Greetings from the yellowed nail beds of the internet, where angry bands with no money make music for angry people with no money. Today’s bands are unpretentious (one would hope), unhinged (one would think), and unwashed (one would assume). I present to you three bands so cholericly belligerent that my computer broke a bottle over my desk and tried to cut me.
First up is a self-titled EP from Feral King, who nabbed my attention with one of those nifty Facebook banner ads that pops up on the side and encourages me to become an addiction counselor because I have tattoos. These maladjusted North Carolinians’ S/T 7” is a tasty little amuse-gueule of some seriously unhappy hardcore – uncut fury boiled down and purified into a spoonful of distilled animosity. Recalling the likes of genre legends Deadguy and Botch, Feral King dredge up four quick tracks of grimy, metallic vitriol sure to satisfy the cravings of anyone nostalgic for that late 90s rage.
Next up is GIRLFIGHT, some pissed off Pittsburgh punks with a penchant for producing some rocking hardcore. Their most recent EP, Real Spite, is a six song flurry of spit-on-the-crowd hardcore, featuring some surprisingly catchy grooves and more attitude than you can shake a stick at. And while you’re failing to shake sticks at GIRLFIGHT, go pick up the rest of their releases, because they are all fine examples of the shape of modern hardcore. You’ll especially want to catch the b-side to Holy Fuck, a highly-entertaining cover of the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right”.
Last up in this week’s anger management session is Kansas three-piece LeHunt. Their debut full-length, The Empty Space In Which We Live, is a weighty slab of ferocious hardcore. The band blends the pared down melodies of post-hardcore with the dissonant tumult of chaotic hardcore, forging a sound that is half indictment, half lamentation. Tracked live in a Kansas farmhouse, LeHunt’s LP sounds damn good, offering a level of clarity and a depth of tone rarely heard from an unsigned band. The three instruments have room to flourish within their own sonic spaces, lending the album an unexpected lushness. Each element sounds clean and clear, but retain the warm crispness of analog – a refreshing surprise in a music industry that is increasingly marred by digital overproduction. Bassist and frontman Jacob Scott’s performance rivals the best in this vein, his tormented vocal assault bursting with conviction from his first anguished bellow. LeHunt is a band that refuses to muck about with tricks or gimmicks, instead delivering honest hardcore with every track. The Empty Space In Which We Live is entirely bullshit-free. No balderdash, no malarkey.