2012 has been a pretty good year for Hardcore, and it’s nice to finally see bands actually wanting people to hear their music (RIP Mysterious guy hardcore with your “I hate the internet stance”). While there has certainly been a few forgettable records this year, here are ten bands you should be paying attention to/spending your money on/going to see for yourself instead of posting on a message board about it.
I finally had a chance to listen to the Hysterics self-titled 7″ and I can’t say enough good things about this band. Hysterics seem to take cues from bands such as No Rock Stars and Cause for Alarm, though it’s the perfectly executed vocals that make this band something to behold. Songs like “Dow Jones” and “Correct Me” seem so well done you wouldn’t have guessed all this band has out so far is a demo and a 7″. The riff-tastic “Hanging Out At the 512″ is a true testament to how interesting and honestly quite important this band is in 2012. Yes it’s almost 4 minutes and 30 seconds, and yes, the song throws everything at you–but it’s’ never draining. It’s certainly cliché to say “this band has made hardcore exciting again,” but if this band doesn’t excite you, you aren’t paying attention.
Here’s a great band from Toronto, which includes members of School Jerks. There are Punchy bass lines throughout the 2012 Will You Feed Me? EP and is recorded perfectly for what they’re trying to do.The vocals could turn you off if you aren’t into the delayed, echoing style that’s happening here, but it fits pretty well and works for songs like “Forced March” and “Destruction Mindless”.
The drumming is what makes this band grab your attention and rise above the rest. Will You Feed Me? is never lazy (something that often kills songs for me). Fans of Mob 47 and Graven Image take note, this is your new favorite band.
I was was blown away when I heard this demo. In School is aggressive in the best way possible. The demo blasts right through which immediately makes you wonder what they’re like live. “Apocryphal Scum” could easily be one of my favorite songs of the year. “Maggot Rot” is a total sing along, and its stops and starts add something different to the demo. The singer has the vocal delivery of Donita Sparks (and trust me I mean that as a compliment). I’m not quite sure what’s next for them, but you should track down the demo, as I’d be hard pressed to believe the next thing they do won’t be killer.
I’ve been a fan of No Fucker for years (I once booked them for a fest, only to find out they broke up?) and while No Fucker is over, Herpes makes up for it completely. This isn’t the the “raw punk d-beat noise” MRR might go nuts over. Although, that isn’t to say this is some straightforward record. No way, there’s plenty of “noise not music” whatever to go around, it’s just a lot easier on the ears.
These songs are done so well that if it was recorded the way some of that other stuff is, I’d probably only give this a few listens, needless to say this has been on repeat since I’ve gotten it. ”Fang and Claw” is the song I’ve always wanted No Fucker to write. There’s something a bit more sinister about this band compared to most of their raw punk contemporaries that separates it from the rest. I just hope these guys stick around longer than an demo and a 7″.
Hit the jump for the rest!
When I first heard the Spring Trash demo a few years back I was pretty blown away, if only because the songs were so goddamn catchy. Natural Law falls somewhere between the fury of B.G.K. and a car wreck. It’s really the vocals and the clean recording that make this band worth your time. “First Against The Wall” and “Old News” really display how capable this band is when it comes to writing songs that are a bit more dynamic than your typical hardcore band.
Natural Law hasn’t done too much this year, but they did release an LP on Katorga Works that is not only as good as the demo, but even better. To me right now, they are one of the best NYC bands period.
I don’t know much about these guys at all. I will say though the Stab Nation Rising 7″ is so good that I played it 20 times the first day I got it. You gotta love a recording that sounds like the bass and drums were recorded in a laundromat.
This band is a bit on the heavier side for some, but it reminds me of what would happen if Poison Idea and Sodom started a band together.. Between these guys and Brain Killer, if heavier hardcore is your thing, you’re pretty much set.
While everyone is talking about Dawn of Humans and their weird hardcore ways (trust me Dawn of Humans are VERY good), Pusrad is just as strange if not stranger and does it in 1 minute and 15 seconds…which is the length of their new 7″ EP. Don’t think for a second this is just super fast rage type stuff, far from it. “Syns Vi?” and “Kandis” are some of the most complex hardcore songs you’ll hear all year.
Don’t let that intimidate you though, It feels like you’ve been kicked in the gut 50 times in 10 seconds. The drums sound like drum machines more than natural drums and it works in spades. This is hardcore for those with EXTREME ADD and it rules.
With their Some Sick Joke 7″ Boston’s Confines get a bit dramatic, but I’m ok with that. The 7″ title track starts with a page from the standard bible of My War, but it develops into something more if you give the song time, something way heavier and darker than most bands that try to pull that stuff off.
“Mission Creep” does a good job at balancing out what they’re trying to do with killer drum fills and relentless vocals. It’s a shame this band doesn’t do more because the two releases they do have out are great. This band has members of Brain Killer, so you know it should be worth your time.
Probably the most “well known” on this list (if that means anything), and I would be fooling myself it I left them off. Their follow up to the 2010 release Cruising, cleverly called Still Cruising is one of the best records I’ve heard all year, and not just in hardcore. There’s a little more “rock” here than some might care for, but that’s what makes Still Cruising interesting. Like Natural Law, Slices have a way of crafting aggressive songs that actually get stuck in your head.
And how can you not like a band that has an almost Factorymen like intro to a song called “Forever Cruising/Hurt On the Job”? It’s extremely interesting to hear a song that pummels you like “Human Resources” does and then a song like “Why Do You Make Yourself Sad?” which uses slide guitar. Thats the kinda band Slices is. It’s safe to say that when you have a band that ends an LP talking about making a good sandwich, you know it’s awesome.
Along with Hysterics, Crude Thought come from Olympia, WA and while Hysterics might in some ways seem straightforward, Crude Thought are their more grimey counterparts and go more for the gut than anything else. Listening to the 2012 demo it’s clear this band has taken cues from not only hardcore, but 90s Pacific North West downer music. “It Could Be You” almost sounds like Bleach era Nirvana covering The Freeze.
Crude Thought isn’t the most aggressive band of those listed here, but they don’t need to be. “Flowers” takes the now-typical slowed down hardcore song, and turns it into a Christian Death type epic. I hear they have a 7″ coming out very soon…I think you know where a few bucks of yours is going.- Sean Gray