Coverings bands from the UK, Denmark, Sweden and the US, this four way split (released by TNS in the UK) is a snapshot of a thriving worldwide hardcore punk scene, and by fuck it stokes me out to see it. First up is the Mighty Midgets from Denmark, whose metallic hardcore (at times reminiscent of the Bones Brigade) will have batter you awake and have you listening from the start. Tinged by influences of thrash metal, 90s melodic hardcore, and topped off by the occasional NYHC style breakdown, this sounds to me like music should – played by fans - and finishing with a paean to the chronic, what’s not to like? This is followed by the only band whose material I actually knew prior to hearing this album, Manchester hardcore punk wrecking crew Revenge of the Psychotronic Man, with six new tracks about drinking, DIY, drinking, social issues, and nuclear apocalypse (including possible ramifications for drinking). This is proper breakneck speed 80s influenced hardcore that will have you buzzing to jump in the pit with beer in hand, but with a social consciousness that characterises the best bands of the genre.
Fist of the North Star have no intention of slowing things down, musically taking their cues from the Puffball/Zeke/New Bomb Turks school of hardcore rock and roll, but with a twist in the Maiden-esque guitar soloing over their gritty punk…pissed off, but controlled and technical as fuck, I have a feeling they would be mental live. Definitely a band to keep an eye on. Closing the split are Sweden’s Broken Aris. Playing a brand of melodic punk rock that would not sound out of place on an Epitaph compilation from the late 90s, this isn’t something I would normally go for, but there’s no denying that they can play, with their tracks sounding tight as fuck – and ‘I have bought a pair of sneakers they are pink and very gay but I am not’ is one of the best song titles I’ve heard in a long time! This compilation is definitely worth picking up if you want a glimpse into the worldwide hardcore punk scene as it stands today; and of course ya know it’s only the tip of the iceberg, so grab this, listen, then keep hunting out those gems!