Reviews

João Seixas

Warning? Unattainable demo cassette

Established in 2019, WARNING? is a gritty and snotty skate punk band from the Bay Area. Not that much info on this band can be found, which makes you think of how it was back in the glory days of USHC. The four songs on this demo go by as fast as possible but they manage to get in your head. A good debut, now let’s see what comes next!

Pyhät Nuket Kuoleman Sotatanssi LP reissue

PYHÄT NUKET was formed by Finnish punks Lasse Aaltonen and Juha Nabb while their main outfit, the legendary RIISTETYT, was taking a break, and after this short-lived project was finished, most of the musicians went on to NUKET. PYHÄT NUKET was far from their main gig, delving more and more into goth and new wave territory, but you can just call it post-punk—catchy and bright anthems for the goth that resides inside each punk. Kuoleman Sotatanssi has now reached a cult classic status in the underground scene and has seen a reissue courtesy of Svart Records.

Primer Regimen 1983 EP

Been waiting for this one for a while, as PRIMER REGIMEN is one of the best Colombian bands out there, and it’s a pleasure to listen to this EP in-depth. After two great EP releases (No Futuro / No Solución and Ultimo Testamento) which were straight-on UK82 pogo-inducing bangers, one might expect more of the same, and this is where PRIMER REGIMEN throws us a curveball. “Hegemonia” opens the EP with tribal-ish, tom-heavy grooves (think What’s This For…!-era KILLING JOKE) that set a more bleak tone for what’s to come, while the follow-up “Líderes” returns to their brilliant brand of passionate and aggressive UK82-influenced tupa-tupa that takes no prisoners. This succession of songs just shows the evolution of the band as they rely more on ambiance this time that on previous records, so this is an important EP for PRIMER REGIMEN, as they are silently perfecting their craft and pulling out different influences, mainly post-punk and anarcho-punk. 1983 is also a very political EP, relaying the bloody story of Colombia that still has a shadowy grip on their people today.

Wolfbrigade Anti-Tank Dogs EP

Arguably one of the most influential Swedish punk bands ever, starting out as WOLFPACK and steadily evolving into WOLFBRIGADE, with their trademark DISCHARGE meets ANTI-CIMEX meets DISSECTION sound. Many of the modern crust bands owe their careers to these Swedish crust-mongers. This new three-track EP shows a slight evolution into a more metallic and dirty territory, even more so than on their last record The Enemy: Reality. Every song is carefully crafted and sharpened into a weapon of crust destruction. WOLFBRIGADE is a central piece in the Swedish punk scene, whether you want them to be or not. So dig your paws in! The Lycanthro Punks will stop at nothing and trample everything in their path.

偏執症者 (Paranoid) Tatari 7″

Japanese-obsessed Swedish maniacs PARANOID always go full-out on their releases, constantly putting out fresh stuff without losing quality. With just two tracks here, they solidify the direction that they are going in: heavy me(n)tal punk! Tatari is a companion 7″ to their digitally-released album Cursed, and pressed as a gift to whomever bought it through Bandcamp. The two songs are well balanced and make for great headbanging music for punks and metalheads alike. The leads get stuck in your head like any great heavy metal band’s licks would, and the steady beat reminds you that this is still a punk band in essence. Metal or punk? Who cares? You can see punk in VENOM as much as you can see metal in ANTI-CIMEX.

Zanjeer Parcham Buland Ast EP

Born out of frustration and the anger of being stomped by the system, ZANJEER was first conceptualized in 2020 in Bremen by members who come from all over (Colombia, Pakistan, England, and Germany), and who used to make noise in bands like MURO, AMENAZAS, and MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS, just to name a few. This provides a multicultural and multilingual output on life as someone that is against the established system. It means that their ferociousness is channeled through Urdu, Farsi, and Punjabi lyrics and vocals. ZANJEER raises the flag for the disenfranchised, the excluded, the victims of religious oppression and post-colonial nationalism. Sonically, it’s somewhere in between DISCHARGE, DISRUPT, and a darker CHAOS UK, with a vocal delivery that could be on a RATOS DE PORÃO record. To complete the full vision of the band, they recruited Nicky Rat to do a powerful cover that encapsulates what is inside the record.

Savage Pleasure A Harrowing Cry… From the Shadows cassette

Metal-infused punk or punk-infused metal? It doesn’t matter, what matters is that it rips! Equal parts AMEBIX and HELLHAMMER with some nods to VENOM or early VOIVOD, but always keeping a punk edge. From the cover to the samples, there is this occult folky feeling that just seals the deal and glues the whole thing together. Overall, this demo is a great debut from SAVAGE PLEASURE. First-wave enthusiasts, get your hands on this one.

Rashōmon Nin-Gen 12″

RASHŌMON is Japanese for “dispute.” And there is no “dispute” that this record is a grade-A banger. Of course, we are dealing with Japanese-influenced hardcore right here. A well-oiled, chaotic machine of vicious melodious hardcore à la BASTARD but with the crudeness of a Dischord band (they are from Washington DC). They don’t sound like a rip-off band as much as putting their own twist on the genre, and it sounds more abstract than your average Japanese-influenced band. An excellent innovation in the genre and it will not disappoint. Or maybe they were named after the Akira Kurosawa flick?

Venosa Decapitado de Nacimiento cassette

There isn’t much you can get from an internet search for these guys and sometimes that is a great feeling because you can fill in the gaps yourself, like back in the day when you didn’t have any info other than what was found on the records or in zines. The only thing I could find was that VENOSA comes from Argentina. They play a furious brand of thrashy hardcore, fast and vicious, not quite thrashcore but almost there. I would dare to say that they almost sound a bit like Italian hardcore due to their chaotic nature. Decapitado de Nacimiento offers fifteen tracks that ooze aggression and discontent.

Abyecta Enemigos De La Razón EP

Enemigos! Enemigos! Enemigos!” So shouts ABYECTA’s singer as this four-track EP begins. A metallic punk onslaught of thrashy riffs and D-beats ensues. They owe as much to Japanese hardcore as they do to speed metal bands like RAZOR or EXCITER. This duo recently relocated to Chile and has been touring the US non-stop, and seems to be on the right track to making their name known. An excellent EP that will satisfy metalheads and punks alike!

Gehenna Negative Hardcore LP

GEHENNA is negative hardcore and negative hardcore is GEHENNA. Having the title of “the infamous” before their band name is just one of those details that makes the legend of GEHENNA a bit more frightening—famous (or infamous) for their “take no prisoners” approach to live shows, filled with violence and disgust, and a big “fuck you” to the metal and hardcore scene. They don’t follow the rules, they make the rules. Starting out in 1993 and adding the steps that INTEGRITY built, they created a monster of blackened metallic hardcore that would open the doors to the likes of ROT IN HELL or BLIND TO FAITH. After some years in silence, the excellent Negative Hardcore finally came out, the third album in thirty years, and it is everything one can expect from this band. You can hear SEPTIC DEATH, BOLT THROWER, and of course INTEGRITY with the black cloud of black metal hovering over every track and the hateful delivery of the end-of-the-world premonitions of Mike Cheese signaling the apocalypse. A class-A record for the Holy Terrorists out there.

Antinomia Trilha Sonora Para um Jantar de Família Pós-Apocalíptico cassette

From the booming punk scene of Oporto, ANTINOMIA is one of the bands to keep an eye out for. These young fellows are old school hardcore afficionados and know what the hell is going on with the style that they do. They pay homage to the oldies like RIPCORD, VOID, HERESY, and ELECTRO HIPPIES, so basically every good fastcore band on the planet, plus some of the weird anti-hardcore riffage of NO TREND. There is an urban element that can’t be denied in the vibe of the band that goes beyond hardcore, turning it into a more visceral and palpable piece of music. Excellent artwork by the gruesome Legfarmer, once again able to put disgusting sonic putridity into visual form, and let’s not forget the added bonus that is a MISFITS cover of “Earth A.D.” Play fast or don’t, they will still be faster than you!

Erupt Left To Rot EP

Love it when punks play metal! Featuring members of SHEER MAG, GELD, and many more, ERUPT knows their metal well. This Aussie bunch dug up the classic extreme metal albums and did their own take on the genre. One can hear SODOM, SLAYER, and BATHORY, providing a thrashing sonic eruption that almost goes into black thrash metal territory. Horns up for the punks!

Lasso Amuo EP

LASSO came from out of nowhere and immediately grabbed the punk world by the balls. This may be a new outfit, but all of the members had previously played in ROSA IDIOTA. Following the Brazilian hardcore tradition and adding a bit of deathrock à la RUDIMENTARY PENI here and there, this debut is all one can ask for. An eight-song EP that will be stuck on your player for a long time.

Poison Ruïn Not Today, Not Tomorrow EP

Dungeon punk? Medieval post-punk? Anarcho-goth? Chainmail-core? POISON RUÏN is a super hard band to define as they have so much going on in terms of influences. At the core, they are a post-punk band, and that is very well-defined, but they lean towards Oi!, sometimes deathrock, and even dungeon synth at other times. Like medieval AMEBIX playing WIPERS songs after a few pints of mead. It started out as a solo project of Mac Kennedy, but since then has become a full-band venture. “Not Today, Not Tomorrow” starts out with dungeon synth and it ends with thunder over an epic punk riff. Shall I say more? The highlight is the closer “Edifice,” a bleak, mid-tempo post-punk anthem filled with dread. Throw on your chainmail, and get your dice ready.

Doldrey Celestial Deconstruction LP

We don’t get to review death metal albums that often here at Maximum Rocknroll, so let’s get to it! In an oversaturated world of ENTOMBED clones, it is hard to stand out without sounding exactly like the next band in line. DOLDREY manages to sound refreshing, but maintains all the tropes of this microgenre some call ENTOMBED-core or “death punk.” Ice-cold HM-2 riffage? Check. Murky vocal delivery? Check. Pummeling D-beats? Check. Groove that makes you headbang? Double check! The curious thing is that DOLDREY worships Swedish death metal, but they come from an improbable place, Singapore. You can tell that they love punk and hardcore just as much as they do GRAVE or CARNAGE. A great record to put on when you burn out your copy of Wolverine Blues.

Mock Execution Killed by Mock Execution LP

Chicago’s MOCK EXECUTION leaves no crust boxes unticked. Part UK traditional crust like DOOM or E.N.T., part Japanese crasher crust like GLOOM or GAI. Even though many bands follow this route in terms of style, MOCK EXECUTION seems to have developed their own distinct sound, with a brutal display of ferociousness throughout the nine songs that make up Killed by Mock Execution—and you will indeed be killed by this noise bomb.

Valtatyhjiö Lukko cassette

Finnish hardcore alert! VALTATYHJIÖ hails from Joensuu in North Karelia, Finland, and brings under their arms a debut demo that is an absolute banger. The vocal delivery could have easily been on a MELLAKKA record, with the traditional Finnish hardcore snarl raiding your ears non-stop. The drumming is on point and the riffs just keep on coming and coming. A new release and band that carries the torch for the golden era of Finnish hardcore.

Bad Breeding Human Capital LP

BAD BREEDING is anarcho-punk filtered through the lens of someone living in the ever-growing social collapse of this modern world, because times keep getting worse, so the anger grows. Imagine if any of the Crass Records bands were to be transported to 2022, and I bet they would come close to what BAD BREEDING is doing. I say “close” because BAD BREEDING operates in an artistic world of their own that is really hard to emulate. Yes, “artistic,” because that is something lacking in punk: art. So much more than just a punk band, BAD BREEDING is the complete package of social unrest, and Human Capital is a sonic mirror held to the metaphoric face of society. From anarcho-punk to post-punk passing through grittier hardcore punk, there are twists and turns that are hard to predict but easy to listen to, that leave you wanting more. This is a complete album in every way, as the artwork and the music are indistinguishable in the way the passion goes through both. The artwork is segmented and crafted by a fantastic team of visual artists that have the same love for punk as BAD BREEDING, featuring Nicky Rat, Dead City Tokyo, Shiva/Shadow Comms, Jack Sabbat/InHell, and Yagi. And as with their last record, there is an essay written by Jake Farrell that serves as a further depiction of the ideals of the record. A band that may divide the waters in a sense that many are not prepared to understand, but that is what punk is all about! Is this the album of the year?

Alienator Alienator demo cassette

At first glance, the cover looks like a Memphis rap album, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this is pure top-notch hardcore from Portland. C.O.C.-inspired thrashing with the balance of DISCHARGE, but reaching high speeds that would get them a ticket. Six songs of headbanging, windmilling, and moshing at dizzying speeds. A vicious way to get their career up and going.

Récidive Tripes d’Acier EP

Formed in 2019 in the mean streets of Paris, a breeding ground for new Oi! bands, RÉCIDIVE is a fairly new band with just the Planté Là x Jeunes Espoirs 7” previously under their belt (or should I say braces?!?). Back with Tripes d’Acier, this shaved-headed crew has done three songs that will get any skinhead on the dancefloor, swinging and slamming. You can hear CRIMINAL DAMAGE and BLITZ in their sound as expected, but they manage to sound mature with their well-crafted songs, bringing some sort of freshness to their catchy brand of Oi! Oi! Oi! Oi!

Lumpen Corrupción 12”

I mentioned in my review for their debut EP that LUMPEN is the spirit of South American punk dissidence, and this opinion hasn’t changed. This is what punk should be! Ravenous yet catchy UK82-styled hardcore punk with the wrath of a thousand dissidents who are fed up with all the violence and corruption that they were born into and who took matters in to their own hands in order to change things. Corrupción is as amazing as their debut Desesperación, but it has a few surprises. Aside from the CHAOS UK-meets-CRIMINAL JUSTICE hybrid, they managed to do a post-punk-ish song called “Anti-Patria” which is pretty bleak, and I could hear a whole album of songs like this. To end the record, there is a kick-ass ULTRA-VIOLENT cover, but with Spanish lyrics that prove that bands don’t need to succumb to the pressure of singing in English to sound good or get included. LUMPEN and fellow countrymen PRIMER REGIMEN are for sure the best Latin punk bands at this moment! Renuncia a tu vida!

Save Our Children Save Our Children demo cassette

Another scorching-hot banger from Austin, Texas. Seven deadly punk hardcore anthems in under seven minutes, as per punk tradition, in a GANG GREEN-meets-JERRY’S KIDS mash of ferocious energy. From the sound to the logo, this band exudes old school hardcore the way it is supposed to be. Even the lack of information about the band feels like the old days. Tune in and get transported to the ’80s!

Rövsvett Jesus Var En Tomte LP

Swedish hardcore masters RÖVSVETT need no introduction. 2020 marked the 35th anniversary of one of the most brutal hardcore records ever to come out of Europe, Jesus Var En Tomte. Prove me wrong! This time, it has a new mix that makes it sound even fresher,  with an added 22 bonus songs, including “Fast” (from the same recording as the rest of their second EP Jesus Was an Elf, with a new mix), and finally a live recording of the classic “Ultra Huset”. Hard to imagine someone playing blisteringly fast yet so precise like this back in the day, whilst other bands achieved classic status with way sloppier and mild recordings. Truly an underrated band.

Warthog Four Walls EP

At this point, everyone knows or has heard of WARTHOG. They’re one of those bands that with everything they release, be it records, merch, or other publicity stunts (billboard!?!?), will get major attention. To get this sort of attention nowadays with bands spawning left and right is admirable, so there must be an “it” factor to them. With that being said, the sons of Larry are back with their third self-titled EP in a row. Yes! They are delving more and more into metal-oriented territory with recognizable influences of proto-bands like VENOM or CELTIC FROST, but still go fast on the POISON IDEA-styled hardcore. WARTHOG is at the top of the game and has been a major influence on American hardcore, and they are quickly spreading that influence to Europe as well. But you have to see them live to witness the full force of the WARTHOG attack! Highly recommended!

Burning Flag Matador LP

On their third album, BURNING FLAG keeps on waving their determination for everyone to see. The Halifax group is equal parts political punk and metal; their formula is based around crushing Scandi-styled crust but sometimes they reach ENTOMBED-like heaviness and groove, with emphasis on the groove, and some dissonant, apocalyptic GODFLESH industrial bleakness thrown into the mix. The themes of Matador explore misogyny, toxic masculinity, and societal corruption, so it’s a record filled with politics just as it should be.

Targets First Blood cassette

This is a 1:58-long promo tape, so I’ll keep this review in the same fashion: quick and to-the-point. TARGETS is an unrelenting one-man assault of fast hardcore with a fixation on murdering, a shower of sonic bullets that hit every target. Killer (pun intended) artwork by the legendary Mark McCoy of CHARLES BRONSON fame, and with that said, this band could be on Youth Attack, so you get the picture. Shooting to kill!

Hellish View Holy Horrors cassette

Another piece of sonic raw armageddon for the worshippers of DISCLOSE and everything noisy in punk. This chaotic threesome from Minnesota released yet another excellent Dis-beat banger; this is the last release with their original line-up. Compiled into five ugly tracks of Dis raw punk that sounds as close to DISCLOSE as possible. A no-brainer for the “noise not music” enjoyers!

Ursut Dårarnas Paradis LP

Sweden is a hotbed of crust bands, it seems. For those who haven’t seen their logo sewn on thousands of crust pants, URSUT is a relentless D-beat band from Malmö that follows the Scandinavian tradition of SKITSYSTEM or WOLFPACK. With tight musicianship, a double vocal assault, and an infernal ambiance, URSUT crafts melancholic soundtracks for the downfall of mankind. Dårarnas Paradis is a repress of the band’s debut from back in 2011, now ready to be consumed by all the vinyl freaks out there. Their second album Köp Dig Lycklig is also a great addition to any crust collection. Crust as fuck!

Mentalidad Ausente Guerra Permanente en la Cabeza cassette

Punk music doesn’t need to be refined at all, sometimes we just need heavy riffs, hellish screaming, and banging drums. MENTALIDAD AUSENTE is a trio from Costa Rica, more precisely, San Jose, and they are primitive as hell. Almost like a punker version of BONE AWL, if that makes sense. Recorded live in 2021, this EP is a great debut for these blackened punks to lean on. Knuckle-dragging Neanderthal music, and I mean that in a good way!

Nafra Seny i Rauxa LP

NAFRA, the Catalonian powerhouse, is back after their excellent self-titled album released last year. Nine songs of fast-paced, high-energy and uplifting hardcore punk that will put a smile on your broken mug and make you take on the streets. Also, you can’t go wrong with  VARUKERS and R.I.P. covers.

Vivisected Numbskulls Swine in Chains EP

Solo venture of Max Parker of such delightful acts as 100% BLOOD, HOUNDS OF WAR, and SUBVERSIVE RITE. If the 4-Track Demo was good, Swine in Chains is even better! This isn’t for everyone, but the ones who truly appreciate the UK82 sound with D-beat undertones will love this. There is also a metallic aura about this recording that is undeniable and will reach the metalpunk enjoyers as well. Imagine DISCHARGE jamming with the PARTISANS in a sewer in post-apocalyptic Nuke York. To sum things up, all of his mentioned bands have a specific ambiance to them that will remind you of discovering some obscure band from the ’80s. Total raw assault!

Bipolar The Source of Loneliness cassette

The rawest punk outfit to ever come out of Greenland. Another swift discharge of chaotic noise-mongering in the fashion of cult classic DISASTER. They take the blueprint left by DISCHARGE, the mindset of DISCLOSE, and they just rage. Four tracks that sound like an enormous door slamming in the depths of hell.

Public Opinion Demo 2021 flexi EP

If no one told me that this band was new, I would have believed that it was recorded in the late ’80s. Short, fast, and vicious, PUBLIC OPINION delivers an ass-whooping on this four-song demo. It sounds like you are at a basement show right in front of the action, as the sound on this demo is super raw. One for the hardcore lovers that lean more to the rawer, grittier side of things.

Atropello!! El Tiempo No Perdona EP

My first time hearing Peruvian hardcore, and it sounds good. It came to my attention that ATROPELLO!! is made up of some Peruvian veterans of the hardcore punk scene. Equal parts Scandinavian punk and Italian hardcore, these Peruvian aggressors play a raw and spastic brand of hardcore. There is always this underlying chaotic quality that seems to be the glue to what they do. Putting Peru on the punk map.

Vidro Glöd LP

Attitude is one of the most, if not the most, important qualities that make up a punk band. Otherwise, it’s just rock’n’roll! VIDRO is all about the angst: the fury that pours through the way the songs play out, and the way the singer spills aggression with every scream. Members from all around the world and a drummer that played in HUVUDTVÄTT, a classic Scandi punk band. Glöd is a great modern banger, a fresh-sounding “fuck you” and then some. This might be your new favourite band, so don’t sleep on it!

Backslider Psychic Rot LP

A versatile mix of fast hardcore, crushing death metal, punishing slow sludge, and weird-ass tempo changes. Not quite powerviolence, not quite fastcore, but they seem to have their shit together and aim for pure aggressive music. The clashing of the genres works very well and the curveballs they throw at you hit like a truck. Formed in 2008, and now on their third album after a truckload of splits and EPs, they seem to be a busy bunch. If you are a fan of NAILS and don’t quite enjoy their newer material, or even if you miss HATRED SURGE, here is a good one for you.

Ex-Dom Demo 2021 cassette

An eerie intro creeps up on you just before EX(tincion de)-DOM(inio) tears your eardrums apart. This Bremen-based foursome has a couple of known faces and they know what they are doing. Sung in both Spanish and German, it creates a new dimension of aggression in the seven songs that make up this raging demo. Pogo-inducing, DISCHARGE-styled hardcore that sounds fresh and old school at the same time, so it will please newcomers as much as old punks. Watch out for their new releases as well. Highly recommended!

Guadaña Culpables LP

On their sixth release, GUADAÑA from Mallorca, Spain shows no signs of slowing down. High-octane punk rock sung in Spanish carries the Spanish punk rock tradition to the fullest. Culpables has fourteen tracks of pure punk rock filled with contagiating energy and disdain. An easy album to get into due to its non-stop energy discharge.

I-SO Total Collapse cassette

The NY punk scene never ceases to spawn great punk bands. If you like HARAM, SCALPLE, ANDROID, or DROOL, you might be familiar with I-SO’s members. Released on the punk hub Toxic State, Total Collapse is the soundtrack to the collapse of the modern world. Uber-fast tracks like “Apocalypse Anxiety” show an almost fastcore approach, while songs like “Isolation” slow down a bit and provide a Side-B-of-Damaged feel of malaise. Thumbs up for this banger of a demo.

Paint Thinner Paint Thinner demo cassette

Stompy hardcore that takes a page or two from the book of GAG when it comes to worshipping underrated ’80s USHC bands. Groove dominates each song and every part is a mosh part, with curveball time changes and slamming skank beats. Not much else to say about this release, just hardcore music for hardcore people. A no-brainer!

Tensión Ruptura o Continuación cassette

TENSIÓN is a Spanish band that captures the dark essence of modern life with their dark atmosphere and very Spanish take on post-punk. Ruptura o Continuación is a compilation of EPs released between 2020 and 2021, which includes the Autolesión EP, the Construcción EP, and the Transformar EP, plus a new version of the song “No Hay Lugar.” With a total of nine tracks, this compilation gathers the band’s latest outings and creates a great companion for lonely walks and self-reflective moments. The icing on this dark cake comes with the track “Construción,” which is a gloomier take on the song “Construção” by Brazilian singer-songwriter legend CHICO BUARQUE. This is a great way to get into this band’s work, a lesson in what Spanish post-punk is capable of, and an abstract, modern piece of artistic punk.

Axe Rash Contemporary Ass EP

When they released their self-titled 12” on Adult Crash Records back in 2019, AXE RASH stirred the punk pot with their high-intensity Swedish hardcore power, and they are back with Contemporary Ass, a well-deserved follow-up. They fit somewhere in between the raw aggression of Swedish mangel à la TOTALITÄR, with subtle hints to early ANTI-CIMEX and a more bouncy USHC-styled stomp to it. The icing on the cake is the vocals, which are as vicious as they can be and deliver a raging ass-kicking throughout the five tracks; they’re a standout factor in comparison with other contemporary mangel-worshipping bands. One of the most promising bands to come out of the punk department in Sweden in later years, and this is very telling because there are mangel-styled bands spawning left and right. AXE RASH got me hitchin’ for more! You will pay!

Hacker Pick a Path 12″

Melbourne tech freaks HACKER are on the mainframe again after their beast of a demo was released in 2019. Featuring seasoned veterans from countless Aussie punk bands, HACKER knows what they want and how to get it. POISON IDEA-styled hardcore done the right way, with futuristic dystopic themes embeded in the seven killer tracks that make up Pick a Path. Hardcore Victim is killing it once again!

Karkaisu Kohta Sataa EP

Great debut from Finnish hardcore band KARKAISU. This band from Helsinki plays melodic, almost Swedish-styled hardcore punk à la WOLFBRIGADE, but with a bigger hardcore edge. On tracks like “Ei Kuulu Sulle,” you can hear thrashy riffs as the game changes to a more crossover-influenced hardcore. A really well-rounded sound, and the vocals bring a whole new dimension to the six songs on the self-titled EP. A fun record that prompts you to hit repeat.

Sistema En Decadencia Nuestro Legado LP

Two words: crasher crust! It’s one of those genres that you either love or hate, due to the repetitiveness of the genre’s tropes. But sometimes a band comes along that makes the genre a bit more rich. SISTEMA EN DECADENCIA is such a band! After an amazing split with FEROCIOUS X, Nuestro Legado sees the light of day. Nine tracks of blistering crasher crust, noisy and fuzzed-out, worshipping ’90s Japanese bands like the almighty GLOOM. These chaos aficionados come from Melbourne and play in EXECUTION, SOMA COMA, DEJECTOR, and KRÖMOSOM, for reference. They sing in Spanish and that only adds to the urgency felt throughout. If you like pedals and fast D-beats, get this record now!

Socialstyrelsen Med Rädsla För Livet 12″

Who doesn’t love a great Scandinavian punk band? It´s been a while since I’ve heard one like SOCIALSTYRELSEN, a band that is more on the melodic side of the crust spectrum. Med Rädsla För Livet is their debut album, and what an album it is! The darkness of neocrust melodies permeates the typical Scandinavian D-beat backbone, creating a gloomy atmosphere throughout. The vocals pierce angrily through the instruments and evoke the harshness of SKITSYSTEM or AMBULANCE. A band to keep an eye out for!

Final Slum War Agora Fudeu!!! 12″

“The shit has hit the fan” is the rough translation of the Brazilian slang used as an EP title for Barcelonians FINAL SLUM WAR. They have had enough with the constant oppression of modern life, and they are here to make their statement. Eleven minutes of hatred and aggression towards everything and everyone that corrupts the system in a vicious, raw D-beat fashion. BESTHÖVEN, DOOM, and EXTREME NOISE TERROR come to mind when listening to this one. Curious that the themes in this EP truly reflect life in Brazil, a constant struggle just to survive.

Jalang Santau LP

From the Land Down Under comes a vicious D-beat stomp to the head in the form of JALANG, formerly known as LÁI, the name under which the ripper Pontianak was released. With this new moniker, they are back with Santau, a feast of fast D-beat hardcore punk with obvious Swedish inclinations, as well as their own exciting twists and turns, making this an above-average LP. The eleven tracks rip through you like a knife through butter, and they deal with the realities of the modern world filtered through dysphoric eyes. I love it when punk bands retain some sense of politics, and I would say that from the name to the last beat, this is a heavily political album, having its core in gender politics. There is an awesome CONFLICT cover as well. With members and ex-members of PISSCHRIST, MASSES, and SHEER MAG, nothing less than great is expected.

Dishuman Demo 2021 cassette

When this one was originally released back in May 2021, right at the crest of the pandemic, it came to my attention that it was made by three kids in a town near the town I live in. Being that most of the “DIS” bands are hit-or-miss for me, I was a bit skeptical. But boy, was I wrong! This is a killer demo, and they sure know their DISCHARGE really well! I was instantly hooked on this one and they became one of my favourite Portuguese bands. This excellent demo showcases five songs that sound like they were recorded in ’82 on Stoke-on-Trent, plus a DISCLOSE cover. Bright things will come for these youngsters’ future if they keep this level of dedication up.

Barrera Visiones Nocturnas 12″

At the first strike of the chords, one automatically expects a four-count followed by some D-beat destruction, but quickly you are met with another reality. BARRERA from Valencia almost sounds like post-punk, but soon you understand that it is just stripped-down, slow, primitive and suffocating punk. Hypnotic like BRAINBOMBS, noisy like FLIPPER, charismatic like the STOOGES, and dramatic like QLOAQA LETAL. Visiones Nocturnas offers seven gloomy tracks that, if you understand the lyrics, will shatter your emotions. This just proves that Spanish punk bands are at the top of their game.

Rat Cage In the Shadow of the Bomb / Scared of the Truth 7″

RAT CAGE is back after the excellent split Skopje vs Sheffield with Macedonian mangel maniacs NERVOUS SS. This is their new lathe-cut, two-song single, with all proceeds going to the Lughole in Sheffield. First we have “In The Shadow of the Bomb,” which comes close to WOLFPACK due to the chord changes and chorus hooks under a steady demolishing D-beat. Then “Scared of the Truth,” which channels a mid-tempo DISCHARGE-meets-TOTALITÄR vibe. Overall, a great follow-up to the split and a step ahead for the band in terms of sound discovery.

Crucial Response Puppets EP

When I hit play on this one, I thought to myself, “another killer American hardcore band,” and to my surprise, they are from Indonesia. Pure hardcore following the American tradition of bands like NEGATIVE APPROACH or OUT COLD. It’s stompy, it’s fast, it’s vicious, it’s great!  Previously released on cassette by Greedy Dust and Menace Records and now on vinyl on Not For the Weak, these five tracks will be hammered into your head, like it or not. These dudes really know their American hardcore well!

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!

100% Blood Sick and Bloody Madness cassette

100% BLOOD is primitive “troglodyte banging on a drum” hardcore punk done in a NY basement by two dudes from SUBVERSIVE RITE.  Sloppy but in a good way, in the great tradition of Finnish hardcore punk bands like TERVEET KÄDET or even primitive acts like the Spanish HARINA DE HUESOS HUMANOS. None of the nine songs that make up this cassette hit the one-minute mark, so you can feel the sense of urgency. The production just adds up to the intensity that Sick and Bloody Madness achieves, and the whole purpose is to sound like it was dug up from the ’80s.

Offside Reidars Fuck Off! cassette

Finnish trio of punk veterans playing hardcore punk in a vicious fashion. Fuck Off! is their second album, and it is a great mantra to have in current times. This self-released, limited edition cassette has seven hard-hitting songs of good old hardcore punk with an emphasis on vocal delivery, which brings an anthemic quality to the music. All songs are really catchy, and if you are looking for that, this is where to start.

Mad Laughter Mad Laughter demo cassette

MAD LAUGHTER from NYC has a dark aura about them that is hard to describe. A dark assault of metallic hardcore punk that certainly evokes the ’80s UK bands that dabbled in metal like SACRILEGE or BROKEN BONES, but with a more primitive, furious approach. The vocals make this demo feel like a forgotten ENGLISH DOGS recording. With members of NOSFERATU, SUBDUED, TWISTED THING, and TERRORIST, these lot made an ugly, disgusting demo for the lovers of dirty music. Roachleg Records keeps delivering the goods when it comes to the raw stuff. Go get your fix!

Urin Afekt EP

From Berlin, but with members from all over the place (just like Berlin itself, right?), URIN is back with a killer EP. They “upgraded” their sound a bit from the previous Incydent EP, adding layers of noise and chaos to the already frantic D-beat madness that they do so well. Their sound is unique and they were able to find their space sonically, as they sound unlike any other bands that come to mind. Maybe the best way to describe it is a modern version of GAI, but it still is not enough to get the whole picture, so just click play.

Kuebiko 4 Minute Warning cassette

KUEBIKO from Massachusetts sends out a clear message: a four-minute warning in just three minutes of unrelenting crust punk, in the best tradition of DOOM or E.N.T. with hints of kängpunk. These four tracks reek of crusty-as-fuck punk with all the tropes in place, like the fuzzy guitars and pummeling drums, plus an emphasis on the distorted vocals that make this one stand out from the rest. It goes by so fast that you have no time to escape.

Affect / Löckheed split EP

Two bands, one common goal: to make noise not music! AFFECT comes from Sweden, the land of kängpunk, but they could have easily come from Kōchi City. They deliver three songs of pure fuzzed-out, chaotic DISCLOSE worship with ripping shouted vocals that hit the sweet spot. LÖCKHEED comes from Portland, the land of neocrust, but they sure could have come from Sweden. Their three tracks are less chaotic but go straight to the jugular with their vicious kängpunk attack done in a perfect manner. Overall, a great split between two bands that complement each other really well. Do you wear ripped-up jeans with tons of patches? I guess you’d better get this one.

Hounds of War Hounds of War demo cassette

With an intro featuring gunfire, you already know it’s going to be a good one. HOUNDS OF WAR is Claire Vastola and Max Parker, both from the excellent SUBVERSIVE RITE, one of the best SACRILEGE worshippers out there. This time around, they unleashed a three-song demo of metal-tinged hardcore punk with hints of DIRT and VICE SQUAD. The demo goes by quickly but the songs certainly get stuck in your head, as every song is fun from beginning to end.

Impulso Impulso cassette

I love Italian hardcore and was stoked when I got this one to review. There is a quality in Italian hardcore that is undeniable: the ferociousness. IMPULSO comes from Trento and they are filled to the brim with rage on this cassette. They play furious hardcore punk but with a modern stompy edge that could turn any pit into a mosh-fest. They occupy a place sonically somewhere in between WARTHOG and S.H.I.T., but sung in Italian for extra drama in the good tradition of WRETCHED or CCM. Just listen to the follow-up album Costante Ossessione and you can get a clearer picture of this monster of a band.

Nisemono 偽者 Nisemono 偽者 demo cassette

New York City’s NISEMONO 偽者 may be a new band, but the players are veterans in the scene. This mighty duo shares members with the likes of L.O.T.I.O.N., DOLLHOUSE, and WARTHOG. Did I manage to get your attention now? Good! This demo has six tracks of hard-hitting hardcore punk with obvious Japanese hardcore influences, and Scandinavian ones as well. Feels like an alternative continuation to NOMAD (an earlier project of one of the members) as the same mindset is there, just with less fuzz and dirt. A quick search about the name reveals that it means “fake,” but there is nothing fake about them.

Systema Ášltima Guerra LP

From the infamous hub of punk in Colombia known as Casa Rat Trap comes yet another great punk band, SYSTEMA. They live and breathe punk there, and it shows in the endless pit of talent they keep putting out on a consistent basis. SYSTEMA gathers members of AMENAZAS, MURO, DOOMSDAY, SINNACIÖN, and ALAMBRADA, all coming from Rat Trap. Ášltima Guerra sounds like a Colombian punk singing for a Finnish hardcore band from the ’80s. If you like your hardcore angry and raw,then go get this one!

Scalple Skillful Butchers LP

SCALPLE is back with a new LP, Skillful Butchers, after their devastating debut World Gone Bad. With members and ex-members of MEMBRANE, RAZORHEADS, URCHIN, INFERNÖH, EXTENDED HELL, and TERRORIST, one can only expect a great record. Ten songs of fast-paced hardcore with a thrashy feel, bordering on the ’80s fastcore sounds of RIPCORD, HERESY, or ELECTRO HIPPIES with USHC undertones. Dynamic and relentless drumming, overlayed with metallic riffage and growling vocals. The intros and interludes are done by Maggot Champagne a.k.a. PHARMAKON, who is no stranger to working with punk bands. Be it ’80s-influenced fastcore or ’80s USHC, this is an hardcore album in its essence and it fucking rips! Play fast or don’t!

Tower 7 …Peace on Earth? LP

Entrance to a Living Organism was an excellent start of a career for TOWER 7. On D4MT Labs they were able to stand out as an outfit, as most of the bands that come from that label do. Fast-forward to …Peace On Earth?, the new LP out through both Roachleg Records and D4MT. This NY band goes straight for the jugular. The fast parts are fast as can be and the slow parts contrast really nicely. Insane tempo shifts that disorientate and an overall suffocating feeling about their music. TOWER 7 is a great fast-paced hardcore band worth the listen!

Shitload More Vaccinated Than You! cassette

“In celebration of getting my third COVID-19 booster shot, I’ve recorded this to let you all know that I’m more vaccinated than you!” This is SHITLOAD’s statement for this self-released two-track tape. Bobby Paranoize does it all: bass, noise, yelling, screaming, drum programming, and vaccines?!?! Each track is a seven-minute frenzy of blastbeats, screaming, and gritty bass. No false grind here, just hatred and vaccine-filled noisecore! A total shitload of noise!

Rejex Feel Nothing demo cassette

Kick-ass hardcore punk band from Moreno Valley, California delivering the goods to any old school hardcore aficionado. They sound like MINOR THREAT on speed. “Feel Nothing” is a four-song demo that clocks in at 1:37. They like to go fast and go hard. Bonus points for the production that sounds like it comes from the ’80s. And just like that, the demo ends and you are left wanting more!

Stay the Fuck at Home This City is Headed for a Disaster… cassette

STAY THE FUCK AT HOME is a New Orleans one-man thrashcore project that I’m assuming started during the quarantine. The vocals are a total homage to INFEST and the instrumentals are a variety of thrash metal, crossover, Southern rock, breakdowns, and whatever he feels like playing at the time, but there is always some spastic fastcore popping up in each song. The level of irony in the band name, song titles, and musical shifts make this a fun record instead of just a mash of weird choices. This one is hard to define but easy to listen to. Great house-moshing music.

Zodiak Move Like Water EP

Based in Tokyo, Japan, ZODIAK is as raw as you can get! And you will read the word “raw” a lot in this review. After their debut TKY 2020 and a split with Macedonian noisemakers DISEASE, they turn the amps to eleven once again. This EP has five furious and straight-to-the-point songs featuring noise addicts from bands like MORPHEME, ODIO, and DROPEND. With such a a line-up, one can expect extra raw and extra noisy hardcore punk with influences from SHITLICKERS to CONFUSE. LIFELOCK and MASS ARREST members also make an appearance in the song “Wax Wings.” It has all the ingredients for a great noisy raw punk EP, so if raw is what makes your juices flow, there is plenty in here for you.

Oscuridad Eterna Macabre demo cassette

OSCURIDAD ETERNA has a fitting band name: “eternal darkness.” From Istanbul, a place not very known for darker music, they managed to exceed expectations with their debut Macabre. Recorded by two sole members during quarantine, this macabre twosome (members of UGLY SHADOWS and TATLIN EFFECT) crafted four songs filled with despair and clouded by bleakness. Simple yet effective post-punk with emphasis on goth and a production that ties everything together, a stroll through the ’80s and back to the genre’s glory days. Go get this if you are into chorus pedals and darkness.

Stingray Feeding Time EP

It’s feeding time! Punishing metallic hardcore from the UK with some known characters in the New Wave of British Hardcore scene. This four-track EP leaves no unchecked boxes, as each song is a world of its own in the hardcore realm: there is ultra-metallic riffage, there is some D-beat, there are plenty of breakdowns, and the barked vocals glue everything together in this hardcore extravaganza of an EP. Plenty of memorable moments that will make a worthwhile band to see in a live setting. The artwork by Tin Savage/Nicky Rat is the cherry on top. La Vida Es Un Mus delivering the goods again.

Call the Cops / Just Wär At War With Cops split LP

This is what I like to call “beer-drinking music” at its best. JUST WÄR from the Czech Republic is a great alternative for all the INEPSY maniacs out there that miss some MOTÖRHEAD-influenced hardcore punk. They really know their MOTÖRHEAD discography like the back of their hands and it shows on their four original tracks, with some extra influences here and there. On the track “Live on Fire,” they venture into black metal territory for a brief moment, but then resume to the street Motör-charged punk they pull off so well. CALL THE COPS from Italy are pissed, angry at everything, and also really love MOTÖRHEAD by the sound of it, but have their own street punk twist. Each band does four original tracks and a cover of the other band, something that is always exciting in splits and shows a sense of unity throughout. MOTÖRHEAD? Check! Hardcore punk? Check! Hatred towards cops? Double check!!!

Unidad Ideologica Unidad Ideologica LP

Straight from the eye of the political storm of turmoil that is Colombia’s unrest, UNIDAD IDEOLOGICA delivers a sharp, venomous attack to the system that is causing havoc among their people. Intense-as-fuck hardcore that sounds as fresh as it sounds like it’s the ’80s again. A raging mixture of full-on hardcore à la KURO/EXECUTE/DISARM/SHITLICKERS, conceived at Bogotá’s Rat Trap by dudes from other Colombian punk bands that you should already know about like MURO, ALAMBRADA or TRAMPA. If not, you have wasted your time! Colombian punk is killing it and some of the best modern bands are coming from there, as they never seem to disappoint!

Anti-Machine Shut Up EP

“My mind is just a piece of shit this morning” says the “Winnebago Man” in the intro, which sets the tone for what follows next: an eruption of snotty hardcore punk that reeks of disdain for everyday life. A ferocious discharge of US hardcore punk that owes as much to POISON IDEA as it does to TOTALITÄR, but the vocals really shift the gears to another place. Gritty and snarling, they turn the songs into a cesspool of hate and rawness against the state, xenophobes, racists, and everyday shit situations. The punk on the cover being drilled in the head while being OK with it couldn’t be more appropriate for this banger. That’s what you get when you get NY seasoned veterans from CRAZY SPIRIT, SAVAGEHEADS, EXTENDED HELL, and SUBVERSIVE RITE together. Life is shit and they know it!

Kohti Tuhoa Väkivaltaa EP

Since their inception, KOHTI TUHOA managed to make a dent on the punk scene and they never disappoint. They are where they belong: at the top of the game as the true carriers of the Finnish punk torch. Väkivaltaa is a less chaotic and abrasive EP, a more controlled and mature experimentation with different routes to their sound. There are still pogo moments like DISORDER in songs like “Juokse Kovempaa” that point back to their earlier stuff but with a more garage feel to it, while songs like “Häpeä” invoke the early AMEBIX spirit, a step in a different direction for KOHTI TUHOA. The best quality of this EP is the dark feeling it conveys, perhaps a mirror of current times and the era it was crafted in. Towards destruction there is only violence!

Gauze 言いたかねえけど目糞鼻糞 CD

Forty fucking years! That’s how long GAUZE has played hardcore. Just think about that for a second. Absolute legends in the Japanese hardcore scene, never took a break and still kill it live. Goddamn, they never slow down! No one was expecting this record and one day it just popped up to everyone’s surprise, and it’s still as relentless as one would expect from them. Surprisingly, 言いたかねえけど目糞鼻糞 is only their fifth full-length album, with a couple of EPs in-between. Expect ten tracks of high-energy, spazzy, thrashy hardcore, just the way GAUZE knows best, that will leave you feeling like you just ran a marathon. Often imitated but never duplicated.

Nasti Life is Nasti LP

Another hardcore banger coming from two labels that always deliver the best in punk. Washington’s NASTI is able to play hardcore without overusing the genre’s tropes. Sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s stompy, sometimes it’s weird as hell, but it all flows perfectly through each song just at the right time. Life is Nasti has eight powerful tracks of rage-filled moshpit bangers, a LP that could be on the shelf right next to contemporary hardcore like GAG or HOAX but certainly pays homage to VOID, UNITED MUTATION, and NO TREND alike. Their territory is somewhere in between the chaos and the weirdness, a bleak vision of modern life. Life is fucking NASTI!

Desenterradas Danzando En El Caos LP

From beautiful and sunny Palma, in Mallorca, comes a record so dark that it eclipses the vibe of the place from which it comes. Five-piece DESENTERRADAS have been around for ten years and unburied their full-length Danzando en el Caos after the now-mythic tape Sangre Azul. Sung in Spanish for added drama and passion, these ten songs are crafted with highs and lows when it comes to emotional states. A post-punk-infused deathrock mash-up that is sometimes depressive, but there is always a light shining through. They share a bleak quality only found in the records of fellow Spanish post-punk legends DECIMA VICTIMA, but filtered with the energy and spirit of Eduardo Benavente and his phenomenal PARALISIS PERMANENTE. DESENTERRADAS are a great torch carrier for all the darker “Movida” bands. A record for the dark days ahead.

Muro 12.07.19 Bogota cassette

If someone had played me this cassette without mentioning it was a live recording, I would have thought it was a proper studio recording. MURO is such a ferocious live band that they sound just like they do on their records. Recorded live in 2019 at the Festival Asfixia in Bogota, this flawless live set shows why MURO is on the top of the hardcore game worldwide. Relentless, raw, and energetic, they don’t skip a bit and deliver an assault of hardcore punk that puts many studio recordings to shame. If this wasn’t enough to entice you, every copy comes with a “Meat is War” mini-zine and all proceedings of this release will be used to aid those struggling against fascist violence in Colombia. So besides delivering it sonically, MURO also grasps the politics of punk, which is something missing in quite a few bands today, and they wave the flag of justice right in your face. MURO is a force to be reckoned with.

Collapsed Collapsed LP

COLLAPSED delivers an ugly, stenchy, distorted mass of old school death metal and dirty crust punk. Hailing from Canada, these crusties know how to deliver the goods and play off on the stenchcore tropes very well, without sounding like everyone else. Just the right amount of crust and just the right amount of death metal. After a mid-tempo intro paying homage to AMEBIX and AXEGRINDER, they erupt into sickening crust violence similar to DOOM or HELLSHOCK. The freezing cold solos they added bring a whole new blackened dimension to the savage battlefield landscape they created. A record that will please crusties and death metalheads alike.

Quarantine Agony LP

This might quite possibly be the best USHC release of the year! Heck, maybe the best in the last five or ten years. The record begins with an eerie intro followed by a huge, belching “agony” that quickly erupts into the finest mash-up of USHC aggression. The weirdness of UNITED MUTATION and WHITE PIGS moshing with the anger of NEGATIVE APPROACH and NECROS. A relentless yet catchy record filled with some of the strangest electronic segments heard on a hardcore record that sometimes come close to something DEVO would do. Their 2020 demo was killer but this record just elevates the bar for every other hardcore band out there. The quality of this LP comes as no surprise because it has members of IMPALERS and CHAIN RANK and you know they rage as hard as they can. Shoutout to Chris Ulsh slaying it on the drums and showing what he’s made of. After the quarantine, QUARANTINE will have everyone in the pit screaming “will to kill“—and remember, “Life is a one long-ass quarantine.”

Absurd SS Absurd SS LP

This is what the apocalypse sounds like. Of course Absurd SS would sound as good as it does, since the members are seasoned noise veterans that played in the likes of GIFTGASATTACK, WARVICTIMS, FINAL SLUM WAR, DOZIX, NOCTURNAL SCUM, EARTH CRUST DISPLACEMENT, and SVART UT. I just got some tinnitus from just writing those bands down. This debut features fifteen raw punk chaos “songs” that could very well be on any FRAMTID or GLOOM record. Noise, not music!

Final Gasp Haunting Whisper EP

The bone-chilling intro “Descending” does its best to summon a Halloween-esque feeling, and quickly “Burning Body” picks up where the synth eeriness left off and dives into something very familiar. Is this what SAMHAIN would sound like if they just formed in the current days? Probably! Haunting Whisper reeks of SAMHAIN, MISFITS, and DANZIG, so if you need a fresh take on the cobweb-filled world that the three aforementioned bands created, this is the record for you. Five tracks of blood-curdling, hardcore-influenced goth-punk, or is it goth punk-influenced hardcore? Who cares anyway? This record slays and it sounds massive as hell, without a single filler. The fact that this review was written during the Halloween season just adds to the mystique that they achieved.

Bipolar In Absence of Peace cassette

BIPOLAR is what happens when DISCLOSE meets DISASTER. Total noise D-beat chaos. This raw punk outfit from Etah City, Greenland wears their influences on their sleeves, or rather on their ripped crustie pants. In Absence of Peace is a nine-track atomic explosion of pure crude fuzzy Kawakami worship. No melody, no gimmicks, just straight chaotic noise.

Reaksi Esok Hari Kepunyaan Kita EP

Three immigrant punks from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore delivering an Asian punk blow in Melbourne, Australia. During the devastating COVID lockdown, these three seasoned fellows, from the likes of ENZYME, KROMOSOM, PISSCHRρST, and INTRUSION, locked themselves in the studio and came up with REAKSI. The result was five hard-hitting, Oi!-infused UK82 anthems that deal with the harsh realities of being an immigrant and especially being anti-authoritarian in countries that leave no room left for freedom. Singing in Bahasa only adds more fuel to the fire. For fans of both CHAOS UK and BLITZ. Tomorrow belongs to them!

Besthöven / DHK split EP

Two heavyweights from the South American punk underground still waving the black fly high. From Brazil, BESTHÖVEN is a one-man army of Dis-beat that has been around since 1990. Fofåo really nails the DISCLOSE-meets-SHITLICKERS formula and has done it on countless splits (including with DISCLOSE, FORÇA MACABRA, and WARVICTIMS, to name a few), and with this one is no different. Just pure D-beat worship done with such devotion that you will want to hear the full discography. On the other side, DHK or DESTRUYE HUYE KREA, from Peru, is another ferocious South American punk demonstration of anger and power. With a not as extensive a catalogue as BESTHÖVEN, they still show their full power on this one and hold up to the challenge of being along them. South American punk is alive and well, and as long as there is corruption, there will be the voice of punk shouting back.

Sindrome De Abstinencia Sindrome De Abstinencia cassette

Thrashing hardcore punk from the calles of Chile, as raw as it is pissed-off. They go hard, they go fast, and with the occasional blastbeat to add insult to injury. The vocals are ravenous and convey all the angst a release like this needs. Gets you in the mood to skate down the street in the middle of traffic. Get your bandanas or SUICIDAL caps out and go tag some walls!

Chain Whip Two Step to Hell 12″

CHAIN WHIP has been cracking punk skulls since 2018 in an attempt to mix the Killed By Death sound with grimy punk. The result is fast-paced, in-your-face hardcore in the vein of POISON IDEA meets the GERMS, and it has riffs for days. Also, it definitely has a huge upbeat quality to it, akin to Californian beach punk, and this time their sound is tighter than ever, putting the pedal to the metal speedwise. Two Step to Hell consists of six tracks: three of them are re-recorded versions from their 2020 demo, two are brand new CHAIN WHIP recordings, and one is a SUBHUMANS cover. So to sum it up, something old, something new, and something borrowed. What more can you ask for? Vancouver, BC hardcore at its best!

Klonns Amon / Gehenna 7″

“New Wave of Japanese Hardcore.” This is what one can read on the enigmatic Japanese hardcore outfit KLONNS’ Bandcamp page. With eight releases to their name, this band is back with a killer 7”. The best way to describe this band is a Japanese version of HOAX; a grainy, disgusting mass of angry-sounding hardcore, fit for any violent moshpit. This 7″ includes two tracks: “Amon,” featuring Hate from MOONSCAPE, starts with a FRAMTID-esque build up but then explodes into mid-tempo hardcore Á  la HOAX. Then “Gehenna,” featuring Aisha from IGNITION BLOCK M, is another mid-tempo banger with female vocals to add a bit more flavour to the track. Definitely putting the hard in hardcore.

Am Ba LP

These Polish punks have been around since 1996, and Ba is their twelfth studio album. That’s a lot of years for a hardcore punk band given that most bands don’t last more than a couple of records. Recorded between 2009 and 2010, this long-overdue album finally sees the light of day, with twelve tracks of slick and catchy hardcore punk with some out-of-the-box moments including sax and accordion to add to the weirdness. Hard to describe but easy to listen to, give it a try if you are into the DEAD KENNEDYS or NO TREND. Thumbs up for AM and thumbs down for not being more well-known.

Exotica Discograf​í​a Exotica cassette

Definition of exotic—1: introduced from another country, 2: strikingly, excitingly, or mysteriously different or unusual. Based in NYC but with members from Mexico and Argentina, EXOTICA gives meaning to the word “exotica.” A ferocious mixture of UK82 à la DISORDER and South American punk like COLERA, creating a trampling, pogo-inducing sound topped with “angry at everything” vocals. Discograf​í​a Exotica is the compilation of all three Musique Exotique releases the band has done in the past through La Vida Es Un Mus. An unusual band that sounds fresh without changing much at all.

Disease Death is Inevitable LP

Total eardrum massacre! This Macedonian trio worships the hell out of DISCLOSE and does one of the more consistent tributes to the whole “noise not music” page of punk. The sound is obvious on this one as they leave the formula unchanged, so think DISCLOSE and all the DIS bands and you can get the point. Sometimes you just want to hear this kind of noise and zone out of reality for a bit. Also, they have an impressive back catalogue of 23 releases in just nine years of existence. D-beat raw punk at its finest!

Porvenir Oscuro Asquerosa Humanidad LP

The future is certainly dark, as foretold by the band’s name. After a demo and 7″, worldwide hardcore maniax were thirsty for some more noise from NYC-based powerhouse PORVENIR OSCURO. Featuring members of such diverse bands as POBREZA MENTAL, PAWNS, and VAXINE, Asquerosa Humanidad proves to be a raw mixture of the very best of Latin punk with hints of UK82 via CHAOS UK. Everything from the beautiful cover to the thirteen pogo-drenched tracks reeks of disdain and restlessness. The cherry on top of this crusty cake is the vocal delivery by Colombian-born singer Sara. A punk gem released at the right time; as Colombia burns, the voices of disdain rise!

Psico Galera Le Stanze Della Mente LP

The eerie riff in the beginning of this record sets the mood instantly. You’re in for a journey into the darkest corners of the mind. With members of FUCKED UP, CAREER SUICIDE, EU’S ARSE, and NINOS DU BRASIL, these seasoned musicians craft something new and exciting but rooted in the ’80s hardcore sound. There is obvious channeling of Italian hardcore like WRETCHED and NERORGASMO but through the mind of BITOUSHA and G-ZET. This unsettling album further proves that the Italian hardcore tradition is alive and well.

Taqbir Victory Belongs to Those Who Fight for a Right Cause EP

One might have a hard time grasping the fact that being a punk in a Third World country is the hardest challenge one could go through, especially if you are a female that is constantly being oppressed by deep-rooted sexism embedded in religion. Breaking free of those restraints and putting up the middle finger is an admirably hard thing to do, and that’s what Moroccan punk band TAQBIR did in an extraordinary fashion. They have all the elements needed to create a great punk band: a raw vicious sound and a political statement that deals with real issues. The frantic energy comes close to DISCOLOKOSST, while the Arabic lyrics are shouted in a COMES kind of way. A wrecking ball of a band that is in its essence a political statement, just the way that punk should be!

Execution Silently It Grows EP

From Melbourne, EXECUTION crawls out of the sewers to shatter the social fabric with Silently It Grows. A piece of violent and chaotic piece of hardcore rawness that is on the faster and noisier side. The frantic energy they exude comes close to the ’80s Italian hardcore bands like WRETCHED and CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS. A must for fans of pure chaos, non musica.

Venganza La Fiera EP

Another heavy-hitting Spanish hardcore punk record courtesy of Discos Enfermos, this time from Saragossa. Picking up where their Tu Patria LP left off, VENGANZA delivers the goods with La Fiera, a four-song EP that displays all the great qualities about Spanish punk: the anthemic quality, the fury, the rawness. A solid punk record for any fan of VAASKA and Spanish punk in general.

80HD Demo 2021 cassette

Do you have trouble with your attention span and love songs that average one minute in length? 80HD is the band for you! Just like the band name suggests, this new band from New York is a constantly shifting punk beast of spastic proportions. This ultra-violent demo features six songs of blistering fast hardcore in the vein of RIPCORD that go by as fast as they play. Just like a cup of coffee (or twenty!) in the morning!

Step Forward Demos 1989-1990 LP

STEP FORWARD was the first “proper” straightedge band to come out of Sweden (I say “proper” because SVART PARAD had their foot in it as well, but never were established as a sXe band). Although very short-lived, they had a major role to play in Swedish hardcore and paved the way for REFUSED and FINAL EXIT. Their only two existing demos are finally being repressed with remastered sound, and with liner notes from Dennis Lyxzen along with a bunch of unseen photos. The members went on to form and play in impactful bands like FINAL EXIT, INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONSPIRACY, E.T.A., and REGULATIONS. The cover pictures four kids sitting on the front of a porch. First thoughts? MINOR THREAT. And yes…this has MINOR THREAT written all over it, from the cover to the vocal style to the sound, but an angrier and sometimes faster version. This record proves that Sweden isn’t just D-beat!

Cemented Minds Colostrum 10″

There is no doubt that hardcore punk is a very malleable genre and bands can slowly venture into other sub-genres as time moves along. Loads of hardcore bands slow down on the aggression and tune into their emotions overtime. Hailing from France, CEMENTED MINDS have within their ranks hardcore punk musicians from bands like AMANDA WOODWARD, NINE ELEVEN, and AUSSITOT MORT, but on this project they went into a post-punk mode. Colostrum is their five-song debut, a collage of post-punk melancholia that still retains much of the hardcore energy and can very well please any fan of the aforementioned bands and post-punks alike.

Zorn Hardcore Zorn EP

No, this is not a new JOHN ZORN hardcore record! This is ZORN the ultra-Satanic metalpunk outfit from Philadelphia, and they are here to take your soul. After their self-titled EP, they unleashed four hymns to the horned one in a bastard metalpunk spawn of chorus-drenched guitars and devilish madman screams. To make it easier, you can put them in the same bag as homies DEVIL MASTER (ZORN’s singer is the main character in the “Black Flame Candle”). Lay down your souls to ZORN’s rock’n’roll!

Hellish View Reaper’s Hand EP

Once you put on this EP, you hear bombs dropping and sirens going off! You get the familiar feeling that you know what is coming. This is a good premonition if you are into DIS- bands. Starting off with a mid-paced song and soon erupting into a DISCLOSE-worship fest, this one is a no brainer. DISCHARGE, DISCLOSE, DISCARD. That’s all you need to know!

Löss Tape 2019 cassette

More often than not, when I read “Swedish hardcore band,” I tend to think that it will either be TOTALITÄR-inspired kängpunk band or a more metallic ANTI-CIMEX-meets-WOLFPACK hybrid. Not the case with LÖSS, as they break that Swedish hardcore mold. They play simple and straight to-the-point, pissed-off GBG hardcore punk. Nothing more to add, so go get this one if you like the more primitive angry stuff. A band to keep an eye on!

Molisma BIA cassette

From the birthplace of democracy comes the latest in hardcore punk violence with MOLISMA. I always think that the place where a band comes from defines the level of aggression that comes through their sound, and being from a place that is in crisis for quite some time makes punk sound even stronger. BIA sounds like early POISON IDEA minus the virtuoso guitar work, with pissed-off vocals similar to DISFEAR and a steady MOB 47 beat. Complete with a disgusting cover by Nicky Rat, this cassette is surely a memorable one. A band on their fourth release that shows no signs of slowing down.

Syrgas Hiroshima EP

A furious stench of crust straight from the country of all things hardcore, Sweden. Untamed aggression with the pedal always to the metal, a huge low sound that hits the bowels, some guitar work that could be on an early WOLFPACK record and pissed-off vocals that make it sound like DRILLER KILLER. A straight Swedish crust record with every box checked.

Cutters Chewed Up Fortune EP

Remember a simpler time when you knew fuck-all about punk and just wanted to rage as hard as you could with some of the early records you found out through your friend’s older sibling? This is the feeling you get from Melbourne punks CUTTERS’ EP. They take every early DEAD KENNEDYS album, cut it, chew it up, and spit it out. A fun record for pure hardcore punk lovers. Short, fast, and to-the-point, just like this review!

Haiboku Un Nuevo Poder EP

At first spin, you feel like you are listening to a lost EP of KURO, GUDON, or some other ’80s Japanese hardcore band. In fact, this band HAIBOKU comes from Mexico City, but they learned their Japanese hardcore well. The name is Japanese, they sound Japanese, and even have a sick GUDON cover at their Bandcamp. Un Nuevo Poder is their second EP, and definitely check it out if you like your hardcore fast and unpredictable…and hummm…Japanese!

Taifun Demo 2020 cassette

German punks worshipping Japanese ’90s hardcore bands, featuring members of BURIAL (no strangers to this genre) and BOMBENALARM. Side A is pure pummeling Burning Spirits-styled hardcore going from BASTARD to FORWARD. Four tracks with all the style’s tropes: rock’n’roll leads, gang shouts, and an upbeat feeling. Side B is a vicious ten-minute noise piece about the mythological Greek giant Argus Panoptes that will melt what is left of your ears off. Overall a great demo for all the Japanese hardcore enthusiasts.

Education Parenting Style EP

After the excellent Culture LP also released on Symphony Of Destruction, EDUCATION is back with a new EP. Dark and primitive post-punk, almost like a gloomier version of DIÄT or a less crazy INSTITUTE. Parenting Style has four amazing tracks that will stick to you like glue. One of the best post-punk bands out there.

Golpe La Colpa È Solo Tua LP

Just as predicted in my review of the GOLPE’s Promo 2020 cassette, this album fucking kicks ass. Tadzio Pederzolli from KOMPLOTT and SEMPRE PEGGIO managed to keep expectations high and deliver an amazingly fresh D-beat-infused hardcore record. It’s great to see punk bands that use their political views as weapons against ignorance and prejudice, as not many bands these days talk openly about their beliefs. Just head on over to his Bandcamp and grab a shirt, with proceeds going to Brigate Volontarie. Everything about this record screams activism and solidarity. This is what punk is supposed to be.

Candy Apple Sweet Dreams of Violence LP

Don’t let the band name fool you, because you are about to get some bitter taste after a bite or two. Fuzzed to the gills, crunchy and untamed hardcore full of bottled-up anger like S.H.I.T. or GLUE. Sweet Dreams of Violence is the follow-up to the band’s 2018 demo and 2019 Joyride cassette. The perfect record to let some steam out.

Exposure Atonement LP

Mannheim-based metallic hardcore powerhouse EXPOSURE is back with a full-length. Atonement unleashes ten metallic hardcore tracks full of thrash metal influence that mainly comes from their geographical location, mixed with Cleveland-style hardcore like INTEGRITY or RINGWORM, and coupled with the H8000 legendary sound of bands like CONGRESS and LIAR. This concoction is deadly and can even get to fans of the crossover stuff like POWER TRIP. They did not discover fire but they can surely set everything ablaze.

Nervous SS / Rat Cage Skopje vs Sheffield split LP

A battle between two hardcore bands that are a match made in hell. In the left corner is NERVOUS SS from Macedonia, a vicious TOTALITÄR-esque hardcore killing machine keeping the Scandinavian sound alive. In the right corner is RAT CAGE from the UK, same core as the above but with a more USHC influence from bands like POISON IDEA. Sometimes punk splits seem like a dumping ground for unreleased material. Not in this case—you get the sense that you are listening to a full album. So, who has won in this battle of Skopje vs Sheffield? The fucking punk scene!

Bib Delux LP

If “weird guy hardcore” is your thing, this record will leave you drooling for more. Sometimes slow and primitive, sometimes fast and relentless, always snotty and ugly. Heavily delayed vocals on top of primitive hardcore like UNITED MUTATIONS, with some stranger moments of experimentation that could be on a NO TREND record. The obvious sound reference would be GAG as they use the same tropes, but BIB manages to be less “weird.” Overall a fun record for those gruelling days that you want to switch your mind off for some minutes.

Chörnobyl / Deny split EP

A double-trouble split from two Swedish bands that immerse themselves in the Swedish hardcore sound. First up is the veterans DENY, whom you might recognize from their Dystopia LP, mangeling since 1995 and delivering three solid, classic Swedish hardcore tracks in the good tradition of WOLFPACK. Then the newcomers CHÖRNOBYL, who share members with MYTERI, bring three more songs to the table with a darker DISFEAR approach. At the end of the day we have two bands, old and new, that celebrate one of the most recognizable sounds in hardcore history and further the Swedish D-beat tradition.

Disorder Perdition 12″ reissue

UK, 1982, what a special time for punk! Similar to many contemporary acts, DISORDER was traveling uncharted territories within punk. The Perdition EP single-handedly created a template for many of the noisier punk bands to come. Tracks like “Life”, that appears in the now legendary UK punk documentary UK/DK from 1983, became anthems in their own right, and “Remembrance Day” showed that DISORDER was also able to handle the more dark post-punk sound. This fine reissue by Puke n Vomit of the legendary EP includes a 24″x24″ poster. Heavily distorted and more metallic, this EP is a must have for any fan of the UK82 stuff.

Instinct? Pray to Death cassette

Bands that use D-beat and more metallic riffs get labelled as “crust” but maintain a clean sound. Not in this case. Philly punks INSTINCT? drop a massive crust punk bomb with Pray to Death. This is true crust punk with a barrage of sound coming through with every song and a sense of impending doom. Bands like DOOM and E.N.T. come to mind, so you get transported to the UK in the late ’80s. Another great release from Bunker Punks.

Ojo Por Ojo Paroxismo flexi 7″

This is one of those recordings that transports you to the band’s place of origin. You can feel the tension that is living in Mexico City and all its unrest. Unsettling and dark as night, OJO POR OJO delivers a fist full of hate in the form of hardcore punk that sometimes resembles Pain of Mind-era NEUROSIS, when they still played straightforward hardcore, and Italian powerhouse NERORGASMO. Guitarist/singer Yecatl PeÁ±a’s previous band INSERVIBLES also serves as a blueprint for this sound that they make. Paroxismo is the two-track follow-up to their 2018 debut LP on La Vida Es Un Mus, and it was recorded by none other than Steve Albini. Shame that it isn’t longer!

Ratos De Porão Carniceria Tropical LP reissue

Legendary Brazilian punk band RATOS DE PORÃO achieved this status with the classic album Crucificados Pelo Sistema. This album had unmatched ferocity and remains as one of the most important records in Brazilian music, not just punk. After a few albums they began to lean on a more crossover-influenced style, and it was on Carniceria Tropical where they achieved the perfect balance, the true RxDxPx sound. It’s thrashy, it’s punk, it has speed, it has melody, and most of all it is catchy as fuck. Songs like “Crocodila” or “Vá Se Virar” are now classic RxDxPx songs. Producer Billy Anderson was able to bring the best out of this punk outfit with a brilliant balance of crusty yet audible metallic sound. This reissue contains remastered tracks, an unreleased track, restyled sleeve, insert with lyrics and exclusive photos. Get this one or “vão se foder“!

Children With Dog Feet Curb Your Anarchy cassette

For those who think that deathrock has been on the down-low lately, here is the living (or undead?!?) proof in the form of Curb Your Anarchy from the Nuke York nightwalkers CHILDREN WITH DOG FEET. Equal parts goth and punk, this debut features four nightmarish tracks of spooky deathrock with a decadent punkier edge, creating a frenzy of RUDIMENTARY PENI-infused CHRISTIAN DEATH. Released by Toxic State, a label that always has its finger on the pulse of what is new in punk, and featuring members of ANASAZI, BLU ANXXIETY, and EXTENDED HELL. What could go wrong with this mix? This is for the night children, ghouls and fiends.

Girls in Synthesis Arterial Movements EP

Arterial Movements is the 2019 EP from riot-starting Brits GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS, featuring three new and previously unreleased songs. A little taste of what was to come before Now Here’s an Echo From Your Future, if you will. I was unfamiliar with this band so I had an unbiased mind walking into this, and holy hell! This one really got to me. Three tunes of unrelenting rhythm, Molotov cocktail-wielding anarchic punk in the good vein of the ’80s UK scene but with a modern edge. Intense, political, and catchy. Makes IDLES pale in comparison. Go get this!

Rival Squad Tierra cassette

From San Diego with hate. Tierra is a six-song, blastbeat-infused hardcore EP as intense and as thrashy as RATOS DE PORÁO and as vile as good ol’ American powerviolence. The guitar and bass tones are ear-crushing, drums are tight AF, and the screeching vocals help to get that aggression through. A straight killer cassette that hits that sweet spot.

Sublevacion No Hay Futuro EP

Solid-as-a-rock hardcore straight from Barcelona. SUBLEVACION checks all the boxes in keeping the Spanish punk tradition alive. This EP is angry, raw, and punishing as Spanish punk should be. “There is no future” is the dread that gets to you with every listen. Did they borrow their name from INTERTERROR?

Dauðyflin / X2000 split cassette

After sharing (or destroying) a stage in Scandinavia back when gigs were allowed, these two pogo monsters consolidated their bond with a split. First off on the cassette is X2000 from Sweden, a creepy and eerie chorus-drenched beast of a band that hammers primitive hardcore like there is no tomorrow, complete with Spanish lyrics for that extra pinch of anger. Up next, DAUÐYFLIN from Iceland, who already have a name out there due to some releases through the excellent Iron Lung Records. This is dark hardcore full of pogo-inducing beats and an Icelandic coldness permeating the songs. If not for the lyrics, one might even think that these two bands were from Latin America. Overall a great split that shares a similar dark approach to hardcore. Will leave your “tupa-tupa” craving satiated.

Hyökkäys Antigobierno EP

HYÖKKÄYS translates to “attack”. And attack they do! This is pure Suomi hardcore worship played by Basque punks. Little is known about this band, which keeps things interesting, and one can solely focus on the music…erm…noise they make. Antigobierno is made up of eleven tracks, two of them are covers of HHH and KAAOS, and this mixture pretty much sums up their sound. Raw, primitive, and to-the-point. Another great gem from the Spanish punk scene.

Material Support Specter cassette

Specter is the most recent EP from ultra-political Pinoy punks MATERIAL SUPPORT. After the excellent full-length Terror Prone Nation, they are back at it with extra anger and a bone to pick. Five agitation anthems that touch on capitalism, cops, sexism, racism; the whole nine yards. Sonically, it is pure ’80s hardcore worship of the NYHC orientation. Simple and based on the message. A great EP to vent out the bitter taste of anger that life provides on a daily basis.

Siekiera Jarocin ’84 LP

Polish punks SIEKIERA are best known for their Nowa Aleksandria post-punk album, but before that genre switch they were an intense hardcore punk force. Jarocin ’84 is a legendary live recording that took place at the Jarocin Festival. The recording has two parts; the competition and the final set. Rumour has it that when they played there, the audience responded with the biggest pogo ever in Poland. This is a piece of Eastern European punk history, and even if you are more inclined to their later post-punk stuff, you should check this one out. A freight train of hardcore punk in the vein of CHAOS UK and DISORDER.

Exit Stance Retch With Mother 10″

Anarcho-punk legends EXIT STANCE have a lot to live up to with their absolute classic Crime Against Humanity, one of the best EP’s to come out of the UK anarcho-punk scene. If not the best, certainly the angriest. After a shitload of bad luck, they called it quits in ’86 due to constant criticism…being judged all the time, attacked for not being perfect, people always wondering if we were conforming to the ‘”anarchist rule book”! Fortunately they came back from the dead, released Saying Nothing (But Speaking My Mind), and now Retch With Mother. The fire is still there, and by fire I mean the politically-motivated anger. Songs about sexism, animal liberation, and anarchist values. They sound like themselves: dark post-punk in a KILLING JOKE-meets-CRASS way. Some bands lose their ethos within a few years and conform to the “music machine,” but in some rare occasions you see bands like EXIT STANCE that stand the test of time.

Körd Värld Total Distortion EP

I love to find out about new bands that get you excited about punk again, and it’s even more exciting when you find out that it is made by hardcore legends. Total Distortion is a killer hardcore debut from the two-headed monster that is KÖRD VÄRLD, featuring Charlie Claesson (of ANTI-fucking-CIMEX) and James Domestic (of the DOMESTICS). They already play together in the “hardcore gone jazzy” hybrid PI$$ER, but this time they went all-out hardcore. Equal parts ANTI CIMEX and POISON IDEA, this debut is a great show of hardcore, and how Scandinavia was always one step ahead from the rest. Great to see veterans in the game teaching the kids a lesson in hardcore.

Rudimentary Peni Great War LP

Holy shit! For the first time in 26 years, RUDIMENTARY PENI have released a full-length, although Great War was recorded some years ago before the mysterious hiatus of the ever-shifting project. It works along the tracks of the 2009’s Wilfred Owen the Chances single, in which they take a more dehumanized bleak approach which just adds to the nightmarish sound that plagues their soundscapes. Once again the overlying theme and lyrics deal with anxiety and the ugly face of mental illness in this constraining world. The artwork is amazing as expected and has the ability to turn a record into wall art. One of the most amazing bands to come out of the UK´s anarcho-punk scene for sure, Nick Blinko has cast a shadow on punk music that will take a long time to disappear.

The War Goes On Assisted Armageddon LP

Hailing from Copenhagen, THE WAR GOES ON is on their second album with Assisted Armageddon. Dark and catchy as hell punk rock that owes as much to the US as it does to the UK, but with a somewhat “pop” sensibility. They strive for big melodies yet have a gritty approach to them. If you know HJERTESTOP or NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, you know what you are in for, as the members share duties in both bands. To sum things up, this album could be on Hellcat Records.

Detoxi In Laughter 12″

“Love is the lasting connection we make with others and nothing is as powerful, the laughter shared with one another.” This is the central theme in DETOXI’s new record, aptly titled In Laughter. Featuring members of the amazingly underrated deathrock act CATHOLIC SPIT, the ANCESTORS, and STALAG-13, these Californians craft a mix of UK DECAY and RUDIMENTARY PENI. One of the best modern deathrock bands out there.

Hüstler Hüstler demo cassette

An excellent, disgusting debut demo from NY deathpunks HÜSTLER through Sorry State Records. Hüstler is a healthy dose of visceral deathrock-infused blackened hardcore punk, where everything is well-balanced and you can tell they channel loads of influences on this one. From the coldness of CHRISTIAN DEATH to the strangeness of GISM and even SLAYER’s early work in the guitar work. Like being sodomized by Satan himself.

Sexpill Anarchy and LSD EP

This EP starts with nuclear sirens, so you know you are in for a treat. Coming from Houston, SEXPILL is ugly-as-fuck hardcore punk like KURO on a bad hair day. The sound is disgustingly good if you are into noisy punk. And at some point, you realize that the sirens don’t stop, and go throughout the whole EP.

A Culture of Killing The Feast of Vultures, The Cry of a Dove LP

Italian peace punks A CULTURE OF KILLING do an impeccable job in channeling the British anarcho-punk movement. Nostalgic feelings of listening to the MOB or CRASS run through every song on this record in a well-achieved way. Catchy and well-crafted songs about modern life in this decaying system. Taking the record name from investigative journalist Josy Josef’s dissertation about corruption in India’s democracy “Feast of Vultures,” it is filled to the brim with strong political views.

Insect Warfare World Extermination LP reissue

This is it. This is what grindcore is and what it should sound like. No bullshit, no gimmicks, just plain old school grindcore. World Extermination is up there next to Scum, Horrified and World Downfall. This is an album that will be hard to beat and will stay at the podium for best modern grindcore album. You can thank the grind gods for this official reissue that recreates the original release, improving on the original insert art with a heavier jacket and a bigger poster. Get this and let it melt your face off! Ughhhh!

Bleakness Functionally Extinct LP

The bleak piano intro sets the stage for darkness to come. Uneasy melodies and a sense of melancholy play the leading role on Functionally Extinct, while steady and catchy hardcore punk serves as a backdrop for this post-punk outfit. BLEAKNESS couldn’t have chosen a better band name. This a great modern French post-punk record sure to brighten (or darken) your days.

HHH Solidhardcore LP

HHH or Harina de Huesos Humanos (which translates to “flour of human bones”) was a Spanish hardcore outfit formed in 1985 that was of significant importance in the ’80s Spanish punk scene. The trio was heavily influenced by Scandinavian punk in their early work and sidetracked into thrashcore-oriented territory in their later days, leading up to their demise in 1993. Ten songs of nonconforming, solid hardcore (think SHITLICKERS or RATTUS) at its most primitive form, with two unreleased tracks “Paz” and “Psicosis” and a faithful reproduction of the original artwork. If you like primitive punk, this is a no-brainer!

Blockade Untitled War EP

Can you hear the sound of an enormous door slamming in the depths of Australia? It’s probably BLOCKADE. Entrenched and ready for D-beat war, these fine gentlemen bring on the most intense DIS-worship ammunition they could get their hands on. Noise-drenched guitars that will shatter your ears, vocals that sound like they were recorded two lots over, and of course…D-beat. Also, a cover of the theme of Assault on Precinct 13. Your ears will be ringing after this one.

Farmaco Descolonizar EP

Latino punk might not be the most technical, the most virtuoso, or the most groundbreaking, but it surely is the angriest of all the punk scenes. Hailing from Buenos Aires, FARMACO is no exception to this rule! And anger you can expect! The first half of this EP (“Descolonizar” and “Mundo Inmundo”) sounds like primitive Japanese Hardcore like LSD, and the second half (“Alquitrán” and “Sulfato”) reeks of DEATH SIDE. Do I need to keep on writing? Go get this!

Kyosanto Communist LP

Straight from Hiroshima, KYOSANTO has been lurking in the hardcore shadows for three decades. Thanks to Bitter Lake, this gem of Japanese hardcore punk sees the light of day. Finally! This is a compilation of two demo cassettes from 1984, the Communist cassette and うじむし cassette. Brace yourself for high-energy and highly political hardcore punk akin to the STALIN or TYPHUS. For Japanese hardcore aficionados only!

Altar of Eden The Grotto Screams 12″

In a world filled with overproduced post-punk, the “punk” aspect of the genre seems to be getting more and more subtle, giving way to indie-inspired tendencies. Enter ALTAR OF EDEN, a lo-fi post-punk band that contradicts this statement with its raw recording, deathrock undertones, gritty drum machine sound, and overall crude atmosphere. More akin to French coldwave bands like LEITMOTIV than to the typical post-punk references, The Grotto Screams is a beautifully ugly piece of dark punk that translates well to the suffocating atmosphere of modern life.

Cesspool We Hide Among You LP

Copenhagen’s new hardcore outfit CESSPOOL sets a very simple goal for the listener: a boot to the face. We Hide Among You is composed of eight tracks of slam-dancing, pit-clearing anthems of mid-paced hardcore in the fashion of WARTHOG or TARANTULA. Their strong suit is the heavy groove they achieve and a strong sense of musicality. Clear your room and feel the stomp of CESSPOOL.

Eskorbuto Los Demenciales Chicos Acelerados 2xLP reissue

One of the most influential bands for the Spanish and Latin American punk community, ESKORBUTO has a special reputation that has only grown with time. After the classics Eskizofrenia and Anti Todo, they released Los Demenciales Chicos Acelerados originally on Discos Suicidas in 1987. This is a band way ahead of their time and that had a huge impact, making this the very first “punk opera” ever about a corrupt politician who finally sees his demise because of his ego. Housed in a controversial gatefold sleeve, this double LP reissue of this classic album contains the original artwork complete with a political satirical work against any kind of dictatorial regime. Still relevant and still resonates with modern days.

Bombardement Bombardement LP

Bordeaux’s finest purveyors of chaos BOMBARDEMENT drop a huge-ass atomic bomb in the form of this self-titled LP. This is pure D-beat in a DISCLOSE-meets-MEANWHILE fashion with the classic DIS- formula in place, with nods to The More I See-era in songs like “Warriors Of The Night.” The sound is not too clean, nor too ear-shattering, just the perfect balance of “noise not music.” Eight tracks of pummeling dis-beat with viciously angry vocals, a precise rhythm section, and anthemic guitar leads. Coming hot from above!

Gimmick Needle Caps EP

The opener “Needle Caps” quickly makes you think that you are listening to something that NO TREND would have made back in the day, but halfway through you get thrown a curveball to the face with pummeling punk hardcore. Once the punk hardcore bubble bursts there is no going back, as you get fed a healthy dose of frantic and snotty hardcore akin to SICK PLEASURE or the GERMS. By no means do they sound like a retro band but rather like a younger version of the aforementioned bands, just check the video for “Numbing” and you will catch my drift. If you are into the chaos of ELECTRIC CHAIR or the anxiety of GAG you will enjoy this angst-ridden piece of disgusting (in a good way) punk.

Totalitär Heydays Revisited EP

TOTALITÄR is amongst the most well-known Swedish punk bands, alongside ANTI-CIMEX or WOLFPACK, and has entered the kängpunk hall of fame by now. Masters of fast and frantic hardcore, they broke the punk mold with their uncompromising warp speed, spastic guitar work, and rabid vocal delivery leaving any fastcore band to shame. Heydays Revisited is a piece of Swedish hardcore history with five tracks consisting of three re-recorded tracks (“Multinationella Mördare,” “Kannibalerna,” and “Är Detta Frihet”) and two tracks in their first mix (“De Ouppfostrade Stör” and “Framtidsplaner”). A blast from the past that still shakes the earth to this day.

Body Maintenance Body Maintenance 12″

Following a demo tape and live tape, Melbourne’s BODY MAINTENANCE is back with these six tracks of excellent sometimes upbeat, sometimes gloomy post-punk in which melody is the true conductor and the “punk” part is really prevalent. This dichotomy of moods is what makes this band stand out. If you vibe with Second Empire Justice-era BLITZ, this record should be on your list.

Hävittäjät Lost Tapes Collection cassette

Some Australian punks (ex-members of KIROTTU, KRÖMOSOM, and LEPROSY) singing in Finnish and playing Finnish-styled hardcore? Sign me up for that! Punishingly raw and dirty hardcore with a leaning towards KAAOS and TAMPERE S.S.. Released through Roachleg Records, which has been consistently putting out the rawest punk hardcore out there, with the help of Fuzzed Atrocities. Not much else to say about this one except you’ll feel dirtier after listening to it.

Ond Cirkel Svavelvinter / Vilda Syrener 7″

I’m used to reviewing a lot of Swedish punk bands and mostly D-beat-driven kängpunk. I was surprised to hear a band from Gothenburg that slows it down and aims toward post-punk, a really, really dark post-punk. OND CIRKEL combines the best in post-punk, darkwave, and shoegaze to form a “vicious circle” of reverb-drenched obscure raw emotion without ever stepping into the genre’s clichés. The lyrics are in Swedish but one can be steered to feel the reverence in the vocal delivery and let the mind wander. A great 7″ for those dark, cold, gloomy nights.

Urin Incydent EP

Gathered around the gutters of Berlin, URIN is an international punk collaboration with members of ROCK, PISS, CUNTROACHES, and G.L.O.S.S. After their 2018 demo, they are back with Incydent, their ripping four-song EP of raw, lo-fi punk that would make SHITLICKERS proud. Heavily delayed vocals sung angrily in Polish, the guitars and bass form a barrage of noise, and the drums are sharp and waste no time messing around. An exciting standout EP from a band that simply has no time for bullshit. Just straight-in-your-face punk!

The Completers End / Parallel Lines 7″

Brazil is well-known for its vibrant colourful culture and is never associated with dark, gloomy music. Well, unless you know the COMPLETERS. This band is really unique in the post-punk scene, making an incredibly unique, uplifting-yet-dark post-punk that uses the CURE as a blueprint with a SMITHS-esque vocal delivery. “End” is a dark, vibrant show of post-punk while “Parallel Lines” is a more atmospheric and ethereal pop-driven song. Overall the COMPLETERS do amazing work in making a refreshing take on a genre that is so distinct and intricate in its own way.

Mirror Second EP

Home to an incredibly fertile punk scene, Texas has generated countless crushing and innovative punk bands like WICCANS, VAASKA, IMPALERS or CRIATURAS. MIRROR is the junction of the aforementioned bands in a mash of psychedelic and punk, creating a self-described “cosmic punk.” A vocal delivery less reminiscent of the Oi!-infused WICCANS and more Darby Crash on GLUE, frantic riffs, precise drumming, and a layer of synth psychedelia, make the Second EP another great modern punk release from the hotbed of US punk.

Poison Idea Pig’s Last Stand 2xLP

“Ladies and gentlemen! Would you please welcome, for the very last time, ever, the world’s fattest junkies, POISON IDEA!” And so it begins, the last show from the undefeated kings of punk, the mighty POISON IDEA, recorded live at La Luna in Portland, OR on June 6, 1993. A classic setlist of hardcore classics from an essential hardcore band, complete with face-melting covers of G.I.S.M., WIPERS, BAUHAUS, and the RAMONES. Released back in ’96 by Sub Pop as a CD, Pig’s Last Stand now sees its rightful vinyl release with a double-LP in a gatefold jacket with previously unpublished photographs from the show. Each LP includes a poster print of the original show flyer designed by Mike King and a bonus DVD of a four-camera shoot of the “Farewell” gig. The sound is amazing on this one and it shows the unmatched musicianship that made them the kings of punk. Newer bands should take a page or two from this record. R.I.P. Pig Champion.

Kontaminate Blood Hunger demo cassette

The 11 PM logo on a demo is always a good sign, as they have been consistently releasing the best fresh-sounding hardcore bands in the US. This time they released the kick-ass demo of Richmond-based KONTAMINATE, featuring members of NOSEBLEED and JACKAL. The mash of spazzy, almost Scandinavian-sounding TOTALITÄR riffs over a NECROS backbone makes KONTAMINATE an essential modern USHC band to keep an eye on. Five tracks of unrelenting bangers, with the cherry on top in the form of a cover of “Crime for Revenge” by ULTRA-VIOLENT, one of the unsung heroes of UKHC. Time to mosh in your room.

Powerplant People in the Sun LP

UK-based one-man operation POWERPLANT turned a lot of heads in 2019 when his second album People in the Sun was released, and there is a good reason for this. Hard to describe but easy to listen to, this is lo-fi synth-punk in its essence but every tune is a whole new world in itself. “Hey Mr Dogman!” is one hell of an opener, showcasing POWERPLANT’s high-energy garage-punk-meets-SCREAMERS sound, and right next, “Snake Eyes” shifts the game completely in a DEVO-esque weird artsy vibe. There is so much to explore here and every listen will make you piece this puzzle even better. This might be the definition of what egg-punk really is.

Svart Parad Total Svart Parad 2xLP+CD

With just two years of activity, this classic, short-lived Swedish hardcore band needs no introduction if you like your hardcore with extra crust in it. Their influence is undeniable in bands like DOOM or EXTREME NOISE TERROR, and they even got their own tribute album with covers by the kings of D-beat, DISCLOSE. F.O.A.D. has done an amazing job in reissuing these classic bands, and has now released the remastered discography. Includes 80 tracks with extra studio out-takes, compilation tracks, and a bonus Total Live CD. An essential band that helped shape what crust punk would become in terms of intensity. For the Scandi-beat aficionados out there.

Golpe Promo 2020 cassette

GOLPE is Tadzio Pederzolli from the amazing short-lived project KOMPLOTT, among other Italian punk and hardcore bands. Promo 2020 is his new punishing modern mid-tempo hardcore demo in the vein of WARTHOG, mixed with the great Italian hardcore tradition of IMPACT or NEGAZIONE. All the songs were written and performed by himself, and these three tracks serve as warm up for the La Colpa È Solo Tua LP out through Sorry State Records in 2021. These songs do a good job in leaving you wanting more and I can predict that the full-length will be a rager. Caos, non musica.

Moor Mother Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes LP

In a time where hip hop has slowly become a game of status, MOOR MOTHER seems to bring back the urgency and unrest of PUBLIC ENEMY, taking back hip hop to its true political roots which are in fact a parallel to punk in ethos. Camae Ayewa is the Philadelphia-based poet that goes by the name MOOR MOTHER. She speaks the poetry of political unrest, a harsh vision of the real world without filters. Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes is experimental hip hop, punk, and noise all mixed up into a sonic black hole as the title suggests, utilizing spoken word as a tool for conscientization, in essence using hip hop as it was intended. This is a unique vision of the world from a unique artist that needs to be experienced in order to get the full picture.

Vex Sanctuary 12″ reissue

Unfairly unheard of, this lone EP was originally released in 1984 through Fight Back Records, a sub-label of Mortarhate, run by the good people of CONFLICT. Thirty years later Sacred Bones released Sanctuary (The Complete Discography), which gave them a bit more exposure and gave them some justice in a sense. VEX knew darkness like no other band, combining the anarcho-punk ethos of CRASS or CONFLICT with the apocalyptic tribal beats of early AMEBIX, KILLING JOKE, and UK DECAY. They were short-lived but made a mark in the underground and the reissues gave them the status of a cult classic, influencing several modern post-punk acts. With a new reissue by Bomb-All, be sure to pick up this criminally underrated gem from the UK anarcho-punk scene.

Junta Død Tid EP

JUNTA has been under the radar for quite some time as they have been putting out demos and EPs consistently through the years, with Død Tid being their eleventh release to date and all of them DIY. And they sure sound DIY and you can take this as a compliment coming from me: it has the pure K-town punk sound to it with a recording to match that makes you feel that you are right there in the middle of the chaos with the band. Nothing is overproduced or feels faked, like a grittier version of the more straightforward POISON IDEA songs. Sung both in Danish and Brazilian Portuguese, you can sense their urgency through each and every of the six songs. The musicianship is great; no wonder they share members with PHRENELITH, PLANET Y, and DEMON HEAD, just to name a few. “Out of fashion, out of step, out of tune…”

Secretors Antidote for Civilization flexi EP

Primitive, filthy and savage. What else can one say about this debut from New York´s SECRETORS? And what a beast of a debut! The guitars and bass are as harsh as they can be, the bellowing vocals are delay-drenched, and the pounding drums are saturated to the core. Their sound really hits the spot if you are into ’80s Japanese primitive hardcore, evoking the chaos and destruction of SODOM (ADK Omnibus), ZOUO, or GHOUL. With members of WARTHOG, SUBVERSIVE RITE, and URCHIN within their ranks, Antidote for Civilization isn’t for the faint of heart.

Zygote A Wind of Knives LP reissue

First released in 1991 by MCR UK, and later in 1994 on Epistrophy Records, in 2018 by Monolith Records, and now by Pine Hill Records, A Wind of Knives was born after the dissolution of UK’s dark punk legends and crust pioneers AMEBIX. Founding member Stig Miller, alongside ex-AMEBIX members George Fletcher and Spider and newcomer Tim Crow of SMARTPILS created ZYGOTE. This debut release almost feels like a continuation of the bleak sound that was achieved in their earlier venture expanding on what KILLING JOKE began with, a MOTÖRHEAD-inspired sense of rock’n’roll songwriting, and adding a taste of what can be described as deathrock-oriented post-punk guitar atmosphere. This will please not only crust punk fans that like to wander off to unknown territories, but also post-punks and deathrock goths. A shame that ZYGOTE did not release more material; one can only imagine what they could have achieved on their next step.

Human Gas Super Violence Hardcore 1984–1989 2xLP+CD box set

When a band is named after a KURO song, you can pretty much expect that it is going to be an instant win. Hokkaidō island dwellers HUMAN GAS bring on the finest in raw and noisy ’80s Japanese hardcore not that far off from bands like GAI or CONFUSE. This box set is a true labour of love by the punk devotees at F.O.A.D.: double-LP, CD, DVD, book, and extra case-wrapped box. Seventy-nine tracks that originate from the split 7″ with STALI NISM (1985), Noice and Hardcore first demo (1986), Explosives second demo (1986), tracks from the Street Punk in Obihiro Omnibus tape (1986), Lackluster third demo and extra studio songs (1987), and unreleased studio jam session with members of STALI NISM and MIDDLE CLASS (1987). This is a must have for any classic Japanese hardcore enthusiasts out there still bummed about the GISM reissue on Relapse.

Stimulant Sensory Deprivation LP

If you really appreciate powerviolence, you know that you have to get through a ton of INFEST rip-off bands to find a real powerviolence band that keeps it in the tradition of MAN IS THE BASTARD and the Slap-a-Ham alumni. Brooklyn-based STIMULANT is such a band (previously under the name WATER TORTURE, who they also released a split with), with their off-putting brand of crushing, noisy powerviolence evoking a grindier IRON LUNG, focused on start-stop motions and dramatically slow or fast parts, and this is the major upgrade from the WATER TORTURE moniker: the fast parts are faster and the slow parts are slower, always with room for noise and samples. WATER TORTURE was exceptionally good and STIMULANT is a step above, a great soundtrack for the COVID isolation era.

Cólera Pela Paz Em Todo Mundo LP reissue

Legends CÁ”LERA started in 1979 and are one of the most iconic punk bands to come out of a post-dictatorial Brazil. They were one the first Brazilian punk bands to tour Europe and sold 85,000 copies of their second album Pela Paz Em Todo Mundo when it was first released through Ataque Frontal Records, making it the second best-selling independent punk record in Brazil, only being outdone by GAROTOS PODRES’ Mais Podres do que Nunca. This is class struggle turned into the sound of punk rock: the lyrics are sharp as a razor and work so well because they are sung in Portuguese, which makes them stand out with very notable themes for their time and their place like ecology, pacifism, and anti-militarism. This is a great introductory record if you want to get into the scene that spawned the greats like OLHO SECO, RATOS DE PORÁO, and MERCENARIAS. “Paz é algo pelo que se luta!

Lumpen Desesperación EP

LUMPEN is the spirit of the South American punk dissidence. With an UK82 backbone to their sound, product of much time spent listening to CHAOS UK or CRIMINAL JUSTICE, they create a similar approach to what fellow countrymen PRIMER REGIMEN do: a pure anthemic, unrestful Latin punk sound. Three Colombians and a Canadian relocated to Barcelona, with help from Lexton from UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, LUMPEN managed to impress with this great debut, five tracks of pure “desesperación” of growing up in a violent corrupt country. Just look at the amazing cover by bass player Mateo Correal and you will get a taste of what is inside. “Tribus a la calle.”

Military Shadow Blood for Freedom LP

Total metalpunk maniacs from Japan bring on their GISM herritage and write a modern piece of metallic hardcore, the Japanese way. After their debut Metal Punk Ironfist, these terrorists stepped up their game with Blood For Freedom for more incendiary riffage that just shows that they wear their metal and punk influences right on their sleeves. Fans of fellow countrymen PARASITE will be more than happy to bump this record on their next binge-drinking night out. And what an amazing band lineup: Infernal Pyromaniac, Goblin Acid Strike, Branded Rebel, Lusty Pervert, and Hellbrain Venomizer. You can’t go wrong with a lineup like that!

Nightmare Give Notice of Nightmare LP reissue

Burning Spirits hardcore is a movement of top-notch Japanese bands that play an energetic and uplifting form of heavy metal and punk hardcore hybrid. Give Notice of Nightmare, originally released 1990 on the legendary Selfish Records (SYSTEMATIC DEATH and LIP CREAM), is Burning Spirits hardcore at its finest, with an incessant tempo, NWOBHM-like leads, amazing songwriting, and a self-empowering attitude. NIGHTMARE is right there at the top of the game with BASTARD or DEATH SIDE and is still going strong to this day, being one of the few classic Japanese bands that did not break up along with GAUZE and WARHEAD. The album comes with the original artwork, a 350 gram cover, and has English translations for the Japanese lyrics. If looking for a fix of Japan you will definitely give notice of NIGHTMARE.

Dropdead Discography Vol. 2 1995–2013 LP

Active since 1991, DROPDEAD seems to be one of the most hard-working and militant bands in punk, raising the flag for the DIY ethos and living by what they preach. Having borrowed their name from the most important proto-grindcore demo ever (from the mighty SIEGE), they sound just like a freight train of hardcore aggression running over every politician, fascist, sexist, and animal abuser in their way. This is the second installment of their discography compilations and has 42 tracks that span through the years 1995 to 2013. It includes a remixed Hostile EP, the Arms Race EP, and the splits with TOTALITÄR (the standout tracks in my opinion), UNHOLY GRAVE, LOOK BACK AND LAUGH, CONVERGE, SYSTEMATIC DEATH, RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA, and BRAINOIL, as well as other compilation tracks. A must-have for fans of unhinged fast hardcore.

Kajsajuntti Rawpunk Forever cassette

The title of this demo says everything that you need to expect from this one-man mangel machine: noisy, raw punk worshipping SHITLICKERS and DISCLOSE alike. The man behind KAJSAJUNTTI also drills eardrums in DISPOSE as a singer/guitarist and as one might expect, the modus operandi on this one is not so different from his other ventures. This one is for all the “noise not music” maniacs that just want some primitive straightforward D-beat.

Nisses Nötter Det Är Krig LP

2020 saw among many great classic punk reissues the vinyl reissue of mean mangel machine NISSES NÖTTER’s jaw-breaking 1983 self-released Knäckta Nötter demo tape (and it sure feels like a demo tape, in a good way). These then-pre-teens from Gothenburg delivered a crushing, sloppy, and “angry at everything” lesson on how to do proper Swedish hardcore. If you are unfamiliar with this classic band, just keep in mind that their age span was eleven-to-twelve years old and yet they managed to play surprisingly fast and write great angry raw songs. The reissued vinyl version includes the complete history of the band and an insert. Cop this one when you need to let off some steam.

Perspex Torch EP

“Straight to the point” is what you feel as soon as you press play on this record by Sydney’s angriest PERSPEX. Weird and twisted hardcore that taps into the deranged worlds of US hardcore legends WHITE PIGS and NO TREND alike, but managing to sound refreshing throughout. Their selling point is immediacy and a not over-intellectualizing approach to hardcore that should be a given in any punk sub-genre, but unfortunately many bands have lost touch with its roots. These five tracks will quench your thirst for no-bullshit angry hardcore.

HuraÁ±a Brujas, Cholas E Inventadas EP

Iron Lung Records seems to have all fingers on the pulse of modern punk, as they manage to consistently release new and exciting bands. HURAÁ‘A is one of those bands that manages to sound fresh but never lets their influences and love for the genre be overshadowed by production. The guitars scream in a weird and unsettling mixture of the CRAMPS and early DEAD KENNEDYS but with a hardcore punk rhythmic section pummeling in the background, while the echoing voice howls at a distance the ills of being dysphoric in Chiapas, Mexico. Includes a cover of “Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra” by the legendary Spanish punks VULPESS, which in turn is a scandalous take on “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

Youth Deprivation Behind the Lids LP

YOUTH DEPRIVATION is the new venture of Groningen’s hardcore punk aficionados that used to rock out in KOMPLEX, SYSTEM BASTARD, HUMAN CORROSION, and DEVOID, and they do a great job living up to their old bands’ reputations. Dealing with one’s mental health has been a recurring theme in many punk bands, and the genre itself can act as a therapy to fight off some personal demons and deal with trauma. This is exactly what goes on in this record, an escape valve that goes off when the pressure is too great to handle. RUDIMENTARY PENI are an obvious influence to spot in this one, and the later era of BLACK FLAG. A bleak piece of punk hardcore that is a reality slap.

Irreal 2020 EP

Barcelona has been a growing staple for European punk and IRREAL is the perfect example of the Spanish strength, featuring members of BARCELONA, UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, and NUEVA FUERZA just to name a few. These calloused musicians quickly continue where DESTINO FINAL (whose members were in) left off but angrier and faster. Five tracks of defiant hardcore that owes as much to Finnish hardcore as it does to DISCHARGE, and by no means do they forget their Spanish punk classics. You get the feeling that the more bands write in their own language the angrier it feels, and this is the perfect example of the anti-establishment sentiment. Without a doubt one of the best EPs that saw the light of day during the COVID-era “new normalcy.” Muerte al sistema!

Häpeä Valistuksen Aika On Ohi EP

There is no doubt in my mind that many of you see the words “Finnish” and “hardcore” in the same sentence and automatically know you’re in for a ride. I know I do. Channeling accurately the Finnish classics such as KUOLEMA or TERVEET KÄDET and with a couple of EPs under their belt, HÄPEÄ really makes hardcore the way one would expect: an untamed, brutal and crazed assault. The six tunes on Valistuksen Aika On Ohi really stick with you and are well balanced in all that the genre has to offer. For all the Scandinavian maniacs this is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Living Eyes Peak Hour Traffic / Almanac 7″

DIY Geelong garage rockers the LIVING EYES deliver the goods with their latest 7″ single. Both tracks were unreleased demos that suddenly saw the green light just before the band embarked on a Japanese tour, executed and recorded in record time.  First, a song about the modern day frustration that is getting stuck in traffic during peak hours. A guitar-driven upbeat rock anthem that makes being in traffic not so bad if the right tune is playing on the radio. Seems like something we all can relate to. Then, on “Almanac,” a more serious tone is set with a post-punkier edge to it. A cool companion for the morning commute indeed!

Veneno Herejía LP

Angry Barcelonians VENENO let lose their fast, high-energy hardcore LP HerejÁ­a and if you know any Castilian, you can tell by the title that they really appreciate their HERESY—this is totally the case, as they pay homage to the fast hardcore sound that VOID paved the way for. Singing in Castilian only adds fuel to the fire, as you can feel the rage that comes through their politically-fueled lyrics that deal with society and the scene itself. The members are busy with other bands like ARREST, CRUZ, and PELIGRO! but have the skills and dedication to sound super tight in VENENO. This is a record that makes you feel young, like when you wanted to skate down the street while spray painting “ACAB” on cop cars.

Korrosive Observations From the West LP

Bay Area Finnish hardcore enthusiasts KORROSIVE deliver a potent blow of a debut album with Observations From the West. They’ve been busy with demos, live tapes, two 7″ EPs and a split 7″ with APPENDIX, and all this rotation made them perfect at what we all love so much: Pure KAAOS, MELLAKKA, BASTARDS worship with a bit of UK82 here and there. And yes, songs about war. What could go wrong?

Twisted Nerve Séance (Archive vol. 1) LP

Scottish deathrock gem Séance finally sees a much-sought-after reissue, and crate-digging post-punks rejoice. After the great 1982 Peel Session Caught in Session EP, they went for a more Fire Dances-era KILLING JOKE sound that does not disappoint. Some of you might know them from the Killed By Deathrock comp, some you might not know them at all, but it is worth your time.

Löckheed Conflict Delirium EP

Hard-hitters LÖCKHEED from Santa Barbara return, after the brilliantly savage 4 Track Demo released last year, with Conflict Delirium. Kängpunk-worship reminiscent of early DISFEAR, DISCHANGE, or DISCARD, complete with a production that would make Kawakami proud. This EP will stand on the top 2020 lists of many Dis-beat maniacs. Sometimes you just need the simpler things in life: just plain DISCHARGE-styled hardcore.

Ötzi Storm LP

After countless tours and several EPs, Oakland’s femmes fatales ÖTZI bring a little less joy to the world with Storm, their new full-length. They make a genre that sometimes tends toward repetition into something new and exciting: a fresh take on melancholic dark post-punk with dual vocals, chorused guitars, steady beats, bass lines that would make a young Robert Smith blush, and even saxophones and violins make an appearance. This album will give them a well-deserved spot in the modern post-punk scene. A band to keep an eye on.

Zyfilis Alla Ska Ha… LP

Following their split release with MURO and debut 7″ record, Alla Ska Ha… sounds really fresh, ranging from catchy D-beat and bouncy pogo parts. The guitar work is somewhat atypical, like TOXIC REASONS played through a TOTALITÄR filter, and the punk high-energy really comes through in the vocals as Johanna really makes you feel like you are being yelled at directly. ZYFILIS delivers a fun record that will leave no fists unpumped.