Label: 783 Punx
There’s a lot of shit to get depressed about these days. Each morning seems to bring some new disaster on the news, and the world is turning in to an ever-more hostile place for those who are minority groups. As such, it’s heartening to hear bands taking an active stand against all the racism, sexism, and prejudice that is becoming more prevalent. On their new split, hardcore/crust ragers Herida Profunda and London-based powerviolence group Hello Bastards deliver a short, sharp blast against hate, and against those who stand idly by when cries for help are met only by silence.
Hello Bastards are out-spoken in their desire for punk to become a political force and to regain its outsider status rather than becoming another part of comfortable society. On their side of the split, they do so through vicious powerviolence, with most songs only lasting a handful of seconds. They’re far from one-trick ponies though, with the one-two of ‘Intro Hanyaterra + The Sweatshop System’ showcasing a band with a creative, as well as violent streak. Their final track, ‘Equality’, shows them at their best, mixing incredible aggression and speed with some catchy riffs, that’s made all the more effective for its short, slower section, and righteous anger that fuels the song. The lyrics are straight to the point – “Fight inequality and do it now!” – but that only adds to their sense of conviction, which is what helps make their side of the split so great.
Herida Profunda’s take on punk is a bit more grind, and crustier than Hello Bastards, but there’s still a lot of speed to their three songs, and just as much righteous conviction. ‘Refugees Welcome’ opens with samples contrasting the dangerous faced by those escaping war-torn countries with the empty, hateful rhetoric of Trump, and sets the scene for a song that lets those fleeing danger know that they’re not alone. There’s still room for out-and-out fun on their side though, with closer ‘Grind You In The Back’ being a hyperspeed cover of Motörhead’s ‘Shoot You In The Back’ that’s an absolute thrill.
At roughly eight minutes long, this split is pretty short, but given the anger and energy it projects, it’s hard to feel short-changed by it. It’s not the most novel grind/powerviolence record you’ll ever hear, but nor is it trying to be; it gets everything right that you’d hope these styles of music would, and tops it all of with lyrics that offer hope and support. A short, righteous blast of angry in times of darkness – something that I’m sure we all need right now.
Split is available digitally and on vinyl (limited to 617 copies) via Bandcamp.