Wrapping the chain round your throat – Payday demo

Look, I’m no ones cheerleader right? In days of yore I relished tearing a strip off anything and everything that wandered into my baleful gaze whether I liked it or not. Because it’s kinda fun to be a dick and I didn’t get into hardcore to be your fucking mate.

These days I like to think that I give everything a fair crack of the whip and if I don’t like it, well for the most part I keep my mouth shut. Unless it really sucks and I can piss on some softies chips. But if it’s good? Like proper good? Well then I consider it my personal mission to bellow from the rooftops and convince everyone else they should be into it too. Which brings us to Payday. 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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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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March hardcore round up.

0006953045_10It’s been a while since we have had any hardcore on the blog and that is unacceptable. I must confess that we do actually get sent a lot of stuff for review and honestly most of it is weird blues music or lame rock shit that I cannot be arsed to find words for. So I decided to take a night off from writing essays and listening to Pat Benatar’s greatest hits and have a rummage around on the internet and cast my scornful judgements upon some of the more recent efforts bubbling up from the gutters and sewers of the underground…… Continue reading

Band Of The Month: Higher Power

10996674_334565700087986_5462945755324744908_nIt’s with some sadness that I have to announce that our our music reporter guy Gav Russell has parted company with the mighty ‘Hammer. Thanks for everything Gav, we all appreciated your contributions and best of luck with future endeavours! And it is with even greater dismay that I have to inform you all that the vacuum Gav leaves will have to be filled by yours truly for the immediate future!! So with no further ado lets get down to business because I want to introduce you to the band that made me want to resurrect our Band Of The Month feature. Say hello to Higher Power….
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Merrick: The Sensational Elephantman

merrick-coverThought Bubble is the North’s premier Comic Con and for my money the best event of its kind in these fine Isles Of Albion. The convention has been steadily growing in size and reputation since its arrival almost eight years ago and it’s attracting some of the big names in the field of sequential art as well as providing an opportunity for a huge number of independent small press creators to get their work into the faces of the more discerning comic book fan. It is an event I enjoy immensely, with the added bonus that it’s virtually on my door step. I particularly relish prowling the small press tables looking for something new to take my fancy and that is where I happened upon Merrick. Fickle as it sounds my attention was drawn to the Merrick:The Elephant Man stall by virtue of the very rad Suicidal Tendencies shirt that the chap behind the table was wearing. I then noted that the Merrick shirt was a Black Flag rip, clearly this book was the work of a punker. With my interest piqued I had a quick chat with the books author Tom Ward (he was the fellow in the Suicidals shirt) decided he was a good bloke and I promptly laid my money down and grabbed issues 1 & 2 and a nice new shirt.
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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

Raw Sorcery: An Interview with Tom Hubbard of Hang The Bastard

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I have known Tom Hubbard for a few years, initially by reputation only but our paths eventually crossed when our bands at the time (Rot In Hell and Wayfarer) shared some wax and stage time together. Tom now  sings for the mighty Hang The Bastard, a monstrous doom metal monster currently crushing skulls worldwide. I was delighted to discover that Tom has a keen interest in tabletop gaming & Rpg’s and after I got a peek at his Araby project I knew we had to have a chat about the good stuff…..

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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

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.

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