I recently had the opportunity to check out The Godfathers of Hardcore, a documentary about NYHC legends Agnostic Front focusing on the lives of vocalist Roger Miret and guitarist Vinnie Stigma. Of course, you can’t talk about Agnostic Front without also talking about Madball, the band fronted by Miret’s younger half-brother Freddie Cricien, which began back in 1988 with a then twelve-year-old Cricien being backed by the members of Agnostic Front.
In an effort to look beyond the digital promo pile, I recently put out a call on social media for any bands or labels that were interested in coverage to get in touch. I mostly heard crickets, but I was also lucky enough to hear from Whammer, a new “blackened crust grind” band from Colorado, who sound lean, mean and pissed the fuck off on the demo tracks they graciously sent me to check out.
I wasn’t terribly familiar with Harm’s Way prior to getting the promo for Posthuman, but I was somewhat aware of the buzz their previous album Rust had garnered, so I decided to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Posthuman is a burly-as-fuck collection of non-stop mosh riffs mixed with electronic elements that wouldn’t be out of place on a late-nineties Godflesh record. It’s an odd combination to be sure, but I’ll be damned if Harm’s Way doesn’t make it work.
Ah, the intro. This is the part where most writers attempt to regale you with an account of the myriad ups and downs they experienced throughout the year. However, most writers fail to understand one very important fundamental truth: no one cares. So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of fifteen albums that grabbed a hold of my crank and kept on yankin’ in 2017…
For the most part, everyone already knows the scoop on American Psycho; after years of bitter legal disputes with Glenn Danzig, bassist Jerry Only was finally given the rights to record and perform under the Misfits name. Recruiting new drummer Dr. Chud and vocalist Michale Graves along with longtime guitarist/Only’s brother Doyle, the resurrected Misfits signed with Geffen records and released their first album in nearly a decade-and-a-half. End of history lesson.
Given how revered the Glenn Danzig-lead incarnation of the Misfits is and how few people had the opportunity to see them in concert during their heyday, it seems more than a bit unusual that there is only one official live album from that era, the rough and ragged Evilive. Thankfully, there are a ton of unofficial releases floating around out there, the latest of which is Wasp Queens, a full 1982 live set from NYC’s Irving Plaza with a radio interview from 1981 tacked on for good measure.
I can think of few bands that have managed to battle their way back from the edge of oblivion the way Sepultura has, yet get so little credit for doing so. It’s no secret that following a major lineup change, the boys from Brazil spent several years in the wilderness, but what isn’t talked about is their defiant return to relevance after many had written them off. Their comeback began as early as Dante XXI, but with 2011’s crushing Kairos they regained much of their lost footing, and by the time the woefully underrated The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart rolled around in 2013, Sepultura were once again firing on all cylinders.