This is not an album you nod along to while sitting in your bedroom with a comic book and can of root beer. No, my friend. You’re going to need some strong coffee and belly full of gravel to get through this compilation alive! If this is your first introduction to hardcore punk, buckle up. The music is abrasive as Lime-Away on your eardrums.
Granted, the album does not bring much new to the table. Though there are a few curve balls (see Truth and Rights below), listeners hoping for something that takes the hardcore genre in bold, new directions may be disappointed. However, that was likely not what Tripsquad Records had in mind anyway.
As the album’s title says, Just for Us Hardcore Kids is aimed directly to purists of the genre. What we get here is a sampler plate of the latest bands playing music that hits you like a brick to the face.
Though mostly refusing to stray too far from tradition, each band showcases a unique style which prevents the compilation from ever becoming boring. For example, entries such as The Carbomb Parade and Truth and Rights are more melodic and gang vocals-heavy, whereas Decimate the Living bring faster, more stripped down crossover thrash elements, and Pave the Way slog through with a much more brooding tone.
By far, though, the most surprising track is Truth and Rights’ “Chopped Up.” The song transcends strict hardcore labels, and focusses on a more upbeat groove, almost dipping toes into pop punk waters, then makes a dynamic shift into a repetitive, ambient chant over slow, noodling guitar riffs. Fans of H2O and Rites of Spring will surely find this track refreshing. I highly recommend checking out the band’s latest album Lies and Slights on Bandcamp.
Admittedly, a lack of diversity hurts the compilation, considering there is a distinct movement of outsider voices in contemporary American hardcore (see Sharptooth, for example). Ignoring this evolution within the genre paints an inaccurate picture of what today’s hardcore actually has to offer.
Yet as an introduction to what hardcore is, the album works very well. For fans of Agnostic Front, early Circle Jerks and D.O.A., Earth Crisis, and the like, who may be looking for newer acts with musically traditionalist leanings, this will also be a welcome addition to their music library.
As of July 21st, you can purchase Just for Us Hardcore Kids through Tripsquad’s online store, or request it at your favorite local record store!