Hardcore is amazing.
As much as we/I age, there is always a group of kids discovering it in whatever city or country they may be in, kids who may have felt the same alienation, anger, and disgust we did, and creating some interesting, pissed and good music with plenty to scream about. I want them to have that same escape I did as a lonely, confused, desperate kid in my late-teens and early 20s and I want them to thrive.
This is why I am bringing you a few of my favorite new bands. Some of them aren't young kids, I know, but even in bands of people well into their 30s you can still hear the urgency. You may have read my interviews with some of these bands for noecho.net and if so, thank you for reading. If not, check out these bands and hopefully you will end up trusting my recommendations.
#1. Big Laugh - Milwaukee, WI
Big Laugh (photo by Angela Tulaman)
One of my jobs here at Rev is the distribution buyer, meaning I am in charge of bringing in all of the new titles. That means I vet everything that is submitted to make sure it is something we can sell. When 11PM Records hit me up on this and the new Cadenaxo (shout out to Cadenaxo from Mexico City!) I didn't know a damn thing about Big Laugh, but when it came in and I put it on, holy shit. The label's description of SSD, DYS, etc. doesn't do the band's much more complex sound justice. The fast bits are very reminiscent of classic Japanese HC like Bastard and Gauze, with legit mosh parts and this Van Vlackian melody tossed into guitar work that makes this band more unique than most hardcore bands are capable of.
They are very involved in their local scene, booking shows and being outspoken about important issues.
Urban Sprawl (photo by Veronika Reinert)
Yes, they are older, with some of them nearing me in age (almost 40) and yes I signed them to do a 7" on Rev so I am a tad biased but the Urban Sprawl demo is ugly. It's raw. It's political. It's like Violent Minds with a more sociopolitical stance. And I love the geography imagery oh, so much (for those who don't know me I am a full on geography junkie. While you are watching TV I'm looking at Google Earth for hours). For the uninitiated, vocalist Taylor Todd played drums in Busted Outlook and Profile, bassist Jazzy is currently in Torso and Screaming Fist, was in Neo Cons, Neighborhood Brats and I am sure 50 other bands I am forgetting, guitarist Kwame was in Wound Man, Troublemaker and more.
Read my interview with Taylor from Urban Sprawl for No Echo HERE
Listen to the demo on Bandcamp HERE
Listen to the demo on Spotify HERE
#3. Fuse - Singapore
Fuse (photo by Aqil Abu Bakar)
It's no secret that Southeast Asia has had a strong hardcore scene for years. Bands who travel there from North America say the shows are great and some of the biggest merch distros I ship to are in Singapore and Indonesia. However, it is pretty rare that a band from that area makes it onto the international hardcore radar but thanks to the illustrious Ola from QCHQ in the UK, Fuse has a worldwide pressing of their LP. They aren't reinventing the wheel but do bring a really well-played '80s NYHC-inspired style of hardcore brought to you by men and women who are doing a lot to help their local scene and stressing the importance of diversity, feminism and community through their music.
They visited us at the HQ last summer when they were in the states for Sound and Fury. At one time we had visitors from Singapore, Denmark, and even San Diego in the office all at once.
Entry (photo by Veronika Reinert)
Don't let the "members of Touche Amore" part confuse you. Entry is a straightforward hardcore band and Sara's howling vocals could scrape paint off your walls. Their new LP on Southern Lord is every bit as crushing as their now sold-out 7" was. They were cool enough to play the last show I booked before COVID with Torso, Urban Sprawl, and Sweat. A good time was had by all and Sara gave out buttons with her dog on them.
#5. Zulu - Los Angeles, CA
Zulu (photo by Nathalie Rojo)
Luckily, Zulu was able to play around LA a bit before the big lockdown and unluckily I wasn't able to catch them but this demo smokes and is extremely relevant in this day and age. This is a project band by Anaiah who we all know now as the drummer of DARE but this shit is some raw '90s LA powerviolence a la Despise You, with lyrics and samples about the black experience, which is something I admittedly don't know a damn thing about but should continue to educate myself on and I invite all of you to as well.
Listen to the demo on Bandcamp HERE
Thank you for reading and I am already hard at work finding five more bands for all of you to check out.