Describing themselves as a queercore/feminist hardcore band and taking huge cues from the 90s riot grrrl movement and classic hardcore, Shooting Daggers pull no punches. Initially, their work seems to present something of a sidestep for the New Heavy Sounds label, whose main stock has previously tended to veer towards the doomy, but it really doesn’t take long to realise why they’ve signed this act. On this two track release, their riffs are massively intense; their personal views are as direct and important as the riffs themselves and the messages cannot be – and should not be – ignored. This is a burst of pure, necessary anger; a release that ups the ante for the style, and for the UK hardcore scene as a whole.
Turn Cold’s blend of thrash and hardcore draws a heavy influence from the both styles’ late eighties and early nineties glory years, creating a sound that has a timeless appeal. Their debut EP ‘Break Your Faith’ is by no means an easy nostalgia trip, though: its core sound also carries more of a contemporary edge through even heavier breakdowns and a socially conscious set of lyrics. During three intense numbers, the Atlanta based band share themes of inner strength and dealing with mental health issues, spurred on by the ongoing pandemic lockdown in which the demo material was recorded. The end result is an uncompromising musical statement.
Hardcore legends Orange 9mm weren’t around for long, but their debut album ‘Driver Not Included’ truly raised the bar in terms of aggressive crossover sounds. Their subsequent albums weren’t quite as sharp, but both ‘Tragic’ and ‘Pretend I’m Human’ continued to showcase a powerful act, never willing to tread water.
Their third full length album, 1999’s ‘Pretend I’m Human’ reached out to a core of fans, but was rather overlooked by the world at large. By 2001, it was out of print everywhere and has become increasingly hard to find.
Following a couple of hugely unsubtle singles (the hardcore rant ‘Fuck Cyclists’ and the Rose Tattoo meets Hard-Ons rocker‘It’s Too Late’), Aussie punks The Owen Guns unleashed a furiously angry six track EP in the summer of 2020. It was everything the previous singles suggested it would be: brash, crass and – most importantly – loaded with massive hard rock/hardcore punk crossover riffs. The band’s furious verbal attack on the then US president (‘The Ballad of Cheeto Hitler’) even outdid most of their lyrical assaults. In a little over ten minutes, the relentless haranguing that drove the bulk of ‘Violating Community Standards’ set The Owen Guns in place as a band you just wouldn’t – and probably shouldn’t – argue with.
A new band for 2021, Herzschlager capture a brilliant hardcore sound where the speed and bowel rattling elements of crustpunk collide with the crunch of classic hardcore, and the aggressive side of bands like Cancer Bats battles against a few early Machine Head-ish breakdowns. It isn’t exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from two members of Allfather – one of the UK’s best extreme metal acts – but, then again, what are side projects for, if not an excuse to branch out and experiment?