S-21: Year Zero: 7”

This band has been getting a deserved amount of attention lately. They play dirty d-beat-inspired hardcore with a fair amount of grit. The presentation (aurally and visually) has a strong “I think I’ve seen this somewhere before” vibe and, while they certainly have dated influences, it’s clear that this record is a product of 2016/2017. The riffs are top notch and I like that they keep things mid-tempo, so the riffs are easy to catch in your head. The vocals are great but the lyrics are kind of hard to apply meaning to. This band talks about interesting concepts in their interviews but—like a lot of modern punk—the lyrics themselves are pretty vague and none of the concepts they talk about are really specifically referenced. I feel like if you missed their Maximum Rock’n’roll, interview you’d probably be lost on what they’re actually singing about. Solid release all in all. –Ian Wise (World Gone Mad, worldgonemad.bigcartel.com)