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May Have Missed Volume 20

“May Have Missed Volume 20”. You know how this goes by now. The following slew of audio-focused, literary musings has been (predominantly) sourced from my cavernous part-time inboxes. EN, when it boils down to its plant-based barebones, is a spare-time hobby. I try to do what I can outside of my daily grind but as with all personal ventures, the hegemonic construct known as “time” ubiquitously conditions every sub-constructed layer.

The purpose of this series is to provide some varied new noise as an enticement to indulge in the plethora that is the underground music scene worldwide. Every week, music is released often unbeknownst to us, despite its status and ability as noise more than likely adept in releasing much-needed dopamine into our daily lives. Which ultimately means, that you may have missed more than just a few of those likely tuned towards your personal taste.

“May Have Missed Volume 20” consists of cuts from the inbox but also a few from outside of it. Enjoy!

Volume 19 and the past volumes of May Have Missed can be found – Here

Highway Sniper – The Great Satan (July 2022) (Hardcore Punk/Crossover Thrash/Crust Punk)

The more you read about the various wings of the contemporary US Hardcore scene, Cleveland, Ohio, raises its disgruntled head time and time again. Highway Sniper hail from that very locale and since their explosive entrance via the 2020 debut Greatest Hits EP and the aptly titled, sequential tirade known as, Greatest Hits 2: This Time It’s Personal, have become an essential part of this contribution. The band’s Hardcore Punk-Rock, riff-heavy barrages and lacerating Crossover Thrash are well worth the homework but it is with 2022’s The Great Satan that the band’s work reaches a new zenith.

Accumulating just seven tracks and fourteen minutes, the band’s signature intro eerily ebbs into the eponymous ‘The Great Satan’. Highway Sniper are noticeably tighter almost instantaneously after foreboding melodic strings allude to an incoming blast of streamlined Neo-Crust Punk that layers over the band’s adrenalized foundation.

Highway Sniper’s Hardcore is still fervent, but their conviction and earnestly forward lyricism is catapulted with a new contrasting charge comprised of a vibrant and varied efficiency. ‘Mission Accomplished’ merges the evidently greater production with their innate power in another hybrid of their work to date. Delicately layered melodic leads champion this new melodic direction whilst a combustive rhythm section alternates between an unobstructed pace and angular, Metallic Hardcore riffs that sharpen ever more until the end of the third bout.

And for the rest? Well, The Great Satan, is another release standing as indisputable proof that Hardcore can indeed be melodic without losing any of its potentcy, conviction or underpinning power-incarnate. Highway Sniper have far from compromised here. Their virulence still imbues every note and the penultimate ‘Two Gods’ and finalising ‘The Sacred Concept’ are pure-as-core proof. The Great Satan was released on Smartpunk Records.

Highway Sniper: Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Deezer

Chained Bliss – S/T (July 2022) (Punk-Rock/Garage Punk)

And now, for something completely different and in true “may have missed” style, we’re in Philadelphia for Chained Bliss and their 2022 debut LP.

Garage Punk has a certain charm, a rough cut, jangly Rock n’ Roll swagger that is one part Proto-Punk juxtaposition towards corporate Rock’s early land grabs and one part the embodiment of its belligerent child, Punk-Rock. Even as we near the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, the stylistic still defiantly grins, playfully present in a Punk scene that has and continues to shift in every which way. Chained Bliss are very much one in this vein and their debut from last year is an album basking in a gritty, writhing glory.

It is difficult to pick a specific standout point on the four-piece’s first opus. Lyrically direct, vocally rilled and beset with the aforementioned frenetic charm. The band’s Punk-Rock is far from complacent despite a strong, flowing continuity. Chained Bliss have an “energy well”, bubbling with limitless but well-orchestrated power confidently avoiding any risk of flat delivery. There isn’t a moment where banality, boredom or predictability are able to colour the album with any conceivable negative. Sharp changes in tempo and dynamic keep things as fresh as the grit-subsisting genre will allow, with wild and twisted classicist “guitar-pop” sensibilities and refrains permeating, hybridising and contrasting their innate Punk-Rock approach.

Or something like that, listen to Chained Bliss and check out Drunken Sailor Records.

Chained Bliss: Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / Deezer

Baseborn – Over and Out EP (July 2022) (Punk-Rock/”Ramonescore”)

Take the apparently indomitable Punk-Rock sub-variant known as “Ramonescore”, dust it with the tuneful, immortal life-Punk of Banner Pilot, add seasonings and comparisons of The Camel City Blackouts and fellow Texans, The Palatines and you have an idea of the recently returned Baseborn.

In July 2022 (again) with a personnel change and a proportionally-popped Punk EP I wish I’d heard sooner, Baseborn re-emerged after no less than twelve years had elapsed since their debut Behold in 2012. Thick, chugging guitar strings, quickfire arpeggiated chord progressions over buoyant basslines and playful drum beats, the band’s debut spun its intrinsic take on the tried and tested offshoot of the Ramones’ fateful sound charged with some equally fateful post-Green Day-isms suitably permeating it all at will.

However, though this concentrated genealogy still comprises much of the band’s tightly-wound wack, now, with Carmen Castillo owning drum duties with refreshing new vigour and Ruben Farias adding a crucial second guitar, the Baseborn of Over and Out is resolute in their pursuit of a more experienced but again sufficiently-popped Punk-Rock. The EPs namesake is the case study for the band’s reinvigoration from its refined body to its becking grin of a solo and triumphant dual vocal outro. ‘Soul Render’ compares to the melodic grit of the honoured Banner Pilot cut with a Skate Punk adjacent drive prior to when ‘Descend’ hits and confidently so, as a track devoid of any negative connotations attributed to the term “Pop-Punk”.

The band have more en route.

Baseborn: Facebook / Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music /Deezer

Scary Hours – ‘I’ll Meet You There’ (November 2022) (Skate Punk/Melodic Punk)

After a history of navigating Anti-Folk and acoustic-orientated projects, Ryan Struck’s proximity to the Punk and Hardcore music scenes broke from its confines, yielding what is now the explorative Hardcore project known as Scary Hours. With a vitriolic bedrock comprised of an overarching, hegemonic and contorted ‘core, Scary Hours’ work since 2019 has charted an unabated course through deviations, infusions and nuances of a spectrum that is ripe for twisting to anyone’s needs.

From classic DC Hardcore to melodious Skate Punk and of course, the lingering and often metallic influence of US east coast Hardcore, Scary Hours’ work is expansive beyond the confines of a release-by-release basis. In fact, you’ll often find the above as well as the likes of Crossover Thrash and Crust Punk cut with an almost blackened lacquer shift within a single track. November saw the project’s second release of 2022, outside of the abrasive and apoplectic, Symptoms Of A Modern Hegemony, alternate yet again.

‘I’ll Meet You There’ is a deeply introspective dive examining patterns of self-destructive behaviour and their proliferation, with a lighter, emphatic but malady-besieged clarity trying to gain a beachhead between the lines. Its frantic, unhinged tale is replicated through a multifaceted melodic Punk assault backing strained, resigned yet still desperate vocals imbued with a frustrated realisation. Scary Hours spool power through the snarling, cycling verses before dashing into a burst of harmonic, late ’90s techy-Skate Punk prior to the weighted rhythms taking resigned hold once again.

There is tremendous scope to Scary Hours and although ‘I’ll Meet You There’ is a clear swing in favour of the project’s more melodic influences, the fervour of said bedrock looms, omnipresent and in wait. Scary Hours is currently working with Pyrrhic Victory Recordings.

Scary Hours: Facebook / Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Deezer

Scatterbrainiac – Anti-Lethargic (July 2022) (Hardcore Punk/Groove)

Contrary to how it would seem, the near-entirety of “May Have Missed Volume 20” chronicling music from July 2022 is actually a complete accident.

However, it matters not, for the next entry from this sonically fortuitous month hails from Portugal, in the form of the shifting studio and live personnel of Scatterbrainiac. Held down by a voicebox also proficient in every instrument used to construct this writhing mass of scattered brain cells, Scatterbrainiac have enlisted the human drum machine, aka D-Beat Jim of NUKKE and GOLPE. Both names are to be added to your “to listen” list from now.

After a demo, an EP and an album comprised of organic, raw Punk-Rock infused with a maniacle Rock n’ Roll-twang and finally dusted with a playful Garage Punk grit, Scatterbrainiac returned in 2022. On such a return, the two-piece moved to accentuate and explore the existentially-frustrated Hardcore Punk that had by proxy, been ebbing from their work all along. It was only a matter of time before this cathartic, unbarred expression took hold entirely.

Scatterbrainiac take themselves as seriously as they don’t, with either end of this scale always presented in an unfettered extremity. The seriousness is juxtaposed with the silly on Anti-Lethargic. The band’s unapologetic Punk calls on and refreshes both early Black Flag and the Circle Jerks in a clear homage to the varying eras of either. See the contrast between the Black Flag-esque and frantic ‘Kick Your Boss’ and the namesake descriptive ‘Sluggish’.

Examples aside, these clever deep dives are present throughout Anti-Lethargic, often infused with and running alongside the fastest Hardcore and more of what bands such as the aforementioned gave to the latter-timeline worlds of Stoner Rock, Sludge and Grunge.

Scatterbrainiac: Facebook / Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Deezer

Crime Light – crime​/​/​shame​/​/​illumination (May 2022) (“Post-Modern” Hardcore Punk)

Finally, in this journey of music you “may have missed” and substantiating the argument that “new music” doesn’t have to be new in a literal sense, all the time that is, we have another contribution from Ohio to the world of contemporary Hardcore in the form of Crime Light. For an introduction from the band’s own mouth, I would implore you to read their Spotify bio. However, outside of that and primarily pertaining to this release, I’ll try my best.

On crime​/​/​shame​/​/​illumination you crash through an organic response to forty-plus years of Hardcore. You are not just doing this as a listener in a singular sense, you are doing this WITH Crime Light. As you’ll read in said bio, the band’s modus operandi is to be, effectively “pigeon-hole resistant”, which is something they do indeed manage. However, again, this isn’t a simple singular fold but two, with the second being, that though they have successfully done so, within seconds of ‘GIMMIE THAT’ and across crime​/​/​shame​/​/​illumination as a whole, you easily recognise the profundity of Hardcore history and find hooks (almost) pre-tailored to respective tastes. Whatever they are.

D-Beat, Metallic Hardcore and onward to dissonant Noise, Post-Hardcore and the rest, you can pick these elements from the Crime Light salvo as they fluidically twist and turn. Though, as you’ll expect by now, they are not defined by any of them wholly. Take the genre-bending ’27 Words’ and the caustically melodious closing namesake, ‘Crime Light’.

Crime Light have enlisted a timeline and contorted it to a beat set to their own personalised metric of time, rendering an outcome that appeals beyond rigid classification in favour of intrinsic balance. “Post-Modern Hardcore” indeed.

Crime Light: Instagram / bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Deezer

It’s been a while but here so passes “May Have Missed Volume 20”. I am still, for the most part, working through the backlog but in the meantime, there are hundreds of bands to discover on this part-time website, many of which stem from this series. I hope you find something you like.



Founder of Ear Nutrition, Matt is sadly over 30 and first cut his words writing for the now defunct site, Musically Fresh. He enjoys a variety of guitar-driven music but can usually be found navigating a web of Skate Punk, Hardcore and everything in between.