Welcome to this second end-of-year edition of In Crust We Trust, which focuses on my favorite EPs and reissues from 2019. Much like In Crust We Trust‘s first end-of-year edition, this volume slithers about in the murkiest sewers of punk rock, shining a light on copious amounts of raw and rancid noise.
I won’t reprise the long-winded intro that was included in that first end-of-year edition. Except to repeat the most important points, which are:
(1) Thanks a million for stopping by
(2) Cheers to anyone who shared In Crust We Trust around this year
I appreciate it. Big time. Hugs all round.
Around 25(ish) great releases are gathered below, but there’s no way my end-of-year list reflects a full picture of all the thundering punk released in 2019. Feel free to call me an out-of-touch loser/poser while pointing out the red-hot releases you think I overlooked. I love it when people recommend more first-rate noise to hunt down.
A couple of EPs aren’t included on my list that likely would’ve been if I’d only heard them in time. One is Hellish View’s recent Reaper’s Hand 7”, which is out via Desolate Records. I’m confident its Disclose-worshipping contents would’ve slotted right in with the rawest noise below, even though I’ve only heard the raucous teaser track streaming on Bandcamp, and the 7” has yet to arrive in my postbox.
I also completely missed Swedish raw punks Anti-Metafor’s Hycklarpolitik EP, which was released by D-takt & Rå-punk Records earlier this year. I only encountered Anti-Metafor’s howling Scandi noisecore as I was editing this list, but it ticks all the boxes for me, and the band have a new EP due out soon.
As always, my eternal thanks to the bands, bloggers, labels, distros, and pals who lent support over the past year. Huge cheers to Last Rites for continuing to host In Crust We Trust. And if you follow my writing about noisy New Zealand music, there’ll be an all-NZ EOY special before the year’s end.
Alright, enough with the preamble.
Let’s do this.
In Crust We Trust, 2019, EP edition…engage.
Depressor – Hell Storms Over Earth
Hell Storms Over Earth collected long-lost and unreleased tracks from cult San Francisco misanthropes Depressor’s crust era. Released by always on-point label Sentient Ruin Laboratories, Hell Storms Over Earth‘s remastered tracks sounded ferocious and featured blown-out primitive crust reeking of antipathy and oozing ominous omens. Kudos to Sentient Ruin for dragging Depressor back into the light. (Sentient Ruin Laboratories)
Rigorous Institution – The Coming of the Terror
Rigorous Institution – Penitent
PDX punks Rigorous Institution released two of the most formidable 7″ releases of 2019. The Coming of the Terror and Penitent both featured crushing anarcho-crust spiked with mind-sizzling synth. Dense dirges paid homage to stench-ridden 80s crust with gloomy atmospherics and apocalyptic peril evoking nightmarish noisescapes. Pure magick. 13/10. (Black Water, Whisper in Darkness)
Ojo Por Ojo – Paroxismo / Revienta la Madrugada
Malcría – El Reino de lo Falso
Mexican City punks Ojo Por Ojo released two EPs in 2019, Paroxismo and Revienta la Madrugada, which were both combined on a single cassette late in the year. Both EPs blended brutal realism with necro nastiness as Ojo Por Ojo dug deep into the crime, corruption, and violence they’ve witnessed. Primitive. Pulverizing. Absolutely essential!! (Self-released)
Malcría’s similarly visceral El Reino de lo Falso MLP was an adrenaline-fuelled tour through the grim underbelly of Mexico City. Infectious and urgent hardcore fused with dark and deranged punk. Breathtaking, really. Like a lightning-fast punch in the guts. A+. (Iron Lung Records)
Zyanose – Chaosbender
Tinnitus-inducing Japanese punks Zyanose ended their long run by releasing half a dozen different recordings in 2019. Chaosbender featured withering levels of raw intensity matched to equal amounts of noise-fuckery. Ungovernable chaos embraced sheer insanity, with Zyanose holding tight to their zero-comprise mantra right to the end. (Distort Reality, D-Takt & Råpunk Records)
Vaaska – Inocentes Condenados
Texas punks Vaaska managed to up the ante all over again with the 2019 7” release of their Inocentes Condenados EP. The EP’s six brain-scorching tracks were filled with some of the rawest, fiercest, and most deafening Discharge-inspired d-beat Vaaska have ever recorded. Stripped down to pure muscle, Inocentes Condenados was a knockout punch. (Beach Impediment Records)
Arseholes – PHL 2019
Philadelphia band Arseholes features members from cut-throat noise-makers like Pollen, Neverending Mind War, and Mauser. Arseholes’ PHL 2019 EP offered one thing, and one thing only: *unadulterated chainsawing mayhem*. PHL 2019‘s five cacophonous songs comprised uncompromising noise that was about as inhospitable as it gets. Top-shelf disorder and disarray. (Self-released, Fuzzed Atrocities, Symphony of Destruction, Black Konflik Records, Sickhead, Roachleg Records)
The Passing – 2019 Demo
I was HUGELY impressed by Los Angeles four-piece The Passing’s demo this year. The five dissonant tracks within featured ear-piercing riffs, bass, and primordial percussion, which was lashed by caustic-sounding distortion. D-beat and blown-out noise punk were pared back to their rawest essentials. FFO smashed teeth, ulcerous lesions, and sonic terrorism. (Self-released)
Warcollapse – Deserts of Ash
Heavy as a tank battalion, and as bleak as a massacre, Warcollapse’s five-track Deserts of Ash 12″ delivered an unrelenting onslaught of soul-crushing crust. Reaffirming their title as Scandi punk kingpins, Warcollapse’s bulldozing tracks were driven by bitter and bruising urgency. Wrath-filled. Hard-hitting. First-rate destructive filth. (Insane Society Records, ByeBye Productions, Phobia Records)
S.D.S / Misery – The Future Stay in the Darkness Fog / Pain in Suffering
Label Profane Existence’s decision to reissue S.D.S and Misery’s revered 1992 split was one of this year’s highlights. As authoritative blog Terminal Sound Nuisance noted, there’s plenty of evidence to back the claim that S.D.S and Misery’s split is the best crust split ever. No question, The Future Stay in the Darkness Fog / Pain in Suffering saw the two iconic crust bands expounding on the subgenre’s preeminent strengths. An undeniable classic. (Profane Existence)
Step to Freedom – The Rotten Era
Russian stenchcore band Step to Freedom’s EP, The Rotten Era, featured heavyweight, bass-driven tracks that reflected a grim social and political reality. Perfect for fans of old school doom-laden crust, The Rotten Era stank of authenticity and was replete with cranium-cracking riffs, gruffly barked vocals, and thundering drums. Wonderfully ugly OG noize.(Self-released, Blown Out Media)
Physique – The Rhythm of Brutality
Olympia, Washington band Physique released two violent-sounding 12” recordings in 2019, with The Rhythm of Brutality being the band’s best release yet. The chaotic EP injected filthy crasher crust and d-beat into the heart of hemorrhaging raw punk, with all the skin-flaying abrasiveness ravaged by waves of corrosive feedback. Maximum sonic mayhem = maximum maniacal fun. (Distort Reality, Static Shock Records)
Carnage – Duality
Duality was the second release from Portuguese band Carnage, and the EP was a significant step up from the band’s debut. Heftier, heavier, and more merciless, Duality’s apocalyptic aura was conjured via churning crust and stenchcore coalescing on thickset, ominous tracks. Brooding. Battered. And bloodied brilliance. (Profane Existence)
Warcycle – Legalised Onslaught
Western Australian punks Warcycle followed up their 2017 Deploy and Destroy cassette with a phenomenal 6-track 7″ in 2019. Legalised Onslaught featured Japanese-inspired crasher crust with gravel-gargling vocals. In-your-face and heavily distorted, Legalised Onslaught is pitch-perfect pandemonium for fans of Framtid, D-Clone, and Disclose. (Televised Suicide)
Disclose – Nightmare or Reality
Much like S.D.S / Misery’s split, original copies of Disclose’s Nightmare or Reality had become prohibitively expensive over the years. The band’s coveted classic saw Kawakami and co take their Discharge worship to mind-mangling heights, setting a new standard for ultra-distorted hardcore. Kudos to La Vida Es Un Mus for reissuing Nightmare or Reality for its 20th anniversary and putting the album into the hands of scores of grateful Disclose fans – myself included. (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Disclone – 4 Trax Total Kontakt D-Takt Noise Raid
I’ve said it before, but Austrian d-beat crew Disclone don’t make music as much as smear an über-coarse and challenging veneer of noise onto a rank and rotting canvas. The band’s 2019 4 Trax Total Kontakt D-Takt Noise Raid EP was a hellish din, with Scandi and Japanese raw punk callbacks aplenty. Lo-fi nerve-shredding chaos reigned supreme. (Self-released)
Alement – Onward
Philadelphia trio Alement’s Onward EP featured three epic-sounding tracks best described as #absolute #fucking #bangers. Alement’s gloomy atmospherics, pile-driving bass, and lacerating guitar called to mind legendary crusties like Amebix and Axegrinder. Alement’s heavyweight and heavily armored tracks delivered staggering amounts of hope-smashing stenchcore. More, please… stat! (Self-released)
Disguise – Bas Fada
Irish punks Disguise combined distortion-drenched crust with blown-out hardcore on their Bas Fada 7″. There wasn’t an easy hook to hang onto anywhere, with Bas Fada remaining an obnoxious uproar throughout. Saw-toothed riffs tore through raucous vocals, with zero breaths taken and zero fucks given. Enthralling hardcore constructed from the ugliest ingredients. (Static Shock Records)
Akrasia – Observe the Darkness
Norwegian punks Akrasia combine apocalyptic crust with acid-fried space rock –– think Amebix via Hawkwind, with a touch of Hellhammer thrown in. Constructed in some far-flung spaceport for psychonauts, astronauts, and meteor-mining dumpster divers, Akrasia’s Observe the Darkness EP was an all-phasers-blazing sci-fi treat. Filthy psychedelic crustcore was channeled via old school hammering metalpunk. With plenty of cosmic horror thrown in. All hail our Venusian overlords. (Ruin Nation Records)
Nuclear Power Genocide – Devastation of the Future
Nuclear Power Genocide (aka N.P.G) features members from prolific Swedish nasties 偏執症者 (Paranoid) and Canadian noise-makers Absolut. N.P.G sound exactly like you’d expect – crude, ugly, vulgar, and vile. The band’s caustic (and always ear-splitting) Devastation of the Future 7″ featured blistering and battering kängpunk that’ll leave you feeling like a red-hot decontamination shower is called for. (D-Takt & Råpunk Records)
The Comes – No Side
Label La Vida Es Un Mus’ reissue of The Comes’ 1983 LP, No Side, was an absolute treat. The Comes played an important role in the early years of Japanese hardcore, alongside the likes of G.I.S.M, Execute and Gauze. No Side‘s frantic and feverish tracks were propelled by heavy bass and skittery riffs, and they were made all the better by The Comes vocalist Chitose’s eccentric howls and screams. 36 years after its release, No Side still sounds utterly unorthodox and equally unique. (La Vida Es Un Mus)
Oblaka – Insight
Russian band Oblaka are based in the city of Yakutsk, which is located a hop, skip and a jump from the Arctic Circle and is locked in permafrost all year round. It’s (((fucking cold))), in other words. But Oblaka’s rough-and-ready music isn’t frosty. The band’s searing Insight Flexi featured three short and bass-blasting tracks built from harsh and hoarse hardcore. It’s always great to stumble on DIY bands located on the fringes, doubly so when they exhibit such a strong do-or-die attitude. (Self-released, Symphony of Destruction)
Languid – Submission Is the Only Freedom
Unmistakably influenced by d-beat heroes Discharge, Languid’s Submission Is the Only Freedom 12” charged like a wounded rhino and hit like an atom bomb. Raw metallic hardcore was delivered with demolishing power and steel-clad prowess. Rough. Tough. And as blunt and brutal as Stoke-on-Trent’s finest. (D-Takt & Råpunk Records, Brain Solvent Propaganda)
Urin – Incydent
Berlin punks Urin dealt in lo-fi and extremely corrosive hardcore on their Incydent EP. Shitlickers-levels of sickness met Disclose-levels of shrieking noise, and Incydent‘s nails-on-a-chalkboard approach sounded like it’d have fit right in during raw punk’s earliest years. Ultra-ugly blasting noise for lovers of short, speedy, and always obnoxious punk. (Erste Theke Tonträger)
Dark Horse – Ideation
Dark Horse’s Ideation EP bombarded listeners with uncompromising hardcore that was perfect for slaying inner demons while spitting torrents of venom at the Man. The DIY Australian punks tore into the manifold plagues besetting modernity with a cathartic albeit bone-crunching mix of hardcore, crust, d-beat, and grindcore. (DHHC, Sick World Records, Svoboda Records, Tasmanian Alcoholic)
Röntgen – Inhale Death
Phoenix-based Röntgen’s Inhale Death 7″ featured sand-blasted/echoing vocals, mangling guitars, and a mountain of crude and coarse feedbacking clatter. Primitive hardcore tore into reverb-heavy raw punk, and the resulting carnage was a feast for connoisseurs of feral noise. (Make ’em Sweat Records, Blown Out Media, Morbid Reality Records)
Iconoclast – Domination or Destruction
Domination or Destruction featured the entire (remastered) discography of 80s peace punks Iconoclast. The band’s anarcho-punk evoked Crucifix and Crass, coupled with Discharge or the Varukers’ momentum. The remastering here is top-notch, with Iconoclast’s scrappy songs embodying the anger and spiky energy of their original era, while sounding better than ever. (Sealed Records)
Atavistik Death Pose – S/T
The barbaric-sounding self-titled 7″ from UK punks Atavistik Death Pose conjured the likes of Discharge, His Hero is Gone and early Celtic Frost. Punk and metal fused in a deluge of howling aggression, with fetid mid-tempo tracks nestled alongside speedier, filthier, more gargling noise. An avalanche of primitive and putrid pleasures. (WOOAAARGH, Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records, Keep it in the Family, Made in the Meth Lab, Imminent Destruction Records)
Warkrusher – All is Not Lost
Löckheed – 4 Track Demo
Metachrist – Final Bloody Master
I like to end every edition of In Crust We Trust with a shout-out to a few recent releases that caught my ear just as I was about to drop the latest edition into the queue. This edition is no different, and the three EPs below definitely deserve a mention on this end-of-year list.
The six tracks on Montreal ”crust fuckers” Warkrusher’s All is Not Lost demo rumble, grumble and grind like they’ve been teleported directly from stenchcore’s primordial era. Crank the volume and enjoy heads-down and hard-hitting crustcore that amplifies the subgenre’s brutalist strengths time and again. Who knows what the future holds, but Warkrusher’s demo is tough as steel and promises A LOT. (Self-released)
Californian band Löckheed’s 4 Track Demo features an impressive array of snarling kängpunk, throat-wrecking d-beat, and raw-as-sewage hardcore. Even better, the production on Löckheed’s aggressive demo is thickset, sawtoothed and punches well above its weight. Like Warkrusher, Löckheed’s rampaging debut is extremely promising. (Self-released)
Canadian band Metachrist operate in a similar sphere to Warkrusher, favoring an old school and heavy-as-an-anvil approach. Metachrist’s Final Bloody Master cassette features bulldozing tracks that tip their hat to the band’s long list of classic crust influences – see Sacrilege, Hellbastard, Doom, Antisect, Axegrinder, etc. Expect blazing solos, barked vocals, and 17 minutes of solidly built and no-holds-barred classic stenchcore. (Self-released)