A.F.K. Another Pair of Eyes LP

A.F.K. from Hamburg has been going for a while and is, in my opinion, one of the most solid hardcore punk bands in Germany right now. I never quite got their moniker (the initials stand for ‘’Aargh Fuck Kill,’’ the very words I utter whenever I stub my toe on a table leg, which is quite often), but at least it is pretty easy to remember. Their latest album Another Pair of Eyes can be rightly considered to be their most intense and focused offering so far, and for good reason. The production is thick and heavy and the band does not try to hide behind walls of distortion, mists of reverbs and echoes, or endless pedal boards, and relies on energy and intensity first and foremost. The trick is that there is really no trick. Like many contemporary bands, A.F.K. blends several hardcore punk schools and paces in order to create a versatile sound that still manages to sound angry as fuck, but also cohesive and compact and not like a patchwork. When they speed things up, they are not far from the classic, heavy anarcho-punk sound of ANTI-SYSTEM, or HELLKRUSHER’s late ’90s UK dis-core, or even NO SECURITY, and because they are intent on varying paces, I am reminded of a more modern take on the great ICONS OF FILTH or ’90s bands like POLICEBASTARD (conceptually) or even a non-dissonant version of BAD BREEDING with spikier hair and a crusty bumbag—I am aware that someone with a big American hardcore background would probably hear different things. This is pummeling anarcho hardcore punk that is done with sincerity and never sounds boring, and they are a powerhouse live. A highlight of 2022 released on Ruin Nation, a label celebrating its 30th birthday in 2023.