The first six months of 2019 have given us plenty of tunes that excel in both raw sonic delivery and uncompromising DIY punk attitude.
As early as February, we already mentioned 13 records to define underground punk in the beginning of 2019 but as we continue to write about up-and-coming bands that grabbed our attention, the list of records that we feel worthy of being reviewed in our zine gets ridiculously long and unwieldy.
From the gutters of international DIY hardcore punk, we’ve seen acts that are ready to blow out your senses with hell of a loud noise and an everlasting message of resistance. Here’s a look at more than a dozen of stellar punk releases that may not have been reviewed so far on DIY Conspiracy but deserve your attention nonetheless.
1 1981 – Acts of Rebellion EP
1981 is an anarcho-punk band from Turku, Finland. The band has been around for eight or nine years now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of them before.
What you need to know about them is that they play this amazing kind of melodic punk with jangling post-punk guitars and a sound reminiscent to the likes Zounds and The Mob. Their lyrics are super political and meant to inspire the uninspired. Vocals are beautiful as well and if you love the new EP, I’m sure you’ll go and hunt their previous releases. This band is a hidden gem! Ⓐ // Ⓔ
2 Planet Y – Kniven for Struben LP
I’ve never been a fan of garage punk but sometimes I find some new bands that manage to crank up some jangly tunes to make the heart swell.
Planet Y hail from Copenhagen, Denmark, and come at you swinging some upbeat guitar driven music, inspired by Scandinavian 70’s melancholia and hints of early West Coast punk-rock melodies, as the press-release goes. If you’re already tired of all the noisy, metallic and brutal stuff out there, Planet Y could make for a great listening experience, especially for those of you into bands like Masshysteri, Gorilla Angreb, or No Hope For The Kids. I’m also sure these guys will be a real fun to see live!
3 DIÄT – Positive Disintegration LP
I’m sure you already know this and it’s one of the most anticipated records you’ll find within this article, but for those who are not familiar with DIÄT, I’ll try to be as brief as possible.
DIÄT is a Berlin-based post-punk band comprising of two Australians and two Germans, all with long histories of involvement in the DIY hardcore punk scene. Their 2015 debut LP, Positive Energy, is considered a modern day classic. Now they come back with Positive Disintegration. Still painting the same bleak urban landscapes, still crafting some of the coldest punk-rock dirge. Relying on dissatisfaction and despair, DIÄT’s music is a reflection of the post-industrial wasteland we live in. Recorded in the dead of winter, Positive Disintegration is a lament for a world going to an imminent collapse.
4 Khiis – Bezoar LP
Oakland, California-based Khiis released their debut album Bezoar through La Vida Es Un Mus in the beginning of May and were highly acclaimed in countless of underground blogs and publications ever since.
Great artwork, ferocious hardcore punk sound filled to the brim with substantial lyrics (partly sung in Farsi, the native tongue in Iran), and fiery tempo changes make this an amazing record that will stand the test of time and will surely get into many people’s best-of-year lists in the end of 2019. Truly original in their songwriting, Khiis’ music is stripped down of any unnecessary elements or copycat riffs from the current crop of hardcore punk bands. I’m sure most of you already know about this band, but somehow this is the first time we write about them.
5 GAME – No One Wins LP
No One Wins is a blistering ten-tracker (plus an intro) coming from the London-based hardcore punk squad GAME.
Comprised of Polish immigrants, this band made a crushing entry into the UK’s underground scene. Brutal female vocals are layered over a relentless attack of searing hardcore punk, crossover and thrash. The Polish lyrics on half of the songs make it for a really interesting listening experience, but the remaining songs in English are also as crackling intense and punishing in their vocal delivery as when the singer is spitting venom in her native tongue. The real highlight, however, are the incredible Burning Spirits-inspired (Death Side, Bastard, Mustang, etc.) riffs doubling on the visceral energy and musical savagery on these tracks. This is a really surprising record, and one that you really have to spend time with to let it fully slap you in the face with its intensity.
6 AxeRash – S/T LP
I’m going to repeat words like raging, blistering and slaying over and over again within this article, but these are totally accurate when it comes to AxeRash from Sweden.
Fast, abrasive and relentless in its ferocity, it’s sure to scratch you where you itch! Favorite hardcore punk release from Sweden after Larma’s self-titled LP for this year… oh yeah, both these records were released on the same Adult Crash label!
7 Mutilated Tongue – Fuel The Flame LP
Mutilated Tongue is a vicious hardcore punk band from Oakland, California, formed in 2018. Although being a new band onto the scene, these three individuals have a rich history of playing in a myriad of great bands such as Look Back And Laugh, Needles, Talk Is Poison, Dead And Gone, Mindless Mutant, and Ex Youth among many others.
Add to this their hook laden, early 1980s influenced style with tons of energy, and you have an absolutely explosive and potent record that should not be missed. Fuel The Flame is the band’s debut LP, but it’s no surprise that it was released through Dropdead’s own Armageddon Label in Providence, RI. These ten tracks of raging hardcore punk totally live up to the expectations and the record title perfectly sums it up.
8 Korrosive – Observations From The West LP
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to these Bay Area punks is the underlying influence from old Finnish bands like Kaaos, Destrucktions, Mellakka, Kohu-63, etc., which will always be dear to my punk-rock heart.
Korrosive are absolutely amazing on their new LP. Iconic art of a dove with the olive branch—peace punk artwork at its best. Echoing vocals spew out anarchist paroles, backed up with hyper distorted guitars and primitive d-beats that barely keep the tracks from falling apart. After a few lo-fi releases including Kaaos covers cassette and a split with early 1980s Finland OGs Appendix, Observations From The West had cemented Korrosive on top of my list for modern bands that keep the ancient Finnish hardcore punk wizardry alive.
9 Enzyme – Howling Mind LP
Howling Mind is the amazing debut full-length of Australian noise-drenched punx Enzyme. Formed around former members of Pisschrïst, Krömosom, and Unknown To God, this is a supergroup of d-beat/raw punk stewards based in the land down under.
Underneath the din of white noise, you can find a perfectly executed punk record in the tradition of Perdition-era Disorder. The production on these tracks is unbelievably good for the style and never sounds flat or static. Enzyme bring forth the simplicity of bands like UK’s Disorder and Japanese Confuse but also showcase the immense energy of the underlying rage behind this music. Another crucial release from La Vida Es Un Mus label and a top-notch band along the lines of recent favorites of mine like Disguise, GELD, and Physique.
10 Shit Coffins – Termination LP
Blazing hardcore punk from Oakland, Shit Coffins spew out some nasty tunes about the ugly side of life. The band feature members of the aforementioned Mutilated Tongue and should not be missed either when you’re looking out for new releases.
Fans of straightforward, ugly and desperate 80s style suburban hardcore should really check this out. This band is supposedly a boot in the face to the new generation who have lost the meaning of less complicated riffs, nihilist lyrics and original brutality in that kind of music. Catchy in all the right ways, this is a definite record to prove that old style hardcore punk never dies.
11 Golpe de Gracia – S/T EP
After being hooked on the new wave of French Oi! bands like Syndrome 81, Kronstadt, Zone Infinie, etc., I’ve restored my faith in this style of music that oftentimes could be really sketchy when it comes to bands’ lyrics and attitude.
Besides France, Italy and Spain are two other European countries where you can still find some good bands like that, and Madrid’s Golpe de Gracia seems to be one of those new bands keeping the style alive and kicking. Honestly, I don’t know much about these guys, so I hope they’re not some grayzone fence-walkers, because their music rule. Punching, extremely catchy Oi! punk sound with those gnarly vocals typical for the Spanish punk bands since the 1980s. Sounds like worth checking it out.
12 REGIME – Bury Them Now EP
Playing some pretty brutal and relentless Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing-era Discharge rip-off, REGIME is a new band from Moscow with members of the hardcore terror force Reptiloids and renowned stenchcore masters Fatum (covered in our Russian scene overview, as well as in Andy Lefton’s best of list for 2018).
I know, this stuff has been overused and abused for decades, but REGIME is a band that does it right. Their EP reeks of pure d-beat energy from start to finish. Disrockers should dig this.
13 SANCTION THIS – S/T LP
Since the band’s reunion a few years ago, anarcho-punk pioneers Anthrax from the UK are taking the scene by the storm with their Grow Your Own Records, so we should always have to keep an eye on the label’s releases.
The latest installment in GYOR’s discography is the self-titled LP of SANCTION THIS, who themselves are old geezers still not tired to give a new twist to the old punk chords and defiant political message we’ve been nurtured to embrace. With hints to bands ranging from Killing Joke to Rudimentary Peni, Conflict and Anti System, I’m sure SANCTION THIS will struck a chord in most of you. This is some heavyweight UK (post-) punk worth checking out.