Posts Tagged ‘Hardcore’

Death Pill, the hardcore punk trio from Ukraine, released their debut album on 24th February, a year to the day that Russia invaded their country.

Tracking started during Covid and was completed in late 2021, only three tracks were mixed before the war hit. However the band and their production team were able to somehow continue and finished everything including the artwork in 5 months whilst the Russian invasion rolled on. A testament to their drive and single mindedness.

The band are currently mid-way through their ‘Over My Dead Body’ European tour, which defiantly began in Kyiv, Ukraine on 20th May. Now the band have shared a new video for ‘Would You Marry Me’ with the bassist Natalya commenting, “This is a song about a rejected wedding proposal. Mariana wrote it after she proposed to her boyfriend and he turned her down. I shot this video when I moved to Barcelona and my best friend came to visit me. She became the main character, and I did the whole production. It took me about 72 hours to finalize the idea, shoot and edit it. I put my pain and suffering into this video, it’s a reflection and experience of personal rejections, dedicated to all the broken hearts.”

Watch the video now:




2nd – Germany, Bochum, Wageni

3rd – Germany, Ellerdorf, Wilwarin Festival

9th – UK, Bradford, 1 in 12

11th – UK, Manchester, Retro

12th – UK, Bristol, Louisiana

13th – UK,  Brighton, Green Door Store

14th – UK, London, Lexington  w/ Shooting Daggers


Death Pill by Tementiy Pronov : Slippy Inc.

Renoir Records – 9th June 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

And so it goes that ‘In 2022, Norway’s Hammok released their first EP ‘Jumping/Dancing/Fighting’ and received very good reviews in publications such as Distorted Mag and Pitchfork – and we fucking loved it, too.

The press pitch for the Oslo-based trio’s follow-up, Now I Know, promises ‘a new chapter for the band [which] takes listeners on a vast and powerful journey, beginning on a more bright tone with the band exploring their more introspective and emotionally intense side and gradually drifting towards a more heavier and ferocious approach, reaching levels of fury and intensity never explored before.’

Predictably, perhaps, then, we fucking love this, too.

The EP comprises three tracks: ‘This Will Not Last’ parts one and two, and the title tune, and immediately, with ‘This Will Not Last PT 1’, the shift from the previous release is apparent. The vocals are still trained and straining, angry, aggressive, but they’re swamped in reverb as the instrumentation forges an almost shoegazey, dream pop curtain of sound. The thick, blooping, glooping bass and other key elements are still present but they’re all softer, meaning there’s no gut-punching blasts like ‘Contrapoint’ here. That isn’t to say it’s entirely mellow: it does break into a driving riff propelled by pounding drums and a blizzard of guitar around the mid-section, then takes a turn for the darker in the final minute. Perversely, as much as it’s a pristine slice of post-punk / noise rock crossover, it equally makes me think of a hardcore version of The Twilight Sad and I Like Trains.

‘This Will Not Last PT 2’, released as a preview, is the most accessible and melodic song on the EP, and is their most commercial cut to date by a mile, presenting a melodic, post-hardcore face. Melody is relative, mind you. It’s hardly The Coors. It sits strangely ahead of ‘Now I Know’ which is dense and dark and abrasive in its roaring rage and frantic pace. The guitars chop and churn, and by the close, Tobias Osland is practically spraying his flayed larynx in spatters on the floor as he purges his final howls of obliterative fury.

Hammok have expanded both their sound and range, but while there are softer moments, it would be a mistake to say that they’ve softened overall – and the softer moments only serve to give the hard blasts even greater impact, making for a second killer EP.

Norwegian metallic hardcore four-piece group SPLIT//BITE have recently shared a new song off the band’s debut EP, which is set to be released on June 9th via Loyal Blood Records.

SPLIT // BITE is a fresh new four-piece group from Bergen, Norway, yet all members have a vast experience in other projects from the local hardcore and metal scene. The band’s debut EP "404 ends" shows a highly-energized quartet playing a chaotic and pummeling metallic hardcore full of heavy riffs and caustic vocals.

Set for release on June 9th via Loyal Blood Records, this new EP is according to the band "about establishing a precedence in a society defined by cultural norms adapted to your average joe. With this we bring about subjects like existential anxiety, apathy, and also artistic freedom. We preach this through our intensive tempo, and a clear message from start to end."

Listen to SPIT//BLOOD here:



New Heavy Sounds

Christopher Nosnibor

Death Pill most certainly aren’t signed to a major label, aren’t pop-punk, and truly understand adversity. If you want authenticity, then this is the band you need. The Ukrainian all-girl hardcore power trio sell themselves as having a ‘Riot Grrl’ vibe while citing ‘the classic punk of Black Flag, The Distillers and Circle Jerks, to modern outfits like Axe Rash and the thrash metal of Nervosa and Exodus’ as influences.

And fucking hell, do they work with all of those influences and distil them into something raw and powerful! Their self-titled debut contains nine tracks, none of which runs for more than four minutes, and they blast hard.

The fact they are an all-female act is significant and noteworthy. Writing as a white, middle-class male, it hard to write about this without sounding like a patronising patriarchal toerag, so I’ll simply quote singer/guitarist Mariana here:

“Just imagine: You are a 20-year-old girl. Society constantly puts pressure on you: you should find a nice husband, have children and at the same time build a successful career. But no one asks what do you really want? What are exactly your interests and ambitions?

Because maybe you want to be a punk rock star?

Yes, I do and even against it all. I can create a female non-commercial band, play heavy high-quality music, and ignite the crowd. After all, rock is not only about brutal men with curly long hair, right?

Some do it with weapons in their hands, some volunteer and help in any way they can. Hard times, but right now we have a real chance to change lives for the better.”

Death Pill address issues: they address political issues, they address female issues, they address human issues. They do so without fear, without self-censorship, and consequently, deliver an album that rages hard. A couple of the songs have previewed here – ‘Расцарапаю Ебало’ and ‘Miss Revolt, and both showcase the band’s raw metal-infused style perfectly.

The album delivers more of the same, from the whiplash-inducing brutal chug and churn of the opener, ‘Dirty Rotten Youth’ to the closer ‘Would You Marry Me’.

‘Die For Vietnam’ is as frantically-paced full-throttle driving punk-metal you’re going to hear, and Death Pill don’t go easy for a second. ‘It’s a Joke’ may lift from spiky post-punk reference points, but it comes with near-demonic vocals and draws together black metal and goth. ‘Kill The Traitors’ is perhaps the most furious song you’ll hear all year. It goes beyond political and is utterly punishing.

Overall, as an album, Death Pill is fucking gnarly. It’s dominated by driving guitars, thrashing out three or four chords at a hundred miles an hour. It’s proper punk alright.



Southern Lord –10th March 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

Ask people to name a hardcore band and any money they’ll say Black Flag, but anyone who knows their stuff will likely also mention BL’AST. BL’AST stand as one of the definitive hardcore bands, formed in 1983 and releasing their first album, The Power of Expression in 1986, having recorded it three times.

The story goes – according to the band’s bio – that in June of 1988 BL’AST! went into the studio with Black Flags’ live sound GOAT: Dave Rat (RATSOUND), and the breakneck Take The Manic Ride was recorded. This version was later destroyed after the band was dissatisfied with the original production, with a rerecorded version being presented to the public in 1989.

It perhaps seems ironic that a band as raw and immediate as BL’AST should spend so much time faffing about in search of achieving the ‘perfect’ recording, when the finished article sounds so… unpolished. But of course, that’s the point and the key issue: many bands who are live acts first and foremost find their sound stunted, diminished, compressed and ultimately rendered weak and lacking in bite when attempting to capture the experience in a studio setting. The studio is a sterile environment, clinical, and few producers really get the concept of not actually producing a band. Hardcore is about tearing your guts out with vitriolic rage. The studio is never going to be the best environment for channelling it.

This is the stuff of music legend: the master tapes for that first version were destroyed and were never to be recovered, but as Southern Lord detail, ‘Through some incredibly magical surgery a new heavy as fuck version of the album has been produced.’

Perhaps predictably, Manic Ride is a mess of furious noise and aggression, abrasive and angry. While the Southern Lord reissue isn’t leagues different from the Blast First original, it’s very clearly a different mix. Hardcore (sorry) fans will likely be divided over the mix, whether it’s better or worse or whatever and there’s no right or wrong really. This version is crisper and clearer but also fuller.

What really matters is that this key album is back out there, and if it divides fans, fine. It’s back in the public domain, and will, with any luck, introduce new listeners to the band and their legacy.



Human Worth – 3rd February 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

A shriek of feedback prefaces the gnarly blast of a monster rhythm section, thunderous drums paired with a snarling bass. And so begins ‘Short Distance Runner’, the first of six songs on Remote Viewing’s Modern Addictions. You know in an instant that it’s going to be good.

Of course, you know it’s going to be good before you hear a single sound.

Featuring members of Palehorse, Million Dead, Sly & The Family Drone, Nitkowski and Wound (to name but a few) is quite the underground supergroup. Plus, Modern Addictions is being released on Human Worth, which is in itself a guarantee of heavy, noisy shit of the highest calibre. So yes, you know it’s going to be good. But even then, it’s hard to be braced for something this good.

The guitar alternates between thick, sludgy chords and really sinewy lead lines that buzz and drill, twist and bend and wrap themselves around you and dig in like barbed wire. The tracks are backed back to back, making the cumulative effect of the heavy battering even more acutely felt. Single cut ‘Your Opinion is Wrong’, showcased here in December is broadly representative of the dense, chunky, churning sound of the album as a whole, but doesn’t fully convey the extent of its textures and variety.

It’s not all punishing density, and the band are keen to highlight that theirs is a sound that demonstrates a ‘broader sound that incorporates elements of hardcore, post-rock and shoegaze into the palette of sludge and noise-rock’.

There are some tight grooves amidst the racket, ‘Wasted on Purpose’ effortlessly transitions through a number of varied passages, from full-on balls-out riffage to delicate, evocative swirling post-rock chimes which gracefully convey a very different kind of emotional weight, and if the title ‘Cleveland Balloonfest ‘86’ suggests something bright and airy, sonically it’s more the Hindenburg disaster with it’s slow, low-slung growling guitar that grinds away at a crawl for six and a half anguish-filled minutes.

If ‘Watch Me For the Changes’ is a demonic dirge of epic proportions with a remarkably light ending (and you can’t help but suspect the title is perhaps a reference to the band’s directions for playing it) ,the final track, ‘A.B.B.A. ABBA’ springs an unexpected surprise as the band switch into disco mode. No, of course it doesn’t really. It’s seven minutes of dolorous doom, thick with atmosphere and dripping distortion. It’s the sound of weight so great that it feels as if it’s collapsing in on itself, decaying and crumbling on the way to a slow death, that leaves you feeling hollowed out and devastated. It’s the perfect finale to a superlative album.



Oslo-based hardcore/noise-rock trio Hammok  has just shared a new track off the band’s debut EP Jumping, Dancing, Fighting, due out on December 9th via Loyal Blood Records, the label owned by Blood Command’s Yngve Andersen.

Get your lugs round it here:

18th November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Following on from big-hitting introductions in the form of single releases ‘A Working Class Lad’, Manchester’s The Battery Farm hit us with their debut album, Flies.

They describe it a ‘an album about end times fear and societal breakdown. It is an album that tries to come to terms with the violent world we find ourselves in, and tries to reconcile with an uncertain future in world that we have decimated. It’s about the endless, screaming noise of 21st Century living and the squalid claustrophobia that entails. Driven by fury, black humour, compassion and a desire for hope.’

These are all things I’m on board with: it’s essentially a list of the top things that gnaw away at my psyche and my soul on a daily basis. Because to live in the world right now is to live and breathe all shades of anxiety.

Some people – mostly right-wing wankers and idiots on social medial, especially Twitter – like to jeer and poke fun at those who intimate any kind of panic over the state of things, laughing their arses off at those who perpetuated ‘project fear’ and the so-called ‘remoaners’ and scoffing at the idea that this year’s heatwave is anything to do with climate change citing the summer of ’76. But these are the same tossers who whine about health and safety and speed limits as being symptomatic of a ‘nanny state’, and also the same tossers whose kids will die after swallowing batteries or burn the house down lighting fireworks indoors.

What I’m saying is that anyone who isn’t scared is either beyond oblivious or in denial. The world is literally on fire and drowning at the same time. Fittingly, Flies is an album of contrasts, both in terms of mood and style. There are fiery, guitar-driven flamers and more introspective compositions which are altogether more subdued and post-punk in their execution.


The title track is but a brief introduction, a rushed, desperate spoken work piece set against – at first – a tense bass and a growing tide of swelling drums and guitars that in just over a minute ruptures into a full-on flood of rage. Distilling years of anguish into a minute and a half, it’s got hints of Benefits about it, and then we’re into the snaking groove of ‘A Working Class Lad’, that sees The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster collide with The Anti-Nowhere League in a gritty, gutsy punk blast with a surfy undercurrent.

It’s the combination of gritty synth bass and live bass guitar that drives the sound of the album. The former snarls, while that latter thuds, and in combination they pack some serious low-end punch in the way that Girls Against Boys and Cop Shoot Cop did. The synth gyrations also lend the sound a tense, robotic edge that gives it both a certain danceable bounce while at the same time heightening the anxiety of the contemporary, that sense of the dystopian futures so popular in science fiction are in fact our current lived reality.

‘In the Belly of the Beast’ is a stuttering blast of warped funk. In contrast, ‘Everything Will Be Ok’ is altogether more minimal, with hushed spoken word verses reminiscent of early Pulp, and tentative, haunting choruses which exude a subtle gothic vibe. And it all builds slowly, threatening a climax which never arrives. But then ‘Poet Boy’ drives at a hundred miles an hour and burns hard and fast to its finale in three and a half minutes.

‘DisdainGain’ comes on like Motorhead at their grittiest and most rampant, and again shows just how broad The Battery Farm’s palette is. By their own admission, they draw on elements of ‘Punk, Hardcore, Post Punk, Krautrock, Glam and Funk’, and one of the key strengths of Flies is its diversity – although its range does not make for a lack of coherence or suggest a band who haven’t found their identity, by any means. What’s more, the diversity is matched by its energy, its passion, and its sheer quality. Full of twists and turns and inspired moments of insight, Flies is a bona fide, ball-busting killer album. Fact.



Punk Slime Records – 11th November 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

I sometimes feel a twinge of embarrassment when I see press releases and reviews referencing bands I haven’t heard of, in that it makes me feel like I’m failing in my diligence. So when I see that So Young Magazine has described Manchester quartet Mister Strange as ‘An uncompromising cross between the manic charisma of The Dead Kennedys, and the contemporary fury of Melbourne rockers Civic’, I fleetingly think ‘shit, I’m behind the curve here’.

But then, you work with the reference points you’ve got, and this EP packs no shortage of raw punk energy, and plenty of unexpected turns, too.

There’s very much a vintage vibe to Nothing at All, and while the fuzzy, lo-fi production is an integral part of it, the fact that they play hell-for-leather garage punk with murky guitars and reverb-heavy vocals is the main factor. Back when The Strokes and The Hives and The Vines emerged to lead a garage revival shortly after the turn oof the millennium, I got the urge to dig out the various Pebbles and Nuggets compilations. Listening to this, the urge is sated by the gritty authenticity of the band’s lo-budget sound and full-throttle riiffery.

The title track leads off, starting with a raging feedback inferno before ploughing into a relentless high-octane psychedelic punk groove, before suddenly slowing to a heavy trudge that’s 70s heavy metal melted into 90s noise in the vein of Terminal Cheesecake, before reigniting the tempo and racing to the finish.

The remaining five songs aren’t quite such a rollercoaster, pushing instead a muggy, fuggy, grungy guitar style that pursues more sustained riffery and tempos, at least until they arrive at the relentless closer, ‘Rat Bench Alley’, which slugs hard.

In between, ‘Dead Weight’ is fairly standard garage fair, but it’s loud, scuzzy and punches hard, and ‘Crazy Lemon’ pushes a repetitive riff to the max. It’s pretty damn heavy duty, and it’s a decent racket.



Human Worth – 4th November 2022

That I’m a huge, huge fan of Human Worth is probably quite apparent by now, or really ought to be. As a label, they’re the absolute model of the cottage industry DIY label with a social conscience that’s matched by the quality of the music they release. How many labels can you name where absolutely every single release in their catalogue is an absolute fucking banger? And now, it gets even better, as the community spirit can be seen to be an integral aspect embraced by the acts on their roster, as the assemblage of the appropriately-named Fucking Lovely indicates.

Well, it probably depends on your taste, of course: it’s not lovely in the lilting, floral, melodic sense – more in the ironic or sarcastic sense, as this EP is every inch the gnarly barrage of noise you’d expect from the Human Worth alumni who feature in the lineup, which the bio describes as ‘an evolving noise project brought into being by Joel Harries from 72%. Featuring Luc Hess (Coilguns / Closet Disco Queen) on drums and Thomas Lacey (Cower / Yards / The Ghost of a Thousand) on vocals.’

They go on to detail how this record ‘came together through shared connections with Human Worth and brief meetings playing gigs in 2019’; and that ‘the music grew steadily from the initial guitar and drum machine tracks into the frantic and unnerving songs of “Catalogue Of Errors”’ which were ‘recorded remotely between the UK & Switzerland’. It seems like this is the way collaborations will happen from now on. This is probably a (rare) post-pandemic positive: distance and scheduling are no object when it’s possible record at any time and from any distance.

This feels like there is absolutely no distance: it’s the sound of a band playing at ten thousand decibels and right in your face, so harsh and full on that your eyes pop out of their sockets.

It’s brief and intense. Four tracks of jarring, jolting, stuttering riffs and shouting pitched against one another at obtuse angles and colliding against one another in the most awkward and ungainly fashion, for maximum ugly impact and packed into less than ten minutes. Oh yes, it’s fucking lovely alright. It makes your skin crawl and your hair stand on end, it makes you clench and quiver , makes your shoulders tense and your neck stuff. ‘Billy Boy’ is gnarly and full-tilt Jesus Lizard psycho, all dirty guitars, gritty bass and twisted manic vocals. ‘Maximum Exhaustion’ is a soundtrack of relatability, relaying the staggering, stumbling, lurching delirium of fatigue beyond fatigue – also known as life.

The full-on earth-shattering hardcore of ‘Bricked’ draws the EP to a close with samples echoing around low in the mix and the words inaudible, and while angry, sludgy acts are disparate but numerous, I’m reminded of Blacklisters here.

It’s a gloriously demented racket, and it hurts. And it most definitely is absolutely fucking lovely.