Tag Archives: hardcore punk

Review: Rash Decision’s Karoshi

It never fails to amuse me that one of the most intense hardcore punk bands in the country comes from the sunny seaside town of Falmouth in Cornwall, but that’s absolutely the case with Rash Decision. They are also becoming one of the most consistently enjoyable punk acts with every release and their latest long-player, Karoshi, is no exception (I’m not sure 20 minutes can really be regarded a long-player, but there are 14 songs here so maybe we’ll make an exception).

Now Rash Decision aren’t going to be winning any awards for originality with Karoshi. This is another short, sharp shock of a record with songs averaging about a minute and a half. The band play at breakneck speed and scream a lot, but their simplicity works in their favour. Once again the guitar work is an absolute highlight. Riffs are fast and furious and will earworm their way into your psyche without you even realising it. The music is equal parts catchy punk rock and thrash metal and it’s expertly executed and complimented by a lovely, clean mix that showcases how tight Rash Decision’s performance is.

But what really sticks with you is just how fun everything is. Despite razor-sharp performances from everyone, there’s a certain tongue-in-cheek nature to the song writing that will always put a smile on your face. If it isn’t the bands non-stop use of profanity or bouncy bass-lines, it’s their snotty vocal delivery and use of overly confrontational quotes and samples. It’s not exactly clever, but it is nice hearing a band with a sense of humour and it always comes across as amusing instead of offensive.

Karoshi isn’t doing anything the band haven’t already done before, but Rash Decision have absolutely nailed their sound down so well that a divergence in style at this point in their careers would feel unnatural and forced. Rash Decision are a hardcore punk band who like to play loud and fast and have a good time doing it and in this political climate, that’s an absolute Godsend. We need bands like Rash Decision because everyone needs a place to vent and have a bloody good time doing so. Thanks lads – I needed this.


Rash Decision’s Karoshi is out now and available to buy on limited edition vinyl direct from the band.

Live Review: Sea Bastard, Hooden and Allfather at The Dev 20/8/16

The Dev is one of those venues that was clearly not originally designed to be a music venue. There’s about as much floor space in front of the stage to accommodate 20 people packed in tight, the ladies’ toilets are right next to the stage and there’s two massive speaker stacks situated at the front of the stage, obscuring the band. But hey, you can’t complain too much because tonight they’re hosting Sea Bastard, Hooden and Allfather for the grand old price of £Bugger All.


Kicking things off with their special blend of sludge metal and hardcore, Allfather have been a band we’ve had our eyes on for a while. With two great EPs under their belt, the band take the stage with confidence and command their audience with ease. Allfather sound great live with the constant switch between bruising hardcore riffs and low-tempo, sludgy beatdowns being just as exciting live as it is on record. Allfather get a suitably warm reception which is lovely to see from the audience, and for the opening act no less.


Things step up a gear for Hooden. The band deals in an aggressive form of hardcore punk that utilises a lot of bluesy guitar work to add an extra layer of punishment. Musically Hooden sound great, straddling the sort of punk sound that isn’t quite Cancer Bats and isn’t quite The Exploited but somewhere in between. Vocally is where the band falls down somewhat. Their vocalist certainly puts in an unhinged and wild performance, but his actual vocals suffer due to this. There’s no consistency here; the vocal phrasing seems improvised and he jumps around between low-end belching and high-pitched yelps and wailing and it’s pretty abrasive on the ears. Hooden put on a great show regardless but if they could reign in their vocalist a tad then they’d really be onto something special.


This is going to be a difficult passage to write. I don’t like to criticise bands, especially if they feature members of other bands I really adore (Oli used to play in the mighty War Wolf) and that’s exactly what I’m going to have to do here. Sea Bastard just aren’t for me. While their stompy, chunky doom metal is certainly commanding, there’s just not enough going on and it ends up sounding like the band play one continuous song with almost no discernible moments of interest. Sea Bastard structure their songs around slow tempos, a thunderous bass-line and lots of power chords, but there’s a distinct lack of riffs and hooks. It’s almost impossible to tell each song from the next and it just wasn’t engaging me in the way I like.

Review: Rash Decision’s Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence

record cover

Cornish thrash-punkers Rash Decision have decided to load their third long-player with so much music that it’s overwhelming. Essentially a double album, Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence features a brand new record (Headstrung) and it’s paired with 2014’s Seaside Resort to Violence just to make sure you’ve got so much punk that you won’t know what to do with it.

Obviously what you should be doing with it is turning it up very loud and getting proper rowdy. Rash Decision sound like The Exploited, Send More Paramedics and Grand Collapse which means they play no-frills, balls-out hardcore punk and have a bloody riot doing so.

Rash Decision aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel when it comes to hardcore punk. They play loud and fast and they clearly enjoy it. We’re treated to such wonderfully blunt lyrics like, “fuck in crust we trust”, “slippers off, any hole’s a goal” and “argh it’s in my eye, it’s in my eye” which comes from a song about getting leaves blown in your face. It’s not smart and it’s not clever but my God if it isn’t fun. There’s nothing wrong with being silly if it’s entertaining and thankfully Rash Decision don’t cross the line so far that their sense of humour becomes tiresome.

Despite the often humorous lyricism, Rash Decision seem to be able to conjure up riffs like it’s the easiest thing in the world. The songs on this record hardly ever make it to the 2 minute mark and the band deal in so many bouncy, memorable guitar riffs that it shouldn’t be possible for them all to be contained on it. The band’s guitar work will undoubtedly command some intense mosh pits and songs like Rumblestrip, Dogsbody and Sunburn are heavily bolstered by said guitar wizardry.

The sheer intensity of Headstrung and its unrelenting speed is the only real negative we can sling at the band. If you want Rash Decision to mix things up and show some variety then you’ll be sorely disappointed because all Rash Decision want to do is play fast and loud. This would be fine in a live environment, but on a record it can be a bit exhausting.

Regardless, Rash Decision have managed to churn out 17 minutes of hardcore punk perfection on Headstrung and if the new material doesn’t quench your hardcore thirst then there’s another 19 minutes of songs for you to indulge in, thanks to Seaside Resort to Violence being on the B side. Rash Decision are an immensely enjoyable hardcore punk act that don’t have too many strings on their bow, but thankfully the ones that are there do the job perfectly.


Rash Decision’s Headstrung / Seaside Resort to Violence is out now on 12″ vinyl directly through the band’s Bandcamp page.

Review: Psython’s …Outputs

Outputs Front

Thrash punk outfit Psython have arrived in a terrifically scrappy fashion on their debut album …Outputs. Sounding more than a little like Send More Paramedics and Evile; Psython hit the ground running with one of the most instantly enjoyable metal albums I’ve heard in quite some time.

What instantly strikes you about Psython’s attitude is they’re clearly a band who like to have a good laugh. Opening with a track called Careless Whispers obviously evokes memories of that bloody George Michael song, but this is an absolute barnstormer of a thrash song. Fast-paced, aggressive, technically proficient and with a huge solo to boot, Psython know how to get your attention. Oh, and they finish the track off with the riff from Michael’s Careless Whisper; those cheeky scamps.

The speed of this record continues on an upwards trajectory with a series of absolute ragers that include Dave 1.1, Blunt and GBQ. This is all vastly enjoyable stuff with razor-sharp, galloping riffs that are bound to ignite some dangerous action in the pit. For a band so early into their career, Psython are surprisingly accomplished musicians.

Thankfully, Psython do see fit to change the pace of …Outputs around the halfway mark. When DNA rolls around, Psython decide to get their groove on for some slow-burning yet crushing stompers that showcase another side to Psython’s heaviness and it’s a welcome inclusion. It was obvious the band was going to have a hard time keeping up such a frantic pace, but this is a welcome shift in tone that manages to keep things heavy but gives the listener a breather at the same time.

The only detriment to this shift in pace is that it becomes apparent that Psython are a more exciting band when they’re going absolutely balls to the wall. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with the slower tracks on …Outputs, but I just find myself having a more enjoyable time when it feels like I’m giving myself whiplash.

All in all, Psython have burst out the gates with a vicious slab of thrash-punk that will satisfy metal-heads and punk fans alike. …Outputs is a stupidly enjoyable debut from a band who you should definitely have on your radar.


Psython’s …Outputs is released on the 1st of April directly through the band on CD and digital download.

Year End: The 10 Best EPs of 2015


10) Geist – Faith Healing


Faith Healing ends with a monologue about the futility of worshipping a God who hasn’t done anything to prove that he actually, “loves you”. It’s a stark, bleak ending to an EP loaded with some of the most unforgiving hardcore the UK has to offer and a timely reminder that we need bands like Geist to provide a visceral release from the shitstorm that is real life.

Click here to read the full review.

9) Boxkite – Self Titled


“Boxkite have burst out the gates with a hardcore debut that doesn’t mess about. This is 6 tracks of solid, bouncy yet strangely forlorn punk that leaves a serious mark. Anyone looking for the next great UK hardcore band might want to seriously consider grabbing Boxkite’s debut EP while it’s hot; you won’t regret it.”

Click here to read the full review.

8) Eulogy – Eternal Worth


“Eulogy have hit their stride on Eternal Worth. This is a record that doesn’t mess about and gets straight to the point. This is a laser-focussed metallic hardcore assault that is big on groove and if the name change wasn’t a big enough indicator, it marks an important step up for Eulogy as a band.”

Click here to read the full review.

7) Simmer – Yellow Streak


“Simmer’s Yellow Streak is a rare gem of a record. The EP is full of soaring melodies and satisfying riffs that are punctuated with a beautifully reflective vocal performance. Even though this is only the band’s second EP, it feels like they’ve already mastered their craft and Yellow Streak might be a defining moment in their career.”

Click here to read the full review.

6) Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters – Earth Hog


“Earth Hog is an easy recommendation to make. If you’ve ever enjoyed a riff that might result in whiplash then Chubby have delivered an absolute haven of guitar wizardry. Earth Hog is loaded with some of the best grooves stoner rock has to offer and it’s one of the most satisfying debuts of any band.”

Click here to read the full review.

5) I, The Lion – Run

Run EP Cover - FINAL

“I, The Lion’s Run is a wonderful celebration of riff rock. It’s a gargantuan-sounding EP loaded with some of alt-rock’s most thunderous melodies and it constantly evolves and welcomes new ideas into it’s already accomplished sound. A lacklustre opening hides one of rock’s most enjoyable EPs and I, The Lion need to be a band you start paying immediate attention to.”

Click here to read the full review.

4) Iced Out – Man’s Ruin


“Iced Out have finally found their comfort zone. Man’s Ruin is an enormous, towering beast of an EP that sees the band embrace slower tempos and tunings so low you might soil yourself. Now it’s time for Iced Out to take their sludgecore leanings and finally deliver the sort of devastating album that Man’s Ruin is threatening to. Good luck, boys; we’re looking forward to it.”

Click here to read the full review.

3) Maths – The Fires Courting the Sea


“Maths’ The Fires Courting the Sea is a phenomenal melodic punk record which manages to cram some of the most beautiful yet utterly pissed off music it can into its 10 minutes. Maths are still one of the UK underground’s most treasured acts and it would be sacrilege for any punk fan to skip on this record. You know what to do.”

Click here to read the full review.

2) SikTh – Opacities


“Opacities is a fantastic comeback by one of the most dearly missed UK metal acts. SikTh are just as exciting and vital as they’ve ever been and despite the 9 year gap between Opacities and Death of a Dead Day, it genuinely feels like the band have never been away. Opacities has a wonderfully natural progression to it and it sounds exactly like the follow-up to Death of a Dead Day that we all dreamed of. It feels wonderful to finally say this but welcome back SikTh. We’ve really missed you.”

Click here to read the full review.

1) TEEF – Admit Defeat


“TEEF have put together one of punk’s brightest moments. Admit Defeat is a non-stop powerhouse of grotty violence that’s amazingly memorable despite its aggression. No band in the UK has managed to meld fury with song-writing this catchy nearly as well as TEEF have managed to here and it’s a massive shame that the band won’t be making anymore music. Admit Defeat might be the last TEEF record but as swan-songs go, this couldn’t be any better.”

Click here to read the full review.

Review: Svalbard’s One Day All This Will End


Post hardcore stalwarts Svalbard have finally seen fit to write and record their debut album after three years of EPs, splits and singles and their tried and tested formula of glittery post punk mixed with hardcore is still as beautiful and engaging as ever. The only difference is now the band have the room to really let loose and One Day All This Will End takes the listener on one of the most emotional journeys heavy music has to offer.

Opener Perspective really does exactly what it says on the tin by giving the listener an introduction to what the band is all about. This is a wonderfully progressive journey that ebbs and flows between gorgeous melody and heart on sleeve aggression. Vocalist and guitarist duo Serena Cherry and Liam Phelan deliver an almost entirely screamed vocal performance throughout but compliment the lack of vocal melodies by showcasing their talents via their fantastic guitar work which straddles the fence between beautiful, sparkling guitar leads and devastating, stompy riffs.

Svalbard are a band with a sound that is surprisingly approachable and anyone looking to get into hardcore punk will have a fantastic jump-on point with this record. For every burst of vicious aggression there is a beautiful melody to wrap your ears around and that’s the real masterstroke of Svalbard’s sound.

Despite the heavy focus on soaring guitar melodies, some of Svalbard’s heaviest work is also featured on One Day All This Will End. Songs like Disparity and Expect Equal Respect are the closest things to no-nonsense punk that Svalbard have ever concocted and having them sandwiched in between these gorgeous moments of emo-esque respite makes their impact even greater. Enough can’t be said about the way this albums moves in such a wonderfully natural way.

By the end of the closing moments of Lily, Svalbard have taken you on a post hardcore journey like no other. One Day All This Will End is one of the best punk releases birthed in the UK and Svalbard have mastered an amazingly eclectic sound that’s equal parts angry, beautiful and forlorn. One Day All This Will End is essential listening to fans of post hardcore and a welcoming introduction to anyone looking to explore the more progressive side of hardcore.


Svalbard’s One Day All This Will End is out now and available to purchase through Holy Roar Records.

Review: TEEF’s Admit Defeat


TEEF are a punk band and like all the best punk bands they deal in nasty, stompy music that will whip a club into a rampage that won’t end until the audience are pulverized by studded jackets. They’re the sort of punk band that live by a ‘no nonsense’ attitude which means their music is fast, loud and catchy. They’re basically everything you want a punk band to be and while they’ve sadly announced their split so early into their career, they’ve left behind one of the greatest UK punk records we’ve had the pleasure of listening to. It’s called Admit Defeat and not owning it should be made a crime.

Admit Defeat is everything you love about punk. It’s an abrasive, snotty, bouncy record that isn’t afraid to tell you to “fuck everything” in its opening track. While these ten tracks clock in at around eight minutes, TEEF take you on a whirlwind tour of everything that makes punk so hugely exciting and it’s an absolutely electrifying experience.

Every part of the TEEF puzzle is firing on all cylinders. The sheer amount of riffs stuffed into these eight minutes show an exhausting display of guitar talent that makes you wish you wrote every damn riff on the entire thing. The bass punctuates every massive chord and beat with stunning precision, the drumming performance is beautifully unruly and the vocals display a man who is so close to the edge that he’ll probably throw you off it. This is a seriously dangerous-sounding record.

Let’s talk highlights; opener Scum is a gritty mosh pit anthem with a riff so bouncy it’ll shake venues to their ashes. Cathartic Release rocks a riff so catchy you’ll be headbanging wherever you’re listening to it. The drums on Still Here are enormously fun and full of great fills that sound like they’re fuelled by the most insane caffeine rush. Let’s not forget about the vocals; the vocal performance is just so wonderfully disgusting throughout. The music is also complemented by a fantastic mix which is full of impact and is bizarrely clear considering how painfully raw the music is.

TEEF have put together one of punk’s brightest moments. Admit Defeat is a non-stop powerhouse of grotty violence that’s amazingly memorable despite its aggression. No band in the UK has managed to meld fury with song-writing this catchy nearly as well as TEEF have managed to here and it’s a massive shame that the band won’t be making anymore music. Admit Defeat might be the last TEEF record but as swan-songs go, this couldn’t be any better.


TEEF’s Admit Defeat is out now on cassette through COF Records and vinyl through Headless Guru Records.

Review: Nembutal’s Demo


If you haven’t yet familiarised yourself with Yamabushi Recordings then you won’t be aware that the label have become exceedingly good at championing some of the most disgusting, snotty bands currently lurking in the UK’s toilet circuit. Nembutal slot into the Yamabushi fold comfortably and their blend of nasty, vicious fastcore and crust punk means that the band don’t muck around when it comes to song-writing.

Unlike most bands of this nature, Nembutal actually manage to fit more ideas into a single song than your average 30 second power violence band. This is obvious by simply looking at the track times; the band average 2 minutes per song and there’s an awful lot going on in each track. Melody is completely reliant on the guitar and thankfully the band have an onslaught of riffs to throw your way. Despite the speed of the playing, the guitar often stays pretty high in the mix which allows you hear the melodies. There’s even a cheeky little solo on Decay which gives the track some real flare.

The other part of the instrumentation that really excels is the unrelenting drum-work. This is one of the most intense drumming performances I’ve heard on a punk record and it’s exhilarating to listen to. God only knows what seeing Nembutal in a live environment must be like. I imagine it’s the audio equivalent of being dragged under the wheels of a speeding truck. It certainly feels like it on record.

Finally, the vocals tie up the whole package nicely and the constant switch between high-pitched screams and phlegm-ridden growls keep the proceedings as interesting as the instrumentation. The only part of the instrumentation that might be a bit lacking is the bass, but this is more a fault of the mix rather than the actual playing; it’s just very difficult to hear.

Nembutal’s debut demo is a relentless, steamroller of a record that densely packs as many riffs as it can into a single song. 5 tracks later and it’s like you’ve been entered into a UFC match with a professional competitor. Nembutal might not be doing anything countless punk bands have done before them, but they do it with such balls-out aggression that it can’t be ignored.


Nembutal’s Demo is out now through Yamabushi Recordings. You can download it for a pay-what-you-want price by clicking here.

Review: Geist’s Faith Healing


If dark, sludge-ridden hardcore is your cup of tea than do I have a treat for you. Members of Cholera and End Reign have joined forces to form Geist; a metallic hardcore band who make music in a similar vein to Lavotchkin and Converge. Their debut EP is called Faith Healing and all the song titles have the word ‘faith’ in them because why not?

The EP kicks off in a suitably nasty fashion with Faith : Maker and it sets the standard for the five songs that follow. Geist deal in dense, groovy riffs that provide all their music’s melody as the vocals are entirely screamed. There’s an awful lot of bass bolstering the band’s riffs and it’s accompanied by an ungodly drumming performance that switches frantically between unruly, hardcore punk speed and slower, doomier refrains.

As with End Reign, what makes Geist’s music so engaging is how utterly devastating the riffs are. Not only are the melodies in songs like Faith : Commital and Faith : Design going to send any mosh-pit greebo into a frenzy, the beefy production by Chris McManus means that each chord thunders through your ears like a freight train crashing into a car.

Geist aren’t doing anything that bands like Prelude to the Hunt, Pulling Teeth and Black Mass haven’t already done but they do it so well that’s it a completely null point. If you like your hardcore thick and sludgy but played by a group of men who don’t understand the phrase, “slow down” then Geist have you covered in the best possible way.

Faith Healing ends with a monologue about the futility of worshipping a God who hasn’t done anything to prove that he actually, “loves you”. It’s a stark, bleak ending to an EP loaded with some of the most unforgiving hardcore the UK has to offer and a timely reminder that we need bands like Geist to provide a visceral release from the shitstorm that is real life.


Geist’s Faith Healing is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.

Review: F. Emasculata’s IAXFE


F. Emasculata are an X-Files-themed hardcore punk band from Cornwall. Being able to write a sentence like that is one of the reasons I love punk; there’s always fun to be had with a good gimmick. The band return with their second mini album IAXFE and it’s another collection of ten thoroughly angry yet bizarrely hook-ridden songs.

The four oiks in F. Emasculata deal in snotty, lairy vocals and short bursts of vicious riffs and while their style isn’t particularly original, they pull it off with all the piss and vinegar you could ask for. It’s hard work making punk in this day and age and even harder work sounding original but F. Emasculata understand this, so to make up for it they stuff as many riffs into these fifteen minutes as possible.

The riffs are what really make F. Emasculata work. There’s a huge skate-punk influence running through the guitar work on IAXFE and despite the aggression, there’s plenty of great melodies to pump your fist to. It’s like listening to Bad Religion but with vocals more reminiscent of The Exploited.

When F. Emasculata are at their best they’re marrying these catchy, punk riffs with moments of unbridled fury like on Little Green Man and EBE. This diversity makes F. Emasculata’s music unpredictable yet memorable, which is exactly what you want from a modern punk record.

Despite how well the music is constructed, F. Emasculata still suffer from overfamiliarity. As we’ve already mentioned, being a punk band in this day and age is incredibly hard work thanks to how tried and tested the formula is and while F. Emasculata make all the right sounds, they’re gimmick isn’t unique enough to add something new to the genre.

Regardless, F. Emasculata have added another collection of furious punk anthems to their arsenal and they’re delivered through gritted teeth and bountiful aggression. If you’re a fan of punk then F. Emasculata’s IAXFE should be a record you should seriously be considering adding to your collection, but you might find a certain familiarity creeping in.


F. Emasculata’s IAXFE is out now on limited edition cassette. You can grab a copy from AWOL Records or Rip Roaring Shit Storm Records.