Exil Mercenary EP

EXIL returns with another fine smorgasbord of crisp, tight Swedish hardcore. Great artwork and no bullshit. In case you don’t have a clue, this features former members of DS-13, E.T.A., the VICIOUS, and more. It has that clean-but-heavy guitar roar and enunciated vocal style you’d expect from those previous bands, but this isn’t an ancient throwback to, like, 2001. My favorite track has to be the closer, “Can’t See Your Face,” for being dirtier and having an almost Hell Comes to Your House creepy-crawl bad vibe. It’s such a copout to write after reviewing Swedish bands, but this is definitely “skol!” worthy.

Exil Warning LP

With a front cover that looks like it was ripped straight out of a 1987 Thrasher magazine and a sound to match, EXIL drops in with an old school thrash punk assault on their debut LP. This Swedish shredder is full speed ahead and sounds something like what DRI might have evolved into had they not decided to pioneer the crossover movement. Though to be fair, there are tinges of crossover to these songs and some classic SoCal punk influence as well, which all fits the bill. Pairs well with headphones, a board, and a bad attitude.