In this review Profane Existence, one the most trusted names in crust/d-beat, were kind enough to furnish me with preview copies of their 2013 Limited Edition Singles Series. With 12 7″s of some the best crust, d-beat, powerviolence, grind,Oi!, and even some folk punk; your ears will sure to never find themselves bored with this eclectic mix of all things punk.
First up is the new 7″ from Tulsa, OK Oi! band The Shame. To be honest, I’ve never even listened to a single Oi! song previous to giving this record a spin. And what I found was quite a surprise. Essentially old school British punk with strong gang sing-alongs, this is just like it is advertised; songs about drinking and soccer that you can sing to at your local pub. Good stuff.
Next up is the new 2 song 7″ from Minneapolis, MN band Despise. Now this is more in my wheelhouse. Aggressive, raw blackened crust with female vocals. Right from the start, the fact that a woman sings in the band is entirely irrelevant as the vox are so scathing and harsh that you’d be hard-pressed to find any man who could duplicate them. On opener “Desolate” things start out slow and menacing before the tempo picks up and the vocals kick in. With lyrics about depression and despair, the darkness the band permeates their music with is palpable. On side two it’s more of the same for with “Inebriated” the theme of crushing existential ennui is now coupled with the vice of self medication. Very good dark oppressive blackened crust with production that is just a notch better than most, this little record is definitely worth a listen.
Wartorn is one of the better know American crust bands going today and their new 7″ Domestic Terrorist is a good indication why. On this record Wartorn continue to slay audiences with their dark brand of metallic crust replete with deep guttural growls and up tempo playing that is broken with the occasional slow-mid tempo break. Both songs “Domestic Terrorist” and “Under Oath” highlight the evils and hypocrisies of modern day society. The former about the twisted mindset that begets the evils of such homegrown terrorists as the Unabomber and Timothy Mcveigh. While the latter takes to task the shortcomings and corruption of the so-called American justice system with “Under Oath” featuring a sweet guitar solo.
Here is some more crushing female fronted crust, this time without the blackened. Rifle Diet, hailing from Minneapolis MN, make dark heavy crust with stark honest personal-as-political lyrics. On “Abuse Begets Abuse”, Rifle Diet lay out the grim realities of domestic violence and it is no pretty picture. Made all the more harsh when you factor in the deep gruff vocals and raw production. On “The Affected” they address the apathy that effects the scene at times and while not offering much of an answer, they maintain their stance on continuing the fight rather than laying down and taking it.
Austin, TX band Deadly Reign absolutely blew me away with their blistering take on the tried and true formula of d-beat. So many bands can fake it at being pissed but Deadly Reign are the real deal. On “Suffer”, they absolutely put the competition to shame with a deeply enraged view on the warmongering leaders of church and state. While on “Sinister Minds” and “Employment of Slaves” the righteous rage is no less present album opener “Suffer” is what most stands out to me on this record. Very well executed pissed off political d-beat. Highly recommended.
On their 7″ Broken Waves, Chicago crust band Krang outdo themselves with another heavy slab of pissed off political punk. The guitar tone on “Reclaim (De Aestus Espirit Et Tu) will absolutely shear the meat off your bones while the vox will melt your eardrums. While the songs on side B are no less threatening, on “Arms Race Within Mine” the vocals, if possible, are even more acidic than they were on “Reclaim…”. Again, the guitar shreds your guts from the inside out. On album closer “Death Mask”, the guitars continue with that jarringly grating tone all the while struggling to keep up with the battering raucousness of the drums.
On War//Plague’s new 7″ Primal you will find heavy thrash punk with gruff vocals and meaty instrumentation. On the title track the entire lyrics consist of 5 words chanted in a sort of incantation, a sort of call to arms , if you will. Second track “Just a Punk Song” is quite a bit faster and more aggressive. With lyrics that decry the corporatization of punk, the final song on the EP “The Accursed Throne” is the most metal, with a riff running through it that wouldn’t be out of place on any 80s heavy metal record. The music is fast thrash punk while the lyrics are esoteric. The lyrical focus could be interpreted as being about many things but ultimately
I’m thinking it’s a narrative about the Fall of Lucifer. But I could be wrong. Good EP, though.
While anarcho gypsy punk is not exactly my area of experise, I figure what the hell?, I’m an open minded guy, I’ll give it a shot. The music is what you’d expect. Accordion, Mandolin, Washboard, you know , the usual folksy instrumentation. The music is melodic but in that old timey way not in the way that you could actually sing-a-long to . The kicker that tops it all off are the , what I’m assuming are dead serious, laughable Satanic lyrics. With some lyrics mocking organized religion and others glorifying the Dark Lord, the paradox of the two is overwhelming. Satanism is a religion, right? So in Dirty Kid Discount’s mind only most religions are mockable but Satanism, hell,we identify with that one so it’s the shit! It’s this hypocrisy that ruins the experience for me. Maybe if you didn’t read along with the songs then you can enjoy some satisfactory folk punk, I couldn’t so I didn’t.
Frustration formed in 2010 in Seattle and produce some unique hardcore punk of the d-beat variety that is also singularly danceable , or at the very least head-noddable. One of the most noticeable things about the 2-song 7″ is the voice of Colin, the singer. Worn and weary it evokes a lifetime of hard-drinking and cigarette smoking. Perfectly suited for the music of Frustration. Good stuff.
The final 7″ in this stellar Limited Edition Singles Series is the split between Indianapolis crusty death thrash band Boddicker and Detroit d-beat/powerviolence demons Kata Sarka . And I can’t put in words just how blown away I was by both of these bands. On the Boddicker side, you’ll find lightspeed thrash that borders on grind coupled with machinegun drumming and some absolutely scathing vocals. Very impressive. On the Kata Sarka side, you’ll find straight up powerviolence with blackened vocals and drumming that when it’s not all out blasting only slows down to d-beat speeds. Incredibly bracing audio-terrorism coming from both bands. My favorite 7″ in this series for sure.
Alright that’s it folks. If you have a sharp eye you’d have noticed that my review is missing 2 7″s. Well that’s because the Ratstorm 7″ was still at the the pressing plant when Ben over at Profane Existence mailed me the preview copies and , well, I don’t know what happened to the Sick/Tired 7″. I was very disappointed about that because Sick/Tired are easily one of my favorite up-and-coming bands in the hardcore/grind/powerviolence world Oh well. If you like any of the artists reviewed then hurry up and head on over to the Profane Existence web store here and here to pick up one or both sets of singles.
FFO: Crust, D-Beat, Powerviolence, Thrash, Grindcore, Oi!, Folk Punk, and all things heavy
Label: Profane Existence
Release Date: Year Round