Phase Demo 2023 cassette

From Germany, PHASE sounds pretty well-polished on their introductory four-track demo. This tape emits a brief and tidy blast of straightforward punk that’s just tough enough to be called hardcore. The songs have a clean and triumphant sound that is in contrast to their lyrics that paint a bleak picture, commenting on the conflict between a world drowning in capitalism and one’s own self-worth. It culminates in the reassuring “A World Unknown,” with its promise that “if your heart is breaking, I’ll be on your team” and encouragement to “seize the day.” In a genre that has always been abundant in depictions of struggle, adding in a glimmer of hope can be a nice touch.