Reviews

Not Like You

Combatant Witness to Destruction LP

It’s not everyday you hear a DISCHARGE-influenced band from the northeasternmost state. Aside from the DIS-structures and phrasing, COMBATANT’s tough barraging sound and burly vocals had me reminiscing about getting the first CAUSTIC CHRIST EP in the mail, or maybe a little bit of DEATHREAT? I like the urgency and the impact, but there are really no deep cuts. The lyric sheet is hard as balls to read, but they seem to address typical atrocities like war, drug addiction, war, dehumanization, and war. Same nine tracks on 45 on both sides.

Fastplants Grosso / Super Stoked 7″

This is a nice tribute to recently deceased skater legend Jeff Grosso. The music is fairly competent skate rock and more on the rock’n’roll/garage side of the half pipe. The guitars shred(!) and it’s catchy in more the SCOUNDRELZ or JONESES side of the genre. It’s short and fast like life should be. Pick it up. It’s already too late.

Ghoul Squad Necrodoll LP

You might pass over this one at your neighborhood shoppe by simply judging it for the unspectacular “spooky punk” band name and album cover. You might even slap it on and yawn at the prospect of yet another bunch of MISFITS-worshiping goons. Those in the know, though, (read: nerds) will recognize one vintage ’80s black-clad Cape Cod unit once championed by former shitworker Brian “Pushead” Schroeder on his label comps and personal volume of the Thrasher Skate Rock series. A little digging around Discogs will inform you, the eager consumer, that this album was to be released way back yore before Pushead folded his label and only megabucks test presses existed…until now! That being said, this record is pretty decent and not simply a MISFITS wannabe but also throws post-punk, goth, skate rock and metal into the pot. Equal parts SOCIAL DISTORTION and MOURNING NOISE as well as SAMHAIN and the JONESES. You get “Devilock”-style thrashers like “House of Mirrors,” headbanging anthems like “Cemetary Seniors,” and sing-alongs like the title track that will keep you whoa-whoa-whoaing into the midnight hours. Not worth the megabucks but it’s a good time for sure like bad kids in the cemetery, cheap beer and a little headstone tipping.

Locked Inside Your Thoughts. Your Own. EP

Haircut youth crew that, while energetic, tight, and probably great live under exactly the right circumstances, has absolutely nothing to offer on record. The songwriting isn’t quite as cliché and predictable as the embarrassing lyrics and artwork might have one think, but the songs aren’t memorable either. And I know I’m writing this about a straightedge band, but if you are a middle-aged adult in the year 2020 with a Christian-teenager-level understanding of addiction and substance (ab)use, as demonstrated in the title track’s cartoon sloganeering, you desperately need to expand your worldview.

Slashers Hang On / Snap My Neck 7″

New York-based SLASHERS play gnarly skate punk with a dash of metal influence thrown into the mix. This single is really cool, with both sides of the vinyl exuding snot and attitude. The metal influence is what makes this one really interesting, with the traditional metal/Japanese HC-style guitar leads/soloing. The instrumentation on this record is really top-notch—these guys really know their stuff. All in all, this record is totally rad and I’m excited to see what else is in store in the future.

 

Too Many Voices Catch Me If You Can 12″

Melodic hardcore from New York. I was thinking these guys have a DC thing going on in a SHUDDER TO THINK kind of way. Then a cover of the 3 classic “Swann Street” comes up. Pretty cool. But there is also a metal-ish ANGELIC UPSTARTS feel on a few of the songs. Seven tracks on this which actually came out in 2018 while their first full-length came out in 2015. So it is what it is in 2020. Decent.

Witness Marker Witness Marker LP

Like growing up listening to hardcore and then moving to D.C. and discovering Dischord Records. Feels of RITES OF SPRING and an insightful, angsty DAG NASTY. Tempos varied well through songs, they’re able to slow it down and still bring a heavy attack often in the same track. A solid debut from Chris Werner and Bruce Ewell formerly of NO ONE’S HERO.