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.
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Breaking Point – Set To Burn review

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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

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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