Time to get your traditional tats out, cameo gear on and get into the pit! Breakdown heavy, angry vocals are all you need to be part of hardcore, DIY ethics through and through. Imagine the film Fight Club in music form, well that’s hardcore one of the many reasons I love this genre. (For those who are getting up in arms about bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat not being on this list do not threat, I will be posting a My Top 5 Hardcore Punk Bands up as I feel the sound has changed between the original hardcore artist and these modern ones.)
1) Trapped Under Ice – Clearly taking influence from the New York hardcore scene the band broke out of Baltimore to spread their mosh heavy hardcore all over the world. Their simple and addictive riffs will have you two stepping like a stroppy toddler for hours, from fast to slow it is easy to follow exactly what these guys are about. The short song lengths, barely touching three minutes, are a testament to how the band and listener gets everything they want out of a hardcore song in one punch.
2) (Old) Your Demise – I stress the old in this choice as their latest slightly pop-punky hardcore is a good listen but it’s their early material with George Noble that gets them on this list. The raw energy from the vocals alone are better than some bands in their entirety however when you mix this with the bands choppy guitar chugging and pedal smashing drumming you get a recipe for a great hardcore band.
3) Dead Swans – Brighton born hardcorers Dead Swans were one of the most chaotic bands around. Their fast and energetic riffs tear through each song alongside an eruption of vocals that spit out pure anger. It is easy to see why these guys were nominated for Best British Newcomers in 2008 by Kerrang! The band also released their split EP with post-hardcore favourites Architects which reveals just how much attention these guys pulled when they forced their way into the scene.
4) Brutality Will Prevail – The peaceful valleys of Wales aren’t know for the heavy sound of hardcore breakdowns but Brutality Will Prevail have proven this wrong with their fierce and aggressive music. Their mixture of slow chugged and quick outburst riffs makes for an arm flaying, spin kicking sound that is backed up by some of the punchiest vocals around.
5) Madball – Hardcore probably wouldn’t be what it was without these guys. Founded in 1989 as a side project to Agnostic Front this band still has that punk feel of earlier genre starters but contains that heavy breakdown that has become so key to the genre. A combination of less screamed more shouted vocals, something that resembles angry spoken word poetry, and chugged guitar riffs are nothing new but their dirty DIY sound is something that gives them such an hard hitting sound.
Other bands to look out for include:
Backtrack, Suburban Scum, Terror, Throwdown, Hatebreed, Turnstile, Harms Way, In Other Climes, Reign Supreme, Ringworm, Expire, Down To Nothing, Take Offense, Stray From The Path, TRC, Rotting Out, No Turning Back, Incendiary