Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Party Plates - s/t EP

Real dirty Cleveland hardcore from Inmates people, a furious grubby bass ripping and curling underneath, holding it all together in rubbedraw anguish. Kidnapping Quatro pushed forward at a relentless pace, vocals breaking and screaming, the guitar reverberating out with a tone something like a death-rock shiver that's been beaten and bloodied, lost its airy grace in favour of bladed killing power. Disforeplay more midtempo, digging into thicker grooves. Intro walks with a deep drowning chugging like a steam engine, unintelligible screaming and bellows sing-songy children taunts before it breaks into the metalpunk rumble Galloping Ghost, motorpunk rhythms, that fuzzknackered bass murk, the guitar snatching and scratching, as it falls apart into demonic growls and a thick blush of unsteady self-destruction.

The Number Ones - The Number Ones

Scrappy power-pop from Ireland, living that Protex/Undertones feel, kicking with more modern bands like The Love Triangle, Sheer Mag, Nightmare Boyzzz. Golden-throated, broken-hearted, electrified emotions channeled and chopped into brief two-minute bursts of pure shuffle/shaking feeling, dancefloor punk classics with sugar and bounce, pop-rocks and cola spit, from the stab and stop Heartsmash, Sixteen's tumbling runner, He's Too Good whatever drawl, to the just 100% all-the-way banger Sharon Shouldn't, all itchy-fuzz scritchy and sweet-voiced in equal measure. Power-pop exists as pretty much the perfect singles genre, often tiring in full-length form, but The Number Ones don't outstay their welcome, keeping it at a nipped-and-tucked 20 minutes of tight, melodic and moody, smooth and stinging, crackling fizzbang whizzpunk. Timeless tunes with the eternal ecstatic energy of the turbulent and sparking emotional present.

Bitch School - Get Nasty On You EP

It sounds like Girl School. The fuck else you want?

The Combat Zone - s/t LP

Negative Boston hardcore coming with straight up ugly loner shit, built from the barbrawl-bruised scraps of Jerry's Kids energy, clattering train-track relentless and smacking with that real rudimentary broken energy, drum-thump to guitar snap, working at barely coherent purposes, strung-together with wire and contempt, stomping and slithering on Give Me War, pounding on Run and Hide, tense and taut on Fucked Up Head, rollin hard into the riot on Inevitable, the vocals a thick SSD snarl of grit and venom, breaking out into some shoutalong Iron Cross goonspite on Stay Away and Bottom of the Charles. "SOCIAL REJECTION! LEAVE ME ALONE!" bites Untamed, "NO EYE CONTACT DON'T LOOK AT ME/I DON'T NEED SOCIETY" on Stay Away, "I'M A CLASSY GUY/I'M AN ANTI-SOCIALITE" goes A.S.M.

A monomaniacal devotion to topic, as hockey and beer are to the Hanson Brothers, as being awesome and snakes are to The Awesome Snakes, so is anti-social fervour to The Combat Zone. How do I hate the fucking world? Let me count the ways. Every song reaffirming its obsession with, its binding ties to, isolation and alienation, a hostile cough contracted inhaling the sickness of society with no filter, living its violence, withdrawing then spitting it back out with fierce simple disgust. Waking up every morning with an unmovable pissy scowl. Malice-drenched, grudge-tough and ready to ruck. "VIOLENCE IS REAL. HATE IS A DRIVING FORCE" proclaims the back cover. "ENJOY IT OR GO FUCK YOURSELF."

Friday, 17 October 2014

Tercer Mundo - Ser Nosotros Mismos

The first 12" from these Mexican punx, following on from their killer EP. Eight scrabbling hardcore punk tunes in a little under twelve minutes. Striking a balance between biting rawness and catchy rock and roll, Tercer Mundo have crafted one of the best punk releases of 2014. The title track opens mid-tempo, guitar whispers and a matter-of-fact sung-spoken vocals, before crashing apart, tumbling down into a pained bellowing. Similarly, Veijas Glorias runs an insistent post-punky riff around for a while until it as well blows up. Songs like Horrible Realidad are a thrumming tear from the off, but even then pulling back to redouble the scathing sonic attack. Tercer Mundo uses these punchy scuzz-forged hardcore punk to rip into the centre of a fucked society, to expose its ills, its crushing bleakness, and to find the dinged-up creaking human heart that lives and and burns within those fucked spaces.

 Opener Caidos sets the rage: "THEY HAVE FALLEN IN THIS WAR/THEY HAVEN'T GONE, STILL FIGHTING", closing in a defiant clatter: "THERE IS NO FEAR/THERE IS NO FEAR/THERE IS NO FEAR/FEAR DOESN'T EXIST" Not "I'm not afraid", but so burnt with the shitty state of things, with this "HORRIBLE REALITY OF HUNGER AND TORTURE/HORRIBLE REALITY OF DEATH AND INSANITY" as Horrible Realidad screams, as to transcend the terror of living, an zen fucked-offness, a purposeful unbreakable force. Maybe too broken right now, too beaten down by the work, the struggle ("ANXIETY TERRIFIES ME" admits Extincion, in an open moment) at times but still killing with feeling ("I DESPISE YOU WITH ALL MY STRENGTH" warns Te Desprecio) and still present in this place.

"WE DON'T FIT IN, IN THIS SHITTY SOCIETY! WE DON'T FIT IN, IN THIS STUPID CULTURE!" the title track states, but ending as a reaffirmation of the power of punk, in a society where violence infects each moment, to find a place, feeling the ugliness upfront and the strength buried deep within: "IN PUNK/WE WILL BE OURSELVES/IN PUNK/IT'S ALL WE HAVE LEFT/IN PUNK/WE WILL BE OURSELVES/IN PUNK/ALL FOR OURSELVES" That's where it is, that's where you can find the power, the drive, the last spark of energy to clench your hand into a fist and rise it to the sky. That's where they take all that balled-up fear, anxiety, stress at being cognizant in a shitstorm of cops and politicians and drugs, the swirling hateruck of capitalist violence, and beat it into rock to throw. "I HOPE THE DAY ARRIVES/IN WHICH MY SOUL EXPANDS" roars Sin Rostro Ni Corazon, cutting up streaming rawpunk brutality, with militaristic stamps. The world should be watching as the students and workers and people of Mexico explode with longheld anger at the sickening violence done unto them in the name of security and profit, as they continue the longstruggle that lives for and with us all, in many places, in many forms, in some places keener and far more dangerous than others, this is an album of frustration, this is an album of hope, this is an album of 'not yet', this is an album of 'but it will'.