Choke Cocoi Choke Cocoi LP
Releasing a full-length album is a significant moment in any band’s trajectory. For CHOKE COCOI, that moment was over twenty years in the making, and the results feel particularly noteworthy. Hailing from Lucena City, Philippines, CHOKE COCOI is one of the few all-women punk bands from their country. They have been a source of inspiration for legions of punks and metalheads across Southeast Asia and beyond. So, at long last we have their debut LP, and it’s a banger. Thirteen cuts of blistering, dark neo-crust with a prominent metallic bent. The band’s years of experience shine through in the precision and deliberateness with which the songs are constructed. I can only presume that these are the crème de la crème. There are lots of twists and turns to be found. Tempos change multiple times in each song—from moshy breakdowns to blastbeats—but this keeps things interesting and never seems gratuitous or contrived. There is a ferocity here that most bands only gesture at, with the vocals in particular delivering a pummeling, relentless aural assault. CHOKE COCOI is somewhat reminiscent of LUDICRA, if they were more punk than metal, or SCHIFOSI if they were more metal than punk. And while they bear resemblance to some of the finer bands of the mid-’00s wave of heavy melodic crust, CHOKE COCOI has clearly forged their own path. In a world where most bands actively imitate others, this is no small feat.