Rotting Out, Street Prowl (6131)
The deafening buzz surrounding this Los Angeles quintet’s latest full-length felt not at all forced. After all, it’s hard not to get excited for an album as solid as it is true to hardcore’s past and present as this. A sort of playfulness and upfront appreciation for bass and, yes, groove differentiate Rotting Out from many of its joyless, ever-posturing peers. The opening title track sets this speedy fever dream of a record in motion, and no force can stop the forward momentum of slashing punk guitars, relentless rhythms, and rapid-fire vocals. Boasting one of the catchier gang vocal choruses of 2011, “Laugh Now, Die Later” challenges listeners to accept them for what they are, black eyes and scars, warts and all. Deserving of a wider audience than it will likely receive, Street Prowl boasts honest lyrics delivered over some of the finest hardcore I’ve heard all year. Cop this glorious shit.

(4.5 out of 5 horns)

Homicidal, State Of Mind (Eulogy)
While my colleague Vic Vaughn was quick to dismiss this band as “pretty standard stuff”, that’s likely because he didn’t realize the motherfucking pedigree. Far from new jacks, this NY-NJHC group features former members of acclaimed 90s acts Crown Of Thornz and 25 Ta Life. I wont hold it against Vic, though, since State Of Mind inconceivably came in under the radar with hardly any label fanfare. Still, if you’re familiar with either of the aforementioned, you know what to expect: unabashed thugcore. Snarling bangers (“Unbreakable”, “What’s Done Is Done”) and uptempo circle pit fodder (“Wonderful Life”, “10 Deep Breaths”) dominate the record–as they well should. While nothing here quite matches past glories, these scene vets haven’t lost any venom and deliver the proverbial goods.

(3.5 out of 5 horns)


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