Various Artists – The Extermination Volume IV

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Extermination 4

Various Artists

The Extermination Volume 4 - Flatspot Records

Flatspot Records, who have somehow survived the mean streets of Baltimore since 2004 to put out stellar hardcore albums, are back with The Extermination Volume 4. It’s a hardcore compilation not to be F’d with.

Extermination 4

Speed open up Extermination Volume 4 like a N.Y.C. pit being opened at CBGBs on a Sunday afternoon. One Blood We Bleed has Big riffs and Cro-Magesque vocals and it lands like bricks. This is angry northeast style hardcore jacking all the trademark tricks from the genre. The song is quick like a sucker punch from Harley Flanagan. Sydney, Australia, must see some ninja-kicking pits when this 5-piece band plays locally. I listened to this track on my 1000watt Yamaha P.A. system and in my Sony headphones. It sounds huge either way. This is a crushing way to begin this comp. The bar hasn’t been set high, it has been grabbed and you just got beat over the head with it and now it’s bent. You bent the bar Speed, good job!

London/Blackpool’s, The Chisel, are up next. I listen to this song with deep regret as The Chisel just played in Atlanta and I missed them. I don’t take this lightly, I’m bummed. The Punisher opens with bratty bright Brit guitar attack. The dual vocals just kill. It’s wide open. It’s an ungovernable force indeed. Frenetic guitar solo: check. I’m trying to decipher the lyrics and I hear the word fuck a lot. Yea, it ends with “Fuck Off…”. A roaring drum roll leads us out. This is old-school anarcho-punk just destroying in the modern day. Please come back to Atlanta again. Please.

The first American band on the comp is Chicago’s Buggin. And they somehow pick up the pace with their song Attitude. This song is Bad Brains or R.K.L. paced. The vocals are a bit more young and bratty sounding ala the late great Jason Sears from R.K.L. (who was born and passed away both in this week of the year). The song abruptly stops and kicks in with a tight yet wild ‘breakdown’ part. These cats labels themselves as hardcore party rockers. Next time Buggin comes to Atlanta I want to party rock with them. Buggin is on my radar now as one of my favorite bands.

Section H8 continue the increasing of the BPMs and beatdowns with an all out Slayer-like assault. The guitar solo even shreds. But make no mistake this is not metal. Quick spit lyrics and grunts and groans that just fire you the F up. The beatdown part is pure hardcore even with the again Slayer-like dual ripping and harmonizing guitar lines. The guitar solo at the end of the song is pure 80s Suicidal mania. Brilliant! This Los Angeles band is opening for The Exploited, Conflict and Total Chaos in L.A. soon. To be on a bill like that you better have something going on. Section H8 are not scared. I was in a band once way back opening for Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Corgan did not like us. He told drummer his drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who did like us, that we were “too macho”. Well we were New Order compared to these guys.

Back to the International scene with Bogota, Colombia’s Raw Brigade. Theyare up next with a cover song from 80s UK band Crux, Keep on Running; from the 1982 EP with same name. Vocalist, Carlos Chavarriaga, has one of the most passionate voices in punk today. This song is so punk minimalistic yet contains an immense amount of subdued passion. It seems everything about or from Colombia is beautiful and so is this cover song from Raw Brigade. If this band sails the seas to your shores you should see them. Di eso cinco veces.

Baltimore’s Jivebomb appear on this comp not only because they are the home team on this Flatspot Record but also because they absolutely rage. The opening riff is reminiscent of their old neighbors Minor Threat and their anthem Straight Edge. Tight fast drum rolls, always changing paces; listening to a Jivebomb song is a winding journey. American Rule showcases the many styles and talents this band possesses within one song. They groove from one part to the next smoothly. You can really get your skank on to these guys. The sky is the limit for Jivebomb.

Baltimore is represented again by End it. End It hits us with the song Familia Finito. Immediately these guys remind me of California legends Dr. Know crossed with Age of Quarrel era Cro-Mags. The funky drum beat, the vocals, the gnarly guitars, all very Nardcore. And I love it. Vocalist, Akil Godsey, has a little John Joseph (Cro-Mags) vs Brandon Cruz (Dr. Know) thing going on and in a great way. The twin guitar attack of Ray Lee & Johnny McMillion is just plain tight AF. I don’t know who is doing the guitar solos, but they sonically shred. These guys are all equally stellar and aggressive musicians. The song ends with a quick hardcore beatdown. If you didn’t know, Baltimore is a hard AF place actually, and End It and Jivebomb both represent it well. Great people gutting it out in a tough and passionate town.

Bay Area insane punks Spy puke out the song Mob. These guys must be very drunk or stoned or micro-dosed or they’re junkies. Or maybe if they’re really lucky a combo of those. The dirty rumbling bass from Thomas and slow methodical dark beat from Cole gets led into a faster part by feedback from some monstrous guitars courtesy of Cody and Drew. Vocalist, Peter, sounds like Barney from Napalm Death, although this Peter is not guying to save your life in a dark alley, this guy Peter is going to kill you or vomit on you trying. The song is short. I have no idea what was screamed at me. Spy are from San Jose? They sound like they are from New Orleans and tour with EYEHATEGOD. This band toured Europe…and survived? I wanna party with these guys! But not for like more than six hours. I’m old!

Law of Power from Los Angeles sound like a drive-by shooting. The track Nothing to Show is boot stomping, pit kicking intensity. These are the guys you see in movies set in L.A. doing bad things. The song was so short but so fucking good, I can only compare it to like maybe Agnostic Front’s Victim in Pain. The double bass assault on the drums is pummeling. “Wake up, sleep, intoxicate repeat! Oi!” This is the band you might be scared to meet in person. I don’t know what to say other than I will be listening to every song this band has out on social media later tonight.

The penultimate track on this nut-kicking album is M.A.D.’s  The Axeman’s Letter. This song is has a big reverb driven drums sound and a huge industrialist bass sound. Big down-tuned guitar leads soaked in chorus. A slow intro breaks into a galloping riff, then it takes off. This sort of reminds me of Monolith Deathcult or Entombed. The vocals are gigantic in a Fear Factory kind of way. This is a good song to mix into the rest. Hypnotic and emotional guitar solos play out the end of the song. 

The final cut on this juicy album is Choice to Make with the track Tryin’. A song promoting P.M.A. in this world of pressures. This band from Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, are a tight groove-driven bunch guaranteed to get the club rowdy. I wouldn’t under estimate this team. Choice to Make could be a focused and formidable opponent soon. It’s pretty infectious stuff and a great and lively way to exit this album and send the listener off in a positive manner. 

All in all I was not expecting or ready for this wave of great music to hit me. I’ve been introduced to, or been brought closer to, a variety of new punk and hardcore bands to follow. This is one of those albums you can listen to beginning to end and it’s all meat and no filler. It would probably take getting 11 different albums by 11 different bands to get one album with 11 songs this good. What a way to musically jump-start 2023! It may be The Extermination Volume #4 however it is certainly worth 5 stars.

Extermination 4

Flatspot RecordsThe Extermination Volume #4 is an epic journey into today’s most astounding hardcore. Get it now in a variety of sick colors on vinyl via Flatspot Records