Rough and tumble punk from Moscow – this sizzles along at a solid clip with some manic bits of speed and angular nuance. Really good barking dog style vocals and interesting hooks permeate this- worth a listen or three.
Ripping thrash from NYC in that RIPCORD/HERESY sort of way. Blistering velocities with occasional breakdowns. Outstanding.
Straight foward, two fingers in the air, noisey as fuck punk rock in that DISORDER, passed out on the stoop sort of way. Fans of noise mavens like ENZYME should pay attention. Sloppy, primitive, and totally delightful.
Spooky, gothic punk out of Oakland – creepy-eepy dark wave that leans more anarcho-punk (think LACK OF KNOWLEDGE, OMEGA TRIBE). I wish this outfit would do a full length so we could take in their complete vision but for now, I’ll take this amuse bouche.
Jangly, snappy punk from Spain – snotty vocals, catchy riffs accentuated with noodling and layers of minimally distorted guitars. Overt use of a drum machine gives it a heavy 80s new wave, punky party vibe. My guess is they’ve spent a lot of time with LA POLLA RECORDS and RONDOS albums – something about dancing, revolution, etc.
Raging hardcore punk from New York City in a CHAOS UK meets Spanish ragers RIP sorta of way – taking a pedal-to-the-metal thrashing approach, there is minimal melody, and rare are the moments to catch your breath. I can just see a sea of charged up and mohawked maniacs pogoing the night away to this.
Chaotic, snarly, trashy hardcore punk from Birmingham, Alabama. It is a messy cacophony of primal screaming under a whirlwind of drums and wall of distortion guitars. This is totally my sort of thing.
Four blasts of relentless, high octane, thrashing hardcore from Denver. Just go-go-go! Occasional moshing breakdowns which last just long enough for you to catch your breath or dogpile your closest friend.
This doesn’t sound like LACK OF INTEREST, per se, but there is something about the staccato, totally in lockstep approach to the interplay between the drums, guitars and vocals that give me that feeling. Tasty little platter face pummelling hardcore to be found here.
I’ve had three different opportunities to see this Canadian D-Beat powerhouse and somehow have failed to do so each time – listening to this LP I’m filled with even more regret about never having witnessed them. Look, imagine Lemmy fronting TOTALITÄR – catching, energetic hardcore punk that leans more towards the classic Swedish style, though more MISSBRUKARNA and less ANTI CIMEX. Just outstanding.
Angular, dancy punk from Washington DC – its quirky, bouncy with silky smooth melodies and harmonizations. Sonically, think artists like B52s, PARQUET COURTS, ERASE ERRATA or even a smidge of THE FALL. Listening to this is like pouring sorbet in my ears after an evening of my steady diet of relentless distort-o-rama thrash.
Powerful Australian hardcore that sounds like it could have been an outtake from the New Breed tape comp – its got that early 90s/late 80s NYHC vibe in its musical swagger.
Haunting, mid-tempo punk from Chicago – this borrows less from the UK goth thing and looks more towards NAKED RAYGUN’s sense of melody and THE WIPERS’ overall sense of tension and angst. Perhaps the second city truly is a haunted town.
Noisey mid-tempo punk rock that moves along at this rollicking clip. It’s got this really cool trashy, garagey recording style – like the if the OBLIVIONS were playing hardcore. Lots of interesting riffage which descend into these unsettling and spooky breakdowns. Killer stuff.
Wow! This came out of nowhere for me – insanely melodic yet rough stomping skinhead pop jams. Think CRIMINAL or NEW YORK HOUNDS (aka ROYAL HOUNDS) – gruff vocals layered over catchy as fuck, Oi tinged pop. Just absolutely wonderful sensitive thug music.
Always a pleasure to see more stuff pop up from Vancouver’s CHAIN WHIP – pleasantly aggro in that snotty Killed By Death, meets early 80s SoCal hardcore punk like DI or ADOLESCENTS. Catchy, trashy, P-U-N-K which never fails to impress.
Thuggy Oakland hardcore that stomps and moshes along in a COLD AS LIFE sort of way though from a more ANTIFA meets environmental justice angle. Weirdly, one of the vocalists sounds like Dan Lactose from SPAZZ, though he’s not involved as far as I know.
Apparently this was recorded on an iPhone and yet it sounds better than some things I’ve been a part of which were the end result of several days in a recording studio, but I digress. I’m picking up a lot of LIFES BLOOD in the overall feeling here – simple, straight-forward hardcore which stands in sharp contrast to the overly introspective and noodling variety that seems to dominate a lot of ears these days. Four straight-forward blasts which are over almost before they’ve begun.
Rocking, anthemic street punk like the sort that filled the streets of San Francisco in the late 90s. Much like their fellow Spaniards, LA INQUISICION, it’s got massive hooks inspiring singalong choruses while drinking from the same well that brought us those glorious early SWINGIN’ UTTERS and ONE MAN ARMY records.
Noisey, thrashing crusty hardcore that is dripping in distortion and compressed so tight it sounds like it is going to explode. Features members of ODIO and ENZYME for those keeping score.
Noisey as fuck, recorded in a basment on a boombox, super duper raw hardcore from Denver. This sounds like listening to someone’s practice tape – it lets you know that this is gonna be a sweet time when you get to the party but maybe not something you blast in the car on the way there.
Perfect soundtrack for a sunny day spent strolling the boardwalk – garagey punk rock in that MUMMIES meets Rip Off records sort of way. Really fun listen.
Modern, bouncy, SoCal hardcore – massive production on this with riffing geared more towards singalongs, dogpiles, and two-stepping. Occasional blasts of blazing speed but their use is more geared towards helping accentuate the breakdowns. I’m really into the weird occasional lead lines which cut through the moments of moshtrosity and help elevate it to the next level.
Syrupy sweet music that leans heavy on a lot of early 90s English Indie/Alternative. I have a soft spot for this sort of thing – just a dreamy, swirly, twenty-four layer cake of pop that combines the sublime tastes of pre-Loveless MY BLOODY VALENTINE, TEENAGE FANCLUB and a myriad of Creation records classics. The sounds of baggies, trainers, bucket caps, striped shirts and mountains of MDMA.
Disquieting, manical, disjointed, 1000mph thrashing hardcore from this SoCal crew of auditory terrorists. It’s almost absurdist in its approach as it twists and turns, careening about, always feeling like it’s about to collapse into its own ambitions – but what else would one expect from members of the LOCUST, ACXDC and MANX, yeah? FRANK ZAPPA and CAPTAIN BEEFHEART partying with CROSSED OUT -relentless, high quality, high quality, maniac music.
One man, lo-fi, hardcore project from Virginia Beach – fairly straight-forward approach, quick riffing descending into two-stepping breakdowns. It’d be cool to see this fleshed out into a full band as I’m sure it’d be a fun time in a cramped basement.
Raging, snarling hardcore from Berlin made up of some Bogota punks who are currently decamped their – seven blast of moderately metallic thrash in that ENGLISH DOGS sort of way. This release is a benefit for the ongoing strikes in Colombia.
Massive wall of sludging thunder which gives way to thrashing metal which has this overall oppressive, mechanical, industrial feeling. Sort of GODFLESH meets what I would imagine the Psalm 69-era MINISTRY demos would sound like.
More of that ugly, skull splitting hardcore from the Denver crew that brought you CITY HUNTER, PITBUL, COMBAT FORCE, etc. Fuzzy, primitive punk in that early 80s Detroit style – you know the vibes, NEGATIVE APPROACH, FIX, etc.
DISSEKERAD – Inre Strid LP
Do I really need to tell you that this is good? Of course this is good – it’s more mid-paced and sounds more like TOTALITÄR albeit with a bit fuller, slightly more metallic production feel – its fuller and thicker than their prior releases but still that consistently powerful Swedish hardcore assault. Perfect record!
Frantic hardcore from Australia that musically hits those classic Italian notes (CCM, WRETCHED, DECLINO) but with production values that is more modern – it kinda feels like a cement wall battering your ears rather than the thin chaos those Italian legends typically bring to mind.
Raging Swedish hardcore rammed through POISON IDEA filter – its a hammerdown onslaught of ripping punk which proceeds at a relentless pace with plenty of rollicking rocknroll swagger. Think more Kings of Punk and less Blank Blackout Vacant in the speed department but maintaining an emphasis on heavy, hooky riffs. Exciting, fist punching, stage diving hardcore.
Fun party punk from Mississippi (I think) – it’s one part BIG BOYS, one part DEAD MILKMEN, and one part HENRY FIATS OPEN SORE. I love to see more of this stuff popping up these days.
FACE TO FACE – No Way Out But Through LP
The first time I heard FACE TO FACE was on Ben Weasel’s PUNK USA comp, and while in my brain that came out like last year or maybe 2019, the internet regrets to inform me that it was 1994 and I’m once again baffled by how fast my life is passing me by… oh yeah back to FACE TO FACE, this latest release is exactly what one would expect from these Southern California melodic punk rockers 30 years into their existence as a band. Its anthemic, professionally produced, decidedly mature, SoCal punk rock that is far removed from the blender run through a distortion pedal that I typically fill my ears with. That said, I remain a sucker for quality pop and this is exactly that – musically it’s not far removed from their track “Dissension” on Punk USA, which I adore, it’s just all the dirt has been removed and all the edges sanded off. It’s not bad but, personally, I think I’d love to hear the demo version.
Dark and ominous jams that honestly sounds like what I would imagine SAMHAIN or the first DANZIG album would sound like if it came out in 2021 rather than the mid-80s. Is it good – I mean do you like November Coming Fire? Then you’d love to party with this.
Delightful jangle pop in that C86 style – just what the hell does that mean, right? Think UK indie pop from the mid-80s, the sort which predates the massive guitars and production of BLUR or OASIS, but helped form them all the same. Simple riffs, lo-fi recording – FOTOMATIC is twee pop dipped in a vat of sugar and appeals in the same way BIS or MILKY WIMPSHAKE did.
FRAGMENT – Mind Convulsion EP
Pummelling, lo-fi hardcore from Nova Scotia – its dripping with distortion and is so blown out it can be hard to discern what is going on at times as it alternates between face pounding velocity to knuckledragging pauses before lurching back into a jackhammer approach.
Spunky, bopping, lo-fi punk from Olympia, WA. It’s snotty and moves along at a quick pace and feels like something that would have fit in well on those 90s Kill Rock Stars comps.
Outsider rocknroll punk weirdo music from Holland – total 80s Slip It in BLACK FLAG mutant rock feel all over this. Noodly guitars, primitive production, totally great.
Angular Chairs Missing-era WIRE meets GANG OF FOUR on the dancefloor sorta stuff from these Dutch rockers – the production on this is full enough so that it delivers an effective punch but not so slick as to rob it of its power. I’ll say a smidge of RONDOS and All Corpses Smell The Same-era EX make it into the mix as well but I’m probably only doing that because of where they are from…
Rumbling Basque hardcore that takes its cue from a combo mid paced UK82 stuff like 4 SKINS tossed in a blender with the less lightening paced NEGATIVE APPROACH stuff. Its fairly inept (in a good way) punk rock with a hardcore tinge crammed through an Iberian filter.
Imagine a world where YOUTH OF TODAY aren’t quite as positive, SHELTER never happened, and maybe rather than corny forays into bouncy nu-metal or shitty pop, Ray and Porcell took Can’t Close My Eyes to its logical conclusion – that would be this. Fifteen tracks of pummelling, snarling, primal, mind-melting, thrashing hardcore from the brain trust that brought you CHARLES BRONSON, MK-ULTRA, and THE REPOS. No bullshit, just pure unadulterated hardcore the way it should be. Make a fucking change!!
Musically this reminds me so much of a mix of PROPAGANDHI colliding headlong with RKL – quick paced, intricate riffin with massive sounding clean production in that 90s Fat Wreck sorta way. Here’s the rub, imagine those bands with a vocalist that gives the impression they are a dreadlocked crusty with that snarled, strained vocal cord attack that happens from too many nights spent in squats raging and days inhaling tear gas while battling cops. I’m into this for sure – closest comparison I can really make would be Swedish anthemic ragers KNÆGT.
GUERRA FINAL – S/T EP
This is really great – blazing hardcore punk in the d-beat, played with oodles of energy and tons of intricate riffing. In some ways it reminds me of the LARMA stuff in that it never really downshifts into the plodding mid paced hell that some of this sort of stuff can drift to – even when they slow the pace a bit it still packs a wallop. Totally killer.
You know how ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE rides that line between sleazy punk rock and sleazy hard rock for bikers with greasy mustaches? These Danish rockers sit on that fault line with them – at times, there is a bit of that INEPSY style MOTO-CHARGE thing going on but overall, this sounds like what would be playing in some B movie biker bar fight scene.
Total mutant rock from Cleveland – think PERE UBU, think of the weirdest song on a Killed By Death comp and now add a Farfisa organ. This is totally demented carnival murder music and its beyond perfect. This is the most random comparison but if you’ve ever heard that song “Go To A Party Act Like An Asshole” by THE FEMS, it’s as if that song made love with all of SOCKEYE and had a baby. Absolutely brilliant and bizarre shit from the miscreant geniuses that gave us the DARVOCETS and INMATES.
Portland punks obsessed with the pummeling noise soaked fury of GAI but so into DOOM that they mimic the English crust lord’s swiping of the main riff from BLACK SABBATH’s “Symptom of the Universe” to start their own song. I love this, obviously. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s a blown out distorted mess of transistor radio feedback, snarling vocals and the total sonic manifestation of watching a car crash on acid.
Pogo till you puke VICE SQUAD worship – its simple, straight forward punk that brings back memories of the glory days of the early 90s when MANKIND?, THE PIST, etc stalked the earth. It’s catchy, with a tinge of metallic riffing and cool lead lines.
Was luck enough to catch these Floriadians recently and they just fucking leveled the place – ferocious hardcore that hits like a boot to the head. Just a monster of a demo tape – hope this band is onward to great things soon! Stop reading this and go order it now.
Think a bit more aggro, less melodic ELECTRIC DEADS on this demo courtesy of Danish and Boston punks. Infectious riffs, killer vocal attack and it just has this overall intensity that is beyond appealing. I love this.
KARTEL / ODIO SOCIAL split EP
Wow! On their side, NYC’s KARTËL contribute three blazing tracks of killer straight forward hardcore punk presented in Spanish. Lyrics are reflective of their immigrant experience as the band is made up of expats from all over Central and South America. On the flip we have the long running Brazilians, ODIO SOCIAL contribute three blasts of raging hardcore which reminds me of SIN DIOS albeit with gutteral vocals in Portuguese rather than the more sing-songy approach of those Spaniards. Great split release!
Snarling hardcore pummel with a vocalist that sounds a little like Tam from SACRILEGE layered over a Scandinvian inflected hardcore attack – production that is so distorted and overdriven that rides the red throughout causing the slightly uncomfortable clipping experience at times – not a bad thing as it adds to the disquieting feel overall of this throat puncher of a record.
There is a steady pipeline of high quality street punk and Oi flowing out of France these days and this is no exception. Less of heavy boot, stomping attack, this takes a more melodious approach, with tense melodies and massive yet minimally distorted guitars. This is fucking great.
You know how HOT SNAKES sounds sorta like WIPERS but not really? These Dutch punks sound like HOT SNAKES but not really – this is not to say that it’s not well done melodic, tense punk rock. If it is anything, it is that – clean vocals, lots of interesting riffs and more guitar solos than I’m typically used to – all in all a really cool record with John Reis’ and Greg Sage’s influence all over it.
As many know, the 90s were an incredibly dark time for hardcore – metal and mosh were in and velocity and hooks were out the door. A lot of people I knew looked to bands like NEW BOMB TURKS, TEENGENERATE, DEVIL DOGS, etc for that fix of more primitive high octane rocknroll – LYSOL fills that void perfectly. Tons of flair, fuzzy guitars and more than one auditory reference to the STOOGES. This is killer.
Driving, melodic hardcore in that Jersey’s Best Dancers-era LIFETIME meets the more recent STRIKE ANYWHERE release sort of way. Quick paced punk with tons of vocal hooks, mountains of octave leadlines on the guitar and enough energy to keep it moving.
Snotty punk rock from Connecticut with a vocalist that sounds so much like that guy from 2.5 CHILDREN that it’s blowing my mind. If a time machine existed I could see these folx playing a Food Not Bombs benefit in a field in New Jersey with like WARPATH, MANKIND? & CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE in 1993.
Strutting Aussie garage rock that rides that line between 70s power pop and doofy Killed By Death punk. It’s a catchy and fun little slab of vinyl with the title track taking the prize as the best of the four songs.
Infectious punk rock from Austin which takes a number of cues from a number of 80s SoCal stalwarts – think THE CROWD, the Beach Blvd comp, smidge of ADOLESCENTS, etc. It’s got plenty of hooks and I love the vocalists’ attack but I do wish that the recording was a bit less muddy and raw – I feel like I’m missing important bits here and there.
I’ve made no secret of my affection for MURO and believe them to be one of the best live bands these days – this tape, recorded in 2019 demonstrates their ferocity perfectly. Bursting at the seams with energy they explode out my headphones and take me back to the glorious moment of seeing them annihilate Toronto (this is not from that show, fyi). A great representation of a band in their prime – and it’s a benefit to support folx amidst the ongoing strife in Colombia.
Emo, emo, emo – plaintive, melodic hardcore that reminds me of seeing FALLING FORWARD or the later period of TURNING POINT (no funk bass to be found, however) in the early 90s. This is incredibly well executed and I can just see a wall of twitching, backpack and sweater vest wearing punks eating this shit up.
Pretty raw quality demo recording on this offering from these Spanish punks – it’s pretty fast with tons of more melodic breakdowns. It makes me think ROUSE or early NO USE FOR A NAME in how melodic yet fast it is. Lots of promise here.
Total fucking weirdo music in that pyscho mutants in the 80s sort of way – think NO TREND, think JIM JONES & THE KOOL-ADE KIDS, think BOOM & THE LEGION OF DOOM, think drugs – lots and lots of drugs. I fucking love it.
I wonder if they know they named their demo after an OI POLLOI song? What we have here is some Austrian hardcore which leans heavy in the early Boston realm of things – think NEGATIVE FX, BOSTON STRANGLER, heavy UK skinhead influence, etc. I can see this developing into something really good.
This is absolutely brilliant – gothic horror punk in that way of late CCM or WRETCHED but modern, fresh and even more intense. At times it gives me the same creepy feeling as watching an Argento film. Just layers of weirdness which twist and turn at a rapid clip, with the tension constantly building and rarely releasing – making it an almost uncomfortable listening experience. Outstanding.
Y’all heard AMERICAN STEEL or JAWBREAKER? There are two ways things like this can go – this goes the positive way, and maybe that’s because I miss my home of nearly twenty years. Gruff vocals, excellents hooks, references to neighborhoods like The Mission & Russian Hill – all these things are giving me the feels right now. It’s overly earnest in that beautiful way I feel like all my friends felt in the late 90s. Why this band isn’t huge, I’m not sure.
Catchy Peruvian pogo punk with with an explicitly feminist message from Cajamarca. There is a bit here that reminds me of BURNING KITCHEN in how the vocals alternate between this staccato bark to more tuneful melody lines. Certainly worth tracking down.
This is fucking great – you like speed? You like KORO or THE FIX? Shoot this shit straight in your veins. More More MORE!
Pummelling, downtuned, crusty Finnish hardcore – to be honest this gives me more the feeling of early SKITSYSTEM than what I typically think of as the Finnish style. I think this is mostly because of the similarity in vocal stylings and how thick the guitars are especially when paired with the more direct drum attack.
I love this – a one man project from Shaun Filey (GORDON SOLEY MOTHERFUCKERS) with a little help from his friends. It’s a rollicking ride of MENTORS meets MOTORHEAD style punk rock. Searing leads from, insane riffs and a snarly vocal approach – think Eat More Possum-era ANTISEEN.
It feels like Not For The Weak records can do no wrong. SELF INFLICT definitely takes cues from that Boston through a YOUTH OF TODAY filter, just really great hardcore – fast, raw, lots of hooks in the breakdowns… . I’m here for this party, so by all means, pass the popcorn.
Singapore noisey hardcore masters are back with this two track EP – sure its a staticy barrage of drill bit shrillness that works in the same factory of thought as GAI or LEBENDENT TOTEN but on this record we find them exploring some cool neo-industrial syncopation that they hinted at on their last record but also some more dancy polyrythms, which I absolutely was not expecting. Think CRESS, think some of the more out there HAWKWIND space jams. Brilliant.
Burly, crusty hardcore from London – thick slabs of distortion which leans equally towards EXTREME NOISE TERROR as well Liberty & Justice-era AGNOSTIC FRONT. Muscular riffs, monstrous vocals, searing leads, crushing breakdowns – it’s all there for the moshing.
Massive San Diego through the eyes of John Reis feeling on this Oakland band’s debut LP – huge guitars with that HOT SNAKES style staccato riffing complete with tons of rocknroll swagger. A really fun record.
It’s certainly an accurate title – think JERRYS KIDS or GANG GREEN style 1000mph hardcore thrash but the one thing thats weird about this is the vocals. Rather than an energetic shouter it sounds like he’s just talking in a rather bored manner. Maybe it’ll grow on me?
Mechanized, sharp, staccato hardcore from a group of Morrocan ex-pats taking a critical wrecking ball the culture they grew up in – sung in Arabic the lyrics are a pointed assault on the patriacrchal and opressive nature of their homeland. Musically it’s a noisy stomping blast akin to Spanish noise-meisters DESTINO FINAL if they were fronted by CHITOSE from THE COMES.
Eight more blasts of quick and dirty hardcore from Richmond’s own UNDER ATTACK – they’ve increased the pace considerabley since their first EP, though these songs aren’t nearly the blast-o-rama to be found on their split with SEEIN RED. There is a nice wound up and ready to explode sense of tension on these tracks which I find engaging and keep the ears all prickly.
Oi by way of Buffalo, NY – its tight, well produced and anthemic. What more do you want in your skinhead jams? A line drawing of a skinhead with a pitbull on the cover? It’s got that too. I love this sorta stuff, so this is right up my alley.
It’s too bad this was pressed in the smallish quantity that it was because this is an amazing sampling of the current Swedish scene, compiled by the masterminds behind Quarantined fanzine. From the kång fueled, crusty attack of WARCHILD and VIDRO to the more straight-forward thrashing hardcore of EXIL to the more meoldic punk of PABLO MATISSE there is something for everyone here. An outstanding release which comes with issue #5 of Quarrantined, which features interviews with EXIL, VIDRO, NOWHERES, reviews, musings about hardcore and much more. Pure excellence.
I love this series of comps/fanzines which Erek has been doing for sometime now – musically this is varied from grinding metal to sloppy punk and back from Ohio. For the zine we have reports of the first shows back post quarantine, plus articles on “How to bike tour on a budget” and “How to press a record.” Bands on the flexi are TV DRUGS, HUMAN LAW, STALL, LOCKED UP and JACKKNIFE BEAT DOWN.