Imagine, for a second, if Minor Threat didn’t break up. I’m not speaking ill of Minor Threat and I’m still a huge Fugazi fan, but for the sake of argument, imagine what could have been done if a whole batch of songs never got released and they explored new avenues within Out of Step. Wonder no longer. Umea, Sweden’s DS 13 play like a cattle prod to the soft and tenders; pure thrash, pure attack, pure attitude and it’s so forceful, it’s hard to think of them as any sort of throwback. And unlike Charles Bronson (another fave), these guys haven’t broken up. What’s amazing is that there’s no traces of metal, no traces of jockcore, no tiring, repetitive songs, just stab after glorious thrash stab without turning to blurry mush. Two minutes into it, you’re four songs on. I love it. Pushead did the cool kung-fu over skulls cover and if my sources are correct, the artwork cost almost as much as the rest of the CD, from recording, mastering, and manufacturing. If you like hard punk, you’ll have to be deaf not to dig DS 13.