Sometimes you just hear a hip hop track and instantly liken it to punk. That’s exactly how I feel whenever I listen to Minnesota-based rapper, P.O.S. It’s not even down to his background in hardcore band Building Better Bombs, and noise extremists, Marijuana Deathsquads. It’s because P.O.S always has something to say, and his new album, ‘Chill, Dummy’, is filled with punk rock attitude in its in purest form.
After suffering a health scare back in 2012, the Doomtree member is back to business and unrelenting as ever. The disjointed beats and swelling intensity on one of the album’s stand out tracks, ‘Lanes’, punches like a rebellious fist. Not your average everyday, P.O.S is the rapper we need now more than ever.
In the past few years, I’ve noticed that more and more black metal bands are emerging from the United States as well as Europe. Woe happen to be one of those bands. I’d been blissfully unaware of their existence until earlier this week when our editor, Glen, told me to give this track a spin. The track ‘No Blood Has Honor’ definitely set the tone for the day after listening to it that morning. Cheers mate…
Combining both the classic ‘cold’ and negative black metal sound, along with the more modern post-metal ambient elements, ‘No Blood Has Honor’ bridges the gap between the black metal of old and the new wave. It’s fast, it’s ferocious and it sounds twice as impressive if you play it really fucking loud!
The Spook School have something important to say. Their latest album ‘Try To Be Hopeful’ celebrates diversity and breaks down gender binaries. This is high energy, infectious, queer pop punk at its finest. I picked up the record when I saw them supporting PWR BTTM in Brighton and haven’t stopped listening to it since. Beaming with hope and unrelenting optimism, they’ll be a much-needed ray of positivity in your life.
‘Binary’ is one of the album’s catchiest moments. Questioning the gender binary allows them to celebrate gender variance and non-binary identities. So, “why let yourself be limited to binary desires?” It’s thought-provoking and makes you reflect on the systems which dominate your everyday life.
The Spook School are able to liberate those who need it and instil joy in those who just want to have a good time. They’re exactly what we need more of and they deserve your undivided attention.
I hadn’t heard of Diet Cig until an email appeared in my inbox with a request to post some news about their new single, ‘Tummy Ache’. I was intrigued by their album artwork and the fact that the band is only a two piece. I can’t remember the last time I listened to a song that was so infectious and really got under my skin.
The band describes the track as an “approach to punk with radical softness” as well as “the shout into my pillow when what I’m saying isn’t being heard”. The contrast in those two descriptions was enough for me to hit play and I haven’t looked back since. As a result of listening to this emotive track that tackles oppression and sexism, I’ve not been able to stop singing “it’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt,” for a week now.
There’s something completely endearing about The Seamonsters. The six piece band from Sheffield make honest and undeniably charming indie music with bright, sepia tinged guitars, eclectic and interesting drums and falsetto vocals. Each member is properly utilised too, with bass-lines, keys or lead guitar shining through at different times and highlighting a strong collective songwriting ability for such a young band (the members are 17/18).
The Seamonsters’ self-made videos depict scenes that anyone who was a teenager in the UK can relate to and also highlight a strong DIY ethic. They draw from UK indie such as The Wombats, whilst there are also pop punk and emo elements such as Modern Baseball to their sound. There are only live demo recordings online right now, but the band have promised more (and they say even better) music is coming in the next few months, so they’re definitely one to keep an eye on.
Photo Credit: Katy Blackwood
“Drink it all in, you’ll never get the taste out of your mouth.” Sung with distorted vocals and heavy feedback, it’s a pretty good lyric for the week Donald Trump officially becomes president, and Bristol post-punk band Spectres’ dark, foreboding music seems to fit our current dystopia pretty perfectly.
The band have a relentless, pounding and droning sound that utilises feedback and heavy distortion to create an industrial level of noise that almost veers towards a brutal form of techno at times (lead singer Joe Hatt has described it as “brutalising” guitars). The sheer volume and variety of noise Spectres create means you find yourself getting lost (although consumed may be the better term) in the punishing sounds as they crash over you. It’s not an easy listen, but it is certainly not a forgettable one. Their videos are sick (interpret that as you will) too.
If you’ve been thinking that post-rock is a little too indulgent, or dare I say boring, it’s fine, I get it. I was there myself once, but once you hear a band like hubris, your mind awakens and new senses come alive. This is no meandering, aimless dragging out of the same idea, this is an epic journey filled with ebbs, flows, twists and turns.
When post-rock is this good, it isn’t designed to simply be put on in the background, it’s a sensory experience that demands your full attention. This Swiss four-piece will be releasing a full-length album in the spring, but until then, give yourself in to ‘Doom Mons’ and let hubris take you on an adventure to another world.
If anyone says you can’t be political and have fun at the same time, then Iron Reagan clearly didn’t get the memo. Their brand of crossover thrash is pissed off and angry, but if you have ever witnessed an Iron Reagan live show, then you will agree they love doing what they do.
Practicing what they preach, they are set to return next month with their new album, ‘Crossover Ministry’. If ‘Bleed The Fifth’ is anything to go by, then consider me converted. I’m happy to take worship at the alter of Iron Reagan.
When you think of regional hardcore scenes, your mind instantly goes to the U.S. The heavy hardcore from New York, the metallic crunch of Florida, or the old school fury of D.C. While it often gets overlooked in the bigger picture, Life Betrays Us are London hardcore at its finest, and here to put the scene back on the map.
The members of Life Betrays Us are students of the game. They have been involved in a number of bands throughout the years, and that experience shines on their debut mini-album, ‘Somewhere In Between’. It’s hard, heavy, and filled with both the anger and passion you expect from hardcore in 2017.