Firm Standing Law – Unashamed 7″

South East straight edge outcasts Firm Standing Law follow up last years Unforgiving X demo with a new 7” entitled UNASHAMED on Carry The Weight Records. With a veteran lineup that boasts former (and current) members of Cold World, Repentance, Coldsnap, Never Again and many more, FSL may come with a nigh on flawless pedigree of straight edge hardcore but with that also comes the burden of expectation.
Continue reading

Band Of The Week: Allfather

13413_474870599331274_322883935686994312_nHaving binned my label off, I still love to trawl Bandcamp for new music, so when Allfather bust out of the speakers I was into straight off the bat. So, why not use the blog to shout about new bands, and hear what they have to say? Have a listen, check out the little review, and read what they have to say.

What do I think of them? Basically, take the best Black Sabbath riffs, add in a crunchy metallic hardcore stomp, with a punk boot to the throat, and you’re somewhere there. A real melting pot of ideas. If you’re looking for that lazy pigeonhole, then I guess the easiest comparison to make would be Hang The Bastard, who like their peers Crowbar, easily cross the divide of metal and hardcore. Allfather wear their influences on their sleeves, they’re not re-inventing the wheel, it does what it says on the tin, but it does it really well. So head over to Bandcamp, and if you like what you hear, chuck a few quid in the pot and have one less spiced pumpkin latte or whatever bullshit people drink these days. Headbang, raise a fist or go wild and do a Bushwacker in the pit!

Continue reading

Game Changers: The Reptile House EP

the_reptile_house_epYou do realise, don’t you, that goth came from punk? If you were transported back to 1984 you wouldn’t recognise the goths. And they’d laugh at you. Particularly if you told them how everyone would revere the Sisters as the One True Goth Band.
– The Box of Delights

This isn’t an origin story. This isn’t the first record I ever bought (it’s actually a couple of years older than I am, for one thing), not is it the first thing I ever heard by Leeds’ finest export. This is not the “I heard this for the first time and it totally blew my mind” post. This is the “I heard this for the first time and it made up my mind” post.

Continue reading

Review : xRepentancex – The Sickness Of Eden

PromoImageWell, how about this? An Album Of The Year  2015 contender, already. 19 days into the new year. Before we’ve barely even started.

I know, I know. It’s a ridiculous thing to say, right? But have you heard this thing? Have you even heard it? It’s rare to think of a UKHC record as ‘eagerly anticipated’, but that’s certainly the case here. We’ve all been gobbling up whatever morsels this vegan-edge whirlwind of hatred throws our way, be it their marvellous debut EP In Violation Of Asa from 2013 or a handful of work-in-progress tracks that have appeared on Bandcamp since then. It’s all been excellent, and has always left us clamouring for more. Well, now it’s here. The Sickness Of Eden is xRepentancex‘s debut LP and it is a fucking belter.

Continue reading

Unlistenable Racket End Of Year Special – The Best Punk, Hardcore and Metal of 2014

2014 saw a bunch of bands record some music. Some of it was shit, some of it was excellent. Here’s a list I done which features 20 of the best ones. Have a look with your eyes.


pbtt

1. Pianos Become The Teeth – Keep You (Epitaph Records)

No, I wouldn’t have thought so either. That hectic screamo nonsense is dialled right down and replaced with gentle melancholic rock with the effect being simply breathtaking. Low-key, elegant and comprising of all the feels.

The-Banner-Greying-cover

2. The Banner – Greying (Good Fight Music)

New Jersey’s finest return to reclaim their crown and deliver a surprisingly complex record. Gigantic mosh rubs shoulders with gothic synth-pop and the result is a brave and nuanced set of tracks; caressing with one hand, smashing your face in with the other.

Continue reading

Unlistenable Racket vol.2 – November 2014

An incestuous month this time around, ladies and gents, with two pairs out of the four bands featured here sharing members between them. I think that sentence just about makes sense. We have the mysterious figure of Umberto releasing the latest addition to his solo SESSOVIOLENTO pantheon of ugly whilst also taking on guitar duties for the new release from transcendent nightmare-peddlers Ewige Schlankengraft. While on the slightly less horrific side we have Pianos Become The Teeth, who (reportedly) share a member with hardcore uber-super-group United Nations. The author Jess C Scott once said of incest in her novel Wicked Lovely that ” I felt like an animal, and animals don’t know sin, do they?”. Now, I don’t know much about that, so let’s talk about some fucking music, alright?


EwigeEwige Schlangenkraft – Enlightened Violence (COF Records)

As delightfully repugnant as ever, Ewige Schlangenkraft have traversed the comsos once again to deliver another collection of ‘songs’ that test the limits of human perception. Or, in other words, members of Cease To Exist and SESSOVIOLENTO (all part of the expanding Yamabushi ‘family’ of bands, London’s answer to Les Légions Noires ) jamming on tunes that sound like inter-dimensional horrors unleashed.
Continue reading

Unlistenable Racket vol.1 – October 2014

 Hello and welcome to Unlistenable Racket. A new monthly feature where I, Gav Russell, tell you, dear reader , about a bunch of new music that you really should be listening to. For the last 4 years I ran Tight To The Nail; a metal, punk and hardcore webzine that no-one asked for but one that I gave people anyway. But don’t let that put you off. So, let’s begin…

Continue reading

Breaking Point – Set To Burn review

bxpart

Nice shoes Dan.

I think at one time or another almost every Straight Edge dude in the South East has done a tour of duty in Breaking Point. Such is the mercurial nature of the straight edge hardcore band, members come and go, edges crumble whilst others remain resolute. Over the course of the last five years Breaking Point have steadily churned out workmanlike metallic hardcore. And though I cannot say I have ever been blown away by any of their previous recordings, as a live band they are A+. Always entertaining, energetic and inclusive enough to serve well as an accessible gateway band for young moshers and edgemen alike stumbling down into the underbelly of UKHC . And really that’s the point is it not? Continue reading

Insist – Manchester Straight Edge

10632871_335497393286944_2010134959868144925_n

Insist Pic by Nat Wood (cheers!)

Back in the mid to late 90’s Manchester was one of the key locations in the upsurge of grass roots UKHC activity. The scene, largely centered around local Salford band Area Effect and their immediate circle of friends the MYC who started churning out zines (Five Deadly Venoms, One Face etc), booking regular hardcore shows at the Star & Garter and running the No Holds Barred distro that (in those metal saturated times) made available the classic sounding hardcore that was experiencing a rebirth. Boardy is responsible for putting the Floorpunch 7” in my hand along with the infamous issue of Tension Building zine that our crew obsessed over.

Whilst Area Effect were never the most original or even competent band, the aesthetic and ethical impact they had on the local scene cannot be overstated. Hardcore shows prior to their arrival had devolved into tectonically dull affairs, lacking energy or participation beyond polite applause and a gentle swaying at the knees. it was fucking lame. Area Effect encouraged stage dives and pile on’s, head walks and sing alongs, the type of positive energy that can bring a room of strangers together in glorious celebration of simply being young, angry and out of step. Much as I hate to quote Chain Of Bullshit ‘man, those were special times, those were our times’ Continue reading

All Creation Undone- Why Wayfarer?

Wayfarer/Rot In Hell Split cover by Glyn Smith

Wayfarer/Rot In Hell Split cover by Glyn Smith

Every so often amongst various groups of friends who are primarily into hardcore, or indeed any other harder/heavier genre of music, a common topic surfaces, best UK band. Now it would be really easy to think of other incredibly good current and defunct UK bands you could bring up at this point. Especially given that I only started going to hardcore shows in about ‘06/’07 twinned with the much more extensive years of experience in Corehammer Crew let alone the wider scene. I’m sure there’s hundreds of incredible relic demos stored in plastic storage boxes in attics across the country that would be incontestable contenders the title. Part of me toys with giving it to the soul swallowing Electric Wizard, the belligerent horror of Bradford’s Ironside or maybe the frenetic onslaught of Closure. But on this subject I always say that for me it’s got to be Wayfarer. This whole article maybe taken as some sycophantic super fan girls perfume stained love letter to any of the members of Wayfarer, or indeed anyone, that might read this and for that I apologise and also thank you for being that band. I’d think enough of my mates would know of my utter hatred for brown nosing.

Continue reading