Friday, 5 December 2014

Gaucho - Demo CS

Hispanophone dirt-beat hardcore from Toronto, members of S.H.I.T., rudimentary poundings, thick scratching as same scab that Mexico's Maquina Muerta, primitive, raw, laden-deep with anger and worldgrief. Brutalidad Policial shaking with drums to flatten buildings, scritchings in the murk, Maldita Sociedad hanging on a taut embryonic solo, snuffed out quickly in its squeakings, Sistema de Mierda circling a muddy drain, El Dia Final a monotonous thump through that viscous guitar burn, snagged on its rasping broken recitations: "MUERTE! MUERTE! MUERTE! MUERTE!" Cerebro Podrido similarly repetitive, the pain ground out through another elemental stomp. Five tracks on hardcore stripped down to its shivering skeletons, its gravelly bastard instincts, five tracks of shovel-blunt punk to stand with.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Frau - Punk is My Boyfriend 7"

Following on from their killer demo turned 12", a devastating 7" from one of the UK's very best, bustedmachine feminist punk, cogs and pistons moving in different directions, skittering to a stop, spitting off bolts and washers. Goofier than the first release somewhat, but still packed with that same frenetic jerky energy, bristling with stabbing power. Punk is my Boyfriend a defiant punk tantrum, moving from a tightly coiled bassline to a staccato thrash to a driving drumbeat as the vocals take over: "PUNK IS MY BOYFRIEND! PUNK! I DON'T NEED NO MORE FRIENDS!" Snakeskin and Orca winding with animal rules, Snakeskin that of consumption and rebirth, Orca of imprisonment, freedom, self-affirmation. Snakeskin rumbling and stomping, Orca leading with a sinewy guitar line skidding it's way razor-keen across a wavery danceable rhythm, the song building with frustration, repetitions devolving in clarity, rising in fury and feeling: "I DON'T BELONG IN THIS POOL/I BELONG WITH MY PACK/CAPTIVITY'S FOR TEACHING/AND I'M BITING BACK." it screams. "I BELONG IN THE DEEP/I BELONG IN THE DEEP/I BELONG IN THE DEEP". An unstoppable live force, their annihilating fire is here on full display.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Arms Race - Gotta Get Out EP

Meanmugging rough London hardcore bursting with hoarse fury and Oi!-toughened conviction. 6 tracks of storming anger, packed with righteous violence, simplistic solutions for pederast politicians and corrupt cops. Hang the Scum, Kill the Bill, no words minced, just fury in scything guitars, stomps and leers, aggression unbound. Bastard a tear of online alienation, dropping into a muddy half-singsong trudge. Gotta Get Out thumping in like a terrace chant, ripping apart a life with fucked-off spit "HATE MY JOB/HATE MY LIFE", aware of it's own futility but also cognizant of the fact that that doesn't really mean shit when you're living in a blank hole of depression and drudgery, like a half-asphyxiated mutant digging out of the old Animals song. "SAME OLD STORIES YOU'VE ALREADY HEARD/IT'S TIRED, IT'S RECYCLED BUT IT'S FUCKING TRUE." On My Face showing up rage as a wild unhinged form of vulnerability, cos that level of guttural rage comes from a deep dark place, one usually sublimated in the day-to-day mechanics of survival, it gathers together the angers, personal and political and bites them off one by one. "IT'S ONE LAW FOR THEM AND ANOTHER FOR US/AND THERE AIN'T A CUNT ON THE STREETS THAT I CAN TRUST/GIMME A PEOPLE THAT CAN FUCKING FEEL/SHOW A CITY THAT'S FUCKING REAL."

What really pulls the songs here together though is the final track, Mongrel Crew, and its flailing leviathan of a fucking singalong, one of those huge gang-lore screamers that gets right down into your bones with its hooligan bundling, laying waste to the stress and shite drawn on the other songs just through the sheer obliterating power of that punk/hardcore communal violence, packed with self-mythologising, the city geography so loathed on On My Face marked as territory, a couple punk nods to past and present (Conflict's The Ungovernable Force, the band's own label Quality Control). A chorus that makes the personal anguish of Gotta Get Out and On My Face slip away, the societal wrongs-rightings of Hang the Scum and Kill the Bill be just a swing of a fist away, a tangible arm-in-arm possibility. "OI! OI! MONGREL CREW/WE'RE MONGREL ARMY AND WE'RE COMING FOR YOU!" While most of the songs here make you wanna break the world, rearrange it with kicks and glassings, 45 seconds into Mongrel Crew and you fucking can.


Monday, 24 November 2014

Replica - Beast EP

Another EP of faithful-to-the-line boot-tough fiery hardcore from these Bay Area's finest. Terrifying pace, dropping with unfuckwithable precision into rugged stomps and pulling out again, retaining a focused fury throughout. Trust a rage of betrayal, turning back in on itself, intoning the title with a sickened growl. Imagine Sisyphus burning with a stubbornness, turning over with just small requests in the face of a futile day-to-day, little nuggets of meaning grasped at "I ASK TO BE A FUCKING PERSON IN THIS WORLD. I ASK TO HAVE A NAME." Night Life struggles with obliteration, Beast with violence, chugging mean and dirty, racing with mach one desire, trudging to a stop. Six stone bullets of hardcore, dealing brutal visions of a painful world, through rugged vocals, all deep snarl and long-cultivated disdain, whirling along with the threshing speed.

Good Throb - Fuck Off LP

"SCORN. It is the opposite of the get-along, go-along, Jimmy Fallon kumbaya team comics gang. “Be more positive!” they say. “Nah son,” you say as you smile back, canines showing from ear-to-ear.

Let scorn into your heart. Sometimes you look at something and the most it’ll get out of you is a half-hearted smh. Sometimes the physical aspect of the thing is more useful than whatever pleasure you could glean from it. Sometimes you see something and the only thing you want to do is kick a hole in it for even existing in your reality." - David Brothers, in response to the question 'What is an emotion you think is undeservedly discarded? '

A band at the centre of London's sick punk scene, all the members taking part in other bands that combine to make the capital of this rain-drenched shit fascist island home one of the killingest punk scenes on the planet right now, No, Frau, Snob, Dregs, Semi, Personnel, all taking differing approaches to punk and hardcore and all tearing it up. And Good Throb, a teased and bent punk, as danceable as it is dangerous, tottering insistent basslines winding through springy scampering rhythms, vituperous guitar that shines with its teeth-bared, vocals spitting and scarring, tearing through contemporary life (inside and out) with swingeing wrath.

Piercing annoyances abound, shit blokes, mormons, morons, cut into snapshots and fleeting visions, caught in a strobe light, like Acid House's litany of nasty/ridiculous modern collocations. "CAT SHIT/WHITE GLOVES/FOLK PUNK/CHEAP DRUGS" the incremental pile-up of cultural and social debris, unraveling the stark viciousness of London living in cutthroat asyndetons, crashing out one after another in fierce clarity. The wobbly blur of nightclubs brought out on the shiver and snarl of Psycho Disco, "PSYCHO DISCO/BUNCH OF CUNTS/TRYING TO LAUGH/AT YOUR SHTITY STUNTS" broken down, the clinging heat of the tube on the stumbling Central Line "PUSH AND SHOVE/GOT TO COMPETE/AVOID EYE CONTACT/GET A SEAT". The broken stop-start rhythm of these accretions of tediously quotidian shit help the record reverberate with a nervy anxious energy, always on guard for another complication to rise and rip you from whatever brief moment of peace you were reaching for, no single outrage, just one more needle in the eye, one more tiresome chunk of angst on the stinking scrapheap of your day. This energy lives also in the way the music nags and clips at you, rickety catchy with that panicky post-punk shuffle, rawly wrought, jagged in its soldering, edges gleaming.

And these vexatious moments and situations eat at you, leaving you crawling with monstrous emotions to wrestle with, confronted and dissected here with smashgrab disbelief, Jealousy breaking apart into retching, Mummy I'm Ugly's manic self-loathing, Crab Walk's drunken embarrassment, No Taste's bile-drenched embrace of pariahdom, alternating puerile and splenetic, digging into the shit, the bare punk life, fucking the tone-police, getting into the ugly parts, the uncomfortable, the gauche and garish realness, Double White Denim's no-fucks-given cutloose triumph, You're Shit's unbridled anger, "STUPID FACE/ANNOYING TWAT/VACANT SMILE/JAUNTY HAT", Dog Food Dick's eviscerating rage, "PIECE OF SHIT MAN/SEES WOMEN AS FUCKS".

Sharing with Hank Wood and the Hammerheads' Go Home not only a two word imperative for a title, but a deep familiarity the pains and pangs of urban existence, the clatter and clash of too many lives shoved into an unknowable sprawl of concrete and commerce, Hank Wood bloodying up New York with blunt repetition, Good Throb doing a number on a London constantly under-construction with its own tear-it-up toughness, Fuck Off is the words under your breath as you navigate office politics, late night public transport, shit jobs, shitter parties, bad mornings, terrible empty nights, vocalised harshly and stuck into a reconfigured ricochet-snap sourpunk, it's the tension unleashed, the frustration exploding into a blur of fearless emotional shrapnel, skirring about the room, goin hard with phlegm to spare.