Various Artists: Hardkore Dokument #1 – compilation EP review – A snapshot of some of the best UK hardcore punk
Various Artists – Hardkore Dokument #1 (TNS/Kibou)
Pre-orders from 4th January
Released 1st February
Documenting UK hardcore at the close of 2018, this record shows the scene is in rude health says Nathan Brown
Well this pretty much does what it says on the tin. A snapshot of some of the best UK hardcore punk at the end of 2018, 5 labels have come together to ram 6 of the busiest bands on the scene down your throat in an unrelenting EP that clocks in at just under 9 minutes – just within the threshold above which a 7″ slab of vinyl loses quality. And you would not want to lose out on the quality that is presented.
The Domestics kick off with angry Essex man hardcore. With a full head of steam , they turn in a track that takes its name from the title of their last LP and sounds just a tad like Dutch band BGK from the 80s (side note: if you haven’t heard BGK check them out). Thrash monkeys Pizza Tramp have a touch of a US sound to their skate punk sound this time, and again I’m taking zooming back to the 80s, this time being unable to get Attitude Adjustment out of my head. They sing for many of us when they scream “The Only Good Tribute Band is a Fucking Dead One”.
The distinctive character of Grand Collapse is recognizable straight away. Intense, galloping and frantic while complex and simultaneously melodic. I’ve heard the name Wolfbeast Destroyer a lot but not properly checked them out…something this record has convinced me was an error. D-beat of the highest order. Full on meaty Discharge delivery with some cheeky yet short wah-wah driven guitar solos over the top.
With a driving riff, crew choruses, manic changes and a tad of crossover metal crunch, Rash Decision come at ya like a pirate ship mutiny. Are ye for the captain or crew? Which leaves Guilt Police. I’ve not been aware of this lot before. Vocals that are part crying baby and part demon mesh with an up-front distorted bass. Something of a lo-fi affair, the booming drum sound and extreme fuzz on the guitar are something I’ve not really heard since Chaos UK’s Short Sharp Shock.
So there you have it. I will not be drawn into choosing a favourite track as they all have their own styles, taking hardcore punk off in slightly different directions. That the UK can still produce bands this varied, and garner interest from labels in Germany, New Zealand and Sweden tells you that hardcore is alive and kicking….your teeth in.
There is a “limited edition” factor which will drive pre-sales: 150 copies are on red wax with the remaining 350 on black. The tracks are all new and exclusive to this release (although Wolfbeast Destroyer’s song has been available online). Each copy comes with a download code (a must in my book, other labels please note) so you can tear it up on the bus.
Words by Nathan Brown. More from Nathan can be found over at his Louder Than War Author Archive.