Asocial Aldrig Som Er 12″

ASOCIAL’s history begins in the early ’80s in the Swedish hardcore scene. They pushed the envelope with great EPs of crust and D-beat, and an album, How Could Hardcore Be Any Worse, an absolute beast of noise that had a great and lasting influence on extreme music worldwide. The band has been writing new music since 2017, and this EP finds the band revisiting four of its classics and presenting four new songs. I have to admit I’m not really into bands re-recording their old songs, but in this context, they sound as raw and chaotic as the originals, and the new songs are pure mayhem. The EP starts with “Religion Still Sucks,” one of the best openers I’ve heard so far this year. “Krossa Nazismen,” “Mïlitardiktatur,” and “Samhällets Offer” are all incredibly intense. A must-have.

Asocial Föralltid Underground LP

Holy shit this is a beast. Sweden’s ASOCIAL left a criminally limited discography in their wake when they disbanded in the mid ’80s, but their return a few years back with Död Åt Kapitalismen was a welcome kick in the ass…this one, however, is light-speed käng. Föralltid Underground is so damn fast, and the riffs are just deadly in their simplicity and execution—this is literally a perfect record. Only two tracks top the two-minute mark, Berggren’s vocals are fueled by a fire akin to early DISFEAR, and the transition from primal ’80s ScanD-beat fury to 21st century power has only made the guitars more deadly. The drums in the title track alone are worth the price of admission—a veritable clinic on hooks and raw power joining forces…much like the entire LP. Raise your collective fist.

Asocial / Distrust Live at International Youth Center 28/4-84 CD

Here’s a CD reissue of a split live tape that brings the noise all the way back to the beginning. This unrelenting käng chaos will have you dunking your head in model airplane glue and spray painting “DISCHARGE” on a police station wall. The recording is from a live show they played together with MOB 47 in 1984 and doesn’t sound much different from a lot of the studio recording from that era. It’s raw and noisy, but you can hear everything well enough, for D-beat. It also features some live bonus tracks from each band that I assume are from the same show. This isn’t just some collector’s item for Swedish raw punk completists, it’s great for anyone who hates music.

Asocial Död Åt Kapitalismen CD

Perfect. Absolutely perfect ten songs, sixteen minutes, and twenty-nine seconds of Swedish hardcore. Perfect. I mean perfect. An out-of-the-park, kicks-the-shit-out-of-everything, perfect hardcore record. By the time this record first surfaced on vinyl in 2017 on the F.O.A.D. label, I had forgotten people could even make records this good. ASOCIAL’s early ’80s origins were more lo-fi and raw—the last time they surfaced was on an uneven metal outing in the ’90s—but this incarnation (75% of the original ’80s band, 25% the long-standing drummer of UNCURBED) takes cues from Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, where adept musicianship completely nails really basic pummeling D-beat without standing in its way, weaving inventive song structures and curt solos to absolutely perfect D-beat hardcore. Unrelenting powerful drumming, with the overdrive of the best UNCURBED moments. Tommy Berggren sounds less like the haunting ghost of his last outing in UTANFÖRSKAPET, but is still one of the consistently greatest Swedish hardcore screamers. The recording is perfect, similar to Hear Nothing where it’s not raw but in no way over-produced, with just the slightest metallic tinges. It’s long enough, just short enough. Only points off: the lyrics are entirely in Swedish, but with no translation or explanation, and the cover, while well-drawn and poignant to the meaning of the record, maybe falls short of the sheer perfection of the music. This totally fucking rocks—it’s perfect.

Asocial Religion Sucks EP

Mid-tempo speed metal without the leads. Gruff-ola vocals, repetitive riffs, good production, and a song called “In My Eyes” that isn’t the song we all know. Oh, the band’s from Sweden.