Jad Strach LP

This ten-song debut 12” from Warsaw’s JAD leans heavy on the mechanical patterns of early Polish hardcore (the distinctive robotic pulsing of ARMIA or even SIEKIERA), but even heavier on the crude, primitive hardcore deconstruction of HOAX, where 1-2 midtempo charge is sustained, then slowed, then sustained for crushing effect, and leads in to even more crushing breakdowns. Basic yet effective repetitive pounding, with meaty “at the door of the haunted hallway” (i.e. slightly distorted) vocals scowling over the top, and a thick yet slightly grated raw guitar sound. This is not as sludgy as HOAX, but a more energetic, incredibly dialed-in, and surprisingly great record. There’s some inventiveness with this formula, but it’s so seamless, with tight musicianship and delivery on a set pattern, though without understanding the lyrics, it does skirt on the border of predictability. The lyrics (all in Polish) come on the accompanying poster, and the artwork is “cvlt”-style line-drawings of people hanging off the band logo, barbed wire, a dissected head, and vultures, all made to look distressed—like it was found on the floor of a copy center in 1981, so who knows. These are killer jams.