Open Palm

Antinomia Trilha Sonora Para um Jantar de Família Pós-Apocalíptico cassette

From the booming punk scene of Oporto, ANTINOMIA is one of the bands to keep an eye out for. These young fellows are old school hardcore afficionados and know what the hell is going on with the style that they do. They pay homage to the oldies like RIPCORD, VOID, HERESY, and ELECTRO HIPPIES, so basically every good fastcore band on the planet, plus some of the weird anti-hardcore riffage of NO TREND. There is an urban element that can’t be denied in the vibe of the band that goes beyond hardcore, turning it into a more visceral and palpable piece of music. Excellent artwork by the gruesome Legfarmer, once again able to put disgusting sonic putridity into visual form, and let’s not forget the added bonus that is a MISFITS cover of “Earth A.D.” Play fast or don’t, they will still be faster than you!

B.O.R.N. B.O.R.N. cassette

Three-piece band from Birmingham, UK who are specialists in the creation of a tortuous and aggressive noise. The rhythmic base maintains an almost mechanical rhythm while the guitar envelops everything with guitars that paint sonic landscapes as sharp as broken glass. The vocals are like that of a person chastened in hell. I really dig it. Check them out right now.

Blinding Glow Unconditional Surrender cassette

With a logo inspired by Apocalypse Now, BLINDING GLOW sets things off with a magnitude of napalm-charged, chamber-echoing D-beat slaughter. This sounds like it was recorded in a castle’s dungeon, and I like it. With aspects of, well, war, LIFE CHAIN, KARBONITE, DETONATE, CRIMEX, VITTNA—this has all the making of a sought-after demo among their contemporaries of Dis-wave bands. Nothing too surprising going on here, but what they lack in shocking freshness, they make up for with speed and non-stop power. Every member excels on Dis, and proves even more so as the demo progresses. The more I listen, the more I’m reminded of some form of TOXIC WASTE or CRUCIFIX meets AKKA or UNARM. Favorite track: the title cut “Unconditional Surrender.” A bouncing wallop of soulful, raw Dis-beat. And in a BLINDING GLOW, it’s all over.

Counter Control The World is Burning Up cassette

COUNTER CONTROL from Indiana offers up this cassette as their second release. Blisteringly fast and airtight instrumentals over a delightfully unhinged vocal delivery, all encompassed in quite rough and abrasive production (exactly as it should be). All the tunes here are great, but the closing track “Counter Control” is by far the standout with its dissonant riffage and several tempo shifts and even some youthful gang shouts thrown in for good measure. A jolly good time and worth your while!

Cutre Cutre cassette

CUTRE is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, where this tape originally came out in 2020. Thanks to Open Palm Tapes out of Chicago, we now get to grab one in the US. Playing raging hardcore powered by a steamrolling D-beat with speedy fills, it’s a solid set of beefy jams for all you hessian-types. I don’t speak Spanish, but this guy is clearly pissed.

Deodorant Aluminum-Free cassette

DEODORANT bridges the gap between hardcore punk and JAMES BROWN. Their funky grooves will remind you of the MINUTEMEN and JAMES CHANCE, but their snarky vocals will hark back to memories of DEAD KENNEDYS. Oh, and the band is absolutely unafraid to throw a little country twang in the mix. If that sounds like a complete mess, you wouldn’t be wrong. This EP is all over the place, the recordings are pretty much demo-quality at best, but hey, it’s a raucous bit of fun, so who really cares?

Desborde Ya No Kiero Ser Parte De Este Mundo demo cassette

Buenos Aires band DESBORDE’s first release (although they put two of this tape’s seven songs on Bandcamp in March of this year, if you deem that to count) is being released by a ton of labels in different parts of the world, and I can only assume they all had much the same “woah!” reaction as I did on first hearing. It’s synth punk, but pretty far removed from the post-CONEHEADS/NWI scene egginess that seems to be the default style for that sound at present: it wouldn’t surprise me if none of DESBORDE’s five members owned any DEVO albums. Instead, it’s super catchy, mid-paced street punk-adjacent stuff with sing-along choruses (if you know Spanish) and groovy keyboard fizz—the juxtaposition is kinda similar to NACHTHEXEN, although DESBORDE is on closer terms with punk orthodoxy, sound-wise. Gotta imagine this band would be amazing to see live where most people in the room knew the songs back to front.

Ex-Dom Demo 2021 cassette

An eerie intro creeps up on you just before EX(tincion de)-DOM(inio) tears your eardrums apart. This Bremen-based foursome has a couple of known faces and they know what they are doing. Sung in both Spanish and German, it creates a new dimension of aggression in the seven songs that make up this raging demo. Pogo-inducing, DISCHARGE-styled hardcore that sounds fresh and old school at the same time, so it will please newcomers as much as old punks. Watch out for their new releases as well. Highly recommended!

Lengua Salvaje 2023 Demo cassette

Raw, crusty hardcore three-piece out of Chicago. They’re another one of those trios that does a great job filling in the gaps, sounding absolutely massive with just a drummer, guitarist, and vocalist. Reminds me of all the early grind bands who came to fruition without a bass player but still sounded heavy as hell, much like a more rustic PIG DESTROYER. Vocals are blood-curdling like a banshee in the night. Absolutely intense and unwavering. The lo-fi production pairs perfectly here. I love how the drums come off in the mix—tucked a tad into the back, but when they come alive they’re pummeling. Top-notch stuff here.

LSG Salvation/Solution demo cassette

The demo art depicts a cartoon punk who is being walked like a dog, or it could be a leashed child that traded the leash for a chain. They look content and mindless, like their name should be something stupid like “Bloopy the Punk.” Musically, it’s nothing original, but it’s a bit more rambunctious than Bloopy would have you believe, with only two tracks getting over the one-minute mark. Sparse vocals backed by bare-bones ’80s Midwest thrashing that could fit seamlessly onto a compilation like The Master Tape Vol. 2. A surprising ripper.

Private Life Get Me Outta Here cassette

As we move further and further into a digital music world, there’s something very cool to me that cassettes remain a thing. There’s also something somewhat comical about listening to a tape on Bandcamp. Anyway, five cuts here. There was a time when some people might have called this hardcore. Not anymore. It can be faster paced at times, but it’s got a quirky pop thing about it. While it may be difficult to label, it’s not difficult to like. It’s quirky and catchy and very much straightforward. I like that. A lot.

Psychic Death Psychic Death 2 cassette

Spokane’s PSYCHIC DEATH’s latest cassette release is five tracks of both fast and mid-paced hardcore punk, with unique songwriting styles that don’t resort to another cookie-cutter mold. Music is ’80s-style USHC, but the vocals are reminiscent of ’90s San Diego bands à la SWING KIDS or ANTIOCH ARROW—oddly, it works. Unique musical complexity, but may need a dose of simplicity to make it a more of a good hardcore release. For fans of DIE KREUZEN.

Stress Positions Walang Hiya cassette

From the prolific and diverse Chicago hardcore scene comes STRESS POSITIONS and their 2022 debut cassette Walang Hiya (“No Shame” in Tagalog). Musically, STRESS POSITIONS play fairly straightforward hardcore with lots of fun surprises thrown in—check out the noise at the 40-second mark on “Lust for Pleasure,” or the screeching halfway point of “This Land.” Vocalist Stephanie Brooks has a brutal vocal delivery that oscillates between shredding and shrieking, only slowing down to softer singing on an occasion or two. All of that said, the title track “Walang Hiya” is the standout here. Opening with ringing guitars before blasting off, it’s a three-minute punk odyssey condemning the white Catholic takeover in the Philippines and its destruction of indigenous culture there, specifically in regards to the treatment of women and their right to make choices about their bodies. It’s a bold song and a subject matter that doesn’t seem to be touched on often, at least not this specifically. By the time the repeated chorus of “Ayako sayo!” (“I don’t like you!” in Tagalog) comes along, the cover art depicting a Catholic priest being burnt at the stake by three Indigenous people feels a lot more profound. Highly recommended.

Weak Pulse The Killing Moves Around the Planet cassette

The latest cassette from Chicago’s WEAK PULSE is eight tracks of ’80s-style USHC somewhere along the veins of VOID, CRUCIFIX, a lo-fi version of MINOR THREAT, and ARTICLES OF FAITH. Raw yet fast sonic texture of full speedcore mayhem. No hesitation, non-stop straight-ahead hardcore. Nasty, gritty output coming from these mutants from Chicago.