A millennial ago in internet time(circa August 2011), a record label by the name of Flatspot Records announced that the Fall of that fateful year would befall the release of the label’s own homage to all the great hardcore compilations of the past, The Extermination Compilation. Consisting of five hardcore heavyweights of this day and age(Backtrack, Turnstile, King Nine, Soul Search, and Suburban Scum), this compilation was to be a legendary release. Trailers were released. Tracks were teased. Adult entertainment was hired as face placards for the satiable product. But this was not to be. With each passing month came another update of “It’s almost done”. The fire of hope waned as its last embers lay fueled by the lowly gas of promised test presses and problems at the printing plant. 2012 came. School ended. No Extermination Compilation. Eventually, I along with hypothetical others forgot about it. Anticipation of the compilation receded to a dark and undisturbed part of the mind, a place of unexpectancy. Come the afternoon of late July, that part of the mind opened as I saw in my usually empty mailbox, the holy grail of it all, The Extermination Compilation. I’ve listened. If the saying “Good things come to those who wait” doesn’t apply here, I don’t know what else does.
Opening up with an absolute stunner of a song, the compilation kicks off with New Jersey’s own Suburban Scum. “Beaten From Birth” starts strong, a quick drum beat giving way to the bellowing of vocalist R.D.T. “We’re born to live as we live to die”. A quick bass line gives way to the whole ensemble to join in. What follows for the next 2:17 is crushing brutality. Metallic hardcore riffs encompassed by some of the finest in hardcore vocal pacing and lyrical delivery. “Beaten…”‘s drums sound like mortar blasts as the guitars screech like the harmonized screams of dying soldiers. Ending with an absolutely crushing breakdown, the track gives way to New York’s Backtrack. Written during the time of their debut LP, Darker Half, “Boiled In My Blood” delivers one hell of a Backtrack B-side. Ripe with thrash-ridden and groove-laden riffs courtesy of guitarists Ricky Singh, Reggie McCafferty and Christ Smith, “Boiled…” showcases more of Backtrack’s signature sound, albeit with more metal leanings. A short solo ends the track leaving the compilation on a smooth-sailing course towards Baltimore’s Turnstile. Contributing to the compilation the track “Figure It Out”, Turnstile further delivers more of their base signature sound demonstrated via their debut and sole(as of yet) EP, Pressure To Succeed. Starting off with a quick drum fill, guitarists Brady Ebert, Sean Cullen, and bassist Freaky Franz bust in with some seriously infectious grooves further complimenting the absolutely flawless lyrical deliveries of frontman, Brendan Yates. Backed by the versatile and proficient, Daniel Fang, on drums “Figure It Out” grooves, smashes and rises to the top as the standout track of the compilation, giving you a reason to hit the pit and the dancefloor simultaneously.
South California’s own Soul Search follows right after with the on fire track, “Burning”. “Burning” crushes with its constantly shifting guitars that alternate seamlessly between massive hardcore power riffs and staccato rhythm picking. The ending shouts of vocalist Omar Gonzalez leave a visage of a warzone gone scorched earth. New York’s King Nine wrap up the compilation with their track “No Dreams”. Starting strong and ending stronger, “No Dreams” lies chock full of fresh riffs, breakdowns, and a real sense of innate anger. The track had me headbanging steadily and violently throughout ending with the crushing tortured screams of vocalist Dan, whose lyrical delivery stands out among the lo-fi recording and immensely builds the tracks brutality.
Overall, Flatspot Records delivers with The Extermination Compilation not only a fine homage to the golden era of hardcore releases, but an excellent piece of music in general. One that greatly should satisfy old tyme hardcore folk as well as new blood. Flatspot’s Extermination gets a 10/10 coffins.