The Infected - The Party (2012)
Did you ever tried to imagine how will sound a duet consisting of both hardcore legends Minor Threat and UK metal superstars Iron Maiden? Well, it probably sound like “The Party”, the first E.P. from Chicago based band The Infected.
Although this is not my predominant style of music, the whole E.P. is well played and the band sounds original without being a boring experimental project like most “original” bands does sounds. My favorite track from “The Party”, “Face to face”, is a really good example of the band unique style, with typical hardcore verses and a bridge part that could have been a riff from Iron Maiden’s “Number of the beast”.
An interesting band for open minded people. The E.P. is free, so don’t hesitate to give it a go, you’ll be surprised.
The Cloister Fuck - The Cloister Fuck EP (2012)
Here is the first release from The Cloister Fuck, a quite new band from Jersey City. The band main influence is Rudimentary Peni and like them, they play short, minimalist, gloomy punk. Song are between 40 and 80 seconds in length and lyrics consists of simple, raw sentences such as “Anger and sadness. Disappointment and bitterness.” which are the lyrics of “Disappointment” the second track of this EP.
The production is raw and the drums sounds pretty terrible. On the other hand, guitar riffs are catchy, the singer is awesome (reminds me of a mix between Peni’s Nick Blinko and Cinema Strange vocalist Lucas Lanthier) and the songs are powerful as a punch in your face. Check it out, you might definitely love it.
Arctic Flowers - Reveries (2012)
Freshly released, “Reveries” is the first album of Portland based band Arctic Flowers. If you’re into anything deathrock, post-punk or batcave, there’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy this new band and their first album.
"Reveries" contains 8 songs with varied tempos, a typical post punk-ish guitar sound and a talented female vocalist. My favorite is "Fall to piece", which is in my opinion the perfect mix between the energy of punk rock and the melody of cold wave.
Unfortunately, this very cool album is not downloadable for free, but it can be yours for half of the price of a crappy mainstream CD. Bargain, isn’t it?
Bitter Fruit - It Gets Bitter (2012)
Fuzzy bass lines, screaming guitar, tribal drums and tortured vocals: Here are the four ingredients of “It gets bitter”, the first release by Oakland deathrock/punk/dark band Bitter Fruit.
Ok, despite the cool artwork I have to admit that at first, I didn’t liked it. But when I heard the gloomy intro of “Saddle Sore”, I was hooked. In fact, songs 3, 4 and 5 are by far the best of this EP, and reminds me another band of the Oakland/SF area, the defunct Phantom Limbs.
If you’re into deathrock, batcave or dark punk, you should definitely give a go to this EP, and why not supporting a promising band by buying a copy?
Listen/Buy “It Gets Bitter”: http://bitterfruit.bandcamp.com/
Impulse - Chicano Violence (2012)
Warning: If you’re currently very angry, do not listen to this release! Impulse first record is a short, 12 tracks album that reminds me 80’s HC and most notably the infamous “Victim in Pain” album from Agnostic Front.
Tempos are always fast, songs are short, and the guys are very angry. Most song do not have typical intros and outros, but instead use silences and breakdowns to keep the listener interested. The 11th track, “Obsession” is by far my favorite. It reminds me the best of 80’s hardcore bands such as Minor Threat or SS Decontrol.
There’s nothing more to say about “Chicano Violence”. It’s not very original, but who cares? It’s efficient and that’s all I ask to a Hardcore band.
Direct Effect - Sunburn (2012)
In recent years, the terms “Hardcore” has been used a lot to describe metalcore or emos bands. But for many people such as myself, “Hardcore” refers to bands like Minor Threat, Black Flack, SS Decontrol or Bad Brains.
For the guys from Direct Effect, I have no doubt that they share my definition of Hardcore. The Orlando-based band play loud, fast, and are angry. This second release (After their first 7” Forget the rest) is well produced and well played. But most notably, it sounds authentic.
The only negative thing I have to say about “Sunburn” is that three songs are definitely not enough. Can’t wait until they release a full length album.
Dreams in Hell - Chiroptophilia (2012)
Here is Chiroptophilia, the first demo from Cincinnati band Dreams in Hell. The sound is pretty vintage, so sometimes it’s hard to believe you’re actually listening to a 2012 release. Musically, the band is definitely deathrock, but with more punkish anger than most current deathrock bands.
This first and promising demo contains only four songs, including a cover of the Misfits “Hybrid Moments”, which isn’t bad, but doesn’t sound as good as the band own compositions.
"Chiroptophilia" is downloadable for free, and the music comes with a really cool artwork and lyrics sheet, so you should definitely grab a copy.
Off! - Off! (2012)
Some people simply never gets old. Keith Morris, the former Black Flag/Circle Jerks frontman, is back with the first official album of his band Off! Along with his partners Dimitri Coats (Guitar), Steven McDonald (Bass) and Mario Rubalcaba (Drums), Morris is shouting the 16 songs of the album in about 17 minutes. Like their previous release, Off! cover art has been drawn by Ray Pettibon, who created most of Black Flag artwork 20 years ago.
Off! is a hardcore punk record at its best: simple, fast, and definitely authentic. The band do not seek to innovate, they just play good hardcore punk and that’s what I like with them. Some people might say that the songs are too short or sounds always the same, but personally I think it’s refreshing to hear records like this in 2012. Lots of newer musicians should get inspired by these guys who are just having fun and playing music without paying attention to critics.
If you’re into early Black Flag and Circle Jerks, there’s no doubt you’ll enjoy this record.
Official website: http://offofficial.com/
Pipe Smoking Rabbits - Pipe Smoking Rabbits EP (2012)
Straight out from Baltimore USA, Pipe Smoking Rabbits are a 5 piece punk band influenced by the Misfits, Nirvana, the Cramps and the Ramones, among many others. This EP, which looks like their first release, is a very good mix of those influences. It’s dark, energic, and pretty well played. The sound of the release is great as well.
Songs like “Have a fit” or “Blacktop Death Queen” are definitely the kind of tunes I’d like to hear more often. Good job, really.
The only down thing I don’t really like from this EP are the guitar solos. They’re not bad at all, there are just too much in my opinion.
Milisi Kecoa - Kalian Memang Menyedihkan! (2010)
After a first release in 2009, Indonesian hardcore punk band Milisi Kecoa is back with this new album, with a very cool Black Flag-esque cover. The release have 15 songs, and a good, modern sound that reminds me most of the current underground hardcore bands from the US.
All songs are in Indonesian but the band included a special lyric sheet with explanations and some English translations. Such a good point for those like me who actually care about the lyrics.
Despite little international coverage, Indonesia have a real punk scene, and Milisi Kecoa is probably one of the best Indonesian punk bands around.