Reviews

Gonza Perez

Genogeist Technophobia EP

A 2021 recording released by various labels of Portland crust punk in a metallic form. A tank formation with a demonic, driven main vocal, a blasting wall of sound, doom-evoking bass lines, and very well-executed, on-point riffs. Ever-ranting drums and solid metallic guitars achieve a fortuitous ball of noise, with their metal crust nature on display in “Desolate Realm.” Hearing loss guaranteed! Favorite track: “Technophobia.”

Mortar Fire & Steel LP

Noisy Polish D-beat crust punk of the metallic form, first started as a solo project by Jay Mortarand then re-recorded with a band, so you can still hear traces of the solo projection. Mid-paced with solid cadences, and you can see the influence of bands like late ’90s FILTH OF MANKIND (who share members with MORTAR). Polish-style metalpunk with their own blend of hardcore and D-beat that goes for somber tones, steady battle sing-alongs, and progressive riffage. You can even hear the ensemble between the first solo effort and then the whole band jumps into the first track, enhancing the project. Interesting work.

Sentinel Age of Decay LP

This New York band’s intricate and amazingly achieved crossover formula is one that you don’t hear every day, with a very neat recording. Pinches of hardcore punk meeting fine thrash metal with fast-paced riffs and cadences. Special points for those tasty metal guitar solos and for delivering such a relentless force in each song. Featuring members of MINDFORCE, RESTRAINING ORDER, AGE OF APOCALYPSE, and more. For lovers of COC and DEATH SIDE alike (and much more), give it a go!

Billiam Corner Tactics LP

Melbourne simple-to-the-core new wave-y synth punk, filled with mid-paced drums and cheap, soft keyboards all merged with lo-fi submarine telephone vocals that monotone the shit out of this. Featuring a member from DISCO JUNK and COLLECTIVE HARDCORE, it brings a hyperactive vibe to bedroom punk. Goofy synth punk for lovers of simple, funny DIY projects. It lacks fire, it’s so monotonous, but it might be right down your alley. Funny yet boring, if it’s even possible.

Cemento Armado Cemento Armado cassette

Chaotic, insanity-driven lo-fi hardcore punk debut issued by CoronaRX and Rock SVB. Deep-diving vibes versing on existentialism and bad luck strike all the way. This project from Buenos Aires features members of FORRA, RUDIX, and more, with social critiques and a deep, wounded feeling. Grieving, raw punk with nods to classic hardcore and even some rudimentary chain punk, with maniac, reverbed, trance-like asylum psycho vocals. Self-recorded and filled with freshened-up D-beat traces, it exudes frustration and anger, filled with a raw spirit. Favorite tracks: “Más de Uno,” “Imprudencia,” and “En Cualquiera.” Personal and defeated, but with an attitude of still fighting to the teeth and a visceral, ranting vibe. They exude a trance pogo state live, recommended for heavy users of lo-fi raw punk. Great ever-ranting drums and solid string sections, filled with a consistent cry of punk guitar. The feeling of being in a humid alley space, waiting for a vicious gig to start. The relentless vocals on behalf of Marta make you eager for more songs to burst out of this great work of visceral punk. One of my current favorite Argentinian formations—active players in an ever-growing scene, playing live constantly and shaping their defiant sound. Get ready…

AI (悪意) / Disturd Walk split 12″

Japanese split effort between decade-long friends. We have DISTURD with some heavy punk, absolute chaos-bringers. Great presence in the solid, harsh vocals, with a dragging feeling of hardcore punk on the crustier side that combines bits of powerviolence as well. Blunt definition of the band, filled with raw punk of a vicious energy. On AI’s side, we have more defined metal crust, crazy guitars, angry drums, and strident, suffering vocals filled with energy. Recommended.

Checkpoint Drift LP

German label Erste Theke Tonträger delivers this fiery debut LP from Naarm, Australia, featuring members of PINCH POINTS, DR. SURE’S UNUSUAL PRACTICE, GONZO, DRAGNET, CARPET BURN, GUTTER GIRLS, and more. Synth-punk-driven garage madness. Solid grit, multiple and good flipping variations. Including crazy-ass funky vibes, and even cadences near Aussie cumbia (if it even exists?) in passages. Exquisite drums, and the synth and keyboards are excellent here. All tracks are in harmony, and there are some that could be an EP on their own, as in the case of “10th Dimension Advertisement Apocalypse,” which surpasses eleven minutes in length, and “Checkers.” The old lo-fi ’80s tape vibe is well-achieved, and there’s even some nods to the style of Under the Gun associates. Multifaceted, trance-inducing egg-psych almost all the way, especially the track “Circuit Breaker.” Good blasting explosions of Australian garage from a solid super-group delivering new dimensions and sounds. Crunchy, deep-fried, lo-fi feels.

Lothario / New Buck Biloxi Tour split EP

Tour split effort brought to us by Under the Gun, featuring NEW BUCK BILOXI and their lo-fi, messy punk with a very cutting-edge sound, who bring two cold and blunt tracks with some kind of sordid anger that was very much on-point with deranged, mildly distorted guitars, and LOTHARIO, with a heavily effected vocal and strident, deep-fried strings and synth-driven drums on “Doggy.” For “Missing Person,” the ranting is reduced to get us some very danceable garage-y post-punk. Interesting split between friends.

Ripper Wasteland LP

Portland’s decade-long, Motör-fueled, charged and speedy metalpunk project. Lemmy worshipers with a punk’n’roll grip that gets monotonous quickly, yet is very well-executed. Great recording and guitar and vocal sections. Recommended mostly for Motör-heads.

Pinch Points Mechanical Injury 12″

Soft garage rock, clean guitars, and sufficient drums. Reissued from 2018, plus a newly-mixed track. Catchy and fun sounds on this 12”, but evidently more on the garage side than with any punk rock features. Fresher than most garage projects, and even has some slight MINUTEMEN references in the instrumental, but the second the voices start to sing, you can tell the tidiness of all this. It’s a bit boring and excessively existentialist, yet very well-executed.

Haunted Mansion Fake Money EP

Chaotic, lo-fi messy hardcore punk with reverb and creepy sounds. The guitars blend rusty chainsaw strings with noisy vocals and ever-ranting drums. Resemblances to early ’80s USHC mixed with chaos and chain punk sounds. Recorded to sound mixed (or actually mixed) by old tape machinery that makes it seem from another time, and not leaning too much on the haunted situation of the mansion may be a good call.

Ex-White The Complete Collection cassette

Intense garage rock rollercoaster that contains the whole discography of this chaotic yet groove-filled project. Intensity-driven screaming vocals plus strident, garage-y guitars are their formula, with very good intros to the songs. It can get repetitive, but I mean, it’s their whole works put together, and it’s an energy diffuser and a great ride altogether. Recommended for garage punks, prepare for the insane amount of 38 tracks.

Ponys Auf Pump Probezeit EP

Energetic synth punk with a progressive garage vibe from Germany, exuding histrionic vocals and a classic garage-y guitar sound that I really dig. Sufficiently soft synths that work great with the string section, where the garage vibes truly flourish. Suggested track: “Bullenschwein.” A good merging of new wave sounds and a less gloomy than usual type of German post-punk closer to rock.

Erik Nervous Immaturity LP

ERIK NERVOUS returns to a solo project for this interesting, self-taught Indiana DIY release that actually rips. Everything was done by ERIK NERVOUS himself, except the mastering—it’s an exquisite mix of new wave, punk rock, and synth punk that really works. Energetic with a sick punch and a very well-achieved sound, heavily recommended for synth punk lovers. Favorite tracks: “Comfortable” and “Third Layer.”

Night Punch Where Sins Bloom (So Does Death) cassette

Fresh Hamburg synth punk project that sure knows how to create an atmosphere with their synth’s dark and cold tweaks. Fast-paced cadences, some tasty riffs, and super-reverbed frantic vocals. Interesting dark and blunt interlude sections are throughout the album, and though the songs may be a bit repetitive in tempo, they compensate with the work on the synth and vocals. Reminded me of DESBORDE in some of the intros between the synth and the drums, and then the whole band comes in, like in “Where Sins Bloom” and “Something We Cannot See.” Recommended for synth punk maniacs.

Crêam Söda Fiction EP

Australian trio that fixates on Japcore and is led by a bassist and singer from Japan. Chaotic sounds from another era, with influence from the mid-’90s crust punk revival and Japanese death hardcore adding a metallic element. Really enjoyed the fry of the string section on this one. The guitar seems like it’s being cooked in a pan, while the recording and vocals are really good but might sound a little bit behind the instrumental mix. Suggested tracks: “Fiction” and “Your Soul” as samples of the plethora of sounds this band can manage. Great unique music for addicts of GAUZE, DEATH SIDE, SYSTEMATIC DEATH, and  the like.

Synthetic Surfaces EP cassette

Super-reverbed electronic drums plus strident, pitched synthetic devices on this flaming hot release. The egg-punk disease is very well spread all over the world, and here we have the Roman strain. Monochromatic voices are spot-on, sometimes in a conversational mode with each other, sometimes running together, in a crazy mix that works. “Escape from a virtual room” feeling that, mixed with the vocals and synth mayhem, goes to a really fast-paced final video game level. Mastering could be better; some tracks are remarkably louder than others, but it might have been the floppy disk failing. “Cat Car” is so similar to the PRISON AFFAIR formula that it’s scary, but the other tracks were quite good and hold their own. Suggested tracks: “Surface 1” for a programmed voice experience that reminded me of WWW, and the intro “Search Engine” that lets us hear what they are capable of. Eggy people should hear them.

Arrived Consilium Pium cassette

D-beat hardcore from Bandung, Indonesia, with well-executed sounds from at least a decade ago merging with a slight metallic infusion, but it’s mostly highly energetic and non-stop speedy on some of the tracks. Flirts with emocore, and the female vocals are all over the place. Atemporal hardcore that reminds me of the Latin scene from the ’00s, with long ample screams backed by octaves and such—perhaps a bit outdated, but that’s only my opinion. Give it a go, it’s interesting if you are into this type of sound and melodic features.

Serotonin Zero Broken Worlds LP

Blackened hardcore from Poland, quite technical and gloomy, and on the metal side of the moon. Endless double kick on the drums and relentless doom vocals. Great chord sections delivering good riffs and intricate arpeggios. The songs take speed from time to time, but only to jump to melodic stances. It sounds well-executed, but stiff. Suggested track: “Point of No Return.”

Human Sacrifice / Levity split cassette

Chicago and Grand Rapids bands split three tracks each. HUMAN SACRIFICE gives  fast-paced hardcore mixed with powerviolence, delivering catchy, smoky, spitting vicious vocals. Their three tracks flow like bloody water, speaking to obscure hardcore punk that conveys the urge to pogo. LEVITY, on the other hand, is full-on powerviolence with a Satanic metallic infusion that exudes anger and desolate fits, yet with a relentless energy and dragging feeling, and even some Avernus noise “Breathe Endlessly.” Recommended.

Saufknast Tränengas EP

Fresh punk project from Hamburg/Kiel. High-pitched female vocals, and strident guitars that contort between power chord sections and soloing from time to time. Garage-y vibes and mixed couplings, but with a hardcore punk drive. The eight tracks reiterate the same formula over and over, which may be a bit exhausting, but altogether it’s a great debut. Determination in the singing and tempos are on-point, with the garage-driven guitars and vocals being the main focus.

Autosabotaje Hastiado cassette

Temuco won’t stop delivering good punk bands. On this occasion, we have a release from Junko Records presenting this anti-system power trio that transmits a classic version of hardcore punk with traces of street punk—it seems to be their 2020 EP and 2022 demo reissued here in a new recording. Favorite track: “Falsa Creencia,” with a mid-paced Satanic punk feel, and “Consecuencia” for a critical introspective view into their own punk scene. Filled with raw energy and very well-executed, holding the essence of Chilean punk’s youngster resistance. Very much recommended.

Pig City Pig City LP

Super violent hardcore punk from Phoenix, Arizona exuding some kind of GULCH vibes, but with a much crustier soul, bashing non-stop drums that go from powerviolence blastbeating to nonsense straight to sick breakdowns, and demonic echoed vocals. This one is pure fire, blast the speakers and let the demons do the rest ‘til the trance hits. Seven tracks and  eleven minutes of pure mayhem and corrosive trans hardcore punk that will get you. Favorite track: “Bash Back,” with a great breakdown and excellent guitar coupling.

Brorlab Working Out in Heaven LP

High levels of egg found here…screamy, high-pitched vocals? Check. Heavily reverbed synth work that’s exquisitely executed. Totally punchy computer punk drums are on. A heavyweight competitor coming from Belgium enters the egg-punk ring with such rotundity that you’ll be amazed. Seven new songs, plus their debut demo that results in another nine tracks that are less vicious than the first seven, but still, they are tight. Frantic egg-punk with heavy, Dadaistic computer synthwave and drums. La Vida Es Un Mus did it again. Highly recommended for egg-punk lovers.

Summer of Death Bolt Nine Chambers + The Demo Collection CD

Crossover thrash band from Tokyo presenting their 2019 EP and previous demo releases, so the range here is wide and goes from fast-paced crossover thrash to heavy metal-infused cadences and even some SUICIDAL TENDENCIES vibes in some of their songs. The cover artwork depicts a charged punk reminiscent of the ’80s Earache era, and this material exudes skateboarding brothered with extreme metal—SUMMER OF DEATH are keepers of the party mental attitude. For lovers of that specific era and style.

Intuition Demo 2022 cassette

Viennese and Berliner members in this lo-fi punk project rubbed with garage, containing crazy, ample guitars that keep ranting even when overlapped. The vocals sound like constant nagging and I couldn’t enjoy it that much, though it has something in the Poly Styrene line of styled vocals that could be promising. The use of synths and pedal boards are sufficient. It lacks explosion material for this ragged hardcore brain.

Thlurm Botched Sacrifice LP

Fresh out of the Avernus oven, blackened hardcore punk with heavy metal and powerviolence traces, blasting a chainsaw-from-hell sound all around. Panic and pain-induced vocals, relentless drums testing your ear resistance, mad demon invocation guitars and bass lines. This Terre Haute, IN trio had me baffled and wanting more with their first abominably delicious LP. Recommended sadistically to Satan’s way.

Intention Brand New Story LP

Precast and hackneyed Japanese hardcore punk straight from Nagoya. Chaotic yet very well-executed classic hardcore punk cadences with predominantly early ’90s references. Solid vocals mixing both English and Japanese, and excessive crazy solos that make the flow between the songs vanish from time to time. I enjoyed the song with all-Japanese lyrics better than the others—what happens with this LP is that sometimes the mixture of sounds and ideas don’t necessarily blend in the right way.

Antagonizör Heavy Metal Bootlicker cassette

Charged metal punk’n’roll from this all-female chaos trio from Gainesville, Florida, delivering leftist songs fueled by fire. Suggested tracks: “Pearl Clutcher” and “Heavy Metal Bootlicker,” exuding the feeling of sounds from another era; special mention to “Ammunition” for being so clear about gun policies, like open carry and such. Nice metalpunk full of catharsis and the spillage of anger, with soft remembrances of the everlasting MOTÖRHEAD vibe but in another trance and with newer sounds. Politically-charged hardcore-meets-metal with charged lyrics and vocal work at the front, plus thick bass lines.

Evil Spirit Black Cross demo cassette

Seven-minute total demo with an eerie intro from Avernus, poorly recorded in hell with the sense that this was an old tape found after a crash in Brooklyn, NY by these Satanic punks. Surely interesting live—put your headphones on for this crazy, lo-fi (but good) ripper recording. Seems like a lost gem of a doomer age, and if you dig proto-Satanic sounds, this might be right up your alley. Frenzied metalpunk, with solid ranting guitars, metal-infused sections that slay, and a crazy demonic voice melted on the tape. Crazy eerie shit sounds all around, making mayhem…or climax.

Slith Slith demo cassette

Stenchcore hardcore punk full of tweaks and even some resemblances to the MISFITS, but with a style of its own. Killer drums in a psych ward, demonic voices from hell, frenzied killing cadences, and a crazy chamber-like feeling all around. Dead Air Studios hits again in the raw punk department. Vibes from the vocals mix with the sounds delivered by the instruments—deep-pitched screams from hell plus rabid chords and smashing guitars and bass lines. Suggested tracks: “Miserable Fuck” and “Umbilicus.”

Rejekts Manmade Hell EP

Boston hardcore punk pogo exciters. Angry vocals, simple yet classically effective punk, blasting with a messy craziness of stabbing guitars and never-ending ranting drums. Favorite track: “Manmade Hell,” for some very well-executed stomping hardcore. Nice frantic cadences filled with the violence of classic USHC punk and strident guitars. Give ‘em a go. I will check out No Norms Records after this one. Fresh-feeling for pure raw punk with slightly faster tempos, full of traces of classical times yet enforced by newer turns.

Crosshairs Crosshairs demo cassette

Debut from British Columbia, Canada’s punk and noisy garage trio, with slashing, rusty guitars and a handful of progressive open riffs mixed with anthemic, angry vocals. Deep, clean cuts of chainsaw guitar that are garage revival as hell, resulting in messy punk’n’roll filled with garage vibes and upfront drums. Four tracks with similar cadences as classic mid-’80s punk, plus a twist of garage-y noises.

Loose Lid Loose Lid cassette

Midwest hardcore that’s heavily distorted and poorly recorded, resulting in crazy raw punk. Seems recorded live or at home, which I like. Mad and noisy, filled with crusty vibes close to D-beat but much more chaotic, it seems like something from decades ago. Suggested track: “Unite,” offering us some fresh cuts exuding violence. Really dig the vocals on this messy chunk of hardcore punk. If they were searching for a live vibe, they achieved it. Recommend the use of headphones for this one, or you’ll miss a lot of things—listening first on speakers, I didn’t like it a bit, but then I gave them another chance on headphones and it was way better. Interesting raw darkness impregnated in the songs’ raw energy, delivering extreme sounds comparable to those in glorious ’80s USHC.

Pressure Pin Superficial Feature EP

Montreal duo that will make you dance the pogo to the rhythm of frantic egg-punk, with even more garage-y noise than egg-punkers usually advocate. New wave artsy punk, with the use of a real voice with light effects being a highlight. Favorite track: “A New Movie.” Stop’n’go cadences and exquisite use of synth, relentless drums, and psychic trance guitars that combine beautifully. We have before our eyes an extreme form of egg-punk, where sick rawness in the vocals makes it much more interesting compared to DEVO-infused patients. Honorable mention to the experimental nature of “Limited Movement,” adding new sounds to the eggy situation and upping the scale by introducing power chord changes following the never stopping drums, giving this track the status of “eggy symphony.” Highly recommended for lovers of expanded keyboard sounds used smartly. Resourceful duo, indeed.

Squander The Western Nightmare Continues… cassette

Halifax’s anarcho deadbeaters start with a great classical bass line in the UK82 tradition, but frankly, afterwards I utterly disliked the reverb or delay (ab)used here to create the ambience, lowering the quality of the vocals, instruments, and force that we could have otherwise encountered here. It all comes off as a messy, reverbed and delayed version of D-beat that doesn’t appeal to me. It lacks precision and equalization, losing the vibe of the drums and guitars. Nice artwork for the cover, though…

Offside Reidars This is Now EP

Raw-charged Finnish hardcore punk rock adventure—punk veterans getting into hardcore punk realms and singing in English, excepting one song. Songs verse on WWIII, contemporaneous systemic obedience, the spread of global terror, disconformity, and the Eurocentric consumption of underdeveloped economies, reminding me of the blunt lyricism and sarcasm of the DEAD KENNEDYS. They seem heavily influenced by mid-’80s punk rock, merging D-beat with classic punk cuts and cadences in line with the venerated UK82 sound. Seems they were having fun recording this.

Systemik Viølence Negative Mangel Attitude LP

Cathartic maniacal screams and great sound all around from these chaos-bringers and riot-exciters from Lisbon. Thrash mayhem of blackened punk with fast tempos and sick drum cuts that never stop and stomp on you through the whole ten-track course. This is the sixth release from these Portuguese mad people, delivering a fusion between blackened metallic punk and classic USHC cadences in an almost perfect balance. Imagine BAD BRAINS and MERCYFUL FATE entered the blender and got out ready to drink it all in a second—I mean a frenzied, crazy feeling. All tracks are rippers in their own way. Sick artwork on the cover from these sick metal punkers. Good riffage, good blastbeating, and the vocals ain’t a cut-and-paste in any way, with colors very distinguished in-between.

Moratory F.P.F.W. demo cassette

And now we travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to get ourselves a whiff of metal punk delivered by MORATORY, with their demo Fuck Politics Fuck War. Released in November 2022, though they’ve been around since 2015, it updates more speed metal structures in their songs and slows the tempo. Extra credit for the translated lyrics on their Bandcamp page, versing on anti-war poetry and a feeling of constant struggle in their sound and words. Suggested track: “Pod Nenasytnym Nebom.” Great soloing parts for the guitars and never-stopping drums for this band merging D-beat and metallic forms of punk.

V/A Four in the Bag EP

Here and Now, Thrash Tapes, and Vanilla Thunder compiled this four-way split EP (with MAXXPOWER, BASTARD COLLECTIVE, SICK BURN, and NO COMPLY), assuring that crust powerviolence is alive and well. Flaming fastcore and powerviolence are all to the front with BASTARD COLLECTIVE’s “In Decline,” the track that works as a bridge between ever-ranting songs on this abrasive, corrosive, and sharp split. Suggested tracks: “Fucking Why?” by SICK BURN, and the thirteen-seconds-long “Home Improvement” from MAXXPOWER.

Pharma See EP

Four-piece Detroit four-piece with an EP that exudes a crunchy sound all around—blunt force mayhem hardcore punk and chaotic vibes. Demonic vocals and aggressive drums, creating groovy crust punk filled with guitar pick-ups generating disturbance. Suggested tracks: “End of Days” and “Relax.” Abrasive palm-mutes and raging vocals for blasting your mind, in six tracks averaging out to less than two minutes per song.

Muck Demo 2023 cassette

Post-hardcore gooners salute, as Richmond’s MUCK comes to provide the rage-compressed vocals and frenzy cadences you crave. Mid-paced tempos with clockwork rhythms that go full straight-up hardcore punk with accompanying guitars that tweak and screech from time to time. Great demo, eager to hear more.

Ensanguined Powering Death EP

Orlando, Florida’s death thrash pack featuring violent guitars and demonic, crazed, mumbled and in-trance vocals. Great sludgy parts that end on blunt palm-mutes or open strident guitars, and sweet drums that come from the sludgiest tempos into hardcore punk in a millisecond, really digging that combo. Filled with vicious anger and almost a rabid vibe, feels extracted from another era of metal punk with touches from nowadays. Suggested track: “The Night Knocks.” The chains and shackles seem to be shaking in their dungeon chambers.

Rank Brave New Lows 12″

Good old “rager” there, mates. Bristol UKHC that goes full-on raging hardcore punk, coming near fastcore speed as well. Anti-conservative message in a British context and anti-politics stances with solid lyrics. Suggested track: “Feels Like the End,” for a padded cell experience.

Cel Ray Cellular Raymond cassette

Six-track cassette from this lo-fi, female-fronted fast-paced post-punk/garage band from Chicago, with a touch of Aussies AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS in the intention and style of vocals. “Clock Me Out” is the choice track, creating the right amount of progression—sick bass line and tasty clocking guitars. Give ‘em a listen.

Burning Kross Burning Kross LP

Six-track LP from these Belgian hardcore punks, filled with anger and versing on anti-fascist and anti-racist ideals. From Oostakker near Ghantes, BURNING KROSS delivers violent and fast-paced hardcore punk with crust and D-beat references and deep bass vocals ready to fight. Extra points for the album cover art featuring a KKK scumbag receiving a burning cross right in their torso.

George Crustanza Billionaire Blastoff cassette

This band with members from San Francisco and Oakland delivers vibrant, crusty hardcore punk, with pinched, aggressive vocals and high-pitched guitars that deliver rocky riffs all around. Drums are on-point with bass lines that never seem to stop. The Bay Area continues to give us fast hardcore punk bands. Favorite tracks: “GTFO” and “Hiking Stomp.” Catch them playing live, as it must be a thrill—this cassette exudes groove and aggression.

Terror Y Miseria Destruyendo y Sembrando LP

Anarcho-punk project heavily linked with crust and hardcore, from a collective of members that are from Spain and Argentina. Destruyendo y Sembrando was recorded between 2020 and 2021 in both countries mentioned, and features artwork illustrated by Max Vadalá, a graphic artist active in punk subculture mostly in Argentina and Latin America. The album compiles ten tracks about anarchy and the present state of the oppressive system of state domination, the media’s dominance over the population, immigration and anti-terrorism politics, and the everyday struggle against the capitalist status quo. Favorite tracks: “Destruyendo y Sembrando,” with a powerful poetic evocation about monotony and inertia and alienation, and “Urubu,” more aligned with a street punk tempo. Full of passion and heart, enthusiastically recommended for those who believe in and want a better world with no oppression or state violence, and are willing to stand and give the daily fight against government power.

Clarko Welcome to Clarko LP

Histrionic vocals and naughty guitar riffs coming from Reno, NV on this ten-track new wave brain-punk LP. DEVO-energy synth punk with a catchy, eggy garage twist, and even some early TELEVISION vibes in terms of tension, pauses, and the use of high notes. Synth and loop effects hit hard on this, achieving great balance (check the intro and the song “Alien Touch,” where the full spectrum of sounds and instruments merge and greet each other), but it also has a spacious sound filled with instrumental experimentation. Pretty much straightforward lyrics that verse on existentialism, with “Stifled” and “Your Time” being my favorite tracks on this release.

Masque Demo 2023 cassette

Weird and messy crust punk with no surprises coming from Portland, Oregon. An angry, non-stop screaming voice with no direction, plus an overlap of noisy guitars and ranting drums. An eight-track demo where intrigue and mystery are promised, but I still got none of it.

Goblin Daycare Q: EP? A: EP!! cassette

Really digging this debut cassette from Istanbul, Turkey’s GOBLIN DAYCARE. “Mama Goblin” does it all in this project, combining bedroom synth waves with garage punk and resulting in an equation that reaches the highest level of egginess that weird punk could reach. Lo-fi punk maniacs and DEVO-core worshipers casting sounds with deranged guitars quite in line with the Spanish band PRISON AFFAIR, good mashing synth mayhem, and heavily reverbed electronic drums, plus an on-point distorted voice that’s still audible with non-stop ranting in the fashion of cyberpunk band WWW (and even reminiscent of Jello Biafra’s vocal register) and a bit of DEVO’s stop-and-go songwriting. Imagine if DEVO and Jello were fighting in a steamy basement and add it all to the experience of surfing space in a videogame. Suggested tracks: “Coup De Grace” and “Officer Down.” Things are getting quite eggy in the realm of weird punk.

Recedent Somnia Incoming Nightmare LP

Mid-paced metallic hardcore with melodic tweaks and crusty vocals from Rennes, France. Filled with the sounds of classic 2010s melodic hardcore with soft touches of crust. On their second work included here (the Incoming Death EP released in 2021), they cling to even more melodic sources and even slower cadences, resulting in redundant and similar songs in-between. The anthemic choruses kind of in the middle of some of the songs just haven’t worked out for me. Suggested tracks: “Our Destiny” for slightly faster tempos, and “Inside Madness” for some sludgy tunes.

Taünt Taünt demo cassette

Blackened noisecore filled with hints of powerviolence, coming up from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Use headphones for a better experience, as the vocals are heavily echoed and synth mayhem is strong in this one. Suggested tracks: “Dawn” and “No” (“Future dreams / Days of peace / Broken bombs / Nature keeps / Hunger fed / All released / Open arms / Can human escape? / No.”). This debut consists of five relentless tracks in less than six minutes, containing a noisy intro with detonations and even fighting video game sounds. Extra credit for the lyrics being on their Bandcamp site, which happen to be synthetic yet very good. Great noisy start for TAÜNT, keep ‘em coming!

Obsoletos Obsoletos demo cassette

Garage punk project from Chile, with frantic vocals talking about existence and systemic disposable culture. Bits of post-punk, but primarily focusing on the garage-y side of punk, with wide open, high-pitched reverbed guitars that go along just fine with the vocal exultation that leads the music. The formula might sound redundant as each song is similar to the others, but all of the three tracks have something interesting and different to offer, even nodding to classic punk rock as in “Pandilla Agresiva,” which reminds me of high-energy early NEW YORK DOLLS. Solid and interesting demo, I’m eager to hear more.

Violent Pigz The Night a Pig Came Home! cassette

Japanese hardcore punk band that’s heavily influenced by classic West Coast hardcore punk, and especially hardcore and skate punk from the early ’80s in line with the legendary CIRCLE JERKS, TSOL, and D.I. (this last reference linked directly to the label that released this, coming from Orange County). Aggressive and fast tempos, lyrics in English, and expeditive yet sufficient drums with good solid beats. Released in January 2023 but it seems to be from another era, and it sums up the band’s activity from 2016–2022. Suggested track: “Fix and Insert.”

Gonk Oh My Gonk! cassette

Alex Sandoval’s bedroom solo project from Salt Lake City, Utah merges lo-fi with softcore egg-punk, blending programmed drums that lack force and a submarine telephone conversation effect on the vocals that make it quite monotonous. Some guitar riffs are sweet and in line with egg-punk referents PRISON AFFAIR. This one might be right up your alley if you dig everything eggy, but it just didn’t hit the spot for me.

Nukke Virtue Signaling EP

An EP of six tracks in eight minutes, released by Portugal’s NUKKE. Pandemic-inspired bleak metal punk with lyrics heavily influenced with sociopolitical content and a lexicon about consumer culture, the dark outcomes of social media and its sinister status machinery, social inequity and injustice, and even quite polemic thoughts and stances regarding the coronavirus and the world’s situation in quarantine. Metal-infused hardcore with good drumming and guitar riffing of a crude metal nature.

Shitty Life Limits to Growth EP

Parma, Italy won’t stop surprising us with their garage punk releases, like their fellow residents DADAR (more egg-punk, but still on the same wavelength). On this occasion, we have SHITTY LIFE delivering a frantic, fast-paced garage punk seven-track EP, full of energy, histrionic high-pitched guitars, and consonant screaming vocals very much singing along with the band’s overall rhythm. Reverb and tone changes are on-point, with a good non-stop drumming. Tune your chitarrino for this one. Favorite track: “In the Corner,” the one instrumental song, as it gives me a new wave feeling somehow related to skating and roaming the streets with friends; solid good.

RF7 Weight of the World LP reissue

Twelve-track LP originally released in 1981 by Felix Alanis’s label Smoke Seven Records, reissued by Puke N Vomit. Classic hardcore punk from Southern California (Simi Valley), reminiscent of early BAD RELIGION with new wave hints. Rocky guitars with some interesting riffs, amateurish bass, sufficient drumming, deep vocals, and anthemic songs on this one—classic early USHC formula, but with a softer touch. Probably a great band to have seen live back in the day, and although lacking precision, this recording is full of the amateur passion so important for punk. This time vault discovery reissued captures the essence of an era, but for my taste, it lacks distortion and speed. Suggested tracks: “Satan’s Son” and “Jesus Loves You.”

Axxe Crazy Black Winds Blowing, An Indifferent Sky cassette

First of all, we are welcomed by a psychotic bunch of noise effects with fuzz, reverb, and an electronic blenderization from hell and a chaos from doomsday in their intro. Asbury Park, NJ metallic punk agents AXXE CRAZY is not fooling around. Ten-track cassette of metallic punk mayhem fused with D-beat and crusty vibes, but also thrash metal references and even some powerviolence. You can almost see the visceral thread left behind in each song and the cathartic feel in their demonic vocals, which are filled with anger, despair, and hate. Frenzied cadences and high-pitched guitars, plus engulfing, crazy bass lines. Suggested tracks: “Feast in the Sight of the Minds Eye” and “Pocket Full of Emeralds, Head Full of Lead.” Absolute ripper.

Glasses Compendium LP

Female-fronted band from Germany with some great screaming vocals, solid drums, and interesting guitar sounds with rocky solos blending metal and hardcore in the ’00s-style way with some sort of progressive rock. Sludgy cadences mixed with classic hardcore cuts that go by the vocals. Released by Contraszt Records from Köln, Germany, Compendium is a collection of their work between 2008 and 2020, though their last recordings in 2020 were separate from their past releases, so you seem to be hearing different pieces and different styles from time to time, losing the album’s flow. It’s interesting enough to hear metal-infused hardcore from the last two decades, Guitar-driven riffing, heavy drumming, and powerful vocals, with members of EAVES, PERTH EXPRESS, and TRAINWRECK, among others. Suggested tracks: “Spirit Crusher” and “IHYSM.”

People’s Temple I’m With the People’s Temple EP

Brooklyn, NY-based hardcore punkers released this solid eight-track EP in February 2023, aided by Roachleg Records. Filled with classic ’80s USHC nods and all its raw energy, giving us powerful, distorted guitars and good soloing, sharp, spot-on bass lines, and on-point drums with fast cadences, directly entangled with visceral vocals guided by the sharp drum cuts. A great surprise of ’80s-infused songs combining the most classic skate punk from all over, a hint of charged punk rock, and a fresh pinch of no wave in there. Put early AGENT ORANGE, DEAD BOYS, NECROS, and POISON IDEA in a blender and there you go. Suggested tracks: “Patriotic & Brain Dead” and “S.O.S.”

Argh El Silencio De Los Cromagnones EP

Temuco’s anti-new-world-order, post-apocalyptic punks. D-beat merged with classic hardcore punk featuring members of INYECCION, with lyrics touching subjects such as modern society’s surreptitious decay and the macabre system we are in, chemicals in the water poisoning us, submission to heavy technology, and abusive social domination. Ranting guitars, crazy open hi-hat D-beat drums, and a desperate maniac voice trying to warn you about the geopolitical experiments of globalization mixed with violence and chaos nowadays. Really dig the format of the songs as cautions or presages of a real near future, but also depicting stuff from our present. Chileans sure know their hardcore punk, and this themed DIY band is a faithful example. Four-track EP in under six minutes. Go give them a listen and join the forces of ARGH in order to be prepared to fight a more than grim prospect (or perhaps is it too late?).

V/A Invasión 88 LP reissue

Reissue of a total cult classic LP released in the ’80s, compiling 20 tracks of punk rock, hardcore punk, and Oi! from Argentina—one of the first Argentinian punk compilations. Features songs from LOS LAXANTES, ATTAQUE 77, DIVISION AUTISTA’s early approach to straightedge, FLEMA’s first line-up (with their later iconic singer Ricky Espinosa on guitar), EXEROICA, COMANDO SUICIDA, DEFENSA Y JUSTICIA, RIGIDEZ KADAVERICA, CONMOCION CEREBRAL, and LOS BARAJA. Originally released by Radio Tripoli Discos in December 1988 with recordings that were made between 1982–1988. It was one of my first exposures to punk as a teenager. Highly recommended for lovers ’80s punk rock and hardcore from Latin America, as it depicts Argentina’s most notorious bands at the time who were in some aspects first in their class, reaching the fiber of the feeling of an era when punk emerged and became a fully recognizable subculture in South America. Reissued by Fuego A Las Fronteras, a Basque/Mexican label that operates in Barcelona, it includes a DVD with a short film from the ’80s called Festipunk by Patra Exeroica along with the LP, which is a trip to a much yearned-for era for the first Argentinian punks, and also works as an archeological musical project for those unfamiliar. Lot of punks in these latitudes got a first glimpse at punk and listened to it in the first place back in the day because of this album, and it is still much appreciated today. Filled with songs expressing anger, anti-political statements, pure nihilism and violence, and revolt, and even polemic statements like those on behalf of COMANDO SUICIDA (I personally discourage listening to them because of their spreading of nationalist ideas). Suggested tracks and mentions: Legendary FLEMA’s early recordings like “Buscando Un Lugar,” EXEROICA, the first all-female alternative punk band from Argentina, DEFENSA Y JUSTICIA’s street punk against police forces in “Ratis,” the chaos-charged punk rock formula by RIGIDEZ KADAVERICA ranting against the system, classic punk anthem “Operación Ser Humano” from LOS BARAJA, and “Pasión de Multitudes” by ATTAQUE 77, combining football affinity with punk rock. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth it. Go ahead, dive into Argentina’s crazy, wild, and sometimes anakoquilombero ’80s punk!

Gatsu Generación Atormentada Tratando De Surgir Unidos cassette

Directly from the La Florida neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, we hear a loud message of positivity and great inner force being cast by this band. A solid project giving the most intense experience with inspiring lyrics, backed by a merge between classic ’90s East Coast hardcore and intense fastcore with crossover nods, great powerful drums, and thrashy, high-pitched guitar. Solid sound and lyrical performance and flow, the vocal carrier of a high-energy, never-stop-fighting vital force. The enduring urge to mosh comes right away. Classic breakdowns ending in even faster string cadences are carriers of inner strength, pumping you up—you can tell they are all good friends and didn’t just click to do this band. Self-overcoming and personal growth is encouraged, as GATSU stands for guts, exuding determination, bravery, and self-knowledge. More than an interesting project and format, not seen as often as it should be nowadays. Suggested tracks: “El Mensaje” and “El Desafío.”

V/A The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Best of K.B.D. Punk 1978–1988 CD

Vast and diverse sound range on a selection of twenty tracks from US and Germany insanely full of proto-punk and pub rock nods—there’s no way a punk rock listener won’t find references and sounds often used later by the most notorious punk bands of the late ’80s and beyond. Frantic lyrics and good tunes, filled with styles that later are the trademark of the different subgenres contained in this relic compilation. Great selection on behalf of Just 4 Fun records from Norrköping, Sweden, active since 1987. Headphones are strongly recommended for listening in order to catch all the details and layers in this one. Suggested tracks: “Black Sheep” by the NIHILISTICS, with their avant-garde hardcore punk from ’83 filled with anger, “Berlin Wall” from the histrionic Germans SUMPFPÄPSTE from ’87, and “High Heel Sex” from LIPSTICK, talking about “real live wires.” For proto-punk enthusiasts, a great archeological work on behalf of this Swedish label. Keep digging!

War//Plague Manifest Ruination LP

Minneapolis crust punk agents who have achieved fifteen years of intense DIY activity since 2008, with more than ten releases. Elaborated songs with great drums and solid riffs and socio-political content. A ten-track LP with sharp cutting cadences, blending metal punk, crust, and thrash in more than decent dosages, delivering a blunt sound and desolate tunes accompanied by a deep, screaming voice in trance. Suggested tracks: “Grief,” “Vacillation,” and “Disruption.” Punk is protest!

Zealot Zealot demo cassette

From Houston, Texas, we are delivered this graceful debut of metallic crust punk. Five tracks in under sixteen minutes of stench metal punk, filled with sludgy cadences, sick guitars with a ball-of-noise sound, and anger-filled, pain-induced vocals with a cathartic cadence releasing all, plus heavy drums that often take the speedway before leaving a spree of chaos behind them and with you. Raw energy contained and let loose at different paces, with great palm-muting and riffy strings. Suggested track: “…And How Did We Get Here?” for seekers of crust punk sounds of a more metallic nature.

Antigen / Socialstyrelsen A Sense of Dread split LP

Phobia Records from the Czech Republic won’t stop delivering crust punk D-beat bands. On these eleven tracks in under 25 minutes, we encounter ANTIGEN and SOCIAL STYRELSEN. ANTIGEN offers four tracks led by a crust-cut female voice pitching high choruses, filled with desperate feeling along with a painful screaming. Solid crust punk with hardcore drums, pretty much all straightforward. SOCIALSTYRELSEN blasts crunchy D-beat crust punk with demonic high vocals, guitars like non-stop chainsaws, and ranting drums. A chaos sound from another era with modern nods. The Swedish language hits hard, with such suffering-infused voices fueled by violence. Suggested tracks: “Knivad” and “Hata Mig.”

Pus Pus II LP

A dark Peruvian chamber under a tomb is where we descend with this LP. Raw, distorted, fast-paced, dark blackened hardcore punk that will drive you mad. You can tell they are looking toward chaos and blackened deathrock and punk. A hellish voice echoing from an abyss, chanting deep, desperate screams in a gloomy hardcore atmosphere. Heavily recommend seeing the band live, tearing everything apart. Savage, dark realms from the grave from one of the Latin American bands that has managed to synthesize their own true sound of deathrock and blackened punk. Suggested tracks: “Fosa Común,” “Danza Sombría,” and “Noche.” One of my current projects (EMBOSCADA) did a split with these crazy people, and we are now cursed. A modern must-listen for MOROI and NOSFERATU followers, and seekers of darker sounds in hardcore punk.

Prison Affair Demo III EP

Barcelona’s egg-punk referents PRISON AFFAIR released this four-track EP (their killer third demo) on Under the Gun Records from East L.A. in September 2022—deep, psychotic bass lines plus the most heavily dubbed synth mayhem. On the first track “Big Bottom Baby,” you get the feeling of descending into the prison of an internet tube. Addictive eggy, thrashy synth trances are here, with steady, monotonous vocals jumping through the fast-paced melodies, achieving complexity and implying layers in their sound as they mix theme songs with crazy catchy tracks. This gives them the title of the current kings of the eggy situation. Suggested tracks: “Big Bottom Baby” and “Nice Guys.”

V/A Big, Big Wave LP

Wild and very ambitious project that tries to give the listener a good glimpse into Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s underground punk scene, attempting to document as much of the scene as possible in a single day while on tour (with great success, in my opinion). Biff Bifaro, you are a crazy visionary! Keep on driving to far-away and under the radar scenes! Eleven bands with one or two tracks each recorded on the very same day, no doubt sharing some common ball of sound—to my taste, most of the bands were more on the garage side of rock than the punk side, minus FUMES, JUDY AND THE JERKS and YEAR OF THE VULTURE, but that’s only my view. Also features PLEATHER, CONTROL ROOM, and BIG HITS, among others. Great effort, give it a listen.

Mordloch Mordloch LP

Stench death metal from Velký Osek, Czech Republic, achieving infernal inferno guitars and sludge cadences with notable grindcore nods, and a sick, steady, deadly voice that gives ritualistic feels that sometimes double to deliver possessed, high-pitched screams filled with pain. Devilish death metal nature. Recommended tracks: “Vse Zive” and “Dorakví” for a slow, steady walk to the tomb, taking up speed for some parts in order to run from the demons. Get ready to mosh with skeletons.

Fractured / Phane Phane vs. Fractured split LP

This split presents a battle between Canadian bands. Vancouver’s PHANE delivers six tracks of their own charged hardcore punk inspired and fueled by GBH and the like—punk militia drums, thrashy guitars with tasty riffs, and fast soloing. A deep, ranting voice leads with resemblances of UK82-style anthemic performance, but adding modern nods in the guttural delivery. A good discovery; well-executed, fast punk rock. Suggested tracks: “Musorá” and “No Need to Breathe” for classic street punk rhythm and solid bass lines. FRACTURED, a trio from Montreal, brings five tracks displaying a D-beat/UK82-infused sound heavily influenced by crusty hardcore punk. Good riffing fast guitars and thrashy ’80s metal female vocals mixed with classic hardcore punk drum cadences, reminding me in some songs of Canibalina’s screams in her band ABYECTA. Suggested track: “Full Speed Ahead.” PHANE would win this pairing.

Rabbit Halo of Flies cassette

This interesting cassette comes straight out of Brooklyn, New York. RABBIT provides the finest metalpunk merged with classic hardcore, delivered with blunt force. Deep bass, great solid drums casting breakdowns from hell, smashing guitars, and a reverberating chaotic voice that takes over all the space (and your ears, too) from time to time, producing the feeling of melting down in a violent pit full of raw energy. You can sense some GULCH vibrations and a setting of unease. Highly recommended for those in dire need of a blunt dose of metalpunk and heavy breakdowns. Great art cover featuring a nice putrid egg. Definitely a band to check out live; surely their gigs exude energy and chaos. Suggested tracks: “Malparido,” “Withdrawal from Mass Grave,” and “Worse,” if you fancy some demonic possessed vocals.

Gasmiasma At War With Punk cassette

A six-track 2022 cassette originally recorded in 2015 by New Orleans, Louisiana’s GASMIASMA, featuring members of EYEHATEGOD and CROWBAR. High-velocity powerviolence mixed with crust that seems to never stop, with several hardcore punk nods, great ranting vocals (desperate screaming choruses are included), and thrashy guitars with crazy whips. A ball of sound can be found in almost each song, giving us that uneasy feeling that some crave. Suggested tracks: “Skin the Corpse of Action” and “The Name is Clash, Not Crass,” in order to lose your mind in the pit.

Los Tarzanillos Todo Lo Que Quieras + Lo Mejor De Lo Peor cassette

One-man DIY project from Barcelona, Spain released by the Valencian label Flexidiscos, featuring two separate releases combined on an eighteen-track cassette. Bedroom synth punk with songs heavily influenced by political stances, and an anti-music position that erupted from a boring life mainly because of the pandemic (according to the artist statement of David Garcerán, ex/current member of ALGARA and IRREAL). It’s filled with anarcho-punk affirmations and in some ways takes on forms of guerrilla warfare, like the recorded statement of ethos and principles in the middle of this release, for example. Reverbed monotone vocals, with electric drums and garage-y strings following. If you dig synth punk and things of an eggy nature, you may find this interesting. I personally enjoyed the first half better, and the synthesized statement in the middle that invites the listener to a sense of guerrilla audio. Suggested track: “Hartos.”

Alteri / Gr​ä​nslandet split LP

Issued in October 2022 by Phobia Records, a label based in the Czech Republic, this split presents bands from Germany and Sweden. ALTERI from Cologne, Germany offers a synthesis of blackened crust closer to death metal, with deep and low but also high gutturals, sludgy bass lines, and guitars that sometimes resemble math rock sounds, cutting with precision. The songs are filled with tempo changes and parts achieving complexity. Suggested track: “Verlorene Staedte.” On the Sweden side, we have GRÄNSLANDET from Kristinehamn, delivering their D-beat with deep, sludgy strings and fast cadences, good riffy guitar solos, and controlled yet strong screams plus great drums. Good work with the doom feel that gives a trance-like feeling at moments. Suggested track: “Historiens Mantra.” Appropriate selection for a split, with the bands having things in common. Recommended for blackened crust and metal enthusiasts.

Kritická Situace St​á​le Na Út​ě​ku LP

A key piece of Prague’s punk history, filled with melancholy and angst, screaming for freedom and against mandatory military service and state oppression. This sixteen-track LP includes KRITICKÁ SITUACE’s second demo, originally released in 1989, and represents a great musical archeology effort to bring back a classic cult Czech band by mastering and releasing such an album. Raw punk and some primitive D-beat and crust, and even some proto-hardcore nods (which Czechs like to call “motörpunk”), delivering an example of primitive classic Eastern European sounds. Low quality on the instruments and recording gear, but that doesn’t really matter here. Time-resistant material filled with diminutive distorted guitars, ranting drums, and some good anti-war riffing with nods to militia-related cadences, but taking them as a method of resistance to establish their own war. This second demo from KRITICKÁ SITUACE offers some context regarding the almost-achieved early ’90s abolition of compulsory military service. “Still on the run from the limitations of our own fellow citizens. Still on the run from the madness of war.” Anti-militarism, pacifism, criticism of one’s own ranks. Pure raw punk energy catalyzed in vagueness, inexperience, limited skills, and greatly limited options for own equipment. Hate militarism? This might be an inspiring album for a revolt.

Outrage Factor Nothing Ever Changes cassette

Another great addition for Tetryon Tapes, this time from a member of their own local scene in Buffalo, New York. Released by Biff Bifaro’s one-man DIY operation DIY project in July, this consists of nine tracks with a sound that resembles classic ’80s US (especially West Coast) hardcore like POISON IDEA, GERMS, old BLACK FLAG, or CIRCLE JERKS, greeting us with an amazing rage and angst, visceral desperate and violent vocals that evoke puking on someone’s face, classic hardcore guitars and blasting drums, and even some surfy new wave riffs. This seems to have erupted from a long-sealed time vault or capsule, and I think that’s great—classic and yet quite refreshing. Excellent effort by the one songwriter in recording, mixing, mastering and even doing the artwork themselves! Suggested tracks: “Cyanide Solution,” “Contaminated,” and “Violent and Jacked” for nice palm-muting (“Violent and jacked / Under attack / The past is gone / And now you are looking back!”). Great cathartic cassette, give it a go!

Acid Mikvah Acid Mikvah demo cassette

Directly from Chicago, Illinois comes ACID MIKVAH, a group of Jewish punks who released this cassette in June 2021 (extra credit for the lyrics on their Bandcamp page). Reverbed vocals over political, garage-y, fast punk rock, with quite catchy riffs led by a heavily distorted guitar that has resemblances of early raw punk mixed with classic hardcore. With songs that speak against apartheid and religious birthrights and take a stand against nationalism and hatred, they create freedom punk to fight against Israel’s war and sieges against Palestine (“Call everyone an antisemite, the establishment got your back / But we fight back, with Palestinians, for a just world”). Interesting political punk, you may like them.

The Clue The Clue demo cassette

Five-track demo in seven minutes by Denver’s the CLUE. Egg-punk with heavily distorted vocals that are almost unintelligible. Electronic gags and some guitar riffs are interesting. Great synths and overexposed noisy drums. The non-stop confusing lyrics may be annoying if you are not familiar with this subgenre. The cover of “Sunlight” by TINY TIM at the end of this demo is bananas. If you like frantic, rotten egg-punk, this might be right up your alley.

Derrumbando Defensas Sistema Criminal LP

All-female metal/hardcore band from Temuco, Chile that assembled around 2009, with three previous releases. Released in April 2022, this seven-track LP (with a great cover art by Subhuman Illustrations from Colombia) has some sick lyrics full of hatred and aggression and a sense of revenge and justice, touching on topics such as feminist struggles and resistance, and Latin American issues from colonialism to ethnocide to nature’s destruction at the hands of big foreign companies. Anti-system, anti-state, anti-speciesism, anti-fascism, and anti-nationalism positions (what else could you dream for on an LP?) combine beautifully with distorted metal strings and deep and suffering vocals with some sweet gutturals. Metallic hardcore cadences are included along with sounds suggesting outer space and mental metal chambers alike. Suggested tracks: “Latinoamérica” has some great lyrics summarizing all of the problems of this area that has been injured for too long, transmitting a helpful yet painful message which any Latin American is going to identify with. “Devastación” is a sludgy metal hardcore instrumental with screams and doomsday space sounds, working as a break between songs with lyrics. “No Me Representas” is a great anti-nationalist anthem against the Chilean state and its repression and corruption. Highly recommended project, it’s been a good surprise.

Keretik Tomorrow’s Worst Enemy cassette

This eight-track cassette is filled with twenty-three minutes of gloomy metalpunk from Helsinki, Finland. Heavy metal-infused punk with sludgy cadences and deep smoky vibes—the vocals are anger-filled and sickly crazy, the guitar riffage is mental, and the bass lines resemble a consistent hammer. All of these aspects combine efficiently to create a vibe of their own, a great effort that achieves a unique sound for the band. ”Vannoharha” and “Pirulukee Pyhää Kirjaa” are my suggested tracks, the first one for its crazy drums and “predator hunt experience” sound, and for the sick bass lines in the latter. Helsinki’s metalpunk is alive and well.

JFA / Sin 34 split EP reissue

This reissued relic is quite amazing. Both bands’ tracks are taken from the Sudden Death compilation EP from 1982 released on Smoke Seven Records featuring bands like MORAL DECAY, CRANKSHAFT, the SINS, REDD KROSS, DEATH YOUTH, and more—according to the timeline, these may be JFA and SIN 34’s earliest and/or first recordings. Surf punks from Arizona mixed with hardcore punks from Santa Monica, this split is still vital today, filled with urgent youth screams for politics, chaos, and fun. For JFA’s part, we can talk about revolutionary guitars, fast-paced screams, an erratic voice, and low reverb with surf punk influences and new wave punk. SIN 34 delivers good sludgy cadences, anthemic and energetic female vocals, and decadence-evoking palm-muted guitars. A merge between new wave punks introducing space sounds with a resemblance to surf rock and the most classic US hardcore punk, with referents worldwide during the ’81–84 era. A must-listen for lovers of skate punk and classic US hardcore.

O.R.C. Feeling Safe cassette

This five-track cassette was released by Dial Club from Japan (Katakatou Punk Collective) and consists of lo-fi Melbourne punk directly from a bedroom. Imagine vocals like an ’80s telephone conversation on a submarine, mixed with heavily-layered tasty riffs. This is eggy garage punk, and it could get monotonous—for fans of PRISON AFFAIR, as the heavy synths are companions with the diminutive, distorted guitars. Recommended if you are into lo-fi bedroom creatures and frantically recorded cassette tapes. Suggested tracks: “Self-Proclaimed Narcissist” and “Too Much Fun.”

Chaotic Youth Demo 81 LP

Punk relic from the UK82 wave reissued by Nausea Records (UK), featuring Scotland’s CHAOTIC YOUTH’s demo from 1981. Teenage aggression and rotten presentation of Margaret Thatcher’s era. Really good bass lines, and the singer’s voice has a classic UK82 style, ranting and screaming for change and angst. Favorite track: “Violence in the City.” You can feel the teenage vibes, and if you played in a punk band as a youngster, you are gonna feel at home. Great effort with the archiving and mastering of the material on behalf of Nausea Records.

Lamictal Violent Convulsions cassette

Minimal weird garage punk rock from California that reminds me of a merge between DANNY’S FAVORITES and PRISON AFFAIR, but with hardcore cadences and speed. According to the Bandcamp page of the label Goodbye Boozy, we have little information about the one-man band that is Alex Coletto (X-ACTO, GNARLES MANSON). Four tracks in less than four minutes is my kind of synth punk (or should I say synth-hardcore?). Limited to twenty tapes, it’s a must-listen for enthusiasts of synth punk/egg-punk/totally weird minimal punk and its derivatives. Suggested tracks: “Violent Convulsions” (its title exactly depicts the song) and “Aura.. When you are starting to enjoy it, it abruptly ends, like all good things in life.

Dadar Iron Cage LP

Well-executed lo-fi egg-punk directly from Parma, Italy. DADAR’s fourth album sounds really balanced, with the right amount of loop effects and synth lines that follow the rhythm of the song, and manages to deliver a really good sound. Also, the vocals are a lil’ bit dubbed,  accomplishing that garage feeling egg-punk should evoke. Suggested tracks: “Rewiring,” “Sound of Sirens,” and the last track of this album, “112.” Reminds me of WWW, cyberpunk friends from Argentina. If you like synth sounds and eggy garage punk, this is an excellent album for you. If you wish to hear emerging bands from other countries that aren’t the US or UK playing fine egg-punk, this is your choice for a starting place (at least in Europe).

The Poisoning Human Apparitions EP

This band comes from Santa Ana/Los Angeles, California, and this seems to be their first EP—physical copies are only available at live shows. A four-track EP spinning around for twelve minutes or so. Kinda fast punk rock, notes of GG ALLIN in the vocals, quick guitar changes, and good drums with fills and stops that may cause pogoing. The first track “Human Apparitions” is like some kind of hymn and works as an intro to the EP (riffy as hell). Good hardcore punk, with really defined guitars and a lil’ bit less distorted than usual. The second song “Breathless” was to me the best song on this EP: well-executed, and creates an atmosphere of losing oxygen, with great guitars for this one as well as good drum cuts. I wouldn’t categorize them into the “metal punk” area at all, as they are closer to classic hardcore punk, even a clean-ish version. Their singer transmits a calm but uneasy feeling, like a hawk looking from above, calm but deadly. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I liked them, but after some listening, I realized this is quite good. It’s always easier to just make noise and angry postures, but this has musical accuracy, and it seems to have passion, too.

The Executed Demonstration cassette

Phoenix, Arizona’s the EXECUTED has released this demo on Noise Merchant Records from the UK, a key label to discover a wide range of emerging hardcore bands worldwide. Four tracks in less than seven minutes gives us the perfect intro for the EXECUTED. Sharp guitars, even sharper voice, good riffing and beat changes. Listen to the track “Blinders” for speedy pogo and riff rage, continue with “Grid Decay” for a catchy guitar jumping along with the drums followed by a downbeat that goes in crescendo to the pit, then “Shock State” follows quite in the same line as “Blinders,” and finish the album with “The Last Riot” to extinguish whatever was left of hatred and violence in you before the EXECUTED. Really fun album, hardcore punk mixed with nods to and cadences of ’80s skate rock and classic hardcore like the downbeats—for me it’s a formula that works, but that you don’t get to hear as often as you’d think. Highly recommended.

Uncross Demo 2022 CD

Coming straight out of Salt Lake City, Utah’s UNCROSS offers three tracks in ten minutes on this demo, which was released in April 2022. Extra points for having the lyrics on the page,  starting off with “Descend Into Decrepitude” (“Lies cannot save you / Hate will not heal you / God cannot hear you…”). With distorted strings and sludgy cadences, the first minute-and-a-half of this song sorts of works as an intro to the demo. After that, the vocals enter, with remembrances of crust metal and doom. It totally makes you feel like descending, and after that starts picking a rhythm inviting you to a doomy pit. Very cathartic. For the second song “Amplified Self-Loathing,” the strings are mental and ill, and follows the lyrical work: depression is a constant, as is self-loathing and hatred scattered towards humanity. This track is a little bit less accomplished, but it has some dark introspective force going to your own soul. The last track is “DYI” (“Doing Yourself In”). This reviewer does not condone nor encourage suicide, but this band might as well. My personal favorite track is “Descend Into Decrepitude,” as it gets the desired atmosphere and may convince you to enter into a rhythmic trance. For lovers of sludge and doom, and reaching the core of depression; a great first effort for UNCROSS.