Inkwizycja XXX 12″

One of Poland’s longest-running DIY hardcore bands, INKWIZYCJA has been active since the late 1980s and have only gotten heavier over time. The sound is decidedly commercial—sometimes resembling SYSTEM OF A DOWN (or HELMET?) more than anything from the North American “punk” scene/s, but the approach and delivery are nonetheless rooted in early Polish punk, and that influence is evident on tracks like “Pogrom” that closes the first side. Flip it over though, and “Wilk XXX” is a crushing modern hardcore number with a swarm of guitars that demands attention. Even though there are elements that I don’t necessarily dig, I appreciate the ability to veer in and out of easily definable genres, and the last song on the record could easily make me a commercial heavy/alt-rock apologist. Let there be no doubt that XXX is good—it’s very good—you just have to decide if your mind is open wide enough to let it all in.

Inkwizycja Stare Fotografie LP

Here’s a reissue (first time on vinyl) of this long-running Polish band’s second album from 2002. Stylistically, it’s loose with discordant jamming elements countering some of the melodies, mostly slow to mid-paced, and a gruff vocal delivery. While I acknowledge the historical significance of the band in the Polish punk scene, this album doesn’t do much to keep my attention. Much of it just sounds like alt-rock.