Reviews

Drinkin' Beer in Bandana

Crippled Fox 10 Years of Thrashing EP

This is a beautiful slab of fastcore: five tracks in the blink of an eye recorded down n’ dirty in the band’s rehearsal space that indeed thrash, with just a taste of powerviolence to make things interesting. Party-violence? Is that a thing? This Budapest crew makes a pretty strong case for it, with a sound that’s equal parts SPAZZ and A.N.S. coated in about a foot-thick crust of grime. Perfect for basement beers and slamming your head into the wall.

Crippled Fox In the Name of Thrash LP

It’s always respectable when something is accurately labeled or identified. If you see a red MAGA hat, you can make some safe assumptions about the person wearing it. With the album title In the Name of Thrash, you can expect unrelenting speed and melt-your-face riffs. Straight out of Budapest comes 23 tracks of mosh-pit power-ups in the vein of early DRI, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, and STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH. Every song is devastatingly fast and tight with an attitude of fun and unity throughout. This band does not hide what it’s about under layers of nuance or lyrical gloss. Take the track “High on Thrash,” which asserts “Thrashing is my drug / I’m wasted with my riffs / Bashing myself / With a killer song that rips.” After nearly two dozen thrashcore classics, the album closes with a hilarious send up of power metal pretension and bombast, “P.M.A. (Power Metal Attitude.)” It’s all big hair, knights with swords, and soaring falsettos that had me grinning ear to ear.

Crippled Fox Attack of the Thrash Wrist EP

Everything to be said about CRIPPLED FOX is in the lyrics of “United Mosh Pit,” the fifth track of eight on this EP. “Long-haired thrashers / And skatecore punks / Hardcore kids / Blasting the show as one.” That is the entire text of the song and could be the band’s manifesto. Occasionally punctuated with out-of-nowhere samples from DE LA SOUL, the TV show Married With Children, and others, this album shreds with fun, blistering, thrash-soaked hardcore. DRI’s Dirty Rotten LP is an obvious comparison to make. Close your eyes and you see nothing but kids in flannel shirts and bandanas zooming up and down half-pipes. The choice to record live in a rehearsal space was inspired. The resulting spontaneity and energy makes these good songs great. CRIPPLED FOX puts out some amazing crossover thrash and are now 95% of the reason I want to visit Budapest.

D.F.C. Igreja Quadrangular Do Triângulo Redondo LP

Originally released on CD in 1996, this second album from Brazilian hardcore legends D.F.C. (DISTRITO FEDERAL CAOS) is an exercise in ’80s crossover style that echoes the sentiments of D.R.I. and RATOS DE PORAO in speedy thrashing laced with rapid-fire vocals, but there’s enough melody and breakdowns to keep the music squarely planted in the punk camp. With a penchant for cartoony artwork and parody album covers, D.F.C. seems more interested in issuing their metal-infused ass-whoopings than taking themselves too seriously. There are twenty brief, snappy songs here, and two of them are only four seconds long, making it an ideal soundtrack to any hessian morning routine. Get your day off to a strong start by brushing your teeth while listening to D.F.C. call people “putas.”

Gummo A Fresh Breath on the Neck LP

Hailing from Lille, France, GUMMO sets the brutality at eleven with their latest LP. Featuring eighteen throat-punching tracks, this three-piece focuses their ire at cops, internet trolls, people ruining the scene, and capitalists, to name a few, and leaves no doubt about where they stand on social justice issues. The title track refers to the guillotine, and implies it might be time to bring it back. The first track, a pandemic manifesto called “Where Was Gondor,” features some interesting, almost melodic bass and drum work that makes GUMMO stand out from most of the powerviolence and grindcore bands these days. “You’ll Pay the Bill to the Styx” almost veers toward New York-style hardcore terroritory (SICK OF IT ALL, GORILLA BISCUITS) with chugging guitars and chanting, anthemic vocals.

Jodie Faster Blame Yourself LP

Seventeen songs here, with the longest clocking in at 1:29. Short, fast, hardcore songs that strangely don’t use distortion on the guitars. I don’t particularly know how I feel about this. The songs are good, but the lack of distortion is off-putting to say the least. I wanna like this, and I think I do, but the sound of the guitar is fucking with my brain. Like it’s seriously giving me a borderline panic attack. Hahaha.

Taste the Floor Scam EP

The art reminds me of the Facts And Views 7″ by UPRIGHT CITIZENS, while the music makes me imagine this is probably what RAW POWER’s most current albums may sound like. This is thrash with a skatecore vibe. Quick guitar leads, plenty of palm muting and almost non-stop blast beats which make it feel like it should’ve been out on Party Time or 625 Thrashcore records. The vocalist has a Roger Miret quality to him and all true intensity is lost in the double kick drum and super clean production.

XDeloreanX / XDuhX Split 12″

Great Scott!! A one-sided 12″ of two powerviolence/grind bands from Tuscany’s XDELOREANX and Pisa’s XDUHX. With the X’s bookmarking the band name, XDELORIANX don’t seem to be emphasizing John Delorean’s actual cocaine trafficking charges, but continuing their extended over-the-top tribute to the Back to the Future trilogy. SPAZZ-style short blasts mix curt build-ups and quicker breakdowns with explosions of stop-start hardcore, speeding depth charges of gruff and gnarled vocal tradeoffs about Biff, Professor Emmett Brown, the Twin Pines Mall, Huey Lewis, and other “Pinhead Powerviolence” subjects. Fun, silly, and sharply played, these five tracks are a quick and deft enough jolt for the jokes to wear in and not thin. XDUHX pick up the speed with more of a throttling grindcore bend, with shattering blastbeats and vocal gurgle, punctuated with clearly-shouted Italian samples, oddball musical twists, and quick turns. Seven tracks shifting all over the hardcore spectrum, including defiant classic hardcore, powerviolence dirge and purge, and straight grind, then even tossing in a funk and grind throwdown. A fun “split” with a silk-screened B-side featuring Marty McFly in a punk battle vest with…Vin Diesel? Ray Cappo? Biff? Noise freaks and Michael J. Fox fans move fast: 300 pressed.