The last time I paid any attention to Australian Hardcore was sometime in the late 90‘s. I was at a H20 show in London when I ran into a chap from Down Under called Dan who was travelling around Europe with his girlfriend. He must have caught me on a good day because normally I can’t be arsed talking to anyone but we got to chatting and he clued me in to the scene in his homelands. I was already familiar with Ultimatum because my old friend Chris used to distro their MCD through his zine Clear Perception. Anyway this kid Dan switched me onto some raging bands including Pitfall, Arms Reach, Forward Defence and Mindsnare and I remember being stoked to discover that straight edge bros were raging on the other side of the world.
Anyway fast forward 17 years and a few of my mates have moved to Australia and woke me up to some of the awesome bands currently doing the rounds. Shout out to my man Peach from Controlled for the heads up on Sick People and Impact Zone because that is the gnarly shit I do like. Wild Colonial Boys is the debut 7″ on Lionheart Records from Impact Zone, the latest in a brace of contemporary bands plundering Boston ‘82 and mining the rich seam of hardcore gold they have discovered there. Not unlike UK peers The Flex and Violent Reaction, Impact Zone take a raw ,bareknuckle approach to their explosive brand of street level Oi! influenced hardcore. There’s no frills, no weak affectations or rock star pretensions just HARDCORE delivered with all the grace and subtlety of a steel capped boot straight to the chops.
For the feeble minded amongst you who constantly need to be spoonfed comparisons I would liken these guys to Washington DC herberts 86 Mentality with a bit of early Slapshot thrown in the mix. The riffs are hard and memorable and it’s got that cocky rhythm that puts a snarl on my face and a bowl in my step when I’m listening to it on my headphones. The intro to Sick To Death reminds me a LOT of Negative FX. Lyrically it’s simple and catchy with lots of street anthems, songs about being an outsider, sticking with yer mates and all that shit that the boneheads can’t get enough of. It’s rough and it’s rowdy and though some of his phrasing is a bit clumsy, I like that vocalist Anthony Pepper delivers his pavement poetry with a sneer and does not tone his Aussie accent down one bit, sounding not unlike one of those grinning outlaw bastards from Mad Max. But don’t just take my word for it, go HERE and have a listen for yourself, then follow the breadcrumbs via Controlled, Sick People etc and start educating yourself on the current heroes and past glories of antipodean hardcore.
Honestly though this 7″ could sound like a wasp moshing in a biscuit tin and I’d probably still give it a positive review just because Pepper and his mates like ALL the stupid shit that I post on Instagram. As you can see, my support is easily purchased.