Reviews

João Seixas

Golpe Promo 2020 cassette

GOLPE is Tadzio Pederzolli from the amazing short-lived project KOMPLOTT, among other Italian punk and hardcore bands. Promo 2020 is his new punishing modern mid-tempo hardcore demo in the vein of WARTHOG, mixed with the great Italian hardcore tradition of IMPACT or NEGAZIONE. All the songs were written and performed by himself, and these three tracks serve as warm up for the La Colpa È Solo Tua LP out through Sorry State Records in 2021. These songs do a good job in leaving you wanting more and I can predict that the full-length will be a rager. Caos, non musica.

Moor Mother Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes LP

In a time where hip hop has slowly become a game of status, MOOR MOTHER seems to bring back the urgency and unrest of PUBLIC ENEMY, taking back hip hop to its true political roots which are in fact a parallel to punk in ethos. Camae Ayewa is the Philadelphia-based poet that goes by the name MOOR MOTHER. She speaks the poetry of political unrest, a harsh vision of the real world without filters. Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes is experimental hip hop, punk, and noise all mixed up into a sonic black hole as the title suggests, utilizing spoken word as a tool for conscientization, in essence using hip hop as it was intended. This is a unique vision of the world from a unique artist that needs to be experienced in order to get the full picture.

Vex Sanctuary 12” reissue

Unfairly unheard of, this lone EP was originally released in 1984 through Fight Back Records, a sub-label of Mortarhate, run by the good people of CONFLICT. Thirty years later Sacred Bones released Sanctuary (The Complete Discography), which gave them a bit more exposure and gave them some justice in a sense. VEX knew darkness like no other band, combining the anarcho-punk ethos of CRASS or CONFLICT with the apocalyptic tribal beats of early AMEBIX, KILLING JOKE, and UK DECAY. They were short-lived but made a mark in the underground and the reissues gave them the status of a cult classic, influencing several modern post-punk acts. With a new reissue by Bomb-All, be sure to pick up this criminally underrated gem from the UK anarcho-punk scene.

Junta Død Tid EP

JUNTA has been under the radar for quite some time as they have been putting out demos and EPs consistently through the years, with Død Tid being their eleventh release to date and all of them DIY. And they sure sound DIY and you can take this as a compliment coming from me: it has the pure K-town punk sound to it with a recording to match that makes you feel that you are right there in the middle of the chaos with the band. Nothing is overproduced or feels faked, like a grittier version of the more straightforward POISON IDEA songs. Sung both in Danish and Brazilian Portuguese, you can sense their urgency through each and every of the six songs. The musicianship is great; no wonder they share members with PHRENELITH, PLANET Y, and DEMON HEAD, just to name a few. “Out of fashion, out of step, out of tune…”

Secretors Antidote for Civilization flexi EP

Primitive, filthy and savage. What else can one say about this debut from New York´s SECRETORS? And what a beast of a debut! The guitars and bass are as harsh as they can be, the bellowing vocals are delay-drenched, and the pounding drums are saturated to the core. Their sound really hits the spot if you are into ’80s Japanese primitive hardcore, evoking the chaos and destruction of SODOM (ADK Omnibus), ZOUO, or GHOUL. With members of WARTHOG, SUBVERSIVE RITE, and URCHIN within their ranks, Antidote for Civilization isn’t for the faint of heart.

Zygote A Wind of Knives LP reissue

First released in 1991 by MCR UK, and later in 1994 on Epistrophy Records, in 2018 by Monolith Records, and now by Pine Hill Records, A Wind of Knives was born after the dissolution of UK’s dark punk legends and crust pioneers AMEBIX. Founding member Stig Miller, alongside ex-AMEBIX members George Fletcher and Spider and newcomer Tim Crow of SMARTPILS created ZYGOTE. This debut release almost feels like a continuation of the bleak sound that was achieved in their earlier venture expanding on what KILLING JOKE began with, a MOTÖRHEAD-inspired sense of rock’n’roll songwriting, and adding a taste of what can be described as deathrock-oriented post-punk guitar atmosphere. This will please not only crust punk fans that like to wander off to unknown territories, but also post-punks and deathrock goths. A shame that ZYGOTE did not release more material; one can only imagine what they could have achieved on their next step.

Human Gas Super Violence Hardcore 1984–1989 2xLP+CD box set

When a band is named after a KURO song, you can pretty much expect that it is going to be an instant win. Hokkaidō island dwellers HUMAN GAS bring on the finest in raw and noisy ’80s Japanese hardcore not that far off from bands like GAI or CONFUSE. This box set is a true labour of love by the punk devotees at F.O.A.D.: double-LP, CD, DVD, book, and extra case-wrapped box. Seventy-nine tracks that originate from the split 7″ with STALI NISM (1985), Noice and Hardcore first demo (1986), Explosives second demo (1986), tracks from the Street Punk in Obihiro Omnibus tape (1986), Lackluster third demo and extra studio songs (1987), and unreleased studio jam session with members of STALI NISM and MIDDLE CLASS (1987). This is a must have for any classic Japanese hardcore enthusiasts out there still bummed about the GISM reissue on Relapse.

Stimulant Sensory Deprivation LP

If you really appreciate powerviolence, you know that you have to get through a ton of INFEST rip-off bands to find a real powerviolence band that keeps it in the tradition of MAN IS THE BASTARD and the Slap-a-Ham alumni. Brooklyn-based STIMULANT is such a band (previously under the name WATER TORTURE, who they also released a split with), with their off-putting brand of crushing, noisy powerviolence evoking a grindier IRON LUNG, focused on start-stop motions and dramatically slow or fast parts, and this is the major upgrade from the WATER TORTURE moniker: the fast parts are faster and the slow parts are slower, always with room for noise and samples. WATER TORTURE was exceptionally good and STIMULANT is a step above, a great soundtrack for the COVID isolation era.

Cólera Pela Paz Em Todo Mundo LP reissue

Legends CÓLERA started in 1979 and are one of the most iconic punk bands to come out of a post-dictatorial Brazil. They were one the first Brazilian punk bands to tour Europe and sold 85,000 copies of their second album Pela Paz Em Todo Mundo when it was first released through Ataque Frontal Records, making it the second best-selling independent punk record in Brazil, only being outdone by GAROTOS PODRES’ Mais Podres do que Nunca. This is class struggle turned into the sound of punk rock: the lyrics are sharp as a razor and work so well because they are sung in Portuguese, which makes them stand out with very notable themes for their time and their place like ecology, pacifism, and anti-militarism. This is a great introductory record if you want to get into the scene that spawned the greats like OLHO SECO, RATOS DE PORÃO, and MERCENARIAS. “Paz é algo pelo que se luta!

Lumpen Desesperación EP

LUMPEN is the spirit of the South American punk dissidence. With an UK82 backbone to their sound, product of much time spent listening to CHAOS UK or CRIMINAL JUSTICE, they create a similar approach to what fellow countrymen PRIMER REGIMEN do: a pure anthemic, unrestful Latin punk sound. Three Colombians and a Canadian relocated to Barcelona, with help from Lexton from UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, LUMPEN managed to impress with this great debut, five tracks of pure “desesperación” of growing up in a violent corrupt country. Just look at the amazing cover by bass player Mateo Correal and you will get a taste of what is inside. “Tribus a la calle.”

Military Shadow Blood for Freedom LP

Total metalpunk maniacs from Japan bring on their GISM herritage and write a modern piece of metallic hardcore, the Japanese way. After their debut Metal Punk Ironfist, these terrorists stepped up their game with Blood For Freedom for more incendiary riffage that just shows that they wear their metal and punk influences right on their sleeves. Fans of fellow countrymen PARASITE will be more than happy to bump this record on their next binge-drinking night out. And what an amazing band lineup: Infernal Pyromaniac, Goblin Acid Strike, Branded Rebel, Lusty Pervert, and Hellbrain Venomizer. You can’t go wrong with a lineup like that!

Nightmare Give Notice of Nightmare LP reissue

Burning Spirits hardcore is a movement of top-notch Japanese bands that play an energetic and uplifting form of heavy metal and punk hardcore hybrid. Give Notice of Nightmare, originally released 1990 on the legendary Selfish Records (SYSTEMATIC DEATH and LIP CREAM), is Burning Spirits hardcore at its finest, with an incessant tempo, NWOBHM-like leads, amazing songwriting, and a self-empowering attitude. NIGHTMARE is right there at the top of the game with BASTARD or DEATH SIDE and is still going strong to this day, being one of the few classic Japanese bands that did not break up along with GAUZE and WARHEAD. The album comes with the original artwork, a 350 gram cover, and has English translations for the Japanese lyrics. If looking for a fix of Japan you will definitely give notice of NIGHTMARE.

Dropdead Discography Vol. 2 1995–2013 LP

Active since 1991, DROPDEAD seems to be one of the most hard-working and militant bands in punk, raising the flag for the DIY ethos and living by what they preach. Having borrowed their name from the most important proto-grindcore demo ever (from the mighty SIEGE), they sound just like a freight train of hardcore aggression running over every politician, fascist, sexist, and animal abuser in their way. This is the second installment of their discography compilations and has 42 tracks that span through the years 1995 to 2013. It includes a remixed Hostile EP, the Arms Race EP, and the splits with TOTALITÄR (the standout tracks in my opinion), UNHOLY GRAVE, LOOK BACK AND LAUGH, CONVERGE, SYSTEMATIC DEATH, RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA, and BRAINOIL, as well as other compilation tracks. A must-have for fans of unhinged fast hardcore.

Kajsajuntti Rawpunk Forever cassette

The title of this demo says everything that you need to expect from this one-man mangel machine: noisy, raw punk worshipping SHITLICKERS and DISCLOSE alike. The man behind KAJSAJUNTTI also drills eardrums in DISPOSE as a singer/guitarist and as one might expect, the modus operandi on this one is not so different from his other ventures. This one is for all the “noise not music” maniacs that just want some primitive straightforward D-beat.

Nisses Nötter Det Är Krig LP

2020 saw among many great classic punk reissues the vinyl reissue of mean mangel machine NISSES NÖTTER’s jaw-breaking 1983 self-released Knäckta Nötter demo tape (and it sure feels like a demo tape, in a good way). These then-pre-teens from Gothenburg delivered a crushing, sloppy, and “angry at everything” lesson on how to do proper Swedish hardcore. If you are unfamiliar with this classic band, just keep in mind that their age span was eleven-to-twelve years old and yet they managed to play surprisingly fast and write great angry raw songs. The reissued vinyl version includes the complete history of the band and an insert. Cop this one when you need to let off some steam.

Perspex Torch EP

“Straight to the point” is what you feel as soon as you press play on this record by Sydney’s angriest PERSPEX. Weird and twisted hardcore that taps into the deranged worlds of US hardcore legends WHITE PIGS and NO TREND alike, but managing to sound refreshing throughout. Their selling point is immediacy and a not over-intellectualizing approach to hardcore that should be a given in any punk sub-genre, but unfortunately many bands have lost touch with its roots. These five tracks will quench your thirst for no-bullshit angry hardcore.

Huraña Brujas, Cholas E Inventadas EP

Iron Lung Records seems to have all fingers on the pulse of modern punk, as they manage to consistently release new and exciting bands. HURAÑA is one of those bands that manages to sound fresh but never lets their influences and love for the genre be overshadowed by production. The guitars scream in a weird and unsettling mixture of the CRAMPS and early DEAD KENNEDYS but with a hardcore punk rhythmic section pummeling in the background, while the echoing voice howls at a distance the ills of being dysphoric in Chiapas, Mexico. Includes a cover of “Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra” by the legendary Spanish punks VULPESS, which in turn is a scandalous take on “I Wanna Be Your Dog.”

Youth Deprivation Behind the Lids LP

YOUTH DEPRIVATION is the new venture of Groningen’s hardcore punk aficionados that used to rock out in KOMPLEX, SYSTEM BASTARD, HUMAN CORROSION, and DEVOID, and they do a great job living up to their old bands’ reputations. Dealing with one’s mental health has been a recurring theme in many punk bands, and the genre itself can act as a therapy to fight off some personal demons and deal with trauma. This is exactly what goes on in this record, an escape valve that goes off when the pressure is too great to handle. RUDIMENTARY PENI are an obvious influence to spot in this one, and the later era of BLACK FLAG. A bleak piece of punk hardcore that is a reality slap.

Irreal 2020 EP

Barcelona has been a growing staple for European punk and IRREAL is the perfect example of the Spanish strength, featuring members of BARCELONA, UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, and NUEVA FUERZA just to name a few. These calloused musicians quickly continue where DESTINO FINAL (whose members were in) left off but angrier and faster. Five tracks of defiant hardcore that owes as much to Finnish hardcore as it does to DISCHARGE, and by no means do they forget their Spanish punk classics. You get the feeling that the more bands write in their own language the angrier it feels, and this is the perfect example of the anti-establishment sentiment. Without a doubt one of the best EPs that saw the light of day during the COVID-era “new normalcy.” Muerte al sistema!

Häpeä Valistuksen Aika On Ohi EP

There is no doubt in my mind that many of you see the words “Finnish” and “hardcore” in the same sentence and automatically know you’re in for a ride. I know I do. Channeling accurately the Finnish classics such as KUOLEMA or TERVEET KÄDET and with a couple of EPs under their belt, HÄPEÄ really makes hardcore the way one would expect: an untamed, brutal and crazed assault. The six tunes on Valistuksen Aika On Ohi really stick with you and are well balanced in all that the genre has to offer. For all the Scandinavian maniacs this is definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Living Eyes Peak Hour Traffic / Almanac 7″

DIY Geelong garage rockers the LIVING EYES deliver the goods with their latest 7″ single. Both tracks were unreleased demos that suddenly saw the green light just before the band embarked on a Japanese tour, executed and recorded in record time.  First, a song about the modern day frustration that is getting stuck in traffic during peak hours. A guitar-driven upbeat rock anthem that makes being in traffic not so bad if the right tune is playing on the radio. Seems like something we all can relate to. Then, on “Almanac,” a more serious tone is set with a post-punkier edge to it. A cool companion for the morning commute indeed!

Veneno Herejía LP

Angry Barcelonians VENENO let lose their fast, high-energy hardcore LP Herejía and if you know any Castilian, you can tell by the title that they really appreciate their HERESY—this is totally the case, as they pay homage to the fast hardcore sound that VOID paved the way for. Singing in Castilian only adds fuel to the fire, as you can feel the rage that comes through their politically-fueled lyrics that deal with society and the scene itself. The members are busy with other bands like ARREST, CRUZ, and PELIGRO! but have the skills and dedication to sound super tight in VENENO. This is a record that makes you feel young, like when you wanted to skate down the street while spray painting “ACAB” on cop cars.

Korrosive Observations From the West LP

Bay Area Finnish hardcore enthusiasts KORROSIVE deliver a potent blow of a debut album with Observations From the West. They’ve been busy with demos, live tapes, two 7″ EPs and a split 7″ with APPENDIX, and all this rotation made them perfect at what we all love so much: Pure KAAOS, MELLAKKA, BASTARDS worship with a bit of UK82 here and there. And yes, songs about war. What could go wrong?

Twisted Nerve Séance (Archive vol. 1) LP

Scottish deathrock gem Séance finally sees a much-sought-after reissue, and crate-digging post-punks rejoice. After the great 1982 Peel Session Caught in Session EP, they went for a more Fire Dances-era KILLING JOKE sound that does not disappoint. Some of you might know them from the Killed By Deathrock comp, some you might not know them at all, but it is worth your time.

Löckheed Conflict Delirium EP

Hard-hitters LÖCKHEED from Santa Barbara return, after the brilliantly savage 4 Track Demo released last year, with Conflict Delirium. Kängpunk-worship reminiscent of early DISFEAR, DISCHANGE, or DISCARD, complete with a production that would make Kawakami proud. This EP will stand on the top 2020 lists of many Dis-beat maniacs. Sometimes you just need the simpler things in life: just plain DISCHARGE-styled hardcore.

Ötzi Storm LP

After countless tours and several EPs, Oakland’s femmes fatales ÖTZI bring a little less joy to the world with Storm, their new full-length. They make a genre that sometimes tends toward repetition into something new and exciting: a fresh take on melancholic dark post-punk with dual vocals, chorused guitars, steady beats, bass lines that would make a young Robert Smith blush, and even saxophones and violins make an appearance. This album will give them a well-deserved spot in the modern post-punk scene. A band to keep an eye on.

Zyfilis Alla Ska Ha… LP

Following their split release with MURO and debut 7″ record, Alla Ska Ha… sounds really fresh, ranging from catchy D-beat and bouncy pogo parts. The guitar work is somewhat atypical, like TOXIC REASONS played through a TOTALITÄR filter, and the punk high-energy really comes through in the vocals as Johanna really makes you feel like you are being yelled at directly. ZYFILIS delivers a fun record that will leave no fists unpumped.