The Boston hardcore legends, Slapshot just released their new record via mighty Bridge Nine Records and I was eager to get my hands on this one and review it for this webzine.
I have been listening to Choke and company since I was a little hardcore kid, but believe it or not, I have seen them live at the gig just last year. I was blown away with the energy of their so called hate hardcore. This lineup is awesome and in my opinion one of the best lineups Slapshot ever had. This album contains 11 tracks of old school hardcore punk and the music is classic Slapshot for the 21st century. Musically it is fast and angry hardcore like we used to through the years and lyrically Choke again deals with his demons hehe. There are couple of surprises on the record like some guitar solos that worked awesome like in “Alone” which is in my personal opinion the best song on this record. Couple of other songs that are outstanding on this record are “I Got Your Number” and “One Last Chance”. This year has been kind to us so far with so many releases by so many excellent bands with awesome records and this one is for sure on of the candidates for the hardcore album of the year. I am not one of the guys who put their lists and polls at the end of each year, but I am sure that this album will be on many favorite lists.
In the sea of today´s bands on the great world underground punk scene it is hard to sound great and not to be anyone´s clone or people would tell you so. RELIANCE from Arizona, USA are one of the bands that sound excellent and energetic and I was lucky to listen to their new e.p. and review it for this webzine.
The e.p. contains 6 songs of high quality melodic punk hardcore skatepunk with nice mixture of slower punkrock songs and faster hardcore material just made for moshing at the gigs. The sound of the record is awesome and it was mixed by none other than legendary Bill Stevenson. The lyrics of the songs are a nice mix of personal and politically engaged songs, I don´t have lyricsheet so I had to listen hard hehe. Vocals are important for me in this kind of music, so I always listen carefully to the singers and this singer is just excellent, great voice sounds to me kinda like Jim Lindberg of Pennywise, and the backing vocals harmonies are nicely done, too! This is a really nice record. Top songs: “Broken Bottles”, “Crashing Down”.
Encapsulated Records brings us a split record by Hell Night and Sweat Shoppe, two bands from St Louis, USA.
This is a split e.p. so one band´s songs are per one side of the record. Hell Night are formed in 2014.and they play an interesting mixture of hardcore, thrash metal and new wave. Since 2016.the vocalist of this band is none other than Brian Fair, known as a singer of Shadows Fall and Overcast. The two songs represented on this record by Hell Night are brutal, gritty, with screamed vocals and in your face attitude. I loved “Unincorporated” and “Overburden” both a lot, with bass being very strong in the forefront, or is it just me?
Sweat Shoppe is also from St Louis and were formed in late 2015. This band is made of members well known in the underground scene, who played in Ultraman, The Horror Section or The Disappeared to name a few. Those three songs represented on this record are short, in your face punkrock energy bombs and I can say that I liked Sweat Shoppe side of the record a bit more than Hell Night, but it is an awesome release.