For Fans Of
Fresh off the back of a great 2015, which saw excellent local releases from bands like Relentless & Born Free, Resist are kicking off the new year with a bang and swinging wildly out of the gate with Choke’s ‘Left With Nothing’. Hailing from Australia’s Central Coast and a self-declared “complacent local hardcore scene”, Choke formed in 2013 with the express purpose of playing vital and vicious hardcore punk, coupled with a seemingly no-frills attitude.
Everything about ‘Left With Nothing’, the group’s début album and first release with new vocalist Brent White, is played at a breakneck speed and with utter ferocity. While many of the 10 tracks on offer are under a minute, Choke still manage to convey a fair amount of messages and moods, on a record that never really comes up for air. Tracks like ‘Coward’ and ‘Head In The Sand’ walk the line between bleak and heavy, drawing clear inspiration from hardcore luminaries like Black Flag & Cro-Mags, while faster cuts like ‘Lurking’, ‘2 am’ and the manic album closer ‘Disposed’, pair caustic vocals with blistering drum blasts, in the vein of local acts like Extortion and Shackles.
However, Choke manage to save the real surprise for last, as ‘Disposed’ fades into the five and a half minute hidden track ‘Ambivalence’, which sports slow-paced, melodic licks, dive-bombs as window dressings, and a haunting riff that would sound perfect on an All Out War or Integrity record. The track itself fades out mid-way through its own length into a sample from the film ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, pairing ‘Left With Nothing’s themes of misery, paranoia and self-loathing, with the emphatic ravings of Al Pacino as Satan, and a line from John Milton’s epic, ‘Paradise Lost’: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
On ‘Left With Nothing’, Choke haven’t set out to reinvent the hardcore wheel, as much as push said wheel to it limits and thrash the living fuck out of it. This record is fast, furious and above all – fun. If you like your hardcore free of bullshit posturing, and heavy on the BPM’s, then ‘Left With Nothing’ will surely get you pumped on sticking it to the man in 2016.
3. 2 am
7. Self Doubt
8. Head In The Sand