VIOLENCIA Viviendo Tiempos Aún Más Oscuros LP

Like the LP’s title suggests, we are “living in even more obscure times,” and VIOLENCIA delivers a soundtrack to accompany such a feeling of malaise. “Introducción a una Serie de Relatos Distópicos,” the intro song, begins with a melancholic weeping guitar that could be featured in any of the LEVIATHAN demos, but it soon erupts into the mid-tempo hardcore grooves that VIOLENCIA loves to stitch up in their songs. It soon escalates into violent, powerviolence-influenced fast hardcore as the second song makes its way through. VIOLENCIA are the bearers of the political banner that Mexican hardcore is known for, and this is a super violent and angry record that matches the times we live in.

Double Me / VIOLENCIA split EP

Heavy split between Padua, Italy’s DOUBLE ME and Tijuana, Mexico’s VIOLENCIA. DOUBLE ME gives us five powerviolence slammers in about two minutes. Blastbeats dominate the mix, but there is interesting guitar work and call-and-response caveman vocals à la SPAZZ. This side could have been mixed better. I like the songs, but they sound trebly and lack low-end heaviness, through no fault of the band. Meanwhile, VIOLENCIA shreds with a mix of powerviolence, hardcore, metal chugging, and doomy interludes. Their four songs are heavy and distinctively varied. “Frenesi” opens their side with ripping powerviolence, featuring super-pissed co-ed vocals like the best parts of DESPISE YOU. “Requiem Por Mi Existencia” is straightforward D-beat hardcore done extremely well, and just to round out the genre explorations, the side ends with an instrumental doom metal song. All heavy, all memorable, VIOLENCIA is a band to watch.

VIOLENCIA El Odio Me Hizo Hacerlo EP

Growing up, powerviolence got me hooked like a bass to a fishing line, but soon I realized that half of the newer bands were playing fastcore and not “real” powerviolence. All the Slap-a-Ham bands that solidified the genre had a certain quality of exaggeration and drama to their music that is lacking in all the INFEST clones out there. VIOLENCIA from Tijuana is the perfect example of a band doing it right. The fast parts are blistering fast, the slow parts are doomy, the vocals are angry as can be, and the shifts in tempo just come at you like curveballs. The lyrics follow the tradition of irony that powerviolence has accustomed us to, with themes of social, political, and scene commentary. El powerviolence no esta muerto!