(Revelation Records, Released April, 2024) 


If you’ve been a longtime fan of hardcore/punk then you are probably aware that Revelation Records has remained one of the prominent labels since its inception in 1987, signing such bands as Youth Of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Sick Of It all, Warzone and now… Planet On A Chain. If you are not familiar with the latter, it’s time to meet.  Although forming only a few years ago, Planet On A Chain or POAC are far from being new to the scene or stage. Members Dave Ackerman– vocals, Brain Stern– guitars, Tobia Minkler– bass and Moses Saami– drums and newly added second guitarist Al Blotto are veterans from many hardcore/punk bands such as Tear It Up, The Blottos, Talk Is Poison and Look Back And Laugh. POAC’s newest release: “Culture Of Death” brings forth all this prior musical experience creating an angry, disgruntled, 22 minute soundtrack about our “toxic world”.


Ackerman’s lyrics are a negative reflection of this world, focusing on fear, dishonesty, selfishness, and death. The rest of the band orchestrates the perfectly accompanying sound that best captures the seriousness of the lyrics and provides the backbone which makes this release a must have. Definitely for fans of such legendary bands as Side By Side, Slapshot and even The Exploited. Out of the 12 tracks on “Culture Of Death”, four really stood out for various reason: “Invalidation”, “King Snake”, “About To End” and “Single Use” but this by no means takes away from the other tracks, these are just my favorites. One thing about this recording which should be mentioned is how it was recorded. POAC are an example of how the internet/technology can be a good thing for the scene, since Dave who resides in Austin, Texas was able to create “Culture Of Death” with the other members who reside in the Oakland, CA area. “Culture Of Death” is raw, in your face and shows why POAC in 2022, only two years into the game joined the Revelation family. Now that you have been introduced,  you’re welcome! Find more info on how to buy or stream this new release by clicking HERE.


-Chris Beman


(Flatspot Records, Released April, 2024)


Chicago releases their hardcore fury on the scene in the form of Kharma, a four-piece powerhouse who light us up with their brand new full-length release, “A World Of Our Own”. Forming in 2015, the band has released two albums and an EP and toured with the likes of Terror and Knocked Loose, to name just a couple. Kharma annihilate you with their crushing metalcore sound and vehemence vocals, serving up eleven tracks of rage fueled madness that will attract new and old lovers of hardcore alike. “A World Of Our Own” sets the stage for the theme and the songs on this album. Kharma views the hardcore Chicago scene as a refuge from the harsh world around them. From the opening track, you get pulled into their world and are taken for an unforgettable ride. The music is hard, relentless and leaves you drained by the end of the record. This is evident in songs like “By Any Means”, “Clip Your Wings” and “Penance”. Throughout the album you can hear influences from bands like Biohazard, early Hatebreed and Ministry, forming a unique and bludgeoning style that is refreshing to the scene. This is the kind of music your parents hate and should be played at high volume for maximum enjoyment. Lyrically, the band tackles real issues from police violence to surviving in today’s harsh world and deliver their message with heartfelt anger. Check out the videos for “Clip Your Wings” and “Still Seeing Red” to get a better understanding of what Kharma is about and then add this record to your collection.  Click HERE for more info.


-Dave Cafferty 


(Big Bite Records, Released March, 2024)


Procrastination is a hell of a drug. I suffer from it like the fucking plague. I’ve been listening to Bite The Hand’s newest release “Brutal By Design” for two weeks now. Everyday I throw it on and hear something new that I missed before but I have not been able to get my thoughts down until now. Bite The Hand doesn’t strike me as a bunch of guys who waste any time twiddlin’ their dicks. Every part of this 5 song release has purpose. The songs showcase a rollercoaster of dynamics, some are subtle and some slap you right in the face. The beats are fucking rad and the guitars and bass play off them really well. The vocalist’s style and delivery finish off this hardcore recipe pretty fucking perfectly. I really enjoy the aggression he brings along with his cadence. Once again, nothing wasted. The vocal line in “The Pressure”; “and it makes you feel… so fucking sick” leads right into a ripping solo. Like I said, every part has a purpose. This band’s members vibe off each other with a smoothness not often seen.


The record starts off with “Intro” (I mean we could have gone for something a little more creative there but fuck it). It’s got this feeling of foreboding, urgency, and anticipation that gets this thing going on the right track. I hope when they play this live that they open their set with this song and with the lights off. I think it would be a perfect way to get the crowd going. Next comes “Day Of Pain”, (so maybe not the most PMA state of mind band but again, fuck it). It starts off with a high tempo, high energy intro and then drops into a classic hardcore pitting anthem. Imagine the karate kicks and windmills from the front to the back of the crowd. Third up is “Rotting Mouths”. This track cracks you right in the teeth. The vocals and music really come together nicely on this one. The lyrics are set around having purpose and not being a fucking victim. Love it. “Brutal By Design” is the best track on here in my opinion. It starts off with an almost ethereal percussion part that kind floats over the guitars as they come in and then give away to utter mayhem. Bite The Hand showcase everything they do well as a band on this track. The fast-paced bridge is really well placed in this one. The chorus is dope and the dynamics of each part sets up the next. Lastly, we have the aforementioned “The Pressure”. This song has a very cool bass break within the verses which I thought was insanely clever. This one kills and is a perfect bookend to a very solid release. I highly recommend this band and this coming from a guy who is about to go listen to them again for probably the fiftieth time in the last two weeks. Click HERE for a big chunk of info on the band including how to grab a copy as well as some music videos… and HERE to stream this release on Bandcamp.


-Bob Moss

LIFE’S QUESTION s/t (Flatspot Records, Release Date April 19, 2024)


Any fan of hardcore in recent years has come across the band, Life’s Question, in some way shape or form. I caught them at FYA Fest in 2022 and became a fan of the band, as well. I jumped quickly at the chance to review their upcoming self-titled EP, and I was NOT disappointed one bit! The first track, “Light Me Up”, fades in with guitars that quickly launch into a high energy intro. Groovy choruses and fast verses set the tone of this powerful EP, complete with a heavy breakdown against grit vocal screams from singer Josh Haynes. This was a good opener, for sure.


Next up is the gnarling bass sound intro that leads you into the next song, “I Can Still Hear mama Pray”. The way the groove kicks in after the slow, doomy bass intro is quite phenomenal. This quickly became my favorite track from Life’s Question… period. The heaviness of the choruses, mixed with the bass, guitar and vocal delivery is insane. You just simply need to hear it. Next up is “Brass Coffin”. This song takes off very quickly and doesn’t slow down much on the choruses either. Hell, it doesn’t really slow down at all until the breakdown. The heavy metal guitar solo that follows the breakdown is also a memorable moment to this song. Another banger, kids.

“Wake up! You’re already dead.” Kicks off the next song, “When I Meet God”. Being the first single off this release, this song delivers every bit of ferocity the band intended to unleash during the recording. The cool bass line near the end of the song and the eerie female background singing at the end was a good way to wrap up the song. Another track you must listen to. The next track, “10 Years”, is another display of this band’s typical formula of groove, quickness and heavy breakdowns. And finally, we get to the last track on the EP, “Something Out There”. This track then replaced track two as my favorite Life’s Question song. Beginning with slow, melodic guitars, a beautiful female singing voice kicks off the chorus first before descending into the verses done by singer Josh. The dynamic between the two provides the best shining moment of this release. Another track that is a must listen to. Excellent.


In conclusion, you as a hardcore enthusiast, should get a copy of this release. Aside from the music, I enjoyed reading the song lyrics from this EP. I became a Christian about four years ago, after a near-death experience, so I can appreciate their heavy topics and willingness to tackle such topics as God and spirituality. Check out this EP coming soon including the pre-orders for vinyl, CD’s and cassette versions.


-Brian Espitia 

BACKLASH “EP 2024’ (Released January 2024)


FINALLY!! In Effect has come back to DEEEE CEEEE!!!! From deep within the swamp I received a notice that the higher ups at IE had left a package for me somewhere under a bench in Malcolm X Park. Shortly thereafter I was in possession of said package and inside of it was EP 2024 by the District of Columbia's own Backlash. DCHC represent. I came to DC in 1987 (yes kids) from NY. I grew up NYHC but I've been DCHC much longer at this point, so I was stoked to finally get a local band to review. I get assloads of Baltimore bands, and we all know I love me some Baltimore, but it's about time our scene in DC took back some of the glory. Backlash may be a band that will definitely help in pursuit of that goal. I was unaware but some of my most excellent old DC brethren hipped me to the fact that the singer of Backlash is Brandon of Loud Boyz fame. If you haven't heard them or of them, they've only been around for twenty or so years so it's understandable and kindly remove your head from your ass. “EP 2024” has six songs with a run time of around 14 minutes. So… onto the tunage and a few of my favorites.


"Bagged" is my first choice running a stealthy 1:24. A guitar and drum beat start this one off and set it off and rolling. It's hard to explain but this has a fresh sound but you can clearly hear 80's DCHC flair throughout. At about the :58 second mark you will start to stomp until the songs inevitable conclusion. This isn't typical simple color by numbers hardcore as it definitely exhibits interesting and complex changes in time and direction.  The second song I've been grooving hard on is "DNA" at 2:26 which kicks off with a nice drum to guitar beat then busts out and heads down in a galloping hardcore tune type of way. This one is full of vitriol... "you're a rat bitch… rat fuckin bitch". The song changes direction several times from galloping to stomping and then at 1:46 comes the breakdown and you will be busting out your best dojo moves and crowd killing unsuspecting greenhorns like it's your job. Me? I just moshed the shit out of my kitchen and stage dove off the fridge, and dropped the people's elbow on my unsuspecting daughter. The last song I pulled is "Intro/How You Die" with a run time of a whopping 3:16, AKA, Backlash's longest and most epic song.  The intro portion contains furious drum/guitar parts then kicks in the melodic greatness that all intros should strive for. I hear a tiny touch of Mindset in there. Did I just hear gang style vocals shouting "DCHC!!!" Now I can't wait to see this live... and I don't have to wait long as they are playing here soon.  Can't wait to check them out. 


Now those were my three songs that currently have my attention but the other songs are quality as well, and my list always fluctuates. The first track "Backlash" is a rumbling intro to the band. "Smile" which missed my picks by a hair is a straight fastcore tune and I loves me some fast hardcore.  Finally, "Head In The Ground" is another song that will lend itself easy to pit chaos. The band is tight. Everyone seems completely adept at their instrument. The recording is strong. I definitely hear the DC influence on this. At times I can hear a little Swiz, maybe some When Tigers Fight, a bit of Praise. Some non-DC bands I can hear a bit are Fahrenheit 451 and Burn, but Backlash are definitely carving out their own niche and sound.  Backlash is going to help rebuild a DC scene that has been great a few times over but always suffers lulls. I hope they usher in the latest boom. So now is the time where you do that thing like rob your kids Spongebob bank or lift a few bills from your mom or wife and head over, listen, buy, support, etc. IF YA SMELL-ELL-ELL-ELL-ELL, What the Core Junkie................is cooking.  An what I'm cooking is a big bowl of GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN.  I hope ya choke on it. Click HERE for various streaming options. 


-Core Junkie.


(Revelation Records, Released March, 2024)


I am a sucker for guitar effects. So awhile back when I heard a hardcore band called Spaced dropped some songs on New Morality I was hoping the music lived up to the name. I figured the band was about far out guitar effects, smoking weed, or both. I still don’t know what the band name is about but the guitar effects fulfilled my expectations. Since then I have seen the band name for flyers all over, props to just hitting the road and doing the thing. On some big tours and shows as well. I was a bit shocked to see them announce this record on Revelation, but also psyched.  “This Is All We Ever Get” stepped up from their previous releases without giving up any of their spacey vibes or trying too hard to appeal to a non-hardcore crowd (which is totally fine with me if that’s a bands path). This record sounds great and the layout fits the bands aesthetic perfectly.


The vocal delivery is crisp, clear and has a nice flow. The skeleton of the songs is traditional hardcore, reminds me of some of the Lockin Out era stuff. Then they layer the spacey effects. The first track “Landslide” busts out with a fast verse into a repeated sing along of “landslide” multiple times. It’s catchy and easy to remember and sets the tone for the record. “Downfall” is my favorite track. The semi snotty vocals on the sing along part are rad. The lyrics are relatable for anyone who has ever took a chance on something they feel strongly about or went against the grain. The record is sequenced nicely. Mixing the straight fast paced songs with the more mid-tempo, there is a spacey interlude right in the middle then back into the jams, ending with a track that goes sung vocals at the end. I look forward to seeing Spaced live in 2024, until then grab a record at RevHQ and make sure to also check out the music video for “Rat Race” with the Bandcamp streaming option available HERE


-Andy Diehard


(Triple B Records/Hardlore Records, Released January, 2024)


This band rips. They rip live and they rip on record. To me this record is like someone took The Ramones “self-titled” record and No Warning “Suffer, Survive” record and threw them in a blender. I’m not sure anyone else will feel that but I think Cosmic Joke blends the catchy punk pace of the Ramones and the catchy heavy vibes from that era of No Warning. The 80’s LA and Orange County punk influence runs through these tracks, from Descendents to Uniform Choice. The recording was done at The Pit with Taylor Young, and it sounds huge. Each instrument and the vocals get their chance to shine and it never gets over produced. In a cycle of hardcore where metallic or chuggy hardcore is on top this record is refreshing.  Chock full of hooks and catchy singalongs Cosmic Joke is fun but still has enough agro that you might get slammed in the pit if you ain’t ready.  “Kamikaze” is a great opening track. It’s got skate punk vibes with the catchy sing along and then has a heavier part for the moshers. This record does not let up from there. I really like the range of the vox as it goes from punk shouting, to a bit more singy/catchy, to screamed angry parts. My top track is “Tempered Expectations” as the anthemic chorus gets stuck in my head every time. If you were a punk in the 80s, grew up on Epitaph Records or like good like catchy music this record is for you. For sure one of my favs for 2024. Click HERE for more info and HERE for the Triple B Records Bandcamp to stream.


-Andy Diehard 

DIVIDE “TRY AGAIN” (Released March, 2024)


Glasgow’s Divide make a long awaited return with their new release in “Try Again” and it sees the Scottish hardcore mainstays sounding just as furious as they always have and here they deliver seven songs in breakneck fashion in tandem with the bands melodic edge which is carried out perfectly. The anthemic “Left Behind” (a track that makes an instantly strong impression just as “Plant My Feet” did on the “Glasgow Hardcore” album  twenty three years ago… that was my first introduction to Divide) kicks things off with an immediate punch and wastes no time in reintroducing Divide with the band sounding in reinvigorated form with vocalist Tam Jennings' commanding voice taking charge from the get go over the rest of the bands formidable hardcore noise.


The band sound so tight here with this fairly new Divide lineup having instant chemistry on these new songs with bassist Paul Ross and drummer Ali Walker providing the solid grooves and guitarists Matt Finch and James McNally, the riffs and solos to create that classic Divide sound. From then on in, it’s a non-stop barrage of brilliantly executed hardcore that doesn’t let up with tracks like the furious “Right Place Wrong Time”, the singalong stomp of “Between The Lines” and the 25 second blitzkrieg that is “Guess Wit” all sounding like instantly classic Divide anthems.


There are a couple of guest appearances on “Try Again” from a couple of longtime friends of Divide on here as well with the cautionary “A Tragic Waste” featuring vocals by Tom from Ninebar and Pierre from Knuckledust doing his thing on “Still Standing (Just)” and it is great to hear these two UKHC greats on a Divide album, highlighting and celebrating the history they have with each other. As the last notes on the records closing track “Perspective” ring out, it seems like no time has passed at all and you will want to play the whole thing again, and again, and again. Each song on “Try Again” fizzes with energy and the whole album blazes through with so much energy that it is infectious and despite not having released an album for many years, Divide sound just as fresh today as they did when they first burst out over twenty years ago. With “Try Again”, Divide proudly sound as if they are just getting started and despite having nothing to prove to anyone with their music, they have seamlessly knocked it out the park with this album, rolling back the years effortlessly and long may their melodic but hard hitting hardcore continue to sound just as triumphant as it does on this album. Compact discs and streaming options can be found HERE.


-Gavin Brown


(DCxPC Live & Shiny Dome Records, Released February, 2024)


I’ll be honest, despite their bio stating these guys are “one of the most respected and nationally recognized hardcore/punk groups to emerge from the streets and stages and streets of New York in decades” I’ve never heard of them. I’m old and don’t get out too much so there’s that. Rebelmatic have an eighties style of melodic hardcore that has some nice guitar work and pretty damn good grooves and vocals that has some low key John Joseph cosplay going on. From the title you could see that this was recorded live at a festival in West Virgina in 2023.  Although I liked this it could have been better with a real boost in production/ better mix to give it some balls as it would then simply crush shit. Click HERE to stream or grab a vinyl copy!  - Rod Orchard


(Heroes & Martyrs, Released February, 2024)


Hailing from the mid-west, Big Deal, a 5 piece formed in 2021 that mixes straight up hardcore (No Warning, Dead Heat etc) and adds some pretty insane guitar soloing and dive bombs to keep the more metal inclined kids interested. This EP has 7 songs that bring some nice dance parts set up by some fast paced classic hardcore and noodling that keeps the music fresh and unpredictable while still staying within the confines of hardcore. Overall, this record really started to grow on me and became a regular player for me. The only question for me is… what the fuck is with this damn cover art? Check it out on Bandcamp


-Rod Orchard

SWEAT “LOVE CHILD” (Vitriol Records, Released March, 2024)


Drain, Turnstile, Scowl, and Sweat. What do these seemingly random words have in common? They are not only innocuous, one syllable words but also the names of bands that have come to the forefront of a new hardcore movement over the last few years. These bands are taking chances with their music and bending the genre of hardcore to their whim. They are taking hardcore to new places for better or for worse. Either way, I believe they deserve respect for what they are trying to do and their zero fucks approach to doing it. But I do wonder if there are high school bands all over the country racking their brains to come up with the most boring one word name they can find. Are they sitting in their parents’ garage writing on a white board; “Hat”, “Tack”, “Snot” (already taken), “Carbohydrate”? How about “Shoe”? Is this new trend going to rival the black t-shirts and Justin Bieber haircuts of the 2000’s and early 2010’s? Or maybe the flannel of the 90’s? Or how about the current metal band name fonts that seem to be crafted by a 2 year old on a sugar high? Who knows but have you gotten off my lawn yet? Great! Let’s get to the music!


Sweat rips on their release “Love Child”. I usually don’t like when bands really dive headlong into the rock and roll mixed with punk or hardcore thing, but Sweat pulls it off really well. These So-Cal “rollers'' combine raw emotion with superior songwriting skills. Now the vocals are, how do you say it? Well they have style for sure. What comes to mind is an ice scraper made of sandpaper being jabbed into your earholes. The vocals are gritty but they absolutely capture the vibe of the music. Full of true emotion and strained anger they come across as sincere although a little overpowering at times. I would love to hear some gang vocals thrown to counter the unique lead vocals delivery. The music is undeniable. Sweat throws different parts together that shouldn’t work but somehow find a way to. There are cool tempo changes and the drummer, unlike many drummers, is absolutely an integral part of the songwriting process. You can tell by how the song directions and feels change with the drums. The transitions between these mismatched parts are so smooth and it is pretty incredible to hear. Every part of each song has a purpose and drives the aggressive style of the band into disparate corners that you would not expect.

Some songs on here are definitely for the punk rock and hardcore person but the recording does seem to get progressively more “rock and roll” later in the album. I feel like the record kind of lost something in the later tracks that it definitely had going for it in the first 5 or 6 tracks. But one thing that cannot be denied is that Sweat is able to sneak in a cowbell in the first track. Now how many bands can say that? Check 'em out when they come to your town and check out their releases. They are giving it their all. You can afford to give their stuff 20 minutes or so of your time. Click HERE for various streaming options as well as ways to grab this on 12” vinyl from Vitriol Records.


-Bob Moss


(Invokation Records, Released March, 2024)


I recently got to see the Broadway show “Back To The Future” and this record reminded me of that as I listened to it. One, the songs on this record by Bad Idea could have come out in 1985.  They are solid songs from an era long since passed but the nostalgia factor is real. The songs are stripped down and get right to the point. Two, well there really isn’t a “two”. Bad Idea knows their lane and they stick to it.  Bad Idea is from Indonesia and the band is very sincere in their vision. They are bringing back that 80’s hardcore sound with heartfelt vocals about life. They keep things simple and that is the way they like it.


Some things that stuck out to me on “Take Our Time” were the vocals. The singer sounds like a cross between Ray Cappo and Edward Escoto of Union 13. The other thing with regards to vocals on this release is the fact that there are no background vocals, like none. And there are definitely places where some aggressive gang vox would have come in handy. I think they missed the boat there. Also, I like the guitar work when it comes to the leads and whatnot just would have liked to see more.

I am sure this transitions very well when they play live. There are visions of circle pits and raised fists dancing in my head. Personal opinion here, I just think that trying things outside of their comfort zone, musically, would make this band so much more interesting while still keeping that aggressive, honest edge. I look forward to hearing more from Bad Idea soon! Click HERE to check this out on Spotify.


-Bob Moss


(Mister Face/Contra Records, Released 2023)


Straight from Berlin we have the latest mini-LP from The Detained, a band name so classic I was surprised it wasn’t already taken. For the past decade they have honed their blend of hardcore and Oi reflected in the seven originals and vinyl-only cover featured here. And like the alt cover art inspired by Warzone’s “Open Your Eyes” LP, the record addresses an eye-opening combination of societal and interpersonal themes, from bigotry to addiction. (Though unfortunately there are no lyrics included on Bandcamp or with the vinyl version.)


After “Dedication Obsolete” calls out the contradiction between the desire for free speech and the lack of original ideas espoused, “Loose Cannons” and “Boozy Schemes” provide a catchy counterweight. The latter is ideal to blast to drown out a loud neighbor, even for straight edge people. Side A wraps up with “Buried” then continues seamlessly with “Breakdown” to kick off side B. “New Age,” perhaps the finest track among many contenders, is closer to the hardcore side of the scale than some of the more Oi-inflected tunes. It’s followed by the powerful singalong chorus “Dead And Gone,” and then the secret track cover of “Holocaust” by Crisis, which is both a tonal and topical fit. From the first track to the last, The Detained reminds you to stay vigilant to societal threats, but that it’s also possible to enjoy yourself while doing so. To hear all eight tunes, pick up the vinyl version from Contra in Germany or Mister Face in the US, or check out the seven originals on Bandcamp or Spotify. All links needed can be conveniently found HERE.


-Becky McAuley

BRAND NEW LUDDITES “ICONOCLAST” (Released October, 2023)


During one of my random trips to the gym about 8 months ago, I was approached by someone who commented very favorably on my DEVO shirt. We got to talking and after introductions “Cub” told me about a punk band he is in called Brand New Luddites and how they were putting the finishing touches on a recording done in February/March 2023. I mentioned to him that I do reviews for In Effect and we kept in touch. Long story short, I received a copy of the unfinished upcoming release and was very pleasantly surprised after checking it out. However, I was asked not to do anything with it until the band gave me the go ahead. Well, that time came in October when I was told that the mixed and mastered version of the release titled “Iconoclast”, which was done at Robot Dog Studio in Burlington, Vermont was completed. I apologize to the band for the delay in getting the review finished. Calling Fayston, Vermont home, BNL formed in 2017 with Col. Malware – vocals and keyboards; Cpl. BSD – guitar, Sgt. 404 – bass and Cpl. Virus – drums, vocals and additional guitars. If the military titles and computer names seem odd, well there is a purpose so stay with me. The 13 songs on “Iconoclast” deal mostly with the band’s theme of being an “anti-tech” band with the purpose of “reinstating human thought” in a world overrun with technology. Now other bands in the scene have tackled this concept before but this release is something special. Besides technology, other topics discussed in the songs include anxiety, the pandemic and a broken society. These lyrics are well thought out, intelligent and force the listener to think, like the lyrical style of the previously mentioned DEVO. Musically, “Iconoclast” is made up of a fresh sound with BNL’s own style and a mix of the Ramones, Oi and influences from such legends as Agent Orange, The Misfits and The Descendants. I know that is a tall order to be placed in the same sentence as those bands and styles, but when you listen, the rawness, the basic sound and some of the elements that have made those bands successful can be heard in “Iconoclast”. The release comes in just shy of 30 minutes and there isn’t a track I skipped the several times I have listened to it. Although I did narrow down to 3 favorites: “It’s Toxic”; “And Some May Say” and “Waste Of Face”. Brand New Luddites’ third release has important messages to share and an old-school punk style and sound to carry out their mission. Give their latest a listen by checking out their Bandcamp page.


-Chris Beman 

GONE MAD "THE INSANITY DEFENSE" (Released December 2023)


We got a new band alert here folks. Introducing at a combined weight of over 500 pounds and fighting out of NY's historic Hudson Valley we got Gone Mad! Formed in January of 2022 with their first live show coming last May, Gone Mad teased us with a duo of singles last year before this 8 song debut dropped in December in streaming form. Look for cassette versions of this release in early March from both Brown Table and Stay Tough Records.


First impressions here brought me back to the 90’s hardcore sound when a lot of bands were getting all froggy by mixing in more outside influences which made for a more technical and metallic sound for a lot of bands. While my preferences lean towards the more traditional hardcore punk sound (Krakdown, "Victim In Pain" era AF, Kill Your Idols, etc) I feel Gone Mad have found a nice sweet spot for me where this has elements from all over the place while still sounding distinctly hardcore in most spots.


Opening track "Debt Weight" straight up shreds as just an 85 second blast with some twists while "American Whitemare" follows with an almost 3 minute layered ride that expands on what I expected after blasting the opener. On the first couple of listens to "The Insanity Defense" I was intrigued but not a full on believer in Gone Mad but with just a few more listens bits and pieces of this 20 minute effort started getting subliminally implanted into my brain and I had to admit I liked it. Besides the first two tracks other notables included "Big Shot", "Flesh Prison" and "Toe Tag, You're It" with all three packing an aggressive punch while others like "Unqualified" and "Wave Digger" take slightly different paths diving in to more technical aspects which was brought up earlier in this review. It's easy for me to envision this being a Wreck-Age Records release from 1994 but the truth is this is some well played and well thought out modern day hardcore from a brand new band that deserves a ton of credit for putting together this very solid debut. For now you can find this on Bandcamp or Spotify.




(Released January 2024)


I am sure some of you have one or two "you gotta check these guys out" bands where you just love what they do and can't explain why they aren't household names being considered for Super Bowl halftime slots. For me Long Island's Too Many Voices is one such band and I am happy to report they just released a new 17 minute effort which (for now) is available exclusively on streaming services like Bandcamp and Spotify. This band initially started back in 2010 and had Kill Your Idols' frontman Andy West doing a very good job in a more melodic setting; something we were not accustomed to hearing while fronting KYI. Not too long after though guitarist Eric Svirida settled in as the vocalist (while still handling guitar duties) and we can now expect something really good to come out of the Too Many Voices camp every few years. Back in 2015 there was "South Of Sunrise" and in 2018 "Catch Me If You Can". Almost 6 years later comes this gem called "Funny How Time Flies" which showcases how good TMV are at delivering hardcore punk with some punch while also being able to pull back the reigns at times to drop some extremely catchy melodic punk style bangers. If you are the type that is solely locked in on the heavier side of hardcore with Cookie Monster garbled vocals TMV will not be your cup of tea as they say but if you are into the likes of Be Well, 7 Seconds, Don't Sleep, Dag Nasty and the type of stuff with a big hook, clean vocals and a truckload of melody here is a release you should be jumping on right away.


The upbeat "200 Years" leads off with a charge and is the most aggressive of this lot. The way they layer in the melody throughout this release is nothing short of brilliant and I particularly love this song. "Funny How Time Flies" has an underlying theme of days gone by and simpler times. One look at the front cover art by Chris Donahue tips you off to this but with tracks like "I Can See Your House From Here" and "The Otherside Of Life" that point gets driven home even more while also being my 2nd and 3rd favorite tracks on a release that has zero filler. "Summer Seeds Are Sown" and "Too Many Voices" rounds out the lineup of original material with no drop-off in overall quality. If you like one song here the chances are you are going to like them all. "Satyagraha" by 7 Seconds sends things off here on a high note while also getting credit for sending me down an absolute rabbit hole of the 7 Seconds discography over the couple of weeks since this came out. On top of all the more popular 7 Seconds material I'd like to drop a little public service announcement as well by saying don't sleep on their "Good To Go" album which came out in '99. "Funny How Time Flies" has this chill, laid back vibe to it and just comes off as something really unique to me within the hardcore punk realm at the start of 2024. The Long Island undeground scene has impressed in recent times and the new TMV adds another banger to the ever growing pile of mint releases that we have seen over the last couple of years. Stream this release by clicking the blue hyperlinks above.




(Pure Noise Records, Released February, 2024)


I pulled off a few black ops missions for the brass at In Effect HQ and in return was gifted the review of the brand spanking new long-play, "What A Fucking Nightmare" by The Chisel from across the pond over there in jolly ole Engerland. If you are not familiar with these chaps, you fucking ought to be. After all, this is their sophomore full length effort, a follow up to their stellar debut "Retaliation" which came out in 2022. So get that LP and all of the EP's as well and catch the fuck up you yarble swallowing slackers. The Chisel have been called, in no particular order, Oi, streetpunk, punk, anarcho-punk, hardcore punk, pub rock, UK82, rock and roll and lastly a kick ass band who don't need any fucking labels because good music is good music and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. That last one was mine. Good music is good music period. So The Chisel have clearly been hard at work because this LP is quite the offering. There are 16 tracks on this bad boy, well, full disclosure, a 40 second intro and 15 full tracks. Alrighty then dimwits… let us get into the music as there is a lot here to enjoy.


I've given this record a good 5 listens at the point of writing this. I usually try to single out a few tracks I find a little more ear wormy, but for this record with each listen I kinda changed my preferences. I think it has a lot to do with your mindset when you listen because these boys can be full of piss and vinegar and if you are having that kind of day then songs like "Vengeance Is For Me", "Fuck 'Em", or "Evil By Evil" are gonna be at the top of the rotation… each crossing that street punk with straight up fastcore with vitriol to spare. I love those three tracks, however for the more xanaxed out me, when the rage has been properly put in its place, there are a few others I put on repeat. The first of which is my favorite by far, "Cry Your Eyes Out" running 2:26. I am not gonna lie. I was caught off guard by this one. It is unfortunately rare to hear songs of this nature from this point of view. Men calling out a man for being a piece of shit especially in relation to that man's relationship to his woman. Quite fucking refreshing actually.  The song itself is also very interesting, kicking off with a drum roll and launching into a traditional street punk tune but then has some great vocal harmonies and melody. I think The Chisel kicked it up a notch on this one flexing a little of their musical chops. I especially enjoyed the country style guitar break in the middle. The next song on my ear worm list is one I can relate to entitled "Living For Myself" clocking in at a stealthy 1:50. A nice guitar blast reminiscent of the olden days of Oi starts off this rocker that would be a great driving tune. This is another song where I enjoy what Cal and the boys do with the vocals. "I JUST FEEL, LIKE LIVING FOR MYSELF LIFE’S WORTH MORE, THAN SERVING SOMEONE ELSE"; truer words have never been spoken. I could not keep it all nice and for my third ear worm I love the song which is titled "Lying Little Rat (Propaganda)" at 2:20. This song makes me want to destroy shit, punch neighbors, kick cats, etc. This one is very topical and I am sure it will hit home with many. There you have my three worms as it stands now, but I have a feeling it will change several times as I don't see this LP straying far away from the turntable for a minute. Case in point "Bloodsucker" just moved into a tie for third. “Bloodsucker” is about an energy vampire and we all know one, even if its just Colin Robinson from "What We Do In The Shadows" (if you don’t watch, fucking watch). You know the type of person who just sucks the life out of you. There are even more gems on here, the bagpipe sounding "Those Days" is better than anything the Dropkick Murphy’s could imagine. "Tomorrow" reminds me of something that might have come out of California in the mid-eighties. If that wasn't enough the NYHC answer to Oscar The Grouch, the oft hilarious and beloved Right Reverend Paul Bearer introduces the final song, which you guessed it, also kicks ass. All of that and still there is more here. The musicianship is on point, the mix is fine, this isn't a Yes album so it is perfect for what it is meant. So my little thicko punk rock dunderheads, go and get you some of The Chisel and educate yourself on good tunes and also learn that things suck everywhere. Go see The Chisel and buy some merch and maybe buy them a pint or two if you are so inclined… now I got a shit ton of nonsense to get up to so stay gold and as always… GET THE FUCK OFF MY LAWN! Stream this on Bandcamp or Spotify or grab some new merch including CD’s, vinyl, shirts, posters and more by visiting Pure Noise Records.


-Core Junkie


(DAZE, Released January, 2024)


2024 is barely over a month old and I am so excited by some of this year’s releases that I have heard coming from hardcore/punk bands both new and old. One such band is Haywire from Boston who recently released their debut album on DAZE titled “Conditioned For Demolition”. I couldn’t find when they formed but from the first listen, this doesn’t sound like a band that just got together. Kicking off the release is the mostly instrumental “B.H.C.A.D.E.D. (Boston Hard Core All Day Every Day)”. I say “mostly” due to the only lyrics being the title of the song, but this announcing of hometown pride and the rawness is the perfect segue into the next 10 songs. Haywire’s sound is predominantly a heavy bass/drum combo with ripping guitar riffs. Lyrically, the songs talk about several topics such as life, emotions, posers in the scene, a bar room brawl and the Oi inspired “Boston Boot Boys” which is about good old fashioned street justice. Two tracks that are noteworthy are track 3 “Haywire”; a great sing along anthem that has two intense breakdowns and the instrumental (track 9) “March Of The White Trash Part II”, which pays homage to the mighty NYHC band Breakdown. The lyrics and music on “Conditioned For Demolition” come together to make a perfect pairing like a shot of Putnam Whiskey and Clam Chowder on a cold February night. Haywire grabbed some special guests for this release such as Colin of Arabia, Conservative Military Image, Chubby And The Gang and Bryan from Death Before Dishonor. Haywire have really given us a solid release in “Conditioned For Demolition”. It’s an energizing, kick in the teeth, pissed off hardcore type of album with an aggression matching the likes of fellow Bostonian legends Slapshot and New York’s legendary Sheer Terror. Stream this on Bandcamp or Spotify with LP and CD versions available through DAZE.


-Chris Beman


(Crew Cuts, Released November, 2023)


Hailing from the city of Bristol, in the Southwest of the UK, Perp Walk deliver uplifting hardcore delivered with a punky edge and a constantly fierce and fiery passion. The band’s latest EP, “Permacrisis”; released once again on the mighty Crew Cuts label, closely follows their previous EP, “The Chain Of Infection” and like that release, it is a perfect encapsulation of what makes Perp Walk such a great band. The three tracks on “Permacrisis” showcase the diverse nature of the music of Perp Walk and the highly energetic way in which they are delivered will blast through your speakers with reckless abandon. “Natural Selection” starts things off with a bang and Perp Walk carry this on with “Penitent Man” and the anthemic “The Gavel”, never at any point erring the energy levels drop. The permacrisis of the EP’s title refers to the chaos that constantly engulfs the world and the lyrics to the songs reflect that perfectly, with vocalist Paul belting out the lyrics with a venomous air. Perp Walk have delivered the goods once again with “Permacrisis” and hopefully 2024 will see even more goodness from the band and their music. Stream this on Bandcamp or grab a 7” vinyl copy direct from Crew Cuts.


-Gavin Brown 

GUIMAUVE “AZOVSTAL” (Released September, 2023)


Guimauve is a band that does not waste much time on their songs. They get straight to the fucking point and get out. I admire this. Lots of bands get long-winded with their songs because they feel like they have to. Guimauve has no such compunction about trimming the proverbial fat off their tunes.


I was intrigued from the minute I heard the first bars of their intro. This EP starts off with what can only be described as what a bad acid trip would sound like if it had a soundtrack. There’s just a lot going on with some quick jabs of effects-heavy guitar, some electronic drums, and someone speaking (this is in French as are all the lyrics because, coincidentally Guimauve is from France). This 7 song ripper called “Azovstal” clocks in at like 6 minutes or so.


If I were playing a word association game and someone said “apple” I would say “red”, if someone said, “mouse” I might say “cheese”, and if someone said, “Guimauve” I would immediately respond “buzzsaw”. That is what Azovstal reminds me of from start to finish. This shit is raw and energetic. Do you want melody or harmonies? No? Great! You won’t miss anything. You want to put something on that will make you finally run that six minute mile or have the balls to tell your neighbor what you really think of ‘em? Also great, but you may wind up punting that fucker’s head through his white picket fence. The music on this is reminiscent of that wall of sound style. It is almost like Phil Spector came back from the dead and decided he wanted to produce a punk/crust band.


There is not much in the way of dynamics on this. Even when the band goes into a breakdown it is hard to notice because the effects on this record can overpower the songs. This is especially true of the vocals. All the vocals are slathered in effects that make it sound like the singer is coming at you either from space or your darkest nightmare. Is the band hiding behind the effects or is it an integral part of their sound? I can’t tell you that, I do not speak French. But either way the band puts forth a good effort I just think they have a blueprint that they stick a little too rigidly to for my taste.


And if you were wondering, Guimauve means marshmallow in French. There’s your foreign language lesson for the day. And “Azovstal” is the name of the steel factory that Ukrainian soldiers held against the Russians in the beginning of the Russo-Ukraine War. There is your current events lesson for the day. Check this out on Bandcamp where you can also grab this on 7” vinyl.


-Bob Moss



With all of the books being published from those who were/are movers and shakers in the hardcore scene, Andy King brings the first self-help book done the best way… the hardcore way! Now back in the 90’s I had dealings with Andy when he was doing his record label. We never met, but he was one of the cool label guys I dealt with. Much like him, I’ve had my own share of failures over the years and had to self-motivate to get back at doing what my passions are. As with any self-help type of book, the points need to be presented in a clear and concise way with relatable examples that will make them relatable to the reader. In the end, the book delivers on making you understand that failures are not the end, and if you have that mindset, you will set yourself up for success. This book is a great resource for those who are going through their own failures as they can learn to embrace their failures so that they can become stronger and more upwards from them. It’s like “Posi-core, the Manual”. Click HERE to grab a copy. 


-Rod Orchard


(WAR Records, Released December, 2023)


First things first, WAR Records cannot stop putting out great hardcore records of various styles. Without Peace “Crash And Burn” is a straight up roots hardcore record out of New Jersey. You know you are gonna have some awesome two step and mosh parts with the drummer of the almighty Floorpunch behind the kit, and that’s exactly what you get with this record.  I get Killing Time and Outburst vibes throughout these 7 songs. The bass line to start the song “Thorn In My Side” off is ill. The recording is raw in the best way, a nod to the era of bands Without Peace is influenced by. The guitars have touches of Carry On at times. The vocals remind me of Up Front in the delivery, they are angry and to the point. The lyrics address a lot of tried and true hardcore topics… back stabbing, trash talking, and trying to get ahead by stepping on others. The song “Crash And Burn” is my top track; there is a break in the music then a vocal only part, then into a mosh part with a guitar lead over it and it makes me mosh in my living room. For a more recent comparison I’d say Without Peace is for fans of Backtrack, but really it is Floorpunch worship done right. I am psyched they just went all in and put out a record that reminds of why I love old youth crew stuff but still gets me excited about modern hardcore at the same time. Stream this on Bandcamp or Spotify with limited 12” vinyl versions available through WAR Records.


-Andy Diehard


(Mister Face/Try And Stop Me, Released September, 2023)


You know when you hear a band’s early material and it's good, and then a later release is absolutely fucking great? That’s how I felt when I heard Intimidation’s new 12” EP “Total Aggression.” These six songs were preceded by a solid eponymous demo in 2020, but Intimidation has truly hit their stride and grown into their sound on their newest effort.


As a multistate outfit including members of Dusters and Restraining Order, commitments to other projects might explain the gap between releases, but the new stuff is absolutely worth the wait. Things kick right off with “Switchblade Knife,” the type of effortless singalong track you never want to end. Like their namesake, the Bruisers and many American Oi! bands, Intimidation’s tempo has sped up as their catalog has progressed. “Desperate Times” and “Hunted (On the Run)”, are similar in style to the opener, but the title track up next is giving me Last Rights vibes.


Track 5, “40 Hour Check,” infuses 21st century resonance to Intimidation’s classic sound. “A couple of beers can make you forget, about a 20 year war and a mountain of debt” marks this as a uniquely American album as much as their musical influences. A cover of Blitz - “Fight To Live” closes things out on a lighter note but echoes the fighting themes woven throughout the record. For more details check the lyrics printed right on the back cover of this EP among the dark and compelling layout. “Total Aggression” is the total package and one of my favorites from last year. Available on vinyl from Mister Face Records in the US, Try And Stop Me Records in Germany, or Bandcamp or Spotify.


-Becky McAuley


(Dig My Grave Records, Released 2023)


Originally released digitally and now making its global debut on compact friggin' disc we have "Wild For Wildlife"... a 21 band/song compilation featuring hardcore punk bands from Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and even THE PATH from as far away as Vermont. Want to be a part of the solution? What solution you may ask? How about injured wildlife... and were not talking about your Uncle Eddie who needs a knee replacement after entering mosh retirement in 2019, we are talking about the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown NY. They rehab injured wildlife and offer educational services to children and adults. Strong points for this comp are the presence of unreleased songs 'cause comps with all previously released music are mostly whack... that's what year-end Spotify lists are for pal. The list of bands contributing new tracks to this compilation are TWO MAN ADVANTAGE, JONES CRUSHER, YUM-YUCKERS, THE GREAT LIE, MAD MULLIGANS, WAR BABIES, BITCH SWITCH and POWER LIES. There are some cover songs as well and we will leave you guessing who did them but CIRCLE JERKS, KID DYNAMITE and 7 SECONDS are also represented here. Outside of the previously unreleased material and covers some notable tracks are dropped by CHARGED FOR BATTLE with "Gitmo", DEVOTCHKAS with "Wicked Heart"; snotty and catchy punk rock and I have always been a sucker for female vocals laid over this style, URBAN WASTE with "Scared Society" which originally was on their 2022 "More Wasted Years" album, and THE STRESS with "Working Class Victim" which closes out the festivities, Oi! Oi! Oi!. Overall the lineup here leans more punk than hardcore which I ain't mad at as I got schooled on 6 bands that I had only known by name before checking this out. Don’t let that not so punk rock looking owl on the cover scare you off as this is definitely worth checking out especially to get a feel for the current day punk scene on Long Island as there are some real good ones mixed in here. Stream or download this on Bandcamp or grab a CD through Dig My Grave Records.




(Mt Crushmore Records, Released January, 2024)


Punk and hardcore's roots revolved around a dangerous element, it was a lifestyle for many based on survival, being an outcast and having close knit friends who were more like family. Strangers and those who did not have the "look" usually had a hard time fitting in. Thankfully, starting in the mid to late 80’s, more kids from all areas and looks started joining and being accepted into the scene. The reason for today's history lesson is that you can't judge a band by its (photo) cover. Walk The Plank might be one of the least threatening looking bands of either genre, but when they pick up their instruments, the sound they create will knock your ass to the floor. Coming out of the nation's capital, WTP have been bringing their form of punk rock sound mixed with hardcore and a touch of Oi since 2010.


Members consisting of Ian Crocker - vocals, Tim Bean - bass, Alex Reimer- guitar and newest members John Crum - guitar and Zeeshan Shad - drums have started off the new year with a follow up to their last release in 2018. Definitely a long time to wait for any fan, but as the saying goes, "it was worth the wait". This 6-song EP, aptly titled “Loathe”, is a 15-minute ride which takes us back to the recent past but loops around the block back to the present. Like many bands/artists, WTP took to the pen and paper during the Covid 19 pandemic and wrote down and recorded their feelings of the current situations, personal experiences and life in general. The result is this amazing recording, narrating a reality of anxiety, loneliness, anger and uncertainty in such tracks as “Loathe”; “Boredom”; “Dugout” and “Closure” but also of violence in “Good Guy With A Gun?” and the addiction and dependency of social media in track 1: “Anti- Social Media”. Having never been in a band before, I can only imagine the struggle it can be to create the perfect musical accompaniment to such personal lyrics. However, WTP have done a great job of calculating a melodic mix, heavy bassline, dual guitar riffs and energetic drumming keeping alive that raw, DIY style reminiscent of early 80's influential punk rock sound. I cannot identify a favorite track since all 6 hit me the same way and I don't think there was a time while listening to “Loathe” that I wasn't tapping my feet and/or bobbing my head to the music. It's energetic, catchy and hard, with relatable lyrics and all four of these pieces to me are what makes a standout release. I also checked out live performances on YouTube and was blown away. Walk The Plank members have been around in the Washington DC scene well before forming and they are the real deal. If listening to “Loathe” doesn't convince you and the band's14 years on the scene doesn't convince you, another testament is the band's touring of Europe, playing the Ieper Fest; sharing the stage with the likes of Comeback Kid, Voodoo Glow Skulls and have played the Vans Warped Tour. Plus, they are self-declared taco aficionados and who doesn't like tacos? Stream or download this on Bandcamp with 12” vinyl versions available through Mt Crushmore Records.


-Chris Beman 





On December 16th, I was able to sneak out of the house and go to a local show at the Pourhouse in my hometown of Oceanside, CA. On the bill were War Fever, Jughead’s Revenge, Pulley, and Death By Stereo. This was the 11th annual Slabratory Holidaze Show put on by the real motherfuckers Trent and Robert at Slabratory. Slabratory has been the main, consistent underground promoter in San Diego County for over a decade. They have been bringing some of the best skate punk and hardcore bands of the late 90’s/early 2000’s to local venues like the Pourhouse in Oceanside, CA. When I got to the venue, the line went around the corner of the building and everyone was ready to get in one more show before the holidays kicked in in full force. 


Soon enough the crowd was allowed in and WAR FEVER immediately set it off with a blazing set. War Fever are the hometown heroes of our small scene here in San Diego. They have been on a bit of a hiatus since last summer so the crowd was ready for them to tear it up and tear it up they did. War Fever is one of the closest things we have out here that harkens back to the 90’s hardcore bands from the East Coast.



Next up was JUGHEAD’S REVENGE. If you remember the comps that came out in the 90’s that consisted primarily of Southern California bands, Jughead's seemed to be on every single one. Well, they are still alive and kicking. They toured Europe over the summer and remain an active band still kicking out the jams. On this night, their set was tight as fuck and their energy was up even if the crowd was not giving their all. But when they played the crowd favorite, “Victims And Volunteers” they got a great reaction. They have recently released an EP titled “Vultures” and it rips. Jughead’s is not afraid to play songs off their new release unlike some other veteran bands. Personally for me, the song “I’ll Be Seeing You Around” off of “Vultures” is the winner, winner chicken dinner off this release. Their video for that song is available for anyone with a pulse and laptop. Check it out!



Batting third in this lineup of heavy hitters was PULLEY. The band, led by former professional ballplayer and current MLB coach, Scott Radinsky tore the roof off the Pourhouse. The crowd was reanimated into a throng of swinging limbs and crashing bodies as the alcohol that had been flowing all night was being spilled more and more on the floor. Pulley ripped through some of their old standards like “Cashing In”, “Insects Destroy”, and “Soberbeah” while also playing a few off of their newest release, “The Golden Life” released in 2022. The band is a great group of guys and Scott was kind enough to share some of his, and his son’s time, shooting the proverbial shit with me as they were about to leave. Both Radinsky’s are very cool people for sure.



In the clean-up spot came the all mighty DEATH BY STEREO. They definitely had the biggest reaction of the night as Efrem Schulz, the lead singer got the crowd riled up right off the bat. Death By Stereo screamed through their metal-tinged hardcore set and showed everyone why they were the headliners on this night. For the East Coast Hardcore aficionados out there, DBS is worth your time. They have enough old school roots and early 2000’s vibe to catch the attention of a wide array of underground music fans. Death By Stereo’s whole package makes me wonder why they were not more huge back in their heyday. After their set the crowd left with smiles on their faces and maybe a couple war wounds from a great night of great music.