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Despero Somewhere Near The Bottom

Despero

Somewhere Near The Bottom

La Escalera Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Texan punk quartet Despero, that features former members of The Anchor, The Capitalist Kids, Air Tight Alibi, and Town Hall Devils, are gearing up to release their album Somewhere Near The Bottom tomorrow, the 24th of March, through La Escalera Records, the album will be available on CD and digital formats. Somewhere Near The Bottom is the band’s debut full length release, it originally appeared in a slightly shorter format via their Bandcamp last year, now the album is getting a full release via the esteemed La Escalera Records imprint.

The Bullets kicks off the album with a fine hardcore tinged blast of punk rock, this is followed by the darker themed Tiny Victories that has more of an anthemic quality and an insistent right hook of a riff. Somewhere Near The Bottom switches almost schizophrenically between their hard edged brutal side, and a more melodic counterpart, for me the latter part of their personality has the greater appeal, but both are delivered with equal passion and commitment across the album’s short sharp shock of nine tracks, that are delivered in a shade under twenty five minutes.

Despero are a band that refuse to be pigeonholed, whilst they are a full blooded punk band their delivery varies from straight up punk rock, through melodic hardcore and into full blooded hardcore. If you have any love for the likes of Strung Out, Good Riddance and Avail then this is a band you will want to investigate, as Somewhere Near The Bottom is a full blooded album of bare knuckle punk rock that will we be a welcome addition to your playlist.

Despero will be appearing at La Escalera Fest 6 in April 2017 in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico alongside thirty other bands from the La Escalera Records stable. You can buy tickets, and get more information about La Escalera Fest 6 here

Somewhere Near The Bottom can be pre-ordered on CD here and digitally here

Despero‘s Facebook presence can be found here

Incendiary Release First Single From ‘Thousand Mile Stare’ LP

Incendiary 1000 Mile StareNew York metallic hardcore torchbearers, Incendiary, recently announced their upcoming new full length, Thousand Mile Stare, and now the band has released the album’s explosive first single, The Product Is YouThousand Mile Stare is due out May 5th via Closed Casket Activities and follows Incendiary‘s acclaimed 2013 album, Cost of Living, building on that record’s foundation to create the band’s most powerful work yet.

Thousand Mile Stare can be pre-ordered via Closed Casket Activities here

The Product Is You can be streamed here

Blood Youth Reveal Video For ‘I Remember’

Blood YouthHardcore heavyweights Blood Youth have revealed the video for I Remember, a new single taken from their highly anticipated debut album, Beyond Repair, that is due out on 7th April 2017 via Rude Records. To celebrate the release of their debut album, Blood Youth will be headlining three special release shows in April at venues across the UK, where they will be joined by Loathe and Holding Absence

You can pre-order Beyond Repair here

You can view the video for I Remember, and Blood Youth‘s tour dates, below Read More…

Incendiary Announce New Full Length ‘Thousand Mile Stare’

Incendiary 1000 Mile StareNew York metallic hardcore torchbearers, Incendiary, have announced their upcoming third full length, Thousand Mile Stare, due out May 5th via Closed Casket ActivitiesThousand Mile Stare follows Incendiary‘s acclaimed 2013 album, Cost of Living, building on that record’s foundation to create the band’s most powerful work yet. Incendiary are masters of blending a pummelling combination of raw hardcore aggression and metal technicality, and Thousand Mile Stare is no exception. The album’s ten tracks are a concise sonic wrecking ball, ferociously taking aim at the culture of corruption, greed, and ignorance that permeates our screens on a daily basis.

Incendiary‘s tour dates can be viewed below Read More…

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Pissed On

The Hanged Man

Advocate Records
By

Rating: 2/5

 
 

 

 

Advocate Records unleashed The Hanged Man EP on the 3rd March, this is the latest release by Kentucky grindcore merchants, Pissed On, this quintet of tracks, that was recorded at Bricktop Recordings in Chicago, follows on from their debut release last year, a split EP with Street Rat. Whilst they only formed in 2015, Pissed On are quickly developing a reputation as a band that take no prisoners, both for their uncompromising studio recordings, and as an incendiary live act. The five tracks contained on the EP follow the mental anguish of a man in his final days, and the lyrics tell of his desperation as he awaits his execution.

The Hanged Man opens in brutal fashion with Reader, an intense sub one minute opener that recalls Extreme Noise Terror in full flow, this opener segues straight into Enter The Void which continues the relentless aural pounding. Zoetic Disgrace marks the halfway mark in the EP, this is the third in the series of short sharp shocks that have populated the first half of the EP, these tracks between them are done and dusted in less than four minutes. Shrivelled Minds is epic in comparison to the initial tracks, weighing in at over two minutes, this carries the same brutality but contains an extended pounding breakdown that acts a prequel to the EP’s title track, this is a somewhat slower affair that contains four minutes of slower sludgier grind that brings The Hanged Man to a confrontational close, and the tale to it’s inevitable end.

The Hanged Man is ten minutes of old school grindcore that is delivered without any compromise, as with any release from the various cores that punk has spawned, I will always feel that music of this nature is best experienced live, I find that the intensity of bands like Pissed On is lost in the recording studio, but having said that if your tastes are towards the extreme end of hardcore, or if you like to dabble in the world of extreme metal, then this is a band you need to take notice of, as I doubt there are many bands delivering the kind of extreme dark grind that Pissed On deliver on The Hanged Man.

Pissed On‘s Bandcamp can be found here

Career Suicide MR

Career Suicide

Machine Response

Deranged Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

It’s been just over a decade since Career Suicide released their landmark debut album, Attempted Suicide, now they are back with their sophomore album, Machine Response, they are bolstered by a new line up that features two of it’s founding core members, vocalist Martin Farkas and guitarist Jonah Falco (Fucked Up), as well as Dallas Good (Sadies, Andre Williams, John Doe, Half Japanese and Elevator to name but a few) on second guitar, along with Jon Sharron on bass and Ian Romano on drums. Career Suicide have delivered something in Machine Response that when played was akin to running into an old friend I hadn’t seen in three decades.

Opening track Cut And Run kicks off Machine Response with a blast of old school hardcore, from this point onwards it’s a no holds barred blast from the past where there is no subtlety or respite from the relentless full tilt assault, Machine Response delivers eleven tracks of brutal in your face hardcore played as it used to be. Career Suicide‘s reappearance coincides with bands such as Boston’s The Proletariat returning to touring, and on the other side of the pond bands like Criminal Mind and The Restarts have been releasing fine hardcore albums and tearing it up live in recent years, and maybe this is an indication that the hardcore scene is refocusing and refining itself as a much needed voice of dissent and protest against current events.

Machine Response veers in and out of pure speed, bursts of melody and chunky tempo shifts that channels the American hardcore scene of the eighties, normally I don’t see the point of recreating something from the past, but this is such a refreshing blast of in your face roots hardcore fury that you can’t help but be impressed by it’s honesty. In an age where many bands that fly the hardcore flag are so far removed from it’s origins that it’s unrecognisable, Career Suicide have taken hardcore full circle back to it’s intense primitive roots, and not before time.

 Machine Response can be pre-ordered on CD and vinyl via Deranged Records here
 
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Brutus

Burst

Hassle Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Hailing from Leuven, Belgium, Brutus create a pummelling, meteor-shower of sound, they mix intense black metal blast beats and math-rock flourishes with brash post rock tones and hardcore punk intensity, to make make a sound as monolithic and frantic as it is emotive and unique. Stefanie Mannaerts delivers both the beats and the vocals, a delivery that to me seems reminiscent of Penetration‘s Pauline Murray, alongside guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden‘s ethereal treble laced style and Peter Mulders’ powerful sub-frequency bass lines. Burst was released yesterday, the 24th February, and is now available via digital platforms, and on physical formats via Hassle Records.

Frantic opener March means that Burst hits the ground with pounding drums and a driving technical riff that’s juxtaposed against a soaring female vocal, this segues into All Alone that delivers more of the same, intricate riffs played at breakneck pace that are overlaid with an emotive female vocal, one that carries melody and sweetness one second and abruptly switches to a vocal straining rasp the next. This style occupies much of the album but there are tracks that deviate from their genre spanning hybrid, Drive stands out on the album, with it’s revved up post punk style and echo drenched guitars, a track that hints at an influence from the likes of The Chameleons, whilst the atmospheric Bird brings a more reflective downbeat element to the mix.

Brutus‘s sound spans everything from rock and punk through to math rock and hardcore, this kind of marriage is a hard trick to pull off, yet Brutus have managed it without breaking sweat. There are constant changes in the timing and pace, often during a single track, if this had been a straight up full tilt assault it would have become a repetitive technical exercise, but the creativity and unpredictability contained on this album mean that Brutus have delivered something unique on their debut release. The intensity of hardcore is married to the technical elements of math rock and the attitude and delivery of post hardcore to create a deceptively subtle and melodic debut release, one that simultaneously manages to be brash and heavy, making Burst an impressive and original debut

You can order Burst from iTunes here or from the band’s official store here

Reversal Of Man Reissue Entire Back Catalogue

Reversal Of Man ArchivistArchivist Records is a new digital only label with the singular goal of rescuing incredible music from total detachment of how music is heard and discovered today. The label has teamed up with hardcore legends Reversal Of Man to make their entire back catalogue available digitally for the first time, with the hope that old and new listeners alike can rediscover this music that is such a perfect snapshot of, not just Tampa’s music scene of that era, but of what was happening broadly within punk and hardcore at that time.

Reversal Of Man‘s back catalogue can streamed and purchased here

War Brides To Release ‘Regrets’ LP Via Triple Eye Industries

Ward Brides RegretsTriple Eye Industries have announced that they will release Regrets by Chicago bruisers War Brides on April 28 2017. The album was engineered by Greg Norman (Pelican, Russian Circles, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters) at Electrical Audio in Chicago. Regrets follows the lead of their previous release, Burden, by focusing on hook-laden bangers all the while embedding more punk and hardcore into the mix and showcasing their fastest songs to date. Regrets will be available digitally and on vinyl, on white splatter, opaque green and black variants.

Regrets can be pre-ordered via Triple Eye Industries here

Ghost Key If I Don't Make It

Ghost Key

If I Don't Make It

InVogue Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

If I Don’t Make It is the debut album by Illinois hardcore merchants Ghost Key, it was released yesterday, the 17th February 2017, via InVogue Records and is now available to order on vinyl, CD and download formats. It seems to me that the hardcore scene is undergoing something of a renaissance this year, Ghost Key are amongst a number of bands I’ve encountered in 2017 that are taking hardccore into a more focused brutal place, a move that represents a shift away from the secenes original punk roots

Death In The Family sets the tone for If I Don’t Make It, this a brutal pummelling ten tracks of technical hardcore from start to end, the only time the album deviates from the full tilt assault is on the tracks Ache and on the albums title track, these two noble exceptions boast a slower more intense grind, that for me brings a more sinister darker element to If I Don’t Make It. This is an album that boasts an in your face wall of sound production, one that really captures the intensity of the band, the almost relentless hardcore assault does tend to start to blur after a few tracks, but if you like your hardcore on the dark side, this is as intense as anything else I’ve heard this year.

If I Don’t Make It is an album that will divide opinion, the driving double bass and technical elements that they embrace in their emotional hardcore is a shift away from the more traditional approach, but Ghost Key are a band that seem intent on developing their sound and moving forwards, their debut full length is an indication that Ghost Key are a band that are refining the sound they developed on their early EP’s, splits and singles.

Ghost Key‘s Facebook page can be found here

If I Don’t Make It can be ordered on vinyl, CD and download here

deadwound-is

Deadwound

Identity Shapes

Black Bow Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Deadwound are a South West London, UK quintet that contains members of Bast, Minoa and Silent Front amongst their number, the band’s sound, a powerful combination of aggressive d-beat and dark hardcore with doom and black metal undertones, has drawn favourable comparisons with Cursed, Converge and Primitive Man. Deadwound have now released their debut five track EP, Identity Shapesthat was recorded at Bear Bites Horse Studios last September and has been released digitally by Black Bow Records today, the 17th February 2017.

Identity Shapes kicks off with Crucifixed, an intense doom laden track that carries a bone crushing guitar riff and a throat torturing vocal delivery, the initial sabbathesque tone of the track unexpectedly gives way to some intense hardcore, Kult Warrior returns to a dark heavy riff that similarly breaks out into an incendiary hardcore riff before turning full circle to return to it’s crushing origins. At Midway point The Witch brings the EP’s adrenalin levels down with a slab of hypnotic downtuned sludge, this theme is continued on Cruel Road before this track suddenly kickstarts into an impressive hardcore riff that breaks down into a dark discordant ending. Babylon is the final assault contained on Identity Shapes, it’s a ominous twisted number that continues their style of veering between intense dark proto metal riffs, that are coupled with bursts of intense hardcore.

Identity Shapes is an intense and heavy EP, and although it’s only early in 2017 I’d be willing to be bet a decent bar tab that this will be one of the heaviest releases I encounter this year, the delivery varies between intense doom laden riffs and scorching dark hardcore. This combination of styles and the intensity of the EP stop Deadwound from ever becoming formulaic or repetitive, whilst I will always prefer this kind of intense music in a live setting, it can’t be denied that this is an impressive debut EP, and crucially it is one where the mix manages not only to capture the ferocity and energy of the band’s sound, but also balances each of the intense elements to produce a impressively dark and ominous EP, one that will appeal to those who like their hardcore from the shadowy side of town.

Deadwound will be playing an album release show tomorrow, the 18th February 2017, at The Black Heart in Camden, London along with Jotnarr, Harrowed and Cult Cinema, the release shows Facebook page can be found here

Identity Shapes is released digitally via Black Bow Records and is available via Amazon here

Deadwound‘s Facebook presence can be found here

The Black Bow Records website can be found here

Career Suicide To Release ‘Machine Response’ on 24th February

Career Suicide MRIt’s been a decade since Career Suicide released their landmark debut album, Attempted Suicide, now they are back with their sophomore album, Machine Response, bolstered by a new line up that features two founding members, vocalist Martin Farkas and guitarist Jonah Falco (Fucked Up), as well as Dallas Good (Sadies, Andre Williams, John Doe, Half Japanese and Elevator to name but a few) on second guitar, Jon Sharron on bass, and Ian Romano on drums. Machine Response veers in and out of pure speed, bursts of melody and chunky tempo shifts, indenting the long standing influence of early 80s USHC, late 70s punk, and a peppering of 60s swagger, with their own clearly developed style.
 
Machine Response can be pre-ordered on CD and vinyl via Deranged Records here
 
The track Tighten The Screws can be streamed here
 

Palm Reader Reveal ‘Always Darkest’ Video

Palm Reader Feb 17 TourPalm Reader have released a video for their new track, Always Darkest, ahead of this months UK tour with Toy Mountains. For the first time ever I have been told to warn people about the content of a video, it’s probably best not to watch this video if you have photosensitive epilepsy or anything similar, to say there’s a lot of strobe lighting in this one would be an understatement.

Palm Reader‘s Facebook page can be located here

The video for Always Darkest, and the band’s tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Blood Youth Release Video For ‘Reason To Stay’

Blood Youth RTSHarrogate, UK hardcore heavyweights Blood Youth have revealed the video for Reason To Stay, the first single to be taken from their highly anticipated debut album, Beyond Repair, that is due out on 7th April 2017 via Rude Records. To celebrate the release of their debut album, Blood Youth will be headlining three special release shows in April at venues across the UK, where they will be joined by Loathe and Holding Absence.

You can purchase and stream Reason To Stay here

The video For Reason To Stay, and the tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

Darko Bonsai Mammoth

Darko

Bonsai Mammoth

Bird Attack Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Guildford, UK based melodic hardcore quintet Darko have unleashed their latest release, Bonsai Mammoth, via Bird Attack Records (US),Lockjaw Records (UK), Torch of Hope Records (JP) and Giljotina Records (SI). Despite Darko‘s longevity this is their debut full length and it follows on from the steady stream of EP’s and singles that have littered their history. The album was released yesterday, the 3rd February 2017, and is now available to purchase on vinyl and CD, and Bonsai Mammoth can also be streamed and ordered digitally.

Bonsai Mammoth starts with some light, almost jazz, chords, this worrying start is thankfully short lived, at the 25 second mark the album jump starts with the frantic hardcore infused skate punk of the opening track, Life Forms. Bonsai Mammoth continues in this vein, with the exception of the brief mellow strains of The Chernobyl Effect, a track that acts as a brief mid point intermission to the relentless punk assault. The pace and intensity contained on Bonsai Mammoth is unrelenting, but the style in which it is delivered remains varied, encompassing hardcore, melodic hardcore and skate punk, along with a few technical math rock flourishes that add a technical element to their delivery.

This is the sound of a band that is experiencing something of a renaissance in their sound, Darko have been with us for a while now, their debut EP was released back in 2010, and Bonsai Mammoth sounds tighter and more focused and intense than anything Darko have previously released. This is a somewhat relentless release, with the sole exception of the brief instrumental that acts as a mid distance marker, that is a full on hardcore assault from start to end, one that sits at the extreme end of the melodic hardcore spectrum. As Darko approach the milestone of a decade together Bonsai Mammoth is an indicator that this is a band that clearly has a lot more to offer.

Darko‘s Facebook presence can be found here, their Bandcamp is here and their website is here

Bonsai Mammoth can be streamed and purchased via Bird Attack Records here

scarboro-hcth

Scarboro

Here Comes The Hangover

WTF Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Scarboro are a three piece hardcore punk band from Brooklyn, New York  that formed in 2012, their current line-up of Shi Heng Shi, guitar and vocals, Jack Counce, Bass and vocals, and Gayla Escoda Brooks, Drums, have delivered their debut album, Here Comes The Hangover, that serves up 14 shots of pure unadulterated hardcore influenced punk rock. The album is delivered with a raw and frantic quality that carries the authentic feel of the bands that came before them, but crucially it’s all delivered on their own terms. Here Comes The Hangover is released today, February 3rd 2017, on WTF Records, the album follows on from The Safeword Is Yes EP that was released in 2014, which means it’s been a long wait for their debut full length.

The opening track, Scarboro, is the albums mission statement and kicks things off in fine old school hardcore style, the relentless punk rock assault continues with Disassociate and One Night Last Stand, even at this early stage in the album I’m getting the feeling that I’m experiencing a band that have remained true to their roots, but importantly they bring a contemporary feel to their material that stops Here Comes The Hangover being a recreation of punk’s past glories. This is an album of hardcore influenced punk rock played exactly as it ought to be, Scarboro have bought a live feel to the album, something that doesn’t always come across on hardcore recordings, but Here Comes The Hangover captures the essence of the band perfectly. Such is the consistency across the fourteen tracks is hard to pick a favourite, but for me the title track is the albums grand finale, a perfect track that brings another more thoughtful and subtle, at least by Scarboro‘s standards, element to an impressive debut.

There are obvious influences on here from the American hardcore scene such as H2O, Descendents, Agnostic Front and Bad Religion, but to my ears I detect a hefty influence from the UK82 scene in the guitar sound, the attack and aggressiveness in the delivery of the music are right up with the early recordings of the likes of The Exploited. Here Comes The Hangover is a distillation of the finest elements of the hardcore scene from both sides of the Atlantic, and if you have any love for the bands from the early hardcore scene, or for the more aggressive side of punk rock, then Scarboro are a band that need to be on your radar.

Scarboro‘s internet presence can be found here and their Facebook page is here

WTF Records website can be found here

The Proletariat Confirm US Spring Tour

The Proletariat Live Jan 17The Proletariat reformed last year, original members Richard Brown, Peter Bevilacqua and Tom McKnight along with guitarist Dan Sanders (from the Idle Rich) performed a series of incendiary reunion shows, now the legendary Boston punk band have confirmed their first tour dates of 2017, commencing on 24th March at the Black Lodge in Seattle.

The Proletariat‘s Facebook page can be found here

A recording of them Live And Loud In New England, and their 2017 tour dates, can be found below Read More…

Scarboro Release Video For ‘Watch Ya Back’

scarboro-hcthBrooklyn hardcore punks Scarboro have revealed the video for Watch Ya Back, the latest track taken from their forthcoming debut album, Here Comes the Hangover, that is due for release on February 3rd, 2017 on WTF Records.

The pre-order for Here Comes The Hangover is available here for fans in the US, and via WTF Records for international orders here
 
The video Watch Ya Back can be viewed below

Read More…

Scarboro Announce Pre-Orders For ‘Here Comes The Hangover’

scarboro-hcthBrooklyn hardcore punks Scarboro have announced pre-order details ahead of the release of their debut album, Here Comes the Hangover, that is due for release on February 3rd, 2017 on WTF Records.

The first single from the album, Downward Spiral, can be streamed here, the track is also available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.
 
The pre-order is available here for fans in the US and via WTF Records for international orders here
 

Destroy The Line Release Video For Title Track Of The ‘War’ EP

destroy-the-line-warDestroy The Line, also known as DTL and previously known as Regress, are a progressive thrash punk quartet from Jacksonville, Florida, that started life as a side music project in the spring of 2015. Destroy The Line are formed from the ashes of numerous Floridian bands including Hatrick, Flag on Fire, Stradladder, Danka, Shadow Agency, His Name Was Iron, Hatchet Face and In Whispers. Their debut EP, War, is now available for pre-order via Bird Attack Records and will be released on the 13th January 2017

The War EP can be pre-ordered here and the video for the title track can be viewed below Read More…

Deadwound To Release ‘Identity Shapes’ EP On February 17th

deadwound-isBlack Bow Records have announced that they will release Identity Shapes, the debut EP from British blackened hardcore sludge band Deadwound, a band that includes members of Bast and Silent Front amongst it’s members. Their forthcoming five track EP looks set to be one of the most brutal releases of 2017, it was recorded at Bear Bites Horse Studios last September, and is due for digital release by Black Bow Records on 17 Feb 2017. The band had this to say about the release of the EP

we are excited to release Identity Shapes with Black Bow Records. It is a brutal mix of hardcore/sludge metal that will take your face off. Take a listen and come check out one of our chaotic live shows

Black Bow Records website can be found here

Scarboro Confirm ‘Here Comes The Hangover’ Winter Tour

scarboro-hcthBrooklyn hardcore punks Scarboro have announced a run of US tour dates throughout February to coincide with the release of their debut album, Here Comes the Hangover, that is due for release on February 3rd, 2017 on WTF Records.
 
The first single from the album, Downward Spiral, can be streamed here, the track is also available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.
 
Scarboro‘s US tour dates can be viewed below

Read More…

aim-higher-homemade-ep

Aim Higher

Homemade EP

Rise Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Kevin Seconds really doesn’t need any introduction, he formed the legendary punk band 7 Seconds at the tail end of the late 1970’s, and although they have always remained a going concern he has always taken on new projects, whether that is solo releases, collaborations or new bands, all of which are always accompanied by a relentless touring schedule. Now he has launched his latest outfit, Aim Higher, this is his home recording DIY hardcore project and they released their debut single, the four song Homemade EP, on Rise Records in mid December.

Stain On Your Generation opens the Homemade EP, this is a straight up blast of melodic hardcore that has a distinctly DIY authenticity, a quality that is maintained across all four tracks, about it, For A Reason keeps the tempo up but with a stronger nod to the melodic element of his songwriting. The title track of the Homemade EP is another short hardcore blast that hits the spot before you get to the EP’s final track, Mouth Of A Stranger. This track is the highlight of the EP, it encompasses everything that we’ve loved about the best releases Kevin Seconds has put out over the last four decades, it is a perfect amalgamation of punk and hardcore and proves that Kevin Seconds has lost none of his fire. This track alone would make this release an essential purchase, but combine it with the three tracks that preceded it and this should make the Homemade EP your first purchase of 2017.

The Homemade EP is a lo-fi take on melodic hardcore, it is a little on the short side as all four tracks are done and dusted in under five minutes, but this is Kevin Seconds doing what he does best, and doing it with the punk DIY ethos that is the hallmark of some of the best records I heard in 2016. This is an authentic EP that combines punk, hardcore and melodic hardcore in the space of less than five minutes and as you’d expect it’s done with integrity and embodies the original punk attitude. The Homemade EP is available for download via iTunes, and there is also as a limited edition monochrome splatter vinyl version, that is limited to only 500 copies.

The download of the Homemade EP can be ordered here

You can stream the Homemade EP, and order the limited edition vinyl, here

Scarboro Release ‘Downward Spiral’ Single

scarboro-hcthIn advance of their debut album, Here Comes the Hangover, Brooklyn hardcore punks Scarboro have released the first single, Downward Spiral, from their forthcoming album. The single is available for streaming, and is also available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify.
 
Here Comes the Hangover will be released February 3rd, 2017 on WTF Records.
 
Scarboro will be touring in February in the US and will be planning a European run later in the year.
 
The Downward Spiral can be streamed here
 
external-menace-citizen-caned

Violent Society / External Menace

Split

Violated Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Violated Records is an independent punk label based in Philadelphia that provides a platform for a multinational roster of punk bands to release their music. The label has made a commitment to only releasing the very best punk rock that represents the authentic attitude that our music carries, from the first generation of bands that emerged back in 1976, up to the current generation of acts. In the spirit of this they have brought together two bands from opposite sides of the Atlantic who both carry the spirit of punk rock. This split single matches up the USA’s Violent Society and Scotland’s External Menace, both are veteran bands of the punk scene and each occupies one side of this vinyl release.

Violent Society have provided the A-side of this release with three brand new tracks that are as incendiary as anything else they’ve released. Their side of this feisty five track split EP kicks off with Simcha, this is an aggressive blast of hardcore influenced street punk, they continue in the same vein with Abandoned Cities, although this is a subtler number that carries more of an old school punk feel in the verse before it returns to the hardcore style in the chorus. All The Same is the highlight of their trio of tracks, this contains all the fury, but the guitar riff has an irresistible hook and it’s a frantic blend of all the influences that inform the initial duo of tracks, but in this case they are perfectly blended together.

The resurrected External Menace occupy the B-side with two songs recorded at Manchester’s Blueprint Studios, this marks a return for External Menace after a decade in the wilderness and they are a different prospect altogether to their counterparts. Their initial track, the wonderfully titled Citizen Caned, is a ska tinged punk number, it has an old school approach that recalls the work of TV Smith and The Adverts, but all delivered with a steady skanking beat, until it builds up a frantic climax, for me this track is easily the highlight of the EP. Their second track, and the EP’s closing track, No Uniform, is a more direct affair and is a fast paced number that has a feel of the later generation of bands that emerged in the UK in the early eighties.

On this split single Violated Records have teamed up a transatlantic connection with a pair of bands that are perfectly matched, whilst the EP’s content varies between the harder edged styles of street punk and hardcore, down to a more ska infused quality, these are two bands that anyone who is already an established fan of either External Menace or Violent Society will find another band that will be their tastes on the flip side. This five track split is a blast of frantic punk rock that, with the noble exception of Citizen Caned, is a little predictable, but if full tilt punk rock is your thing then this is a slab of vinyl you’ll happily add to your collection

You can purchase the Violent Society / External Menace Split Single here

Praise Confirm European Winter Tour

praise-tourBaltimore, Maryland’s melodic hardcore torchbearers, Praise, are due to commence a run of European winter tour dates to support their recently released EP, Leave It All Behind, the EP is available now from REACT! RecordsPraise start their European tour on 27th December in Manchester, UK before heading to London and then venturing across mainland Europe, they will be supported on all dates by Fury and Insist.

You can order the vinyl edition of the Leave it Behind EP here and the download is available here

The video for the track Makes No Sense, and the European Tour dates, can be viewed below Read More…

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Dowager

Title Track

Standard Brickhouse Records / Really Rad Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

The members of Portland’s Dowager were previously involved in pop punk projects, such as Our First Brains and Sioux Falls, prior to forming their current band, and experiencing a distinct shift in style and tone. Last month they unleashed their new EP, Title Track, it was recorded at the acclaimed Atomic Garden Studio with Jack Shirley in East Palo Alto, California. The Title Track EP is five cuts of shifting and brooding post hardcore, it combines a hefty number of influences and styles that combine to make Title Track an unpredictable beast of an EP.

Title Track opens with some serious intent, the furious Gutterflower kicks things off with a potent combination of Hardcore, Post Hardcore and Screamo, this alternates between a full on aural assault and comparatively delicate post punk technical passages. The approach bleeds through into Fingerguns, although this track hits critical mass in it’s intensity as it approaches it’s finale. The other three tracks  Sleep Paralysis, Model Home and the closing track, Coastal, on the Title Track EP maintain the ferocious post hardcore approach, until it closes on a mellower math rock influenced approach at the finale of the final track.

This is a relentless and unique five tracks that combines the fury of hardcore, the creativity of post punk and the complexity of math rock, this might sound like an unlikely ménage à trois, but that is exactly what you get on the Title Track EP. This is an release that possesses a discordant, yet melodic fury, in essence the Title Track EP is a mass of contradictions, and it’s this that makes it an intriguing listen. Whilst this won’t be to everyone’s taste this is an original and unique EP, and if you tastes are towards the noisier end of post punk, or the punkier end of noise rock, then you should investigate Dowager‘s latest EP.

Title Track can be pre-ordered from Standard Brickhouse Records here

Kevin Seconds Returns with ‘Aim Higher’

aim-higher-homemadeAim Higher, the home recording hardcore project of punk legend Kevin Seconds, has released its debut four song EP on Rise Records. The Homemade EP is available for download via iTunes, and also as a limited edition monochrome splatter vinyl version, that is limited to only 500 copies.

The download of the Homemade EP can be ordered here

You can stream the Homemade EP, and order the limited edition vinyl, here

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Elle

Elle

Conditions Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Elle hail from California’s Bay Area, they are relative newcomer to the scene, having only formed in 2015, who have now released their debut self titled EP via Conditions Records. The band features members of Loma Prieta, Beau Navire and Yearbooks, it appears that Elle have certainly been true to their heritage, they have created a dark and stormy debut that captures both the fury of their hardcore and punk roots, but also the subtlety of the indie and emo elements that have influenced the creation of their initial release.

The Clearing kicks off the self titled EP in a dark, distorted and fuzzy manner, the music, whilst heavy and dark, is delivered with a light touch that is something of a juxtaposition compared to the raw vocal delivery, Mockingbirds and Pulse follows the initial warning shot of the opening track, and these tracks build upon the intensity of their debut EP. Parts And Parcel takes the EP in a completely different direction, subtle ringing guitar notes are interspersed with a delivery that borders on hardcore, then the final track, Cold Hands, takes the EP to it’s logical conclusion. It takes all the elements that have featured on the initial quartet of tracks, and combines them all into an epic five minute finale that encompasses both the calm and the storm.

If you have a love for the stormy distorted side of hardcore and indie and then Elle may well be a band you need to investigate, for me the constant barrage of raw vocals and discordant guitars becomes slightly repetitive, but having said that there is something about Elle that marks them out from the noisy pack of bands that are covering this territory. This is a promising debut and it will be interesting to see where they go when they release their first full length on Conditions Records next year.

Elle‘s debut EP is available for streaming and download here and on vinyl here

‘Togetherfest’ Coming To London on 25th February 2017

togetherfestAmerican hardcore visionary, Walter Schreifels has announced he will curate another TogetherFest at London’s Electric Ballroom in Camden on 25th February with a full night of live hardcore headlined by seminal band Youth of Today, who originally formed in 1985. Other guest bands invited to play include American Nightmare, Trash Talk and Wolf Down, plus Walter’s newest band, Vanishing Life, whose line-up includes members of Rise Against, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead and Bad Religion. Vanishing Life will play their debut UK show at TogetherFest bringing those in the scene together for a very special and inspiring night out.

Tickets for Togetherfest are available here

 

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Cruel Hand

Your World Won't Listen

Hopeless Records
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Portland quintet Cruel Hand have now been around for a decade and this is their fifth album, they have continued to build on the style that was displayed on their 2014 album, The Negatives, and it appears they have no intention of settling into a comfortable rut on their latest full length. Cruel Hand play a brutal mix of hardcore, punk and metal, their latest release, Your World Won’t Listen, is a refreshing return to a no bullshit style of cathartic hardcore that we all need in our lives from time to time.

Nowhere, Nothing, Never opens Your World Won’t Listen in brutal style, from this point in you strap yourself in for twelve punishing rounds, every single track is a short sharp hardcore blast, but, and this is an important but, it doesn’t once become repetitious, the style, speed and delivery are all constantly varied across the album. For me the highlight of Your World Won’t Listen is the superb Too Far From That, with it’s anthemic chorus and driving punk guitar riff. Whilst that song is easily my favourite, there isn’t a single track that doesn’t hit the spot. From the off  this is a contemporary take on the crossover hardcore and thrash bands that emerged in the 1980’s, but thankfully without any of the self indulgence that was a feature of some of those bands.

The twelve tracks, and there’s also a hidden thirteenth track buried at the end of the album, contained on Your World Won’t Listen are done and dusted in a shade over thirty minutes, meaning there are no guitar histrionics or extended breakdowns, this is a straight to the point album of ferocious hardcore that encompasses metal and punk influences, it is this that elevates this above most of the other releases of this style I’ve encountered this year. I’ve listened to this album at least four times on the bounce whilst writing this review, and to me it just sounds better with every listen.

Your World Won’t Listen can be ordered digitally from the usual suspects, and on physical formats here