Last weeks marital festivities coincidently clashed with a Converge/Kyelsa gig so I had been repressing my appetite for all that is fast/loud/heavy (delete as appropriate), that is until this week when I have had a hardcore binge.
Covering the ‘loud/heavy’ (and on occasion fast) bracket are swedish experimental hardcore band Breach.
‘Experimental’ is an adjective often thrown around carelessly in the world of Scandinavian hardcore- often in the direction of my beloved Refused, though I think it truly can be applied to Breach who opt for atmospheric eerieness a la Neurosis rather than out and out brutality.
‘Diablo’ is doused in hypnotic, driving percussion owing more in some respects to 70s krautrock than Black Flag though is coupled with guitars dissonant enough to make Greg Ginn weep. The video looks like something straight out of a saw movie and the industrial imagery compliments the music perfectly.
‘Big Strong Boss’ continues the trend although is much more varied in terms of dynamics and texture, with many false climaxes until all descends into chaos just the way i like it. If you are a fan of bands like Pelican, Isis or Cult of Luna i strongly recommend you go and check out this band- three of their better albums are on spotify!
Castrovalva are what crunkcore should have been- a genre which on paper sounded promising (or did to me..) but failed to deliver. With tongues firmly within their cheeks Castrovalva have combined the bravado of crunk (song titles include ‘thuglife and hooliganz r us) with Death From Above 1979 basslines and the spazziness of The Locust.
The end result is as ridiculous as it is entertaining and worryingly addictive! I realise this may become a bit of a mantra but you must see this band live to really get a feel for them, they put on a hell of a show so keep your eyes peeled for tour dates etc.
My final band for this week are more conventionally ‘hardcore’, partly due to them being one of the originators of the genre. Bad Brains are blisteringly fast with most of their songs barely reaching the 2 minute mark. What separates the band from much of the hardcore music of the time is that they are more technically adept allowing them to have a wider musical vocabulary (occasionally they play reggae) than many of their contemporaries who got boring very quickly.
I am particularly fond of Bad Brains earlier work, the lo-fi production adds an element of grittyness that is not as prevalent in their later albums. Here’s a particular gem ‘the regulator’
Well, that was cathartic! I feel like i need a lie down..
Seeya next week- same time, same place!
Bonus- If that wasn’t enough of a racket for you I’ve made a punk/hardcore mixtape here for y’all