23 Raw’n’Filthy Hardcore Punk Records You Might Have Missed This Year
Unleashing some of 2023's rawest punk charges from the DIY punk underworld.
Within the ever-evolving, fast-paced world of social media and instant communication, it feels like there’s a new record or band crashing onto the scene every heartbeat. In this whirlwind of noise and fury, we can’t write about all the good records we’ve heard, even most recently.
That’s where these listicles come in handy. I’ve tuned into numerous records that came out in 2023, and curated a list of some that haven’t yet been reviewed on our platform. This article—and most you’ll find on DIY Conspiracy—intentionally omits releases from popular labels like Relapse (who recently signed favorites such as GELD or Poison Ruïn) and Convulse Records (with great releases like Destiny Bond, Alienator or Gel). I’ve observed many other webzines leaning heavily on press releases from such imprints, prompting me to highlight lesser-known labels and scenes instead.
Record labels like La Vida Es Un Mus, RoachLeg, Static Shock, Iron Lung, Sorry State, Beach Impediment, Grave Mistake, Crew Cuts, Toxic State, D4MT Labs, Bunker Punks, Not Enough, Phobia, Symphony of Destruction, Discos Enfermos, and Insane Society are of course some of the usual suspects here, and I think they are the torchbearers of the modern DIY hardcore punk underground, along with all those bands self-releasing their records. Shout outs to them!
Don’t mistake this for a year-end list of my top picks for 2023 though, as we’ve already delved into killer releases like the new Enzyme, Avskum, Kasshuve, NŌ, Zero Again, Phosphore, Deletär, Sirkka, and many others. Instead, this is a rundown of records that have been on my playlist recently but haven’t been individually reviewed, so I’ve provided a brief commentary for each here.🔥💀🔥
1 Destruct – Cries the Mocking Mother Nature
Destruct’s Echoes of Life in 2020 marked a fierce introduction, and they’re not slowing down with their latest LP, Cries the Mocking Mother Nature. Drawing inspiration from Japanese legends like Framtid, Bastard, and Crow, the Richmond, VA band amplifies their tracks with a heroic flair, driven by slashing riffs, energizing solos and a pumping rhythm section that never lets up. While their sound boasts of epic Japanese-inspired moments, threads of British and Swedish d-beat also run deep within their sound, channeling a more traditional galloping hardcore rhythm. Dig into tracks like “Destabilize Control”, “71,000 Warheads”, and “Exhaustive Butchery”, and you’re met with a cacophony of ravenous vocals, catastrophic riffs, and merciless drumming. Weaving together the finest strands of the loud and unrelenting hardcore universe into a pummeling 24-minute assault, Cries the Mocking Mother Nature cements its place as one of the definitive d-beat releases in recent memory.
2 Final Dose – Void Inside
Straight out of London’s DIY scene, Final Dose’s raw resonance is a siren’s call for the disenchanted. They’re the torchbearers of blackened punk, a venom they teased with their 2021 EP, Dark Places. Now, with Void Inside, they dig even deeper into humanity’s dark psyche, exposing the rot that festers when greed rules and cruelty becomes currency. Spread across ten inciting tracks, you’ll be tossed between old-school black metal storms, complete with unholy shrieks, and invigorating stomps from the enduring spirit of UK82’s glory days. The album’s haunting intro sets an ominous tone, only to unleash a punk rock pandemonium that feels like a hellspawn’s war cry. With this offering, Final Dose aren’t just bridging the gap between punk and black metal—they’re tearing up the rulebook!
3 偏執症者 (Paranoid) – S.C.U.M. EP
Back in 2017, when I had the chance to interview the Swedish d-beat hell-raisers 偏執症者 (Paranoid), I had a sense they’d be storming the extreme music bastions for many years to come. While their roots dig deep into the dark soils of Swedish råpunk, they’ve artfully grafted Japanese intensity, evident in their namesake, with tinges of Venom-esque black metal. Fast forward to 2023, and S.C.U.M., their latest EP, stands as another unrelenting homage to their noise-drenched muses. Featuring iconic collaborations—Jacky Crustwar’s shrieks on the definitive 35-seconds noise assault “裏切り (Uragiri)”, and Sakana Zyanose’s ethereal backup on “無差別な苦痛 (Musabetsuna Kutsuu)”, S.C.U.M. is nothing short of a d-beat apocalypse. Think of it as the raw d-beat punk of Disclose locked in a fierce tango with sonic annihilators like Contrast Attitude, Kriegshög or D-clone, yet punctuated by 偏執症者 (Paranoid)’s own Scandinavian käng ferocity. This masterclass in subterranean hardcore showcases the grotesque beauty of the genre: raw, visceral, and utterly gripping.
4 Rat Cage – Savage Visions
Rat Cage, surfacing from the industrial landscape of Sheffield, the so-called Steel City of the UK, has long been on the hardcore watchlist, and it’s astonishing to realize it was initally the handiwork of just one man. But with Savage Visions, Bry Suddaby has cranked up the decibels to a whole new level. As the name suggests, Savage Visions is a blistering assault, tailored for a world teetering on the brink. With added firepower and an even catchier yet sinister cadence, Rat Cage rolled out a record that melds the raw fury of Swedish kängpunk with the unfiltered energy of UK hardcore. Tracks like “Expensive Bombs”, “Scapegoats of Fear”, and “Sinister Town” are seething manifestos of defiance and resistance for our turbulent times. Raw hardcore at its finest.
5 Physique – Again
Since 2017, Physique’s noise-ridden EPs have been shaking the foundations of the crust punk world. Now, with their debut full-length, Again, it’s evident they haven’t lost an ounce of their ferocious grip. The album’s cover art salutes legends like Doom and Discharge, setting the stage for a memorable journey. Throughout the blistering 15 tracks, similarities of revered Japanese legends such as Gloom, Disclose, and D-Clone reverberate, all contributing to Physique’s signature cacophony of searing guitars, deep-rooted bass, and full-blown d-beats. Their crasher crust meets d-beat raw punk energy, coupled with powerful political narratives, creates a rallying cry against the shadows of the world. With Again, Physique don’t just echo the bullshit world we live, ultimately they should inspire us to do something about it.
6 Ex Parents – Self-Titled
When I talk about my all-time favorite hardcore, I always rave about the UK’s Discharge, the US’s Poison Idea, and Japan’s Bastard. Now, out of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, VA, Ex Parents have flashed on my radar. They’re not just echoing those iconic vibes, they’re reshaping these timeless influences into their own hardcore image. Ex Parents kicks off with the Discharge-soaked track “Mania”, cascading into a torrent of gnarly Poison Idea-inspired riffs across ten skull-cracking tunes. Every song feels like a haymaker to the face, but standouts like “Lifestyle Creep,” “Void,” and the brilliant closer “Perpetual Bliss” really leave their mark. This is a crash course in hardcore savagery, fused with hooks that won’t let go. I may have slept on their demo, but this album has been battering my senses ever since its release. One of the best hardcore records of the year? Hell yes.
7 Electric Chair – Act of Aggression
Not entirely sure if Electric Chair’s most recent blitz (if we don’t count their so-called Beat Sessions album), backed by the goats at Iron Lung Records, falls into that “might’ve slipped by you” category, but honestly, who gives a rat’s ass? I’m thrashing in my vegan boots over this wild bunch from Olympia, WA, and damn it, they deserve the spotlight. I’ve got a habit of scrolling Rob Coon Photography’s Instagram profile, always looking for that next electrifying shot of Electric Chair frontman Trae Brown (also on the featured image), channeling wild Darby Crash vibes. Released on vinyl in March 2013, Act of Aggression is a full-on hardcore punk inferno. A mental math check: 11 tracks, 15 minutes. Hell, if that doesn’t scream urgency, what does? It’s like time-warping to a dripping ’80s underground gig—echoes of legends like Koro, Neos and N.O.T.A. reverberating. But Electric Chair is more than acrobatic stage stunts and a nostalgic old school sound; they’re the real deal, raw and authentic to the bone.
8 Asinin – Demo
While Norway might be synonymous with frostbitten black metal, it’s got another stomping beast lurking in its murky forests—raw, unrelenting hardcore punk. And leading the charge is Oslo’s own Asinin. Right before leaving a trail of chaos at the notorious K-Town Hardcore Festival in Copenhagen, Asinin dropped a bombshell of a demo tape via Brooklyn’s finest RoachLeg Records. The moment you hit play, these Norwegian punks unleash a merciless assault of hardcore that’s like a shotgun blast to the cerebral cortex. The five tracks are all rapid-fire grenades, most exploding in under a minute. And the mix? Raw, ruthless, and razor-sharp. Asinin birthed a monster: no-nonsense, stripped-down, and viciously authentic hardcore punk. An exercise in raw power.
9 80HD – Destabilize
On their blazing full-length debut, NYC’s 80HD deviate from the overt Ripcord and Heresy vibes that marked their demo, carving out a beastly sound that’s distinctly theirs. And there’s a cataclysmic eruption here—shifting from breakneck thrashcore blitzkriegs to a more sustained, predatory rhythm, 80HD flexing some truly savage might. Behind the boards for Destabilize, the production is sharp, yet ferocious—the epitome of hardcore’s raw essence. The refined clarity allows the vocals to truly unleash: a cacophony of menacing growls, classic hardcore shouts, and ear-splitting shrieks. It’s enthralling how swiftly they flip from one vocal extreme to the next. 80HD really come into their own when they go full throttle with tracks like “Lookout!” or “Turn The Page,” dishing out stench-ridden hardcore fury. And even when they venture off the beaten path, as in the synth-drenched finale “Feel,” their grip on the listener is unwavering. An absolute beast of a record!
10 G.U.N. – Self-Titled
When Nashville’s G.U.N. dropped their first demo a few years ago, it felt like a lost ’80s relic, not a 2019 production. Fast forward to their debut self-titled LP, draped in Reed Kavanah’s raw brilliance, and it’s a hardcore punch to the gut. Resonating the rage of other acronym bands like S.O.A. or N.O.T.A., the album translates a pure, undiluted ’80s sound with catchy, hook-laden riffs. G.U.N.’s lyrics, chilling and brutally honest, push boundaries, while keeping a raw intensity. Tracks like “Sadist Faction” confront our dark truths head-on, while the epic closer “Sick Sad World” transcends the usual thrashing chaos with an experimental spirit. Miss out on this, and you’re missing a genuine hardcore beast that’s gunning for 2023’s top spots.
11 Turquoise – Sang, Larmes & Râles
Hailing from the broiling pits of d-beat chaos, Turquoise’s sophomore stormer, Sang, Larmes & Râles, is a full-throttle hardcore punk demolition. Their 2021 debut, Hantise, might’ve set the underground alight with its authentic kängpunk pulse, but this new contender cranks the chaos up a notch. Driven by a semi-clean guitar frenzy that makes the drums and bass sound like they’re bashing through concrete walls, the band throws down with both Swedish-infused fury and the irrepressible might of their native French spirit. Drawing from beasts like Totalitär, yet infusing their own rowdy energy, Sang, Larmes & Râles is a 16-minute electrifying ride of scorching kängnäve, proving time and again why Turquoise is a force of raw, unhinged brilliance.
12 Phane – Police System EP
Ever since their charged debut in late 2017, Vancouver punks Phane have been creeping through the punk underground like a rat that has found its way into the pantry of a posh English manor. Channeling the likes of G.B.H., Varukers, and the early Exploited, their recent Police State EP kicks off loudly with “City of Vermin.” Yet it’s not merely a nod to City Baby Attacked by Rats, but a brazen declaration of vermin supremacy with lines like “I love living with the rats, sleeping in garbage and dodging traps.” Up next, “Weaponize” flips the script with arguably the most cerebral take on marijuana you’d ever hear from a punk rock track—provocative and pure gold. Their cover of Montreal’s band Unruled song “Time is Running Out” unearths a forgotten 1984 classic, paying respect while staking their claim. And for those thirsting for a raw, anti-cop anthem, “Farce” delivers a gut-punch, lashing out with lines like “Police System, total farce. Thin Blue Line Up Your Arse.” All in all, Phane’s latest rager is a proper rat-infested romp through dark punk alleyways, begging the question: Are you ready to navigate the Phane’s labyrinth?
13 See You In Hell – Do smrti a ještě dál
Hailing from Brno since 1999, See You In Hell have carved an enduring legacy on the Czech punk scene. Beyond their pivotal role in the locally renowned Killed By Brno festival, they’re the heartbeat of countless underground events. Their tours span a global arc rarely traced by Eastern European bands—how many Czech bands have played Japan and Southeast Asia? But 2016 dealt a blow with the devastating loss of founding guitarist and renowned fanzine publisher Filip Fuchs—a guiding star in the regional DIY punk universe. Despite the void, they soldiered on, recruiting two new guitarists and releasing Život ve strachu in 2019. SYIH’s latest offering, Do smrti a ještě dál (which translates as “To Death and Beyond”), serves as both a poignant tribute to Filip’s bright memory and a rise from the ashes of political turmoil and pandemic-induced lethargy. Melding their signature Japanese burning spirits influences with an unyielding dedication to their local scene, it’s their impassioned lyrics in evocative Czech that truly capture the soul. Historically, they’ve woven tales of death and tragedy, but these themes now hold a deeper resonance, echoing with the grief of losing a dear friend and bandmate. This new SYIH release is a powerful testament to resilience, remembrance and the indomitable spirit of punk that stands as one of their finest to date.
14 Illiterates – No Experts
Pittsburgh’s Illiterates might as well be the primal monkeys of hardcore, flinging their tunes at you like a wild troop with zero fucks given. Claiming to be “the dumbest band in hardcore?” What monkeyshine! Their new scorcher, No Experts, is a barrel of raw energy, charging harder and faster than a silverback on a rampage. From the wild chorus chants swinging through the trees like a damn gibbon, to Lawson’s beastly vocals similar to Ray Cappo’s fervor in his prime. Tracks like “Tricks of the Trade,” “Nice Things,” and “Weather Capital” ain’t just chimp chatter; they’re a full-throttle banana fest of USHC greatness. Then there’s “As Old As You Feel”—it’s got me banging my chest, feeling like a teen ape, all riled up and ready to tear shit up. If you’re yearning for the raw, untamed vibes of Youth of Today but fed up with the youth crew snooze-fest they birthed, let these Illiterates show you how the jungle really rocks! Welcome to the primate pit!
15 Hez – Panamaniacs
Panama might be off the DIY punk map for most, but Hez have been tearing it up for a while. A few moons back, their tumultuous Guerra Interior EP exploded onto the scene, making an impact on the select few who’ve been introduced to their music. Reminiscent of Destino Final’s classic record Atrapados, Hez churn out gritty hardcore punk that pounds your eardrums with relentless percussions like a street brawl in an abandoned alley. Throw in hauntingly reverbed vocals, fractured bass, and fierce, frantic guitars, and you’re caught in the chaotic whirlwind that is their new album Panamaniacs. Peppered with more frenetic punk action and weird effects that evoke the sound of a glitching transformer, this album carves out a unique niche. While respectful of their influences, Hez have truly come into their own, proving that distinctive quality and character are the rewards of perseverance.
16 Dauðyflin – Þorparaljóð EP
Blazing out of Reykjavík, Iceland’s most rage-filled queercore punks Dauðyflin are at it again. After leaving their mark with notable releases, including some on the acclaimed Iron Lung Records, these punks are back with a self-released EP that’s as volatile as a Molotov cocktail. Þorparaljóð, roughly translating to “Scoundrel Poems,” unleashes five tracks of blistering hardcore riffs laced with vehement anticapitalist and queer insurrectionary screams in their native tongue. In a ferocious 7-minute blast, they encapsulate the wild “be gay, do crime” ethos with a fierce intensity. If you’ve ever thrashed to the likes of GLOSS, this Icelandic powerhouse is sure to get your blood boiling.
17 DEEPxCUT – No Heal EP
Sharpening their sound since their inception at Antiviosi squat in the Greek town of Ioannina last year, DEEPxCUT slice through the scene once more. Now, with their latest offering No Heal, they present nine razor-sharp tracks of pure, undiluted hardcore. Staying true to the brisk pace of classic one-minute hardcore punk songwriting, they remain relentless, never missing or dulling a beat. Echoes of ‘80s Boston hardcore resonate, weaving together thrashing riffs and moshable breakdowns. Every track is a precision cut of rapid, aggressive chops, yet each possesses a melodic undercurrent that’s both enthralling and invigorating. While half of the tracks on their debut embraced their Greek heritage, their latest offering is entirely in English. This transition probably speaks of their desire to communicate with a wider audience. Whatever the language, though, the potency of their message is undeniable. Like any good hardcore band, their talent lies in embedding intricate social and political subjects in straight-forward blasts without devolving into mere rhetoric. Another excellent release from DEEPxCUT.
18 Raw Peace – No Hope
Rolling out of Belgium’s DIY punk pantheon—members of the legendary Reproach, Agathocles, and Black Haven—Raw Peace smash through the gates with their second album, No Hope. Consisting of ten fist-pumping tracks, the album is a relentless attack of thick, metal-twinged chaos sounding like a beast off its chains. Stijn Reproach’s powerful roars clash with razor-edged guitars and pavement-cracking d-beats. Think Warcry going toe-to-toe in a dark alley with Swedish beasts like Avskum and Totalitär. Stripped down to its rawest core, every track’s a bone-breaker, with vocals that rip through the chaos, standing tall amid the flood of hardcore onslaughts. Bottom-line, No Hope is a non-stop barrage from start to finish.
19 ConSec – Wheel of Pain
In the visceral world of hardcore, conventional wisdom often fades in the face of raw, unabashed energy. Enter ConSec, with their audacious LP, Wheel of Pain. The album’s cover, steeped in an unmistakable ’80s aura, is only a prelude to the tumultuous journey that awaits. While echoes of monumental bands like Koro, Die Kreuzen and the early fervor of D.R.I. reverberate throughout, ConSec carve out a niche of their own with a dozen tracks that marry wild abandon with discerning precision. But this isn’t just a raucous noise fest. Amidst the hurricane of pounding drums and raging guitar chords lies a narrative of societal angst and disillusionment. Wheel of Pain serves as both a nod to the classic hardcore era and a cautionary tale for today’s disconnected souls.
20 Lethal – Lethal’s Hardcore Hit Parade EP
Cutting straight to the chase: Lethal’s Hardcore Hit Parade EP truly lives up to its name. Bursting from NYC’s underbelly, Lethal’s birthed by old hands crafting new chaos. A lethal cocktail—melding UK grit with NYHC fury, sparking Crucifix-like thrash combustions. These five anthems paint their grim worldview in bold strokes, igniting their debut seven-inch like a dynamite fuse. From the first note to the last explosion, it’s an unrelenting barrage of sound and fury. Get ready for impact.
21 Zorn – Self-Titled
Achtung! Achtung! Germany’s got a Zorn epidemic! Sure, there’s that iconic ’90s metallic hardcore beast who graced us with …Denn Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit through Maximum Voice back in ’97. Oh, and let’s not forget that punk band from Leipzig, or the black metal powerhouse from Baden-Württemberg. But screw geography! Now, we’ve got Zorn out of Philly in the USA, giving a raw slap with their death-rock-twisted hardcore punk sound. Picture Christian Death, Hear Nothing See Nothing-era Discharge, and a rogue thrash beast having a wild night out. That’s Zorn for ya. Seeking relentless metal punk with icy riffs and a blazing sound inferno? Dive headfirst into (non-German) Zorn’s debut and get your face melted.
22 PUS – PUS II
If Zorn’s unholy concoction of death-rock-soaked hardcore didn’t send shivers down your spine, then brace yourself for the blackened tempest from the underworld that is Lima, Peru’s PUS. A follow-up to their 2020 debut, PUS II is a grotesque brew of the grimmest South American black metal, creepy death rock, and raw-as-hell punk ferocity. Blistering tempos haunted by distorted riffs will drag you straight into the pit of oblivion. Their cacophonous symphony is like an incantation—it’s got the tortured-sounding shrieks of a banshee in a punk jacket, as if coming from the darkest trenches of Hades. Strap in for this ritualistic mayhem, where death rock rituals dance wickedly with black metal rites, all within a punk-infested lair.
23 Stigmatism – Ignorance in Power
Born out of the hustle that is New York City, Stigmatism breathe new life into the legacy of NYC’s revered Rat Cage Records scene with their incendiary debut, Ignorance In Power. Navigating the treacherous waters of such iconic influence is no easy feat, as it might sound like a mere echo from the past. Yet Stigmatism do not care about your opinion, churning out defiant tracks with unmistakable Urban Waste, Agnostic Front and Warzone attitude. If you’ve ever been obsessed with AF’s Victim In Pain, Stigmatism will undoubtedly strike a chord. Stay fierce and wear that hardcore badge with pride.
As we conclude this piece, take a moment to watch the ferocious visuals from one of 偏執症者 (Paranoid)’s new tracks—a fitting recap of the turbulent rollercoaster that is 2023.