I love demos. I love their raw abrasiveness. I love their primal energy. And I stumbled over so many visceral punk demos this year that I decided to highlight the ones that hit home the hardest. So here's a lengthy list of the demos that caught my ear in 2017. I hope some of them (or all of them) grab your attention as well. Cheers for supporting Six Noises this year. And have a fantastic festive break. Ave Santa.
FYI: I know there's a fuck ton of unranked music here. Read the rationale behind my EOY17 list mayhem
Neck-wrecking, acid-in-ya-earhole hardcore from London band: I.N.T.E.N.S.E
Blown-out, barbed-wire hardcore from ultra-furious Florida crew.
Battery Humans: Demo
KILLER heavyweight crusty stenchcore from Brisbane five-piece.
ESCØRT: Demo 2017 EP
Down and dirty, like a pair of soiled undergarments in the gutter. Deeeeelicious.
Purple-X: Demo 2017
Mutant gloom-punk from twisted Oslo band.
Pobreza Mental: Demo 2017
Ohhhaarrghh: breakneck, brutal, and ultra-coarse hardcore from New York.
Decade: Demo 2017
Brain-bashing Canucks: as blown-out and raw as blown-out and raw gets.
Head Wound: Excessive Force Demo
Frenzied and feral d-beat from Melbourne, Australia horde.
Phlegm: Demo 2017
Blistering, titanium-tipped hardcore from Boston band.
TORTÜR: Demo 2017
Galloping, distorted-to-fuck d-beat from LA rawpunks.
Unsub: Demo 2017
Thickset and vitriolic hardcore from Singaporean band.
Terminal Conquest: Demo 2017
Burly and bruising stenchcrust from Portland, Oregon.
Pest: Demo CS
Scorching protest songs from Melbourne, Australia four-piece.
Blockade: Dead Beat at War
D-beaten "noisenotmusic" from burly Melbourne rawpunk band.
Rashōmon: Demo 2017
Turbo-speed Japanese hardcore worship from Washington, DC band.
Μάτι: Demo 2017
Crude and concussive hardcore from New York band.
Vile Sprit: Demo 2017
Bile-spitting and pick-sliding galore from NWOBHC mob.
Dogs Blood: Demo
Hulking, red-raw d-beat from Boston hardcore troupe.
Sial: Sial Demo
Full-bore primitive punk/crashercrust from Singaporean band.
Witchtrial: Demo 2017
Turbo-speed metalpunk from Washington, DC.
Prowl: Waging War Promo
Monstrous and heavyweight crossover hardcore.
HVAC: Mentality (Demo)
Sharp, spiky and fierce anarcho-punk from New York.
Mosquito: Demo 2017
Pitch-black and breakneck Satanic d-beat from Brisbane, Australia.
Status Noll: Demo 2017
Gloriously primitive råpunk/blackened hardcore: RAW + RAW.
Raw Peace: Hand of Death Demo
Crude, coarse, and noxious rawpunk from Ghent, Belgium.
Abrasive and ripping DIY hardcore from Singaporean four-piece.
Blackened neocrust and ultra-dark hardcore from New York band.
High-explosive and heavy-as-a-fucking-tank hardcore from US band.
Nekra: Demo 2017
"Moshy, loud, aggressive, uncaring, vicious": punchy hardcore from London.
"Brighton Hardcore channeling Boston, USA 1982!"
Headsplitters: Unjust Cycle Demo
Aptly skull-cracking d-beat and hardcore from hulking Brooklyn crew.
Gutter: Demo 2017
Bitter and bass-driven hardcore from Lille, France.
Naux: DEMO MMXVII
Ragged, ranting, and über-caustic hardcore from Portland, Oregon.
Steed: Demo 2017
Rough and ready motorcharged magnificence from Melbourne, Australian punks.
Phozgene: Demo CS
Rotten tracks for fans of old school / brute force ripper crust. Highly recommended! Vittna: Demo CS
Ultra-dark and dissonant hardcore from punk band out of Raleigh, NC.
I haven't sorted any of my EOY picks into a specific order. That’s because I’m not really interested in who’s better or who's the best these days. I don't feel any compulsion to studiously rank the music that matters to me. And the last thing that music needs is to be pinned to a board and scrupulously arranged like a soon-to-be-forgotten museum exhibit.
That's just me though. If you’re interested in debating who deserves the most critical applause or underground acclaim, then have at it. And have fun while you're at it. I just don't have a dog in that fight anymore. I'm more interested in simply sharing all the thundering noise I adored in 2017. You can pick the winners or losers. Trust me, you'll do a better job than me.