Black Dog Overthrow EP

I cannot say I really like the moniker BLACK DOG as, for some reason, it immediately evokes images of tough metalcore lads who wear beanies and spend a lot of time looking unironically hard. But this BLACK DOG is absolutely amazing, right kick-up-the-arse amazing, the sort of amazing that can resurrect the pair of crust pants you discarded years ago because you do get a bit fat with age. Distracted me had only vaguely heard the first demo and, partially because of the name (I know, I know, the book, the cover and all that), I just did not pay much attention. But this band from Halifax, Canada is the real deal, and I don’t know what they put in the water in Nova Scotia, but the locals always deliver when it comes to jaw-dropping punk music. Unsurprisingly, BLACK DOG is made up of members of ZYGOME and FRAGMENT (Overthrow is not so unlike the latter’s 2016 demo, actually), and they play distorted crasher-style raw hardcore of the highest quality. The sound is not exaggeratedly blown-out like some of their Japanese counterparts, but is rawer with an organic, almost cavernous texture that I really enjoy. Similarly, the guitar still has some crunch and is not completely lost in distortion, and overall you can sense the anger and the intensity amplified by the crusty gruff vocals. I suppose you could file BLACK DOG along contemporary bands like PHYSIQUE, ASPECTS OF WAR, or the newly formed KINETIC ORBITAL STRIKE, but I hear a stronger Swedish influence, albeit by way of FRAMTID arguably (especially in the riffing), and I caught myself thinking about NPG or GIFTGASATTACK and even some classic ’90s käng bands (like SAUNA or something) that would have been left in a Crust War Records marinade overnight. Very aptly executed, and everything you are entitled to expect from the best representatives of the genres. Another great one from the always reliable Halifax punk scene.