Naysayer - Nation Of Greed

Solid hardcore is of plenty nowadays but only few of the newer bands are able to resonate with my inner self to the point of provoking deeper feelings and thoughts. Be it the fury of Manipulate, social skills of Crowd Deterrent or world commentary of Bitter End, I am always down for taking the path of self awareness through slick riff, loud drums and antisocial tendencies. Naysayer fall into that category and since the demo they've been known to deliver heavy hitters with grit and dirt levels of epic proportions. That landed them a deal with Reaper for the debut ep. Any random band from the street can't just walk up to that label's CEO and have their shit released. One LP and two EPs deeper into their career and they haven't been dropped yet, which shows how steady they are with quality of their output.

Not that much changed with how they go about their craft. This new ep Nation Of Greed is little more metallic than Laid To Rest but still hits with a familiar crunch. It’s 7 tracks in about 12 minutes, and no moment is wasted. There are lot of creeping mid to slow tempo parts, driven by slick, thrash guitar work and just nasty groove. I sense something seriously sinister about the tracks like Can You Feel it? or Face The Fantasy that gives me goosebumps. Lyrically it’s pessimistic as it deals with lower depths of society and what it takes to stand your ground in face of all the madness around. The delivery is straight in your face though. If you’re looking for abstract poetry and souls searching this ain’t one.

Summary: both the music and the message and the mindset behind the band makes me believe we have the same outlook on hardcore and live in general. This is something I respect and look for in other people. This ep got my sincere recommendation.

FFO: Timberlands, army pants, black hoodies...

Review: Crowd Deterrent - Show Of Supreme Force

Being a hardcore kid is like being a junkie in many ways. You get hooked up first time you hear Set It Off, Crime Ridden Society or Brightside and the rest of your life you just chase the same feeling. And sometimes you succeed. Crowd Deterrent for last couple of years has been the bomb and this lp combines their various shit since Show of Supreme Force ep came out in 2012. I didn’t need to sell my TV to get this record yet but I would if I had to. Somehow they do it better than anyone out there.

For those who don’t know, CR sound is Agnostic Front meets One Life Crew meets Blitz meets Sheer Terror and just every hardcore band in history that cultivated values such as hatred for fellow man and not-to-be-fucked-with attitude. And they put their own stamp on it with obnoxious antisocial vibe and gang mentality. Combined with technical skills that keeps their delivery sharp and effective you know we’re talking serious shit here. And the vocals are of beast kind, on tracks like Worldwie or Outcast Mentality he proves he has some serious vocal chops. The dude has been blessed with a perfect voice for this shit.

Show of Supreme Force ep are hands down the best of the batch. These tracks are fat to death, I don’t even have a favorite one, front to back this is top notch. This record is already in my top ten for the last decade. The title track is aggressive and raw, hitting you hard with tight groove and sharp riffs all bound together by the meanest vocals. "Life's on the line for you/ no matter what I do/ always stay down for the crew". Hard as nails! As for the Certain Death, I got no problem putting it next to Murdario Stomp easily. The Hated Ones tracks are solid as well, just see me wilding out in my living room to these tunes. The lyrics are the same, most of all a salute to sticking to your guns in world gone to shit. "I can’t handle all this stress / I’m a paranoid mess/ There’s no life left in these eyes/ Seeking shelter but there’s none to bo found /The only peace I’ll find when I’m six feet underground"

This lp gets my highest recommendation.

Review: Bent Life - Never Asked For Heaven

I saw this band live and the music was so good I knew I had to get this record. The show itself was odd cause the singer didn’t say a word between the tracks, which is not a hardcore standard, but not everyone is Scott Vogel and the music was dope. Special kudos to the guitar man, this dude is crazy and his work carries a lot of weight here. If they make any money on this record he should get the biggest cut. The band goes of their way to fill every track with both force and groove to make sure today’s hardcore audience is satisfied. If you follow what’s hip in hardcore right now I am sure you’ll find a lot of this stuff here. I mean nothing bad, just saying this has all the right ingredients. On top of it, the singer voice is really rough and he spits every word in full fuck-it-all mode. On the downside, I don’t like the way this is produced. They really went for a heavy sound but in the end a lot of details get lost. Overall, this package is complete: ridiculous songs, forceful vocals and murderous hatred for the whole world.

Bridge 9, 2016

Review: Absolve / Heavy Runner / Power Play - split

This ep has covers of E-Town Concrete, Hatebreed and Death Threat. That should speak to the vibe of the thing.

Absolve is the fastest and their opening track Nothing’s Right is swift and lethal, one of the best I’ve heard in recent times. The vocals are high end, they aggression in the way this dude spits out the verses is amazing. Not many bands cover Death Threat so props to them for this choice, especially when it’s one of my favorite DT tracks and it’s done so well.

The music offered by Heavy Runner is pure ‘90s era beatdown sound. I think bands from this side of Europe don’t get their props when it comes to the dope music they make. Runner is grimy, raw and violent, but nothing feels forced. Everything from the lyrics to the music feels like it could be snatched from any Next Step Up or Stout album.

The same can be said about Power Play. Echo is a beast packed with meaty groove and don’t-fuck-with-me attitude. A lot of newer bands try way too hard to bring back that feel of early Hatebreed or 100 Demons albums, but this band does it perfectly. Their sound has even improved since previous eps. The Hatebreed cover is a rugged , drum heavy, hard-hitting monster. The flat out skill apparent in both tracks make them a name to reckon with.

These 3 bands kill each and every track showing how perfect meeting of the minds this ep is. Each of them display a style that is raw and in your face and miles away from polished and watered down hardcore of today. This is the opposite of everything HCWW channel stands for.

Ratel, 2017

Review: Schizma - O Nas

Schizma are local legends in their native Poland but among international hardcore community their status is not so solid. It’s a shame cause they released some of the finest hardcore music I’ve heard in my life. I pity people not familiar with their magnum force opus Unity 2000, a beast of a record from, you guess, year 2000. That album is one of my top ever, but I’m also never far away from a copy of Pod Naciskiem, their previous output where they really nailed their NYHC-infused sound. It’s crazy to think those albums came out over 15 years ago. Many consider that to be the best era of the band. The records the band put out in 2000s appeared to be a series of close misses or shots that veered way off target. Nothing embarrassing, but nothing great neither. In recent years they switched their formula and instead of full length album every couple of years they started putting out shorter four track eps. This format works for them and the band may really be getting some of their mojo back.

O Nas is a top quality hardore. There are 4 tracks and everything about them just clicks. The ep flows well from start to finish. The band plays tought ass hadcore with a crossover/thrash vibe but they try to put their stamp on it so it’s not just a mixtape of different influences. Some of the riffs sound like they could be lifted from Chaos AD, while some tracks are straight up hardcore. The music do not get stale and it’s amazing how many creative ways they came up with to make this stuff above average without losing aggression and focus. Not a moment of this feels too long or repetitive. On top of it all, fertile vocals deliver the message of strength and resilience without sounding pretentious. If you don’t mind this being sung in Polish give it a try.

Spook Recods, 2017

Review: Enemy Mind - No Safe Space

Enemy Mind is a name that ring bells in beatdown circles. The band released their self-titled debut in 2009, followed the same year by split with Line Of Scrimmage, but has been mostly silent since. So this new album can come as surprise cause many believed the band is long dead and gone. They’re not and this new record on BDWH is a proof. They always were on the heavier vibe but with these new tracks the band got heavy as shit with death metal influences all over. Not to say the core element is gone. Despite all that metal stuff you can hear where they come from and there are some hints of Hatebreed, Bulldoze or Built Upon Frustration breaking through from underneath the surface.

No Safe Place is not a bad record but it’s not like after first listen I couldn’t wait to tell people about it. The thing is that, I’m not so crazy about death metal, I can barely sit through entire Morbid Angel record. I can’ even tell you how this one compares to current standards for death metal. There were times when listening to this album I thought to myself I’d rather be listening to Madball.

The title is a play on sensitive college kids and if you’re offended that’s your problem. The band is from Pittsburgh and they don’t have safe spaces over there.

Overall, the album doesn’t do much to differentiate itself from the other metallic beatdown bands we’ve heard countless times before in recent years, but if you enjoy hadcore of that style, then it’s worth checking out.

BDHW 2017

Review: Reserving Dirtnaps - Part II

This is some of the harshest sounding shit I’ve heard in a while. I mean it in a positive sense. Overproducing has messed up so many otherwise enjoyable records that with no doubt I can put it on the list of stuff that sucks the most in hardcore, somewhere between German vegan metalcore and just any band on HCWW youtube. None of that weak shit here, Part II sounds like it was recorded in a filthy crack house basement while fending off rats and cockroaches. Raw and hardened hardcore by way of Hatebreed, Lifeless or Punishment with some faster parts and heavy ass breakdowns.

The overall vibe of the these tracks is negative and bleak. It’s an album of burning anger while sitting in the room with shades down thinking why it all went so horribly wrong. Hardcore for those who know better than to have high expectations from life. It’s all about maintaining while being served blow after blow of pain and mizery. This is one of those bands where if the list of bands I listed as references doesn't get you interested you should skip it. But if you can stomach that amount of hate and dirt, this is for you. Memphis!

Review: Angel Crew - XVI

I am all into ‘Another day…’, I respect ‘One Life, One Sentence’, but this new album doesn’t move me like the old ones. Not to say this is total shit, but there are many elements that just don't cut it for me. The moments when things are just like they should be, like Bombardier or Skull & Bones, are alright but many tracks suffer from way too many moments that are just not grippin. Tracks like Stabbing Bastard or Broken Promises bring great deal of wackness and in case of the latter the chorus is simply embarrassment.

What I fucking hate is that modern metal vibe with no real depth and overly polished sound. I can’t give you any references cause I don’t fuck with modern metal but I imagine it sounds like this album. It definitely doesn’t sound like early Biohazard stuff.

As far as the lyrics go, the subject matters are very personal but after a while all blend into mix of self pity and worry. How hard life in Netherlands can be? But I don't want to sound too harsh. At the end of the day, my life is filled with fair share of stress and backstabbing and I like to listen about this stuff just like the next man.

On the positive side, there are songs that sound right. Apart from previously mentioned, I dig the last track, Crushing Innocence. It’s a slow burner that goes for over 4 minutes and obviously I wouldn’t mind cutting it in half, but it’s still dope track.

All in all, the music on XVI is nothing above average and the vocals are not as hard as they think they are, but there are still some solid headnodders. I have all their previous shit and I would still cop that album if I had any spare cash to spend, but besides being broke I got more pressing addictions to support.

Strength Records, 2016

Review: Backfire! / Cornered - split

More Backfire! and Cornered never sits wrong. Both bands dropped full albums in recent times that were so good that obviously no one expected this split to disappoint. And they didn’t. When I got this shit for review after first listen all I could think about is that what both bands do over here is on the level many others will never reach. Only two tracks in total and from start to finish they give it raw and uncut. There was not a wasted moment in this. Backfire is sending you straight to hardcore heaven with Mosh Minable. The track is sharp and in your face, from chugging rhythms to hard as hell groove to forceful vocals everything gets the job done. Cornered as always delivers beastly tracks blending fury of hardcore and evil of metal to good effect. No doubt Time Has Come delivers that rage that is expected from this band. Raw, bitter, and loveless work of hardcore.

Strength Records, 2016

Review: God’s Hate - Mass Murder

I’m not falling for all the hype surrounding Gods Hate but I gotta admit there’s this element in their music that makes them stand out in today’s hardcore landscape. Mass Murder delivers was the certified and official sound of hardcore around 1997-2000, the period when the finest records by Hatebreed, Born From Pain and 100 Demons came out, Yeah, so this shit has been done for ages and copied ever since but still not everyone can pull off this style right. There has been a slew of bands paying homage to that sound but somehow God’s Hate seem to do it better than most. Mass Murder is tight skills, impeccable ear for sharp riffs and heavy vibe all funneled into hard as nails hardcore. What makes it click is that it’s heavy as hell and sharp in its execution. No game changer but the record is filled with fat riffing and massive groove, there are even solos that are well placed so they don’t bog down or halt the flow of the song.

Lyrics have more depth that I expected. Throughout Mass Murder there is a sense of injustice and chaos of everyday life. It’s not a downer though the band speaks about serious stuff to make you aware and stand up to the forces that are pressing down on us.

All in all, people acting like this type of sound is too played out have to stop pretending hardcore is something more than pissed of people. As long as it's sincere I'm all for it.

Closed Casket Activities, 2016