In Crust We Trust: Vol 10

Surprise! You’re getting an extra volume of In Crust We Trust this month, because the end of the year is fast approaching but there’s still a mountain of raucous releases left to shout about. Next month’s In Crust We Trust will be a bumper edition featuring some of the harshest, loudest, and ugliest releases from the past 12 months. So look out for a feast of deafening noise in a few weeks’ time.

As always (and as mascaraed alt-rockers Placebo rightly said), without you I’m nothing.

So thanks a million for stopping by.

Wolfbrigade –The Enemy: Reality
Hellknife –Dusk of Doom

The biggest and brawniest punk release this month is The Enemy: Reality. The tenth off-the-chain album from heavyweight Swedish champs Wolfbrigade marries primitive brutality to ruthless execution, with thickset d-beat pummeled by crashing waves of metallic hardcore. Of course, that’s par for the course for Wolfbrigade. But the band aren’t necessarily playing the same old game here.

The Enemy: Reality provides all the concussive content you’d expect, with plenty of Wolfbrigade’s patented “Lycanthro Punk” on display. The album reaffirms Wolfbrigade’s intoxicating intensity and their expertise at weaving melodic hooks into otherwise merciless mayhem. But Wolfbrigade also carve out new terrain.

Unrelentingly tracks like “Sum of All Vices”, “Fire Untamed” and “The Wolfman” feature some of the punchiest and most stripped-down Discharge-style d-beat Wolfbrigade have recorded in years. The band’s razor-sharp musicianship adds a feast of NWOBHM-worthy catchiness into “Hammer to the Skull”, “Human Beast”, and “Nightmare of Wolves”. And the echo of UK82 resounds on “Narcissistic Breed” and “Wells of Despair”.

Wolfbrigade’s lyrics continue to highlight the hopelessness of the human condition – trapped, as we are, in endless cycles of conflict. However, the band aren’t locked into repeating the same musical motifs on The Enemy: Reality.

The album’s eviscerating guitars, bludgeoning percussion, and rabid vocals cross swords in a bloodthirsty free-for-all. Obviously, that’ll thrill fans. But even better is witnessing Wolfbrigade cut a path through some fresh albeit still ferocious territory. Old dogs exhibiting new tricks. Wolfbrigade still have plenty of bite and creative hunger.

FYI: If big and beefy (and Wolfbrigade-worthy) crust floats your boat, keep an ear out for German band Hellknife’s Dusk of Doom LP in December. The LP was mixed and mastered by Fredrik Nordström (At the Gates, Skitsystem, Martyrdöd, etc) at Fredman Studio, and the title track streaming on Hellknife’s Bandcamp page is a bruising behemoth.

The Wraith ‎–Gloom Ballet

Gloom Ballet is the full-length debut from heavy-hearted LA punks The Wraith. The band’s apocalyptic music is drenched in the atmospherics of groups like 1919 and Killing Joke, and awash with the snarling gutter goth of T.S.O.L. and Christian Death. The Wraith’s evocative songs feature infectious vocals (and poetic lyrics) that weave around raw-boned bass, skittery guitars and tribal percussion. Gloom Ballet was recorded using vintage 80s equipment, and it sounds gorgeously bleak. Of course, like all good deathpunk, Gloom Ballet is also shrouded in bewitching shadows.

Ojo Por Ojo –Paroxismo
Haiboku –Un Nuevo Poder

Mexico City-based band Ojo Por Ojo features musician and artist Yecatl Peña in the ranks, and Peña’s also played in stone-cold killer groups like Inservibles and …(((pause in awe)))… Tercer Mundo. Ojo Por Ojo’s new cassette and digital release, Paroxismo, features a couple of brand new cranium-cracking tracks (“Emperador de la Inmundicia” and “Paroxismo”), which were recorded and mixed by Steve Albini at Testa Studios in Guanajuato. As per, Ojo Por Ojo’s latest songs rummage through the seedy and sinister underbelly of life. The cassette version of Paroxismo also includes Ojo Por Ojo’s recent (and similarly excellent) Revienta la Madrugada EP, which matches pulverizing hardcore to brute-force realism.

Also worth tracking down is the second EP from Mexico City residents Haiboku. The trio’s Un Nuevo Poder EP tips its hat to Japanese hardcore, particularly the scorching tempo and energy of Japan’s Burning Spirits scene. Haiboku’s combination of raw and adrenaline-charged Mexican punk with hammering Nippon hardcore is bass-heavy, scrappy as a junkyard dog, and a mountain of chaotic fun.

Ohyda ‎–Koszmar

Polish hardcore band Ohyda have amplified their acid-fried weirdness on their captivating sophomore album, Koszmar. The 12” blends caustic hardcore with industrial percussion and fierce distortion, which is all propelled by a pumping psychedelic pulse. Tracks like “Atom”, “Zabij Boga”, and “Kto To Jest?” find a great balance between outré eccentricity and steelier anthemic oomph. Echoing vocals twist around mangled guitars, as grim bass and percussion rumble and roar, and stark and brutal architecture is called to mind as much as vivid scenes of collapsing factories. Koszmar‘s dark and atmospheric sound is pitch-perfect for fans of offbeat post-punk and unhinged hardcore.

Frantic ‎–“Useless”/”Nightmare”

I’ve got no idea when the next release from Californian raw punks Frantic will emerge, but listening to the new(ish) teaser tracks streaming on the band’s Bandcamp page (“Useless” and “Nightmare”), it’s clear Frantic’s next release will once again be harsh enough to strip the enamel off your teeth. The band’s über-abrasive songs feature battery acid levels of corrosiveness, with squalls of fuzzed-out guitar and distorted howls buried in walls of impenetrable static. The band’s head-on collision of crasher crust and noisecore – think Zyanose and Disclose – is a triumph of obnoxious artistry. (Although understandably, Frantic’s migraine-inducing tracks aren’t for everyone.) For fans of sheer sonic chaos, Frantic’s noise not music exceeds expectations.

PS: The band’s previous demos are also an absolute eardrum-bursting riot.

Vomit Storm –S/T
Spiteful Urinator / Dogcock –Split 7”

The world is full of underrated albums made by overlooked groups who disappeared off the face of the earth. In Aotearoa New Zealand’s case, Mudge or Be Mudged!, the 2014 debut from crusty crossover trio Vomit Storm, falls squarely into that category. Vomit Storm dealt in ear-splitting, Ritalin-snortin’, punked-up berserker thrash. But like many a promising band, Vomit Storm vanished far too soon.

Rumors of unreleased Vomit Storm tracks have been percolating for a few years, and stalwart NZ label Limbless Music recently (and unexpectedly) announced it was releasing those long-lost recordings on 1 December. Vomit Storm’s upcoming self-titled album doesn’t mark a return to active duty for the band though. In fact, the recordings set for release had been left festering in the vaults since late 2016.

You might presume there’s something lacking with those tracks, having been left behind, but you’d be dead wrong. Vomit Storm’s old/new tracks are untamed and insane, and even rawer and bloodier than the songs on the band’s debut. The tracks also reek like sweltering garbage, and Vomit Storm pile obnoxiousness on top of savagery, injecting plenty of dark humor along the way.

Full-bore tracks like “Namaste”, “Struggler” and “Death Squad” feature basement-dwelling Neanderthal metalpunk. Knuckle-dragging noise built for the kinds of filthy dive bars where someone inevitably takes a shit in the bathroom sink.

Motörcharged blasts of dumpster-diving hardcore and speed metal propel “Laser Blazer”, “Pissed as Fuck”, and “Drop Your Guts”. Chainsawing guitars, throat-ravaged vocals, and thumping drums collide at a breakneck pace, and every track sounds as feral and damaged as the legendary Crack Fox.

Wrapped in barbed wire – and caked in stinking crust – Vomit Storm’s second release is a putrid cult classic. Here’s to rotting teeth, pissed-stained jeans, and filthy gutter thrash. Here’s to Vomit Storm, done and dusted, but long may their acrid stench linger.

Note: there’s more unsavory NZ punk on the way in December too. A split 7″ from the charmingly monikered Spiteful Urinator and Dog Cock is due for release in time for Santa to stuff copies in his sack. Keep an ear out if horrible fucking noise is exactly what you want for Xmas.

Nukkehammer ‎– A Distant Hissing in Your Ear

It’s been close to 8 years since the last release from Columbus, Ohio raw punk band Nukkehammer. But they’re back and firing on all radioactive cylinders on their amp-melting 7″ A Distant Hissing in Your Ear. Nukkehammer follow a blunt and brutal artistic arc, which can be handily summed up as follows: fuck trends, fuck subtext, and fuck any hand-wringing angst. A Distant Hissing in Your Ear is a searing cacophony where melody and harmony are hurled into a deep, dark pit. Primitive punk and unrelenting d-beat are ground up in a turbo-speed blender, along with shed-loads of raw-as-sewage hardcore. Expect blown-out yowls, jarring distortion, and dissonant instrumentation. Oodles of rampaging fun.

Spräckta ‎– Demo 2019

Spräckta’s Demo 2019 is being released by Canadian label Slow Death Records, who’ve also unleashed a few furious recordings from groups like Starvation, Bootlicker and more. Spräckta features members from Starvation and Damagers, and much like those bands, Spräckta deal in brawling hardcore with bulldozing riffs, serrated bass, and incendiary vocals. Spräckta’s demo operates at a relentless pace, and the four maelstrom tracks within are all harsh, gut-punching melees. Clobbering UK82 is embedded in the mix, with rough-edged hooks set to drag you along. Fans of chest-pounding subterranean hardcore will dig the full-throttle ferocity right here.

Jarada ‎–Ma’agal Sina’a

The punchy self-titled debut from Israeli punks Jarada (which, in Hebrew, means anxiety) grabbed plenty of attention back in 2018. The four-piece band’s follow up, Ma’agal Sina’a, follows a similarly “raw, fast, angry, (and) negative” path, with Jarada diving deep into tense political and personal issues. Inspired by radical politics, and with songs sung in Hebrew, Jarada’s focus is on troubles at home, but their music also speaks to points of interest shared by punks around the globe. It’s no surprise that Jarada’s music is as fired-up as their lyrical focus, with rushing hardcore plowing into chaotic fastcore, leaving jagged-edge debris and scorched-earth punk in its wake.

No Sanctuary ‎–Weird Slow Pvnk of Mystery and Imagination

Most crust bands tread a familiar path, but not Spanish misfits No Sanctuary. The title of the band’s gothic-sounding debut, Weird Slow Pvnk of Mystery and Imagination, captures No Sanctuary’s strange aesthetic and dark magick extremely well. Sometimes the band sound like Rudimentary Peni playing doom metal. At other times like Celtic Frost tussling with Flux of Pink Indians or Discharge throttling Killing Joke and Crass. D-beat is stalked on pitch-black moors by the ghost of Amebix, while fevered Lovecraftian nightmares are fuelled by mind-bending creative leaps. Strap yourself in for plenty of sharp WTF turns. Bizarre, freakish, and deranged – No Sanctuary will definitely fulfill your quirky punk quota.

Program ‎–Dehumanized Progress

I pretty much measure every Texas hardcore band against my favorite Lone Star sluggers, Vaaska and Impalers – and in that sense, Program have done themselves proud. The teaser tracks off the South Texas band’s Dehumanized Progress full-length set a blistering tempo early on, ramping up the chest-crushing tension, and then it’s all crashing d-beat, crusty pick-slidin’, and jawbreaking hardcore from thereon in. The foot-to-the-floor (and hyper-aggressive) velocity of Dehumanized Progress seems to guarantee that everyone involved will coming down with a hard case of repetitive strain injury. Bonus points to Program’s singer Enok Vazquez, whose larynx-wrecking vocals will clearly tear the roof off Dehumanized Progress.

Foreseen ‎–“Infiltrator”/“Wide Awake Nightmare”

Finnish crossover crew Foreseen struck a resounding chord with their 2015 release, Helsinki Savagery, and their equally skull-cracking follow-up, 2017’s Grave Danger. Foreseen’s red-hot/always ripping metalpunk blends the influence of groups like Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Cro-Mags, and Agnostic Front. Torrents of shredding thrash rain down hard, while tougher-than-tough hardcore smashes minds and concrete.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Foreseen, but the band are back with an explosive two-track 7″, “Infiltrator”/“Wide Awake Nightmare.” The band’s riotous new songs stick to Foreseen’s punishing formula, with ax-wielding thrash and mace-whirling hardcore locked in fierce gladiatorial combat. If any fans were left unnerved by Foreseen slipping off the radar, have no fear, the band have come roaring back with turbo-speed solos, lacerating riffs, and cut-throat vocals galore.

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Posted by Craig Hayes

New Zealand's most successfully unsuccessful music writer. Dadcrust for d-beat dorks, noise punk nerds, and metal dweebs.

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