Reviews

João Seixas

Education Parenting Style EP

After the excellent Culture LP also released on Symphony Of Destruction, EDUCATION is back with a new EP. Dark and primitive post-punk, almost like a gloomier version of DIÄT or a less crazy INSTITUTE. Parenting Style has four amazing tracks that will stick to you like glue. One of the best post-punk bands out there.

Golpe La Colpa È Solo Tua LP

Just as predicted in my review of the GOLPE’s Promo 2020 cassette, this album fucking kicks ass. Tadzio Pederzolli from KOMPLOTT and SEMPRE PEGGIO managed to keep expectations high and deliver an amazingly fresh D-beat-infused hardcore record. It’s great to see punk bands that use their political views as weapons against ignorance and prejudice, as not many bands these days talk openly about their beliefs. Just head on over to his Bandcamp and grab a shirt, with proceeds going to Brigate Volontarie. Everything about this record screams activism and solidarity. This is what punk is supposed to be.

Candy Apple Sweet Dreams of Violence LP

Don’t let the band name fool you, because you are about to get some bitter taste after a bite or two. Fuzzed to the gills, crunchy and untamed hardcore full of bottled-up anger like S.H.I.T. or GLUE. Sweet Dreams of Violence is the follow-up to the band’s 2018 demo and 2019 Joyride cassette. The perfect record to let some steam out.

Exposure Atonement LP

Mannheim-based metallic hardcore powerhouse EXPOSURE is back with a full-length. Atonement unleashes ten metallic hardcore tracks full of thrash metal influence that mainly comes from their geographical location, mixed with Cleveland-style hardcore like INTEGRITY or RINGWORM, and coupled with the H8000 legendary sound of bands like CONGRESS and LIAR. This concoction is deadly and can even get to fans of the crossover stuff like POWER TRIP. They did not discover fire but they can surely set everything ablaze.

Nervous SS / Rat Cage Skopje vs Sheffield split LP

A battle between two hardcore bands that are a match made in hell. In the left corner is NERVOUS SS from Macedonia, a vicious TOTALITÄR-esque hardcore killing machine keeping the Scandinavian sound alive. In the right corner is RAT CAGE from the UK, same core as the above but with a more USHC influence from bands like POISON IDEA. Sometimes punk splits seem like a dumping ground for unreleased material. Not in this case—you get the sense that you are listening to a full album. So, who has won in this battle of Skopje vs Sheffield? The fucking punk scene!

Bib Delux LP

If “weird guy hardcore” is your thing, this record will leave you drooling for more. Sometimes slow and primitive, sometimes fast and relentless, always snotty and ugly. Heavily delayed vocals on top of primitive hardcore like UNITED MUTATIONS, with some stranger moments of experimentation that could be on a NO TREND record. The obvious sound reference would be GAG as they use the same tropes, but BIB manages to be less “weird.” Overall a fun record for those gruelling days that you want to switch your mind off for some minutes.

Chörnobyl / Deny split EP

A double-trouble split from two Swedish bands that immerse themselves in the Swedish hardcore sound. First up is the veterans DENY, whom you might recognize from their Dystopia LP, mangeling since 1995 and delivering three solid, classic Swedish hardcore tracks in the good tradition of WOLFPACK. Then the newcomers CHÖRNOBYL, who share members with MYTERI, bring three more songs to the table with a darker DISFEAR approach. At the end of the day we have two bands, old and new, that celebrate one of the most recognizable sounds in hardcore history and further the Swedish D-beat tradition.

Disorder Perdition 12″ reissue

UK, 1982, what a special time for punk! Similar to many contemporary acts, DISORDER was traveling uncharted territories within punk. The Perdition EP single-handedly created a template for many of the noisier punk bands to come. Tracks like “Life”, that appears in the now legendary UK punk documentary UK/DK from 1983, became anthems in their own right, and “Remembrance Day” showed that DISORDER was also able to handle the more dark post-punk sound. This fine reissue by Puke n Vomit of the legendary EP includes a 24″x24″ poster. Heavily distorted and more metallic, this EP is a must have for any fan of the UK82 stuff.

Instinct? Pray to Death cassette

Bands that use D-beat and more metallic riffs get labelled as “crust” but maintain a clean sound. Not in this case. Philly punks INSTINCT? drop a massive crust punk bomb with Pray to Death. This is true crust punk with a barrage of sound coming through with every song and a sense of impending doom. Bands like DOOM and E.N.T. come to mind, so you get transported to the UK in the late ’80s. Another great release from Bunker Punks.

Ojo Por Ojo Paroxismo flexi 7″

This is one of those recordings that transports you to the band’s place of origin. You can feel the tension that is living in Mexico City and all its unrest. Unsettling and dark as night, OJO POR OJO delivers a fist full of hate in the form of hardcore punk that sometimes resembles Pain of Mind-era NEUROSIS, when they still played straightforward hardcore, and Italian powerhouse NERORGASMO. Guitarist/singer Yecatl Peña’s previous band INSERVIBLES also serves as a blueprint for this sound that they make. Paroxismo is the two-track follow-up to their 2018 debut LP on La Vida Es Un Mus, and it was recorded by none other than Steve Albini. Shame that it isn’t longer!

Ratos De Porão Carniceria Tropical LP reissue

Legendary Brazilian punk band RATOS DE PORÃO achieved this status with the classic album Crucificados Pelo Sistema. This album had unmatched ferocity and remains as one of the most important records in Brazilian music, not just punk. After a few albums they began to lean on a more crossover-influenced style, and it was on Carniceria Tropical where they achieved the perfect balance, the true RxDxPx sound. It’s thrashy, it’s punk, it has speed, it has melody, and most of all it is catchy as fuck. Songs like “Crocodila” or “Vá Se Virar” are now classic RxDxPx songs. Producer Billy Anderson was able to bring the best out of this punk outfit with a brilliant balance of crusty yet audible metallic sound. This reissue contains remastered tracks, an unreleased track, restyled sleeve, insert with lyrics and exclusive photos. Get this one or “vão se foder“!

Children With Dog Feet Curb Your Anarchy cassette

For those who think that deathrock has been on the down-low lately, here is the living (or undead?!?) proof in the form of Curb Your Anarchy from the Nuke York nightwalkers CHILDREN WITH DOG FEET. Equal parts goth and punk, this debut features four nightmarish tracks of spooky deathrock with a decadent punkier edge, creating a frenzy of RUDIMENTARY PENI-infused CHRISTIAN DEATH. Released by Toxic State, a label that always has its finger on the pulse of what is new in punk, and featuring members of ANASAZI, BLU ANXXIETY, and EXTENDED HELL. What could go wrong with this mix? This is for the night children, ghouls and fiends.

Girls in Synthesis Arterial Movements EP

Arterial Movements is the 2019 EP from riot-starting Brits GIRLS IN SYNTHESIS, featuring three new and previously unreleased songs. A little taste of what was to come before Now Here’s an Echo From Your Future, if you will. I was unfamiliar with this band so I had an unbiased mind walking into this, and holy hell! This one really got to me. Three tunes of unrelenting rhythm, Molotov cocktail-wielding anarchic punk in the good vein of the ’80s UK scene but with a modern edge. Intense, political, and catchy. Makes IDLES pale in comparison. Go get this!

Rival Squad Tierra cassette

From San Diego with hate. Tierra is a six-song, blastbeat-infused hardcore EP as intense and as thrashy as RATOS DE PORÃO and as vile as good ol’ American powerviolence. The guitar and bass tones are ear-crushing, drums are tight AF, and the screeching vocals help to get that aggression through. A straight killer cassette that hits that sweet spot.

Sublevacion No Hay Futuro EP

Solid-as-a-rock hardcore straight from Barcelona. SUBLEVACION checks all the boxes in keeping the Spanish punk tradition alive. This EP is angry, raw, and punishing as Spanish punk should be. “There is no future” is the dread that gets to you with every listen. Did they borrow their name from INTERTERROR?

Dauðyflin / X2000 split cassette

After sharing (or destroying) a stage in Scandinavia back when gigs were allowed, these two pogo monsters consolidated their bond with a split. First off on the cassette is X2000 from Sweden, a creepy and eerie chorus-drenched beast of a band that hammers primitive hardcore like there is no tomorrow, complete with Spanish lyrics for that extra pinch of anger. Up next, DAUÐYFLIN from Iceland, who already have a name out there due to some releases through the excellent Iron Lung Records. This is dark hardcore full of pogo-inducing beats and an Icelandic coldness permeating the songs. If not for the lyrics, one might even think that these two bands were from Latin America. Overall a great split that shares a similar dark approach to hardcore. Will leave your “tupa-tupa” craving satiated.

Hyökkäys Antigobierno EP

HYÖKKÄYS translates to “attack”. And attack they do! This is pure Suomi hardcore worship played by Basque punks. Little is known about this band, which keeps things interesting, and one can solely focus on the music…erm…noise they make. Antigobierno is made up of eleven tracks, two of them are covers of HHH and KAAOS, and this mixture pretty much sums up their sound. Raw, primitive, and to-the-point. Another great gem from the Spanish punk scene.

Material Support Specter cassette

Specter is the most recent EP from ultra-political Pinoy punks MATERIAL SUPPORT. After the excellent full-length Terror Prone Nation, they are back at it with extra anger and a bone to pick. Five agitation anthems that touch on capitalism, cops, sexism, racism; the whole nine yards. Sonically, it is pure ’80s hardcore worship of the NYHC orientation. Simple and based on the message. A great EP to vent out the bitter taste of anger that life provides on a daily basis.

Siekiera Jarocin ’84 LP

Polish punks SIEKIERA are best known for their Nowa Aleksandria post-punk album, but before that genre switch they were an intense hardcore punk force. Jarocin ’84 is a legendary live recording that took place at the Jarocin Festival. The recording has two parts; the competition and the final set. Rumour has it that when they played there, the audience responded with the biggest pogo ever in Poland. This is a piece of Eastern European punk history, and even if you are more inclined to their later post-punk stuff, you should check this one out. A freight train of hardcore punk in the vein of CHAOS UK and DISORDER.

Exit Stance Retch With Mother 10”

Anarcho-punk legends EXIT STANCE have a lot to live up to with their absolute classic Crime Against Humanity, one of the best EP’s to come out of the UK anarcho-punk scene. If not the best, certainly the angriest. After a shitload of bad luck, they called it quits in ’86 due to constant criticism…being judged all the time, attacked for not being perfect, people always wondering if we were conforming to the ‘”anarchist rule book”! Fortunately they came back from the dead, released Saying Nothing (But Speaking My Mind), and now Retch With Mother. The fire is still there, and by fire I mean the politically-motivated anger. Songs about sexism, animal liberation, and anarchist values. They sound like themselves: dark post-punk in a KILLING JOKE-meets-CRASS way. Some bands lose their ethos within a few years and conform to the “music machine,” but in some rare occasions you see bands like EXIT STANCE that stand the test of time.

Körd Värld Total Distortion EP

I love to find out about new bands that get you excited about punk again, and it’s even more exciting when you find out that it is made by hardcore legends. Total Distortion is a killer hardcore debut from the two-headed monster that is KÖRD VÄRLD, featuring Charlie Claesson (of ANTI-fucking-CIMEX) and James Domestic (of the DOMESTICS). They already play together in the “hardcore gone jazzy” hybrid PI$$ER, but this time they went all-out hardcore. Equal parts ANTI CIMEX and POISON IDEA, this debut is a great show of hardcore, and how Scandinavia was always one step ahead from the rest. Great to see veterans in the game teaching the kids a lesson in hardcore.

Rudimentary Peni Great War LP

Holy shit! For the first time in 26 years, RUDIMENTARY PENI have released a full-length, although Great War was recorded some years ago before the mysterious hiatus of the ever-shifting project. It works along the tracks of the 2009’s Wilfred Owen the Chances single, in which they take a more dehumanized bleak approach which just adds to the nightmarish sound that plagues their soundscapes. Once again the overlying theme and lyrics deal with anxiety and the ugly face of mental illness in this constraining world. The artwork is amazing as expected and has the ability to turn a record into wall art. One of the most amazing bands to come out of the UK´s anarcho-punk scene for sure, Nick Blinko has cast a shadow on punk music that will take a long time to disappear.

The War Goes On Assisted Armageddon LP

Hailing from Copenhagen, THE WAR GOES ON is on their second album with Assisted Armageddon. Dark and catchy as hell punk rock that owes as much to the US as it does to the UK, but with a somewhat “pop” sensibility. They strive for big melodies yet have a gritty approach to them. If you know HJERTESTOP or NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, you know what you are in for, as the members share duties in both bands. To sum things up, this album could be on Hellcat Records.

Detoxi In Laughter 12″

“Love is the lasting connection we make with others and nothing is as powerful, the laughter shared with one another.” This is the central theme in DETOXI’s new record, aptly titled In Laughter. Featuring members of the amazingly underrated deathrock act CATHOLIC SPIT, the ANCESTORS, and STALAG-13, these Californians craft a mix of UK DECAY and RUDIMENTARY PENI. One of the best modern deathrock bands out there.

Hüstler Hüstler demo cassette

An excellent, disgusting debut demo from NY deathpunks HÜSTLER through Sorry State Records. Hüstler is a healthy dose of visceral deathrock-infused blackened hardcore punk, where everything is well-balanced and you can tell they channel loads of influences on this one. From the coldness of CHRISTIAN DEATH to the strangeness of GISM and even SLAYER´s early work in the guitar work. Like being sodomized by Satan himself.

Sexpill Anarchy and LSD EP

This EP starts with nuclear sirens, so you know you are in for a treat. Coming from Houston, SEXPILL is ugly-as-fuck hardcore punk like KURO on a bad hair day. The sound is disgustingly good if you are into noisy punk. And at some point, you realize that the sirens don’t stop, and go throughout the whole EP.

A Culture of Killing The Feast of Vultures, The Cry of a Dove LP

Italian peace punks A CULTURE OF KILLING do an impeccable job in channeling the British anarcho-punk movement. Nostalgic feelings of listening to the MOB or CRASS run through every song on this record in a well-achieved way. Catchy and well-crafted songs about modern life in this decaying system. Taking the record name from investigative journalist Josy Josef’s dissertation about corruption in India’s democracy “Feast of Vultures,” it is filled to the brim with strong political views.

Insect Warfare World Extermination LP reissue

This is it. This is what grindcore is and what it should sound like. No bullshit, no gimmicks, just plain old school grindcore. World Extermination is up there next to Scum, Horrified and World Downfall. This is an album that will be hard to beat and will stay at the podium for best modern grindcore album. You can thank the grind gods for this official reissue that recreates the original release, improving on the original insert art with a heavier jacket and a bigger poster. Get this and let it melt your face off! Ughhhh!

Bleakness Functionally Extinct LP

The bleak piano intro sets the stage for darkness to come. Uneasy melodies and a sense of melancholy play the leading role on Functionally Extinct, while steady and catchy hardcore punk serves as a backdrop for this post-punk outfit. BLEAKNESS couldn’t have chosen a better band name. This a great modern French post-punk record sure to brighten (or darken) your days.

HHH Solidhardcore LP

HHH or Harina de Huesos Humanos (which translates to “flour of human bones”) was a Spanish hardcore outfit formed in 1985 that was of significant importance in the ’80s Spanish punk scene. The trio was heavily influenced by Scandinavian punk in their early work and sidetracked into thrashcore-oriented territory in their later days, leading up to their demise in 1993. Ten songs of nonconforming, solid hardcore (think SHITLICKERS or RATTUS) at its most primitive form, with two unreleased tracks “Paz” and “Psicosis” and a faithful reproduction of the original artwork. If you like primitive punk, this is a no-brainer!

Blockade Untitled War EP

Can you hear the sound of an enormous door slamming in the depths of Australia? It’s probably BLOCKADE. Entrenched and ready for D-beat war, these fine gentlemen bring on the most intense DIS-worship ammunition they could get their hands on. Noise-drenched guitars that will shatter your ears, vocals that sound like they were recorded two lots over, and of course…D-beat. Also, a cover of the theme of Assault on Precinct 13. Your ears will be ringing after this one.

Farmaco Descolonizar EP

Latino punk might not be the most technical, the most virtuoso, or the most groundbreaking, but it surely is the angriest of all the punk scenes. Hailing from Buenos Aires, FARMACO is no exception to this rule! And anger you can expect! The first half of this EP (“Descolonizar” and “Mundo Inmundo”) sounds like primitive Japanese Hardcore like LSD, and the second half (“Alquitrán” and “Sulfato”) reeks of DEATH SIDE. Do I need to keep on writing? Go get this!

Kyosanto Communist LP

Straight from Hiroshima, KYOSANTO has been lurking in the hardcore shadows for three decades. Thanks to Bitter Lake, this gem of Japanese hardcore punk sees the light of day. Finally! This is a compilation of two demo cassettes from 1984, the Communist cassette and うじむし cassette. Brace yourself for high-energy and highly political hardcore punk akin the STALIN or TYPHUS. For Japanese hardcore aficionados only!

Altar of Eden The Grotto Screams 12”

In a world filled with overproduced post-punk, the “punk” aspect of the genre seems to be getting more and more subtle, giving way to indie-inspired tendencies. Enter ALTAR OF EDEN, a lo-fi post-punk band that contradicts this statement with its raw recording, deathrock undertones, gritty drum machine sound, and overall crude atmosphere. More akin to French coldwave bands like LEITMOTIV than to the typical post-punk references, The Grotto Screams is a beautifully ugly piece of dark punk that translates well to the suffocating atmosphere of modern life.

Cesspool We Hide Among You LP

Copenhagen’s new hardcore outfit CESSPOOL sets a very simple goal for the listener: a boot to the face. We Hide Among You is composed of eight tracks of slam-dancing, pit-clearing anthems of mid-paced hardcore in the fashion of WARTHOG or TARANTULA. Their strong suit is the heavy groove they achieve and a strong sense of musicality. Clear your room and feel the stomp of CESSPOOL.

Eskorbuto Los Demenciales Chicos Acelerados 2xLP reissue

One of the most influential bands for the Spanish and Latin American punk community, ESKORBUTO has a special reputation that has only grown with time. After the classics Eskizofrenia and Anti Todo, they released Los Demenciales Chicos Acelerados originally on Discos Suicidas in 1987. This is a band way ahead of their time and that had a huge impact, making this the very first “punk opera” ever about a corrupt politician who finally sees his demise because of his ego. Housed in a controversial gatefold sleeve, this double LP reissue of this classic album contains the original artwork complete with a political satirical work against any kind of dictatorial regime. Still relevant and still resonates with modern days.

Bombardement Bombardement LP

Bordeaux’s finest purveyors of chaos BOMBARDEMENT drop a huge-ass atomic bomb in the form of this self-titled LP. This is pure D-beat in a DISCLOSE-meets-MEANWHILE fashion with the classic DIS- formula in place, with nods to The More I See-era in songs like “Warriors Of The Night.” The sound is not too clean, nor too ear-shattering, just the perfect balance of “noise not music.” Eight tracks of pummeling dis-beat with viciously angry vocals, a precise rhythm section, and anthemic guitar leads. Coming hot from above!

Gimmick Needle Caps EP

The opener “Needle Caps” quickly makes you think that you are listening to something that NO TREND would have made back in the day, but halfway through you get thrown a curveball to the face with pummeling punk hardcore. Once the punk hardcore bubble bursts there is no going back, as you get fed a healthy dose of frantic and snotty hardcore akin to SICK PLEASURE or the GERMS. By no means do they sound like a retro band but rather like a younger version of the aforementioned bands, just check the video for “Numbing” and you will catch my drift. If you are into the chaos of ELECTRIC CHAIR or the anxiety of GAG you will enjoy this angst-ridden piece of disgusting (in a good way) punk.

Totalitär Heydays Revisited EP

TOTALITÄR is amongst the most well-known Swedish punk bands, alongside ANTI-CIMEX or WOLFPACK, and has entered the kängpunk hall of fame by now. Masters of fast and frantic hardcore, they broke the punk mold with their uncompromising warp speed, spastic guitar work, and rabid vocal delivery leaving any fastcore band to shame. Heydays Revisited is a piece of Swedish hardcore history with five tracks consisting of three re-recorded tracks (“Multinationella Mördare,” “Kannibalerna,” and “Är Detta Frihet”) and two tracks in their first mix (“De Ouppfostrade Stör” and “Framtidsplaner”). A blast from the past that still shakes the earth to this day.

Body Maintenance Body Maintenance 12″

Following a demo tape and live tape, Melbourne’s BODY MAINTENANCE is back with these six tracks of excellent sometimes upbeat, sometimes gloomy post-punk in which melody is the true conductor and the “punk” part is really prevalent. This dichotomy of moods is what makes this band stand out. If you vibe with Second Empire Justice-era BLITZ, this record should be on your list.

Hävittäjät Lost Tapes Collection cassette

Some Australian punks (ex-members of KIROTTU, KRÖMOSOM, and LEPROSY) singing in Finnish and playing Finnish-styled hardcore? Sign me up for that! Punishingly raw and dirty hardcore with a leaning towards KAAOS and TAMPERE S.S.. Released through Roachleg Records, which has been consistently putting out the rawest punk hardcore out there, with the help of Fuzzed Atrocities. Not much else to say about this one except you’ll feel dirtier after listening to it.

Ond Cirkel Svavelvinter / Vilda Syrener 7”

I’m used to reviewing a lot of Swedish punk bands and mostly D-beat-driven kängpunk. I was surprised to hear a band from Gothenburg that slows it down and aims toward post-punk, a really, really dark post-punk. OND CIRKEL combines the best in post-punk, darkwave, and shoegaze to form a “vicious circle” of reverb-drenched obscure raw emotion without ever stepping into the genre’s clichés. The lyrics are in Swedish but one can be steered to feel the reverence in the vocal delivery and let the mind wander. A great 7″ for those dark, cold, gloomy nights.

Urin Incydent EP

Gathered around the gutters of Berlin, URIN is an international punk collaboration with members of ROCK, PISS, CUNTROACHES, and G.L.O.S.S. After their 2018 demo, they are back with Incydent, their ripping four-song EP of raw, lo-fi punk that would make SHITLICKERS proud. Heavily delayed vocals sung angrily in Polish, the guitars and bass form a barrage of noise, and the drums are sharp and waste no time messing around. An exciting standout EP from a band that simply has no time for bullshit. Just straight-in-your-face punk!

The Completers End / Parallel Lines 7”

Brazil is well-known for its vibrant colourful culture and is never associated with dark, gloomy music. Well, unless you know the COMPLETERS. This band is really unique in the post-punk scene, making an incredibly unique, uplifting-yet-dark post-punk that uses the CURE as a blueprint with a SMITHS-esque vocal delivery. “End” is a dark, vibrant show of post-punk while “Parallel Lines” is a more atmospheric and ethereal pop-driven song. Overall the COMPLETERS do amazing work in making a refreshing take on a genre that is so distinct and intricate in its own way.

Mirror Second EP

Home to an incredibly fertile punk scene, Texas has generated countless crushing and innovative punk bands like WICCANS, VAASKA, IMPALERS or CRIATURAS. MIRROR is the junction of the aforementioned bands in a mash of psychedelic and punk, creating a self-described “cosmic punk.” A vocal delivery less reminiscent of the Oi!-infused WICCANS and more Darby Crash on GLUE, frantic riffs, precise drumming, and a layer of synth psychedelia, make the Second EP another great modern punk release from the hotbed of US punk.

Poison Idea Pig’s Last Stand 2xLP

“Ladies and gentlemen! Would you please welcome, for the very last time, ever, the world’s fattest junkies, POISON IDEA!” And so it begins, the last show from the undefeated kings of punk, the mighty POISON IDEA, recorded live at La Luna in Portland, OR on June 6, 1993. A classic setlist of hardcore classics from an essential hardcore band, complete with face-melting covers of G.I.S.M., WIPERS, BAUHAUS, and the RAMONES. Released back in ’96 by Sub Pop as a CD, Pig’s Last Stand now sees its rightful vinyl release with a double-LP in a gatefold jacket with previously unpublished photographs from the show. Each LP includes a poster print of the original show flyer designed by Mike King and a bonus DVD of a four-camera shoot of the “Farewell” gig. The sound is amazing on this one and it shows the unmatched musicianship that made them the kings of punk. Newer bands should take a page or two from this record. R.I.P. Pig Champion.

Kontaminate Blood Hunger demo cassette

The 11 PM logo on a demo is always a good sign, as they have been consistently releasing the best fresh-sounding hardcore bands in the US. This time they released the kick-ass demo of Richmond-based KONTAMINATE, featuring members of NOSEBLEED and JACKAL. The mash of spazzy, almost Scandinavian-sounding TOTALITÄR riffs over a NECROS backbone makes KONTAMINATE an essential modern USHC band to keep an eye on. Five tracks of unrelenting bangers, with the cherry on top in the form of a cover of “Crime for Revenge” by ULTRA-VIOLENT, one of the unsung heroes of UKHC. Time to mosh in your room.

Powerplant People in the Sun LP

UK-based one-man operation POWERPLANT turned a lot of heads in 2019 when his second album People in the Sun was released, and there is a good reason for this. Hard to describe but easy to listen to, this is lo-fi synth-punk in its essence but every tune is a whole new world in itself. “Hey Mr Dogman!” is one hell of an opener, showcasing POWERPLANT’s high-energy garage-punk-meets-SCREAMERS sound, and right next, “Snake Eyes” shifts the game completely in a DEVO-esque weird artsy vibe. There is so much to explore here and every listen will make you piece this puzzle even better. This might be the definition of what egg-punk really is.

Svart Parad Total Svart Parad 2xLP+CD

With just two years of activity, this classic, short-lived Swedish hardcore band needs no introduction if you like your hardcore with extra crust in it. Their influence is undeniable in bands like DOOM or EXTREME NOISE TERROR, and they even got their own tribute album with covers by the kings of D-beat, DISCLOSE. F.O.A.D. has done an amazing job in reissuing these classic bands, and has now released the remastered discography. Includes 80 tracks with extra studio out-takes, compilation tracks, and a bonus Total Live CD. An essential band that helped shape what crust punk would become in terms of intensity. For the Scandi-beat aficionados out there.

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.