BARBED WIRES, THE: Self-titled: CD

Jul 21, 2023

There is a warp in the Scene-Time Continuum. It is now an undetermined year, and Radioactivity are on prime mid-2000s Jade Tree Records. The West Coast has wrinkled, and an especially gnarly skater can ollie from the down-stroked Portland of The Wipers to Agent Orange’s nervous-sweat SoCal surf. The good tracks have been extracted from every front-loaded hardcore classic (yeah, I said it), and ended up in… a Richmond, Virginia garage?! Barbed Wires are a bunch of Richmond punk vets, dudes from the Pink Razors, Strike Anywhere, and Cloak/Dagger, and you can hear those bands at work on these twelve songs—a blend of melodic hardcore, pop punk, and garage punk snot. Singer Jeff Grant is holding the long notes and finding hooks where others would shout. The riffs have thrust. This is an absolutely killer debut, butterfly effect be damned. –Chris Terry (