Reviews

Not Enough

Asocial Aldrig Som Er 12″

ASOCIAL’s history begins in the early ’80s in the Swedish hardcore scene. They pushed the envelope with great EPs of crust and D-beat, and an album, How Could Hardcore Be Any Worse, an absolute beast of noise that had a great and lasting influence on extreme music worldwide. The band has been writing new music since 2017, and this EP finds the band revisiting four of its classics and presenting four new songs. I have to admit I’m not really into bands re-recording their old songs, but in this context, they sound as raw and chaotic as the originals, and the new songs are pure mayhem. The EP starts with “Religion Still Sucks,” one of the best openers I’ve heard so far this year. “Krossa Nazismen,” “Mïlitardiktatur,” and “Samhällets Offer” are all incredibly intense. A must-have.

Genöme Young, Beautiful & Free LP

Debut album from GENÖME of Malmö, Sweden. Great production D-beat/kängpunk with echoed vocals. Many bands in this style tend to take a low-fidelity DIY approach to recording but GENÖME does it in the modern, non-retro-sounding style of ’90s Japanese meets Swedish-style hardcore production. Reminds me of a bit of DETESTATION or some of the crustcore bands coming out of the Minneapolis area in the ’90s. Artwork by Petter from GLORIOUS?

Crutches / Kontrasosial Chaos Riders Freedom Fighters split LP

CRUTCHES spit out nine tracks of clean-sounding Swedish D-beat in the vein of all your favourite umlaut-adorned and mispronounced backpatches, but with all the modern advancements of clean recording. It’s fine, I guess. Vocals could sound less shrieked, but I’m old now so what the fuck do I know; it’s just hard for me to get sucked into something so polished-sounding, especially when sonically, they just don’t manage to conjure that atmosphere of danger that I think is absolutely necessary in modern crust. I can hear all the shiny studs in this recording and none of the filth. KONTRASOSIAL gives this the kick that it needs with a slightly more metal approach and stomp that blows the other side outta the water, an unfair pairing really.

Life Ossification of Coral LP

Tokyo crust veterans LIFE’s latest LP Ossification of Coral combines the influences of ’80s Swedish hardcore, English and Scottish metallic crust, perhaps some influences from their peers over the years; yet still makes it their own. With the implementation of slower, groovier parts Á  la UK crust bands (AXEGRINDER or DEVIATED INSTINCT), the tracks have more variation than in the past, but they still continue to deliver the raging fast SEDITION/SCATHA-like approach for which they were known. Lyrics consist of anti-military sentiments that not only point out the issues that we face, but also manifest anthems in solidarity and support of the victims of oppression in this society. Includes a cover of ’90s Tokyo scene peers ABRAHAM CROSS’s “Same As War” and artwork done by Nozaki of COLLAPSE SOCIETY/STAGNATION. This release is a great representation of how the ’90s generation of the Tokyo crust scene is relevant in the current generation; still absolutely raging as hard as it did even after a few decades of existence. Highly recommended.

Osmantikos Survival LP

Crusty hardcore from Malaysia, with furious vocals and clean production. Survival features a dozen grandiose compositions that bring to mind TRAGEDY, the HOLY MOUNTAIN, and COP ON FIRE, as tracks ooze toward a more stenchcore sound. Anthemic passages from dual vocals; all-in-all a full sound from this three piece. Side B opens with some surprisingly upbeat riffs amidst slow gloomy hardcore, similar to GUILLOTINE TERROR or MOONSCAPE. A moody intro-as-intermission midway through the LP, then some more Motörcharged rhythms. With several styles of extreme punk going on, OSMANTIKOS have a lot to offer.

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!

Parötid / Zudas Krust Split EP

ZUDAS KRUST’s filth-kicking things off with the wrath and gnashing vocals of, well FILTHKICK, ABADDON, and lots of European crust of the early to mid ’90s. This is grotesque, noisy, and blistering muffled D-beat sung in the meter of classic crust hardcore of that era. No-fucks-given aggression, in three passionate tracks. Think ENYZME and FRAMTID contemporarily, with bestial wild force. PARÖTID plays more in the rhythm of DISASTER, with very buoyant loose disruptive bass. Lots of echoing reverb and strange speed changes, sort of weird, but totally intentional and impressive, where one might expect straightforward D-beat the entire way. I really like the way these two play off each other. They are distinctly different, in tone, polish, and speed, but compliment each other. “Humanism” is catchy as fuck! Getting lost in this one. Both bands are recommended, as is the split as a whole.