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Let The Roundup Begin

Charlotte Mooney

The Olympia, Washington band Gag make a pure, direct form of barf-gargle hardcore punk, and they’ve been doing that for nearly a decade. Last year, though, Gag ended their Still Laughing album with a chilly, rudimentary electro instrumental called “Scorpion Sequence.” This was, to put things lightly, a departure. The 11 tracks before “Scorpio Sequence” are all grimy, ugly little two-minute phlegm-snarls. “Scorpio Sequence” is grimy and ugly in its own ways, but it’s just straight-up dance music. On the album, a track like that plays almost as a sarcastic joke. In person, it comes off different.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Spencer Chamberlain

It’s pretty funny when rappers try to get crowds to mosh. Moshing at rap shows isn’t new, exactly — Onyx made “Slam” in 1993 — but as a widespread phenomenon, it’s a pretty recent development. Some rappers know how to set that shit off. Some do not. When the $uicideboy$’ Grey Day tour came to Richmond a week and a half ago, some of the acts from the duo’s G59 label would try to get the kids in the crowd to circle-pit, but they’d do it in between songs, when there was no music playing. This did not work well, and it led to some frustration: “Run in a circle, you dumbfucks!” Some people need to learn the hard way that nobody’s going to mosh to stage banter. You need to start the song and then call for the circle pit. Turnstile didn’t have that problem.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Gabe Becerra

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Olivia Reavey & Walter Bankson

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Michael D. Thorn

Someone took a kayak to the show. In Richmond, the first big punk show since the pandemic happened in a space that isn’t really a space at all. It’s an outdoor area underneath a bridge, next to a river. Between bands, my friend and I were sitting on a log down by the water, and we looked over to see someone strapping on a helmet and sliding his kayak into the river. We couldn’t tell whether he’d planned to kayak to the punk show or whether he just happened to be riding by and thought he’d check out whatever was going on over there. Either way, what a cool guy. We should all be taking kayaks to shows.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Rich Fury/Getty Images

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We should talk about Madball. Good band. Hard band. Madball have existed, in one form or another, since the late ’80s. As a child, Freddy Cricien, now almost universally known as Freddie Madball, would jump onstage with his half-brother Roger Miret’s band Agnostic Front. Madball started off as basically an Agnostic Front side project, with most of the band backing up 12-year-old Cricien. Eventually, Madball found a relatively stable lineup of their own — bassist Jorge Guerra has been in the band since 1993 — and became a regular touring act. By the time Madball released their debut album, the 1994 ass-beater classic Set It Off, the band’s style had solidified. They played a direct, chest-thumping variant on New York hardcore, with metallic chug-riffs and choppy, rap-adjacent vocal cadences and lyrics about all the different reasons that Madball and their friends might potentially fuck you up.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Mark Palm

A few weeks ago, the three hosts of the consistently great hardcore podcast Axe To Grind pondered a rhetorical question: Is Regional Justice Center’s new LP Crime And Punishment the biggest powerviolence album of all time? On its face, the question itself seems wrong. Powerviolence is a genre that actively seeks to repel most audiences, that delights in its own inaccessibility. Even within hardcore itself, powerviolence is a forbidding little sub-world. Asking about the relative bigness of powerviolence records feels perverse, almost like comparing the box-office grosses of snuff films.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Someone in God’s Hate keeps a thumb on the pause button while watching TV. Movie soundbites have been part of the sonic tapestry of hardcore for decades. They’re a tried-and-true tactic; if you want to communicate the idea that an extremely hard song is about to start, you throw in a quick sample of someone saying some hard shit in a movie. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of hardcore bands have started off their demos by doing something like that. Often, those samples come from crime movies, Scorsese ones especially, and a band’s specific choice tends to say a lot about that band. Trapped Under Ice, for instance, always communicated Baltimore pride by going heavy on Hairspray and Cry-Baby.

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)

Olivia Keasling

For more, go to: Stereogum.com (Source)