I fully admit that I went a little overboard making my EOY17 punk list. But... fuck it. It's my blog, and like any stubborn old jackass, I'm not making any excuses. I stand by every single release listed below. They all deliver. All the time. And I could easily have added more.
Antisect's new LP only recently arrived in my mailbox, and I'm still pondering how I feel about it. I've yet to hear the new albums from Hellkrusher or Extinction of Mankind in full, but the early tracks I heard sounded great. I only got round to listening to the full-length debut from Singaporean band Sial recently, and it's a riotous rawpunk release. And then, just as I finished this list, Canadian hardcore/noise punks Fragment dropped their new album, In the Dust, and the feedback-drenched tracks I've heard sound fucking incredible.
The madness never stops, eh.
In the end though, I thought a Top 20 punk list would suffice. But then, me being me, I decided if I was gathering 20 great releases, I could easily gather 30. And then I thought if I could easily gather 30 I could totally gather 40. And that's about the point where I realised that my obsessive compulsive list-making habits didn't need to become your problem too.
So 40 (or so) releases it is. And trust me, they're all magnificent. Especially the really ugly, ear-destroying albums that sound like they were recorded inside a rusty tin can using shit-caked cutlery for instruments. The rawer the better as far as I'm concerned. Blown-out audio is A+ in my book. And 'arguably horrendous' is essentially punk rock heaven for me.
Fingers crossed, you'll find some fresh discoveries on the list below. Cheers for supporting Six Noises this year. Have a fantastic festive break.
FYI: I know there's a fuck ton of unranked music here. Read the rationale behind my EOY17 list mayhem
ROARRRR and RAWWWWWW distortion (disguised as music). Mind-destruction via corrosive noise.
Impalers: Cellar Dweller
"Impalers have Sweden in their back pocket, the U S of A dripping down the back of their legs, and they use the designs that Anti-Cimex and Discard laid out to mop up the mess."
Pollen: Fear of Another War
The second EP from noise-punks Pollen continues their "relentless blown out mangel assault" with obliterating potency.
Napalm Raid: Wheel of War
Ripping heavyweight crust from Canadian behemoth. FFO of Doom, Extreme Noise Terror etc. Beastly, barbaric, brilliant.
"Swedish mangel maestros" deliver another raw, unyielding, and unrelenting d-takt assault. Hugely impressive.
Tarantüla: Weird Tales of Radiation and Hate
Rough, gruff and tough tales from meteoric Chicago, Illinois band: plenty of '77 fire in their bellies.
Kohti Tuhoa: Pelon Neljäs Valtakunta
Second full-length from blistering Finnish band ups the ante with a harder, faster, and even fierier album. First-class no-class raw punk.
Dagger NWI: Writhing in the Light of the Moon EP
An uncompromising debut filled with red-raw and rapid-fire analog hardcore. More old school than most old schoolers.
G.A.U: Total Mind Destruction
"Distorted, mutated and howling hardcore punk from contaminated Berlin."
Nasti: Big Achievements
"Churning mix-tempo hardcore punk with badboy breakdowns and subtly sophisticated change ups that will leave you scratching your sweat makers."
Asocial: Död Åt Kapitalismen
All-guns-blazing return from OG Swedish rawpunks.
Latest thickset and pulverizing release from brawny/crusty death metal punks.
CØNDITIØN: Subjugated Fate
"An exploded blister on the rotten skin of humanity ... a festering sore in the aural canal."
Howling raw punk: confrontational, savage, admirably obnoxious.
Eel: Night Parade of 100 Demons
"Violent and destructive ... a relentless barrage of noise-drenched hardcore punk ... an all out aural assault."
Phenomenally heavy blackened crust that "festers somewhere in the void between old school European crust, d-beat, and death metal."
Concealed Blade: S/T
Eleven tracks of no-bullshit, pummelling hardcore: "YINZ WANTED DA BEST WELL YINZ GOT DA BEST!"
Rats Blood: Ugly
"Six blasting tracks of Scandinavian influenced hardcore" from one of Ireland's most ferocious punk bands.
Brutal, burly and primitive punk: "culling lean inspiration from the well of early 80s Boston dirge, and late 80s NYHC beat down hardcore."
The Domestics: Cherry Blossom Life
Formidable third album from abrasive UK hardcore crew delivers "snotty, obnoxious punk rock played at amphetamine speed."
Krigblast: Dawn of the Apocalypse
Ultra-dark and grim metallic crust: "a perfect blend of d-beat catchiness with black metal bleakness."
Wolfbrigade: Run with the Hunted
Long-running Swedish metalpunk legends return with more ten-tonne crushing crust.
"Intense rythmatic aggression and delay-drenched vocals for the unhinged. Odio takes influence from the deepest darkest corners of 80s Japanese hardcore."
Haram: When You Have Won, You Have Lost
Stripped-down, rage-fuelled, primitive/deranged hardcore: "Haram stands out as one of the most culturally relevant, challenging and important bands in America."
Barcelona: Un Último Ultrasonido Nació y Murió en Barcelona
"Pure sonic nihilism ... Barcelona is a genius project capable of creating their own universe then vomiting all over it."
Svaveldioxid: Krigets Brutalitet
"D-takt mönster" featuring ex-members of Disfear and Warvictims; cue a bludgeoning and grinding crust onslaught.
Kürøishi: Poverty. Ignorance. Greed. Slavery.
Punk veterans from bands like Terveet Kadet and Deathchain playing dynamic and melodic "metal-tinged crusty hardcore": dark, bleak and mean.
Not A Cost: S/T
"Anti-colonial, anarchist, crust/punk from the un-ceded Lekwungen territories. Music to entice the collapse of civilization."
Hive: Parasitic Twin
"Combining the caustic, legendary Minneapolis sound of 90s crust with influences from Pacific Northwestern dark hardcore and Swedish d-beat."
Bad Breeding: Divide
"Bad Breeding have made a record that sums up these dark, dense and claustrophobic times": high-speed, remorseless guitars + bile-spitting vocals.
Powerful full-length from burly Greek crust band. Metallic, melodic punk FFO of Tragedy, Martyrdod, His Hero Is Gone etc.
"Heavy as fuck crust punk that will make you wanna raise your fist to the sky ... a sprawling and unforgiving opera that draws influence from legendary bands like Amebix, Antisect and Totalitar."
Permission: Contagious Life
"Forged in the tattered die-cut of the contemporary edges of hardcore, but thoroughly punching clear out of the factory."
"Listening to Glue has always felt like you’re standing next to a ticking time bomb ... this latest recording, with its noisy, everything-in-the-red mix, makes the band sound even more explosive."
Heavyweight d-beaten hardcore with a vicious crust bite. Featuring members from His Hero is Gone and Masakari.
偏執症者 (Paranoid): Praise No Deity
Short, sharp and raw hardcore from Swedish metalpunks: "a destructive vortex of violently roating northern winds, of headbanging chaos, and pure d-beat fury. F.O.A.D!"
Sect: No Cure for Death
Gigantic concussive metallic hardcore: stark, mean, and brutal.
TORTÜR: No Surrender, No Survivors
"Distorted magel noise" and bleeding-raw punk that's d-beaten to within an inch of its life.Mortal War: Gates of Hell
"Short, fast, loud, brutal, heavy, and obnoxious". Rotten and raging stenchcore: the best kind of sonic filth. Urchin: Peace Sign
"Rippin high-octane d-beat/raw punk done right." Suss Law: Business as Usual
Mind-destroying rawpunk that's about as beautifully fucking ugly as beautifully fucking ugly gets.Visions of War/Hellkrusher: Split
A double dose of heavyweight toxic tuneage from dog-on-a-string crusties.Glorious?: Neverending Butchery
More magnificently blown-out and ultra-harsh noise from Swedish rawpunk miscreants.
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.