The UK’s premier punk and hardcore label Boss Tuneage has just released a trio of records from contemporary bands whose history on the hardcore scene goes back 25 years plus, but shows there is life in the old dogs yet!
First up HDQ’s ‘Hand Me Downs’ 7” is the band’s first release in 23 years since initially reforming to play Rebellion festival. John Peel favourites back in the day when Extreme Noise Terror were on the Brits, HDQ were probably the first UK band to acknowledge a strong influence from melodic American hardcore bands such as Dag Nasty, 7 Seconds and Husker Du, and actually had a frontman who could sing as opposed to bark. 75% of the band went on to form the influential Leatherface with Frankie Stubbs when HDQ dissolved. This 2 track single, from an album to be released later this year, is a cracking return to form of that classic HDQ sound. Golly’s voice sounds more heartfelt than ever, and Dickie Hammond’s guitar playing is his usual trademark Ruts influenced stabs that launched a generation of bands in Leatherface.
Find HDQ on Facebook here.
Jaded Eyes from Leeds are another outfit whose previous work is littered with great punk bands such as Voorhees, John Holmes and even Geoffrey OiCott. Taking their name from a song by classic DC band Government Issue, it would be easy to think that this is the sound they are trying to create. Whilst I can hear some early GI riffing in their debut album, I am more reminded of another classic American band, perhaps because of the vocal style, in Articles of Faith and even Vic Bondi’s post AoF outfit Alloy. It’s melodic but hard and the lyrical content is angry as fuck. This is a great opener from a band in the ascendency.
Find Jaded Eyes on Facebook here.
Thirty Six Strategies debut mini-album is from a similar background to both HDQ and Jaded Eyes with its roots in classic melodic hardcore. Kirsty Harding’s distinctive vocal melodies overlay a crunchy yet chiming wall of guitars reminiscent not only of icons such as Husker Du and Scream, but also some of the mid 90s alt rock scene such as Superchunk and Seaweed. A combination of UK punk scenesters, including renowned biographer of UK punk and hardcore Ian Glasper, and newcomers to the scene this debut offering hints at a band who could appeal to a wide range of genres and marries the emotional elements of hardcore with something hellishly catchy and accessible.
Find Thirty Six Strategies on Facebook here.
All words by Peter Campbell. More of Peter’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.