Siyahkal's "خند بزن ای برادر / Smile Brother" Is Explosive Persian Hardcore

Listen to the Toronto band's wild new tape of lurching and menacing punk rock.
October 14, 2017, 12:32am
Image: YouTube screenshot

Siyahkal is a Toronto hardcore band who sing in the Farsi dialect. The band are named after a 1971 guerrilla operation conducted by the Organization of Iranian People's Fedai Guerrillas against the Iranian government. I first became aware of their music through a demo that was recorded by Fucked Up's Jonah Falco. One track in particular, "Koskesh-e-Khar/Iranian Scream", stood out as a truly blazing piece of agitated hardcore punk rock. An Iranian cab driver once called to find out more about the track and the band, after I played it on radio.

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Their latest release بخند بزن ای برادر / Smile Brother, continues the chaotic but taut punk. "Machine Gun" is all lurching tension with samples of rifle fire, "Bootcamp" has elements of what sounds like a traditional Iranian song while the closing "Zombies of Tehran" with barked vocals is kind of terrifying. These are some the best hardcore punk songs of 2017.

لبخند بزن ای برادر'/Smile Brother is available now from Bandcamp.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mentioned that Siyahkal are originally from Calgary. Only two members of the band are from Calgary.