O – PIETRA

O are a chaotic blackened post hardcore band from Biella, Italy.

My efforts to find out more about them (thought admittedly minimal) didn’t teach me much because I don’t speak Italian, just listen to the record, it’s fucking crushing.

 

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK

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USELESS CHILDREN – POST ENDING // PRE COMPLETION

Useless Children are/were (I’m unsure of their current status) a 3 piece band from Melbourne, Australia.

I remember the first time I saw this band super vividly. They were playing after a bunch of powerviolence/d-beat bands, I watched them setting up, their guitarist had a light blue Stratocaster and like 200 pedals, I remember thinking “the fuck is going on here” as he warmed up with a super bright clean tone (naturally said pedals did a lot to change this once they started). They didn’t really sound check, they just plugged all their shit in, drummer did a 4 count and they fucking destroyed me. POST ENDING // PRE COMPLETION has pretty much lived in my record player since it came out, I’m not going to pigeon hole this band by likening them to any others, just listen to the fucking record. It’s easily one of the best releases to come out of Australia, ever.

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOKBLOG

Also, their back catalogue is well worth checking out too and available from their bandcamp

DEADWEIGHT – OLD BONES

Deadweight are a metallic hardcore band from Melbourne, Australia.

Old bones is a heavy, chaotic two track record that I just listened to in its entirety three times and it became immediately clear that I needed to share it. While a few elements of their sound do remind me of other bands, I feel that Deadweight have an interesting brand of instrumentation that is truly their own. This is complimented by an overall feeling of desperation that I am a huge fan of, articulated both by their music and their lyrics:

Iron Wing:

Shackled tongue clamped to a bone,
A life mission holding me down,
an endemic vision, a malignant growth of change,

A burden and a gift
My curse of clarity
Sick with empathy

Chains of guilt cut through flesh,
Scabs of hope picked and bled,
Scars align.. Sickness, stronger than iron

Blood of vermin crawling through my skin,
The parasite in my wings, the scavenger of hope

Rise dear plague of flight,
be my dream and infect all.

Deadweight’s 2014 demo was also great and worth downloading, if these two records are an indication of where this band is going then I highly recommend you pay attention.

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOKTUMBLR

THE WRONGMEN

The Wrongmen are a long dead hardcore punk band from Auckland, New Zealand.

Like Strangers, The Wrongmen are another one of the bands that opened me up to another side of heavy music that I had not ever seen or experienced before. They formed in 2005 as the band Evil Priest was winding down and some of the members wanted to move in a new direction musically. Over their 2 year existence The Wrongmen released a CD and 7″, followed by a posthumous release including two covers (the integrity one is great) and a re-recorded version of No Heroes.

The Wrongmen played live like they were possessed, and the intensity and anger of their music translated well to their records. Though they only existed for a short time the impact that they made on New Zealand hardcore was both lasting and important.

After breaking up some of the members went on to play in Oilbarrons and Black Tuesday

BANDCAMP / FACEBOOK / BLOG

The Wrongmen’s discography can be downloaded for free from their bandcamp

STRANGERS

Strangers are a long dead band from Wellington, New Zealand.

The first time I saw them was in 2007, not long after changing their name from GSH or Guest Stabs Host, (their rational was pretty funny and still immortalised on the internet HERE) they played what was probably the heaviest music I had ever seen at that point and the lyrics read like poetry. At the time I was listening to fairly straight up hardcore but this was a gamechanger, Strangers opened me up to what would become a myriad of influential bands (a number of which the singer Rhydian recommended) and obliterated a lot of the (very uneducated) preconceived notions that I held about what hardcore was and what it could be.

It’s difficult to pick a favourite song but Mersault Blues was what sold me on this band:

Yesterday I killed a man, with the sun in my eyes and my feet in the sand.

It’s hot in my hands
but welcome to my cellroom:
it’s night;
a star-specked night,
and my mother’s death was out of sight, out of my hands and transient;
as fleeting as these starry lights.

I don’t need god,
I don’t need hope,
I don’t need anything from them but food and water.

It’s true that justice reeks of piss and being alone;
but I could die tomorrow
or maybe thirty years from now, and it’s just the same thing.

I lay myself open to the benign indifference; to my brother in despair;
to the folded arms of life.

And I shed no tears,
I speak no lies.
Greet me with cries of hatred at my execution. I want the world to watch me die,
to see my head roll.

A martyr to nothing. Nothing.

Strangers were an important influence to the generation of younger bands coming up in New Zealand the late 2000’s, they proved that it didn’t take open chords and breakdowns to make music heavy and if not for them I probably would have lost interest in local music.

You can download their discography by clicking the link below, all records come with a PDF of the lyrics.

BANDCAMP / DOWNLOAD

PS: Rhydians band that followed this THE BODY LYRE was pretty interesting as well, I understand that he features in the video below as a child on Welsh television…