When you think about the fact that in Australia, they’re outnumbered by insects and animals that can kill them, it makes sense that they’re a hardcore population. After all, as the legend goes: Thou is’t not hardcore…lest thou liveth hardcore.
You see it in their eyes and their horror movies; you hear it in their accents and especially in their music. Forget any talk of a “hardcore resurgence;” hardcore punk has always had a spiritual home in the land Down Under, and the genre has always been one of their major musical exports to the rest of the world. They’ve come a long way since the Bee Gees and Kylie Minogue.
Here’s 10 current bands in Australia breathing life into the hardcore genre in 2019. That is, straight up and down hardcore—rough and tumble, brutal walls of sonic destruction…
These are bands you might not have heard of, yet, but will absolutely be demolishing a venue near you in the not-too-distant future.
1. Born Free
Hailing from Melbourne, aka Rock City Australia, Born Free have begun drip feeding us with cuts from their forthcoming self-titled album, out June 7. “Burn” is the latest single to come from the band, and it’s a bone-shaking offering to the Gods Of Hardcore. With a crushing wall of noise from which there is no escape and lyrical content inspired by social issues such as global warming and perils of being human, Born Free embody the most authentic hardcore traits.
2. Cursed Earth
Even for the most dedicated of hardcore fans, Cursed Earth are absolutely savage. About as heavy as a freight carrier, the band have earned a reputation on Australian stages as one of the most brutal live acts going around, and this furious energy absolutely translates through their studio recordings. The West Australian band have funneled all of their rage and red-hot hatred into their forthcoming release, The Deathbed Sessions, which drops May 31. The album features vocals from some of the scene’s most brutal voices, including Kublai Khan’s Matt Honeycutt on “Fear.”
Tipped, torn and rough around the edges, Homesick are a brilliant example of the shape of hardcore to come from 2019. The Sydney-based band unleashed their debut album Terra Nullius in September, preparing them to absolutely dominate stages this year. The importance of this band and their album can’t be overstated. Homesick have a lot to say about a lot of important issues including the rights of indigenous Australians, as well as the whitewashing of our nation’s deep historical roots, all the while taking aim at the political powers that be and firing everything. If you like to headbang and think at the same time, Homesick are what you need.
4. Deez Nuts
Deez Nuts may have dropped their latest album two years ago, but Binge & Purgatory is an indicator of where the band are headed, and that’s full speed into the world of socially aware hardcore. Gone is the “All we do is party” vibe and the tongue-in-cheek content, leaving only honest, authentic storytelling atop a songbed of sheer chug. Deez Nutz have grown up, as it were. The hangover has worn off, allowing space for more clarity and wisdom from the Melbourne, Australia crew. Whatever the band are working on next will be nothing short of goddamn erudite.
5. Spitting Teeth
While there’s nothing to show you of Spitting Teeth’s hard work, the band are already creating some shockwaves Down Under. Rumors of vocalist Kayla Parish’s straight-up demonic stage presence has spread throughout Australia, all before the band have even released their debut EP, which, by the way, is currently being finalized. The band shared plans to drop it ahead of their first show June 30. Emerging from the local Sydney scene, there’s little (if any) doubt that Spitting Teeth will be our next hardcore globetrotters. Be sure to keep an eye on this band, as something wicked AF this way comes.
In a relatively short space of time, South Australian band Falcifer have thrashed their way to the forefront of the Australian hardcore scene, indeed pricking up ears all over the world as they did so. The band were a standout favorite from this year’s Unify Gathering for more reasons than just their performance. Prior to taking to the stage, Falcifer announced they’d be donating half of their performance fee to Australian equality charity Girls Rock! If there’s anything more hardcore than that, we don’t want to hear it. The band have begun teasing big things for this year, so sink your teeth into this cut from their 2016 debut, Theta, and brace yourself.
7. Caged Existence
Local band no more, Caged Existence are out of the bag. In the time it took them to release their debut EP last May, the band have already been called to Europe for their first international tour. Even just a few seconds into their new single, “Liar’s Tongue,” it’s obvious why—Caged Existence are brilliant songwriters and manage to stretch the idea of “hardcore” to its furthest reaches. The track will appear on the Melbourne four-piece’s second EP, The Burden Of Purpose, which drops June 14. Be sure to get your head around their debut EP, The Body Prison, well in advance.
Based out of Newcastle, New South Wales, Liberties simply don’t play by the rules, which is about as hardcore as it gets. Rather than waiting in line for their turn, the band kicked in the doors of the scene with a wild live show well before they released anything. Their debut EP, Broken, dropped this past April, but the band already had a worthy legion of followers. Brutal, relentless and melodic, Liberties are doing this whole “hardcore thing” their way: no pleases, no thank yous and no time to fuck around.
9. Cast Down
Cast Down started making noise locally last year, creating quite some buzz which they confirmed with the release of their debut EP, A Deconstruction Of Self, in March. The title itself—the concept of self-critiquing—fits perfectly with the spirit of hardcore. However, it’s the band’s meandering soundscapes and their experimentation that make them relevant to this list. Heavy is a state of mind, after all, rather than a tuning.
10. Sleep Talk
Colorful and vibrant aren’t words you usually use when describing hardcore bands unless we’re talking Sleep Talk. The band dropped their new album, Everything In Colour, earlier in the year and proved that things don’t always have to be so black and gray in this world. Australia-based Sleep Talk are deeply melodic and minimal. Rather than drowning you in power chords and distortion, they strike methodically. It’s almost as if every note, beat and word is of major consequence. This brutality comes largely from the subject matter: the bitter to their sweet visual element. There’s balance and purpose within the chaos.