Verdict The Rat Race LP

There are bands that you feel you have known forever—recent ones, new ones even—because you are already so familiar with what you know they are going to offer, familiar with the anticipation and the need, with the pleasure you expect them to, quite rightfully, provide the masses (by which I mean people who have once considered calling their first-born Käng). VERDICT is such a band. It has members of MEANWHILE, NO SECURITY, WARCOLLAPSE, 3-WAY CUM, TOTALITÄR, and too many other bands, and even though I have never actually met any of them, I still have had more interactions with them through (over)playing and rocking to their records than I have had with some members of my family, which, to be honest, is definitely for the best. VERDICT is a rather new (but experienced in the things of the D) käng hardcore band, and they know exactly what they are doing and how to do it. Had they produced something different, that would have completely taken me aback—something horrendous like ska-punk would have made so little sense that I would have had to quit punk altogether. Alright, what about The Rat Race, then. This is the follow-up to last year’s Time to Resign, and this one has even more punch, fury, and pummeling power than its predecessor. Unoriginal, in a good way, and thoroughly checking all the correct boxes: the drumming is pure and relentless, the riffs’ efficiency is religiously executed in a “Scandicore 101” way, the vocals are angry, direct, and raspy. Think a joyous orgy between NO SECURITY, UNCURBED, and TOTALITÄR. This is the kind of record that makes the world a better place to rock. Thank you Phobia Records. Käng up your life.

Verdict Time to Resign LP

I am so happy to be assigned this scorching LP. VERDICT’s debut was on my year-end top ten for 2022—a raging attack of Swedish hardcore with the speed of TOTALITÄR and KRIGSHOT, plus a unique nod to American hardcore crust giants DISRUPT and FINAL CONFLICT, for example. Galloping D-beat throughout with clear accentuated vocals, this one is a non-stop hardcore pummel-fest that teeters on fastcore thrash while retaining classic ‘80s mangel and the original grinding ‘90s crust sound. So many subgenres mentioned here, and only a few bands, but some years from now, Time to Resign will still sound like quintessential hardcore punk fucking rock. Oh, this band is comprised of members from NO SECURITY, 3 WAY CUM, MEANWHILE, WARCOLLAPSE, IMPERIAL LEATHER, SLUTET, EXPLOATÖR…VERDICT is just what these guys do when they don’t want to relax.