Utsatt / Varoitus split EP
Two Swedish bands face off on this split EP released by ByeBye Productions and the very prolific Phobia Records from Praha, a label equivalent to a sanctuary for käng hardcore bands. Unsurprisingly, VAROITUS and UTSATT play Scandinavian hardcore punk, a field of expertise I am no stranger to, and which I can be exposed to almost constantly without flinching. VAROITUS includes members of bands like WARCOLLAPSE, EXPLOATÖR, 3-WAY CUM, and even the legendary DISARM, and indulges in that brand of raw käng punk that we have all grown to love (or grow bored of, depending on your worldview). Their two songs sound rawer than I expected, which is not a bad thing as it gives them a welcome ’80s feel. Otherwise, I have to say that VAROITUS is predictably effective and proficient in that “TOTALITÄR meets DISFEAR in 1992” way, with some rocking moments for you to headbang a bit and raspy, aggressive vocals, in Swedish this time. It does the job. On the other side, UTSATT offers three songs, and this EP is their first recording (although I very much doubt it is the members’ first endeavor into hardcore music). They are a little less powerful and not as fast, more gruff and primitive—I am reminded of SVART PARAD and early WARVICTIMS, which is actually to my liking. Cave-käng. On the whole, I enjoy this record, but if there were a 2023 Scandicore Royal Rumble, it would probably not reach the final four, as there have been a lot of worthy contenders lately.