La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]

Latino/Chicago hardcore act La Armada share the secrets to their uniquely ferocious sound, and their dual passion for music and politics.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

La Armada bring a passion and ferocity to the stage that’s rarely seen, even in the hardcore punk scene. Starting life in the Dominican Republic, they’re heavily influenced by latin and Caribbean rhythms, but they’ve since relocated to Chicago via Florida, where a love for thrash, hardcore and grind has galvanized their fiery sound.

To relocate from Latin America to the USA for a shared musical project shows overwhelming dedication but they’re not stopping there: lyrically they’re aiming to be a voice for those who don’t have one, in Donald Trump’s America. Musically they’re seeking to defy genres and leave their own mark on the world.

We spoke to guitarist Paul and bassist Mani to learn more about this unique band.

I was lucky enough to catch you guys live at Punk Rock Holiday last year – I was floored by your live show. What did you most enjoy about your time in Europe?

Paul: A lot of things! I think the biggest one is the passion people have for music. I remember walking around precisely at Punk Rock Holiday and seeing groups of people marching around between bands and just singing songs from their favorite bands from the weekend out loud, just excited to be there and to see live music. You really don’t see that level of excitement as much on the side of the world we live in. So, definitely the appreciation people have for live music is the top thing we enjoyed seeing.

Aside from that, the experience of traveling country to country and being submerged into different cultures, languages without having to stop at a crosspoint for borders was great. We are planning to be back in Europe in the summer of 2019 with the help of Epidemic Records from Italy, who helped distribute our new record out there.

You released Anti-Colonial Vol. 1 earlier this year – it’s a melting pot of aggressive, latin-influenced hardcore. It’s quite a unique sound. What’s inspired that combination?

Mani: Music is a quintessential part of latin culture and identity. Before we even heard of punk and metal, we where listening to Caribbean merengue, salsa and bachata, and these rhythms had a big impact on our early musical development. By the time we went over every sub-genre of punk and metal (from grind to thrash) it was almost like we where fluent in two languages.

I think our current sound is also a direct result of the process of migrating and relocating to the US, being detached from our friends and families for so long pushed us to find a way to musically reconnect with our culture. Continue reading “La Armada: “Furious Is Our Nature” [Interview]”

Exclusive: Haest Premiere Video For ‘I Didn’t Throw A Single Stone And I Still Got Pissed On’

South Coast hardcore punk act Haest burst onto the scene with their new video!

Shout Louder are proud to bring you the first single from new Hastings’ hardcore act Haest. The band have burst onto the scene with their first release: EP#1, which is available on Bandcamp for pay-what-you-want.

“I Didn’t Throw A Single Stone And I Still Got Pissed On is basically about lying politicians and the media,” explained vocalist, Dave Cullern. “Tricking people into being stupid or making stupid choices, like Brexit, Trump or being racist…. and the damage that does to the world.”

Or, as guitarist, Dan Flanagan, put it: “It’s about a cunt called Amber Rudd.”

Either way, pop this on your stereo, sit back and watch Haest blow up.

Like what you hear? Read our recent interview with the band here. Continue reading “Exclusive: Haest Premiere Video For ‘I Didn’t Throw A Single Stone And I Still Got Pissed On’”

Album Review: Rash Decision – Karoshi

“A pissed off, vicious slab of breakneck hardcore thrash.” FFO: Agnostic Front, Cro Mags, The Crumbsuckers, DRI.

Review by Ollie Stygall.

Have you ever been to Cornwall? I live pretty close to the border between Devon and Cornwall and go there pretty often because… Well… It’s like going to a foreign country without actually having to go to a foreign country! The middle bit of the county has been filled with nothingness with all activity taking place round the spectacular coastline. Maybe it’s the sea air, maybe it’s the surf culture that’s grown up around the county or maybe it’s the Cornish insistence that they are a nation in their own right that’s led them to adopt a different pace of life to the rest of Britain. Cornwall moves slower than anywhere else in the country… more relaxed and laissez faire. Almost like a county of stoners weaned on cider, pasties and putting jam and cream on scones the wrong way round. All this makes this new release from Rash Decision seem all the more incongruous as they deliver a pissed off, vicious slab of breakneck hardcore thrash that sits at odds with their surroundings.

Karoshi amounts to 14 tracks of kinetic, angry metal/punk crossover that, to my jaded ears, harks back to the New York hardcore of 80’s bands such as Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Leeway, The Crumbsuckers… etc. The guitars are violent scythes of noisy crunch, drums rattle along with plenty of double kick action and the vocals are throaty, larynx stripping rants. All bar three songs come in under two minutes and say as much as most songs far longer, being rammed to the rafters with riff after riff and breakdowns aplenty.

The angry intensity spills over fully into the lyrics. Lyrically, if these songs were to paint a picture of life in Cornwall then the county’s tourist industry would be fucked in an instant. This is definitely not a child friendly album as the band spit out profanity after profanity and cover pretty much every taboo word going… and I’m the kind of cunt that fucking loves shit like that! In all seriousness though, like many punk bands before them, Rash Decision cover much of the usual punk rock subject matter… Being slaves to the system on Salary Man and just generally getting fucked over by life. The thing is, these subjects never go away and will provide abundant subject matter for punk bands for eternity.

Continue reading “Album Review: Rash Decision – Karoshi”

Album Review: Youth Avoiders – Relentless

Like a perfect hit of potent espresso, Parisian hardcore act Youth Avoiders are the big name being whispered around the UK scene right now. FFO: Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys, having your mind blown.

Review by Ollie Stygall.

France may not be at the top of everyone’s list of punk rock nations. In fact, France probably doesn’t register on anyone this side of the channel’s lists as a music nation full stop. Aside from Joe Le Taxi by Vanessa Paradis… which was 30 odd years ago… I defy you to think of any internationally successful French musicians. It’s a tough task. Aside from some dodgy stoner rock bands and some actually pretty decent hip hop acts, it’s slim pickings on the music front for French bands in the UK. It’s good, therefore to see a Parisian punk band breaking down that barrier and crossing the water.

One of the first things you may think of when it comes to punk rock, apart from a relentless barrage of speed, is a wall of fuzzy guitars. This is where Youth Avoiders stand out from the word go. For the most part these guys keep the guitars almost completely clean, giving the songs a jangly, almost surfy edge which is extremely refreshing. Especially when coupled with their breakneck take on DC-style hardcore. Imagine the Dead Kennedys jamming with Minor Threat and you’re in the right ball park. Youth Avoiders trade an abrasive sound for something far punchier and it pays off in spades.

Musically this 11 track album sets out their agenda to get in, get the job done quickly and then fuck off again. They pretty much have one tempo: fast as fuck. Most tracks barely make it past the two minute mark, making it a brief but thrilling ride. Continue reading “Album Review: Youth Avoiders – Relentless”

MPF Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer [Interview]

Manchester Punk Festival Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer will be delivering some enthrallingly heavy D-beat crust.

It’s all gone a bit MPF mad here at Shout Louder HQ. There are so many great bands that we don’t know where to begin! To help you make the most of the festival, we have spoken to a handful of the bands we’re most excited to see. Even if you’re not coming to MPF, there’s plenty to learn and enjoy.

We will be posting every other day in the lead up to Manchester Punk Festival. Check out the full series here.

Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer

Wolfbeast Destroyer are one of the heaviest bands on the years bill of this year’s Manchester Punk Festival. They are a supremely loud, enthralling D-beat hardcore 5-piece from Boston, near Lincoln. We’re quietly partial to a bit of crust here at Shout Louder so we strongly recommend you check them out if you want your bones rattled and your blood boiled.

We spoke to Craig and DTL (guitars) to learn more.

Why should people come check out your set at Manchester Punk Festival?

We try to keep things heavy, we try to keep things fast and we have a stupid name. Why wouldn’t anyone want to check that out?

What should people do to prepare for coming to see you?

I don’t think it will take a lot of preparation, just have a drink and come party with us.

Which bands are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival, and why?

Speedozer and Regret, both great bands.

If MPF was the olympics, which festival sport would you win gold in?

Is eating chips a sport?

Propagandhi or Iron Chic?

It’s a mixed bag some of us like both, some of us like one and some of us like none. Hope that clears things up. Continue reading “MPF Band Spotlight: Wolfbeast Destroyer [Interview]”

Gig Review: Ill Guerra & The Domestics @ Fuel Cafe [10/03/2018]

A great night of hardcore held in a Twin Peaks-esque sauna in Withington. Support from Habits, Pat Butcher, Satanic Malfunctions and Social Experiment.

Article by Sarah Williams. Atrocious photos taken from my phone.

The main reason I relocated to Manchester was the luxury of having fantastic punk rock shows right on your doorstep, every single weekend. This particular gig, held at Fuel Cafe in Withington is a stone’s throw from my house, and is therefore the shortest distance I’ve had to travel to see bands since I lived on Camden High Street a decade ago. I’m living the dream.

MBBP have a reputation for putting on raucous live shows, always trying to pack six or more acts onto a short bill. It’s incredibly exciting to see a variety of hardcore punk bands from around the country playing tonight, including Welsh acts Habits and Social Experiment plus Yorkshire’s Pat Butcher and Satanic Malfunctions. The highlights of the line-up are reliably ferocious East Anglian act The Domestics and esoteric Spanish foursome Ill Guerra.

The room upstairs at Fuel is an unusual venue space: it’s a small room divided by an archway, with a stage painted with black and white zigzags. The night begins oddly, with Habits closing the windows and drawing the sumptuous red velvet curtains behind them to kick things off, like the band haev suddenly been transplanted onto the red room set of Twin Peaks.

Habits Live Fuel Cafe
Habits

Habits are a band that I would happily watch headline. They play dark, furious post-hardcore, buoyed by a lot of lush guitar tones and stormy chord changes. It’s like More Than Life, Have Heart and Defeater had a Welsh DIY baby. Nosebleed begins with a solid moody section but mutates suddenly into a much harder-rocking tune, before descending into a frantic, drawn out breakdown. Work is an indignant polemic, although the sound is ultimately positive. Other songs drift through themes of jealousy, sex and drinking yourself to death. The singer introduces each song by name and a brief explanation of the subject manner, which is super-handy for note-taking twats like me. Continue reading “Gig Review: Ill Guerra & The Domestics @ Fuel Cafe [10/03/2018]”

Gig Review: Corrupt Moral Altar @ The Star & Garter [09/02/2018]

A ferocious night of electrifying hardcore, with Boak, Gets Worse and Leeched supporting.

Review by Sarah Williams. Suitably crusty snaps by Dave Jerome.

It’s a small miracle that I make it to Star & Garter at all. I’ve been plenty of times before but I’m walking from a different part of Manchester, so I consult Google Maps to see if there’s a quicker route. There is! Or, well, it looks like there is, until Google leads me down an alley that has more in common with a motorway siding than a footpath, all mud, brambles and metal railings, to somewhere that is definitely not the Star & Garter.

Fortunately, I do know where the venue is, so I navigate blind through Mancunian highways and make it to the pub just in time to hear the soundcheck. Doomy bass rumblings tumble down the staircase under a howled, guttural mic-check. It’s already sounding beautifully bleak.

Leechers.JPG

Local three-piece Leeched open with a surreal salvo of window-rattling noise and the guitars proceed to squeal with distortion between every song. They drop into an onslaught of progressive, hardcore darkness that the fairly sizeable crowd is already enjoying. I don’t understand a word the singer growls, which is typically a good sign. The drummer is delightfully terrifying, corpse-pale apart from his facial tattoos, playing cloaked in a black hoodie, slowly shouldering his way through a feral onslaught of blast beats. There is an angry cry of, “Why are you not moshing, people? Please mosh for the next one,” which turns out to be a surprisingly polite request from a punter spitting into the stolen mic. Leeched continue to trudge through a catalogue of crusty dark metal that’s low and heavy, ending on a drawn-out decrescendo of six-string distortion.

Gets Worse.JPG

Gets Worse are up next, offering an assault of songs that are short, heavy and fist-in-the-gut ferocious. This heavy 4-piece from Leeds shake the room with supremely fast powerviolence sections, punctuated with low slow-motion mosh breaks that expertly build anticipation for the next attack. Above the patchwork of heavy metal shredding are caustically spat vocals. All members of the band contribute to this, but it’s the drummer somehow making time to tear words from his throat that offers the fiercest noise. They slide catastrophically into harder, heavier songs with a handful of quieter, bass-led pauses. The bleak crunch of distorted guitars primes the room both for soberly dressed, serious head-nodding and frantic elbow-smashing bursts of hardcore. Continue reading “Gig Review: Corrupt Moral Altar @ The Star & Garter [09/02/2018]”