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64 "SEVEN INCH EP"
(Building 93 Records, Released September 2019)
Long Island's 64 have members from some really recognizable hardcore bands. With Kill Your Idols, In Your Face, Madball and Mind Over Matter headlining the "bands we've been in before" tag it is hard not to take notice. After hearing these tracks inside out for a few months now it still kind of bugs me out that 64's sound is unique and has little to no connection to the sounds of the previously mentioned bands. The bottom line here is this is a clean slate type of deal and if you get caught up with the resumes you are going to be in for a bit of a surprise.
"I Wanna Float" opens up this 3 song 8 plus minute effort and immediately jumps into a melodic groove which is something 64 seems to have no problem duplicating throughout this short debut. The lyrics of "I wanna float through this life all the way" match the easy going vibe of the song with smooth and very clear vocals from Marc Adams who used to be the frontman of In Your Face who were a NYC/Long Island band that flew under most people's radar's back in the late 80's.
"Dead Ass Serious" starts off with more of a Tuesday night at the coffee house type of vibe with over a minute plus of acoustic guitar work overlapped by Mr Adams singing "when you hit a certain age your supposed to act a certain way, when you act a certain way you start to feel the rage, and you start seeing yourself like a fox inside a cage" before the crunch of the guitars take over at the 1:12 mark. The acoustic intro to this track dragged for me the first bunch of listens through this but since then it has grown to probably be my favorite track. Once I started paying closer attention to the lyrics of this song things started to click for me as this old "hardcore kid" is still very much in tune with his 21 year old self. I think the quasi "Young until I die" message here will speak to certain age groups as it did to me. The blend of melodic punk coupled with the crunch that 64 can bring hits hard on this one in an almost perfect chocolate meets peanut butter type of way. The short acoustic outro used at the end of this song brings everything full circle as well. Great track.
"This Is Fucking Magic" is the most thrashy and upbeat of the 3 songs with a breakdown thrown in just past the 2 minute mark showing that 64 can also be unpredictable as far as how they are going to come at us. The base of what they are doing lies in the melodic punk side of things kind of in a Ramones type of way but "Magic" brings more grit than the previous two tracks and adds a nice wrinkle to the overall feel. This track delivers more mature life perspectives from Adam's who seems to have his head and heart in the right places.
Before hitting the play button on any of these songs I was hoping that 64 would be some kind of blend of their previous bands but in hindsight I am just glad that 64 is who they are as this band brings a brand new, just taken out of the box feel. Cover artwork by Ernie Parada of Token Entry fame adds a bit of mystery as to its meaning too. A nice little EP here folks.
HANGMAN “ONE BY ONE”
(Flatspot Records, Release Date September 20, 2019)
Hangman is a five piece hardcore band from Long Island, New York and offers us their first full length album out on September 20th on Flatspot Records. The band formed five years ago and have been touring non-stop, playing with the likes of Death Threat, No Warning and Backtrack. The band combines hardcore with crunchy metal riffs to give us a record that will fit nicely in any hardcore fan’s collection. There are no weak or bad songs on this record. From start to end you are fully charged up by the music and the band’s intensity. The record is infused with so many great guitar riffs and wrathful vocals that you will have a hard time staying in your seat when listening to this record. Picking a few favorite tracks off of this was a difficult endeavor because I like every song. The band has created their own unique sound, taking notes from the old guard of NYHC bands and forming a fresh slab of hardcore madness.
The album’s opener, “One Mistake” sets the tone for what Hangman is all about. The slow moshable intro winds you up and gets the blood pumping before vocalist Dan Mulligan growls out the first words. You can feel yourself wanting to grab a group of friends and start a circle pit. Dan’s vocals are reminiscent of early Jamey Jasta and enhance the sound the band is going for. “One by One”, the title track, is a fast hardcore anthem with guest vocals by Aaron Butkus of Death Threat. This song is a testament to the band’s commitment to carve out their place in the hardcore scene and let us know they plan to become a fixture in the scene. “Intro” is a short moshing instrumental similar to S.O.D.’s, “March of the S.O.D.” and I found myself playing this track over and over. It is now the first track on my workout playlist to get me pumped up. Hangman is a band who deserves to be taken seriously. One listen to this record and you too will be convinced as I am that they offer a true sounding hardcore record that anyone would be proud to add to their collection. I only wish they would release it in CD format. Buy this record when it comes out on September 20th and spread the word that Hangman are the future of hardcore music and a force to be reckoned with.
CHAINS OF MISERY “DEMO 2019” (Released August 2019)
We've all heard of the expression "misery loves company" and it's often used to describe someone or a situation that is negative. Although this may be true it is not necessarily a bad thing. We've become fans of many hardcore bands and united as a family based on lyrics that we can all relate to. Unfortunately many of us can relate to band's singing about inner pain, life's struggles and anger. Continuing this trend is New York's Chains Of Misery who have just put out their debut demo which they simply called “Demo 2019”. Consisting of 4 tracks titled: “Façade”, “Demons Of The Past”; “Nothing Is Good Enough” and “Indifference” it's safe to assume that you will not be hearing about "sunshine, rainbows and lollipops” but you will hear 13 minutes of what draws so many to hardcore. The music is angry, aggressive and heavy with lyrics that are emotionally charged. Chains Of Misery's formula is a beat down style which reminds me of such bands as Neglect, Bulldoze and Setback. The band consists of Rance- vocals, Justin-guitar, Dan-guitar, Doug-drums and Ed-bass. A side note here is that the: bass on this recording was played by Jast Collum who also happens to have recorded the demo at his Freedom Soundworks Studio. I love the feeling I get from each track so I cannot chose a favorite however I do have one criticism and that is I feel like I've been teased because of how short this is. I can equate it to having a great meal and then after a few bites the plate is taken from me. I hope this demo is just the beginning because this band impresses me and as a new fan I want to see them grow. I admit that most of my favorite hardcore bands are older ones but there are great ones who have come out over the recent years. I, along with so many are constantly trying to convince those that believe hardcore is either dead or passed its "prime" that it is still alive. And for those who are just getting into hardcore it's great to inform them which newer bands to listen to. Well Chains of Misery are now proudly on my list of top bands to preach about. Give “Demo 2019” a listen to and be thankful that bands like this are around making sure the torch stays lit for our scene.
HAVE HEART JULY 2019 REUNION SHOWS (JULY 5th & 6th) WORCESTER, MA
WORDS BY: RILEY HOGAN, PHOTOS BY: DANIELLE DOMBROWSKI, DAN GONYEA & TODD POLLOCK
When people think of the 4th of July, they think of America! They think of barbecues, patriotism, beer, fireworks, sticking it to the British, and other grand old American traditions. I went with some friends on a road trip to Massachusetts, where the revolution began! What a perfect place to go on the grand ol’ US of A’s birthday! Sight-seeing, beer drinking, fireworks; so much history to see... Yeah, I didn’t do any of that. I went on a 4 hour road trip with my friends to see a straight edge hardcore band at a venue too big for a hardcore show (although we did drop by Boston Harbor for a little while to see if we could have a little tea party).
I woke up early on July 4th and packed up to go up to Worcester, MA. The trip went smoothly, only about 3 1/2 hours. Me and my friends (Both named Ben) schlepped up there blasting our favorite hardcore, punk rock and death metal jams. The excitement was building! As we got some burgers (I love my veggie burgers) and settled into the hotel room for the night (our hotel was a 10 minute walk from The Palladium where the show was held), we couldn’t wait to wake up to go to the show tomorrow! We were especially anxious because we’re all insomniac New Yorkers and everything in Worcester closes at 8pm so we had nothing else occupying us.
I’m new to show reviews, so I’m not 100% sure how to write this, to be honest. I’ve read a few to prepare for this and I feel like most go in chronological order of the sets. Forgive me if this method is more all over the place, but I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna jump around a bit and hit the points I wanna hit instead just because there’s so much to talk about and if I just tell it like a story, we’re gonna have a whole novel.
The Palladium is a decent venue. It looks nice. I’m usually not into larger venues and larger shows myself. I only really go if I’m really stoked on the music itself and I have the money to spend. I do like my local shows at small venues like Amityville Music Hall or Shakers Pub (back home on Long Island) better. But The Palladium was nice, security didn’t give people a hard time, I’d say The Paramount is Long Island’s equivalent of a venue like this, but I liked The Palladium more because it doesn’t have barriers. I think if had to complain about one thing, it would be the sound. As an audio engineering student, I pay a lot of attention to the venue’s sound. The sound mix was kind of messy. The drums weren’t loud enough, the snare sound was really bad, the guitars drowned out everything else. I remarked to one of my friends at the show that it made every band sound like a 90’s hardcore demo. There was a lot of reverb, just from the size of the venue and the way it was built, and it felt like the mixing engineer didn’t quite account for it. The sound was significantly better on the second day. Since it was outside, my complaints about the overabundance of reverb were fixed as the place wasn’t surrounded by walls for the sound to bounce off of (the buildings were far enough apart that they didn’t cause issues). The mix was way more balanced this time, it was really on point and everything sounded great.
JULY 5, 2019 @ THE PALADIUM (INDOORS). PHOTO BY: TODD POLLOCK
I do have something to say about the line-up before we talk about how good the bands played. The first night saw ANXIOUS, ONE STEP CLOSER, BROTHER and ABUSE OF POWER opening while the Saturday matinee had AMMUNATION, VEIN, SHIPWRECK A.D. and DOWN TO NOTHING. I thought that it was odd that the first day was a Triple B Records fest. Brother was the only band not signed to that label that day. It’s not a dig at the label at all, the reason it was odd was that Have Heart only put out one EP on Triple B and it wasn’t even originally issued through them, it was a reissue of the “What Counts” EP, which originally came out on Think Fast! Records. Bridge Nine put out most of Have Heart’s discography. Not that I think it’s one specific label that should get to dictate the line-up or anything. My issue is that Have Heart made a big deal out of what the show meant to them, so I wanted to know what the bands meant to them too. Brother and most of the day 2 bands were from Massachusetts, representing the next generation of MAHC (Ammunation, Brother, Vein) or an older generation (Shipwreck A.D.). Down To Nothing played because DTN is one of the most badass straight edge bands ever! Their name on any lineup justifies itself. Most of the day 1 bands, I just shrugged and was like “because Patrick Flynn likes indie rock?”
Let’s get to the bands! It’s hard to pick the best band that played cause there were so many good bands! But, my favorite opening act from day 1 is obvious: BROTHER! They were the only band on day 1 I’d never heard of. I didn’t look into the music prior because for me, a good live show is what sells good hardcore bands. There’s plenty of times I listened to the demo and thought the band wasn’t very good but my opinion did a 180 when I saw them live. Brother was from Have Heart’s hometown of New Bedford so there must’ve been some real pressure to make this one for the books. It was a passing of the torch of sorts. Brother killed it on stage! They brought that intense energy that you get from a good powerviolence band! They got the pit going side to side non-stop during their set. Their presence on stage commanded immediate respect, and it was well deserved! They also covered “Something Must Be Done” by Antidote, and anyone who knows me can tell you how much I love “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. They nailed that cover! Probably the best part was that the band talked about political causes during their set. They were the only band that did. The other bands were all talking about “It’s so cool to be playing here with Have Heart!” and there’s nothing wrong with that I guess, but Brother’s dialogue was very much in the spirit of what Have Heart was doing and I had more appreciation for that. I’m sure there are some people out there who don’t wanna hear it cause they wanna get drunk and party and mosh and all that but hardcore has political roots and it was nice to have a band acknowledge that for once. Brother just blew my mind on multiple levels and I felt compelled to download their music when I got back to the hotel room.
ABUSE OF POWER from Atlanta, GA was probably my next favorite from that night. They played a nice mix of their older material and songs from their new album. They played all the songs I wanted to hear from them and I had a good time with their set. They kept a good energy going throughout.
ANXIOUS from Connecticut also was solid. I feel like no one knew what to do during their set cause they were more melodic and had more of an emo aesthetic than the other bands, (y’know, the type of emo that’s okay for hardcore kids to listen to?). But those kids put their best foot forward and tried to impress the crowd. I felt bad for them that they got stuck being the opening band over a hardcore band that would’ve hyped up the crowd for them. But they had fans, it’s not like the crowd was dead.
My least favorite band that night was easily ONE STEP CLOSER from Wilkes-Barre, PA. Going into their set, I didn’t like their music. I thought they were another generic post-hardcore revivalist band that brought nothing new to the table. Wilkes-Barre has produced a lot of my favorite hardcore bands (Dead End Path anyone?), so maybe their live show would explain to me why they were so popular. I’ll give them some credit, they tried their best to bring some on-stage energy and a lot of people were into it. But I wasn’t. Their playing sounded kind of sloppy to me, even getting past the terrible sound. Normally I expect a bit of sloppiness from a punk band, but this was more than I’m usually willing to cut slack for. Their set just bored me a lot. The thing that got my attention was that they covered “Burning Fight” by Inside Out. Inside Out is one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time so usually a band can get my attention by covering them. And they did an okay job. Call this the first negative review I’ve put on this site but that set is gonna be a no from me chief.
HAVE HEART PERFORMING ON JULY 5TH. PHOTO BY: DAN GONYEA
HAVE HEART went on after Abuse Of Power and they were crazy! The venue was packed so tight that I almost got crushed and suffocated from the stampede of people running towards the stage the moment the snare from “The Machinist” started and the raining hardcore kids diving off the stage. I had to step out of the pit and breathe. Even some of my tough guy beatdown buddies from New York had to leave the pit a few songs in because they were being starved of oxygen. Have Heart themselves put on a fun show. They opened with someone explaining what the purpose of the show was: To raise money for a women’s shelter in New Bedford (owned by Patrick Flynn’s mother). A very good cause if you ask me. Domestic violence and sexual violence are issues that are still very swept under the rug in our country and seeing Have Heart do something about it was very validating. Especially since sexual violence has been a big problem in the hardcore scene the past few years. It was really cool that they made a big statement against it. They also talked a lot about the recent migrant crisis a lot. They had a sign on stage that said that “Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents Is A Human Rights Violation.” As a child of an immigrant family, I was especially validated by this. There’s a lot of hardcore bands who write songs spewing the same ignorant cliches about “stop stealing my job” and what not so hearing one of my favorite bands tell people like that off was awesome. And a lot of you might be wondering why I’m talking about this. Well, this sign on the stage represented everything I love about Have Heart. They were out to piss off all the dude bros in hardcore that completely miss the point of why people literally dedicate their lives to this music and this scene while also not caving into the same cliches of a band turning into a post-hardcore band that hates moshing and doesn’t like hardcore anymore and all that jazz. Have Heart embodies what straight edge hardcore should be! Making an actual positive change in the world regardless of what people thought about them! They played most of the hits in their set. I heard all of my favorite songs by them except for one: “What Counts”. That’s my favorite Have Heart song and I was shocked they didn’t play it! I figured “well, maybe tomorrow.” Either way, Have Heart made it rain hardcore kids and reminded everyone why they were such legends 10 years later.
I’m gonna be upfront, I liked the second day better. I was really stoked that I caught Have Heart sound checking with “Watch Me Sink” while I was out record shopping (I got Dropdead by Siege and In/Casino/Out by At The Drive In and had a nice conversation with the owner of Joe’s Albums and Brad from Roseblood). I was excited! I didn’t anticipate, however, that the line to get in for ticket holders would be four blocks long! That was the craziest thing I’d ever seen! According to guitarist Kei Yasui, 8,560 people went to the second day. I believe it! That was the biggest hardcore show I’ve ever seen! It was bigger than This Is Hardcore Fest, one of the largest hardcore festivals in the country, when I went last year! Bear in mind that Have Heart’s farewell show in 2009 brought in 2,000 people according to Bridge Nine Records and that’s huge for a hardcore band! 8,500 plus in a parking lot is impressive! I don’t think even Hatebreed pulls numbers like that!
I was definitely more stoked on the lineup for day 2 as well. My buddy Keith’s band AMMUNATION opened up the show! Unfortunately, I was stuck on line while they played, but they played so loud that I could hear their set from the line. When I told him that, it seemed to fill him with pride. They knew that they needed to bring that energy today more than any other day and they pulled through. Anxious and One Step Closer did surprise sets after. They were okay. It didn’t do much for me but it wasn’t the worst idea in the world. I was just glad that it bought time for me to get in and not miss Vein.
Then the next three bands hit: VEIN, SHIPWRECK A.D. and DOWN TO NOTHING! Those three bands got the pit going hard! Vein played a great set that didn’t let up in energy throughout! My one gripe would have to be that I wish that they played a few cuts off of “Terror’s Realm” instead of “Doomtech.” Personally I find the longer songs from the B Side of Errorzone a little bit boring, but that’s just my personal preference. It’s very spacey and Deftones-esque nu metal inspired and I’m not into that kinda thing. The crowd was really into it and I think that’s what really mattered for them. They played most of my favorite cuts from “Errorzone” and their split with .Gif From God so I walked away pretty satisfied. Shipwreck A.D. brought that heavy Boston hardcore sound with riffs for days. I hadn’t seen them before and they killed it! But Down To Nothing was a force to be reckoned with! DTN had the craziest pit of any of the bands! They outdid the infamous Vein’s pit! DTN is a commanding presence on stage and just the way they walk out fills you with an intense wave of excitement!
These four bands, AmmuNation, Vein, Shipwreck A.D. and Down To Nothing made more sense as a lineup for Have Heart. It was them tipping their hats to both past and present generations of Massachusetts hardcore and, in Down To Nothing’s case, straight edge, reuniting with bands that were old scene buddies and bringing on the new breed hardcore simultaneously. I think it worked even better, I think, outside where, even though there were more people, there was much more room to breathe. It felt more open and free like a show like this should be.
HAVE HEART PERFORMING ON JULY 6TH. PHOTO BY: DANIELLE DOMBROWSKI
HAVE HEART went on last of course. They played the same set but in a different order, with only one addition: They covered “Salad Days” by Minor Threat! Minor Threat is a hardcore band that I think the entire scene can agree is truly timeless and classic. Minor Threat covers are a great way to get the crowd going. I was extra stoked because “Salad Days” is one of my favorite Minor Threat songs! Have Heart did a pretty good job with it I thought! Have Heart sounded better outside, partially because of the sound being better and partially because the open air with the abundance of buildings for the sound to bounce off of had far less reverb compared to an enclosed space like the indoor venue on the previous night. Have Heart played great and reinforced everything I loved about them. There was more room to breathe and, more importantly, room to mosh and, as such, I didn’t get crowd crushed again! The energy was just right! Even the security guards loosened up and started tossing free water bottles at the audience. But I think my favorite part is when Patrick explained the meaning of their song “The Lion and The Lamb.” The song is him venting his frustrations with hardcore, that lots of people talk a big game about opposing the system, they do a lotta shit-talkin’ online, but many are hesitant to take the steps and do something meaningful. He grabbed the sign that said “Separating Migrant Children From Their Parents Is A Human Rights Violation” and yelled “You wanna change the world?! Then figure out how to fix THIS! PLEASE! GOD! Cause I don’t know how! All I know is that this makes me SICK!” His words there really struck a chord with me. I already agreed with him on the issue at hand, that’s not really what got me. What got me was his confusion and inability to fix this sickening problem on his own. I’ve been in so many situations where something was happening that I knew in my heart was wrong but I had no idea how to even begin to fix the problem. It was a feeling all too familiar and a feeling that I shared with him that day. It’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s not okay to not try to find them. I think that’s the most important lesson to be learned here.
Overall, Have Heart was an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend. The shows were a life affirming experience for me in many ways. It gave me a lot to think about, and that’s why I love this band so much! The shows themselves were an experience I wouldn’t trade. Unfortunately, there were a few bands that failed to impress me, and the sound on the first night was terrible, not to mention the uncomfortable crowdedness and being a little out of my element (though that usually comes with being in a different city, I guess that’s the point). Outside of a few minor issues, I had a great time overall and the trip was well worth it! Me and my friends had a lot to reflect on throughout the next 5 hours while we drove back through the NY metropolitan area and got stuck in Bronx traffic.
Y.D. SICK TIMES, NECROTIC SOCIETY, THE MINUTES
SPLIT 12” (Released July, 2019)
Four bands, old school punk hardcore split, all things fast: Let's go! (Per my discretion, I am intentionally reviewing these bands out of order).
I am a man of a certain age to remember making third, fourth and fifth generation copies of cassettes. In the late 70's, we would rest one Radio Shack tape player on top of another, pointing the speaker near the microphone. Press play on one machine, record on the other, then close the bedroom door so that there would be minimal outside noise. Inevitably, the recording would be, not so great. The source material is there, the quality isn't.
Y.D. kicks off this four-way split with a raucous barrage of fast paced punk hardcore. Most songs clock in just over one minute, with the longest piece a whopping 2:28. The guitars and drums work well together, pretty much locked in at one speed throughout their contribution. "Not My Fault/Your Fault" is a stand out song where the singer taps into his own version of Darby Crash. Y.D has some similarities to the Germs, where the songs are sloppy, but tight in the same way. Speed is the main theme for their songs, most often reminding me of bands like Ill Repute, Urban Waste and in some spots Negative Approach.
NECROTIC SOCIETY is of the same cloth. Fast paced, and primitive (in a good way). The guitar and vocals are similar to Ripcord, but the tempo might be as consistently fast. Necrotic Society still has flashes of West Coast Nardcore bands, like the aforementioned Ill Repute, and Dr. Know. There is a tinge of RKL thrown in with their music, and some guitar work, just not as melodic.
But why the opening paragraph of cassette culture nostalgia? Both Y.D. and Necrotic Society's songs have a low production quality to their songs, which instantly reminded me of collecting local demo tapes that were all recorded on boom boxes because of necessity. I would like to think that technology has advanced enough where recordings can be made relatively well on a small amount of money. Hell, some bands record straight to their phones with surprising results. The downfall of Y.D. and Necrotic Society is the quality of the recording is less than stellar. Early hardcore records had a charm because of their low quality. Perhaps this is the vibe that both bands wanted. The quality of the songs are there. Both bands are probably great live. I just wish that the quality was a bit better.
SICK TIMES bring a more traditional NY styled brand to this split Their opening song "Get Me Out" has a great early 80's, Cause For Alarm ring. "Pull The Plug" has a great sing along quality that keeps up with their Cause for Alarm and Urban Waste vibe. While not an imitation of Warzone, their final song "Two Words/One Finger" reminds me of "Fuck Your Attitude" from Warzone. Sick Times show some quality effort here, and their influences show well on these three songs.
Some bands jump off the page (or vinyl) right away. The sum of the parts hit the listeners upon the first drop of the needle. THE MINUTES have that vibe. The opening track of "Pendejo" and the second song of "Take The Money" are great openers, with an intensity of Los Crudos and Limp Wrist. Those influences stand out because of the vocals having the same effect of Martin Sorrondeguy. Throughout the five songs from The Minutes, I was completely impressed by the musicianship and craftsmanship of the songs.
Overall this split has some great bands, and an outstanding feel of early 80's releases. From the pit inspired, black and white cover to the speed and aggressiveness of the bands, this is a great throw back, inspired release. I would rather have each band provide an equal number of songs, just to balance out the listening, but the enjoyment level of the split is still there.
NOXIOUS PROFIT “A1-A HOLES” EP (Released July, 2019)
Just a few months ago, I was at a festival show down in Vero Beach, FL. I caught this cool new hardcore band with a female vocalist that ripped up the stage and blew the early crowd away. I had never heard of them before, as I’m quite familiar with the bands in this area. Fast forward a few months later, and this band has quickly become a big frigging deal around the Central Florida hardcore scene. Now, aside from already having a tour of the Northeast booked and set to go they have just released a new three song EP called “A1A-Holes”, which is what brings me to my laptop this evening.
Noxious Profit from Melbourne, FL is who I’m talking about, and they are unleashing their sound, full force. A quick guitar solo riff from Carlos Santana (of Noxious Profit, not the “Black Magic Woman” guy), opens the record before the music quickly joins in, on the first track, “Instruments Of War”. Vocalist, Nicole Bowers shows off her gritty vocals with each chorus. “Instruments of war… dead bodies, dead bodies, dead bodies!” rings through your ears, while the fast, raw, yet slightly melodic music crushes behind it. The second track, “Support The Scene”, is another solid one as well. Starting off slow and erupting into a tremendous circle-pit instigator, this song will impress. It was very impressive to hear Nicole hold a scream throughout the entire choruses of the song. Solid drumming by Bob Pennone was also notable throughout this track as well as the rest of this short EP.
They close things out with the title track, “A1A-Holes”. It was very cool to finally see a local hardcore band address the current water crisis in Florida. In a nutshell, “Big Sugar” has a system that diverts all the excess water that floods the sugar fields into the rivers that lead into the ocean causing red tide (look it up!) and other hazards to our waterways and oceans. It has been a consistent, growing problem for years and is finally at an alarming level. So, aside from Colin Harper on second guitar and Brendan Harley on bass holding down the rhythm section, these guys are getting political on a mofo, as well! This was a great effort and you should check them out next time they come around your way. Mad props to this band!
ONLY ATTITUDE COUNTS “ALMOST THE END” CD
(WTF! Records, Released August, 2019)
My initial impression of Only Attitude Counts was shaped by the undeniable energy of the "Pick Your Side" intro, 6 songs into their new full length effort, "Almost the End." Somehow I had started this new 16 song effort midway through, kind of like the first time I unwittingly dropped the needle on side B first on my purple LP copy of Stigmata – “Do Unto Others”. While Only Attitude Counts have been referred to as the "European Madball", due to their overall style and longevity, their sound may also appeal to fans of the purple LP in question.
As I’ve never seen Only Attitude Counts in the flesh, I am speculating based on this new full length that if encountered live, I’d be compelled to move closer to the stage by their energy and live show. While this new effort doesn’t break ground stylistically, it’s an enjoyable mix of side to side grooves and solid songwriting, with some of the best tracks clustered toward the end. High points include “The Sickness Of Our Times” and “Weather The Storm”, which has a bit of a No Redeeming Social Value style breakdown. And “Worship The Truth” is one of the best constructed songs on the album, and functionally the closer, as final track “Resilience” clocks in under a minute (and was written on the spot in the studio per the OAC interview with Old Skull Zine.)
Only Attitude Counts have been doing their thing since 1993 and have left a truly global footprint, releasing a split with Indonesian band West Side Hoodz a few years back and recruiting Indonesian artist Tommy Domeh for the cover art on “Almost The End”. While this new effort primarily channels old school sounds, the themes and reach are fresh for 2019. For fans of Agnostic Front, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, Faction Zero, and “Do Unto Others” era Stigmata. Check out the video for "No Justice No Peace" off this new album by clicking HERE.
MINUS YOUTH “NO GENERATION”
(Release Date October 11, 2019)
Minus Youth is a five piece hardcore outfit who hail from Stuttgart, Germany. The band formed in 2016 out of the ashes of four other bands and has already shared the stage with the likes of Blacklisted, Cro-Mags and Deez Nuts. This is the band’s first full length release and is set for release this October. This nine track outing is available on album as well as in download form. The band plans to do a small tour at the end of October to promote their record. Now, on with the review.
I love this record! From the opening track until the last song, I can’t say anything bad about it. There is not a weak track on this record. The band is predominantly hardcore but incorporates some funky grooves, some psychedelic sounds and even a slow number to give us a diversified slab of what this group has to offer. Minus Youth state “not being a part of the generation that others falsely assign you to” and I couldn’t agree more. This is old school hardcore and metal with the band’s own twist on the music. The first thing I picked up on when listening to it was this record has a strong 90’s hardcore feel to it. I could hear the influences of Madball, Sworn Enemy, Integrity and Sick of It All in the music and vocals. If I didn’t know any better, I’d of thought this band hailed from New York.
“No Generation”, the title track, kicks this record off at full speed and sets the pace for the remainder of the album. The Lou Koller vocal style gives you the impression you are listening to a new NYHC band. This strong opener hooks you in and takes you for an intense ride. “Blue Light” follows the title track and is another testament to the band’s strong New York hardcore sound. It starts fast and then breaks into a sludgy metal groove which displays their diversity. Standouts on this endeavor are “Homeaway”, which is my personal favorite and “Free Again”. “Homeaway” combines hardcore with metal and has forceful vocals which are all over the map. The eerie ending closes this song off perfectly. “Free Again” is a raging piece of angst with great metal guitar riffs which will have you angry at the world for the rest of the day.
Minus Youth have hit the mark when it comes to edgy hardcore/metal music. The band isn’t afraid to break the rules by giving a fresh spin on things by incorporating non-traditional styles into their music and creating their own unique sound. I see this band having a long shelf life. Buy this one!
INHERENCE “THE ENTRAILS OF HUMAN DESIRE” EP (1054 Records, Released July, 2019)
While hardcore in Brazil has never been a massive proposition, there have still been a number of bands who have been very influential such as Ratos De Porao and Garotos Podres and even though they are a metal band, Sepultura always had a big hardcore influence (they even covered Cro-Mags songs and took Strife out on tour) so hardcore and Brazil have always had a strong and tight relationship. With their mixture of riff laden hardcore and a more death metal style mixed in, Sao Paulo’s Inherence certainly follow in that strong musical lineage.
My take on the Brazil heavy music scene (all the way from over here in the UK) is that things have been bubbling under for a while now with things getting stronger and stronger with bands like Questions making their mark as well as Marca De Honra and the brilliantly named Fucking Violence. Inherence are more than likely going to be the next ones to make their impact felt. The band follows up their debut album “Dogma” with their latest EP, “The Entrails Of Human Desire” and sees the band making leaps and bounds when it comes to their songs and sound. The four tracks on this EP sound slicker than those on their debut but they thankfully do not lose any of the heaviness as Inherence sounds more pissed off than ever.
“God Of Nothing” starts the brutality off with a killer groove and morphs into an unholy mix of Terror and Morbid Angel as the track progresses. It is swiftly followed by “Phantom Eye Syndrome” which is a non-stop whirlwind of riffs and formidable vocals. The pummeling “Vile But Devine” combines hardcore energy with a more technical death metal style complete with blastbeats and discordant bass to create a vicious noise before “Chapter Of Human Carnage” finishes “The Entrails Of Human Desire” on a high with a straight ahead hardcore stomp complete with some awesome deathly growls. With this EP, Inherence have produced a statement of intent and their next full length will undoubtedly see their hardcore and death metal hybrid crushing heads just as “The Entrails Of Human Desire” has done.