8 Dec 2013
This flyer speaks for itself. If you happen to be around London tonight then The Black Heart in Camden is where you want to be going to. It' going to be a fun evening of hardcore punk and of course who could resist seeing London heavyweights Knuckledust! The amazing thing about this show is that it is in aid of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that took place in the Philippines. Doors open at 6pm, get there early to avoid disappointment and it's only a fiver! Don't sleep on this. Band info below:
Stuck in a Rut
22 Nov 2013
If you have nothing to do on your Friday night (or if you do have something to do) then this is the place to get to tonight. Free Rucktion Records hardcore show in Camden, doors are at 7pm so don't miss out!
19 Oct 2013
31 Jul 2013
|Ashes Forever - 'All Love Will Put You'|
Ashes Forever are a New York based two piece that have developed a genre of their own. They released a 1 track EP last year titled Love, Leave, Forget, Repeat which I reviewed here. Since then it seems they have been busy recording new material and what better time to announce it than now. All You Love Will Put You is an exceptional piece of song writing and is definitely a breath of fresh air in the scene. There’s no set genres, no set style, they write music on their own terms. This record is released on August 2nd so do not hesitate to jump on this.
What I love about Ashes Forever is that every song is completely different and just when you thought you've caught on to a genre specific part, it throws you off again into something different. This time round the recordings are all about musicianship and are instrumental showing off their remarkable musical talent. The sound is raw and elegantly transcends from track to track. Ashes Forever delivers a decent melodic, progressive start to the EP in On the Ledge at Gunpoint, splitting between steady hardcore rhythm and powerviolence drum beats.
The next track You are the Storm kicks in with some furious, breakneck speed drums, symbol crashes and more progressive guitar melodies. I don’t want to say they have any specific influences but I can hear a little tinge of Between the Buried and Me and it came to no surprise learning that this EP was mastered by Jamie King. The best moments on this record are the irregular tempo changes, diverse styles and their methodical approach to song structure. From Your Lips to Gods Ears takes a more technical and metallic approach to the music throwing in high pitched guitar chords and pounding drums.
The final track Influencing the Influences adds the cherry on top of what is a faultless record. This down-tuned slower track builds up to another explosion of technical sounds. Matt and James are a duo with amazing skills and put them on display perfectly. Each track is more vibrant and powerful than the last. To me this album is carried out with flawless execution and is one not to missed out on. You can check it out and buy it here.
27 Jun 2013
|First Try - Upstart 'Through the Hardships'|
This split record has been out since February and I cannot believe that I have only just had the chance to listen to this. Both First Try and Upstart have pieced together a bombardment of aggressive hardcore tracks which compiles Through the Hardships which is a split definitely worth checking out.
First Try kicks the record off with 5 brand new tracks, if you are already familiar with their style from listening to Ill-Gotten Life then you will know what to expect as they have kept their trademark sound. These tracks are an assault of fast paced hardcore music with 110% aggression. The introduction of the tracks start off quite melodic but don’t be fooled the screeching vocals and heavy riffs kick in just after this. This City Belongs to Us contains a perfect mix of fast paced, heavy slow breakdown parts and progressive guitar parts to create a fierce and ferocious monster of a band. The next track Back in Business starts off with a slow side to side mosh part which really gets you in the mood to move around. There’s a nice mix of ear piercing screams and deeper rough screams which I found entertaining mixes things up a bit. In this track and Ethic Fail there are some spoken words too which leads to more heavy riffage and rapid drum beats.
All I can say is that I really enjoyed the first 5 tracks and they deliver a nice aggressive style through their varied sounds and this is far from boring. A very energetic band that keeps you entertained throughout. Check out their older tracks too if you dig these.
Upstart is up next with their 5 tracks brand new to the Lyon hardcore scene and sound in the vein of Terror, Blacklisted and Sick of it All. From these influences you couldn't expect anything less than a straight up in your face sound. The track My Pride kicks off the second side of the split with fast paced drums and heavy guitar riffs. Alongside the pummelling instruments, the vocals are very strong and angry resulting in a sound that is very Terror like. Although we've heard this style come across in a lot of modern hardcore bands I just can’t hate it. They produce some very hard-hitting tracks and To an End and Walk Out prove this is a band who I am sure is here to stay. The recordings are of great quality and Upstart have got the transitions between tracks perfectly running smoothly through the record.
As a whole, although this is nothing ground breaking, both bands smashed it on this split and have produced some good quality heavy hardcore. If you haven’t heard this split yet or these two bands check them out here below.
8 May 2013
|Work for It - 'No Escape'|
Poland’s Work for It brings the hardcore sound back to basics with heavy riffs, hard-hitting mosh parts and tough sounding vocals. In 2011 they released a demo, which I quite liked despite the sound quality, and their latest EP No Escape released in December is a great progression and most definitely a record to check out. There is a perfect mix of older and modern style hardcore sounds in this EP, with definite influences from bands like Next Step Up and Madball evident in their music, but with a modern twist, similar to bands like Soul Search and Backtrack.
Poland seems to have a thriving hardcore scene at this present time taking influences from heavier styles. Work for It are no exception - playing a very angry and stomping sound - I found No Escape to be very pleasing to my ears. The record opens with the track Defenceless starting with a nice grooving sound and soon going into some heavy guitar riffs and angry raw vocals. This sets the whole tone of the record, as each track gets more relentless than the next. The actual structure of each track is very simplistic but who cares, it works so well! The next track keeps up the fast tempo and contains some nice mosh-worthy riffs that make you want to smash your room up.
Already Dead kicks into gear on the second half of the record and made my hairs stand on end with the smashing breakdown at the beginning and end of the track. You can really sense the aggression from both the sound and lyrics, which is just awesome. Condemned is my favourite track though and wraps this record up. The lyrics and sound is very straightforward and down to earth and the crashing drums really added to the impact.
No Escape was available to pick up from The Essence (Founded by Inherit’s vocalist Adam Malik) however I believe that they have all sold out so lucky people who got hold of this. If you dig hardcore music then you will love this record hopefully. Check it out here.
7 Mar 2013
|I Stared Into the Forest - 'Unframed Pictures of Our Epilogue'|
The whole Mathcore sound may not be new but this band seem to be progressing at a fast pace and they are one of the least generic bands I have heard in a while. The heavy churning guitar riffs and high pitched screaming kick off the EP in the track No Longer Here. The technical parts from the lead are tangled in a frenzy of toned down breakdowns and sounds awesome. I like the recording quality of this EP as it adds to their whole DIY sounding style, although it sounds quite clear and mastered there is still a low budget sound to it, which to me, adds appeal. There are definite influences from more mainstream mathcore bands such as The Bled and Converge that can be heard especially through the second track Failing Lungs. The time sequences are perfect on every chord and fits well in each track; I love the energy coming through from this record.
The tracks Their Crooked Teeth and To Hang by a Thread show a lot of passion and I love the chaotic structure of these tracks. Although I really enjoy the tracks on this EP there aren’t any songs that particularly stick in my head as each one contains a particularly different song structure and it is hard to pay attention to certain sequences but nonetheless it’s definitely a record worth checking out. You can download both of their EPs here. I believe that the 7 inch will be available in the near future to purchase on Fading Halo Records.
18 Feb 2013
|Losin' It: 'No Apology'|
Losin’ It have recently burst upon Florida’s hardcore scene and seem to be making a pretty big impact. Their last release Danger Zone got decent feedback from people and I really enjoyed it. This month they have just dropped their new full length No Apology which sounds damn good to me.
The sound of this record is nothing original but who cares - it does exactly what it was set out to do. After listening to this, I wasn’t blown away by it but I did find it incredibly catchy and wanted to listen to it again and again. You can definitely hear the influences coming through from bands like Floorpunch, Side by Side and Ten Yard Fight bringing back the lively youth crew sounds. That’s one of the big points of why I really enjoy listening to Losin’ It. Instead of taking elements of traditional hardcore sounds and putting a modern twist they keep it fun, catchy and DIY sounding, which sounds spot on.
The tone is set from the first track of the record Bitter Taste which starts in a frantic guitar solo leading into a fast paced punk hardcore sound with fast and pissed off vocals to go alongside it. The next track Brainwashed Youth kicks in with some rapid thrashy (not in a metal way) guitar sounds and fast tempo drum beats which goes into one of the catchiest basslines that breaks the track up into a slower part. Of course, this doesn’t last long as it breaks out into more crazy riffs. The pace of this album never changes, each tracks is as fast as the next.
Glass Palace is one of the more memorable tracks off the record with a quality sounding side to side part with guest vocals and a breakdown(ish) part at the end. Out also has a moshy heavier sounding riff in the middle of the track adding a bit of variety. There is also an instrumental track Class Dismissed that includes a crazy solo leading onto the finishing track Popularity Contest which is one of my favourites. Yet again loving the catchy bassline on this and brings the album to a nice close.
28 Jan 2013
21 Jan 2013
Dead End Path: Blind Faith
Metallic sounding hardcore band from Wilkes Barre, Pennysylvania. This record offers some of the best quality chugging riffs that you need on a day-to-day basis. Taking many elements from the 90's hardcore scene they combine the perfect amount of metal with hardcore to create Blind Faith which is a record that should not have been missed. If you did happen to miss this then now is your chance to redeem yourself.
Wrong Answer: Cross a Black Cats Path
One of my favourite bands, labelling themselves as 'Naughty Youth Crew' and for all the right reasons. Lyrically they deal with themes such as drug dealers, demons and labour among other things. Theres a nice old school sound coming from this record and musically there is some awesome upbeat riffs and drum rhythms that make you wanna go crazy. Some really good sing a long parts which was proven when I got to see them at a small show in London this year. Brilliant band and brilliant record. Check em out.
Frustration: Dying Breed
A really good quality band from Dublin, Ireland. This record is relentless and should set off a pit on every listen. Some of the heaviest riffs going that can get real sludgy too. I found Dying Breed a really intersting and entertaining listen as they add variation into every track. Some of the hardest mosh parts around, get into it.
Benchpress: Stay Hated
Terrible name but freakin' awesome band. Tough guy style with some pretty hard hitting riffs. They sound a lot like terror but with heavier breakdowns and with a more down-tempo twist. Moshing, sing a longs, and as much chaos as possible is what this band is all about. Everything sounds 100% on point so I think you should check them out.
Fire & Ice: Not of This Earth
Awesome band from Richmond, Virginia. These guys are re-inventing the whole groove style of hardcore. This record is faultless and I love every second of it. Lots of progressive guitar riffs and blasting drum rhythms. I really love the themes of conspiracy and the whole extra-terrestrial thing going on, different from the usual hardcore topics. This is definitely worth the money so if you haven't already then you should get this album ASAP.
True Valiance: Expect Resistance
One of Rucktion Records finest bands. They have come a long way and I think that they are one of the best bands going in the UK at the moment. I love the heavy sounds they put out and are always fantastic live. They have put a lot of hard work and dedication into their music which has payed off greatly. Main influences are from early 90's hardcore bands which is evident from their metallic ferocious sound. I highly recommend this band so whatever you do make sure you check them out.
9 Jan 2013
|Fire and Ice: 'Not of This Earth'|
There are so many records that I wanted to review from 2012 but didn’t get the chance to. Fire and Ice latest record Not of This Earth was most definitely one of them so I we’re in 2013 now, but it’s definitely worth a big mention.
I first listened to this band a couple of years back when they first released their demo and I thought it was pretty cool but, if I’m honest, nothing special. Soon after this they released Gods and Devils which showed a more promising sound and now a couple of years down the line and they release this corker of a record. As I say in a lot of my reviews ‘this style of hardcore won’t be for everyone’ and stand by that as there have been many mixed feelings over Not of This Earth. I stand on the side of the people who did appreciate this album as the themes were slightly different than your average hardcore band belting out lyrics about conspiracy theories and alien life forms in the universe. The metallic sound is not to miss, taking key elements of bands such as Cro-Mags and Leeway. I really enjoyed this record and thought it was one of the catchiest ones of 2012.
I think Fire and Ice have made a mark in the hardcore scene with this record and are bringing back the grooving metallic hardcore style from the late 80s but with a slight modern twist. The opening track also titled Not of This Earth kicks this full length off and sets the pace with a groove sound. The tracks History Repeats and Helpless throws some more dirty grooving metallic riffs to the listener which I thought were very catchy. The Devil’s Side is a decent track opening with a heavy down-tuned progressive guitar part leading into a very energetic part and the vocals sound simply awesome. About Face is another memorable track with a head banging opening and an intense solo half way through, very satisfying.
I have to admit it took a while for this band to grow on me but if it’s your first listen I do recommend that you give it a few listens before finally judging it. The sound that Fire and Ice have chosen to go with is a good choice as they pull it off well. If you haven’t got around to getting this yet then you can get it here.