Witness the rebirth of hardcore, courtesy of The Armed

Why The Armed aren’t the most talked about band in modern hardcore is totally beyond me. Their 2015 debut full-length, ‘Untitled’, was the most chaotic, inventive and down-right barmy hardcore record that wasn’t written by The Chariot in the last decade, and easily one of my favourite albums released that year. It was also recorded by Converge’s resident uber-producer Kurt Ballou, and featured a typically unhinged drum performance from Baptists/Sumac’s Nick Yacyshyn. The band never achieved the profile that their talent and calibre deserves, though largely through their own self-imposed obscurity. 2016 live album ‘Unanticipated’ was recorded piecemeal across numerous completely unannounced appearances at open mics and impromptu set-ups under a series of pseudonyms. Not exactly making it easy for yourselves, guys.

‘Witness’ is our first taste of new album ‘Only Love’, due out in Europe via Throatruiner in April, and it’s business as usual for The Armed; every possible detail is in a state of extreme flux. For starters, their drum stool is now occupied by Ben Koller, percussionist extraordinaire of Converge/Mutoid Man/All Pigs Must Die fame, The Armed clearly throwing the dude a bone after the quiet year he’s just had… His wild abandon adds another layer of manic ferocity to the band’s already volatile sound, while the heavy use of synth and electronica pushes them closer to filling the void left by Genghis Tron. It’s a visceral, brain-rattling barrage, equal parts brainy and psychotically off-the-rails, and it’s as exciting as hardcore music gets in 2018. Say hello to your new favourite band. For realsies this time.