Reviews

Ryvvolte

Besthöven / Disjawn split EP

Playing with peak Scandi D-beat dynamic here, and reminding almost of the latest PARANOID LP or later AVSKUM, BESTHÖVEN still retains that FINAL BOMBS jangling, metallic, riff-ripping classic Finnish ’82 style, but with authentic Brazilian attitude. It feels a bit strange saying that, but there is a fire to these few tracks in a classic D-beat formula that brings a warmth to the style. Don’t get me wrong, there is steel-charged grit to Fofäo Discrust’s music as well, but his vocals are fuego/fogo. The DISJAWN recording is far more havoc-ridden, smashing across both crash cymbals, D-beating to death from Philly. I mention that because there is an East Coast hardcore tone of voice here in the meter of the lyrics and the irreverent chords, compared to the earnest presentation on Side A. Both sides stylistically complement one another while bringing a similar message from each hemisphere: Fuck war. Fuck the military. Where is [this] (either) country? Where is a peaceful life?

Condemned / Ernia Strike to Kill split LP

Somewhere in this batch of reviews I think I say that a dose of catchy, uplifting punk might be just what I need…this record definitively disproved that assertion, because this record is what I fucking need. CONDEMNED blasts straight out of 2004 with hard-charging crust fury, continuing a proud and storied legacy of bands from Connecticut like REACT, TORRINGTON, and DIALLO. On the flipside, Basque Country’s ERNIA matches the intensity and drops in fearsome blasts seemingly at will. Brilliant early ’00s European squat crust sounds hyped up on relentless fastcore and grind—I find myself exhaling after every song without even realizing that I was holding my breath. Lyrics presented in Basque, English, French, and Spanish, everything about this one hit the fucking spot.

Future Terror Plague EP

Atrocious, galloping, guttural D-beat from Virginia that hisses with WARCOLLAPSE-type angst and echoing screams. A sheer blast of classic ’90s Scandi-style punk that sounds like a sonic battlefield. Totally brutal, buoyantly produced, thick and dirgy, and bound together with samples that take me back to the ’90s filth-core onslaught. Wild paces of that classic SARCASM, Phonophobia, ASPECT OF WAR sound, with time-signature changeups that leave a lump in your throat. So fucking ripping. This is an addicting release.

Genöme Young, Beautiful & Free LP

Debut album from GENÖME of Malmö, Sweden. Great production D-beat/kängpunk with echoed vocals. Many bands in this style tend to take a low-fidelity DIY approach to recording but GENÖME does it in the modern, non-retro-sounding style of ’90s Japanese meets Swedish-style hardcore production. Reminds me of a bit of DETESTATION or some of the crustcore bands coming out of the Minneapolis area in the ’90s. Artwork by Petter from GLORIOUS?

Scared Earth Poisoned World LP

What made DISCHARGE such a powerful band is that they were a reaction to the times. In the early 1980s, the world stood at the brink of any-moment potential nuclear annihilation between the two great superpowers, who played a continual chess game of proxy wars and military funding across the globe. The horror and senselessness of the Vietnam War was less than half a decade from the band’s inception. The power of their music spawned an entire genre, but its continued resonance also grinds in its meaning, what it represented and still represents: a stark rejection of how the powers that be run the world. Stockholm’s SCARED EARTH’s ten-song debut LP carries the torch of D-beat hardcore with members from SVART PARAD, DISSOBER, DOM DÄR. And honestly, despite the pedigree, I was pretty ready to dismiss this as “old guys checking off boxes,” but by side B, Poisoned World stops being perfunctory solid and strong D-beat hardcore, and gets more interpretive and interesting—which is what some of the best Swedish old-timers like AVSKUM and ASOCIAL have done in some of their more recent (and arguably best) records. Opening guitar leads and weird song patterns capture a lot of what was so special about the influence of DISCHARGE in Sweden: They ignited a nation of teenagers to try to figure out how to learn to play hardcore, and the happy, sometimes inept personal expression is a large part of what makes Svensk ’80s and ’90s D-beat records so engaging. This debut’s A-side seems stuck like a lot of senior class punk records: where the musical competency, access to a good solid recording, and desire to capture the spark of their original musical influences regulates some of that personal expression and distinctiveness. It’s more direct and straight-to-the-jugular-forward. But the B-side really does give hope that this band will continue to explore and expand the confines of the really simple formula. The lyrics, largely in English, are shouted in scouring, raw screams; echo and underline blanket rejection of war, and while stark and to the point, there’s not the same kind of defining mood to the early 21st century as the early 1980s. Sure, there are armed conflicts and tragedies happening right now, but the crisis of the time is more complex and basically a slow-motion destruction of the planet by kleptocrats and indifference, so I wish this took the spirit of DISCHARGE’s lyrical intent and, again, inventively applied it to current realities. But inarguably a mandatory purchase if I was at the gig, cranked up and played loud, all of this overthinking fades and this is a killer solid blast of just tried ’n’ true classic Swedish hardcore!!!!

Tortür Never Ending Grief LP

Scaly, scaling, escapist råpunk D-beat noise from LA. Deliberate face-ripping riffs that flail through the play with no mercy. TORTÜR plays the standard D-beat formula, but the energy is many ticks above normal. Vocals are grimaced and the chords are buoyant. Drums pulverize—sticks tumbling with classic DISCLOSE openers and breaks, at a rate a notch faster than everything else, and it works—as TORTÜR ebbs and stabs in unison. The way a band like this should sound; slightly organic but still nailing it like the nightmare machine they are illustrating. Some surprising rhythmic change-ups, in the way I fell jawless skull-over-boots for WORLD BURNS TO DEATH some 20-odd years ago, in “Who Will Survive The Human Collapse?” which adds shock treatment to the overall seizure of this album. Basically, a blistering new chaotic D-beat album that excels with production fervor and speed. Might be on my top ten had I not already sent it in. Recalling TOTAL WAR, DESPAIR, ASPECTS OF WAR. Art by Robin Wilberg of SVAVELDIOXID (previously DISFEAR). TORTÜR, a three piece of LA, are a gift (GASATTACK), and I definitely recommend trying to find this raw physical slab, it goes for $666 on their Bandcamp, and was released this past September 11th, yikes.