by xjtx



PAINKILLER RECORDS has always been a record label I keep an eye on since the early days and this fact won’t change since I’ve been listening to one of their latest releases dozens and dozens of times on their bandcamp profile. AGGRESSION PACT first 7″‘s out on bandcamp since less than two weeks and this record’s already something I consider to be a hella 2015 release (like a lot of materials I’ll be reviewing today actually!)
AGGRESSION PACT are from Boston, MA and the first thing I can tell about this band is that they maintain Boston’s success in American Hardcore History – like mentionned on PAINKILLER bandcamp profile, a band “in the firing off rounds in the tuneful traditions of BGK, N.O.T.A., A.O.D. and other bands with acronyms for names.” Not forgetting an important detail: AGGRESSION PACT includes in his line-up members of several top American Hardcore bands from the 00s and the 10s (in my humble opinion): WASTE MANAGEMENT, GREEN BERET and MERCY KILLINGS.
AGGRESSION PACT’s sound is so closed to that Boston Hardcore tradition you won’t be surprised to meet both leather & spikes punx and more hockey jocks hardcore kids in their audience! Their tunes are like a call to action. Fast, short and very efficient songs, what would you expect from a good hardcore band?

NEIGHBOURHOOD “Forced To Fight” 7″

Oh my…
Stockholm Youth Crew’s back again. Posicore? Not at all. Just wanna throw my rage and smash someone’s teeth listening to that EP. Lyrics fulfilled with anger and frustration, I like when a Hardcore identity’s melted with a “Fuck You” punk motto. I think this record is all about that plus, somehow, how Linus shouts stuffs like “How could I be so blind caught up in a web of lies…” or “I try everyday not to lose my face Can’t shake the feeling that my efforts go to waste Sick of feeling that life is a burden at the verge of fucking exploding…” really reminds me of Ian MacKaye’s way of singing with MINOR THREAT (content and form), or a Shawn Brown full of anxieties… A guarantee of quality, in my humble opinion.
What I really like about this EP isn’t actually the reigning rage – it’ll be too easy! Despite the chaos, everything is in order. I trully consider each musician featuring in that record is showing high musical skills: it’s not like if NEIGHBOURHOOD actually tries to be a fucking copycat, so-called inspired post 1988 Youth Crew worshiper like plenty of bands I guess… NEIGHBOURHOOD path in Swedish Hardcore Punk – no matter how long it’ll last – is definitly a true and sincere demonstration of heavyness.
Last song “Brotherhood” is the jewel of the record and I have to admit: Emelie, your appearence on that tune is just awesome – you def need to start singing in a band like this!


LIFE OF REILLY “Break The Silence” 7″
Xpressions Records

This is what Ned, who runs Xpressions Records, sent me early this morning:
“LIFE OF REILLY is a band from Wilkes-Barre, PA featuring John Reilly (vocals), Mike Sieminski (guitar), TK (bass), and Rifkin (drums). They started in 2012 and self-released a demo. Their new 7” “Break The Silence” is their debut on our brand new label, Xpressions Records.”
If you’re into DISCHARGE’s “Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing”-era, that thrashy/punk sound which made of that record a legendary item for any hardcore/punk record collector, this 7″ is definitly for you. I wouldn’t say this is a tribute to that Clay Records/UK82 sounding style (it  reminds me a lot of early American hardcore punk – as mentionned on that bandcamp page: “They are a hardcore punk band akin to early USHC and that’s it. Their debut 7″, Break The Silence, shows the band playing authentic, unembellished music equal parts midwest and abrasive DC” – (“Our Time Is Now”‘s riffing seems inspired by the BAD BRAINS for example) but John Reilly’s voice definitly reminds of Cal’s!
This EP’s a killer one!

PURE DISGUST “Chained” 7″

Frenchies from DROIDxRAGE seem to love that young DC band! I even asked singer Rob for a interview a week ago.
Free downloads are over on bandcamp, and the band dropped a free download link on their Facebook fan page. Such babes…! This might explains that: these tunes are really cool. Really spring-like: have you seen that movie from 2009 “The Boat That Rocked”? There’s a scene when people are happily dancing in a park listening to “Sunny Afternoon” by THE KINKS. Well I want to listen and mosh to that record, bare foot on the grass of Bordeaux’s waterfront, wearing my camo short, drinking icy soft drinks with the too few straight edgers from the neighbourhood…
Pretty cool isn’t it?

STRAIGHT LACE “Strength In Numbers”

“2 high school weirdos from DC”
Man, if these guys were coming from an umpronounceable place of Eastern Europe I’m sure you’d figure these lads were actually playing some creepy lo-fi black metal… Nevermind: I actually think they would have not write stuffs like “2 high school weirdos from…” but a douchebague sentence kinda “From the darkest of northern shores…”

Forget about it: even if these two kids wrote shitty patriotic stuffs (scuse me I’m a leftist French dude: I don’t get national pride) on their Facebook fan page and even if the four songs they dropped on their bandcamp page sound a bit Oicore, they’re actually playing a pretty good music! In a way it sounds like a US VIOLENT REACTION with heavy metal solos like WARZONE’s ones!

SPIRITS “Discontent” LP
State Of Mind Recordings

SPIRITS definitly follow in the footsteps of early 2000s straight edge/Bridge Nine Records/Boston (where they come from) bands like HAVE HEART/VERSE (“Displaced” is just a magnificient tribute to the emotional parts of the hits featuring in both “The Things We Carry” and “From Anger And Rage”) and sometimes I can hear a rougher sound of early 00s euro hardcore bands such as NO TURNING BACK, or Toronto’s NO WARNING.
Since I know shit about them guys, I took a brief look on their Facebook fan page to see what are their influences. I red things like “Vegetarianism, Veganism, Straight Edge, Food.” Yeah, I like that kind of noble interests.
Lyrics mostly deal with life expectations with what apears to be – in my humble point of view – a realistic position towards the lack of understanding a “clear” mind can feel about living in our sick sad world (“Life Of Fiction”). For example, “Paid For Hate” speaks for itself. I mean, hardcore is kinda weird when you think of it: a lot of subgenres, tons of approaches and controversy, but in 2015 we still agree on police abuse (even AGNOSTIC FRONT), and SPIRITS does not differ from the rules: “A job is a job in this day and age, but no one has the rights to take your rights away. To serve and protect or hurt and neglect, supposed to keep us safe but strike fear in our hearts with every move we make. On any given night, walking down the street, they choose to stop by and sweep you off your feet, your face meets the ground, your jaw cracks in two, but that’s what “resisting arrest” gets you. Another high school jock becomes a cop, ready to smash your face for gender and race. No matter what you do, they’ll pin something on you, there’s no escape for irrational hate. You run and you run but you cannot win. Their final say the laws with them. You cannot reach for freedom of speech when the ones in charge won’t let you speak. There’s no time for wishful thinking in this state of social unrest. With bullets flying people are dying, live in the hands of a badge and vest. You have no say in when you walk away and if you do you’re “lucky”. One infrigement of what they said can leave you staggering or dead.”
Recently, a former student of mine told me he’ll try to succeed his application for local police forces. I figured that in a way, as teachers, street workers, educators, we sort of lied to this kid as that “serve and protect” motto is a lie too. Above all when I remind what a French south-east mayor told to his fellow citizens, with really choking billboards showing huge guns, that “Police Forces now have a new friend”. True story…
Anyway, I really like this record!

THE FLEX “Don’t Bother With The Outside World” EP
Lockin’ Out Records

First release on Somerville’s MA Lockin’ Out Records for my former 2014 top band from Leeds. They really well succeed to their challenge in 2015, namely: releasing a new record as good as their former one(s) if not better!
In my humble opinion THE FLEX keep maintain Leeds and English’s success in current hardcore punk. You may find a little difference concerning the raw sound featuring on their previous releases on Video Desease Records, Milk Run Records and Bleeding Edges which had forged the crazy UK82/Boston crossover sound characterizing THE FLEX identity but be assured that the result isn’t choking! On the contrary, it is well done!

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