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Hardcore Punk

CVLT Nation’s Top 10 HARDCORE PUNK Records of 2023


SPAM CALLER is a band that can call me any time! Mark my words, HABITUATION EP is one of the gnarliest hardcore punk releases of 2023 — and this is a fact, NO CAP! Every song on this record is a FUCKING HUGE SCATHING banger and pushes my wig back with each listen. Do they sound sinister AF? The answer is a resounding YES, but they also pack this chaotic melodic gut punch that is the sweetest sonic pain I ever felt. Their song “WASTE IT” has an insane breakdown that makes me get my dance vibe on like Little Richard. The song “BREAKING GROUND-ROCK BOTTOM” will crush your skull and run over your bloody corpse after one listen. This band is heavy on Raging riffs and offers the world a healthy dose of RAW UNCUT FURY!

#9 STINGRAY Fortress Britain

Stingray’s new album Fortress Britain out now on LA VIDA ES UN MUS DISCOS is a blinding fucking good album that sounds UNREAL! What I love most about this record is how it makes me think about all of the global atrocities that have been committed by Britain in the name of the Crown. Songs like “Blistered Skin” hit me the same way that Crucifix’s “Skinned Alive” hit when I first heard it in the ’80s. As I read the lyrics of Stingray’s “Blistered Skin,” I can’t help but think about all of the Palestinian kids who are having their flesh burned away by Israeli bombs filled with white phosphorus. The putrid riffs of their song “Laughter” make me think about how Britain is at the center of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, because it was Britain who “gave” the Zionists stolen land — somehow in the discourse right now, the UK government has been let off the hook for their past sins!

Stingray’s songs are not easy listening tunes, and that’s why I fucking love them because they are weapons of sonic action aimed at our common enemies! Hardcore Punk is supposed to say fuck authority, and Stingray’s Fortress Britain does that and more! Respect DUE!

#8 ELECTRIC CHAIR Act Of Aggression

On Act of Agression ELECTRIC CHAIR are paying homage to the scrappy, scruffy roots of punk and we’re all here for it! This record sounds like it was recorded in someone’s basement and I can smell the sweat and euphoria rolling off it. This band is channeling the frustration of every generation as we stand at the crossroads of certain catastrophe and palpable blessings. The riffs reek of rage, the drums drip with destruction, and the vocals ooze outrage!

There was a time when the fear of nuclear destruction was so thick you could feel it in the your lungs and walked the streets. Like at any moment some ICBM would rain fire on your town and the troops would be thrust into action. Only they wouldn’t be defending the town they would use the melee as an excuse to rid their little podunk heaven of the “punker plague”. Those freaky weirdos with pins in their ear and stains on their gear. The ones that spray paint “Ronald Reagan SUCKS a big one” on the hoods of cars. The ones that don’t fit and don’t wanna…


Here is a question I have for y’all: Has the UK Hardcore punk band SPEW ever had a whack release? The answer is a HUGE fucking NO and I say that with my chest! Over the course of 9 blown-out Hardcore Punk anthems on PUBLIC ENEMY, SPEW shows the world that they can’t be fucked with — not at all! Just peep the opening song “RNS” and y’all will recognize that the humans behind this project are next fucking level. The above-mentioned tuned will drag all posers into the pool of their own insecurities to drown in their own self-doubt. SPEW doesn’t create songs they manifest these rage-filled soundscapes that are also moving to their own chaotic beat of destruction. As you tap into “ON THE RUN” you feel the feral majesty that is this band. The title track is a straight call to action. I want to say thank you to everyone who makes SPEW a reality because y’all create music that puts a smile on my black heart.


If we had the award for this sickest Hardcore Punk debut of the year, SLOGUTIS S/T would be the winner ALL THE WAY!!! Hot diggity damn, to call this offering UNREAL or Insanely Epic would be a mammoth understatement because this band deserves all of the props! They kick off the affair with the anthem “Incessant” which becomes Crust-laden party in your ears. What I’m super impressed with is how this band weaves this unrelenting melodic fury into every milli second of this tape. It must be said that SLOGUTIS has one of the gnarliest vocalists in the game right and their delivery is like no other! Blast their tune “Devils Breath” to experience their rad rhythm section that will make you want to slap the taste out of authority! Go there with imagine Death Church era Rudi Mentary Peni, Theater of Pain era Christian Death, Heavy Breathing era Black Breath, and Enslaved In Darkness era Stormcrow uniting to create a project — the sonic end result would be SLOGUTIS debut! This band knows how to manifest riffs of pure feral rage that are also drenched in empathy. I want to say thank you so much to the band for expressing themselves in such an honest and pure way. The final track “Doppelgangers & Ghoul” makes me want to release the bats while howling at the MOON!

#5 STIGMATISM Ignorance In Power

If you’re looking for hardcore punk that will blow your head off in short bursts of anti-fascist fury, then you’re looking for STIGMATISM! Ignorance In Power is here to free the streets and free our minds from a system that keeps us afraid and in check. This is what happens when NYC and MTL combine punk forces — groovy breakdowns, breakneck riffs, and vocals that feel like a fist in the face of oppression!

#4 80HD Destabilize

Holy shit, 80HD is fast as fuck and Destabilize has my head spinning like I’m possessed! It’s heavy but it makes me want to dance, it’s nasty but nice, it’s a nonstop hardcore punk parade trampling my brain. This record captures the contradictions that make us all get out of bed in the morning. From now on I’m waking up to 80HD’s Destabilize.

#3 GEL Only Constant

Only Constant finds Gel at the height of their powers, having lost none of the grit, edge, or bloodthirst of their early releases. The band, instead, has only gained more steam as the speeding locomotive of their career hurtles onward. Combining the sounds of early fast punk and hardcore of bands like Negative Approach, Black Flag, and Poison Idea with modern dynamos like Rat Cage, Pig City, Yellowcake, Peace Test, Restraining Order, Penetrode, and Exhibition, Gel’s songwriting manifests their resistance to easy categorization. Like most bands who don’t fit neatly into one category or another, who synthesize disparate and antagonistic styles, they are creating something new, something special, something true. Their recent output is pure catharsis, hitting the listener in the bile ducts in ways that most breakdown-reliant hardcore these days just cannot touch. Vocalist Kaiser really seems to have taken their role as a voice of the voiceless to heart, not so much singing as channeling the outrage, pain, and righteous indignation of so many of today’s wayward youths.

#2 DOG BREATH We Just Wanna Be Alright

DOG BREATH‘s WE JUST WANNA BE ALRIGHT is one greatest Hardcore Punk albums ever made!!! From the very first moment I heard DOG BREATH years ago, I knew they were something special — now I know they are beyond special. Imagine a Hardcore Punk album created through the lens of Public Enemy’s Fear of the Black Planet, Despise You’s West Side Horizons, Sham 69’s Kids will be United, and Crucifix’s Dehumanization, the sonic outcome would sound like this brand new classic! It’s not too often a band is able to harness their political power with all-out audio fury plus a HEAVY DOSE of melanated melody! WE JUST WANNA BE ALRIGHT hits like a hot summer day in NYC and has the spirit and joy of the West Indian Day Parade. WE JUST WANNA BE ALRIGHT is not about dividing the underground but it’s all about bringing us together.

#1 SPY Satisfaction

Oh hell fucking YES Satisfaction is pure HARDCORE PUNK SATISFACTION!!! Is there one wack song on this record? The answer is a mammoth size HELL NO, because it’s all fucking killer with no filler! The band was able to inject their studio recording with the same unhinged aggression of their live show. Real talk, I have been into this band since their first 7-inch and I honestly can say I’m a bigger fan NOW. What I love about SPY are the insane breakdowns that they unleash on the listener and they manifest these sonic spaces where only fury exists! They also know how to punch you in the gut with their feral use of melody and sonic tension. So here is the deal, blast songs like “Carceral Attitude” and you will be able to hear for yourself how this band shows the world how the Bay gets down. The vocalist’s barks are almost another percussion instrument thrown into the mix and are infectious in their own right! If I could turn back the hands of time so that 14-year-old Sean could see SPY play “Not For Me” live I would totally lose my shit in the pit! I want to salute this band for knocking out one of my favorite Hardcore Punk releases of the past decade! If you are reading this in the EU, the band is on tour now and they are next-level live. In closing, I want the world to know that Satisfaction possesses the Audio Super Power that will put a spell on you!

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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