.Gram. / …Is Dodelijk Ballern EP

The first recording since 2015 by Germany’s …IS DODELIJK! (“…Is Deadly”) features four new tracks of grimy hardcore that wallow in the proto-HC primitivism of simplistic fast punk songs with brutal shouted vocals. Sung in German and English, thoughtful lyrics decry the rise of racism, musing on the unyielding influence of time and challenge of life, and dehumanization of refugees and the homeless. Slowing slightly from previous recordings, these tracks have more control and direct impact, loose a with a stripped-down feel reminiscent of a less codified era of hardcore, as well as the current wave of blunt, Oi!-inspired anthems. On the flip, Munich’s .GRAM.’s four tracks have a considerably more 1990s feel, in a classic mix of plunging sludge bookending throttling, blast beat and tempo-driven thrash with a few mechanically searing guitar parts. Also sung in German, the lyrics fixate on personal frustration via scathing throaty screams. With their delivery sharpened from previous releases, these four songs are concise enough not wear out their welcome in reliance on snare and shout for impact. Good split EP!

Accidente Caníbal LP

Tight, melodic, high-energy release from Madrid, Spain, with vocals reminiscent of Agent M from the early TSUNAMI BOMB 7” singles that were released by Checkmate Records in the late ’90s. That label was run by Hunter Burgan who plays bass for AFI, and we can argue if his band sold out well before the Black Sails in the Sunset album, but the tight guitar/bass interplay with thunderous drumming reminds me of those early albums. Recorded in Madrid, the album was mastered by Mass Giorgini (COMMON RIDER, SQUIRTGUN) at his Sonic Iguana Studios in Lafayette, Indiana… maybe that’s where all this ’90s/’00s stuff is coming from. Translating the lyrics from Spanish, the songs take a strong rebellious stance, putting the common in the center and fighting back the corporate cannibals. I have a feeling this is the kind of band that will pack out the infamous Wurlitzer Ballroom in Madrid to sweaty spastic crowds after the pandemic is over.

Doctrina Alimentar Su Final LP

Mid-tempo punk out of Seville, Spain that tensely keeps the right amount of lyrical and musical attitude through the eight quick tracks. This could have been something the JAM recorded in the short time between their first two albums, if only Paul Weller sang in Spanish.

Ex-White Disco cassette

Nasty, weird, driving, gross, shit-eating punk from Germany. Musically this rips. The catchy clean guitar licks really get stuck in your head, and some of the songs are awesome, specifically “It’s Me, The Shit” and “Hooray Henry.” On some of the songs, the barked vocals are a bit overly affected which makes them come off teetering on the brink of being novelty songs, which, depending on how that statement rubs you, can be viewed as a positive thing. The lyrics that I can decipher are just dumb enough to make me scratch my head wondering why the hell I didn’t think of them. “I want to piss in your face, I want to beat you with my bat.”