Punk is the order of the day as we zoom in on our latest trio of recommended new releases. These three could hardly be more different from one another, yet they share a common heritage and at least some part of the ethos that underpins the music. Let it never be said that punk doesn’t have something for everyone.
Big Scary Monsters / Tangled Talk Records
Outsiders, the second album from Brighton three-piece Gnarwolves, is a triumph for melodic punk rock. Packed from front to back with hooks and choruses, this record feels like the result of three musicians getting some songs together, strapping on guitars and just going for it. And it just so happens that those songs, beginning with infectious opener ‘Straitjacket’, are brilliant. ‘Wires’ kicks off with a simple but perfect riff and there are such touches all over this album. The vocal lines are irresistible, the lyrics deliciously honed and pointed, and the production necessarily laissez-faire. If we get a long summer this year, we might just wear this one out.
United States Of Horror
999 Deathkult, LLC
United States Of Horror isn’t an album for the faint-hearted. But Ho99o9’s full-length debut is a gnarly marriage of hardcore and hip-hop that works seamlessly, never compromising the authenticity of its constituent parts. It’s got a handful massive punk ragers like ‘New Jersey Devil’ but the aggro edge is ever-present, guitars or not. This is a record brimming with attitude and promise, but it’s raw. It could be shorter, tighter, but it’s an exercise in aggression and that’s just fine by us. If you’ve seen this band live you’ll know what an imposing and unique experience it is. With an arsenal of songs like this, it’ll be worth seeing them again.
Thousand Mile Stare
New York and hardcore go way back. You might have heard. Thousand Mile Stare is the new album from Incendiary, a NYHC band who sound like a NYHC band at first but have much more to offer. The riffs arrive thick and fast, the vocals are confrontational from the off, and the bounce…oh, the bounce! A lot of hardcore is, ironically, a bit safe. Incendiary have more to their sound. ‘Awakening’ is an example of a track punctuated by metallic flourishes and more expansive moments, and there are passages like that at regular intervals, always deftly blended. ‘The Product Is You’ is the outstanding track in that regard, boasting some of the album’s heaviest riffs and that extra touch of musicality and songwriting that sets it apart.
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