AN SLUA – How Ya Gettin’ On? EP
This looks like OI POLLOI but sounds like RED ALERT/THE OPPRESSED – mid temp, bootboy jams who just pack their syncopated stomp with plenty of melody to deliver their working class, eat the rich lyrical onslaught. Totally outstanding!
Loud, fast and snotty beach punk from New Jersey. It moves along at a quick pace, chock full of classic punk riffing with breakdown designed more for singalongs than punching people. Honestly, given this is former/current members of LIFETIME, BOUNCING SOULS and MINOR THREAT it’s certainly worth checking out – honestly, it’s a really fun record. Remember fun?
BLEAKNESS – Life At A Standstill LP
Dark and moody punk that pulls heavy from icy cold 80s goth feelings but ramps up the energy level. It’s not spooky per se but there is an ominous desperation present here that harkens back to an era of early CHRISTIAN DEATH or 45 GRAVE when punks and goth were still a united front of freaks. I really like this, it’s certainly not missing any aggression while still being the angsty soundtrack for a dance floor soaked in clove cigarettes and patchouli.
BLESSURE – Ekaitza/sabaté 45
Mid-tempo Basque punk that brings to mind old French bands like WARRIOR KIDS or CAMERA SILENS, had they had a female singer. The A-side is a bit more plodding in its approach but they really pick up the pace on the flip.
Intensely powerful and driving punk from Colombia. It borrows heavily from the WIPERS, early German punk like EA80 and crams it through a South American filter. The vocal attack on this really gets me – there’s just so much passion. A really great release!
BURIED LIGHTS – Modern Ruins CD
Detroit band with demonstrating a heavy HOT WATER MUSIC, plaintive, emotional approach with plenty of grit in that mid-80s Dischord sort of way. It’s angsty stuff which takes me back to summers in the late 90s when bearded bands from Florida would roll through the basement of the Legion of Doom and play their hearts out to way too few people.
Its weird that this second LP from CANDY didn’t have the same atomic bomb style effect in the underground that their first one did – I kinda feel its a more interesting record. Alternating from grinding sludge to 1000mph blasts powering a throat shredded by glass vocal delivery. Maybe the fact it’s not as straightforward, a bit weirder in the way DEADGUY was in contrast to RORSCHACH. Its noisey, messy, violent and just totally gnarly as fuck.
CANDY APPLE – World For Sale EP
I always forget just how menacing a band CANDY APPLE is – just sheets of noise, mayhem and screaming swirling in this cacophony around a steady lockstep rhythm section. This EP is no different – a totally violent brutal record.
CHRONOBOROS – It Happened Near Your Home LP
Spastic noise-rock from Greece – its heavy, careening and disquieting in its approach. Makes me think of BOTCH in one moment and NO AGE in the other. Pretty intense record.
New release from these Denver punx who have been active since 1995 – quick paced thrashing hardcore punk in that later GBH/EXPLOITED way rammed through an 80s skatepunk thing like RKL. It’s got a bit of a metal tinge to it but not doesn’t pull too far away from the classic 80s hardcore sound.
COMPASSION – Pacing Animal 12”
Two piece, power violence destruction unit. One million mile per hour blasts pulverize you skull only to be interrupted with tar soaked sludge riffs that only a sloth could mosh too. Probably the best take on the style that birthed from the unholy union of NEANDERTHAL and CROSSED OUT since the early days of IRON LUNG. Viscous.
Hammerdown, German hardcore punk with a heavy Oi feel akin to recent Pittsburgh punks NO TIME. The singer is a dead ringer for U-RON from REALLY RED at points on this record and it brings me a lot of joy.
You know how some records just sound like a place? Their name translates to BLACK BILE and that really provides a good feeling for their dour, moody take on that frigid Eastern Euro sound. Its peaky bleak and ominous stuff which hints at some of the desperation found on Youth Of America-era WIPERS.
Streetpunk from Equator – I’ve long maintained that Oi is, more or less, pop-punk for tough guys and this release can certainly be added to my evidence pile. Its super catchy punk rock just saturated in chorus pedals layered under a shouted vocal delivery.
DALTONZ “Double Tamponné” EP
Jangly French punk – its a got a bit of Skinhead rocknroll sound mixed with a smidge of late 70s Irish bands like RUDI. Slashing clean guitars with a garage rock production, singalong vocal approach and just enough TEMPLARS style snarl to keep it interesting.
High speed, fairly polished thrashing hardcore punk from Los Angleles. It rips and it roars with plenty of melody and angst though I wish it was a smidge dirtier in the production. Includes a solid take on the ZERO BOYS classic “Civilization’s Dying” and a cameo from former KRUM BUMS and current CASUALTIES vocalist, David Rodriguez.
DECOMP – Condemned To Earth LP
Crust as fuck existence to be found here, my friends. Think AXEGRINDER, think ZYGOTE, think BOLT THROWER, think dreads and battle vests – you know the vibes. It’s a steamroller of stench! I’m a sucker for this style, gimme gimme gimme more! I’m really feeling this release and it will sit nicely on tape for your favorite black clad freaks. Killer stuff.
FAMILLE D ACCUEIL – Famille d’Accueil LP
Ripping Polish punk with a vocalist that sounds a great deal like Nika from POST REGIMENT at times. Musically, while sharing the same speedy, melodic approach of the aforementioned POST REGIMENT, it comes off a little more thrashy and not as tightly constructed. This is fucking great.
THE FLEX – Chewing Gum For The Ears LP
You all know THE FLEX right? Vanguard of the New Wave of British Hardcore, purveours of primal, stomping hardcore punk that is equal parts NYHC and NEGATIVE APPROACH as it is the more aggros side of UK82. Much like HERESY or RIPCORD, THE FLEX takes the classic USHC sound, strips away the bullshit , mixes in a smidge of local flavor and gives us back a powerful gift of ferocious hammerdown auditory destruct. Brilliant LP – too bad they couldn’t get into the States recently for their run of shows.
Mid-paced SoCal rocker – makes me think a bit of BONECRUSHER or early OC bands but without the velocity. It’s punchy and soaked in anthemic ‘woahs’ in a stomping sorta way.
GEL/COLD BRATS – Shock Therapy Split LP
If you’ve not gotten into GEL yet here’s your chance – five tracks of burly, foot to the face, mid-tempo hardcore which just grooves in all the right ways. It’s a grimey, ugly good time. Romania’s COLD BRATS takes a more rock’n straight forward punk approach but through a shattered glass and snarled approach just infused with sheets of distortion and noise. Killer release.
This is really cool – Spanish punk rock that pulls heavily from the same well that gave us the OBSERVERS, RED DONS, NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, etc. It is a bit early 80s OC punk mixed with a tinge of post punk to create this sorta despondent, mournful feeling – despite being hyper melodic. Great EP.
HAMMERED HULLS – Careening LP
Follow up to the 2019 debut EP from this DC band – yes, this is Alec from THE FAITH/IGINITION’s new band and yes it is excellent. Is it the angsty ball of teenage anger that was THE FAITH? No.Nor is it the finely honed tempered rage of IGNITION but it is a document of twelve perfectly crafted tracks which harkens back a bit to pre-hardcore era DC punk. And it still pissed but in that way that that becomes more apparent as your hairline recedes and waistline expands. It’s a bit angular, a bit garage rock but with that feeling that screams Revolution Summer. It has taut, tense guitar work, a lockstep rhythm section and this rather amazing, airy production style that makes you feel like you are in the room with them. It’s certainly a mature record but one that’s more interested in exploring the ideas EMPIRE and MAGAZINE put on the table than the typical quiet introspection that tends to come with age. A great release.
HANK WOOD AND THE HAMMERHEADS – 2022 EP
Two trash of sassy as shit r-o-c-k from these NYC fools – not a lot of surprises here. Strutting, garage rock that’s a punch to the gut and is totally infectious. The A-side is a defiant rave up while the flip is a bit slower and moodier.
HATÂ/BAIXA PERMANENT – Split EP
Two Barcelona hardcore bands – the first being HATÂ who play at fairly raw thudding pace – there’s a bit here which reminds me of OHLO SECO blended up with a modern band like THE FLEX. It combines for a pretty ferocious mix. On the flip we have BAIXA PERMANENT who hit the ground running with plenty of velocity before descending into mid-tempo breakdowns. All in all great stuff.
HELLISH VIEW – The D Beat Chainsaw Massacre CS
Brutal as fuck DISCLOSE style auditory onslaught – a relentless noisey pummel. Brilliant stuff.
I loved the last INQUISICION LP and I feel the same about this new LP – just massive guitars and huge singalong vocals combining for a powerful Spanish punk attack. It’s clean and polished but not in a manner that robs it of its power.
INVERTEBRATES – Summer Tape CS
How I’ve yet to catch these Richmond ragers I’ll never know – just random shit keeps happening, like the time my new dog made his entire kennel disappear and I had to bounce. Anyway, enough whining on my part – look do you like hardcore? Not that metal, bouncy shit but like hardcore – four tracks just totally unhinged, high octane, go for the throat hardcore that sounds like you Land Speed Record-era HUSKER DU or the first NECROS EP. Yes it sounds like it could fall apart at any moment, and no, I don’t think they bothered to tune their guitars but that’s what makes it great, duh.
I really hope you were lucky enough to catch INYECCIÓN when they toured the States this past summer as they were absolutely ferocious live – probably one of the best live bands I saw this year. Their LP is raw, primitive, echo soaked document of that live experience – thirteen tracks of thrashing, noisey GAI meets EXPLOITED punk explosions. If you don’t know them, think classic Finnish hardcore through a Spanish filter – but let’s get real, we’re all just gunning to do our best take on DISCHARGE, right?
Eight more blasts of rampaging hardcore punk from these Barcelona heroes – its a little more metal than I remember them being in the past but not offensively so – its like the CROMAGS demo vs Age of Quarrel, still a lot of punch just a different recording.
IN TIME – Fighting Learning EP
Boston hardcore but from SoCal. Now when I say Boston HC what do I mean? I mean it can mean so many things but in this case this is from the Choke school of thought but more SLAPSHOT than NEGATIVE FX. Overall, a tasty little platter of stompy, moshy, hardcore.
Am super stoked to see this release come to fruition – total Revolution Summer/DC hardcore worship from the is Portland band. Its emotional hardcore but in that college rock, pop sort of way but one that leans heavy into the RAIN, RITES OF SPRING and later ARTICLES OF FAITH path. Powerful riffing, passionate vocals – it’s a great release!
Melodic yet melancholic punk with a heavy Oi vibe but crammed through a 80s goth filter. Weird right? This is a really cool release from Belgrade which leans hard into old Yugoslav punk – think PARAF with TOŽIBABE.
Fairly straightforward, 1-2 fuck you, boots’n’braces Oi, at least sonically. Lyrically, these Swedes avoid the lyrical cliches, instead addressing rapists, pedophiles, and the like. I mean it’s still fairly macho, raspy voiced stuff but a bit more interesting.
LIBERTY & JUSTICE – Pressure LP
Snarling, desperate, and totally anthemic punk rock from Houston – it’s got tinges of East Coast style gritty aggro mixed up a healthy serving of tuneful undertones. What makes this as good as it is just how energetic it is – think of Paul from SHEER TERROR singing for Boston’s THE TROUBLE mixed up with a bit of US BOMBS.
LONG KNIFE – Curb Stomp Earth LP
This is an absolute stunner of a record – just absolutely perfect riffing and an example of progressing without losing sonic impact nor straying so far outside of the form that it drifts into metal or indie rock land. It’s got horns! It’s got keyboards! It doesn’t suck! I know it’s a cliche to reference POISON IDEA when talking about these fellow Portlanders but there are moments when I feel that Jerry A should have just surrendered the moniker to them – it’s not a slag on either party. For me POISON IDEA is one of the greatest rocknroll bands of all time, taking all the ideas that came before them, stripping away the bullshit and distilling it in a vicious, ear melting attack and LONG KNIFE continues that tradition better than anyone. Just a brilliant LP.
L.O.T.I.O.N. – W.A.R. In The Digital Realm LP
Mechanical industrial noise presenting a vision of the world smoldering at the feet of robots. A horrific vision of a dystopian, war soaked future all presented with a danceable beat. I’ve long felt L.O.T.I.O.N. has more sonic kinship with the early 90s Wax Trax universe (KMFDM, MINISTRY, etc) than the punk context they exist in but its that punk edge that keeps them interesting and more intense – have you been to an industrial gig lately? It’s a pretty boring and corny affair – the opposite of this record.
Now this is fucking ANGRY – totaly DISORDER meets ULTRA VIOLENT thrashing hardcore powered by thick production, steady tupa-tupa drums and a snarling vocal attack. I really love this style and this band is no different. No bullshit just go for the throat hardcore.
MAN DEAD SET – Too Early To Be Late LP
Had no idea what to expect here – Malaysian hardcore band that kinda melds a bunch of different styles into a cohesive unit. It alternates between blazing thrash to bouncy mosh but always with this constant melodic undertone – it’s kinda like how VITAMIN X or FUN PEOPLE roll; You like to thrash? Cool. You like to mosh? Cool. Just like fuck it, we’re punk, lets party.
Snotty punk rock from Maryland that kinda gives me the same feels as CIDER or the DARVOCETS – fairly straightforward angsty punk but with a heavy weirdo vibe. I really like this.
Slashing, garage punk from Spain complete with what sounds like an organ. Hella catchy with big hooks – it feels like it could fit in well on a mixtape with a bunch of early aughts K-Town bands, Dangerhouse singles and late 70s LA beach punk.
Dancy, dark punk with a heavy goth meets UK Anarcho punk edge – I’m reminded of HONEY BANE, CRASS’ Yes Sir I Will and that icy cold German/Polish darkwave stuff from the 80s. I’m suuuuuper into this.
Chunky, crusty punk with a slight metal tinge. At times this sounds a bit like a rawer version of WOLFBRIGADE – may stadium crust never die!
Holy shit – where did this come from?! Super frantic, high energy punk from Copenhagen that has that same sort of despondent raging feel you hear in bands like NEGATIV or early DIE KRUEZEN. It’s intense and careening while maintaining a constant feeling of angst and velocity. A snarling rapid attack of hardcore fury.
NO-HEADS – Concrete & Steel EP
Hyper melodic mid-tempo street punk from members of PRAISE and THE VIRUS. It’s got a two guitar, multi-vocaled attack that reminds me a bit of BLITZ right before they shifted into being a New Wave band but with a super modern recording style. The title track “Concrete & Steel” is a banger.
NUKIES – Can’t You Tell That This Is Hell CS
Ripping Swedish D-Beat but not in a dour crusty sort of way – more in the energetic manner of bands like LARMA or SKITKIDS. Minimally distorted thrashing mayhem. Fucking great!
Wall of sound approach to this metallic hardcore band from NYC – its a relentless pummelling approach like sheets of glass and shards of metal just smashing into your ears over and over. A bit in the same line of thought as KISS IT GOODBYE or DEADGUY.
Ethereal and dreamy French punk – with the right production this could sound a bit like a Creation records band (think RIDE or LUSH) but the recording on this is too raw to really get to that sound. I love this.
PERSONAL STYLE – Block The Hate/In Fyre 45
Jangly garage punk that sorta reminds a little of GUN CLUB but through a modern filter – its rocking, rollicking with intricate guitar work and a spooky quality. Two really great tracks to be found here.
PERSONAL STYLE – False Memories/Heartbeat Memorial 45
Did you ever get into THE PONYS from Chicago back in the early aughts? This has a lot of that in here – really well constructed songs that are pop in that they lean heavy in WIRE/TALKING HEADS vibe without really sounding like either band, if that makes sense. This and their other single are really cool discoveries.
POISON RUÏN – Not Today, Not Tomorrow EP
Ominous and moody punk that takes cues from UK82 deathrock bands like UK DECAY and mixes it with the hopelessness of THE WIPERS. It’s creepy and powerful stuff.
More powerful hardcore from this Colombian outfit – still heavy on the UK82 trip but this time with a bit more of a injection of dark, rhythmic drum driven anarcho punk added to the mix a la early AMEBIX or KILLING JOKE.
PRIMER REGIMEN – No Futuro / No Solucion
Am still super stoked to be luck enough to have seen these Colombian ragers twice when they toured the US a few years back – its powerful UK82 influenced hardcore punk taking cues from GBH, EXPLOITED, etc but putting a more modern take on it. Total rippers.
PROTOPLASM – Unreachable Summit LP
Rocking punk jams from Australia – there’s a heavy GITS meets We Must Burn-era POISON IDEA in riffing and pacing. Fairly mid-paced but driving with plenty of punch.
PSYCHROPHORE – Why Should We Care? LP
Mid-paced punk from this French band sung in English – I can’t quite put my finger on what this brings to mind, sonically, but in many ways it makes me think of bands like JINGO DE LUNCH. Its certainly fairly straightforward punk rock but not in snarly, fuck the world sort of way. A bit more melody, tension and spooky vibes.
PUBLIC OPINION – Modern Convenience 12”
Garage punk with a heavy HIVES meets some of the sass of those first couple INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY records. Lots of pop sensitivities without losing the sense of aggro and snot. It’s just five tracks but leaves you wanting so much more.
RADIATION RISK – Welcome To Bad Boy City EP
A bit of thrashing hardcore blended with a clean guitars that have a 60s proto-punk/pysch vibe. It makes me think later REALLY RED partying with some of the weirder Texas bands from the 80s.
RAGING NATHANS – Still Spitting Blood LP
Delightful pop soaked punk from Ohio – for me this is equal parts GET UP KIDS pop sensibility with NO IDEA/early LOOKOUT piss’n’vinegar. There is a perfection to the song writing here that I really enjoy.
R.A.M.B.O. – Defy Extinction LP
I’ve been hearing rumors about this record for what feels like forever but here it is in all its glory. Having been at R.A.M.B.O.’s first show, and to see it go from this crazy concept in the mind of the legendary Tony Pointless to this certifiably epic release is a glorious thing to behold – but what does it sound like? They’ve long claimed that their goal was to marry the street fighting anger of CONFLICT and AUS-ROTTEN with a notion of stage dives and high fives good times and the epic moshtrocity of HATEBREED and my god they’ve finally done it. Yes, there is a huge Vengeance-era TRAGEDY feeling to a lot of this in their use of melodic undertones and massive sounding riffing but it’s well complimented by the singalongs and the gnarly breakdowns throughout the record. I quipped to guitarist, Andy Wheeler, when he played me an early demo that this sounded a lot like their version of CONFLICT’s Ungovernable Force in just how epic and sweeping it sounded and I stand by that statement.
RAW BREED – Universal Paranoia LP
Quick paced, burly hardcore with, I believe, some sort of gnarly beast singing for them. It rips and roars, stomps and grooves. Its a nasty burly release from these Denver hardcore heroes just brimming with aggro thrash and face punching breakdowns.
RÉCIDIVE – Tripes D’Acier EP
More rampaging French Oi – this has a heavy CRIMINAL DAMAGE meets BLITZ influence on the sound with some heavy lifting from Omne Datum Optimum era TEMPLARS. These are all good things.
Spanish synthpunk – feminine vocals, catchy guitar driven riffs with the synths providing more of a New Wave sort of atmosphere than being the main driver.
RIGOROUS INSTITUTION – Cainsmarsh LP
One of the problems of me not having much of a reference point for metal is that I have no idea when bands, which look like total metal bands, reference some other metal thing that is very specific and then I end up looking like a dork. Now, that said, this sounds like AMEBIX around the time of Monolith. It’s super spooky, fairly mid-tempo and just kinda rules. The vocalist sounds like both a goblin and the Baron – take your pick. I’m super into especially the parts of the record where the riffing mixes in a little bit of that RUDIMENTARY PENI repetitiveness.
Sweden’s ROTTEN MIND shares the same musical space in my brain as MARKED MEN or RADIOACTIVITY – brilliant crafters of tense pop songs which dwell in a garage punk context but have enough extra there to appeal to those outside of the genre. While their jagged, slashing guitar work finds it home in that space there is much on this new LP which owes a great debt to the moodiness and edginess to be found on Three Imaginary Boys or Seventeen Seconds era CURE. It’s a brilliant LP all in all.
SAVAGEHEADS – Service To Your Country LP
UK82 alert! I’m a sucker for this kinda stuff – punchy, quick paced, singalong punk that takes cues from PARTISANS, ABRASIVE WHEELS, etc. In someways this sorta sound was foundational for a lot of early USHC and its cool to see it current hardcore kids playing with this sound in the US. This rules.
SAVE OUR CHILDREN/STUNTED YOUTH – Tour Tape CS
Two Texas bands – I was lucky to catch them this past summer and boy howdy did they bring the party! And by party I mean 1000mph, sloppy, intense early 80s USHC thrash. Think KORO, think LOOSE NUKES, think the first DRI record, think NOSFERATU. Total rippers.
You see, part of the problem with a lot of D-beat hardcore punk is that it just sort of plods along and this boring, sluggish pace and has no energy. This is not that – North Carolina’s SCARECROW, in sharp contrast, are a fucking juggernaut of feriocious noise-not-music that just rips and claws at your throat and never lets. Total jackhammer to the face, raw as fuck tracks of energetic earworms that just rampage inside your brain with infectious breakdowns and speed. All killer no filler.
Holy shit – this rules! Hardcore punk thats heavy on the freak sauce – thrashing metronome drumming approach layered under some of the most interesting guitar work I’ve heard in ages all providing a back drop a snarling, intense vocal delivery. You know how the first DIE KREUZEN LP makes your head explode? This doesn’t sound like that but it feels like that, if that makes sense.
Rampaging USHC in the classic style – a total ripping, thrashing good time. Think No Way Records, think AMDI PETERESENS ARME, think the early years of Dischord records. Absolutely ruling.
SICK THOUGHTS – Heaven Is No Fun LP
This sounds like RIKK AGNEW’s All By Myself but it doesn’t sound like it, if that makes any sense. It’s slashing, rampaging garage rock with a heavy OC early 80s vibe, filled with snotty vocals, perfect riffing and tons of just pure unadulterated rocking. Its a near perfect album chocked full of brain worms making for a totally fun, infectious record. More please!
THE SLOW DEATH – Casual Majesty LP
A bit of a pop-punk supergroup here with people who have done time in SOVIETTES, DILLINGER FOUR, THE ERGS, etc. It’s got that overly clean modern pop-punk production that takes a minute for my ears to adjust to but it is a record soaked in hooks, massive riffs and plenty of angst – think later LEATHERFACE and the good LEMONHEADS stuff with a smidge of early GASLIGHT ANTHEM.
This rules – for the most part, it’s rampaging fastcore but it’s not just generic paddle-trash because this shit gets weird really fast. You want a country part? Why not?! You want some crazy noodley art punk guitar riffing? Sure thing! It’s complicated and super interesting but not in a way that is annoying – it’s a cohesive, brilliant and totally unique record. Top shelf weirdo jams!
This is fucking beautiful – harsh as shit, wall of sound, distorted as all get out, raw punk from right here in Richmond. It’s super high energy, thrashing noise that just absolutely pummels your brain backing up a vicious snarly vocal onslaught. Get on this party train now!
Raging sophomore EP from these UK punks – a ripping combination of the best elements of old school USHC and Swedish thrash which creates a tasty brew. Totally hammering hardcore that delviers at a relentless pace.
SUBVERSIVE RITE – The End Is Near CS
Gig only tape – I assume a lot of you have heard them by now but for the uninitiated, NYC’s SUBVERSIVE RITE fills that late 80s UK stenchcore void in your heart just so very perfectly. It’s a little metal in a SACRILEGE sort of way where its still rooted in thrashy hardcore but isn’t afraid to add some elements of doom or even a smidge of goth.
SUKOB – Tvoje Misli Su Nečija Umjetnost LP
Rampaging hardcore punk that leans heavy into more the classic thrashing Swedish hardcore sound that occasional slams into a mid-tempo stomp backing up a snarling pissed off vocal attack by someone who sounds like they’ve been gargling glass. Reminds me a bit of early SKITKIDS.
SUFFOCATOR – Rotting Existence CS
Slow, churning metallic crusty sounds from this Salt Lake City group – there’s a lot here that takes me back to Profane Existence favorites CHRISTDRIVER or Swedish legends COUNTERBLAST. It just churns and grinds in this sort of ominous, mournful manner with occasional bursts of speed. Nice first taste.
SYNDROME 81 – Prisons Imaginaire LP
While I hate ranking releases in terms of best or second best or whatever if I had to pick a leading contender for best album of the year, SYNDROME 81’s release is certainly at the top of the pile. Still owing a lot to the influence of bands like CAMERA SILENS and KOMITERN SECT, this LP sees these punks ramping up the dissonant melody, creating a moody anthemic and almost chilly sonic approach. It’s a powerful, melodious take on the classic sound which they make their own. A perfect record.
UNDER ATTACK – Mercy Killing EP
More speedy hardcore tracks from these Richmond mutants – this offering is a little slower than the split with SEEIN RED but still manage to rip through all seven songs in about eight minutes with most of that time taken up by the the final track which a bit of writhing slog.
Despondent yet a bit sugary gothic pop from California’s Inland Empire – I really enjoy this record in just how moody but infectious it is, pop that makes you feel good about feeling bad, perhaps? It’s a fairly intense yet ethereal record; there’s a lot here that reminds me of some of the dark wave stuff coming out of Oakland a few years back which I totally adored. Outstanding.
Stompy Swedish hardcore saturated in oodles of chorus effects and a bit of noise adding to a sense of unease. On the one hand, its a fairly straightforward snarly approach but it has a sense of unease injected into the overall feeling. Spooky and intense stuff. Go get it!
Swedish raw-as-fuck, DISCHARGE style hardcore but from Chicago. Five tracks of primitive d-beat noise not music.
WAR/PLAGUE – Manifest Ruination LP
Epic and heavy crust from these Minneapolis ragers. Rampaging metallic blasts in the tradition of MISERY, AXEGRINDER, with a smidge of early TRAGEDY stadium crust vibes. A totally massive take on a classic sound that is just totally pummeling. While they’ve been a band for around fifteen years with a sizable stack of releases under their belt I honestly find this one to be the most impressive – it’s more focussed in its approach and conscious in its song writing. Great stuff.
I’m biased here as I basically WARTHOG is currently the best hardcore band going in the US. This EP is a testament to just how powerful they are as a band. Certainly it has more metallic undertones than their prior releases but I can’t deny just how crushing the riffs are, how infectious they are and effectively they are delivered to your brain. Just the perfect juggernaut of hardcore power.
WOLFBRIGADE – Anti-Tank Dogs EP
I’m a sucker for all things WOLFBRIGADE and how they are always just this total skull crushing onslaught of d-beat hardcore melded with a tinge of metal. On this new EP we find them continuing down the path of exploration of the motor-charge sound with the A-side being two blasts of hammer to the face fury and the flip slowing down for a bit more of a gloomy doomy mind melting stomp. Great stuff as usual!
WOODSTOCK 99 – Super Gremlin LP
Brilliantly chaotic, nihilistic hardcore from Cleveland that borrows heavy from that city’s well known love of powerful Japanese hardcore thrash like LIP CREAM and combines it the land of cleve’s panache for weirdo psych rock and 70s heavy guitar jams. Its frenetic auditory onslaught of mayhem and power. It’s like POISON IDEA jamming with HAWKWIND while smoking crank with ZOUO.
Rampaging, raw hardcore punk from Oakland. Lots of hooks and breakdowns splicing up the speedy delivery filled with tons of energy. A great first taste.
YAMBAG – Strength in Nightmares EP
Absolutely savage harcore from Cleveland – 1000mph relentless thrash spread over seven tracks. Just a totally unhinged aural assault to your ears. Stop fucking around and just get down.
YLEISET SYYT – Toisten Todellisuus LP
Super amped that the braintrust over at Sorry State is making this modern Finnish band’s releases easily available in the good old USA in an easy to get omnibus LP compiling their 2019 and 2021 singles. But what do they sound like!? Its that classic early 80s Finnish hardcore sound exemplified by LAMA, APPENDIX, etc but with a sweet mix of the manic mania that made early NECROS or THE FIX so great. A raw, slightly disjointed, thrashing good time!
ZERO TOLERANCE – Purificación CS
Heavy 90s vegan straight edge vibe going on here with this Colombian hardcore band. It’s snarly, a smidge metal but with enough speed and rawness to keep it interesting.
Pogo inducing Basque punk with a hint of gothy/spooky punk vibes in that Spanish manner – you know like taking PARÁLISIS PERMANENTE’s post punk feel and mixing with LARSEN’s assertive attack.
V/A – The Dog That Wouldn’t Die CD
Reissue of a comp from 1986 released by the REALLY RED dudes filled with tracks courtesy of submissions from their friends that run the gambit from raw basement tracks to fully produced punk noise mania running the gambit from bands like PAIN TEENS, COLERA, CULTURCIDE, PARTY OWLS, MYDOLLS and more!
I am a sucker for Oi/streetpunk sung in French – you know how certain languages just sound better for different sorts of punk styles? For me, French is what all Oi bands should be singing in – sorry those are the rules. This record is an excellent documentation of the thriving Oi/street punk scene of Paris and features SQUELETTE, TCHERNOBYL, BROMURE, RESILIENCE and nine more. You may already know RIXE and SYNDROME 81 (both missing from this comp) so here’s the rest of the story – and it’s a great story!
V/A Teach You The Fear… Again 2xLP
Thirty-four takes on the songs of the legendary Texas hardcore band, REALLY RED. This runs the gambit from takes that are more true to the original form to deviations into country, metal, noise rock and more. Highlights for me are THE DICKS doing “Too Political?” and 50 MILLION’S version of “Youth Culture For Sale.”