Picks: Pagan, Birds In Row, Uglybones

The world of new releases in rock, punk, metal and hardcore seems to have offered but slim pickings during the summer, but things have certainly picked up again in the last few weeks. This week’s three-piece round-up mops up a little of what we didn’t cover when it came out.

Pagan
Black Wash
Hassle Records
[Spotify]

We begin with the sensational debut album by Pagan, a swaggering rock ‘n’ roll quartet from Melbourne. Black Wash is a firecracker. Vocalist Nikki Brumen fronts a disarming blend of punk and rock, laced with just a little black metal to boot. The energy is unrelenting, the delivery breathless, the rhythms irresistible. You know what? Black Wash is just a brilliant album loaded from back to front with fabulous songs you’ll want to dance to. But nice it ain’t.

Birds In Row
We Already Lost The World
Deathwish Inc.
[Spotify]

We covered Birds In Row’s last album on the previous incarnation of this feature and we weren’t disappointed by their latest effort either. We Already Lost The World is a 34-minute burst of arty hardcore, characterised as much by groove and hooks as by the aggressive noise-making that makes it so easy to love. It veers off into alt-rock too, and it works superbly. ‘Remember Us Better Than We Are’ is the best example but ‘We Vs. Us’ runs it close.

Uglybones
Sunshine
Don’t Panic Records & Distro
[Spotify]

Some records distort you into screwface from the off and just leave you there, prone, until the very last note. The new one from Chicago’s Uglybones is one of those. Sunshine is nine songs and 17 minutes long, and everything on it is banging. This is unapologetic, riffy, stomping hardcore that blends a bunch of old-school hardcore traits with a pronounced thrashy metallic edge. The perfect present for the furious crossover addict in your life.

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