Sunday, September 30, 2012

Overpain - "Underrated Overhated" preview (coming late 2012)

Hell yes! Greece has always been a place for harder, brutal hardcore bands. A tradition that is kind of fading nowadays, but Overpain are here to reaffirm their city's (proud members of the Salonica Hardcore Cew - SHC) and country's legacy in brutal, heavy ass street hardcore.

I have to say that I've been very positively surprised with Overpain's new stuff, which sounds totally brutal but still has that definite old school approach. This is not the shitty, overproduced metalcore beatdown shit that most bands churn out these days; no, this is real hardcore with a metallic edge, slow 'n' heavy breaks, but the 'core' is definitely here (both attitude and music-wise).

Overpain's music brings me back to older times, when the harder street attitude was definitely mixed with hardcore, when throwing mosh parts in your music wasn't a crime, when bands were competing for who makes the grooviest and heaviest shit, and not who is the most politically correct.

Support this Greek band that has paid its dues and is still continuing to put out quality hardcore and perseveres an almost forgotten legacy!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Strife - "Witness a Rebirth" recording sessions (small documentary)

Strife has stayed in hardcore's history as one of the most recognized and important bands of the whole 90s straight edge hardcore movement. Alongside Earth Crisis and Snapcase, I think they could be considered as the "Big 3" of the 90s straight edge era.

Well, those times are long gone now (the same goes for Strife's straight edge beliefs), but the band is back and has a new record of metallic, hard as fuck record for us to hear. Produced by Terror's Nick Jett and with guest drums by no other than Sepultura's Igor Cavalera, this shit is bout to hit hard.

Edge or no edge, I am willing to support the new Strife and get into some 90s revival action! Check out a small documentary about the new album entitled Witness a Rebirth below.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hard Resistance - "Lawless and Disorder" Review (full length, Strength Records)

Getting into European hardcore in the mid/late 90s, it was impossible to miss Hard Resistance. Alongside bands like Right Direction, Backfire!, Brighside, early Discipline and a few others, Hard Resistance pioneered (or perhaps brought in Europe!) the original hardcore sound that stood out from the Oi and hip hop oriented hardcore trends of those times. Well, it is 2012 now and these guys are making a big comeback. They're here to cause some serious havoc and crush your fake attitude with a new record of totally in your face political hardcore. The newly form but already notorious Strength Records (Roger Miret/Onno Cro-Mag) is behind this record, so you know it's gotta be good!
This whole record is one big surprise; I was pretty fucking astonished to find out how damn FAST Lawless and Disorder is all the way through. I definitely did not expect to be battered with such rapid-fire hardcore blasts, heavy vocals and 100% oldschool attitude. It's like, these guys are back and they're really pissed. Forget about slick metal riffs, don't wait for the 'hardcore anthem' which will sound good at a party. This is just real hardcore for the hard times we're living in. It might be a bit antisocial due to its intended lack of commercial value (no solos / catchy melodic choruses etc), but hey, that's the whole point! Just loud, mean and in yer face!

So, like stated above this record is all go/no slow badass hardcore music, but I also want to add that I feel a definite crust/punk touch. I mean if you played this to a bunch of punks they would surely like it and find common elements with Exploited or other UK82 type stuff. This record would also go down nice for fans of crust hardcore, since it brings this ongoing machine gun attack that makes your ears bleed. But most of all, this record will suit hardcore kids' apetite for fast, pissed off and unprocessed hardcore music. The vocals put the definite hardcore stamp, with a thick and raspy tone that will punish you during the 21:50 min that Lawless & Disorder lasts.

The common theme throught these 12 hardcore songs is a total resentment towards today's political system. Yes, by listening to this record we will feel Hard Resitance's burning political message and we will remember that this world aint no paradise. It's always good to witness bands taking the time and effort to attack this stupid, slave-breeding society we live in. Angst and hate against the system has alays been a part of hardcore/punk, and it must continue till the end! Therefore, Hard Resitance go all out and spit their guts about all the shit that has gone wrong through the capitalist values that have been forced upon everyone in the modern world.

I will recap by saying that this is a true hardcore record that shows how some peope never mellow out. This is the kind of music that makes you want to pick up something heavy and go break some stuff. Hard Reistance back their political message with such ferocious music that you won't doubt these guys for playing the part o anything silly like that. If this band's old school and legendary legacy doesn't convince you, then listening to this new album definitely will. This one's for the real oldschool diehards!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Olde York: new album "Shallow World" out late Septeber 2012!

There are few bands that can truly uphold the realness and street spirit that NYHC is originally known for. It is so nice to see bands like Olde York putting out quality NYHC records in this day and age, and thus help persevere this awesome form of underground music!

The new record Shallow World is released by Dutch hardcore label WTF and contains 11 songs of intensely aggravating traditional hardcore that is bound to get kids kids seriously pumped! This is true hardcore: groovy tempos at various speeds, in your face vocals filled with anger & attitude, and speedy wall-of-sound guitars!!!

Check out the song "Peeling Paint" from Olde York's upcoming album below! Or even better... do yourself a favor and research this awesome band's history and back releases if you haven't already!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Setback - "Step Up Your Game" (full length, 2012, Crash Course Records)

In a world of maximum political correctness and general kindness, sometimes it's good to go back to the anger and negativity that has fuelled so much of what is good about hardcore. Therefore let's take a look at NY's finest Setback who have returned and boy, are  they pissed. They surely have that bad ass feel that makes you want to go wild, cause some havoc, prowl the streets like you are a crazy motherfucker and all that. Yes, this music intends to bring out your bad side and if you let it, it will!

NYHC might be an easy genre to fuck up -- but not if you are one of the underrated OGs of the scene. Setcback? They are just that. No matter what they do, you know they'll have their hearts in the cold dark streets where hardcore initially emerged from. As soon as you hear the rolling drums over the spoken rapped intro, you know your're in for some pent up, hard-edged NYHC intensity. The only difference to many other hardcore bands of this kind is that Setback actually live what they preach, and thus give a very real lesson in streetwise mentality and real hardcore music.

Setback has always sung about the realities of living in a cold fucked up world. In this new record, they do it through short, heavy hardcore blasts that have one foot in beatdown hardcore, but definitely not in the way you expect. It's just that the heaviness of beatdown has been applied to the NYHC formula. Great fucking job! Yeah sure, there are some metal moments, but mostly this is just brutal hardcore that will stand the wear and tear of the scene changes and trends. It would have sounded good 5-10 years ago, and it will sound good in 5-10 years from now. And that's a fact.

Some changes that this new record brings is the absence of Bundy's characteristic vocals, who - I think - is now only doing rap. This is a big change and new guy has big shoes to fill (as I consider Bundy one of the biggest voices in modern NYHC). But Phil, the new singer is doing just fine as he screams like a rabid bulldog! Maybe not as a distinguishable tone, but heavy and angry as fuck! Other changes can be found in the production section, which is so solid and heavy you won't believe. Strong bass presence, nice and 100% NYHC drum sound and playing.

I also want to give an extra point for the perfect album title (and title track): Step Up Your Game -- what an awesome title for an album, amidst all of today's hardcore empty words. It's also a statement of purpose to those who stay down because... well, they choose to stay down!

I will be honest with you. I love this shit so much. The toughness, the integrity, the brutality makes me feel good, it makes me feel stronger, ready to take on the world. It's everything to me. Hardcore like this made me survive and brought me until here, so how could I ever say something bad about it? No! Nothing else to say... Just get this fucking album and wait for the interview that's about to come soon!

My Defense - "Delorean" EP Review (2012, Major Threat/WAKRecords)

My Defense is a Koln (Germany) based, melodic hardcore band in the vein of Good Riddance and other good stuff. This band is also kind of special in our homeland Greece, since the singer is a Greek dude living in Germany. I recently got their new CD handed to me via World's Appreciated Kitsch records, who co-released this record. So let's review it and see what's up!

Back in the early 2000s, My Defense seemed to be totally on their way to become a household name in the entire Euro hardcore punk scene. We're talking about awesome independent releases, featuring ex-members of notable hardcore bands, and shows with the biggest worldwide hardcore bands that toured through Koln. However, I hadn't heard so much about them over the last years, and it's definitely good to see them back on the map and still going for it. Or maybe I just had my attention somewhere else and didn't know the progress of this band...

This EP contains 8 songs lasting a brief 12 minutes. What we get  during those 12 mins is some fast, raging but also melodic hardcore that borders with punk rock. Like I mentioned earlier, Good Riddance is a solid influence, together with that whole late 90s fast melody-core sound. These guys know for sure how to write a catchy song, and also to layer their music with lots of melodic hardcore guitars and nice background gang vocals. I could to with a bit of a dirtier production for this style, and I would also prefer if the lyrics - for consistency reasons - were in one language (instead of three!).

So to sum things up, Delorean is a powerful hardcore punk record by a band with a strong background. I just think the only thing missing is a higher level of consitency and a more solid sense of identity. I am sure that this will come with their next release as these guys have both the collective experience and musical skill.