Choice to Make Vicious Existence EP

Thrash-y, metal-tinged hardcore. The songs are short enough to not get stale, but it’s only six songs and I really need more here to knock me off the fence I’m riding in one direction or another. If I did have one swaying point, I suppose it would be the instrumental in the middle of the record. I am adamantly opposed to instrumentals in hardcore. It comes off as an unfinished song to me. Filler really, and for me the placement really kind of threw off my listening experience. I suppose if you must include an instrumental it’s probably better suited as a bookend.

End It One Way Track cassette

Four songs here. The first two clock in at under a minute each, the next two get progressively longer, with the last track coming in at just over two minutes. There are things I really enjoy here and they definitely outweigh the things I dislike. Generally, this style of hardcore is not really my cup of tea, but I find myself enjoying this more and more with each listen. It’s pissed, the breakdown parts (when there are some) aren’t cheeseball, and unlike a lot of stuff of this ilk, it sounds genuine. Sometimes when I hear bands like this it comes off like an act, but this shit is sincere. END IT has made a new fan here. Can’t wait to hear more, these four songs leave me clamoring for it.

Scowl How Flowers Grow LP

Southern California’s SCOWL is probably the hardcore hype band of 2022, receiving a lot of attention in the underground—they also quite bizarrely opened for LIMP BIZKIT at Madison Square Garden recently—but I’m happy to say that, every once in a while, you can indeed believe the hype. How Flowers Grow is a total fist-pumping affair, dripping with passionate anger and righteous fury. Fast hardcore with plenty of mosh appeal, the band is driven by the appropriately scowling vocal stylings of Kat Moss, who delivers a hell of a performance on this record. In the midst of the chaos, “Seeds to Sow” appears basically out of nowhere with a more alt-rock style to it, but it also doesn’t feel out of place, either. And right after, it roars back into the insanity! You’ve been hearing lots of good things about SCOWL for a reason—they’re great! Highly recommended.