Five things that did not suck in 2017

Regular readers of my hugely popular posts here at A&E may be surprised to discover that, despite my propensity for destroying everything Tony hands me to review, I do actually like some music. Just nothing that turns up here. Let’s restore the balance and counter dismay with enthusiasm, and in the spirit of the festive season, here are five demos I thought were brilliant and will make your dismal fucking life a little richer. You’re all very welcome.

Payday – No difficulty in placing this savage little deeemo at the top of my pile. Clevo hardcore like the Confront EP getting stomped out by the first Integrity 7”. Bare knuckle riffs over ponderous bass with tar caked vocals. This demo incites violence and fills my stupid fucking  head with destructive visions of feet first stage dives into the soft doughy faces of Posi weaklings or whipping a chain hewn from iron and smouldering brimstone above my head to clear dance-floors everywhere. Despite being from London, this is proper good.

Standpoint – Straight Edge hardcore from Manchester /Liverpool which, to these ears, invokes the spirit and sound of Uniform Choice and Can’t Close My Eyes era Youth Of Today. It’s aggressive and upbeat without ever becoming whacky like Justice or turning into a  cheesedick boy scout straight edge band like The First Step et al. Lots of Pat Dubar worship makes this a winner in my book.

Ill Natured – Ugly music for belligerent dickheads. These Australian curmudgeons were my find of 2017 with a three track tape that took the hateful nihilism of Think I Care and chained it to the bone breaking riffs of the Hatebreed demo, rolled it all around in a pit of glue and broken glass and sent it out into the world  to bum everyone out like an antipodean Tong Po. This music is raw and spiteful and thus speaks to me on many levels. They’ve a new album out in January and it will be my entrance music for all of 2018.

Guilt Ritual – Look man, I was a teenager in the 90’s. I held questionable values, I convinced myself that shitty metallic hardcore bands were actually good and I moshed like an ignorant arsehole. It was the best of times it was the worst of times. Guilt Ritual from Western Mass make me think of the better bands of those days and are the best metallic hardcore band you have never heard of. Here’s why jackass. They got those Disembodied discordant bits all shook up with cement mixer breakdowns and big dollop of Connecticut hardcore. This shit sounds like it should have been on the East Coast Empire ‘Harder They Come’ compilation. But is it as good as the Fury Of V/E-Town Concrete collabo from that same compilation? Is it fuck.

Shiners Club – Given my enthusiasm for their previous outfits, the new band from 411’s Dan O’Mahoney and Outspoken’s John Coyle was always gonna pique my interest. Sadly all to often these days old farts make much ado about ‘showing the kids how it’s done’ only to fall on their arses like a pensioner down the precinct on an icy day. Not so with Shiners club who take all those years in the trenches and strip hardcore puck back to its explosive molten core. This is like Black Flag/ B’last for the modern punk, all raw nerves, exposed muscle and ill feeling. A cathartic experience.

That’s all you are getting from me this year. I’ll be back in 2018 with more harsh truth and honest reviews that are sure to please everyone. Eat shit.

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