Label: To Live A Lie Records
A quick word of warning: if you’re checking this band out at work or just around company in general, remember those all important qualifiers (music, band, etc etc) when entering “abuse hardcore” into google, or get set for a pretty interesting morning.
It’s a fairly similar experience listening to this first self-titled LP by Raleigh, North Carolina assault crew Abuse. (with a “.”), whose seventeen songs fly past in sixteen blistering minutes. Abuse. is a step up in every way from the preceding A New Low 7″, with clearer but still raw production and a harder edged, metallic sheen (not so much in terms of musical style as that all the instruments sound like they are made of metal, if that makes any sense). Everything feels colder, harder, more unforgiving.
In terms of abusive effectiveness, these guys have definitely improved their game in the short span between releases. As music as physical assault, think of Abuse. as the smarter, more deliberate and more sadistic cousin to A New Low‘s feral, unhinged meth head. Where that album flailed and thrashed uncontrollably, these songs pick a weak spot and hit it again and again and again with bone crushing decisiveness, and then flail and thrash uncontrollably.
…or at least listen to.
There have been a lot of new dark postpunk and deathrock releases lately. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track. But here are some of the recent singles, EPs, and LPs that deserve your attention.
Like their fellow deathrockers in Fangs on Fur and Christ vs Warhol — two bands that, like Catholic Spit, are from Southern California — Catholic Spit inject their take on deathrock with a fiery punk sensibility and energy. This 6 person (!) band has been fairly prolific compared to other bands in the genre. (The most prolific band has to be Blue Cross, who have released 3 LPs in just over two years.) Catholic Spit’s 7-song Pact with the Devil LP was released in late 2012 and was followed only a few months later with the uptempo “I’m Your God Now” 2-song 7″. And now comes this split, which you can stream for free at the band’s Bandcamp page. Ericka’s vocals shriek — in a good way — through watery, flangey guitars (think John McGeoch), backed up by Nick Townsend’s andrenalized, uptempo punk-style drumming and Kaleb’s rock solid bass. (Townsend also did the band’s recordings for this release.)
The Catholic Spit contribution to the split can be heard at this Youtube video below.
Writer: André Forte
Cowards are a bunch of fuckers who do not live up to their name. This is not a bold assessment, it’s just the plain truth: it does take some guts to throw oneself violently to the new wave of hardcore sounding exactly like one should, with all the influences exposed, and still have an identity to it; and it definitely is an act of courage to cover such a great and perfect song as Blessed Persistence, a 16 Horsepower original. The whole Hoarder extended play stands as a five-song demonstration of in your face spine breaking riffs. From start to finish, the French outfit easily change gears from heavy downtempo, feedback spilling hardcore pieces to a crushing blast beat fury, never forgetting the groovie breakdowns so typical of American punk (just take a peak into Where Lies the Anchor).
“The Nuke Cult is a vicious gang of criminals. Most members are hooked on the highly addictive and dangerous drug Nuke. The leader of the cult is the superbly insane and deluded Cain. Their hideout is Sludge Plant.”
That description is actually of the villains from ‘RoboCop 2′, but it more or less applies to the cretinous band of thugs responsible for this morally questionable demo tape, Join Or Don’t. Everything about this release is so perfectly apathetic and ramshackle. The production quality is so, so cheap and raw that the oh-so-familiar burst of feedback that screechingly heralds the beginning of virtually every punk/hardcore release in existence sounds closer to a fucking kazoo, and actually triggers the same reaction that burst of feedback probably did when it first snuck its way into recorded music, before years of familiarity consigned it to the friend zone. It shocks you awake and tells you that you’re about to hear something truly, disgustingly punk rock. The ensuing guitar buzzes less like a chainsaw than a circular saw accidentally left on in a garage, careening its way through whatever material happens to be lying around, driven by an impulse of purposeless destruction and absolutely no regard for its own well-being or common decency. Surprisingly, the riffs it churns out are actually catchy as hell, but think less pop song and more urinary infection.
They did it. The Bay Area’s finest neo-crust band – Negative Standards – and Australia’s most hideous sludge doom ordeal – Whitehorse - have come together for a release so grand, dark and fucking devastating that it almost feels like the end of the world, and the most dystopian of fates has fucking time traveled or something and come back from the future to waste us on the spot and end our sorry existence right fucking now. What we love about this split is the diversity in sounds and musical approaches it offers and how it brings together two extremely unique and quite different bands to paint a much broader and more threatening sonic picture for us to look at as a total. Both bands are unique in their own – and sometimes opposite – ways, but combined by friendship, common intents and the purest of musical visions, they have paved the way to an absolutely annihilating release that from start to finish transcends the two souls that comprise it and just goes fucking beyond, way beyond.
Out Now on Chaos In Tejas Records/Todo Destruido
Chris Ulsh is a pretty busy guy. Playing in Hatred Surge, Power Trip, and Mammoth Grinder tends to keep one busy. This Chris Ulsh project, however, is a bit different than the others. It could be classified as d-beat, it could be classified as straight up punk with metal leanings. Whatever it’s classified, The Impalers straight up tear through ten tracks on their self-titled LP.
The Impalers are partial to knee-jerk aggressive punk rock and hardcore. They exist in a real where their savage, thoroughly refined noise carries all kinds of weight. There’s a lack of punk rock that’s any good; look at what’s being shelled out these days — cookie-cutter bands trying to “fight the man” all while soaking up the lucrative deal they made with their record label. The Impalers desire to push themselves out of the garage and into the minds of studded jacket wearing rock ‘n rollers becomes apparent as their sound deviates from the simple power-chord punches of 1977 glory and begins to focus on throat-ripping metallic sections, rife with layered guitar work.
Clocking in at one minute and thirty seven seconds, ‘Apolitical’, the penultimate track on Strangers’ second self-titled release, could be considered Strangers’ version of an epic. Of the four other songs, two just pass the minute mark and the rest don’t even make thirty seconds. Strangers specialise in this fleeting brand of explosive, get-in-get-out hardcore, furious bursts of intensity and violence that are gone before you have time to fully comprehend what it is you’re even listening to. Each track is a sonic detonation, swathes of distortion spewing power chord fury, blitzkrieg drumming and the fractious cries of the damned. This is the true sound of catharsis.
Structures and separate parts start to emerge from the din on repeat listens, revealing the craft that has actually gone into what at first appear to be exercises in spontaneous combustion. This is composition on a microcosmic level, but without the tendency a lot of grindcore/power violence has to sounding like an experiment. None of this sounds like artifice, rather, each track feels like it has evolved of its own accord. Strangers’ music sounds oddly emotional, natural, and for lack of a better word soulful, for a style of music and track length that often leaves things sounding overly mathematical. Strangers are like a jam band operating at breakneck speed and with some serious group ESP.
Church of Fuck, Dry Cough and Skin & Bones have all come together to release a very special EP from OLD SKIN entitled ‘Mære‘. For just over 15 minutes this band builds a new sonic definition of how hardcore can be created. OLD SKIN is not afraid to dip their primal anger into a huge pot of emotion that is boiling from in the flames of subversive melody. CVLT Nation has the honor if streaming OLD SKIN’s new song ‘Hag Ridden‘ in full below. Make sure to pick up this record on OCT. 31st!
All Photos by Tanner Douglass
HEARTLESS just performed their last shows, and our comrade Tanner Douglas captured it on film. CVLT Nation has a long relationship with this band and I know these dude are stand up human beings that have created some pounding fucking songs. More than just a band, we consider HEARTLESS our friends and we want to say rock on homies. To Tanner – keep taking sick photos the only way you know how! CVLT Nation salutes HEARTLESS for having our back from day one! You guys have left the world some great memories to hold on to! Now let Tanner’s photos say the rest; you can actually see the intense love jumping out of them!