Writing up about DIY hardcore punk is an exciting but sometimes overwhelming venture, especially when you start receiving review requests from tons of self-released crust, grind, d-beat, extreme noise and whatever ear-slaughtering, headache-giving bands from all over the world.
We’re trying to keep it up with the review section… but oftentimes there are records that can be summed up briefly in very few sentences. Here are some of these recent records that fall mainly in the raw punk, crust, grindcore category and didn’t manage to receive their own separate review entries in our web zine.
1 Razgruha / Nelepa Brena – “Even The Punks Don’t Like Us” Split EP
This one comes from Bulgaria. Razgruha is a grindcore band from Sofia. Their grindcore is above all an extreme variety of hardcore punk with all its values. The lyrics don’t suck but offer philosophically justified alternatives to the status-quo. Nelepa Brena is the other band on this record. Their name is a tongue-in-cheek homage to the Serbian turbo-folk diva Lepa Brena (“lepa” means beautiful in Serbian, while “nelepa” means stupid or goofy in Bulgarian). Smart-ass lyrics and influences from Spazz and Charles Bronson, they even use samples of interviews and speeches by Bulgarian politicians and popular figures. Old School grindcore vs Powerviolence. Bulgarian style.
2 Born For Slaughter / Silence Means Death – Split LP
Born For Slaughter is a crust band from Macedonia. They are part of a really small scene that emerged there in the late 90s. BFS play a mixture of everything crusty, trying to find their own sound. It’s not bad at all, and recently they managed to do an extensive European tour together with their Macedonian powerviolence companions Irritatement. BFS is sharing this LP with Silence Means Death from Belgium, previously familiar to me from their split release with the great band Garmonbozia.
3 Shock Troopers – “Leshinari” LP
Another band from Skopje, Macedonia. This treat is a metallic crust to the bone that reminds of bands like Extinction of Mankind, Misery, Warcollapse… You know, the metallic stuff that kicks ass real hard.
4 Lethe – “Λήθη” LP
Pure fucking crustcore violence from Patras, Greece. This rages, plain and simple. Severed Head of State and World Burns To Death are good starting points as far as influences go.
5 Slaktgrav / Chaos A OK – “Hardcore Skit” CD-r
Total käng punk rip-off coming from Thessaloníki, Greece. Both bands love d-takt punk and of course there are Discharge (“Maimed & Slaughtered) and Anti-Cimex (When The Innocent Die) covers. Sounds like thousand other bands but will still listen to it.
6 Atentado – “Antagonist” LP
Nothing groundbreaking or mega interesting here, just raging 90s crust from this veteran band from Lisbon, Portugal.
7 Stasis – Demo 2014
Dirty and discorded crust combined with pummeling blast beats of grinding metal, dual female and male vocals overtake the lead over the beast. The band hails from Bologna, Italy.
8 Multinational Corporations – “Jamat-al-Maut” EP
Two-piece old school grindcore (think of Terrorizer, Repulsion, Extreme Noise Terror) from Lahore, Pakistan. Hassan sings and write lyrics, Sheraz plays all instruments. The drum machine ruined it for me, but I guess it’s not that easy to find a drummer for such kind of music in Pakistan. Jamat-al-Maut (‘Congregation of Death’ in their native Urdu) is an 8 tracks assault with political lyrics taking a critical stance against patriotism and religion, Islamist extremism, Marxist/communist partisanship, Western neo-liberal capitalism, etc. This record reminds me of some of the pioneers of punk and grindcore music in ex-Eastern Bloc countries.
9 Human Cull – “Stillborn Nation” CD
Raging grind crust from Bristol, UK. Equal portions of old school crust in the veins of DOOM, plus the grinding madness of Nasum and Insect Warfare. The sound quality is pretty good. 23 songs in 25 minutes, solid release.
10 Abstürmer – Nuclear Hell
All hail Abstürmer! Satan-worshiping bicycle gang from Michigan. They are strictly anti-fascist, pizza-loving haters ov anything non-DIY. Corpse-paints, Bathory shirts and spandex shorts on. In aeturnal slumber, in contemplative hell, smitten by the wrath of pandemoncy, Absturmer are the trve masters of the nine levels of misery.
The band insists that the record was released on 6.6.1966, so technically this is not quite a new record.
11 Sewer Trench – Self-Titled
Filthy and aggressive noise punk from the UK, the name of the band speaks for itself. This is total shit, take it or leave it. Influences ranging from Chaotic Dischord to Driller Killer to anything that’s raw, ugly and nihilistic in punk. Some members of the band seem to be originally from Brazil.