Northern Hit Squad-Violence is Golden EP review by Mark J. FFO: Raging and brilliant Hardcore.


Northern Hit Squad-Violence is Golden EP review by Mark J. FFO: Raging and brilliant Hardcore.

Definitely one of the most energetic releases of the year. NHS contains key players from the hardcore scene, most notably AK Ray from Vietnom/Skarhead; so you know this is going to be a beast of a release. 1054 Records definitely has the major connections big time.

Northern Hit Squad is a Canadian-based band influenced by both hardcore and thrash metal founded by guitarist Ak Ray (Vietnom, Skarhead) back in late 2017. The group is rounded out by vocalist Psycho Dave (Brass Knuckle Therapy), lead guitarist DQ (Monster Voodoo Machine), and bassist Oleg and drummer Frankie Malta, both known for their work in Always Die Fighting.

"Violence Is Golden" is the band's 1st full EP after their Split EP with Born Without Hope back in 2019 via Upstate Records !!!

NHS are :

Psycho Dave - Vocals
A.k.Ray- Guitars
Oli - Bass
Frankie Malta - Drums
D.Q.- Guitar

Let's dive into the savage brilliance of VIOLENCE IS GOLDEN.

The title track is a warhead that kicks shit off with bigger sounds from killer drums and acidic riffs than a nuclear blast at your doorstep. And wow, what an opener and you feel the power of this band, mad lead vocals that are straight hardcore with the necessary gang vocals and a bass that shatters every window in your car. Every track on this release rips and these scene veterans make 3 mins plus fly by. And fuck me dead, they sure know how to pack so much audio content of the highest quality in each track. And the phattest breakdowns are aided and abetted by insane solos. Prepare for 5 tracks of unparalleled fun and quality. 

At its heart, NHS is a crushing hardcore band that embraces some thrashy influence in the finest manner-i.e. Agnostic Front, Biohazard and all the gems of proper NYHC, so there is a solid crossover feel mixed with all the aggressive shit any true hardcore fan idolises. Bad Blood is one track that would easily sit on one of Agnostic Front's finest albums; One Voice. There is just pummelling ruthless riff after another, the vocals are brutish and merciless, but so damn perfect. The flow on this track is so intelligent and destined to destroy most venues. Backing up the robust vocals and guitars are outstanding bass and drum work that sear you from the very start. These experienced players drive each song to the limit and add deep vigour and punch to the structure.

(I mean seriously WTF, check this flyer from 4 years back, says so much about the status of this band!)
Days of Darkness, what another huge track, again so damn hard to decide if the riffs or the vocals or what is my fave part-all rule. This track is grim and punishing, and ironically given that it has a line in it that says South of Heaven, this classic closes with the most Slayer-worshipping solo ever, man, this song is too much. One of the many incredible lovable things about this release is every track you want to play on repeat or on vinyl, you would keep flipping the thing, over and over, again and again. THIS IS OUTSTANDING HARDCORE, MY FRIENDS.

(Another killer gig with a sick lineup, coming up very soon)

Isabella loved this curveball- a super track that mixes Oi!/Streetpunk with old-school hardcore- this has marvellous backing vocals and wild riffs and that superb street punk feel I worship. Every track also has solid lyrics that fans like me that come from the old-school times when the internet wasn't our subculture. Well recommended!!.

Dead Inside is equally a definitive anthem, but this time a banger that relies on the call-and-respond type of vocal magic, and the guitarwork is like early Merauder or SOIA; deep, overpowering and cutting riffs that slice you up like pastrami. The chorus is my fave off this release, just gnarly and off the chart great. The cheesy solo at the end is tense and has such nasty bass brilliance. Fuck me dead, what a band!!.

Freedom is the nifty closing track, it starts like a wild serial killer soundtrack from the '90s then has grim and raw quite metal vocals mixed with gruelling guitars. This is damn groovy and whilst slightly slower in tempo, the riffs are so punishing and quite Slayer or Obituary-like(no complaints from me) and there is even some excellent Exodus style on this vocally. Again, not sure how they do this, but this is one monstrously powerful band. 

No weak shit and this is hardcore/crossover perfection, grab this asap!.

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