Check out the visuals to what's probably gonna be my favorite album of 2015. Steel Nation is not only one of the the dopest bands of all time, but damn, this track is harder than hell! Crushing, metallic hardcore with negative attitude that makes you want to walk around with a knife. A big-ass kitchen knife.
The band is getting ready to drop yet another full-length this year, "The Harder They Fall" via Harm Reduction Records. Order your copy here.
The Real Deal is a new killer Clevo band with beefy but to the point brand of hardcore. Their tape was released by Straight & Alert Records from France and it was definitely one of the highlights of 2014 for me. Their style is more of 'punch you in the face with a brick' street tested NYC sound than typical Clevo heaviness, and they keep it aggressive and vibrant all the time. I advise everyone to give it a try if they haven't already. Awesome stuff. Anyway, here's an interview with Andy who handles vocals for the band.
Give us some background on The Real Deal - history, who is who in the band, how did you all get together?
Well there is the four of us Me (Andy) on vocals, Burger on guitar, Woods on bass, and Nick on drums. We have all played together in other bands early on and have all been kickin it for years, just thought the time was right to get together and jam and see where it goes. It all clicked well and we decided to get it goin. So far the response to everything we've been doing so far as been very welcoming as far as the Cleveland hardcore scene goes.
I love when you cop a record from the band you know nothing about and the very first track hits you so hard you don’t even know what happened. That's was the case with this ep by These Streets. Things go into high gear immediately with tough vocals over stomping grooves and sharp riffing. The band goes hard on every of four tracks on this ep, with some really dope and better than average guitar work over tight ass section. The occasional solos make the ep that much better.
The drums are way forward in the mix, but after a while it didn’t bother me at all. As far as the vocals go, the dude flows nicely with a sense of purpose in his voice when he spits stories of relationships gone sour, standing your ground, making right (or bad) choices in life and society pressures. Now and then he gets support from the crew, and man, those gang vocals sound like snatched straight from old Biohazard album.
If I was to say anything negative about this ep, I can’t lie, my first thought when I got this record was that this is some ugly ass cover. I don’t get it how they could allow it to happen, such a dope record with such a lame front artwork. I am glad my natural curiosity to discover new bands and integrity as a reviewer didn’t allow me to write it off at start.
All in all, I'm really feelin' the overall vibe of ep and I would recommend everyone to check this band out.
This is like news of the month for many kids who grew up on 90' hardcore: Knives Out is releasing Grimlock's classics "Songs Of Self and "Thirst For Immortality". The two are combined together in a form of a single limited picture disc 12" titled 'Songs Of Immorality' which is sure to make plenty of record collectors wet.
If you need any background on the band, click here or here. Grimlock seems to be unfairly forgotten which is a shame because they had no shortage of monster tracks with vocals that would cast fear in the weak of heart. Real man type of hardcore.
Since it's being released by Knives Out, you know you can expect quality. Being familiar with some of label's previous releases I reckon it's going to look beyond awesome. Picture this: dope looking picture disc and die-cut, embossed and hand-numbered packaging. You also know there's gonna be a limited run, this time of 300 copies, so when it's sold out the prices on Discogs gonna go crazy. You can cop it here while it still doesn't cost fortune.
Rat Path didn’t disappoint with the two chunky, thick and aggressive tracks they deliver. It’s not a huge departure from Mean Streets, but the song writing and execution is tighter than ever. It's some hard-ass riffs over a heavy drums and fat bass, with sick and straight up menacing vocals. Behind Bars has a nice groove to it, and the breakdown in the middle crushes. I imagine kids are going crazy when they play it live.
Hunter Gatherer is faster with a cool thrash vibe, but once again the slower part at the end is flawless. What I like about it is that it’s all time in your face, but somehow the band manage to find something fresh and new to add to that style. Rat Path might be slept-on in many circles, but they’re definitely a band to watch. Listening to this type of hardcore makes you bad ass.
I don’t know much about Drag Me Under except they’re from Reno, NV and this is their third release after two full length records . The band reminds me of the trend not so long ago when bands were focused on mosh parts and basically everything mosh related. Mid-tempo, metallic stuff like Throwdown or Hatebreed with gruff vocals and breakdowns and groove. Can’t say I miss those times that much, but since that trend died down I don’t mind to listen to such band from time to time. I’m cool with it cause there are only two tracks, not sure if I could stand a full blown album.
New video from 'Never Give Up' album which drops this week, on January 7th. I feel little stupid writing such obvious fact, but No Turning Back is one of the most hard working and dedicated hardcore bands right now. They are also blessed with a mad talent to write hard hitting hardcore tracks that make every legit hardcore kid want to get up and break stuff. All the hype about them is real, you just know that new record gonna be good. I am definitely going to check it out.
The real science behind the list below is me trying to remember on which records I wasted the most of my valuable time in 2014. I might have forgotten something or simply missed some nice records, but it is what it is.
King Nine is hands down my favorite band of 2014 and ‘Scared To Death’ is the hardest record I heard last year. I got no problems putting it among classics like Master Killer or In The Eyes Of The Lord and I am ready to fight anyone questioning my judgment. That’s a type of hardcore we need more of.
New Cold World was dope as well, nothing groundbreaking compared to their earlier shit, but still hard. The same with Sheer Terror, Madball or Ringworm - dope albums that were just like you expected them to be.
New releases by Last Dayz, Survival or Shrapnel prove that 7” is probably the best format for hardcore. Short burst of force and fury to get your testosterone to the right level.
I went through like 20 other lists of such to see the bigger picture of what’s really trending in hardcore lately. The amount of bands included there that I don’t know makes me question my credentials to run such respectable blog like this. Driven by my natural curiosity and enthusiasm to try new things I checked some of the bands and it was shit. I am not even dropping names cause I don’t want to embarrass anybody, but some people need to get their shit together and stop listening to weird hipster shit and focus on real hardcore. Hardcore for hardcore.
Anyway, the list goes like:
King Nine - Scared To Dead
Cold World - How The Gods Chill
7 Seconds – Leave A Light On
Battle Ruins - Battle Ruins
Madball - Hardcore Lives
Backtrack - Lost In Life
Sheer Terror - Standing Up for Falling Down
Ringworm - Hammer Of The Witch
Foreseen - Helsinki Savagery
Last Dayz - Ready To Die
Survival - Forged In Iron
Forced Order - Eternal War
Souls Search / Minus - Split 7"
The Real Deal - Demo 2014
Desperate Times - Looking For Solution
Indication - XI
Born Low - Refuse To Beg
Criminal Instinct – Fever
Shrapnel - Frenzied State
With so much stuff being released nowadays it’s hard to keep track, so if you wanna add anything do it in the comments.