From the electric acoustic opening to its absolutely crushing final track ‘The Great Deceiver’, this is a blistering LP. A searing demonstration of the primordial punch that well executed thrash / crossover punk can deliver.
Don’t Test the Pest draws on many established influences, but it is not owned by them, nor is it some pale pastiche. Instead, Pest Control have vigorously refashioned them into something vibrantly their own – a dash of Sacred Reich’s Ignorance, a hint of Kreator’s Extreme Aggression, the fluidity of Nuclear Assault’s Handle with Care. The musicianship throughout is superb, and relishes call backs to its own inspirations, almost as much as it enjoys igniting them into new forms. But it is undeniably the vocals that hold centre stage – raw, rasping, uncompromising. It is definitely time to test the pest.
Started during lockdown by three friends from Leeds, UK who wanted to make some crossover thrash, having been fans of the music for years, Pest Control is the classic story of DIY music straight from a time of crisis. Jack (from Death Metal bruisers Mortuary Spawn) joined soon after the release of the Demo in 2020 and the line up was complete with Pest Control’s first show commencing in their home town the week lockdown ended. Influenced by classic thrash giants such as Metallica, Testament etc. but with a healthy spoonful of crossover like Crumbsuckers, Ludichrist and Municipal Waste, the members grew up with one foot in the Leeds metal and hardcore scenes, taking the best from both worlds. Topping it all off, Leah’s powerful vocal reminds one of the great Dawn Crosby from Detente. For the recording of the LP they were joined by Luke on second guitar and now have a permanent second guitarist in the shape of Joe Williams (Big Cheese, Fate) and will be seen touring Europe with the almighty Foreseen, having already played across the UK with Municipal Waste, Eternal Champion and as well as appearances at Outbreak and Wrongside Fests.
With this LP the band have truly shown their technical chops from the fast and furious title track to the almost operatic thrash style of The Great Deceiver. There is a fresh range of ideas and most importantly catchy songs for the Crossover Thrash fan to sink their teeth into. Mastered by Arthur Rizk, who knows a thing or two about thrash metal excellence having worked with Power Trip and Fugitive, expect to have your brain well and truly FUMIGATED.
—Quality Control HQ