Label: Deathwish Inc
The final album from Punch was the band’s best, and a highlight for modern powerviolence / fastcore. They Don’t Have to Believe is a short (less than twenty minutes!) blast of righteous feminist rage, that circumvents many of the conventions of powerviolence by actually having intelligent, mature lyrics, as well as songs that are actual songs rather than 5 second blasts (aside from, erm, the 5 second long title track). It’s an album that has lost none of its power since release, and that the band is no more is a real shame – though at least they went on to form other great bands.
The opening song to They Don’t Have to Believe is one of the best hardcore songs of any style you’ll hear. In the space of 83 seconds ‘Worth More Than Your Opinion’ rails against the way that judgmental views and comments, whilst worthless, are not harmless, and is incredibly empowering (“Not a compliment! No fucking thanks!”). Elsewhere, ‘Unconditional’ is one of the most mature love songs you’ll ever hear, and the central statement of ‘What’s In A Name’ – “You lost your battle / But in my eyes / You won the war” – sends shivers down my spine. All this is backed up by some of the greatest riffs and most dynamic powerviolence you could hope to hear. They Don’t Have to Believe is bloody brilliant, and I miss Punch.