There is a massive revival of 90’s influenced hardcore going on right now, but seeing bands like Chokehold, Culture and Mean Season—not to mention Earth Crisis—playing right in front of my eyes is something that I couldn’t have imagined even ten years ago.
It goes without saying that many of the recently revived bands, or at least some of their members, have broken edge for a long time now; and it’s even sadder to think if some of them are no longer vegan in a time when veganism is so widespread within the mainstream, going far & wide away from the hardcore punk scene.
Even a low-key vegan edge band like Birthright have reunited last year to play some exclusive shows. Their singer, Kurt, is one of those amazing people still releasing modern-day vegan straight edge bands through his longstanding XVX label Catalyst Records.
Germany’s CLEARxCUT is probably the most vocal and passionate about the vegan straight edge amongst all the newer bands I’ve heard in 2018. Spread all over the country, the five-piece XVX gang feature former and current members of bands like King Apathy (ex-Thränenkind), Heaven Shall Burn and Implore.
The band’s debut “The Vegan Straight Edge” EP came out in July as a teaser for their set at Fluff Fest 2018. There are three tracks on here: politically charged, environmentally conscious hardcore, and ultimately—dedicated to The Vegan Straight Edge! Yes, their music falls prey to most of the clichés surrounding the 90’s metallic hardcore scene… but I don’t mean that as an insult, quite the contrary. They have all the thrills of the 90’s genre and then they have angry dual female vocals that both sound like Gather. It’s no surprise that shortly after being well received by the vegan straight edge crowd at Fluff Fest, the band went on tour with big names like the XVX supergroup SECT and Sweden’s Gust.
What I don’t like the most is the lack of originality in the record’s artwork. The picture comes from the great Marshall Curry’s documentary “If a Tree Falls”, which follows the story of the ELF’s activist Daniel McGowan right after his imprisonment in November 2006 (released on parole in 2013). Plagiarizing a picture from a movie is so 1990’s, but come on… Apparently, CLEARxCUT is releasing a new record in April 2019 and I can’t wait to hear it. Hopefully, they will come up with some amazing and original artwork this time.