Phantasm's debut EP is one of my fave releases of the year, from Melbourne's glorious Hardcore Victim label, in fact featuring one of the CEOs (Crust Enforcement Officers, lol) Bernie who screams with vitriol and this is the best Australian punk/hardcore 7" EP in years. The four tracks slice your head off as expected in a cunning way. Musically it is a distorted mix of Japanese and Swedish old-school crust mixed with really acerbic vocals that definitely give equal head nods to greats like Vice Squad, Witch Hunt, Appalachian Terror Unit and also local legends Outright and more recent bands like Krimewatch. The production is dynamic and instantly forceful in the best way.

The S/T track is the opener and the maddened tempo is perfectly balanced by some almost slower breakdown brilliance. The players are sharp as hell and the songwriting is spot on. Hence every track is an absolute anthem, Bernie's vocals often push against the instruments, not in an obtuse Converge style way more as jarring comfort that is magnificent. Bad Dreams is as belligerent and one constant is the bludgeoning drums across this release. How's this memorable lyric:

I am having bad dreams, Douse me in gasoline

Hectic and classic intelligent brutality with such shrewd lyrical content. Conflict Reality has incredible lyrics for the whole release as well as mindblowing art.

Hell yes, and a foldout poster that is getting framed 100%. No Peace is the anarcho-punk anthem you have always wanted and I adore the assertive vocals that are a perfect throwback to Vice Squad and even Naked Aggression or The Avengers, and if you know those bands that's a huge compliment. Plus that track is wrapped in dirty distorted bass, militant riffs and a warlike drum attack. On top of that is a psychotic pace and amazing song structure. The final track is the utter highlight of the release, Lie of This vigorously utilises all the previously aforementioned skills amps them up and blends them into a colossal nuclear weapon at your head. Bombastic drums are driving the whole track in a gigantic way and close it out so perfectly  Conflict Reality may only be less than 8 and a half minutes long, but it forcibly rams into your DNA the need for a full album from this crushing band. A confident, competent and stellar debut, it blew my head off and if you have a pulse, it will quicken it and demand more Phantasm, more more more!.
This is the best Aussie punk release in years, so don't miss out on this incredible release. 

Out now:

Have a listen/watch:

Get Antisocial:

The EP release show: