HEX – DEMO (2016)
Really new, really gritty hardcore punk from Leeds (where else?) with throat ruining vocals and a straight forward negative approach, alternating between crunchy midpace stomps and brief lurches in to faster gears – kinda youth crew sounding, crucially without the heaps of dumb posturing and limited scope. If you lapped up Teef and Mangled Youth when they were around, you’ll dig the trend-free and undeniable radness of Hex, who have got it spot on with their sarcastic spiteful lyrics, rattly bass and concise song length. Reckon they would be killer live!
LUGUBRIOUS CHILDREN – 7″ (2016)
Another release caught speeding from hyperfast laughterblast trio Lugubrious Children, who are carrying on a fine tradition of ‘ridiculously tight powerviolence/grind from Leeds.’ Ben Jones’ drumming sounds like drumsticks left in a tumble dryer on a particularly gnarly spin cycle, Henroy’s nifty guitar is ultra precise and to the point, and the longest gap between two different sections on the whole record is around five seconds. The new recording of ‘Alone Time’ is way more vicious and unforgiving than before, and all the other songs detonate skin-stripping jets of blasts and riff fragments at you like a normal band put through a wood chipper. In jokes are thick on the ground, and it’s a must for fans of Spazz, Hummingbird of Death and er, Famine, Dog Eggs, Ona Snop, The Afternoon Gentlemen…
LIVING WITH DISFIGUREMENT – POSTHUMOUS INDIGNITIES (2015)
A bit late to the gory party seeing as this was released in November, but then again, so are the band themselves – Posthumous Indignities comes six years after Living With Disfigurement’s debut gurgle, Thrill To The Terror Of Death, and the band’s silence since that sick/sickening EP suggested there would be no more material to come. A couple of line-up adjustments later and they’re back though, wielding a full-length of morbid and chunky death metal that you might want to disinfect before putting in your ears. You don’t have to be a goregrind fanatic to expose yourself to this record – there’s an almost sarcastic technicality that manifests in exaggeratedly evil riffs (occasionally veering on the theatrical perfection of black thrash) and grooves, along with sneering vocals and a generally rotten atmosphere that reeks of mid era Carcass. All the songs are so superbly written and memorable, and there’s a surplus of gruesome individual charm in Living With Disfigurement’s sound (‘Necrophilephile‘) that might very well surpass County Medical Examiners (‘Necrotic Apologues‘) and General Surgery, (‘Necrocriticism‘) if you’re craving a fix of exquisitely decomposed putridity.
RANCOUR – DEMO (2016)
Rancour’s new demo is a mean opening statement for a debut. Coming out of Cardiff but heading to Cleveland (Outrage CC looms large), the three short tracks are executed in a tough and an ambitious way, not shying away from accelerating in to thrash speed nearly immediately. They’ve evidently clocked that hard hardcore doesn’t just entail farting out a few token chugs at obvious points, and their variety keeps it one step ahead throughout – those heaviest breakdowns that kick in during ‘Pathology’, with bricks strapped to each dense crushing note for added impact, are even better for it. In spite of the welcome pull of Integrity and co., Rancour pull off insolent, angry hardcore well without giving up too much of where they’re from while they’re at it, and they fit well in a UKHC atmosphere that’s receptive and reverent of bands like Dirty Money, Splitknuckle and Shrapnel. Vocalist Reid sings mostly about his dealings with the police in Lokeren, Belgium, a subject that angers him greatly judged by his contribution, but the whole demo undeniably has clout and clarity of vision that will hopefully manifest in more than this one release.
SKY:LARK – LP2 (2016)
Few 7″s in recent years have been as rad as the Meadows / Sky:lark split on SuperFi in 2014; the Meadows side has two of their best back-breaking riff stampedes, the Sky:lark side so sharp and vicious sounding, with plenty of warped unmelodies and perversely catchy breaks. Of the two equally spot on bands, Sky:lark have been first to issue a hefty amount of new material in this LP, and it’s great to hear them challenging their previous template and still retaining all that nasty bite of their work so far. Passages of untamed saxophone blaring open and close shop on LP2, and between those two points Sky:lark introduce you to an excruciating and complex style of post-hardcore, not dissimilar to aspects of the last KEN mode album, but with a wicked tendency to untangle their pedantically heavy grooves in to beautiful guitar leads. ‘Big Rig’ lures with a cheery Minutemen bass that bounces in to a flailing breakdance of drum fills and whirlpool shredding. ‘Lam Elisa’ sounds like Ravachol covering Modern Life Is War, with some nifty staccato riff chopping straight out of Joey’s Kitchen. Often the tone takes dark directions, harking to distorted experimenters like Hoover and Engine Kid, but LP2 is adventurous, aggressive and skilled enough to warrant many years of repeated listens. I hope. Only been out a few weeks.
MURDER – DEMO (2016)
Split between Leeds and London, this debut demo from Murder has tried and tested characters uniting for more top quality chaotic hardcore punk, armed with a grating guitar tone and with a gauntlet of pit beats consistent all the way through the six tracks. They hone in on burly midpace tempos with major swing as well as precise rapid sections, and spray the tracks with streams of unhinged guitar leads in signature blown out punk shredder style – the evil scandi bends and grumpy vocals go down a treat and all. Partly Poison Idea, bits of Vogue come to mind, even Zero Boys by the time the demo bounces into ‘Reduce Me’. Bloody shreds of Perspex Flesh, the FLEX and DiE are stuck on this barbed wire brandishing demo, which is great news of course and goes a long way in explaining the high quality. I always planned to start a band called Murder but clearly got beat to it.