we also started seeing bands like Broken Teeth, Bays, Splitcase, and Deal With It pretty regularly in Sheffield and Leeds who all had a big influence on us. So, I’d say we had a very clear set of influences when the band started, but I think the sound and style of the band has evolved into something of its own.

The vocalist continues:

"I think we probably pull from a more diverse range of styles of music now, albeit subconsciously. By that I mean we never have conversations about including elements from other genres and/or parts of songs with a specific influence. We all have a really good idea of what a Rough Justice song should sound like after playing with each other for so many years."

As mentioned above, Rough Justice didn't rush their debut longplayer. "Faith In Vain has been in the works for a while and is something we’re all really proud of. We’ve been a band for over 10 years but we knew this would probably be the first thing many people would hear from us, so we feel it’s a good introduction to Rough Justice.

"It’s got heavy, impactful moments, but also parts that are a bit more out there and atypical of hardcore. Lyrically, it covers a range of themes. There are the angry songs to be expected like a lot of hardcore, but these songs are combined with more vulnerable songs about religion, self-perception, guilt and fear. We feel it’s a well balanced record."

With Faith In Vain out now, James and crew are starting the Rough Justice campaign for 2024. "We’re on tour with Malevolence and Pain of Truth in February and have a few other things in the works for the year. Our friend Miles was in a terrible car accident after Christmas and we’re playing a fundraiser show for him and his family courtesy of our good friends Busy Bodies—it’s going to be one to remember. We’re also putting plans in place for a release show later this year in Sheffield.

James gives out some props to a few fellow UK bands we should all be checking out right now:

"Chained Up, Nylon, Divine Hatred, Ruined Virtue, Intent 2 Kill, Manic Aggression, Rat Cage, Stray Bullet, Mouthparts, Ego, Jetski, Halcyon Days, Town Cruise, Big Break, Good News, Champayne, Since Torino, Generation, TS Warspite, Unjust, Sovereign, Disengagement, Self Immolation Music, Accusation, Bodyweb, all the GHC / Northern Unrest bands, Splitknuckle."


Faith In Vain is out now digitally, and the vinyl is coming soon via MLVLTD (pre-order).

Hit the Rough Justice Linktree to find all of their social media pages.


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