Written by Ellis Heasley
Yo – I wanted to squeeze out one last edition of Please Sir, I Want Some Core before the end of 2021 to catch up on some more quality releases from across the core spectrum. You probably already know the drill – a round up of mostly short releases from bands who seem to have flown under the radar a bit this year. There’s loads of great stuff here, and if you’re looking for more make sure to catch up on our previous editions here, here, here and here. Looking forward to bringing more of the same in a slightly more collaborative version of this column in 2022!
FreeHowling – Journey Of A Dead Man
Released January 28th 2021
Having started out as a blackened hardcore band, Paris’ FreeHowling find themselves on something of a new frontier with Journey Of A Dead Man. Taking inspiration from some of hardcore’s heaviest hitters in the likes of Knocked Loose and Harms Way, this record is a total beast. There are sledgehammer breakdowns and fight riffs practically everywhere, and the four-piece do seem to keep some of their blackened influence in the EP’s general musical and lyrical bleakness. It definitely touches on deathcore at points too, not least in the brutal trilogy of title tracks that provide the record’s crushing centrepiece.
fromjoy – it lingers
Released July 16th 2021
Houston’s fromjoy have been quite prolific in 2021. Their debut full-length it lingers arrived in July, landing between two singles from earlier in the year, and an EP which followed in October. All those records are worth a listen if you like glitchy and gut-punching metallic hardcore reminiscent of bands like Vein.fm, 156/Silence and even earlier Loathe. As you might expect from those comparisons, there’s often a bit of a nu-metal bounce here, and the four-piece also move beyond the core essentials to mix in a range of samples, DnB-style breakbeats and dreamy electronic soundscapes for good measure.
deepincision – demo 2021
Released August 6th 2021
Following fromjoy as another Texas-based band with a lowercase name, deepincision slot nicely into that more revivalist-minded wave of metalcore/metallic hardcore we’ve had so much of lately. Their first release, demo 2021, comprises just three tracks and spans less than eight minutes, but it still makes an impressive opening statement. From chaotic flourishes, to Gothenburg-style riffing, to an abundance of skull-crushing breakdowns, the five-piece have all the essentials locked down. It’s all captured brilliantly by Brandan Lopez’s crisp modern production, while vocalist Sketch arguably steals the show with their aggressive and emotional performance. This is definitely a band to watch.
Living Weapon – Paradise
Released August 20th 2021
Featuring two members of Vein.fm (guitarist Jeremy Martin and bassist Jonathan Lhaubouet, this time on vocals), and mastered by the brilliant Will Putney, it’s no surprise at all that this EP is great. It’s a bit more guttural and beatdowny than Martin and Lhaubouet’s regular gig, but still has a lot in common with that band’s punishingly unhinged chaotic hardcore. Behind the kit, Nick Herrmann of Vomit Forth brings his metallic A-game with some seriously pummelling drum work, while bassist Justin Legere rounds out a solid line-up all-round. The whole record barely tops six minutes, lending itself easily to repeated listens.
Foreign Pain – Death Of Divinity
Released September 3rd 2021
As metallic hardcore goes, it doesn’t get much harder than Los Angeles’ Foreign Pain. Drawing comparisons to bands like Knocked Loose and Every Time I Die at their most full-blown shit-kicking, if that doesn’t get you interested then you’re probably in the wrong place. The five-piece’s debut full-length is often pretty bleak, especially on “I Thought It Was Me”’s pained tribute to a friend lost too soon, but there’s also some powerful catharsis to be found here. With ten tracks spanning half an hour, it’s the longest release on this list, but it still passes by in a brilliantly furious flash.
Hundreds Of AU – A Briefing On The Human Condition
Released September 7th 2021
Comprising former members of a host of New Jersey/Upstate New York bands, Hundreds Of AU offer a mature and expansive take on post-hardcore. Their latest release, A Briefing On The Human Condition, is a seriously weighty record. It drips with all the emotion of classic screamo, while often hitting with more of a sludgy force than one might typically associate with that scene. The lyrics match this force too, particularly on a track like “Ancestor Reality” where they remind us “We are unified in mutual destruction/Genocide at every milestone/We don’t deserve this place/We don’t deserve this love/We should be washed away”.
Zealot R.I.P. – The Extinction Of You
Released September 10th 2021
Uniting veterans from bands as varied as Combatwoundedveteran, Darkest Hour, Fairweather and Pig Destroyer, Zealot R.I.P. doesn’t sound too much like any of its constituent parts. Instead, the four-piece’s latest release finds them dealing in a raw and riotous brand of crusty hardcore punk that should go down perfectly with anyone who enjoyed that excellent Filth Is Eternal record from earlier this year. As you might expect from such experienced band members, this album is a total rager; a rock solid 16 minutes dripping with squealing feedback and stuffed full of Entombed-style buzzsaw riffing and blasting D-beat drums.
A Knife In The Dark – Somewhere Between The Pew And Fire
Released October 1st 2021
Another quality three-track debut release here, this time from North Carolina straight edge crew A Knife In The Dark. While its cover art clearly pays tribute to the legendary 7 Angels 7 Plagues’ Jhazmine’s Lullaby, there’s definitely an overall modern beef to this record. It’s also seriously pissed off, evoking the sheer rage of bands like Cult Leader and Jesus Piece to brutish effect. The guitars are razor sharp and the rhythm section hits like a tonne of bricks, with the band cooking up more riffs and breakdowns than you’d think humanly possible in the record’s tight six-minute runtime.
False Highs – The Hand That Feeds You
Released October 29th 2021
The debut album from Swedish newcomers False Highs feels a bit like what would happen if you took the emotional intensity of a melodic hardcore band like Defeater and embellished it with an apocalyptic weight more typically associated with post-metal. The vocals are especially savage, delivering unflinching lyrical explorations of mental health struggles with a world-ending anguish (“My demons have seen the worst of me/But I haven’t seen the worst of them” from second track “Ghost Of Burden” is a prime example). Combining perfectly with the bleak and dynamic music itself, the results are nothing short of devastating. Don’t miss this one.
Shackled – Doubt Surrounds All
Released November 12th 2021
If you’re looking for something a bit more ‘classic’, Doubt Surrounds All may be the one for you. It doesn’t exactly throw all the way back to the genre’s 80s origins, but it does evoke hardcore legends like Madball and Agnostic Front. Naturally, the aggro is often pretty high, especially on the chug-heavy highlight of “Our Home”, but there are also quite a few tracks that offer more introspective lyrics which explore struggles with mental health and isolation. Even with this heavy subject matter, there’s something typically motivational about this record that makes it the perfect addition to your latest work-out playlist.