“Hey Jeff wheres the belly shirt?” – Discovering NYHC The Hard Way

Did you know that in 1995 the internet didn’t exist? There was no Spotify. Youtube was still a little swimmer in Chad Hurley’s ball bag. Even Lars Fucking Ulrich wasn’t having a hissy fit about Napster yet. Therefore finding any music that wasn’t part of the mainstream was no easy feat. As an up and coming hardcore kid or heavy metal fan it wasn’t that simple to pick up records if you weren’t “in the know” with older heads. Me and my crew came upon hardcore together. Through Biohazard we discovered Sick of It All. Through Sick of it All we were lucky enough to see Strife supporting them at Bradford Rios…..each fresh layer took you a little deeper into the fold. But because were young turds we didn’t have access to that esoteric wisdom passed down by the “older generation”. We were on our own. Continue reading

For those about to mosh…September Hardcore Roundup

It has been a while since we last had a peek under the  lid to see what’s boiling away in the realms of underground metal and hardcore. Lets rectify that immediately shall we?

 First out of the skillet is Razorbite I had assumed this shower to be from Leeds given Nat Wood took their photos, Jimmy Wizard drew the cover and Atko recorded the demo but no Donny, these guys and girls are from Glasgow. I’ve visited Glasgow on a number of occasions and it’s always struck me as a tough fucking town. The first time was back in 1997. We asked for a pizza in some glum cafe and the pie faced curmudgeon behind the counter shoved a frozen pizza into a deep fat fryer before presenting it to us on a Glasgow salad, a formidable bed of chips. Like thats normal. Other highlights of that evening included a three legged dog, Knuckledust playing in a weird mosher pub/strip club hybrid hell hole, trying to get some kind of sleep in a sketchy mill and waking to discover we were being silently watched from a doorway by a man in a pair of bunched tighty whities and a Massacre T-shirt. Choice. The sounds Razorbite produce are a testament to all that misery…groove heavy hardcore not unlike Trapped Under Ice I guess, but the production on this is all squashy and sounds like the first One King Down record. I like that One King Down record loads though so it’s chill. So yeah, Trapped Under Ice meets Albany hardcore circa 1994 with bratty female vocals. It’s a combination that took some getting used to but its not immediately like anyone else and I dig it. Maybe you will too, have a listen HERE 

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The History Of Nemesis Records by Patrick Kitzel & Frank Harrison  (Tribal Books/ Reaper Records) 2016

I’ll preface this article by stating that when it comes to putting together these reviews, unlike many of my peers, I do not fuck with press release material. I read so many reviews of books/music/movies/comics whatever that are just lazy rewrites of the blurb that accompanies the product. I consider reviews like that to be devoid of any genuine opinion or individual insight and therefore without critical merit. They depersonalise the experience of absorbing the material. As far as I’m concerned that is a massive disservice to the effort put into project by it’s creators and the expectations of you, the reader. Rest assured that when your stuff ends up on the desk of Nathan Bean, you better know I will review the SHIT out of that thing.

My first purchase on Nemesis Records way back in 1993 was the Bonesaw record. As was often the case in the 90’s, this was a random pick up based upon the fact that I thought Bonesaw was a cool name for a band and the songs on the record had hard titles. I had previously heard one Bonesaw song on a sampler CD someone gave me outside my first hardcore the year before and I rinsed that record for a whole summer. Have I listened to Bonesaw since that Summer? Have I fuck. Continue reading

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