Piñén Nicolasa Quintremán EP

This is hardcore, in case the cover art would put you off, although PIÑÉN most likely would not give a flying fuck if you skipped them for such a reason. Hopefully you already knew, since they have been around for ten years and have consistently released incredibly raw and genuine, super fast, vicious hardcore records, performed as a drums/guitar duo without bass, with a subversive message that also makes a lot of sense. Their interview in the last print issue of MRR detailed strict and liberating ideas of DIY punk, focusing on creating something on your own that represents you and your surroundings. They even questioned the point of putting out vinyl if you are not participating in the production. I am happy they changed their mind, but it’s still as DIY as it gets—the physical copies are partly hand-painted by the members, and the cover is probably drawn by them as well. Touch the dried paint and think for a second how such objects in general are manufactured in far-away factories and shipped across the globe via distributors and labels without having any connection with the band. In a way, PIÑÉN reclaims such small gestures that could mean a lot if you pay attention, which is required since they only care to create amazing music and live by their own rules, instead of aiming for artificial popularity. This carefree, solitary game emancipates them, making all their releases special even if they draw influences from early international hardcore bands with sounds reminiscent of the early records of H.H.H. and ANTI-DOGMATIX: constant blasting, thoughtful chaos and anger at high pace. A sound that could be easily redundant, but the quality and shortness of their songs, along with the microdosing of their whole discography keeps me wanting more, even if their records tend to take over my turntable for days. This time, the overall sound is harsher, which makes the record even better. Each hit on the cymbals is shards blasting into your ear, each riff is super tight, hectic, and creative, and those pissed-off vocals push all rightful frustration into my brain. The cover art, EP title, and start and ending tracks all reference Nicolasa Quintremán, a Chilean Pehuenche activist who opposed the construction of Endesa’s Ralco Hydroelectric Plant. Eventually, she was found dead, most likely murdered. She died because she wanted to protect her land. Localism and protecting what is important to you in your surroundings seems to also be important for PIÑÉN, and while playing hardcore/punk is not a matter of life and death, for them it seems to be a channel to release frustration and their message—we should feel lucky that they keep creating such great music. This record is amazing, and long live PIÑÉN.