Punch

They Don't Have To Believe

Written by: PP on 18/12/2014 18:36:56

Throughout their short career Punch have already made a mark within the politicized corner of the hardcore scene with their hyper aggressive opposition to just about every injustice in the world. Feminism, veganism, straight edge... this band truly believes, so it's easy to take the allusion of album title "They Don't Have To Believe" to mean us who are outside that scene. If so, props for them for having an open mind about people who don't feel as militant about these issues as Punch clearly do throughout the 15 tracks on display, grinded through in just under 20 minutes at ridiculous speeds of visceral hardcore punk.

Fronted by Meghan O'Neil (who has since left the band), the first thing you'll notice about this record is her ferocious and ear-piercing screaming style, which is probably the rawest and most razor-sharp female vocal you've heard outside of Slöa Knivar and Beyond Pink. Melody is an alien planet as she lets her throat rip in what must be a painful manner given how her expression feels a little akin to being forced through an industrial lawnmower involuntarily. The aggression levels are absolutely insane as the band pummel through the 15 tracks with no mercy to innocent bystanders, ignoring just about everything else about songwriting in the process. Fine, you can scream like a tortured animal, and your band can play basic hardcore punk riffs, and you have a concept of sorts with the preachy choices of topic, but that doesn't mean you get to ignore basic elements that make a song good. This is simply sounding as brutally aggressive as possible for the sake of sounding ferocious and piercing - kind of like Every Time I Die though without the perfect control over vocals like Keith Buckley, and without their knack for understanding that variety is always needed even if you want to put bodies through an organ grinder for lengthy periods of time otherwise.

Here, Punch leave too much hanging on one horse, namely O'Neil's impressive rage which leaves many male counterparts behind. It's raw, it's uncompromising, and it is definitely as hardcore as the genre gets, but in a genre which has seen simply brilliant releases by even heavier bands like Madball and Bane this year, this pointless shrieking leaves next to no impression beyond shock value.

5

Download: Not Sorry, Worth More Than Your Opinion, Personal Space, Denial
For the fans of: Slöa Knivar, Trash Talk, Beyond Pink, Every Time I Die
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.08.2014
Deathwish Inc

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