Kia ora, comrades. Welcome to In Crust We Trust. This regular round-up of noisy releases focuses on the harshest strains of punk, hardcore, and metalpunk. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie in a brand-spankin’ Aus-Rotten tee. Or a lifer who craps their Doom-patched daks on the reg. All are welcome to sup from the cesspool below. You’ll find raw hardcore, d-beat, stenchcore, crust punk, noisecore, and every other Dis-charged micro-genre. As always, thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you next month.
Mudhoney – “Little Dogs”
Legendary grunge band Mudhoney recently released their 11th LP, Plastic Eternity. The album mixes Mudhoney’s primordial riffs with plenty of their signature snark, and Plastic Eternity is a mountain of garage punk fun. However, that’s not why I’m writing this blurb.
I’m typing these words because, as Mudhoney once said, life frequently feels flat-out fucked. Even worse, humanity’s seemingly innate cynicism means we often forget to appreciate those all-important moments of joy. Well, good news, friends, because Mudhoney are also bearers of the light.
In this case, I’m talking about the band’s video for Plastic Eternity track “Little Dogs”, which is an overdose of pure bliss. Behold the delights of mini dogdom (ditto catdom, too, obvs). Sure, life can be a shitshow, but gaze upon those snuggle bunnies below and embrace your inner peace.
As Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm utters, “In these times of trouble, I love a little dog.” Me too, brother. Here’s to putting a smile on your dial. Woof.
Life / Fatum – Everyone Crosses The Border / End Time
The recent split release from Tokyo colossus LIFE and Moscow titans Fatum is a dream come true for bum-flapped fans who spend an inordinate amount of time hand-stitching their rotting jeans. Everyone Crosses the Border / End Time only features four tracks, which might not sound like a lot, but we’re talking about two of the most formidable crust bands around. Thus, while brief, Everyone Crosses The Border / End Time is still an absolute mind-crusher.
Originally, Everyone Crosses the Border / End Time was meant to be a 7″ release funded by Japanese label Acclaim Collective and Russia’s Headnoise Records. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added a few collaborative kinks, and Headnoise exited the project. Everyone Crosses the Border / End Time subsequently changed formats from vinyl to a CD release, and the split is now a co-release from Acclaim and like-minded Japanese labels Distro Rakkos, Punk Bastard Records, and Price Of Grain.
(Fun fact: Everyone Crosses the Border / End Time is the debut release for Tokyo-based distro Price Of Grain. Funner fact: the distro was founded by members of stench-crust behemoths Asocial Terror Fabrication and Deformed Existence. Funnest fact: Asocial Terror Fabrication and Deformed Existence are absolutely killer bands.)
Crasher crusties LIFE have been making an uncompromising racket since the early 90s. Since day one, the band’s indomitable protest punk has voiced anti-war and pro-environmental messages at face-melting volumes. Highly recommended albums like Ossification Of Coral, Violence, Peace and Peace Research, and The World Lies Across Them are punishing assaults on the senses. Not to mention LIFE’s long list of noise-drenched splits and EPs.
As expected, LIFE’s latest tracks, “Everyone Crosses the Border” and “Efforts to Create Peace”, feature blown-out vocals, wall-of-noise guitars, and crud-caked bass; think a virulent conflagration of Gloom, S.D.S, and Frigöra. Once again, LIFE deliver everything you’d want from the pits of gutter-scraped Japanese punk – maximum filth, maximum heaviness, and maximum abrasiveness.
Fatum’s last release (see their 12″ split with Canadian d-beat band Decade) featured some of the band’s strongest material yet. As usual, Fatum’s latest heavyweight tracks – “End Time” (featuring guest vocals from Janick Varning) and “Last Line” – are fuelled by putrid punk and driven hard by brute-strength metal. You get white-hot guitars, scathing vocals, and torrents of bass and drums. All the noxious noise showcases stenchcore’s greatest strengths: Fatum to a T.
LIFE and Fatum traverse different (albeit similarly brutal-sounding) paths to meet at the same politically-charged point in time. The two bands’ split delivers A-grade tunes crafted by bona fide diehards, and more galvanising tunes in these troubled times are always welcome. Fingers crossed, some DIY label(s) will also fund a vinyl release of Everyone Crosses the Border / End Time – it absolutely deserves it. In the meantime, tune in for full-force, Kawasaki-powered punk from two of the crustiest noiseniks in town.
(Acclaim, Distro Rakkos, Punk Bastard Records, Price Of Grain)
Hiatus – Out of Hands
Out of Hands is the first release from Belgian crust band Hiatus since 1996. (Cue the obvious joke about the band taking their moniker extremely seriously.) In any case, that’s a long time between drinks for any outfit. Long enough to lose crucial muscle memory. Long enough to lose your passion for making furious noise. And long enough to lose any creative relevance. Even worse, few vintage outfits even warrant a return.
The good news is, Hiatus aren’t stepping back into uncharted waters. Stylistically, the band’s natural habitat isn’t known for its creative progression. Thus, in the dank, dark corners of stench-crust, Hiatus’ Doom-via-Anti-Cimex sound remains entirely in vogue. Also, let’s not forget that the world is still a giant fucking mess. Meaning, Hiatus’ lyrical points of interest – violence, poverty, intolerance, prejudice, etc.– are (sadly) as relevant as they ever were.
In truth, Hiatus sound fired up and more than ready to renter the fray on Out of Hands. In fact, fears that the band couldn’t compete in today’s super-heated environment are annihilated immediately. Out of Hands opener “End is Near” is an out-and-out bruiser, which is followed, in turn, by a dozen more gut-punchers. Thickset songs like “Apocalypsick”, “Ecocide”, and “Out of Hand” are replete with musical muscle that’s backed by raw yet utterly bulldozing production. Tracks range from mid-tempo chug ‘n’ churns to murderously paced onslaughts, and Hiatus sound out for blood throughout. Hiatus’ dumpster diving fans will be thrilled with Out of Hands. The album is more than equal to the band’s best work in terms of its power and prowess.
(Ruin Nation Records)
Global Thermonuclear War – Seeking Mastery
Global Thermonuclear War’s Seeking Mastery demo grabbed my attention due to the band’s ties to much-praised PDX crusties Rigorous Institution. (Rigorous Institution member Shite helms Global Thermonuclear War, and Shite also founded the band’s label, Dogs of Altamont.) Like Rigorous Institution, Global Thermonuclear War’s dirt-encrusted sound radiates plenty of end-times gloom. Although, Global Thermonuclear War lean harder on the feral primitivism of Doom and Extreme Noise Terror than the Amebix-inspired exploits of Rigorous Institution.
Seeking Mastery‘s tracks – see tactical nukes like “The Rich”, “Demon-claws”, and quickfire grinder “Industrialised Meat Production” – feature plenty of brawn in their otherwise bloody-raw innards. And Global Thermonuclear War’s scorched-earth sound captures the anger and frustrations of the dystopian nightmare we’re currently living through. Of course, challenging times often inspire savage artistic responses. Seeking Mastery might be a wretched trawl through humanity’s failures, but Global Thermonuclear War’s cranium-cracking tracks keep the means of resistance on the boil. Sure, Seeking Mastery is grim as Nana’s funeral. But brick-throwing filth like this is not only cathartic – it’s downright invigorating.
(Dogs of Altamont)
Ps: Seeking Mastery is the second release from label Dogs of Altamont. The first was Rigorous Institution’s limited edition Lords Of Misrule cassette, which features four stench-ridden tracks taped in the band’s practice space. See below to witness Rigorous Institution running through a live version of “Despotism”, which Black Water Records recently posted on their YouTube channel.
The Lousy – Another Lousy Tape
Shut Up I’m Talking, the red-hot debut from Boston miscreants The Lousy, was co-released by several go-to labels last year, including extreme metal axis Sentient Ruin Laboratories, and well-respected Canadian label / graphic design dungeon Sore Mind. The Lousy’s new cassette, Another Lousy Tape, is also out via the trusted noise-mongers at Sore Mind. The three-song EP features a barreling cover of Ambeix’s “Arise”, while The Lousy’s latest tracks, “Breaking Wheel” and “Dogs of War”, once again frenziedly mix primitive punk with guttural speed metal.
The Lousy features members from Boston crust crews Instinct? and D-Sagawa. However, crust’s hallmarks aren’t the main focus here. Instead, The Lousy’s neck-wrecking guitar and barking vocals evoke basement thrash’s sweat-soaked intensity (and The Lousy throw in a few fuzzed-out, Burton-worthy bass blasts to boot.) You know the deal: dirty high tops, shredded-kneed jeans + super-aggressive riffage, and whizz-bang solos. Think Age of Quarrel locking antlers with Kill ’em All. Another Lousy Tape‘s hard-hitting tracks are fast, lawless, and spiked with badass hooks. Metal up your ass, through and through – 666/666.
Turquoise – Sang, Larmes & Râles
Turquoise’s 2021 debut, Hantise, set young hearts aflutter. The much-discussed MLP was stacked with ‘hard-hitting raw rocking’ kängpunk delivered with plenty of verve and vigour. Most importantly of all, Hantise reeked of authenticity. Turquoise’s latest release, Sang, Larmes & Râles, is even better. Turquoise still dish out high-speed Scandicore – albeit with French rather than Swedish lyrics – and the band’s action-packed Totalitär-esque sound still features a little of Infernöh’s bite. However, Sang, Larmes & Râles also sees Turquoise loosening up – and maybe, dare I suggest it, having more fun – dropping in hookier riffs and a few genuine shout-a-long choruses. All up, Sang, Larmes & Râles delivers eight ferocious songs in 16 electrifying minutes, with Turquoise exhibiting, time and again, what makes red-raw Scandicore such a raging good time.
(Symphony of Destruction, Les Choeurs de l’Ennui)
Spräckta – Endless Vacation
Canadian punks Spräckta blend battery-acid hardcore with brawling kängpunk on their six-song Endless Vacation cassette. Much like the band’s excellent 2019 demo, Spräckta’s latest release is super-aggro, mixing a swathe of cacophonous influences from Europe, Asia, and North America into a boiling cauldron of teeth-rattlingly hardcore. Endless Vacation maintains maelstrom-like volatility from its first seconds to its last. However, while Spräckta’s songs are gloriously mangled wrecks, the band remain über-tight and tough as steel throughout. Eviscerating tracks like “Rattle the Cage”, “The Beating Drum”, and “Life Is” showcase the concussive physicality of top-tier subterranean hardcore via blazing instrumentation and Spräckta’s vein-popping vocals from Hell. Like the Shitlickers’ “Spräckta Snutskallar” suggests, Spräckta crack skulls while kickin’ ass. Full-throttle, throat-ripping ferocity… fuckin’ A.
(Slow Death Records)
ΝΕΚΡΗ ΠΤΕΡΥΓΑ – Στον Ίσκιο Μιας Νέας Φρίκης
There’s a hypnotising darkness to the debut full-length from Greek band ΝΕΚΡΗ ΠΤΕΡΥΓΑ. The Thessaloniki-based group’s Στον Ίσκιο Μιας Νέας Φρίκης (In the Shadow of a New Horror) album leaches shadow and doom as the heavyweight tracks within fuse muscular crust with max-tonnage hardcore. Στον Ίσκιο Μιας Νέας Φρίκης was mixed by ΝΕΚΡΗ ΠΤΕΡΥΓΑ’s guitarist Stelios, and mastered at Black Cloud Studio in the UK, and the album sounds huge – like latter-era Rotting Christ huge, with an often similar vocal cadence. That said, while ΝΕΚΡΗ ΠΤΕΡΥΓΑ make the most of metal’s brawn, Στον Ίσκιο Μιας Νέας Φρίκης is overflowing with the grit and grimness of classic Greek crust – see, for example, bands like Panikos, Chaotic End, Hibernation, and Sarabante. Στον Ίσκιο Μιας Νέας Φρίκης is a crushing first full-length and the album’s apocalyptic overtones secure its success.
B.O.R.N. – Belligerent Onslaught Relentless Noise
Birmingham, Alabama punks B.O.R.N. make a raucous racket that’s pitch-perfect for fans whose lugholes are beyond any hope of repair. The group’s third release, Belligerent Onslaught Relentless Noise, features 10 minutes of chainsawing mayhem, with B.O.R.N. throwing in a cover of Disclose’s “Conquest” in case you were somehow left wondering about the band’s rowdy influences. Screeching guitars and hollered vocals are battered by destructive d-beat, and much like the pummeling modus operandi of Richmond band Destruct, B.O.R.N.’s pressure-keg fusion of the bloodthirstiest strains of hardcore is executed ruthlessly. Belligerent Onslaught Relentless Noise is an obnoxious and markedly rough-hewn release. But like the best high-speed collisions of crasher crust and primitive hardcore, B.O.R.N.’s visceral rawness only adds to their ear-splitting strengths.
Deletär – S/T
Bonjour, motherfucker. The second self-titled 12″ from d-beat group Deletär is packed with even more explosive fun than the band’s live wire debut. Like fellow French band Turquoise, Deletär tip their hat to all-time influencers Totalitär, exhibiting a similarly clobbering tempo and technique to the kängpunk legends. Deletär’s latest ragged-edged tracks zip by at warp speed, ticking all the always-be-crushing (and all killer, no filler) boxes along the way. Self-produced – and mixed and mastered by go-to guru Will Killingsworth – Deletär’s new album has a wickedly serrated edge. Combine that with the band’s foot-to-the-floor ferocity, scorching solos, and pick slides galore, and you get a lean/mean LP crammed with breathless hardcore. If you’re a fan of Totalitär (or the untold contemporary outfits inspired by the maniacal Swedes), Deletär’s latest is guaranteed to get your blood pumping.
(Vox Populi, Kick Rock, and Destructure)
Nevelat Habala – Battle Cry
Step to Freedom – “Control Therapy”
I know next to nothing about Israeli hardcore. But I saw New Mexico label Blown Out Media were releasing Tel Aviv three-piece Nevelat Habala’s Battle Cry album, and that’s a sure sign of quality. Battle Cry features a dozen songs (including a cover of Anti Cimex’s “En Död Soldat”), and the album’s first six tracks are streaming on Blown Out Media’s Bandcamp page. From the sound of those half-dozen howling songs, I think it’s safe to assume the rest of Battle Cry is also a raw punk rampage. Obviously, there are plenty of tensions and frictions in Nevelat Habala’s neck of the woods to inspire their self-described “terrorhythmic noise from the depths of Hell”. The band certainly sound enraged, and, of course, this being red-raw punk, Nevelat Habala’s dissonant tracks burn like a urinary tract infection. That said, while Battle Cry‘s sawtoothed production is grating (and that’s no criticism), the album also features a corrosive guitar tone to die for, and plenty of fire and brimstone percussion. Yet another recommended release from Blown Out Media.
Perfect timing! As soon as I finished typing the blurb above, an email alerted me to Blown Out Media’s next release; a full-length LP from heavyweight crusties Step to Freedom. The group’s new self-titled album will be out in late May, and the raucous preview track currently streaming, “Control Therapy”, is an absolute monster, much like Step to Freedom’s previous grim-toned releases.
I look forward to checking out Step to Freedom’s latest collection of guttural doom and gloom. Keep an eye out for a blurb featuring the band’s new album in the next edition of ICWT. (Especially if stench-drenched crews like Fatum, Swordwielder, Deviated Instinct, etc, float your boat.)
(Blown Out Media)
Ocaso – Digging My Grave
Greek label Nothing to Harvest Records has released numerous rip-roaring recordings from crust-powered groups like Procrastinate, Dishönor, Storm of Sedition, and Autarch. You can add German troupe Ocaso to that list. The Dresden group’s gruff but tuneful Digging My Grave EP marries anthemic neocrust and animated post-metal. Essentially, Ocaso’s new 4-song release takes a little of Fall of Efrafa’s melodicism, mixes it with His Hero Is Gone’s fist-pumping energy, and then slaps a coat of Martyrdöd’s metallic käng over the top. Digging My Grave opener “Leerdenken” starts with a lengthy atmospheric intro (ticking the de rigueur post-metal build-up box) before the song explodes in a deluge of crusty riffs and passionate dual vocals. Like all expressive neocrust, there’s a tangible heart to Ocaso’s songs. Tracks like “Same Mistakes” and epic closer “Totsaniert” offer climatic conclusions as Ocaso bear witness to a litany of woes. Best of all, while a lot of neocrust is far too polished for its own good, Digging My Grave is rough and ready, both musically and emotionally, and that rawer edge ensures the EP is all the more evocative.
(Nothing To Harvest Records, Crustatombe, Aktiver Ausstand In Plastik, Up The Punx)
Lasso – Ordem Imaginada
Release number #3 for Brazillian band Lasso is another certified ripper. (And it’s no surprise to see reliably on-point labels Sorry State Records and Static Shock Records backing the band once again.) Lasso’s Ordem Imaginada EP finds the Bahia-based band mixing a manic-like jitteriness into otherwise urgent-sounding songs.Dark-veined deathrock previously stirred in the depths of Lasso’s sound, and while deathrock still simmers on a track like “Animal Insignificante”, in the main, adrenalin-charged hardcore powers tracks like “Revertério”, “Língua Seca”, and “Tecido Social”. Packed with melodic yet incandescent riffs and impassioned vocals, Ordem Imaginada is Lasso’s fiercest release yet. Best of all, no matter how enraged Lasso get, the band never lose a grip on their super-tight songs. (Kudos, once again, to illustrator Carlos Casotti, whose weird and wonderful cover art captures the eccentricity of Lasso’s anxiety-fuelled hardcore.)
(Sorry State Records, Static Shock Records)
The Hell – S/T
Praise the Sweet Dark Lord, the self-titled album from Cleveland band The Hell is a god-damned thrilling blast of zero-bullshit hardcore. Tracks like “Bloodstains in the Boardroom”, “National Razor”, and “Pistol Grip” are tried and true classics in resonance and structure, with raucous but catchy vocals and little of NYHC’s temper in their bite. In truth, it’s hard to nail The Hell’s sound down. The band’s US label, Not For The Weak, suggests 80s Midwest hardcore as a solid reference point, while The Hell’s UK label, Drunken Sailor, points to bands like Poison Idea, TSOL, Angry Samoans and Circle Jerks. In truth, The Hell channel myriad razor-sharp influences, plucking as much from blistering hardcore as they do from driving punk. Ultimately, all that matters is that you’re fully aware that The Hell’s debut 12″ features whip-smart songs filled with equally whiplashing music. If Kings of Punk is your bible, prepare for a firey New Testament.
(Drunken Sailor Records, Not For The Weak Records)
Pyrrhic– At What Cost?
Long Beach, California, is the birthplace of Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy* and ska-punk trio Sublime. Still, there’s also good news. Long Beach is where hardcore ‘maniacs’ Pyrrhic reside, and the band’s recent At What Cost? release features a shedload of iron-clad hardcore. Like a lot of noise recorded at Los Angeles bunker/studio 1753, At What Cost?‘s stripped-down tracks reject any and all wank-punk fripperies in favour of tight/fast/knuckle-smashing hardcore. If it ain’t broke, there’s no need to fuck about under the hood, right? Pyrrhic never take their foot off the gas, and their music digs into the core strengths of hardcore as sharp hooks and a skin-stripping momentum fuse in an eruption of gut-driven punk. Scream for me, Long Beach!
*Just so we’re clear, I’ve got a hell of a lot of time for Ratt’s Out of the Cellar.
Sanitisers – S/T
Last month’s ICWT featured Gel’s instantly sold-out Only Constant LP, which was another killer release from Colorado label Convulse Records. This month’s sizzling Convulse recommendation is Sanitizers’ self-titled cassette. The Denver-based group’s 5-song release is packed with chaotic hardcore. Disorder and disarray are key descriptors, with opening track, “Clawing”, starting out with 50 seconds of migraine-inducing feedback before evolving/devolving (take your pick) into a wall of sledgehammering noise. (Or a wall of face-melting noise – again, take your pick). The rest of Sanitizers’ EP is an equally harsh buzz. Every acid-puking track is akin to a powerful dissociative experience. And every second is as abrasive and explosive as the next. I love hand grenade hardcore like this. It detonates with such uncompromising relish. Ka-boom. Get some.
Beton / Beyond Description – Split
Entrapped – Pohřebišta Popela
Deathfiend – Beyond Life
Some split releases feature bands cut from the exact same cloth, which is fine, most of the time. However, I’ve always enjoyed splits like Beton and Beyond Description’s recent 7″ (out via stalwart Phobia Records), which serve up completely different – although, you know, similarly underground – blasts of noise. Slovakian band Beton slam neck-cracking d-beat into subterrestrial death metal. I hadn’t heard the veteran band before, but Beton’s heavy-ass tracks encouraged me to check out the rest of their discography, which is always a sign of a successful split. Long-running Japanese band Beyond Description deal in whirlwind metalpunk. Crust and hardcore briefly raise their heads, but in the main, Beyond Description focus on what they do best; delivering crude and coarse thrash-punk.
Entrapped’s Pohřebišta Popela LP shares a reverence for HM-2 worship with another recent Phobia Records release, Deathfiend’s Beyond Life. Deathfiend’s debut channels Celtic Frost and Bolt Thrower through the lens of the crustiest punk, sludge, and black metal – and Beyond Life‘s monolithically heavy production is a notable plus. Entrapped mine a similar caustic vein, blending Hellhammering metal with anvil-heavy crust. However, while Entrapped and Deathfiend share definite similarities, there are also distinct differences. Most notably, Pohřebišta Popela‘s production is filthier and a lot rawer than Beyond Life. All up, two first-rate slabs of axe-wielding metalpunk. Grab both for a double dose of HM-2 devotion.
Mandate – S/T
Mandate features members from Aotearoa|New Zealand bands Long Distance Runner, Cuck, and Electric Mayhem. The Ōtepoti (Dunedin)-based group’s self-titled cassette operates at turbo speed, fuelled by high-powered fastcore and frenzied hardcore. “Fast, visceral and straight to the point” is how Mandate describe their sound, and ‘straight to the point’ is an entirely accurate description of hurtling tracks like “Fuck Off and Die”, “Angry Man”, “Liars”, and “Egotesticle”. You know the deal; guitars crash, drums smash, and vocals howl. Breakneck hardcore for backbreaking days; get over the hump with this super-charged/supersonic racket.
Attack Warning Red (AWR) – Fresh Meat for the Fucking Pigs
Realm of Terror – Lose of Hope (Remix/Remaster)
Head-splitting riffs, piss-and-vinegar vocals, and raw-boned bass and drums; that’s AWR’s Fresh Meat for the Fucking Pigs in a nutshell. AWR features musicians from similarly amp-melting outfits like Disease, Angza, Better Reality, Vitriolic Response, and Deformed Existence. If you’ve enjoyed the brain-drilling work of any of those bands, you’ll love AWR’s dirty bomb debut. Fresh Meat For The Fucking Pigs‘ four tracks are caked in crust and lashed by waves of radioactive static. And all the pandemonium within crackles with the kind of blown-out distortion that deafening peers like Nukelickers, Visions of Chaos, and Realm of Terror specialise in. This is nails on chalkboard stuff; perfect for dog-on-a-string crusties and/or noisecore nerds. Oink, oink, fucker.
(Noise Itch Cassettes)
Speaking of Realm of Terror, Guttural Warfare Records recently uploaded a remixed/remastered version of the crustcore band’s Loss of Hope demo, which was a nihilistic triumph. If you haven’t heard it before, Loss of Hope is a stench-heavy mash-up of Extreme Noise Terror, Doom, Sore Throat, and Deviated Instinct. The remixed demo sounds great. It’s burlier and punchier than the original but retains its raw-as-a-root-canal sting.
(Guttural Warfare Records)
Phosphore – S/T
The self-titled debut from Bordeaux, France, four-piece Phosphore is guaranteed to attract the eyes and ears of d-beat fans, given the band includes members from Gasmask Terror, Fraude and the much-loved Bombardement. Like Bombardement, Phosphore’s music features plenty of well-defined hooks. But Phosphore sidestep Bombardement’s rockin’ elements, drawing instead from a much deeper well of belligerent raw punk. Tracks like “Marche Ou Crève”, “Tous Contre Tous”, and “L’Ultimatum” are bass-blastin’ and riff-spittin’ discharges of brute-force hardcore. Hostility leads the charge, for sure, and the fist-pounding punk is guaranteed to fire up your engine. It turns out Bordeaux doesn’t just make some of the best wine around; the region seemingly produces a raft of killer d-beat. (See also: Faucheuse’s much-hyped debut in the demo section below.)
(Dirty Slap Records, Fight For Your Mind Records)
Dispose – The Garbage Sessions
The last time I wrote about Swedish raw punk band Dispose, I pointed out that their split with fellow Swedes Förgör featured some of Dispose’s beefiest tunes yet. Dispose’s latest release, The Garbage Sessions, flips the switch, with the band diving right back into the shit-fi sewers. Released by the Finnish noisecore label Garbage Fountain, The Garbage Sessions is a limited-run cassette release (although its all yours digitally), which sees Dispose’s latest tracks dubbed onto used tapes – reuse, recycle, and fuck rampant consumerism, you get the jist. The Garbage Sessions is a synapse-scrambling onslaught, with Dispose showing zero compulsion to write or perform anything remotely listener-friendly. Of course, that very stubbornness means The Garbage Sessions will greatly interest diehard noiseniks and hardcore masochists. “Noise for heroes, music for zeroes” – here’s one to fry your neurotransmitters.
Killing Frost – S/T
Listen up, my cold-hearted friends. If crossover hardcore from the frostiest climes sounds appealing, check out the latest blizzard-blasting tracks from Finnish band Killing Frost. The heavyweight Suomi group released a much-talked-about demo a few years back, and Killing Frost’s recent 3-song self-titled release expands on their blend of Celtic Frost’s heaviness and Sheer Terror’s darkness. With members of crossover champs Foreseen in the ranks, it’s no surprise that Killing Frost deliver bone-crunching metalpunk. However, Killing Frost also utilise keyboards and insert more ratcheting dynamics to heighten tension in their songs. The band’s EP closer, “Wilkman’s War II”, see Killing Frost unleash every weapon in their armoury – gothic keyboards included – to sculpt an epic feast of bludgeoning hardcore. Congrats also to studio whiz Don Ville (see his work with Kohti Tuhoa, Foreseen, Yleiset Syyt, etc) for capturing the full weight and dimensions of Killing Frost’s murderous endeavours.
Here are a half-dozen (or so) demos that have caught my tinnitus-ravaged ears recently. I’ve kept the blurbs short ‘n’ sweet below to cram in a little more gnarly noise. See you next month, compadres. Be excellent to one another.
Kazmer – Demo
Fuckin’ Portland, huh? The city’s seemingly infested with more killer crust bands per mile than anywhere else – see PDX horde Kazmer. The band’s demo only features two songs, but they’re both armour-plated beasts. Vocalist Mary’s anguished howls are tip-top, and Kazmer’s festering stenchcrust will fulfil all your dystopian desires.
Zouka – Demo
Japanese band Zouka’s demo harks back to the wildest years of groups like Kuro, Zouo, and Anti Cimex. Ergo, you can expect to find extremely harsh hardcore that’s as gruesome as a gangrenous gut wound.
(Black Konflik Records)
Faucheuse – S/T
Bordeaux, France d-beat band Faucheuse’s self-titled demo has received plenty of attention of late – thus confirming that ‘BDX’ really is a thing. The band features members (and ex-members) from groups like Bombardement, Monarch, Gasmask Terrör and Year of No Light. It’s no surprise to discover that Faucheuse’s demo features powerhouse tracks. However, you might be surprised to hear Faucheuse mixing so many hard rock elements into their throat-gripping tracks. Faucheuse’s demo rips. In this case, believe the hype.
(Symphony of Destruction)
Necron 9 – Peace by a Rope
Necron 9’s Peace by a Rope demo blends gutter-trawling sonics with a crackling sense of urgency. The four songs here are dragged through the sewers of evil-sounding hardcore, with all the gunk and grime coating every track accentuating their abrasive impact. Necron 9’s demo is all the more brilliant for its sheer fucking ugliness.
Mock Execution – Rebels Without A Cause
The last release from ‘Shitcago’ punks Mock Execution – see 2022’s popular Killed By Mock Execution LP – featured a smorgasbord of crust-slathered tracks. (A “hybrid of Doom, Gloom, Gai, Kaaos, and the entire early 2000’s Crust War catalogue” was a bang-on description.) Mock Execution’s new Rebels Without A Cause demo is understandably more lo-fi than their last LP, but it still offers a promising feast of disease-ridden noise. The crust war never ends!
(Unlawful Assembly, Runstate Tapes)
Fatal – Demo
Fatal’s politically-charged demo sounds like the band threw everything into a meat grinder, including the kitchen sink. The Colombian band’s Disclose-via-Shitlickers sound delivers blistering raw hardcore that reeks of rage and despair. Super-acidic South American punk. Total audio destruction. One of the best demos of the year thus far.
Cuxx – Demo
Indonesian four-piece Cuxx’s demo begins with wailing feedback before the band plunge into the pits of grotty-assed hardcore. This stuff is dark, dank, and ‘oh so’ pungent. Perfect for those who prefer their punk bands to be as raw as they are rotten. Gruesome/great stuff.
White Collar – Demo 2023
Obedient – I’m Tired Of Being...
Brain Candy – Demo 2023
Okey-doke, let’s round this demo shiz up with a trio of releases from always-interesting British Columbian label Slow Death Records (home to top-notch bands like Spräckta, Bootlicker, Starvation, Chain Whip, and more).
White Collar’s Demo 2023 begins with the excellent – and 100% jackhammering “Pedigree” (the demo’s best track by far) – which band members Loosey C (vocals) and Lubeless J (instruments) follow up with similarly battering tracks that foreground hard-ass hardcore from the get-go.
Obiedient’s I’m Tired of Being… demo kicks into gear with the wild – and ever-so-slightly weird – “Over It”. The band’s bass-heavy sound is bone-raw and echo-wrecked, and when Harrison Dempsey (vocals) and Ailín Ó Dálaigh (instruments) get cooking, their crude hardcore smokes.
Brain Candy’s Demo 2023 is a feeding frenzy summoned into being. The band’s six-song demo gnashes and crashes as jagged instrumentation and bloodthirsty vocals tear a hefty chunk off punk’s rotting carcass.
That’s it, compadres. I’ll see you in a few weeks. Be excellent to one another. Thanks for stopping by.
Damn that’s a lot of heavy! Great work! Can’t wait to dive into this more. That LIFE split is excellent.
LIFE are reliably formidable, my friend. Arguably the best crasher crust band around. Next month’s ICWT is going to be even heavier! So many mammoth-sized releases on the horizon. Thanks for reading, bud.