Video: Negative Self - Underneath The Wave



I got pirate mp3s of their older songs and they were all pro so I'm not surprised I dig this track here. To say this band sounds familiar would be huge understatement. It doesn't take mad brain skills to figure out where they take their style from. This track is Venice Beach at its prime! Grab that shit before Suicidal's lawyers get on it for style theft. The VHS styled video looks good and fits the music. Good stuff!

Looking forward to new record on BDHW Recs.
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2017: Best of the worst



WORLD PEACE CAN'T BE DONE


No doubt 2017 was a turmoil on a global scale. People went mental with politics and religion and just having a twisted outlook on how the world should look like. I’ve always been cool with different views than mine even if I don't agree with them, but it seems most people are going bat-shit crazy right now. Right wing, left wing, whatever. They just lost it. Total nuts. The common sense and reason is in retreat. And because the rich get richer and the rest of us stay poor, the problems will only increase and for sure more dumb shit is to come. With all that tension building up there's bound to be release and I know where it's all heading. Conflict is what I predict. World war III. Thinking about all the drama in Middle East, Russia war on Ukraine, terrorism, fucked up politics in Europe and US and Asia - shit is falling apart at high speed. My advice to you, stock up on some serious amounts of canned food and big ass guns and wait for shit to hit the fan. It's only matter of time. Trust me, I'm from eastern Europe so I should know. And like always we'll be the ones to get the ass whooping. Big time.

So yeah, thinking about world peace is giving me headaches, but don’t even get me started on the personal stuff. I've been busy with a lot of shit and all that kept me from updating this blog as often as I could. Hopefully 2019 will be better in that regard. Who the fuck knows?

Freedom of my life, why make it a mess?
Give me a job, I've got to survive
Discriminate me, why can't you help?
Everybody thinks I'm a scum

On the positive note, the more fucked up the world gets, the harder hardcore gets. It’s been always like that. So enough of getting soft, here's the best hardcore of 2017. (I know it's already February but fuck being on time).

TOP FIVE:

Freedom - Never Had A Choice
I got no time to overthink stuff so I need my hardcore to be swift and straightforward, no bullshitting. Life is complicated so hardcore shouldn't. I also love it when bands sound like they're here on purpose and don't take shit from no one. That's why this stuff right here is the best record that came out last year, and possible one of the best in recent years. This is 100% hardcore based on the same mentality that made Breakdown, Negative Approach or 4 Skins. Life in Detroit is not a joke and that record perfectly reflects that.

Unified Right - If I Can't Listen to UNIFIED RIGHT in Heaven Then Send Me Straight to Hell
Fuck yeah, this year was a year of straight up hardcore and this is another record that will go down in history as the finest example of how this shit was meant to be. The founding fathers of hardcore didn't care about nuisance, and nor Unified Right do. This is raw and aggressive but with the right amount of groove and even short periods of melody. In a times when many records are either overproduced or sound like total shit, this one strikes a good balance between grit and being listenable.

Clearview - Absolute Madness
My boys from Brazil dropped this gem at the middle of the year and though I knew it's gonna be good, I didn't expect that level of good. The lyrics, the music, the vibe are all that I want in hardore and more. If you don’t like this record I don’t even want to talk to you.

Templars - Deus Vult
I am not the biggest Templars fan but I dig couple of older tracks from various past records and was curious when I heard they're making a come back. Turned out this is one of the highlights of last year. Battle scarred oi! sound with classic skinhead rock leanings that's rough where it needs to and melodic when it's time for it. Favorite tracks: Take A Stand, Middle Road and Forgotten Souls. Classic shit. I love oi! and this is supposed to be one of the best that US ever had to offer so I might give their past material more spins to find out what I'm missing out.

Crowd Deterrent - Welcome To Youngstown - ep
Too bad this material is is only available in digital form so far, I would definitely cop a cd or vinyl. What can I say, Crowd Deterrent do what they do best. The band has a basic premise and they execute it to perfection: antisocial hardcore that gives no fucks. This was one of the rawest and grittiest records of last year. Call me immature but this band has the best lyrics in hardcore since Demonstrating My Style.


a place called nowhere's where we live our lives,
a total legacy of violence and crime ,
its the environment that molded our minds,
until im cold in the ground welcome to youngstown

Other records that don’t suck:
Cock Sparrer - Forever
No Warning - Torture Culture
Firm Standing Law - Unashamed
Forced Order - One Last Prayer
St Hood - He Age Of Unreason
Terror - The Walls Will Fall
Queensway - Swift Minds Of The Darkside
Life After Death - Friends Fade, Enemies Stay

So yeah, good year for hardcore and bad for anything else.
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Review: Rage - Feel The Burn


Another dope record from Straight & Alert recs. Rage hails from Australia and their sound brings to mind the rawness of SSD, old Agnostic Front or No Tolerance but they also worship recent UKHC like Violent Reaction or The Flex. I won’t stand here and pretend I am the biggest fan of new wave of British hardcore but I’ve seen Flex live and shit was epic. These dudes are juggernaut in this game, the set was just them grinding everyone in a room to dust.

But back to Rage and this ep. I knew S&A always delivers quality so I was down from the get go and after few spins it didn’t disappoint this time as well. Feel The Burn is 5 tracks each deserving respect for the intensity of aggression it delivers, hitting hard with musical swiftness and the meanest vocals. That band takes it back to the basics so expect no silly shit, this is straight up in your face hardcore. If this crazy ass dude from Wolf Creek started a band that would sound something like this. The tracks to the end of the record are the hardest. Constant Static sounds fucking epic, they same goes for No Hope. These two tracks alone make me feel like I've already gotten more than my money's worth. Grab this now and get stomping.

Straight & Alert
, 2017
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Demo daze: Combat Shock - Sacrifice



Russia hardcore still lives! On their facebook I see the band wearing Leeway and OLC t-shirts so I knew this is going to be legit. Old school crossover ffo Foreseen, Power Play, Leeway and so on. There are 4 tracks in here and all of them are pretty damned incredible with all the necessary components from tight riffing to solid section. This is cool ass demo that makes me want to dig deeper into what's going on in Russian hardcore nowadays.

DOWNLOAD|BANDCAMP
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In the gutter groove



My man Frédéric is still sitting on some copies of 2nd issue of Gutter Groove fanzine. The list of bands interviewed is fat like a pizza with double cheese crust and includes All Out War, Weekend Nachos, Foreseen, Malice At The Palace, Lodges, True Colors and Integrity. Get yours here.
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Review: Slope - Losin' Grip



Slope is a new hardcore band outta Germany and this is their new album on BDHW which does not sound like what you would expect from this label. No breakdows, no snapbacks, no tough guy posturing. It’s more on that hardcore meets alternative rock vibe that’s been so hyped since Turnstile did it. Can’t say I’m much of a fan, but neither a hater. It’s just not my shit. Any day I pick the worst Madball song over best Turnstile track and it’s still a win. To each his own.

Looking at the front cover and seeing the video they did for Goodbye Mr. Dand everything was off to bad start. The band seems to be comfortable in the corners of the mind I don’t like to go. Meaning really abstract shit. I like when hardcore sounds like it could be a soundtrack to Rocky or Die Hard, but Losin Grip feels more like a backdrop to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The song names are all weird and I got no idea what they try to convey with titles like Goodbye Mr. Dandy. Some of this stuff seem unconvincing and if hardcore doesn’t sound sincere then I have problems having that emotional connection with it. At first I was forcing myself to go through some of the tracks because of that. I just felt at the back of my head something ain't right.

I am aware this review is going into negative direction but in reality it’s just me bitching. There are moments that I enjoyed. Musically, they do keep it sharp and there’s fair amount of fine riffing and tight groove to keep my head nodding. Like I said, fans of Turnstile should check it out, but also if you like Leeway, Burn and generally more creative NYHC sound I recommend giving it a listen.

Overall I think these dudes know they craft and I suppose there will be plenty people into this album. No need to put them down since there are tons of bands that are seriously whack, like Wolf Down and all their spin-offs. Slope are only guilty of being on a vibe different than mine but they seem like good dudes. Just with awful taste in clothes and there’s too much abstract shit going on in their heads. If they get their shit together and listen to right amount of Sheer Terror I am convinced their next record will be a killer. This one is still decent though.

BDHW 2017
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Audio: American War Machine - Prey Drive



If you easily fall for 'members of' gimmick let me tell you this band has dudes from Slapshot, Agnostic Front, Blood For Blood, Intent To Injure and Bricktop. It's just one song shared so far but man, this shit is tight! You can't teach that stuff. Nothing fancy here but time-tested combo of stomping beat, mean vocals and great chorus. Shit sounds raw and dangerous.

EP should be out on Bridge9 soon.

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Video: Soulground - Faces Of Death



I've watched this video twice already and can't help thinking how cheesy and cheap it looks. Was forcing myself, yes forcing myself, to go through that crap in full and the only thing that kept me around was the music. The track is not bad at all, heavy hardcore that sits somewhere between recent European metallic core and Clevo sound. It features guest vocals from Jess of Swoon and it's probably the best recorded performance of her, she's way more menacing here than with her main band.

If you like it, pre-orders are up at Farewell Recs along with new Method Of Proof.

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Audio: War Master - Denial Of Life




War Master is death metal influenced hardcore from UK, think something between Bolt Thrower and Merauder. Heavy on riffs and slow to mid tempo groove. An album that you should definitely tune into just for the the amount of aggression displayed here.



More HERE.
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Review: Incendiary - Thousand Mile Stare



Incendiary’s rose to fame was with their previous full length Cost Of Living which as you know I heavily backed. Even if hardcore fame doesn’t mean much in real life, they still deserve it cause it was beast of a record. And it’s coming from a person who don’t get that whole 90’ new school nostalgia happening now. Truth is, many bands are jumping on the bandwagon and most of them suck. Not the case here, Thousand Mile Stare sounds like these dudes been on heavy steroids doses when writing this shit.

Cost Of Living was solid, but Thousand Mile Stare is a marked step up. Everything that was good about that old record is even better here. If you remember bands like Indecision, Earthmover or Earth Crisis this album sounds comfortably familiar, but it’s not like they act like last 20 years in hardcore didn’t happen. You can sense they put much thought into shaping these tracks as they use tons of different elements. The band turns in a quality performance with heavy ass chugging riffs and massive stomp parts with maximum effectiveness. When it hits right it’s powerful and ferocious, but there are moments that feel overlong or too complicated. I’m too basic for some of that but I guess it’s what 90’ new school is about.

A separate salute should go to the vocals, not only because of his on point delivery, but also things being said on the record. Maybe not the strongest voice in hardcore, but he’s putting 100% into it. That I respect. And the lyrics are highlight here. The older I get, the more I appreciate stuff that makes me aware about shady shit going on in this world. Fuck apathy, you gotta keep your mind sharp! The political edge in hardcore in recent years has been either absent or reduced to some butt hurt drama over what Gorilla Biscuits said. Or joke bands like Wolf X Down. Incendiary brings more common sense with their politics and it feels the lyrics are based on actual research not tumblr. Whether dealing with topics like how profits rules everything and our lives reduced being to numbers, the lyrics always express devotion to being aware of the forces that be. The key message is that things are looking bad for this generation and it’s going to be even worse for our children. I’ve been telling the same for a long time and it’s good to know other people are feeling the same about where we’re heading. Too bad today’s youth is too stupid to figure this out. Maybe if they weren’t so busy filling pockets of the same people who shipped their very jobs to little kids in Asia, like Steve Jobs. I know he's dead but fuck him and fuck them too. There’s no hope for humanity.

Closed Casket Activities, 2017
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