I was glad to contribute a small piece on older Finnish hardcore for Andrew’s (Aversionline) newest site, No Echo. So check it out for some sweet ass hardcore tunes / bands and remember to bookmark No Echo for all kinds of music reads, solid stuff all the time!
Straight outta Memphis, USA comes Reserving Dirtnaps, who approached me a while ago with their 5-track mcd. It’s awesome that in these days of the inter nerd, some people still bother to promote their bands personally and not just spam links on facebook etc, even just with email, but still. So with the fact that, Reserving Dirtnaps sounded pretty damn good, heavy as fuck hardcore that isn’t exactly all beatdown, but maintains chugging heaviness on pretty crazy level, i decided to do a review for them.
As said the band comes from Memphis, Tennessee and features also members from older Memphis band, Clenched Fist. Their sound though, isn’t exactly same with CF, but if you like them, you probably like Reserving Dirtnaps too. For what i hear in their music could be bands such as; Cold As Life, Bulldoze, Stout and Next Step Up. They are delivering punishing heaviness, but still sound like proper heavy hardcore, not like those bands, that sound like their every song is just one endless bad moshpart. You could compare them also in a way with some newer bands that are right now delivering their shit far more heavier than most like: Lifeless, Bottomfeeder and Xibalba.
No Consent is the first track on Reserving Dirtnaps S/T Cd and the rough, mostly slow tempo filled chugging is bound to blow shit up. Commune continues straight off with similar heavy straightforward brutality and by far here you should also have noticed vocalist Brandon’s voice, he sounds seriously pissed and menacing. Don’t be afraid that they are just pummeling riffs down slow and low, cause they are throwing in time to time some faster parts like you can hear in Commune and in couple songs there is a bit of death metal influences to be heard too, maybe it’s the vocals, which are really brutal, but what do i know, all i do is that this stuff is working pretty damn well. Dim Passage is another no punches pulling juggernaut and i really like that RD has got a sound as heavy and hard as their songs are, it’s a tidal wave of crushing sound coming straight at you, i actually got stuck listening into this song and snapped awake just only when it ended, you could say that’s heavy. Fourth track Scars Of The Eye, throws in some almost melodic riffs, that don’t last very long, but give in variety of what this band are able to put in their songs. Fate’s Messenger blows out with full on pedal attack, then slows down into mosh frenzy, again hitting that fucking freight train mode, pillaging everything. This five track mcd is pretty hard starter for this young band and i for one am really excited to hear more of these guys, if you are into heavy hardcore at all, please give these guys a minute of your time, you can listen the whole cd right here, right now.
They just got the cd’s in some time ago for the S/T, so hit ‘em up and order one if you like this stuff.
I can’t really tell you, how happy i am to see this record finally out! You Can’t Keep Me Down and i go way back, since these lovely lads from Lohja (a place better than it’s reputation) used to play pretty much every show together with us, when we started playing shows with Ill Omen. That was late 2008 or something like that and ever since we’ve been involved with them guys. Other than being awesome dudes, they always delivered musically as well. Starting back with their Brenkkuu & Kostoo (Beer & Revenge) -demo, they played a musical combination of Bulldoze and Skarhead, heavy hardcore, coupled with real deal lyrical blasts. Years later, they took their music into different level, with similar sound and style, but they took everything a bit further on each release they did. They did a Split 7″ with Helsinki’s Third Man Down and after it put out a mixtape style cd-r, This Is My Life, that kinda compiled some of the old and newer stuff. But all this was just a first step, while a real monster, was already brewing under the dark corners and forests of Ojamo.
Cold Dark Mind is the first full length from You Can’t Keep Me Down, on which they took all their previous influences and bought them together as a very detailed and definite package. Combining raw as fuck hardcore into metal’s different realms, answers best how YCKMD sounds on Cold Dark Mind. I’d say that they combine shit like Kickback‘s newer material (Les Passions 150 Meutrieres and forward) that is mixed with some metal, from black to doom and a good bunch of elements from heavy hardcore bands like; Neglect, Blood For Blood and Cold As Life. What’s most important is that YCKMD does sound like none other in Finland and have stepped to the plate with their new album. Doing Just Fine, starts up, chugging guitars, venomous rant straight in the face, featuring quick guest vocals by Matti of Cutdown and is over in a minute. Blame Yourself , lets us hear how YCKMD has always used in a great way backup vocals, as the band’s guitarist Oskari and bass player Allu, both are featured on the record dropping everything from high pitch screaming to lower growls, to back up Jere’s already damn vicious spitting (many people have compared his voice to Kickback’s Stephen and that means business). Party Over, goes on with slightly slower tempo and even heavier riffing, as the mosh part before the song speeds up, will demonstrate. YCKMD has always used a lot of samples on their recordings and don’t break the habit on Cold Dark Mind either, most of them actually do relate somehow about the song, some are just for intro / outro and here we got few outro’s as well, but i’ll leave them for you to discover. Four Seasons Of Loneliness sounds like black metal song title, but fear not, after fast start there’s very Cold As Life -esque slow, heavy riffing in the verse and here again they display nice vocal / backup co-op, then suddenly it all ends into Outro, to calm down things for a while. Abandon All Hope, hits again a menacing level of heavy guitar walls and there is a guest vocal contribution from Piia of M.O.R.A. (who of i wrote about few posts ago) at the end of the song (and a breakdown that should make anyone go how’d you say it, “go fucking crazy”!). Second last song It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday, continues ferociously portraying desperation on lines like; “When i look at myself i don’t see, the man that i wanted to be, somewhere along the life, i lost track” , and it sounds like the song’s instrumental part could be influenced by Kickback song, No Surrender. Finally ending Cold Dark Mind is End Of The Road, that kicks in a very Bulldoze related beatdown riff and it has also few cool references, (intentional or not) on some great songs, like Livin’ To Die (by Neglect). There’s another outro too, but i’m not gonna spoil it for you.
This record’s title, Cold Dark Mind sums up perfectly YCKMD’s first album, lyrically and musically. It all really comes together, heaviness, darkness and anger oozes out of these songs and makes you want to listen to it again and again. For me this is definitely one of the best albums put out this year in Finland. Cold Dark Mind is released by the band’s own Strange Horizon Records and Turku’s own Poolside Records, both parties still having it available. This black vinyl record comes also with a download, if you want it to, cause all records don’t come up with the flyer with YCKMD bandcamp link on it, but you can find it our pretty easily and download the whole record for free. Below you can listen to it right here too, but as i really fucking like this record, i really recommend to support the band and pick it up, they got some brand new shirts related to some of the album’s artwork, available too.
You Can’t Keep Me Down -Facebook
You Can’t Keep Me Down -Bandcamp
Other than the band and label, you can pick Cold Dark Mind from these joints (both offer internationl shipping too);
Trying heavily to catch up on all great music that has been coming steadily after i put KTL to hiatus. One of those new, upcoming and promising as fuck -bands is Väistä!. They come from my homefront, Turku and feature also a old band mate of mine, from Ill Omen days. Väistä! (Dodge!) did start kind of as a solo project of frontman, Teemu and came into being as he recruited fellow bandmate from his other band, Alley Gods, Lauri to record guitars and bass for the session, that would become Väistä! S/T 7″. After they had recorded the 7″ and it was ready to be released, Teemu got together with some other familiar faces from local scene and assembled a lineup to start playing shows. Combining rocking hardcore, very much alike famous Boston Bust -style and real hardcore punk, Väistä! created a fresh sound of their own. You can hear similarities in bands like The Wrong Side, Righteous Jams, Mental, but as well more punk like another great Finnish band, Ydinperhe, sounds like. As you might guess, they sing in Finnish too, hence the band name. I really like it how Teemu sounds as a vocalist, he’s got a great voice and presence on the stage. Its always a pleasure to watch a band tear it up live, do it with passion and energy. It’s clear that Väistä! took their time to perfect the 7″, as it’s pretty damn tight package, no dead seconds or boring songs, just full on hardcore assault. They got great groove and hard riffing going on throughout the songs and there’s some melodic parts that sink in just great up in there. Väistä! kicks this jam on with straight forward banger, that displays well all elements this band is made of. Ulkonaliikkumiskielto (Curfew) continues, it reminds me lot of older defunct Turku band, Reckless Crew, as they also had big Boston style influence. Another common factor is Lari, who played drums for Reckless, he’s now banging ‘em for Väistä!. Lyrically these songs are great too, since i know Teemu well and he’s gotten into lot of topics that i know really irritate him; “Ehkä kaikki pitäis kieltää, että täällä pystyis elää – Maybe everything would be forbidden, so we could at least live here”, as the song is mainly about fearing everything and overreacting on every threat. Nuorisotakuu draws another another topic of the youth of today, who are lazy, drink energy drinks, play Xbox and their parents just give them money and expects nothing of them. Väistä! have definitely turned heads with this 5-song 7″ it’s a perfect start for them. Why make a shitty demo if you can make awesome 7″ as your first release. I’m glad to see that they are getting a lot of shows and hearing them getting only good response from people. Hardcore is a wonderful thing and these guys know how to shred it. Väistä! S/T 7″ is unfortunately already sold out. It was released by the band, but had Räkälevyt and Poolside Records participating also. Pressing was small out of “around” 130 copies. But fear not, as the record is in it’s entity available for listen here.
First, this writing is fucking late, haha. Sorry guys & girls, i’m doing my best here (for the band).
One Finnish band that i missed big time, when they first came around, was M.O.R.A., straight ‘outta Helsinki city. I had heard couple songs from their Myspace, rehearsal recordings and thought that it sounded promising. Still i missed many chances to see their shows. One time we drove from one show to other same night, from Helsinki to Hyvinkää and M.O.R.A. played there, but we arrived just when they had already played their set. I actually think that there was at least 3 or 4 times when i didn’t have any money, to buy their cd and one point when i tried to trade it at one show with some .45 cd’s, they had already done that some time ago, so no CD again. So it was damn hard to get the cd! After finally seeing them live couple times and playing also a show with them, it was clear that i really liked their shit, so we booked them to play KTL Fest last year (2013). To the point, what we are talking about here is a five-piece, who play pretty damn solid heavy hardcore, very much in vein of New Jersey thugs, Clubber Lang, Helsinki’s own alleyway gauntlet kings Cutdown and legendary, loved and feared Lappeenranta unit Black Betsy.
Having members from very different musical backgrounds (only just even inside punk / hardcore -spectre) brings a lot to this band, their members have played in various very different styled bands; Aurinkokerho, Creepy Crawlie, Confusa and Black Betsy. Then again, what makes M.O.R.A. any different than the bands, who i mentioned what they sound alike? I guess i didn’t tell you, that they got two gals singing for them and that they sing their metallic hardcore with our native language, Finnish. M.O.R.A.’s S/T CD is their first release and has been put out by the band themselves. When i first heard M.O.R.A., training tape rips on myspace didnt really give accurate picture how they would really come to sound, can’t remember the year of that, but its already years back, when they were just starting out. I was really impressed how heavy they sounded on the album, guitar tone is crazy, just as heavy and chugging as you can hope for this kind of hardcore, without sounding too clean. Rurik’s got some dope ass riffs and there’s lots of very “clubber langish” moshparts (anyone who knows how i love CL understands, that it’s just fucking awesome, so lots of parts to wreck shit up to)! Real hardcore always needs to have some roughness in there, to even up sometimes very real clean production, or that’s how i like it at least. These Helsinki guys & girls got a good thing going on and their cd is full of non-stop action. Introduced politely by one and only Handsome Strangler, M.O.R.A.’s intro hits up into Feikki (Fake). There’s no empty or boring moment, it’s straight up in your face all the time, Suvi & Piia deliver distinct voices, other going bit deeper and rasper tone as other puts out just straight, bit higher screaming. Vocal arrangements are great, lots of backups, to almost simultaneously switching singers, great use of two vocalists. Lyrically it’s more about fucked up things in life; fucking up, being betrayed, trying from worse to better, into criticizing modern day “fast-credit loan lifestyles” and being brutalized by security guards, by just looking certain way, lots of very good stuff, shit most of our kind can certainly relate to. I think that i don’t need to explain anything more, since as always, the music will speak for itself.
M.O.R.A. is actually in turning point of their band, since other singer Piia and bass player Katja, are leaving the band. They are playing handful of shows and have recorded some new material with the original lineup, that’ll see light of the day this year. Band will continue, but is seeking new members. More distinct info about all this go to their FB.
This years KTL Fest is as you might have noticed bit later this year, but at least we pulled it out and it’s happening, which is the most important thing. We got awesome lineup on both days and i’m happy to see few of my very favourite bands play this year, who haven’t yet played KTL Fest. Also this will be glorious (or not so, we’ll see) return of Ill Omen on the stages, it’s been pretty much 2 years (FUCK) since we have played a show. So it’s going to be an amazing weekend for sure overall, looking forward on seeing everyone, friends from near and far in Turku in couple weeks!
We have two local businesses supporting our fest this year, so please do yourself a favor and check them out.
More about them and their possible special deals regarding the fest etc. will be informed on our Facebook page later, near the actual dates of the fest. Introductions on both day’s lineups are also on the works, so look forward for them soon as well.
Klubi, Turku 2005.
Style: Metallic hardcore
Years active: 1996-2008
Down My Throat – Self-Titled 7″ / 1998 / Full House Records
Promo / Demo 1999 CDr / 1999 / D.I.Y.
Building The Legacy (Compilation) CD / 1999 / Full House Records
Step To The Plate (Compilation) CD / 2000 / Thornz Records
Down For Life (Compilation) 7″ / 2000 / Full House Records
Real Heroes Die CD / 2001 / Full House Records
Now And Then CDr / 2002 / D.I.Y.
Through The River Of Denial CD / 2005 / Full House Records, Combat Rock Industry
It was summer of 2002 in Turku and i went to see a hardcore show, first time in our lives with my friend. It was, as we later found out, the last “Beatdown By The Laituri” -show, that went on couple times in early 2000′s. Line up was; Avoid Eye Contact (Turku), Worth The Pain (Lappeenranta), Carpe Diem (Pori) and Down My Throat (Helsinki) and little did i know, my life would be changed forever after that night. What went on, was kids “beating each other up” along every band (how would i know it was called dancing?), singer of Black Betsy took a 2-metre long bench and rushed it into the crowd, nazi skinheads showed up before Carpe Diem played, leaving soon after and beating up Hate Unit‘s singer, as he “somehow” insulted them outside the venue. This is something i remember from that night, but what struck me the most that time, was the last band who played.
Helsinki has always been important place to the birth of “heavier” brand of hardcore music in Finland, many guys who would be later forming bands like; Down My Throat, Bolt, The Unloved, Past Glories, Cutdown etc., were there from the start, building their legacy from nothing, doing their thing from a scratch. There wasn’t much hardcore, as we know it today, around in early 90′s in Finland, first straight edge bands had emerged already in ’89-91, but it was still more of old school hardcore or punk than “heavy” hardcore. Bands like Down My Throat and Morning After were few of the first bands to start draw heavily influences from New York hardcore, bands like the Cro-Mags, Biohazard and everything in between them. Before that time there were of course other bands such as Endstand, who in the start played pretty heavy stuff (in vein of EARTH CRISIS) and bunch of straight edge bands like: 50×50 and Bonded With Blood, but heavier NY influenced stuff wasn’t yet fully coming up until mid to late ’90′s.
Unofficially Down My Throat was found in ’95 with different name, Surrender, that at the time was thought as bit too “krishna” by the guys, so they decided to look for another name. They started to find their form in 1996 and originally the band had different singer, Sacha and Kristian entered the band when Sacha had to leave to live in England for his studies there. They never didn’t record anything with the line-up before Kristian. Story of Down My Throat is in a way a beginning of also another important cornerstone of Finnish hardcore, cause in need for a label to release their music, Kristian had to start one.
Full House Records was founded in 1997 to put out Down My Throat’s first release, S/T 7″, that was quickly released as the label’s first release back in early ’98. Today, valued hardcore collector’s gem, 7″ demonstrated the birth of their style, uncompromising heavy hardcore, in recorded form, containing four tracks on black and limited blue vinyl. Quickly hardcore started to become little bit bigger in Finland, more bands started to pop up and Full House put out more records, making name with quality release after release. DMT of course released most of their discography through Fullhouse, but let’s continue about them more soon in an later date.
Semifinal, Helsinki 2006.
After DMT put out the S/T 7″, they ventured on fast with writing new material, recording a promo/demo cdr in ’99. Some of that promo’s material was featured on several compilations, Thornz Records (from Chicago) release; Step To The Plate, that was a split release featuring also Denied (NY), Strength For A Reason (PA) and Full Court Press (Netherlands). Other releases they were featured on were a Finnish compilation and scene document; Building The Legacy (Full House Records) and another Finnish compilation, Down For Life 7″ (Full House Records).
Compiled from influences within both, hardcore and thrash/metal realms, Down My Throat blended their unique style of metallic hardcore into perfection on their first full-length, Full House Records released, Real Heroes Die. It really blew everyone away as it took their NYHC influences even further, but was injected with heavy, thrash ridden riffing, creating a sound that still today sounds like no other. So here with Real Heroes Die, their trademark sound was born. Released in 2001, Real Heroes Die marks a major landmark for Down My Throat, as they started to become one of the most known Finnish hardcore bands outside Finland and the record is today regarded as one of the best records in whole Full House Records catalogue. They combined perfectly the sheer force and raw strength of hardcore with heaviness of metal and thrash, songs like; Shattered, Burn, Real Heroes Die and epic ending, Keeping On, Keeping On (feat. Niclas and Sasu “The Monkey Brothers” of Death From Above (Helsinki / Nummela)), are just couple examples why this record is so amazing. Balancing heaviness, they also had included their take of old school NYHC classic, Life’s Blood‘s Youth Enrage. At this point the band consisted of Kristian -vocals, Antti -guitar, Jukka -bass and Arttu -drums and as time went on, DMT played shitloads of shows in Finland and s couple in europe too.
After Real Heroes Die, next release was DIY compilation called, Now And Then, that the band compiled and released by themselves. This record collected together DMT’s early releases on one cdr, with one brand new track. So it featured on one disc, their 7″, promo / demo ’99, compilation tracks and some live / rehearsal tracks (including Bolt/DMT together doing cover of Judge‘s classic, Forget This Time). I’ve had this compilation as mp3′s, but i never got a hard copy of it, as it was already sold out when i tried to order it from the band, back then.
Around 2003 to late 2004, the band kept mostly laying low and writing new material and they added another guitar for their lineup, as Jukka L. switched from bass to 2nd guitar and Janne (Bolt, Homefront, Death From Above) stepped in to play bass. During this period, there were rumours about that Krisse had problems with his vocals, which turned out to be true and it seemed uncertain if the band would continue going on. But they took some time off and kept it together, slowly people started to talk about a new Down My Throat record and the band’s return to the stages. In September of 2004, they got back on stage and soon the follower for Real Heroes Die was talked about. It was to be titled Through The River Of Denial and first taste off it was released as mp3′s on their homepage in summer 2005, in form of songs Vermouth Breath and Arms Of A Siren.
Second Down My Throat full-length was released late 2005 and 2006 brought some changes to the line-up, as Jukka N. (TKU Blindside, Back Against The Wall) stepped in to handle 2nd guitar for the band, to replace Jukka L., who left the band. After release of intense second album, that brought Down My Throat’s heaviness into another level, but added a lot melody to songs structures, they again continued to play shows. They hit Europe together with St. Hood in summer of 2006, they had 11 dates booked, but since i wasn’t there with them and it’s a long time ago, i can’t recall how many shows they actually got to play. I remember some shows being cancelled due what it may be, but someone whose memory serves better, might enlighten us?
Full House Records 10-Years, Nosturi, Helsinki, 2008.
Through The River Of Denial introduced even heavier Down My Throat, their hybrid of hardcore thrash metal was here spiced with more melodic guitar parts, while still maintaining that crushing heaviness. They kind of added even more that old school metalcore sound, that bands like All Out War and Merauder so well performed, but had their own more modern take on it. This is how they also widened their audience as a fan of more metal(core) music like; Unearth, Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, could find himself liking Down My Throat, as much as hardcore kid would. Burn My Eyes sends off the album and unrelenting, Vermouth Breath, follows it into the third track, Kiss It Goodbye, where you finally hear how well the melodic parts fit in the mix with all of the heaviness. Krisse is doing a sick job, sounding as furious and desperate as ever and he continues to lay lyrics as venomous as ever. Lights Out, balances nicely between shattering riffage and melodic parts, ending into hard, hard breakdown. Sami (St. Hood) drops in for guest vocals on Grey, that sort of continues lyrically from St. Hood’s song Blessed With Trust, where Kristian did guest part in. Even darker realms and soundscapes take over on Through The River Of Denial, but there’s still bit of hope time to time lyrically, like in the song, Anchor. DMT has always had eye for amazing album ender, since Broken Glass Of Failure / Wake Us Up, does pretty much the same job as Keeping On, Keeping On, did on Real Heroes Die. Pummeling riffs open up Broken Glass Of Failure and it drives down melodic passage into traditional Down My Throat signature hardcore assault and when the song moves into Wake Us Up, you’ll get to hear pretty damn fine leads by both Antti and Nino Lauranne (Thunderstone / Antidote), who recorded and mixed the album.
Full House Records 10-Years, Nosturi, Helsinki 2008.
What ultimately almost turned out to be Down My Throat’s last show, was in September of 2007, when they played in Sweden at annual Deadfest with such bands as; Ratface, Six Ft. Ditch, Have Heart etc. Again i can’t recall why they decided to put call it off after that show, but luckily they decided to do one final show in Finland, to put the beast into rest properly. The last Down My Throat show went on at Full House Record’s 10-year celebration show in 2008, where most of the label’s active bands played a show, in Nosturi, Finland. Down My Throat posted this announcement regarding their breakup on their homepage;
“Due to lack of time and interest we have come to the conclusion that there’s no reason to continue this band in this form. We’re just too busy with other projects at the moment (and have been for a while now) and this band hasn’t been going anywhere for a long time now since we really haven’t had the energy to concentrate on it anymore.
I’m too busy making St.Hood sound bad with my sloppy playing and pretending to be a record producer/audio engineer and making other bands’ records sound bad. Kristian is too busy tattooing his ugly drawings on local kids & lowlifes and living his wannabe “biker/rockabilly rebel” life. Born to be wild…. yeah right… you’ll just make an ass out of yourself and fall down with that bike… again. Visse is just busy ruining Bolt. That band actually used to be quite good before this monkey started writing for them. Good luck to Bolt… you’ll need it! Arttu is busy farting all day and playing drums for Cutdown. He’s actually quite good at one of those things… guess which one? Jukka is busy giving people diarrhea with his “delicious” cookings. Have a good time flipping burgers for the rest of your life mate!
So as you can see we’re still very much around and will be making bad music etc.
Huge thanks to all the people who helped us out during these years of our existence, bought our records and came to our shows. We all had a blast and enjoyed every single moment of it!”
Nosturi show was nothing short of amazing, as they always were in live situation. They played tight set containing all crucial songs from both full-lengths and even some older ones. Down My Throat did leave huge boots unfilled, being one, maybe even the most important, of the first wave of metallic hardcore bands in Finland. Excellent bands that emerged during same era from their city, such as, Bolt and Cutdown, have also done equally amazing work as flag bearers of Helsinki hardcore. Still none have matched sound or style of Down My Throat, since their venomous brand of heavy, thrash-ridden hardcore has always had very special something in it. No question that DMT, one of the few first Finnish hardcore bands i’ve ever seen play live, has been a huge inspiration to me and you have to respect them for having done so much for the whole Finnish hardcore scene. Through all the years they have been here, they have stayed true to hardcore and the scene. They were among the ones who started to build their legacy from nothing, in this small cold country, trying and succeeding to make their mark in the world of hardcore music.
Rest in peace. Down My Throat 1996-2008.
Down My Throat -Myspace
Down My Throat -Homepage
It’s kind of weird to see old bands get from “the playing couple re-union shows time to time” to back into stage of full-blown bands, that write new music. In some cases it has worked out perfectly, probably best example being one and only Earth Crisis. Years back, they disbanded for a while, but soon continued, writing excellent new music to this date. LA’s Strife is in same category as EC, being one of the biggest straight edge hardcore bands of the 90′s, but as we know they stopped claiming to be a straight edge band, long time ago when they first broke up. After coming back and writing (by my opinion) not very good album (Angermeans), Strife was around a short time and quit again, playing couple re-union shows during years. Since their last leg of time to time reunion shows, the band seemed to get more serious, so they started writing new music. I’ve been a huge fan of all early Strife records, so while i knew Angermeans was pretty bad record, i thought that they wouldn’t probably anymore go into that direction with their new material, so i was very interested to hear how they would sound. Earth Crisis did the same thing with Slither, otherwise perfect discography was off shot with horrible album, but they as well returned to glory and triumphed after their break-up and so has done Strife. I don’t give a fuck if they aren’t sxe anymore (even it was a big part of the band’s history) and i respect that if they play those songs that distinctly touchs subject of the straight edge, they have some friend who is edge to sing that song (i.e. Force Of Change) and after listening to Witness A Rebirth, the new album, it feels just like it what should have been happening after In This Defiance. They have managed to keep the spirit and direction of their original style very alive with this new album. I really was kinda surprised that Witness A Rebirth really sounded so damn good, cause even interested, i didn’t have any expectations how it would maybe sound. Classic hardcore only how Strife know how to do it.
I strongly courage everyone to check out the new album, it’s best thing (with newer Earth Crisis records and Vision Of Disorder‘s new LP) that an older band, that has made a comeback, has done. Rick Rodney sounds as fierce as ever and everything else is soundwise and songwise in it’s place, it’s classic Strife in it’s finest form. Pick it up if you like it, i’m definitely dropping an order for this sucker right now.
Turku’s currently pretty much newest hardcore band, Broken Ribs have gone and decided to call themselves now as Bad Rep. With name change they bring also a new release, their first actual, actually. Putting out a demo last year, they have done and written new shit, that’s going to be featured on new tape they’ll be having pretty soon. Demolition tape features bunch of new tracks and one older one, if my memory serves me correctly. These will be available on few next shows and as well straight from the band and quantities will most likely be very limited so act fast. My boys are also hitting the road this week, since they’re playing hometown show in Turku next Thursday and travel to Sweden for a show in Norköping Saturday 10.11. Now you can listen first track off Demolition tape. Them dudes got merch on the board as well, so pick that shit up and support independent hardcore.
Second time i cross my path with this relatively young band, from Hämeenlinna, Left Cold, was when one of the labels, of their new 7″, contacted me and asked for a review. I’m really sorry, that it took so long, but here it is! So with that said, i’ll fill you in bit more about Left Cold, since many of you probably haven’t heard of them before. I picked their From The Ashes -tape, maybe couple years ago from some distro at a show. Not 100% sure, but i think it was their first demo or something, anyhow i thought that it showed some promise, they played dark and heavy sounding hardcore, that sounded to be very influenced by bands such as Integrity, Cursed and their alikes. I think Left Cold has been playing some shows there and there, but until this year, they hadn’t gotten that much attention. Their newly released first 7″, Symptoms Of Our Time, on Johnny Park Avenue Records and Face Your Gods, on the other hand, has gotten them some buzz.
Hämeenlinna isn’t exactly well know from it’s hardcore / punk bands, so it is even weird to hear band of this style to come out from that city. Left Cold’s first vinyl release, Symptoms Of Our Time is a 4-track 7″, that’s pretty much easily summed as short, dark and heavy. They have four songs on the record and all tracks have been titled with roman numerics. This way to name your tracks is apparently becoming popular, since i’ve gotten two records in a short period of time, that both have done this (see Pigeon Hunt -review). This being only a minor distraction, cause music comes first, as usual and Left Cold have stepped up their game, that’s for sure. I, well defines their new sound, it’s totally different, at least in soundwise, than on the demo tape. They sound so much heavier and darker than before and the same tone is all over all of these songs. They aren’t singing about happy shit either, it’s darkness and chaos, shit gone wrong etc, you know what young men like to scream about in hardcore songs and it’s working out just fine here too. Crossing between atmoshpheric heaviness and raw “holy-terrorian” influenced hardcore, Left Cold have really got their pieces well fit on Symptoms Of Our Time. I haven’t seen these guys live ever before, but will be going to see them actually tonight in my hometown with local hardcore heroes; Broken Ribs, The Reality Show and couple Helsinki based bands, Pigeon Hunt and Lighthouse Project. Hopefully it’ll turn out a good show, we’ll just see how Left Cold will turn out, since the 7″ is pretty short and still leaves a feeling for “something more”, i hope that they will deliver that “more” with their future releases. Fans of all holy terror -related or influenced hardcore and dark crust (His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy, From Ashes Rise etc.), should check out Left Cold.
Left Cold -Facebook