Interview: Mindwar

Up for some heavy ass NYHC worship? Then step right up. Belgium's Mindwar is up and coming name on the European hardcore map and their latest EP, Hollow, has an energy that I really like. I could hear Backtrack, No Turning Back and even some Blacklisted influence in these tracks. They got all the ingredients of that style right plus the lyrics that anyone feeling down, angry or just dealing with some awkward situations can relate to. Check out the interview to learn more about these boys.

Can you us give a quick introduction to Mindwar and explain a little how you got started playing music together?
Mindwar is basically a big "band of brothers" (literally!) Anthony (vocals) and Emanuel (guitar) are in fact brothers and I've known these guys for over 19y so we're practicly family. We' all grew up in the same city and share more or less the same interests, one of them being hardcore. After a few years of going to shows together we felt like the Belgian scene was missing something. Beatdown was very popular at that time (thank god those days are over, everyone acted as if they grew up in the hood or some shit looking like they were living in a fucking trailerpark) and we were more into the groovier "I wanna stomp holes in the floor and stagedive headfirst into a brick wall" type of hardcore. Nobody was doing that at the time so that's when we came up with the idea of starting our own band. At first we just jammed either in mine or in Anthony and Emanuel's backyard, just the 3 of us goofing around. Things started speeding up when we invited long-time friend Jelle to the party. At that time he didn't even know how to play drums, still he was our best bet for making this band kinda work. Recently we added Andy to our ranks as a 2nd guitarist and now here we are, just released our ep "Hollow".

Give us some details on the upcoming ep Hollow. Is it going to be along the lines of the demo and generally, what kids should expect from it?
Our ep is basically the demo 2.0. We wrote the songs for our demo like 3-4 years ago and to be honest back than we had no idea what we were doing or how a "Mindwar-song" was supposed to sound like, we just wrote whatever we felt like writing. The demo was pure hardcore worship that included every element we liked about the genre at that time. While writing for our ep I feel like we really found our sound and stepped up our game as far as songwriting goes. Since the release of our demo we all grew so much both as musicians and as people and I think that you're able to hear that growth when you listen to the ep. The hooks are bigger, the riffs are heavier… We just wanted to be the best version of Mindwar we could possibly be and write the best Mindwar tunes we could possibly write.

Review: Peace Of Mind - Penance

Peace Of Mind rep Germany, one of the strongest scenes in Europe, and this is their newest baby. Penance is 12-track strong and delivers heavy-ass hardcore with a healthy dose of thrash vibe that is so hyped in the scene right now. Musically, it's alright. Nothing that stands out in the current hardcore state of the art, but nothing they should be ashamed of neither. Listening to some of the riffs it's clear the band handles their shit like a pros, but because the head-turning moments are so few the music gets bland at times. Nonetheless, you can hear they put some effort, skills and heart into these tracks.

The vocals are whatever, took me a while to get used to but I give'em a pass. To be honest, every time there are guest vocals on some track I think how much better this record would sound if they went for more harsh delivery instead of high-pitched screams that remind me of that First Blood guy. I hate this style of singing. Even worse, I am not an expert but there's probably a heavy dose of studio engineering needed to make the human voice sound like that which kills any human emotions the singing should convey. As a default, more Jeff Perlin less Carl Schwartz on the vocals is always right.

Some harsh words have been said here, but fuck that review and check for yourself cause chances are you're gonna like at least part of it.

Dead Serious Records, 2018

Why I'm Broke: Humanity Is The Devil deluxe edition


You can trust Knives Out team this shit is gonna be top quality.

New blood: Last Orders

Cold Hard Truth, Crippler LBU, Ironed Out, Proven... these are just some of the bands members of Last Orders had their dirty hands in. If you know anything about LBU scene you know it reads like who is who over there, meaning quality is guaranteed. Last Orders is more on the relaxed side of things, especially when it comes to subject matter that revolves around beer, fried chicken and telling hipsters to FUCK OFF... All acceptable topics for a hardcore song. Check out the interview with Ryan (guitar) and Louis (vocals).

First off, Last Orders - give us some overview of the band. How did you get started?

Ryan: Bunch of mates that talked about doing an old school sounding band for a while. Ended up all fitting together well with everyone being on the same page as to what they wanted this band to be....

Louis: Ry (Guitars) had an idea to start a new band but wanted to try something a little different. So he approached Louis (Vocals) who was looking to start another band but wanted to do vocals on his own. After that Ry spoke with Joe (Guitar), Louis chatted to Jake (Drums) and finally Joe asked Skel (Bass) who was up for doing something after taking a few years out from playing in a band.

There’s no money and no fame in playing hardcore, so why do it?

Ryan: We do it because we love it. The music, the message and the people we meet along the way.

Louis: For me I've always done it for two reasons. Firstly, as a release and secondly because in a world that is hard to get your voice heard without diluting your message, hardcore is a great platform to get whatever it is off your chest and spit your rage (so to speak). It's never, ever been about money or fame.

New music: Absolve - Victim of Life ep

Whoa! 4 new tracks by Absolve from the upcoming ep have just been posted to Ratel Record's bandcamp. As with their part of the 3-way split with Heavy Runner / Power Play, they deliver that stomp everyone likes to get low to. The music is powerful and the overall tone is spot on. Definitely one of the best new bands coming from Europe right now!

Ratel Records / Reality Records

Review: Sheer Terror - Pall In The Family

Man, you can’t teach that stuff! I have zero expectations for new albums by bands older than myself but turns out Sheer Terror can still distill their gritty NY style into a killer record. Pall In The Family takes the golden era of hardcore / punk / crossover music, twists it all up and makes it relevant for modern times. I shit you not, it is about as close as a return to form you will get from the band. The record has some of the same emotional impact as their prime material, and the music on here is dope as shit.

If you know Sheer Terror you know Paul is a certified maniac. This guy got no respect for nothing or nobody. Yet, there’s no faking the funk. Part of his genius is because how he’s so down-to-earth in his delivery and subject matter. It's hatecore at its best but these dudes don't walk around like criminals or flex like big gorillas. Paul takes everyday life and puts it to a song and makes it sound deep and interesting. The lyrics are super big on attitude but even if he’s making a joke, you can really feel both the pain and irony in his voice. Take for example The Moon's Gone Out, the first track on the album, which deals with divorce and women who don’t act civilized. Females can bring out the best and worst in men and you get both in one song. Another highlight is Get Me Off This Rock where Paul trades verses with Choke, which is a match made in hardcore heaven.

Like I said, Pall In The Family is much better than expected given all the hype. Great songwriting and solid delivery from the band while Paul proves he still got it. This record should not only be relevant to old timers but a ride for everyone.

Rebellion Records / Reaper Records 2018

New blood: Existence

No doubt Into The Furnace by Sweden's Existence is bound for a high place on my best of 2018 list. My body wasn't ready for the amount of anger and fury these 4 tracks deliver. No lie! It has massive groove and spiteful vocals but even though technically everything is spot on, there's a fair layer of dirt all over. I don't want nothing to do with hardcore that's too perfect and polished, I don't like it. If it's not raw it ain't worth my time. I think these dudes think alike cause Furnace is darker and grittier than your average hardcore nowadays. Give'em a chance.

First of all, how did the Euro summer tour go?
The summer tour went very well. The response on all shows was overwhealming, and of course it's always great to be able to hang out with old and new friends.

Let’s talk about the new ep. The musical and lyrical tone and feeling of Into The Furnace is rather intense and bleak, how do the lyrics reflect the way that you view life and things?
The world is a cruel and unforgiving place. I’m just calling things as I see them. I’m not necessarily a negative person, quite the opposite actually. Writing lyrics and music is my sole outlet and it’s a key note in my way of dealing with difficult emotions and thoughts. Writing something, even just a word can spark a whole process of thoughts that may have been buried somewhere far in the back of my head. Other lyrics that comes across as more direct, still have some sort of sentimental line of thought that lead up to the finished product.

Ad Of The Day

Demo Daze: Existence - Into the Furnace

Some uncheap stuff here! Sweden's Existance plays metallic sounding hardcore with best quality chugging riffs and manic vocals. You have to applaud band ’s work ethic here – 4 tracks and each one is beefed up to the fullest. It all sounds intense and aggressive, but there's also a strong feeling of grim and cold in the music. Just check out the lyrics that are so on point capturing the zeitgeist of the times. This stuff is made to contemplate all the fucked up things in the world. A strong candidate for my favorite demo of 2017.



Review: Wisdom In Chains - Nothing in Nature Respects Weakness

One of the most solid bands that blessed this scene is back with new material. No doubt this was the most anticipated record of the year for me. Now when it has finally dropped and after a considerable amount of time spent nodding my head to these tracks I know this will be high on my best of 2018 list. Straight off the bat, I think it’s their strongest release since Class War. They hooked my ass after just the first track and there was no letting go till the final.

Wisdom’s core sound stayed the same and Nothing… fits well with the overall evolution of the band, but the album is somehow a return to form after disappointing The God Rhythm. For sure it’s way heavier and sharper. Over the years they moved from the aggressive in-your-face style of their early work into a more vibing sound that takes from diverse styles like punk rock, oi! or even straight up rock. No way this made them sound weak, but on the previous record, man, they took a few strange turns that made me skip through some of the tracks. This time the focus is on intensity.

Already Dead and Duck Down Stay Down are the hard stuff. On the other side of the spectrum are Slow Down and Turn My Back, both have a nostalgic feel to them that gives you a chance to contemplate that hard life of yours. Why do bad things happen to good people? Seems that life is just a constant war between good and evil. These odd elements and moods flow together perfectly. With all the diversity on this album, you must be crazy not to find something for yourself.

Special props to Mad Joe cause he must be the best lyricist in hardcore right now. Dude can write painfully real stories so rooted in life that if they don’t click with you then what’s wrong with you? If you’re caught up in the daily struggles trying to keep trouble from the door you can relate. This is grown man trying to make sense of this chaos. No fake thug posturing or cliches, just honest perspective on the world today without having to make shit up.

This album is all pro. I have listened to it maybe a hundred times already and it is one of those albums I can just put on and feel the same way about every time. Cop this shit and let the music diffuse all the tension.

Demons Run Amok Entertainment / Fastbreak