Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3 Newer Hardcore Bands That Make Life Worth Living

Back at the beginning of June, I trotted to Failuresville on a horse called "Voluntary Unemployment". Since that fateful day, the quality of my everyday life (contrary to logic as far as most are concerned) skyrocketed. My original intent was to travel the country like a vagrant 'til the wheels fell off, but all alone out there, all the beautiful, poetic, aspects of total liberation that drew me in initially faltered to the swelling frustration and boredom that a complete lack of community entails. I suppose I could've viewed it as an opportunity to pack on the character through long bouts of hardship, but fuck that, I've got more character than you could shake a {noun} at. Well, that isn't true, but please give me a break; I'm attempting to coalesce my sub-"gonzo" ramblings ov olde with a writing style that actually keeps my brain from destabilizing into a thin syrup. As such, this blog probably sucks just as hard as usual.

The above was committed to the back of a band flyer with a dried out Bic pen in a span of 20 minutes at my buddy Joe's apartment in which I was fortunate enough to inhabit for a few days before hitting the road again. This particular doodle represents a moment in between a blissful leaving of home and making the distraught pilgrimage back where I finally reconvened with the artistic coil I shuffled off 2 years back in favour of debilitating hollowness. I ask you though, who hasn't fallen victim to the sexy siren we call debilitating hollowness? I'm not particularly proud of the doodle itself - it's pretty standard fare as far as I'm concerned, and done in a shit medium besides - but for whatever reason, it became the harbinger of a long dormant desire to improve and communicate with other art dorks. The next thing you know, I'm pregnant.
With a yearning for the art world, that is! HA HA HA HA HA hahjkvbk,,kfudicc9jn davh,w

The next thing you know, I actually feel a wind beneath my wings (if I'm using this stupid cliche properly), and decide a mountain of debt is worth expanding my horizons and allowing myself the chance to land a job I could actually derive more than monetary worth from. Either art school will deliver the goods, or I'll be wrong as a denizen of my age range typically is.

Ever since Maryland Deathfest, I've had my favoritism for the more extreme branches of music rejuvenated, and thus, have started coiling up the mountain of slack accumulating from the moment I put away my ratty, membrane-thin, Napalm Death tee and threw on a fashionably tight Pavement shirt. "YEAH, MORE LIEK GAYVMENT", says you, incorrectly.
But anyway:

Weekend Nachos - Unforgivable

With a name bespeaking such incredible frivolity, your irony detector's should short-circuit when this bubbling cauldron of dark, humorless, and brutal, hardcore-and-sludge inflected powerviolence punches you square in the eardrums with it's teeny little balled up fists perfectly evolved to frictionlessly navigate the human auditory canal. Weekend Nachos have been kicking the veritable ass since 2004 (presumably) and have a few EPs and a full length preceding Unforgivable, and recently, an EP of pure sludge proceeding it. It's always nice to bear witness to a band unveiling their best work to date, and Unforgivable is totally on my nonexistent "Top 10 Of 2009" list somewhere. Y'know, floating in the intangible ether. Just like fellow face grinders Iron Lung's Sexless/No Sex "opus" (ie an album I like a lot), Weekend Nachos take this opportunity to further baste themselves in the sumptuous tar prepped by sludge cuistôts Eyehategod and low-end Man Is The Bastard, giving this album a biting dynamic betwixt the powerhouse blast-a-thons of yore, comparatively rockin' hardcore punk, and crushing doom riffery. It's nice to see Relapse Records can still throw a fastball here and there.
Get it here.
Then get it here for cheapsies.

Punch - s/t LP
Punch is a fantastically fresh and tear-ass'ing youth crew damaged powerviolence (or "fastcore" if you want to spat about it) unit with a collective straight-edge and vegan mandate that doesn't really fucking matter because as is the case with most hardcore, the lyrics are smothered to intelligibility by the Nah, I kid, we're all good enough sports to have the lyric sheets tattooed on the inside of our eyelids. Ooh, but there is a song about bikes:
Always thought that one is one, but I guess that’s not the case, because now I know two does not equal four wheels. Better step aside- where you’re going is not as important as where they’re headed.
Unless it's metaphorical. The music ist fucking krieg, though. Quite a few bands in this niche sacrifice technicality and songcraft for adrenaline-OD'ing frenzies, but Punch is way leaner than the pack, with bursts of melody amongst the frenetic blasts and intelligently structured vocal delivery, replete with tasteful "crew" shout-outs. Lastly, vocalist Meghan's impassioned, top-of-the-lungs, screaming is god-tier quality and makes me yearn to hear more "goils" (as Peter "The Corpse" Steele may have said) pick up the mic for this brand of intense hardcore. I was planning on seeing them in New Yawk Shitty, but my friends ended up bailing and adding to the canon of grim memories on getting lost at the subway was too much to bear.
Get it here.
Then get it here.
Also, I was kidding before. The lyrics are quite good.

Cult Ritual - s/t LP
Approaching this album was a little intimidating, as up until this point, Cult Ritual have kept their trifecta of top notch releases below the 10 minute mark. The release of a full length - especially regarding hardcore - typically reveals whether or not the band in question is capable of bearing close to their roots without turning into an interminable bore. For a recent example, see Bone Awl's Meaningless Leaning Mess - an album full of quality songs, but bogged down by a running time too great for the number of ideas presented. Fortunately, Cult Ritual can handle an LP's length and then some, as their 4th self titled disc is easily their greatest and most infatuating work so far. Armed with a crusty, warm, production sound and a slew of great riffs, these guys offer up a platter of U.S. style noise melded with scathing hardcore punk, fragments of melody, sound samples, a 3 minute exercise in minimalist drumming, intelligent lyrics, crushing sludge, and enough variation from track to track to lead me to believe these guys could tackle a double LP with little fatigue. Yes, these guys are hyped to shit, but they really are as great as you've heard.
Get it here.
And I'd tell you to buy it here, but apparently it went OOP already. Woops.

Now that this megafuck of a post is complete, I'll see if I can get some shorter, punchier, reviews and uploads out at a greater velocity. Don't hold me to it, though. I didn't use my own links this time around, so if any of them cease to deliver the goods, let me know and I'll stop being a leech and upload them myself.

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