Vancouver, BC may seem like a beautiful Northwestern city full of culture, near some of the most scenic natural land in North America. But this peaceful town has a harsh, ghoulish dark side too. We are talking about a major metropolitan area that rioted over losing in the Stanley Cup Finals – TWO SEPARATE TIMES!
Laughing Boy seems to be a product of the latter part of BC – the part that lights police cars on fire when your first line cant score a goal in Boston against Tim Thomas. Though they’re called “D-beat” on their tags, I really don’t get that from them at all. There is the slight Discharge/Broken Bones guitar tone, maybe. Laughing Boy reminds me a lot of straight-forward USHC, but with a sound that’s blown to smithereens. I can see a lot of comparisons to Void, Poison Idea, and Die Kreuzen. There are even moments that reflect the Y2K thrash of Tear It Up. And the singer’s throat must be made of glasspacks, because he sounds like he’s shredded his larynx a time or two. The seven song demo ends with a ripper of a cover of Disclose’s “Conquest.”
Kraków, Poland’s TORPUR may only be a duo, but these punkers make enough racket to be an entire platoon of skateboard freaks. Their new eight song cassette is nine minutes of screaming, distortion, and hiss that is sure to alienate the squares. TORPUR’s self-described “goblin punk” is harsh and abrasive. And yet somehow these guys are still really catchy and fun. If you aren’t too frightened to make it all the way to the end, the last track is a fantastic stomp-beat crusher full of static and dissonance. This band has made one of the best demo’s I’ve heard in a long time. Someone get them a 7″ before they break up and it’s all lost to obscurity the of the punk oblivion.
The UK has been making us look bad at our own game. The Brits stole our US hardcore sound and I’m not sure they’re willing to give it back. They’re blowing us away with their recent interpretation of bands like SS Decontrol, The Abused, and Negative Approach. It’s kind of like when the Soviets and Yugoslavia beat Team USA out in Olympic Basketball in 1988. David Stern had to assemble the Dream Team just to bounce back from that!
Speaking of 1988, recent Firm Standing Law demo tape is just another example of how the Queen Mother’s hardcore is reshaping the stuff America was doing in the Eighties. This three song cassette has a feel of Chain of Strength and Cro-Mags with maybe a little Strife thrown in. Nothing fancy here – just finger-pointing and crew chants. The intro track even has a nod to Black Sabbath’s eponymous riff. I really hope these straightedge Englishmen sell long-sleeve t-shirts with script printed from the cuff to the shoulder.
CLICK HERE: FIRM STANDING LAW DEMO 2016
Admittedly, I know nothing about Serbian hardcore. However, Eva Ras can stand as evidence that they must have something going on other than Novak Djokovic and “Peja” Stojaković. The demo features Belgrade’s Filip Stojiljkovic playing every instrument in a collage of clanging guitar din and weirdo noises. The vibe is similar to older emo violence a la Combatwoundedveteran or Orchid. But there are nods to older art-rockers too, with guitar parts recall the harsher moments of The Velvet Underground. The final track includes a glacier-paced sample of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” as a prelude to the noisecore racket. This demo makes me miss the days of tight pants, white belts, and broken microphones.
CLICK HERE: EVA RAS DEMO 2016
CLICK HERE: HEAD CLEANER: DEMO 2016
Yesterday morning, I woke up to a world where Donald Trump had been elected President of the United States. This was a reality that I had not emotionally prepared myself for. My social media feed was a barrage of mourning and anger and pain. I saw the world around me turning to a vile place of hatred and alienation.
The first track on Head Collector’s 2016 demo is called “Known Abuser.” It seems only fitting that I heard this for the first time today. I needed to hear some fury today. I needed raw feedback and monstrous guitars. I needed sounds that matched what I feel inside.