2019 was a wild year for me personally – it was a year in which I focused on doing what makes me happy. By doing that, I spent the year paying more attention to what I eat and drink, I quit alcohol (16 months and counting), I started going to the gym and while the results seemed slow at times, I am down 90 lbs at the time of writing this. I have a ton more work to do and I am far from finished. I also had a major life change when my Wife/Partner/Best Friend/Criminal Accomplice/ Editor of my poorly written articles, Jen and I welcomed the Heir of the GET INTO IT! empire into the world. His name is Leo and I hope he grows up understanding how important art, music and community involvement is. Enough of my self congratulations, let’s get to the tunes…
Wait, one more thing. I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to Dan Shea. The man behind the Hassle has given me a platform for my ramblings and a place to plug my videos. I am forever grateful to him, SOUTH SHORE FOREVER! Now, onto the tunes…
Every Winter is Cold – A New England Hardcore Compilation – Atomic Action
In the tradition of ” This is Boston not LA”, ” New York Hardcore: The Way It Is” and “Let Them Eat Jellybeans” comes this killer comp, just like the 3 classic releases listed above this record perfectly captures whats going on in the North East at this very moment. 18 tracks of hardcore/punk that covers every genre from Powerviolence to Melodic HC to a more Youth Crew sound. Almost every band on here is very active, and newer bands are equally represented along some more “seasoned” bands. This will not be the only Atomic Action release on this years list and it is still readily available so you should go buy it right now.
Chain Whip – 14 Lashes – Chain Whip Records
The band’s self titled ep made the list last year and they did not disappoint with this LP. The LP picked right up where the EP left off. Fast abrasive hardcore punk played the way it should be. These Canadians deliver 14 songs in under 20 minutes. I find the LP to be tighter than the previous 7″ and it just adds to the over all power of the record. The vocals remind me of John Brannon with a touch of California snotty delivery, mix that with fast driving hardcore punk and you really can’t lose. The band self released this and it is still available, don’t sleep on this barnburner. Still hoping for some East Coast USA dates in the future.
Restraining Order – The World is too Much – Triple-B Records
Another band that made the list last year and has elevated their game with an LP. An absolutley perfect mix of hardcore and punk on this platter. 11 tracks that will make you want to do everything from mosh to pump your fist. This mix of Western MA and Connecticut dudes also bring a really tight live show. Patrick does not stop moving around throughout the set and the energy really adds to the already fast paced nature of thr songs. Music aside, can we take a minute and just praise the choice for the cover photo? Looking at this immediatly brought me back to the pre-internet days of buying a record because you knew it was great based on cover art alone. BUY NOW!
Torche – Admission – Relapse Records
This is the 5th Full-Length from these Florida sludgemasters. This record is the heaviest stuff they have done, in my opinion. On past releases this band has had the perfect mix of heaviness and melody and with “Admission” they stick to the formula. I first heard Torche when I blind-bought “Meanderthal” in 2008 and I have been Hooked (pun intended) ever since. The sludgey driving riffs over the bass are perfect to just slowly bob your head to. I saw these guys at Great Scott over the summer and the set consisted of all new material. That is usually asking for trouble but they pulled it off. I needed a neck brace after just bobbing my head for the full set.
Plasticheads – Nowhere to Run – Ugly Pop Records
Super fast and wild garage tinged punk from Toronto. Mix early 80’s California sounds with modern influences and you have Plasticheads. In this day in age not too many bands are taking the classic sound and adding a twist to it insted of straight ripping it off. This was another blind buy based strictly on cover art and label and I am not disappointed by it. This group is made up of some Toronto heavy hitters so they know what they are doing. If these 10 tracks don’t leave you wanting more, you hate music.
Conmen – Get Loose – Rock’n’Roll Disgrace
Foot stomping garage punk rock ‘n roll. This record technically came out in 2018 but who’s counting? After a demo and a 7″ EP, Conmen are back with 11 tracks of feel good, party with your friends punk. Take the Ramones and mix it with the sounds of the Queers and Screeching Weasel and throw in a dash of newer bands like Teenage Bottlerocket or Masked Intruder and you have Conmen…but better! (well, I will put them in 2nd after The Ramones) I am not kidding when I say that I spun this album daily throughout the Spring and Summer. Grab this record and some friends and play it loud while enjoying life.
Protocol – Bloodsport – Dynastic Yellow Star Label/11PM Records
Super pissed and unrelenting hardcore out of Tallahassee Florida. This one sided 12″ contains 5 songs of pissed off punk influenced hardcore. I saw them play a show over the summer and was standing by the merch table to grab a record before the set was even over. You can definetly hear the D-beat influences throughout this record mixed with an early U.S. punk sound, enough to have you head bobbing or if you prefer, moshing hard with your friends. Florida has been a hotbed for hardcore as of late and this band stands above all.
Brother – S/T – Atomic Action
Brother are a power violence/hardcore band out of New Bedford, MA. The EP includes the demo as well as new recordings. 13 skull crushing tracks in all. I have seen this band play several times (still not enough) and each time they destroy everything in their wake. Whether it’s a huge room like the Have Heart reunion or a packed club like AS220, Heather demands your attention while delivering politically conscience lyrics over some of the most hateful and pounding hardcore you have ever heard. Absolutley 100% essential listening.
Wound Man/Regional Justice Center-split – Atomic Action
Wound Man hail from New Bedford and bring us some absolute neanderthal/cave man power violence. This is true hunter/gatherer music that is intended for the most hard of hardcore fans. 4 songs that clock in at about 3 minutes total and will crumble any rock solid foundation. Regional Justice Center are a power violence band out of Seattle. They deliver 3 tracks of pounding hardcore that deal with day to day struggles and frustration. Just like the flip side of this record, these songs leave no mercy in their wake. These 7 songs ALL on the same record are most likely considered assault in several states due to the sheer brutality of this slab, buy or pose.
Video Filth – Hypnosis – Dark Raids/Distracted By Reality
First release in about 3 years for these Boston D-beat punks. This was a surprise release and I snapped one up as fast as I could. 5 blasts of piledriving nihilistic hardcore served to you on this slab. This is a band that should be talked about way more in the Boston punk/hc scene. If you like you music distorted and hateful, this is for you, play loud and hard.
The Glorious Dead – Imperator of the Dessicated – Eihwaz Recordings/Bindrune Recordings
2 tracks of brutal death metal. I have started to dabble in these type of sounds over the last year and this release really stuck out to me. These guys hail from Traverse City, Michigan and only in the cold midwest can you get metal this dark and heavy. As someone who has cut his teeth in punk and hardcore I can easily see this band having cross genre appeal, huge riffs and driving drums can make even the soulless want to bang their head. The cover art for this is also amazing, a band that cares about having great cover art is a band you should pay attention to. A little bird told me that 2020 will contain an LP by these guys, if it sounds anything like these 2 tracks you will see it listed in my 2020 year ender.
Vantage Point – An Answer You Won’t Find – Triple-B Records
Boston and Straight Edge hardcore have been synonymous with each other since the movement started. After a lull in the 2000’s, Vantage Point brings it back with this release. 4 songs of not all too typical hardcore are presented here. Some will roll their eyes when they hear a band declare themselves as a Straight Edge band and they need to stop being dorks, this shit rips. These guys also grind hard putting on shows and playing out as much as possible. If sincere, driving hardcore is your thing, pick this up and room mosh.
Life Force – The Impact – Blind Rage Records/Crew Cuts Records
5 songs of meaningful pissed off Straight Edge hardcore. This band splits members between OK and TX. Similar to Vantage Point, this band carries the Straight Edge hardcore banner but without the stimga of mediocrity that has plauged the genre. These songs cover everything from mental health to avoiding the escapism of drugs and alcohol but done with an urgent passion and a dose of anger. These guys have signed on with New Age Records and I am excited to see what the future holds.
Axe to Grind podcast
3 dudes with long HC histories discussung everything hardcore related, entertaining and informative.
High Defamation Podcast
Eric delves deep into different genres of metal on this podcast. Packed with personal stories and information…this is a must listen for punks and metalheads alike.
Shining Life Press
From one sheet zines to full zine anthologies in bound books these guys do it all! This D.C. group has some big things coming up in the future, essential reading.
Carrot Cake Zine
Renee goes to a ton of shows, at these shows they draw what they see, these are turned over quickly into collections. It’s awesome to buy an issue and see drawings from a show you were at, sometimes a week or so before. The site has some of their art for sale as well, buy willingly and freely.
A professionally printed zine that covers both music and snowboarding. Stuffed with high quality photos and interviews, this is in must read territory. Hit up the site and sign up for a subscription, you will not be disappointed.
YouTube record collecting videos- This is a hobby I have immersed myself in the past few years, there is nothing more interesting to me than some old school record nerd chatter. Check out these users to get your fix,
- GroundZero Salem
- Eric Bauer
- Marty Worm
- Metal Theologian
- Dark Hymns From The Cold North
and of course
- Get Into It! with Jason Hook
Ceremony – In the Spirit World Now – Relapse
Siamese Twins – Listless/Second Skin – Self Released
Antagonize – Slip Death – Triple-B
Affront-Demo – Self Released
Gripe- Demo – Self Released
American War Machine – Unholy War – Bridge 9
Every Radio Raheem release
Every Painkiller release
Every Atomic Action release
Every Blind Rage release
Every Pummel release
Hardcore in general
See you next year!