11.13.2019

NATTERERS























"head in threatening attitude"
Year:  2018
Country:  UK
City:  Yorkshire
Label:  Boss Tuneage
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Punk        Hardcore















In 2016 and 2017 the UK’s Natterers released two very compelling EP’s respectively. Then the band announced that they would be releasing their first full-length Head In Threatening Attitude this year. This was the real test. The big leagues. Could the band solidify and master their sound enough to crank out a fantastic hardcore album and live up to the great work they did on Demo ’16 and Toxic Care? The answer to that question is, “Hell yes!”

If you’re not familiar with Natterers yet, Head In Threatening Attitude is actually a great place to start with their material. The first track, “Power Tripping” is a really good representation of what the band’s overall sound is like and what they’re all about in general. Lead vocalist Emma’s extremely hard-hitting yells are complemented by guitarist Thomas’s shrieking surf-influenced riffs, while the bass and drums maintain a swift and tight rhythm.

Emma’s vocals on this record should really place her up at the top tier of contemporary hardcore vocalists. Just like “Power Tripping,” other tracks such as “Boring Minds” and “Fix The Fixation” also include her powerful yelling. In a bit of twist though, there are tracks like “Germs And Creeps” and “Not Long Left Now” where she sort of walks the line between her signature yells and melodic singing, which up until this point had not been featured on a Natterers release before. It’s a very welcomed surprise that she pulls off quite well.

Another major part of the band that carries the songs on Head In Threatening Attitude is Thomas’s guitar technique. It’s the backbone of the majority of the tracks, really. His style lands somewhere in between that of East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys and PJ Russo of Night Birds. He is able to mix 80’s West Coast hardcore with surf riffs extremely well in his own unique way, which in turn makes them a large part of what makes each of the fourteen songs distinct from one another. A perfect example of this is the track “Appetite For Distraction.” Thomas’s high-treble and high-distortion licks follow Emma’s vocals (along with the bass as well) making for a very cool contrast. In "Please The People" his massive power chords are accented by quick fills, and screaming high notes later on (*Review by Ricky Frankel ).
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11.08.2019

WOLFBRIGADE























"the enemy: reality"
Year:  2019
Country:  Sweden
City:  Stockholm
Label:  Southern Lord
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  10
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Crust Punk















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"run with the hunted"
Year:  2017
Label:  Southern Lord
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Crust Punk








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"damned"
Year:  2012
Label:  Southern Lord
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Crust Punk








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"comalive"
Year:  2008
Label:  Farewell
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Crust Punk








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"prey to the world"
Year:  2007
Label:  Agipunk
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  13
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Crust Punk








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11.02.2019

EMPOWERMENT























"bengalo"
Year:  2019
Country:  Germany
City:  Stuttgart
Label:  End Hits
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  32 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore















Empowerment undoubtedly holds something of a special status in Germany's thoroughly illustrious hardcore scene. This is not only because the band brings together an idiosyncratic mix of master killer-filled beatdown vibes and snobby punkattitude, but certainly also on the unmistakable political standing for which the gentlemen from Stuttgart at least since the big-cash 2012 debut "gegen.kult" are known.

In general, since the founding days, Empowerment has been conveying a very coherent picture of lived, unencumbered anti-attitude, which begins with the denial of social media activities and stops at the lyrical charm of songs like "Stuttgart asozial". Long story short, you just can not deny the troop's authenticity - a trait that's all too often lost when trying to squeeze your own portfolio into some popular pattern.

Such pre-emptiness will of course increase the expectation to the appropriately titled successor "Bengalo" in the immeasurable. Even the first sounds should calm the inclined Empowerment sympathizers. Hard riffs straight outta stu york, beatdown, furious barking and gang shouts. Everything remains how it was there.

Even six years after "Gegen kult", empowerment left the musical paths it had taken at the time only marginally. The boys are by no means tame or quiet and the texts are still uncompromisingly written in German. In addition to the omnipresent, anti-fascist mindset and the ying and yang of interhumanity, the social shady sides of a republic, between the disenchantment with politics and the shift to the right, are addressed above all else. In terms of timeliness and relevance, the record can not be beaten and the variedly staged hardcore / antifa-punk hybrid sound whips the political message into the mind of the listener without too often citing itself. A special feature is once again the very distinctive voice of singer Jogges.

That "Bengalo" despite all musical and lyrical similarity to its predecessor album does not degenerate into a decal, prevent the guys through a very dynamic songwriting. The album combines hard mid-tempo numbers like the metallic opener and title track, impelling Chokehold bowing ("man to man"), punky-flottier pieces ("the söhnin", "connectedness") and empowerment-typical street tunes à la "stu york state of mind "to an equally coherent, as well as varied overall picture.

The whole thing is garnished with a few rap inserts and features. Particularly noteworthy is a German-language trap song titled "Mensch ist Mensch", which is both unexpected and appropriate in the center of the record next to the otherwise well-tried sounds. Even though the track certainly takes some getting used to and will by no means be everyone's event, it underscores the symbiosis of unconventionality and a solid ideological foundation through its appealing text.

Sound technically rumbles and groovs the plate damn high-class through the boxes without sacrificing corners and edges. Here, too, the balancing act between filth and appealing production succeeds effortlessly. With all the punk attitude you can not deny the guys a certain professionalism.

Even if "Bengalo" for me personally does not deliver a flawless hit like "Stuttgart asozial", should here anyone who is on Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags or Sick Of It All blind access. If you are curious or looking for the soundtrack to the next AFD counter-demo, you should definitely check the album stream or order the record or CD at End Hit Records. Stu york state of mind (*Review from HERE ).
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RED VISION























"stake your claim"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Richmond, VI
Label:  Edgewood
Format:  LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  26 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore














Red Vision coming in hot with their second release with Edgewood, This time their debut LP, which we are very excited for the world to hear. They are a five-piece band started in 2015, with some demos, three ep's and this full lenght album issued in 2018 through record label "Edgewood" on LP format and an edition limited to 500 copies (plus their digital format on Bandcamp).
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10.26.2019

BLIND JUSTICE
























"no matter the cost"
Year:  2019
Country:  US
City:  New Jersey
Label:  Edgewood
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  22 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore


















"Honestly, I don’t think much has changed in the band since Undertow," Blind Justice vocalist Mike Botti tells me a few weeks away from the release of No Matter the Cost, the follow-up to the aforementioned Undertow. Yes, it's been 3 years since their last full-length, and though adult responsibities loom large, Mike and company are fired up about their new Blind Justice material. "Personally, we’re a little older, a little busier with real life obligations but, we all still feel the same way we always have about Blind Justice and hardcore in general. We still love Undertow, for sure. Other than maybe being a little tired of playing those songs live, they’ll always be a defining part of the band". The sessions for No Matter the Cost were overseen by Dean Baltulonis (No Warning, Madball) behind the board. So, is he a taskmaster, or does the veteran engineer/producer take a more relaxed approach to tracking? "Dean is great. He’s generally pretty laid back as a dude. That being said, he definitely doesn’t let any bullshit slide as far as tracking. He pushed hard on the vocals tracks to make them as solid as possible. There are a lot of riffs with speed picking on this record and he drilled us on that kind of stuff. He wouldn’t settle for less than the absolute cleanest take we could get on something. Dean definitely pushed us to get the best record we could. He’s great at what he does." Mike isn't kidding. No Matter the Cost is a fucking monster and I'm very excited to bring you the exclusive premiere of a track called "Never Enough" today. Since No Matter the Cost will be a joint release by Flatspot Records and Edgewood Records, I ask Mike how the project initially come together. "Well, we had been talking to both Ricky (Flatspot) and Craig (Edgewood). When it came down to pick one to go with, we were all pretty split on it, so we decided see if they’d be down to work together." Democracy, folks, democracy (*Review by Carlos Ramirez ).
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10.10.2019

TIME AND PRESSURE

























"the gateway city sound"
Year:  2019
Country:  US
City:  St. Louis, MO
Label: Safe Inside
Format:  LP
Tracks:  11
Time:  22 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore















With a penchant for accelerated tempos and massive mosh parts, Time & Pressure share some of the same musical characterics that made bands like Count Me Out and Go It Alone so appealing back in the '00s. It's great to hear newer groups still mining from that sound and spirit and I'll always welcome it. 

Originally formed last year by musicians from such groups as Better Days, Perfect People, and New Lives, Time & Pressure's demo made a huge impression on Burt Jenkins of Safe Inside Records (Rejection Pact, Slugfest) who formed a partnership with the combo The label will be releasing The Gateway City Sound, Time & Pressure's debut EP, and No Echo is pleased to help present it to the world today (*Review by Carlos Ramirez).
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9.30.2019

STICK TO YOUR GUNS


























"true view"
Year:  2017
Country:  US
City:  Orange County, CA
Label:  End Hits
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  14
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Metalcore















After their release of the fantastic Better Ash Than Dust EP last year, many fans were anxious to hear what a whole new album would sound like after the landmark success of their last album, Disobedient, in 2015. Leading up to the release of True View, the band has played some impressive shows with bands such as Architects and Parkway Drive in the UK. Despite seemingly branching out into the metalcore scene with these shows, Stick To Your Guns remain rooted as one of the kings of the modern hardcore scene.

True View is the result of Stick To Your Guns compiling their musical experience into a defining record for a sound that they believe is required in current times. Comprised of 13 tracks, each one has its own message and feeling. When talking about the album, vocalist Jesse Barnett said it was, “inspired by innumerable conversations that I had with my mother during the hardest couple of years I’ve had in my life. The people I lost in my life, the mental and physical challenges I faced, as well as losing myself. I don’t know if it was getting older or the foundation I had built my life on cracking beneath my feet or a mixture of everything.” This idea of self-reflection is overtly evident throughout the record. Three of the tracks are named with the phrases ‘Penance of Self’, ‘Realisation of Self’ and ‘Forgiveness of Self’, demonstrating a journey throughout the album of self-discovery.

Musically, it must be noted that whilst Stick To Your Guns have gone the extra mile ideologically with True View, their sound has not changed very much. Compared to past releases such as Diamond, there is considerable musical variety however. From softer sounding, almost ballad-like songs such as The Reach For Me: Forgiveness of Self, to more traditionally hardcore songs like Cave Canem and You Are Free, this is a wide-ranging record for the band. As usual, their drum mix is perfect, constantly punching through and delivering breakdowns that can only be described as ‘ballsy’. On the subject of breakdowns, despite their progression in sound with songs like Forgiveness of Self, they still hit hard with punchy moments such as on The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: “Penance Of Self” with ‘now I must live with the hurt!’.

Barnett’s increased use of clean vocals on the album certainly pays off, with moments on 56 getting very catchy indeed, and almost sounding like new-era Bring Me The Horizon. Despite their efforts at putting a personal slant on the album, after listening to the Better Ash Than Dust EP many times and marvelling at the songwriting skill demonstrated on tracks like Universal Language, not many of the songs on True View leave the same impression.

True View is certainly a Stick To Your Guns record, but whether or not it’s a worthy spiritual successor of Better Ash Than Dust is debateable. In a genre with bands like Stray From The Path and Knocked Loose releasing albums that are heavy, incendiary and politically charged, it calls into question whether the messages portrayed in True View are what will really kick the hardcore kids into gear nowadays. What is certain is that any fans of the band will be very happy with the record – it’s Stick To Your Guns through and through. The band affirm they like bands such as: Ignite, Comeback Kid, Rise Against, Boysetsfire and Descendents (*Review by HERE ).
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"disobedient"
Year:  2015
Label:  End Hits
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  11
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Metalcore








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"diamond"
Year:  2012
Label:  Sumerian
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Metalcore








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"the hope division"
Year:  2010
Label:  Sumerian
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  12
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore








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"comes from the heart"
Year:  2008
Label:  Century Media
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  10
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore








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"for what it's worth"
Year:  2005
Label:  Sumerian
Format:  CD
Tracks:  16
Time:  40 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Hardcore








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9.23.2019

JESUS PIECE























"only self"
Year:  2018
Country:  US
City:  Philadelphia, PE
Label:  Southern Lord
Format:  CD, LP
Tracks:  10
Time:  29 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:        Metalcore
















Philadelphia’s Jesus Piece premieres their new single “Punish” through Cvlt Nation, as the band’s Only Self debut LP nears release later this month via Southern Lord. Only Self was recorded in Chicago at Bricktop Recording Studio with Andy Nelson mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege, and completed with artwork by Dom Pabon. With the premiere of “Punish,” Cvlt Nation declares, “It was a long wait for a full length from Jesus Piece. This record was absolutely worth the wait. Only Self is hardcore music at its finest. The songwriting, the metallic production, the lyrical content – it’s all so cohesive. When I first learned who JP was, I was glued to the internet for a few weeks watching live videos of a band that is uncompromisingly heavy. It’s a beautiful thing when a band’s live reputation stacks up to their album. This release is the next chapter in what will hopefully be a reign of unending terror for years to come.” In the hardcore punk family there are new bands such as: Incendiary, Code Orange, Harm's Way and also Jesus Piece.
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