ALVIDA – Negatif EP
Dreamy powerpop from France that’s a little bit 60s girl groups mixed with 70s punk bands like PROTEX or the DOGS. A fun little platter of vinyl and the perfect soundtrack for a warm Spring day cruising around.
ANTI MACHINE – S/T EP
Thrashing metallic punk rock from recent NY rippers like EXTENDED HELL, SUBVERSIVE RITE, CRAZY SPIRIT, etc. It’s a mid paced, riffing, rollicking ride that makes me think of Blackout Vacant-era POISON IDEA fronted by Blaine from the ACCUSED.
ANTHRAX – Serfs Out LP
ANTHRAX is anarcho-punk band from Kent who originally formed in 1980 and released two singles, one on Crass Records and the other Small Wonder. Capitalism is Cannibalism is truthfully one of my all time faves of that era and that scene – it’s a noisey, trebley and seething with anger screed against the cancer that is capitalism. So here we find them 40ish years later and while musically it’s a little cleaner the anger and the pointed critique remains the same. Truth be told this sounds more like ZOUNDS if we’re comparing past catalogs – it’s catchy and melodic with plenty of angst. I’m down.
ASESINATO – Loving Kindness Meditation EP
Off kilter hardcore punk from DC – everthing sounds purposely out of tune and out of sync. It’s a quick little ripper weirdo punk which I find totally compelling.
ÄTTESTOR – Even In Death LP
Heavy British crusty hardcore from the lovely town of Brighton. It’s got this relentless, hammer down approach with a thick production style that brings to mind the shining stars of 90s British hardcore – HEALTH HAZARD, KITCHNER, etc. It’s a thrashing good time with occasional metallic leads which never take away from its musical intensity backing up an equally intense anarcho-punk message. Killer.
AXE RASH – Contemporary Ass EP
One of my big punk regrets of pre-Covid times was missing these Swedes when they came through Richmond. I should have just toughed out the cold I had, worn a mask and partied. As though to serve as a reminder of what I missed, here’s a tasty platter of ripping hardcore punk chocked full of snotty, snarly vocals layered of a pogo inducing punk rock attack. Fucking great.
BARREN? – Distracted To Death… Diverted From Reality LP
Moody anarcho-punk from France – its got that dour feeling that the MOB was so good at projecting mixed with a bit of the melodic melancholy which makes the WIPERS so compelling. It’s a gloomy and gray bike ride through darkened sonic back streets and alleys. I love this sort of thing.
BERTHOLD CITY – When Words Are Not Enough LP
Am super excited for this – raging straight edge hardcore in the traditional format. Blazing speed, gang vocals, stomping breakdowns and just oozes mountains of energy. This rages from the moment go and quickly tears through ripping twelve tracks. More of this sort of thing and less chugging metal please. Excellent.
BÉTON ARMÉ/VIOLENT ARMY – Split EP
Two bands cranky out quality Oi! without a drop of pop punk mixed in – just unbridled street punk aggro. For my money the BETON ARMÉ wins this split but it’s probably because I’m a sucker for bands that sing in French and they cover L’INFANTERIE SAUVAGE.
BRAIN TOURNIQUET – S/T EP
Absolutely ferocious DC hardcore played at 4000 miles per hour which occasionally drops on into molasses stomp before flipping back to an absurd velocity. CROSSED OUT had a vision, this is their spawn.
BURIED LIGHTS – Demo
Five tracks of emotive post-hardcore in that sorta 90s Midwestern style – this would fit in well on a bill with CURSIVE, GET UP KIDS or TEXAS IS THE REASON. Given that its former members of EMPATHY and TRANSCEND, it makes sense. Cool first taste of these sensitive lads.
BUTCHERS DOG – Purists Piss Codes CS
Thrashing hardcore punk with snotty, feminine vocals that remind me of something I just can’t quite place thumb on – its a relentless rollercoaster ride that never slows down alternating from ‘fast’ to ‘stupid fast’ and back to ‘fast but rocking.’ I love this.
To be honest, I stand in total awe at this album. It’s this perfect mix of the best British Oi bands of days long past while giving the occasional nod to the epic, street fighting sensibilities of CONFLICT. No plodding bullshit – just hammers along at this thunderous clip. It’s aggro without descending into dunderheaded dullness and it’s melodic but not pop – more anthemic in that COCKNEY REJECTS sort of way. Absolutely brilliant. Skins win.
COLD BRATS – Punk In the Digital Age Extended LP
Combining these Romanians prior releases into one handy package, this slab-o-wax entices your ears with nine tracks of noisey, distorted as fuck, stompy punk. Messy, snarly and utterly vicious.
DEAF CLUB – Productive Disruption LP
Listening to this is what I imagine having a seizure feels like and I mean that in the best possible way. Frantic, manic, four million mile per hour and totally a challenging listen but utterly enjoyable. Take the old forms, learn from them, twist them around and make them something new. This truly excites me.
DESBORDE – Ya No Kiero Ser Parte De Este Mundo CS
This is crazy cool punk rock from Argentina that strays from the typically pooka-pooka path with its killer shouted gang vocal attack and this swirling keyboard that weaves its way around the stacco drums and slashing guitars. Imagine CRESS but with energy.
DESENTERRADAS – Danzando En El Caos LP
This is cool – gothic, moody Spanish punk which stays more on the ‘punk’ side of the sonic fence introducing enough synths and atmospheric elements to keep the black clad, clove smokers engaged. It’s a really great listen – especially on the dark and rainy day I’m writing this.
DESTRIPADOS – Lenguas Venenosas LP
Steamroller of Portland crust but not the ponderous, thick kind. This rips and rampages at a pedal down velocity with a snarling desperate on the vocal attack. The riffing here is really great – ENGLISH DOGS meet classic Japanese style.
DISCREET – Dead Man’s Line EP
Once again, Convulse Records proves itself to be the home of the hits – Austin’s DISCREET are no exception. Sludgey noise rock that pays homage to early 90s Amphetamine Reptile bands like TAR or CHERUBS or a bit of MELVINS, perhaps without even knowing it. Viscous musical onslaught with vocals that sounds like a temper tantrum at times. Killer.
DISLI – Disciplina Limitar CS
Simple and straightforward punk rock from Valencia Spain – it’s hooky with a cool vocal attack.The third track, “Bronce Antiguo” has this really great melody line in the chorus which I find myself humming a lot.
ENACT – Demo CS
Two track tape of quick paced, unapologetically straight edge hardcore in the classic West Coast style – think STRIFE, UNITY, etc. Track one pounces out of the gate at a rapid clip before breaking down into a moshtastic outro filled with gang vocals while the flip is a bit more ‘mature’ in its musical structures, playing with melodic lines and riffs played at a more midpaced – they’re doing an LP on WAR records later this year which, if this is any indication, should be on your list to check out.
ENDLESS BORE – What Do You Dig For?! 10”
Thick and powerful hardcore from Australia – fast, heavy and crunchy stuff which floats in the same atmosphere as COKE BUST, INFEST etc. The production on this really helps with the impact here – really enjoyable stuff.
EXIL – Mercenary EP
Four more taut blasts of crucial POISON IDEA influenced Swedish hardcore from these ragers from Stockholm. Here we find these maniacs having tightened up the structures a bit and for me, this is a step up from the writing on their LP Warning from last year, which says a lot given that was one of my top releases of the year. You need this in your life.
FATAL – Six Songs EP
Fatal is a hardcore band featuring the original singer of OUT COLD. They play hardcore. Raw, primitive, fast as shit hardcore. This fucking rules. Absolutely perfect.
FATED – Brocken Spectre EP
It’s self described as ‘blackend d-beat’ but this really reminds me of those early FROM ASHES RISE recordings – some of them boys were from Mississippi, which is close enough to Cajun country so maybe they mean ‘blackened’ as in what you do to fish? This being from London, I’m probably wrong – anyway this is heavy, driving and powerful hardcore record with crust tinged metallics sprinkled throughout to add a bit of melody to onslaught.
FAZE – Content EP
Drony stompy Canadian punk that reminds me a great deal of S.H.I.T.’s slower moments. Soaked in reverb, these freaks stomp through five tracks of weirdo punk rock with occasional forays into psych freakouts. Lovely.
FRIGHT – S/T 12”
Thrashy metallic hardcore from folx that brought you the likes of DEVOID OF FAITH, SOFT DÖV, CITIZENS ARREST, DOWN IN FLAMES, etc – more crust in its vibe than being straight up metal. Think about the way ACEPHALIX or SACRILEGE played with the forms on their early releases, this is in line with that mix with a bit of latter day NAUSEA in its moodiness. Tons of intricate riffing played with killing velocity. Great stuff.
FUTILE ACT! – Demo CS
Imagine Tony Erba (GORDON SOLIE MOTHERFUCKERS/FACE VALUE) singing for RUDIMENTARY PENI. That’s what this makes me think – Midwestern anger meets UK madness. Quality stuff outta Wisconsin.
I mean GAUZE released a new record – of course it’s going to be good. Have they ever really released a turd? Lurching, chaotic, maniacal, twisting, rapid-fire hardcore that just pummels and blugeons your skull like a jackhammer. A healthy serving of gloriously raw, distorted mayhem from the masters.
GENERACION SUICIDA – Regeneración LP
Everything GENERACION SUICIDA does is perfect and this is no exception. Pulsating punk rock from Los Angeles filled with slashing, shimmering guitars held lockstep by staccato drumming. Like their myriad of releases prior, it’s bathing in melody and malaise. I always find there is a hint of sadness in their song structures and while there is a powerful singalong quality to their releases, it comes off less anthemic and more like a paean. Triumphic, certainly, but solemn. Just outstanding.
GENTLEMAN JESSE – Lose Everything LP
Utterly wonderful, fuzzed out power pop tunes – just beautiful track after track of earworms that would appeal to fans of Tony Molina, Kurt Vile and makes me feel like if Graham Nash was in his early 30s and writing music now this would be the sort of approach he would go for. Totally stellar.
GUERRA FINAL – S/T EP
Smoking hot Burning Spirits influenced hardcore punk from the Texas – the energy on this just radiates out the speakers and melts your eardrums. Seven blazing tracks of anthemic brilliance.
GRIMPLE – Up Your Ass LP
Sure they were from New Mexico but they sure as shit were East Bay Punx – as much as FILTH, OPERATION IVY ECONOCHRIST, RANCID, Cometbus, 924 Gilman, and all the rest. Snotty, raw, fast hardcore PUNK. This is from the glory days of West Oakland punk parties, smashing 40s, playing as fast as possible, hoping Janelle thinks you are cool, eating dumpstered bagels – for me GRIMPLE represents the East Bay of my early 90s Midwestern dreams. This reissue is a glorious reproduction with the addition of a trove of new images from the files of the legendary but sadly departed Murray Bowles.
HAEMERS – Onderwereld 12″
Thick, thrashing Belgian hardcore – I love the singers gravelly bellows and musically they inject a lot of truly interesting melodics bits to break up the ferocity. Total ripper.
HEARTTHROB – Demo 2 CS
Super fun, melodic punk rock in the style of the ERGS or like KID DYNAMITE. It’s quick paced, heartfelt, a bit sappy and totally great.
HELLISH VIEW – Demo CS
A total bulldozer of brutal as fuck d-beat. Everything cranked to eleven and just drenched face melting ferocity. Do you worship at the feet of DISCLOSE, drool at the notion of a new DESTRUCT record, and dream of FRAMTID? This is your jam.
HIDINGINSIDEVICTIMS – RedEye Reprisal LP
Heavy, downtuned crust from Los Angeles – I feel like if this was 1996 this would have been released on Profane Existence as it has that thick anarcho vibe to it that would pair with a lot of their catalog at the time. Little bit WOLFPACK, smidge of STATE OF FEAR but then there are these occasional TRAGEDY style melody flourishes and clean bits.
H.O.P.E? – Dead And Gone CS
Heavy as shit Portland crust – it’s a little bit stadium crust in that way that some of those more epic early 00s Swedish bands rolled but less metal and more p-u-n-k. Reminds me a lot of that DETESTATION LP though that could be me making that association thanks to them being from the same town.
ILLVILJA – Mörkret 10”
Swedish stadium crust with black metal influences – epic mid-paced modern Swedish hardcore chock full of melody leads, and filled with epic riffing. Like the early MARTYRDÖD stuff or FREDAG DEN 13:E or a smidge of AT THE GATES.
IMPLODERS – EXD CS
A bit garage, a smidge hardcore – all punk. Look, its sassy, its packed with energy, its punk as fuck in that let’s smash shit with our guitars and fight townies and drink shit beer. Oh yeah, and let’s soak it in reverb. I’d party with this any night of the week.
INSTANT SLAUGHTER OBJECTIVE – Demo
Messy, blown out, trashing noise-not-music punk from Leeds. It’s an abrasive cacophony of glued up chaos.
I-SO – Total Collapse CS
Frantic hardcore out of New York from the same folx that brought you HARAM and SCALPE. It’s powerful, punchy and hooky. Ferocious stuff – can’t wait to see how this develops further.
Just give me all your mid-80s era DC/Dischord sounds and slam straight into my veins. Emo in the punk sort of way, not as in a marketing term to sell shit pop bands to college kids. Think RITES OF SPRING, RAIN, etc. I’ve been in love with this band since the first time I heard their demo and I just want more, more, more – pay attention!
KOMINTERN SECT – Des Jours Plus Durs Que D’Autres LP
One of the legends of French punk return and thankfully didn’t miss a beat. While the production is a bit more clean and modern, they still managed to retain their ability to write really catchy and powerful singalong anthems. It’s good to see the old bands still producing strong material.
KAPO BLÖD – On Sera Là LP
Absolutely brilliant French street punk – like it’s so freaking catchy that I find myself wishing I spoke French so I could singalong. Gruff vocals, gang vocals and even some ska parts – it’s a really fun record.
KIRBY KISS – It’s Gonna Cost You LP
This was initially described to me as in the same style as RORSCHACH but I’m getting more of a KISS IT GOODBYE feel. It’s heavy, filled with complicated riffing which alternate into this minor key mournful vibe at times backing up vocals that have this shredded, glass gargling feel to them. Cool stuff from these Jersey folx.
LAST AFFRONT – 10 Track EP
Ferocious UKHC taking cues from early USHC (think YDI, think NEGATIVE APPROACH) much like RIPCORD, HERESY, or THE FLEX before them. Non-stop rampaging hardcore that the vocalist sounds like he can barely keep up with, adding the the desperate angry feeling of the project.
LEPER – Ögat/The Eye EP
Blistering Swedish hardcore punk more in the vein of USHC influenced style of the Umeå bands than say ANTI CIMEX. I really love this – just cooks along with tons of energy and is over way too soon.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL – Men’s Health LP
Gnarly thrashing hardcore punk from Indianapolis which jackhammers your brain to brutal effect – the vocals are just this cacophony of angst delivering a lyrical approach addressing masculinity and the general malaise of existence. Totally great stuff.
LOOSE NUKES – Mexploitation LP
The LOOSE NUKES from Texas not the one from Pittsburgh – while they both play thrashy hardcore in the, these lads play with a slightly more metal tinged style. Late 80s/early 90s POISON IDEA style not like SLAYER or some shit. More mid-paced, with occasional bursts of speed and more intricate riffing.
MAD BROTHER WARD – Ugly Life EP
Burly, buzzsaw, stomping mid-tempo punk rock from ANTiSEEN guitar player Mad Brother Ward. The emphasis here is squarely on the rock mixed with a shot of kind of depressing lyrics to chase it down. Biker punk? Swamp rock? Fuck it, just eat more possum.
MALADIA – Sacred Fires 12″
Mid-rangey yet molasses thick production providing the canvas for this twisty, turny roller coaster ride of hardcore punk. Much like Norway’s NEGATIV it’s got this choppy, abrasive aural onslaught that feels like what it would sound like if NEGAZIONE and RUDIMENTARY PENI opened a paella stand on the Spanish coast. I love this.
MARXBROS – Kortom Punk LP
If I told you that this was 2/3 of SEEIN RED and 1/3 of SPAZZ what would you think this sounds like? Well truth be told it’s a little slower than you would expect – taking a bit more of a traditional punk approach but don’t you fear, drummer Otto still knows how to blast off into ridiculous speed. Lyrically, this takes the same sort of perspective as SEEIN RED. The hammer hits hard, the sickle cuts deep. Total ripper.
I really wish this group of punks from Mexico got a bit more notice, especially here in the states. They released two EPs this past year but for me this is the better of two – boot down, thumping BLITZ/UK82 style hardcore punk just soaked in melodic leads which produces of visions of stage filling singalongs.
MIŽERIJA – Demo CS
Noodly and totally frigid cold wave – think Yes Sir I Will-era CRASS running full on into the weirder more intimidating no wave sounds coming out of 80s Eastern Europe. It’s a mood and atmospheric sonic painting bringing forth images of running down the gray shadow soaked streets of Warsaw. I’m totally hooked on this.
MOONSCAPE – Monolith 12”
I’m surprised I’ve not heard more folx raving about this – totally raging, metallic hardcore in the 80s Japanese way. Snarling vocals like Sakevi in GISM, searing leads, total Crust War style production… There’s just a bunch here which reminds me of what ZOUO and SDS were doing but with a more modern feel. Really fucking cool.
THE NECESSARY EVIL – EP
Three quick blasts of pogo-riffic punk rock that channels the classic early 80s Spanish vibe of bands like COCADICTOS or VULPESS. For a more modern comparison think LA bands like FUTURA or DESTRUYE Y HUYE.
NAKED RAYGUN – Over The Overlords LP
For me, of all the older bands to pop back up, NAKED RAYGUN surprised me the most. I mean, it’s been 30 plus years?! It’s everything you expect – melodic, hooky, punk rock with plenty of “woah-oahs.” Like their output from the 80s its still takes a heavy influence from STIFF LITTLE FINGERS but crams it through a weirdo Chicago filter of Old Style soaked evenings so on its peaks it is glorious but it too often drifts away from the rough, melodic aggro present in their classic work towards a bit softer alternative rock feel. Which makes sense – I mean I mailordered Understand? when it came out in 1989 and I’m a bit softer too.
NIGHTWATCHERS – Common Crusades LP
This is fucking brilliant – powerful, melodic punk with a lyrical approach taking aim at France’s colonial past and the way it reflects onto modern society, particularly tagging Islamophiic trends. Musically, it’s just this feast of hooks and melody with occasional atmospheric moments. A powerful record.
偽者 – Demo CS
Blown out Japanese style hardcore punk from NYC folx – its raw distorted and sounds a bit like a blender being mic’d up and paired with maniac of a drummer. I love it.
OI BOYS – LP
With a name like that, I come to this party expecting boot down the door, thick skulled aggro but what I’m greeted with is an even more new wave version of Second Empire Justice, with not a trace of Voice of aGeneration to be found anywhere. Synth heavy dance music from France.
OUST – Never Trust A Politician EP
Modern Dutch hardcore that sounds both akin to some of the better late 90s crusty anarcho bands (DETESTATION, TO WHAT END? etc) while injecting a bit more of the modern sensibilities and energy to it.
O.U.T. – Cut Out And Paste CS
BLACK FLAG meets SACCHARINE TRUST worship out of Germany – its got this menacing vibe with intricate and intimidating guitarwork that owes so much to Gregg Ginn’s fretboard genius. Really cool.
PEACE TEST – Pry CS
Power violence influenced stuff from the East Coast – stupid slow stomping riffs juxtaposed against mind melting velocity. If I were to have a cup of tea, this would be it. Shove a funnel in my mouth and let me drink it down.
PEOPLE’S TEMPLE – DEMO CS
This is fucking great – straight-forward NECROS meets POISON IDEA hardcore P-U-N-K. Raw production, brimming with energy and hooks, just rages from start to finish. Outstanding from the new breed of New York Hardcore.
PERSONAL DAMAGE – Demo CS
Ok, these rules. Straightforward, snotty, 1-2-fuck-you hardcore punk that sounds like could have been some long lost track on a mix tape of early 80s LA classics. Catchy as fuck. More of this please.
PISS FLOWERS – Everyone I Love CS
Noodley, thick, midpaced hardcore punk from Cincinatti – its a little sludgey with guitars soaked in chorus pedals. Sometimes the riffs remind me of CRUCIFUCKS and at other times RUDIMENTARY PENI. There are a bunch of cool ideas here that It’ll be cool to see develop.
PLANET Y – En Plads i Solen LP
I feel so lucky to have caught Copenhagen’s PLANET Y when I was in Stockholm a few years back – playing a style of punk which brings to mind late 70s Dangerhouse records bands and early 00s Copenhagen punk, they are straight up my alley. On this, their second LP, the song writing is a bit more developed and the overall feeling is a bit more angsty and sassy. Think GORILLA ANGREB, X, the EYES – garage punk but with the emphasis on the P-U-N-K. Super great!
PUBLIC OPINION – Demo 2021 Flexi
Quick paced, thrashy hardcore in that early 80s meets Y2K thrash sort of way. This sounds like it was recorded live so it’d be cool to hear what an actual recording sounds like. Tons of energy on this making me think they’d be a great live band.
QUARANTINE – Agony LP
Snarling, hammer to the face, ugly as sin hardcore punk out of the friendliest city on Earth, Philadelphia. Burly in a Paul Bearer meets the guy from UNITED MUTATION sorta way with bits of Greg Ginn style guitar noodling and hints of My America-era FUs ferocity. It’s a monster of a record.
THE Q FACTOR – Discography LP
Q FACTOR was such a special band for me and the people in my life in the late 90s – super positive, almost overly sincere, catchy hardcore punk with a lyrical bent towards politics of race, gender, nationality, sexuality, class, environment, love, etc. It’s posi-core but without the trappings of typical youth crew style stuff. A wonderful document of late 90s San Francisco hardcore.
RECKONING FORCE – Broken State LP
Raw, straight-forward, hardcore punk in the traditional American style – stripped down no bullshit, mid-paced attack in the same way style as DEATHREAT or LIFES BLOOD. Top shelf stuff.
RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA – IRA LP
Great new LP from one of the longest running European punk bands – twelve blasts of passionate, angry hardcore played at a rapid pace. Think early period NEGAZIONE meets CRUDOS with a smidge of 90s crust thrown in – killer stuff.
S.O.H. – Life on Edge CS
Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in this morning but I’m getting a heavy COMES vibe off this but maybe it’s the vocal delivery. It’s a stomping, ramapaging, and straightforward hardcore punk attack from Los Angeles.
SMERCH/ULTRA RAZZIA – Split EP
Russian skins meet their Canadian counterparts on this little hunk of wax – for their side SMERCH contribute two tracks of dancey, synth powered street punk. There’s something about it which reminds a bif of the NY HOUNDS in the blending of melody with aggro though it’s nowhere near as infectious. Canadians ULTRA RAZZIA deliver us two more tracks of totally solid and catchy punk rock.
ŚMIERĆ – Paranoja LP
Second LP from this Polish by way of Sweden band – it’s a musically complicated and powerful record. Polish hardcore holds a very special place in my heart, I’ve spent hours obsessively listening to the classics (DEUTER, DEZERTER, ARMIA, POST REGIMENT, etc) even going so far as convincing myself I could learn the language… This follows in the tradition of those and builds on it. Complex, driving, melodic, and angular but decidedly punk. I love this.
Slashing, Killed By Death-style punk rock in that garagey, mid-80s, UK indie punk, C86 sorta way. Like if you made me tape and this was right after DESPERATE BICYCLES, before ORANGE JUICE and accompanied by a bunch of obscure bands from New Zealand from 1979, I would be like, “cheers for the tape, all this shit sounds tight and fits together well.” I could listen to this over and over.
SOCIALSTYRELSEN – I Krossade Speglars Skärvor LP
The Kångnave is strong with this lot of Swedish rippers – traditional Swedish hardcore mixed with a smidge of metal. It rages in a manner similar to the early SKITSYSTEM stuff though with more energy to it.
SOCIO LA DIFEKTA – Kreski EP
Total barnburner of thrashing hardcore punk from members of UNARM and MALIMPLIKI. Intense and powerful hardcore that doesn’t give you a moments rest – just go go go! Extra points for being sung in Esperanto.
SOUL GLO – Diaspora Problems LP
I can’t even deal with how good SOUL GLO is – it’s frantic, angry, and chaotic yet completely catchy and compelling. Challenging both lyrically and musically, this is another one of those special records which takes the classic punk forms, mixes them up, and presents them as something fresh and new. Can’t wait to see them roll through Richmond.
I love SPIRITUAL CRAMP – like seriously how can one band be so perfect? Their songs are these perfectly crafted, angst filled nuggets of explosive rage rammed through a ‘77 punk filter but here’s the thing, it doesn’t sound one bit dated. Get down with this shit.
STALLED MINDS – Shades LP
Slashing, melodic garage punk that reminds me a lot of the NERVES or the MARKED MEN. Its jam packed with hooks, jangly guitars and lots of interesting twists and turns. The perfect soundtrack to a rollicking punky dance party. Ex-YOUTH AVOIDERS for those keeping score.
THING – Demo CS
Tense, weirdo punk from New York – musically it alternates from giving off total creep vibes to just straight forward primitive blasting while the vocalist sounds like the rest of the band just kidnapped them from an insane asylum. Perhaps it’s the love child of Doc Dart and Nick Blinko?
TOWER 7 – Peace On Earth? LP
Smoking hot crusty, fuzzed out hardcore punk – it rips and roars and is chocked full of RIFFS. If I had heard this back in December I would have added it to my top records of the year. Totally great.
I love this record so very much – for one thing, its great to see the Dutch kings of absurdly fast hardcore return after way too long. Four tracks of jack hammering, lightening fast, decidedly left wing hardcore in the manner they’ve been doing for almost 40 years (if you are counting their time in LÄRM). It’s a masterclass. On the flip we have Richmond’s own UNDER ATTACK who crank up the speed for their part and contribute four tracks of their own hyperspeed attack. It’s certainly a step up from the demo, which I liked, but this feels like a band coming into their own and I’m totally here for it.
ULTRAS – S/T CS
Burly, brutal hardcore punk – four quick blasts that tear through your cerebral cortex with machine like efficiency. Snarling vocals, blown out guitars and drums – just killer.
VALTA – Demo CS
Wall of distorted sludge production for this Kansas d-beat band. Fairly mid-paced, without too much of the way of dynamics – the vocals take some cues from EXTREME NOISE TERROR but are more monster in a giant cave of reverb than that, if that makes sense.
VALTATYHJIÖ – Lukko EP
Sigh… this is perfect. Thrashing, high energy FInnish hardcore. Just a relentless onslaught which takes the classic old style and updates it for the modern age – I swear the singer could be a dead ringer for the lad from LAMA.
暴力装置 – Corruption Of The Lawful Violence EP
Blown the fuck out. Japanese d-beat punk rock – it’s noisey, messy and everything you want in this style. DISCLOSE fans, take notice.
WARCHILD – A Question For Today...Not Tomorrow LP
Raging Swedish hardcore in the DISCHARGE meets ANTI CIMEX style. Full on, no slow all go, no metal, no funk, just pure hardcore fury.
THE WAR GOES ON – Discount Hope EP
The most depressed and dour band on earth continues to march on! Born out of the ashes of NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, these Danes continue to produce some of the finest depressive anthems currently going. In so many ways this EP has become an anthem for hopelessness I feel in the face of the pandemic. “Maybe we were just fucked from the get go. Maybe we were born like this.”
WHY BOTHER? – She’s Gonna Wake the Dead / I Want to be Old 45
Heavy 60s garage feel to this one on the A-side. Spooky, horror punk in a comic book/novelty sorta of way. I know this is dating me but I feel like this is something that would pop up on the Dr Demento show or something. On the flip there is a great cover of the CURE’s “I Want To Be Old.”
WRONG WAR – Once Upon a Weapon LP
Second LP from these Chicago punk rock vets – much like their prior release there’s still a lot of those latter years of ARTICLES OF FAITH influences shining through but this feels a bit more developed and the band coming into their own. It’s a genuinely pissed off sounding record but still has an aura of hope to it. Another solid release.
YAKUZA – Demo CS
Rampaging DISCHARGE worship out of Greece – properly blown out, ramshackle and packed with energy. The soundtrack to studding your jacket and tying a shoe string around your head.
Classic Finnish hardcore sound played by real life Finnish punks! A snotty, spastic romp of stripped down hardcore punk with total trashed out garagey production. Total fucking perfection.
ZHOOP – LP
Minimally distorted hardcore punk in the early 00s Copenhagen syle (AMDI PETERSENS ARME) meets recent Japanese ragers MILK. Not a lot of new ground broken here – simple riffs, pissed vocals, but lots of hooks.
ZTUPED – Are You Stupid? EP
More quality stuff from 11PM Records – swirling, stomping, quick paced hardcore with this nearly constantly shredding lead guitar bits floating over the whole thing. It’s a bizarre, manic and yet totally fun record.