0006953045_10It’s been a while since we have had any hardcore on the blog and that is unacceptable. I must confess that we do actually get sent a lot of stuff for review and honestly most of it is weird blues music or lame rock shit that I cannot be arsed to find words for. So I decided to take a night off from writing essays and listening to Pat Benatar’s greatest hits and have a rummage around on the internet and cast my scornful judgements upon some of the more recent efforts bubbling up from the gutters and sewers of the underground……

a2060452569_16Frame Of Mind are the latest band to emerge from the consistently fertile London straight edge scene. Despite drawing some very obvious influence from Burn in the vocal stylings and heavy crunchy grooves, there’s a lot going on here musically that sets Frame Of Mind apart from the other bands currently mining this rich seam of hardcore. Frame Of Mind remind me a lot of the short lived Die 116 Band in that they rely more on powerful dynamics and texture shifts that ebb and flow to create weight and groove rather than cheap and easy mosh parts. Oli’s lyrics are refreshingly thoughtful and offer a unique perspective that sets Frame Of Mind apart from the chest beating and boot stomping herd. I liked this way more than I thought I would. You can check out Frame Of Mind HERE.

a2353123286_16This week UK Vegan Straight Edge killing machine xRepentancex announced that they are packing it in. And lo the entitled masses did cry out in despair ‘whyyyyyy’. Because this is not fucking Aerosmith, this is hardcore. It’s short lived and should burn with furious intensity. I give full props to any hardcore band that understands the value of knowing when to leave the party rather than outstaying their welcome and everyone wishing they’d just fuck off. Repentance depart then with a final defiant salute in the form of their funeral release Cleansing, listen to it HERE . It’s an unrelenting whirlwind of violent Slayer inspired riffing, bone breaking mosh parts and impassioned vocals. Be sure to catch their farewell show on the 21st May and smash your worthless life into pieces.


a1326831589_16I was fortunate enough to play a show with Rot In Hell in Nottingham recently alongside Beast As God and what a wonderful surprise they were. Containing loads of people from other great Nottingham metal and punk bands, Beast As God lash out with some visceral and bloody eyed metallic hardcore that draws heavily from the likes of Fall Silent, Day Of Suffering, Gehenna and Samsara era Catharisis.Go check out their awesome demo HERE and I urge you to seek them out if they play near your shit town because they are fearsome to behold live.

EGS LOGO OUTLINEsAlso on the bill that night were the mighty Endless Grinning Skulls. Once again something of Nottingham hardcore all star line up with blokes from Dead In The Woods, Heresy, Hard To Swallow and Army Of Flying Robots to name but a few. With a track record like that you’d expect some fucking quality from EGS and they absolutely do not disappoint. Furious 100 mph hardcore punk with some proper crusty metal chops. They were blistering and it was a total pleasure to share a stage with them. If that sounds like your cup of Rosie Lee then hasten to their bandcamp HERE

a1887311105_10Casting my eyes across the other side of the pond and there are two bands that have grabbed my attention recently. Society Abuse who I believe are from Florida have definitely got some genuine piss and vinegar flowing through their veins. They plough a similar punk furrow to UK bands like Obstruct or The Flex and twist the whole thing up with rabid vocals that totally remind me of the mighty Dave Byrd’s legendary ire. Think Set To Explode rather than Striking Distance though. Society Abuse are fast and have a furious energy and even just listening to this stuff makes an old fart like me wish I had a lawn chair and an iced tea to hand. I hope these guys make it over to the United Kingdom some time because I think they’d go down a storm in the present hc climate. Sadist System stomps heads, go listen to their promo tape HERE

a0517058462_16Next up from Boston comes Glory with their 2016 demo HERE. This demo is my personal favourite release reviewed in this post. What do they sound like you ask? Well young Jedi…. stick Youth Of Todays ‘Can’t Close My Eyes’ in a blender with some Uniform Choice, the first Fastbreak 7″ some rat guts and season with a heavy dose of that fierce Boston Straight Edge attitude and you’re in fucking business. None of the songs break the two minute mark and it’s all over and done with in less than 7 minutes, perfect hardcore. I was listening to this ripper whilst making a grilled cheese and when the skank part in No Division kicked in I got so caught up in the groove that I burned my sandwich and set off the smoke alarm. I ain’t mad though. If you ever enjoyed dog-piling on your friends, wearing a Straight Ahead ringer and X’ing your fist go listen to Glory immediately.

10996234_613663228768934_4927162649671533219_nBack to the UK for the Life Betrays Us demo. Real talk, I ain’t listened to metallic hardcore like this in a long time. I’m talking decades. I played in enough bands that shared stages with bands of a similar ilk to Life Betrays Us that I got dried out on it all pretty quickly. It’s doubtful I would have sought out this type of hardcore of my own volition, however these guys made the effort and sent us their demo to review so I decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised. For starters the vocalist sounds EXACTLY like John Lock from Grimlock and that is a very good thing. This lads got some fair throat on him, sounds genuinely hacked off. Spot on phrasing, doesnt clutter his plate or try and do any weak clean singing, just gets on with the business of being mad at the world. As far as musical comparisons are concerned I am going to show my age here I am afraid. All Out War/ 100 Demons/ Shattered Realm would be my best stab. I dig it, it’s not so thugged out that it makes me roll my eyes and switch Throwing Muses back on. It’s not so metal as to be dramatic and embarrassing, it’s just hard as all fuck. Loadsa double beater and nasty mosh parts to smash your mates orbital socket into. If that’s your jam go have a listen HERE

a2081900589_16Over the last year or so I’ve become strangely fascinated by the scene that’s been developing down on the UK’s south coast. My attention was initially piqued when assorted oiks with ‘UYC’ tacked onto the end of their user names started following the blog on various social media. A quick google search led me to discover Rage Records and bands like No Excuse, Realm Of Torment etc. Unchained Youth Collective appear to have built their own self sufficient scene down in the Southampton area that encompasses bands, the aforementioned label and a gig collective. I am a big fan of people in geographically remote places getting off their arses and making stuff happen on their doorstep. We did that shit down in Kent at the end of the 90’s when there were no bands or gigs happening so props to UYC that’s the hardcore spirit in action right there. I spent a good hour browsing around the Rage Records bandcamp and it seems that finally the bands abilities match their enthusiasm. No Excuse was a decent (if clunky) stab at youth crew hardcore but the bands that have grown out of that click are a far more formidable prospect.

Realm Of Torment just dropped their LP Testaments Of Hope And Despair and it’s not unlike jumping into a Delorian and setting the flux capacitor to Flanders 1996. This record reminds me of that week in the summer of 1998 where I thought it would be a sweet idea to sport a Nike tennis visor around rough ass Margate. Needless to say that ill advised plan ended about as well as you might expect. Big euro vibes here then, reminiscent of Die My Demon, Sad Origin or a0066630355_16something similarly flemish. Guaranteed more windmills than an offshore turbine farm. OVERTURN are not as metal influenced and reminded me more of old North West sincere hardcore like Burden or Trial mixed with some 90’s e-chord chugga. Anthemic and heavy without disappearing up it’s own arse,lots of angsty vocals. There’s loads of other stuff on that bandcamp and it’s mostly of the metal variety so if you are jonesing for that righteous indignation fix go have a rummage mate.

a1890597146_16I would be fairly suprised if anyone in the western world is unaware of Dropset given how much vocalist Murray spams the fuck out of Instagram on any given day! Dropset are from the south eastern bermuda triangle of Essex/London/Kent and are comprised of a few scene veterans and first time vocalist trying something new. The band keep it simple. Similar to Life Betrays Us in that No Gods has a taste of that kinda thugged out late 90’s/early 2000’s PA/NJ/CT metal infused hardcore that coupled street level philosophy with ‘fuck you God’ angst. I’m talking mosh as fuck with squealy metal bits like mid period Hundred Demons or Divided By Hate. It’s hard and heavy with plenty of parts that will encourage mucho fist swinging/spin kicking/unecessary pit beef. The songs are fluid and well realised and Murray’s got an intimidating set of lungs on him that compliments the repressed violence of the music. Decent demo and I think Dropset have a solid foundation to build upon and explore the character of the band a little deeper on future releases. One criticism though the drum sound on this demo is thin as hell, the bass drums very clean and compressed and synthetic sounding and personally that takes away from the level of aggression a bit. Listen to Dropset HERE

That’s all I got. Culprit, Payday and Incriminate next time. Bye.