Some of you may have noticed I’m sort of the resident reviewer of most things related to hardcore music at Broken Arrow. Though while I’ve been covering some of the bigger, more popular acts like Terror and Deez Nuts, a handful of lesser-known acts have gone unnoticed or without a review. So here is to playing catch up with a couple of EP releases I have discovered so far this year, and a couple that have only recently been released that deserve a lot of attention.
Belief System – Belief System
Release date: 4th April 2016
Formed from members of Hardout and Inherit, the south coast straight-edge act takes a lot of influence from both bands. The vocals and grooves are almost identical to the general swagger Hardout produced, though there is a fiercer spark in Belief System’s sound. This quartet unleash a heavier tone and aggressive attitude. The debut EP is four tracks long, with each song as a rather short burst of energy with the sort of riffs and beats that will invite all kinds of chaos from side-to-sides to 2-steps.
The only downfall to this demo is that it is less than eight minutes long. You get through it as quickly as you would with any Survival EP, though it does mean you can stick it on repeat several times on a journey. There are no stand out tracks, but this is a stand out EP and an impressive first release from the lads. It shows the UK hardcore scene is still thriving hard after countless bands are calling it a day.
For fans of: Hardout, Inherit, Trial & Error, Survival
Listen to: Stand Against
Dropset – No Gods Demo
Release Date: 23rd December 2015
London act Dropset are far heavier and more influenced by 90s metalcore and New York hardcore. The quartet unleash much deeper, crushing riffs to ignite all kinds of violence in a crowd. The vocals are really raw, throaty shouts, proper spitting words through gritted teeth sort of style. You can sense the angst that Dropset are releasing in these songs.
The great thing about ‘No Gods’ is that while it is heavy and angry in a similar way to the Deceit’s ‘Disconnected‘ that we covered at the end of 2015, it’s also not just full of senseless chugs. The grooves are fun along with the half-time beats, though sometimes ominous and tension building like in the EP opening track ‘Redeemer’, which mixes all sorts of heavy riffs and 2-steppy grooves to showcase everything that Dropset are about.
For fans of: Below, First Blood
Listen to: Redeemer
Beer Money – I Beerieve
Release Date: 5th March 2016
This is a fun listen. Essex based Beer Money are all about the energy, producing fast riffs, fast beats and a load of grooves with some great guitar solo like melodies thrown on top. ‘Only The Homies Know’, a track taken from the previous released demo ‘Take Ya Out…For A Drink’ is like listening to a crossover between Survival and Breaking Point. It’s not too dissimilar to Belief System.
This is the only EP on this list that is more than four tracks long, more like eight but the tracks are so short that the EP is over in seventeen minutes. ‘I Beerieve’ is a lot heavier musically than ‘Take Ya Out…For A Drink’ led me to expect the newer material might sound; the riffs certainly are a lot deeper. However, that doesn’t distract from the amusing and somewhat silly atmosphere that surrounds the EP, as it is laced with funny little samples of people talking and interludes of the band pissing about mid song.
For fans of: Hardout, Survival, Belief System, Breaking Point
Listen to: Only The Homes Know
Salt Wound – Headspace
Release Date: 17th April 2016
Salt Wound were so impressive at the Trapped Records all dayer in January that I’ve been excited for this release ever since. Straight away this is already miles better than anything Salt Wound have released before, based on recording quality alone. ‘Headspace’ also is on the heavier side – it’s rammed full of brutality and more ferocious raw vocals, yet still packed with grooves to dance to. It’s a package of many influences from various styles of hardcore, ranging from the brutal 90s New York sound to emotional melodic hardcore. Salt Wound even experiment with alternative rock too, it’s a pretty diverse mix but it’s not over done.
Salt Wound’s stand out track is still the self-titled track ‘Salt Wound’ with its slick opening melodies that build up tension before the intensity of the brutal riffs and chaotic energy burst throughout. Also the ending to the title track ‘Headspace’ is a real ball buster, where Salt Wound pull out some of the sickest riffs I’ve heard since the release of Broken Teeth‘s ‘The Seeker’ . Expect to see shit go off when these guys play.
For fans of: Breaking Point, Cold Snap, Bleed For Us, Cruel Hand
Listen To: Salt Wound