LIFE OF REFUSAL “Survival in negative“
I’ve always kept a special place in my heart for Life Of Refusal. When their first EP came out I was very enthusiastic about it, seeing through the unpolished edges a band that was really convincing in their own craft. Then, silence. In 2014 these guys released a 7″ EP that was nearly impossible to find in Europe, forcing me to listen to it on Bandcamp. Which means that I’ve listened to it a couple of times and put it aside. Then 2016 came and Life Of Refusal finally kick back, with a 7″ slab of vinyl that goes by the name of “Survival in negative” and puts the band back up in my top choices for the year. This is bleak, dark and, mostly, HEAVY powerviolence. Songwriting-wise Life Of Refusal stuck to the formula of their first EP, only enhanching the extreme edges of their sound and forcing some aspects a bit more. To me they sound a lot like those third-fourth-whatever powerviolence bands of some years ago, like Ultra Negative and Vile Intent, but with a pure straightforward hardcore approach, more in the vein of Weeken Nachos or early Hatred Surge. Long story short, this is a killer EP, with solid songwriting, simple yet addicting songs with the right amount of tempo changes, breakdowns and reckless accelerations. The monotonous voice only adds a curious vibe, sometimes not so far from early NYHC, sometimes (when Chris spits out words faster than a machinegun) an odd Rupture feeling. Extra kudos for the “Lucid fairytale” cover.
KUSIPÄÄ “Vittuun koko maailma“
This can be one of the simpliest reviews ever. Kusipää play some of the most pissed off hardcore that you can find on a record. That’s it. Hailing from Finland they don’t really stick to the classic Finnish formula, instead they opt for a more straightforward and linear approach, with a neverending pouding drums assault, raunchy guitar, a not-so-high-in-the-mix-but-you-can-feel-it-pouding-in-the-back-of-your-head bass and a very, very, very angry vocal approach. The Finnish school of hardcore is honored with the sheer amount of angriness that flows through this record, even if delivered using a quite simple music. Kusipää are not fast or ultra-noisy or too extreme. They’re like a rabid dog grinding his teeth, freezed on his legs but in full tension and with rage-spitting eyes.
I kinda arrived late on the Impulse train, totally missing the release of their amazing “Chula violence” EP a couple of years ago. This year I’ve bought the new 7″, “Backbreaker”, quickly getting a copy of the debut record. “Backbreaker” keep up the style of its predecessor, delivering a really, REALLY, fast of hardcore tinged with powerviolence. The obvious comparison would be Infest, with Coke Bust right after them, but Impulse made the great accomplishment of sticking to a classic formula yet sounding totally personal. The vocals are really cool, sounding really hard and pissed off without falling in the growl category, instead they are almost totally in the high pitched bark range, sounding like early Youth Of Today on a higher note. Musically wise Impulse are filled to the top with breakneck speed parts, tempo changes, breakdowns, stop-and-go’s and an overall feeling of urgency. This is hands down a keeper and will make all fans of the aforementioned Infest and Coke Bust, but also No Comment or Sidetracked, really really happy.