Perplex Perplex cassette
There have been hundreds of raw hardcore punk bands in the past ten years, so it is has become hard, if not near impossible, to keep up with everything—sometimes you are just too late to the party and you’re being told that the band you just came across and are excited about split up ages ago (meaning six months in 2023), but the members already formed two brand new bands that you are still clueless about but you nod. PERPLEX from Phoenix, Arizona is one of the bands that I should not have missed but still did. On the one hand, they clearly belong to that modern school of raw, old-school hardcore punk with reverbed vocals, but on the other, they somewhat stand out from the crowd (and it has grown into a big one) because they are heavily influenced by WRETCHED and manage to build on that influence with efficiency and emergency. With the opening of the first song being a massive nod to WRETCHED, you pretty much know what you are in for—furious, primal hardcore punk with obsessive riffs and demented leads. But PERPLEX doesn’t lose sight of what really matters: relentless energy. Käng from the ’80s is also very present in the songwriting, and bands like CRUDITY or SOD definitely got invites, too. No wheel is being reinvented here, but I love this demo. This release is a bit particular since the tape was initially released in 2019 but quickly sold out, and the Oxford-based Richter Scale (a great tape label that specializes in rather obscure hardcore acts) decided to reissue it. The drummer of the band, Mal (he also played in SLIMY MEMBER, among other projects), tragically died that same year, and the tape is dedicated to him. The two remaining members went on to do the fine MEMORY WARD, who I recommend you check out, too.