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Thread: 10 Must Hear Hardcore Bands by Carlos Ramirez

  1. #1
    Takes life. Seriously.

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    10 Must Hear Hardcore Bands by Carlos Ramirez

    Cold World
    Home Turf: Wilkes-Barre, PA

    Although they hail from suburban Pennsylvania, their brawny aesthetic has New York written all over it. From the inter-woven hip-hop interludes and loops to the Biohazard (circa 1992) styled riff-parades, Cold World might as well be from Queens or Brooklyn. On last year's excellent Dedicated to Babies Who Came Feet First, the group stepped their game up with the kind of fully realized songwriting usually lacking on modern hardcore records. Alex Russin's guitar tone is molasses thick and comes down on songs like "Time to Break Down" with the weight of an anvil. The guy has obviously studied the greats. Drummer Nick Woj's lyrics read like something you would see on a vintage Gang Starr album and his work behind the kit is always spot on. This is a band not to be ignored.

    Home Turf: Stoughton, MA

    The first thing people notice about Energy is frontman Tank's uncanny vocal resemblance to AFI's Davey Havok. There's no doubt the young singer got a lot of his chops by listening to Havok but his hooky and passionate performances are too ardent to deny. Their recently released Invasions of the Mind finds Energy firing on all cylinders with songs that showcase the most vital parts of punk, hardcore, and even alt-rock. Their faster material is ready for the sweat and blood of a VFW hall show but Tank's sweetened vocal tone tempers it with a melodious edge. Energy is writing the kinds of records that could make rock radio much more appetizing to us music geeks. It won't be long before the major label A&R scouts come sniffing around this one.

    Home Turf: Northern California

    There's something really fitting about Ceremony's name. The band's songs often have a spirituality simmering beneath all of the chaos. Now we don't mean that Ceremony is a religious band in any way shape or form. Actually, with tracks like "He - god - Has Favored Our Undertakings" that feature lyrics like, "I don't kneel in worship/I don't believe in a ghost," one is to assume they aren't in a hurry to get to church anytime soon. But there is an arcane element about Ceremony's output that we can't quite put our finger on yet. Either way, their bare-boned, lo-fi approach to hardcore is welcomed in this day and age of overproduction and Pro-Tools.

    Home Turf: Philadelphia, PA

    Blacklisted is the answered prayer for anyone longing for hardcore's golden days. Their full-bodied attack embodies the spirit of bands like Cro-Mags, Sheer Terror, and Judge in feel and attitude. This is unadulterated hardcore filtered of everything but the barest essentials. Vocalist, George Hirsch is monster of a front-man, tearing into the lyrics with wild abandon. Jon Nean and Dave Foster's twin-guitar assault buzz saws its way through their material, proving that sometimes a streamlined approach gets the point across as much, if not better than an overtly technical one. Their most recent effort, Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God, is a testament to Blacklisted's power. Unfortunately more people outside of the hardcore scene haven't discovered the album yet. Hopefully that changes soon.

    Pulling Teeth
    Home Turf: Baltimore, MD

    Pulling Teeth vocalist Mike Riley spews his lyrics with the acidity and rabid force of a deranged lunatic. He's exactly the type of guy who should be fronting a hardcore band. Riley's incensed vocal delivery reveals traces of old-school crossover greats like Corrosion of Conformity and DRI. Pulling Teeth's label, Deathwish Inc, recently started streaming 2 new songs that will be on their upcoming Paranoid Delusions/Paradise Illusions album and if they are any indication of what we can expect, we're in for a world of hurt!

    Living Hell
    Home Turf: Boston/Connecticut

    The current crop of young hardcore bands littering the scene right now borrow many death and thrash metal's textural moves; especially in the guitar department. Living Hell are no different but they do it with an expert ear for detail. Nothing about it is overdone and their songwriting smarts carries them above and beyond many of their counterparts. Their album, The Lost and the Damned, was lost in the shuffle when it was released in 2007 but their recently signed deal with Eulogy Records insures them better distribution and attention next time out.

    Trash Talk
    Home Turf: Sacramento, CA

    Everything about Trash Talk just screams hardcore. Songs like "Well of Souls" and "Worthless Nights" will turn any crowd into a circle pit within seconds. Fans of Black Flag and Negative Approach will immediately get into Trash Talk's full-on, unfussy approach. This isn't one of those bands that will fill their records with 1,001 breakdowns so if you're looking for that, you should just skip them altogether. But if you want a band doing the classic punk-infused style the right way, you should look into picking up Trash Talk's self-titled album. Quality no nonsense hardcore will never go away.

    Rise and Fall
    Home Turf: Belgium

    Born out of the surprisingly fertile Belgian underground scene, Rise and Fall is the kind of group that has enough metallic bite in their guitars and tempos that people who normally ignore hardcore altogether. Their style is in step with bands like Integrity and Ringworm. Their Clawing 7" is one of the meanest sounding records you'll hear anywhere but the meaty riffing still whips up some unforgettable moments despite the angry party. Rise and Fall is due to release a new studio album this year. Don't be surprised if they make the year-end lists next winter.

    Trapped Under Ice
    Home Turf: Baltimore, MD

    For all those purists who complain about the lack of New York City styled hardcore in today's scene have had the prayers answered with these dudes.Trapped Under Ice manages to bring together a sound that clearly shows affection for lamented bands like Breakdown, Killing Time, and Dmize and still make it sound as vital as anything else out there right now. The NYHC flavorings aren't just found in their guitars and arrangements, Justice's (no last name given) vocals even have a slight Noo Yawk accent to them in sections. It's definitely a treat when you find a younger band paying homage to their heroes but doing it with such vigor. Trapped Under Ice will be on everyone's lips this time next year.

    Shook Ones
    Home Turf: Seattle, WA

    A lot of the tastemakers in the hardcore scene have tipped Shook Ones as an act to watch. Their last full-length, Facetious Folly Feat, is bursting with one sing-along anthem after the other. Scott Freeman coats the Seattle band's adrenalized material with a silver-voiced tone making him of the most talented vocalists in hardcore today. Like Energy, Shook Ones have a fair shot at a broader audience so it's just a matter of exposure at this point.

    Credit: IGN: 10 Must Hear Hardcore Bands
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  2. #2
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    Re: 10 Must Hear Hardcore Bands by Carlos Ramirez

    Great post, I've been listening to a lot of these bands recently, primarily Blacklisted, Shook Ones, Rise And Fall, and Ceremony. Others to check out would be Go It Alone, and one of my all time favourites Sinking Ships. Although the latter recentley split.

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