Here Are Five Hardcore Bands That'll Kick Your Ass This Summer

A hardcore punk lifer takes us through some new and noteworthy records and tapes.

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Jun 5 2015, 2:30pm

After the potent dosage of hardcore history I’ve been delivering for this column the past few weeks, I think it’s high time I step back, take a deep breath and head down into the cellar with a case of Wolters to wade through the piles of vinyl that have been accumulating whilst talking to old dudes. Some is stuff from the here and now, and there might be a reissue thrown in here and there for good measure. Nonetheless, I assure you this’ll be the ultimate listening guide for the non-shithead both young and old. Trust me.


Aggression Pact – Aggression Pact 7"


The ever laudable Painkiller label outta Beantown serves up yet another compacted chunk of fist-squeezing ‘core with the debut 7” by Aggression Pact, made up of members from Green Beret, Waste Management and Richmond’s amazing-but-lost-in-space Wasted Time. The six songs that make up this platter blaze by with all the grace of a gorilla in stilettos and enough rage to amp up a 2am bar room brawl to its maximum potential. A good studied take on the virtues bestowed upon us by both Poison Idea’s Pick Your King and B.G.K.’s White Male Dumbinance. Find it floating in the ether of Painkiller’s web presence.


Ultra-Violent – Crime for Revenge reissue


Jah bless the folks over at the Video Disease label for the re-up of one of the most sought after singles from the UK82 hardcore punk scene; Ultra-Violent’s Crime for Revenge. This three-song 45 has always been an intriguing son-of-a-bitch due to both its full-force crudeness and its mish-mash of intent. Where the title track is a bonafide, bone-headed, by-the-numbers UK82 classic, the two tracks that make up the b-side can make you think of either the Ruts after a severe glue bender or Discharge weighed down by a low fiber diet. Sadly, Ultra-Violent did not last too long after the release of this single due to their singer Adie traipsing along to join the English Dogs and provide vocals on such overlooked crossover classics as To The Ends of The Earth and Forward into Battle as well as their ill-conceived concept record, Where Legend Began. Ew-fah…what a horrible record. Anywho… you can get the reissue of Crime For Revenge directly through Video Disease.


Drug Control – Drug Control EP


San Diego’s Drug Control recently sent me one of the more potent 7" records I’ve heard in my time of solo basement moshing. Their five-song, self-titled EP on the Coin Toss label gives me the same tingle and charge I’ve felt in the past year from the likes of D.C.’s Protestor or the UK’s Shrapnel in that it’s a revised take on the NYHC of the 80s shot out of wide-eyed minds who were barely in diapers at the time Jules Massee told the residents of Connecticut to wake up because “This is a fucking hardcore show!” The kids are having their say and I’m loving every minute of it! Check them out via their label.


Barge – Live at St. Stephen's Church


This New Wave of D.C. Hardcore (or NWODCHC for those in the know) is certainly something for the disenfranchised of all ages to both rally behind and empty their wallets over. From the hair-raising cacophony of Pure Disgust to the hippy nouveau of Give, the nation’s capital has been showing it’s more than just a place to don a funny hat. Barge are one band out of that crew that no one gives enough lip service to as far as moi is concerned. Their combo of youth crew angst and power violence barrage is something custom-made for a codger like myself. I recently awoke to find a cassette tucked under my pillow that read “BARGE PROMO TAPE 2015,” and you can imagine the elation I felt as I scampered down to the cassette deck—Yeah, I still got one!—and threw it in there. As expected, it keeps up with the tradition of delivering threatening rage with a boy scout-like aesthetic. And dig on that raged out cover of Madball’s “Get Out!” Can’t wait to see where these tunes eventually end up. Just like you, I will stay tuned.


Breakout – Demo II


If you’re one of those types that dwell in the land of Canada, I’m guessing you’re waiting for Austin, Texas’ Breakout to come through your town any time now to deliver the legit bootboy goods to you and your brethren. Not only will you be blessed by witnessing one of the finest live bands the US has to offer, but you’ll also be able to procure a brand new five-song cassette that sounds like a more erudite version of the Midwestern take on British punk perfected by the likes of the Effigies, the Allied and maybe even DV8. How can you possibly resist? I eagerly await a full length from these boys, but until then, this bucket of bolts and magnets will do just fine. If you’re up and about out there, be sure to check out Breakout at the following dates:

6/4 - Vancouver, BC @ Blacklab
6/6 - Calgary, AB @ Garbage Daze III
6/7 - Calgary, AB @ Garbage Daze III
6/8 - Edmonton, AB @ DV8
6/9 - Saskatoon, SK @ Vangelis Tavern
6/10 - Winnipeg, MB @ H. Daughter
6/12 - Toronto, ON @ S.H.I.B.G.B's
6/13 - Chicago, IL @ Rancho
6/14 - Indianapolis, IN @ TBA
6/15 - St. Louis, MO @ St. L Skatium
6/16 - Kansas City, MO @ TBA
6/17 - Dallas-Fort Worth, TX @ TBA

Until next time, peace, love and Burst of Rage demo tapes for everyone.

Tony Rettman’s book NYHC 1980 – 1990 can be purchased here.