Buen Destino Buen Destino LP

Excellent debut LP from this Barcelona band that deftly melds full-throated hardcore with math, metal, and even post-rock influences. The record immediately smacks you in the head with opener “Morir de Asco,” orbiting through the same universe as CONVERGE and BOTCH; serpentine guitar figures piercing through raw hardcore. “Los Creyentes” features multiple time changes that reveal the band’s musical chops while escalating an epic build-up that rivals any heavy post-rock band, tempering beauty with ultimate audio violence. It’s awe-inspiring. “Futuro Final” layers pounding, noise rock kick drums with algebraic guitar that becomes near-catchy despite its intricacy, like a flashing knot of Christmas lights. Final track “Bajo el Mismo Sol” constructs a staggering wall of sound with all elements turned up to maximum volume and intensity that is a staggering end to a great record. Intelligent, consistently experimental, and extremely heavy, this is an exciting introduction to a band worth watching.

HHH A Por Ellos… Que Son Muchos Y Estan Super Cachas!! LP reissue

HHH should not need an introduction; their fastcore approach in the late ’80s put them on the map with INDIGESTI, LÄRM, HERESY…all the bands that people started aping relentlessly a decade later (for good reason). Riffs border on blur-core (“Ai Otro Lado De Las Ramblas” in particular) and they just sound so fukkn weird and unhinged all the damn time. Everyone talks about Intelectual Punks (and for good reason), but this 27-song LP might be the pinnacle of their signature breakneck thrashing hardcore. On the one hand, it seems weird to see a parade of reissues of records that are not that hard to come by and have been reissued in the last decade (this one got the treatment back in 2014), but then I drop the needle on A Por Ellos… for the first time in a long time and I’m reminded how much people need to hear this shit. So keep pumping out versions, keep reimagining ways to introduce people to the classics, keep the fire on and keep the fire hot. I just hope that these later versions are ending up in new hands (and ears) instead of a bunch old heads buying burner copies…

L’Odi Social Que Pagui Pujol EP reissue

Formed in 1981, L’ODI SOCIAL from Barcelona was one of Spain’s first hardcore punk bands, and this 7” is a facsimile of their much-revered 1986 EP with a fold-out cover and complete original artwork. This is some old-school, DC-style hardcore filtered through a European lens. It’s fast and fun, delivering five speedy tracks with a devil-may-care attitude. While a lot of their contemporaries used English language in their music, these guys opted to pen everything in their native Catalan tongue. I no hablas, but the spirit of this classic record still comes across loud and clear.

Pulso Enfrentamiento Total LP

Enfrentamiento Total is the newest LP from Barcelona’s PULSO (previously known as APPRAISE). The sound is reminiscent of the classic youth crew approach of bands like YOUTH OF TODAY, IN MY EYES, and MOUTHPIECE, so you should know exactly what you’re getting from this one. Plenty of stompy and moshy parts to get your rocks off to while still remaining fast and catchy. Solid stuff! If you’re into youth crew, you can certainly do a lot worse.

Sentido Común 1983–85 LP

This is perhaps one of the more interesting releases I’ve come by in a long time. SENTIDO COMÚN was an anarcho-punk band from Barcelona who played a brand of music that is completely unique. Imagine (if you even can) HONEY BANE growing up listening to Spanish radio, and you’ll be halfway to what SENTIDO COMÚN sounds like. They retain the typical anarcho-punk formula, but there are also glimpses of traditional Spanish music through the wall of sound. Occasionally, there is an almost flamenco quality to the music, without actually being anything like flamenco. The vocalization on this LP is also very interesting, ranging from cool singing to animalistic squawks.

Ultimo Resorte No Hay Tiempo Que Perder LP

Here’s a delightful slice of punk history. ÚLTIMO RESORTE was an integral part of Barcelona, Spain’s punk-cum-hardcore scene in the early ’80s. Providing the connective tissue between the first generation of Spanish punk and the initial Spanish hardcore wave, ÚLTIMO RESORTE reflects this evolution in three releases compiled on one fat slab of wax. No Hay Tiempo Que Perder brings together the band’s seven-song self-titled 7” EP from 1982, their five-song 12” EP from the following year, as well as six bonus tracks from their 1981 demo. The band had quite a few lineup changes during their existence from 1979 to 1984, resulting in a hodgepodge of influences that pulled their sound in varying directions. Thankfully, their genre-dabbling produced killer results! Ranging from fast and gritty hardcore à la ELECTRIC DEADS, to more direct UK-inspired punk in the realm of VICE SQUAD, ÚLTIMO RESORTE managed to chart their own path with fierce vocalist Silvia Escario leading the charge. In an interview I read, Escario speaks of the impact that MDC had on the Barcelona scene, compelling the punks to play faster and write more politically-focused lyrics. Overall, this is an incredibly well-produced retrospective. The sound quality is great, even on the demo tracks, and the material holds up beyond its significance historically. Punk rules! Check this out if you need a reminder.