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CVLT Nation’s Top 10 HARDCORE Records of 2023

#10 BUGGIN Concrete Cowboys

Straight up, I say this with my chest: BUGGIN’s Concrete Cowboys out now on Flatspot Records slams harder than 1980s SoCal circle pit and then some! I’m in total amazement at how this band creates these HUGE grooves that are laced with Pure Fury. Not only do their songs make me want to dance, but they also put a smile on my face because I feel the fun energy that was infused into these tunes! Vocally, Bryanna shows and proves on every song that they can’t be fucked with. As humans, this band has given a gift to the Global Hardcore community with Concrete Cowboys, because it’s that gnarly. BUGGIN’s music uplifts me on so many levels, and live this band is Freaking SICK! When y’all hear songs like “Get It Out”, “Concrete Cowboys” and “All Eyes On You,” y’all will realize that this band has created some of raddest Hardcore breakdowns of 2023. The amount of passion and love that BUGGIN put into this project is evident, and I respect that to the fullest! 

#9 MOVE Black Radical Love

MOVE’s new album Black Radical Love is radical beyond words!!! I feel so honored to speak on this record because it makes me happy on so many levels! Not only is this record HEAVY AF but everything it stands for I agree with 100%. Imagine if Dead Prez decided to flip the script and create a hardcore band, the outcome just might sound like Black Radical Love! MOVE has manifested a collection of songs that are creative acts of social change that can have a HUGE impact on the world! Y’all already know that we love this band. but I want them to know that I’m so happy that they exist! Our Hardcore Punk-Hardcore POC ancestors/elders are also stoked that MOVE BHC is on the move!


WTF the self-titled SUNAMI record out on Triple B is one HUGE Never ending sonic Beat Downs! The song “10 toes Down” is a perfect caustic example of how this band is a master at manifesting those I don’t give a fuck anthems! I love the way they weave heavy gang vocals into their songs that conjure up a rad atmosphere! Once the scathing riff opens on “No Heart,” you realize that this band is ready for all-out war! With all of the thoughts that are running around my head right now, I need to blast the song “Six” all day long! How can I not get hyped about a band that has no love for the cops, case in point is their song “Contempt of Cop.” SUNAMI album is an all-out soundtrack to the fury that is raging inside of me right now!


If you know you know that RABBIT is one of the sickest hardcore bands doing it right now! I write this from a place of celebration of the gnarliest and rawest passion! Imagine if Black Flag on acid (My Way era), Slayer (Show No Mercy era), and Scratch Acid came together to form a band, the outcome might feel like it does when I’m listening to the new RABBIT record Bardo. I’m fucking amazed at how this band is able to balance deranged sonic angst with off-kilter but on-point melodic audio filth. I challenge y’all to blast songs like “Tail Wags Dog” and “Manabinge” and tell me this band is not fucking unreal. There is no pretense when it comes to this band’s sound because every riff, bassline, emotionally screamed vocal, and pulsating drum beat is laced with devotion to the art of hardcore. Yo RABBIT – when y’all get a chance, come play Vancouver, BC, because I know seeing y’all live would be off of the hook! 

#6 HUMAN GARBAGE Straight Not Giving A Fuck

HUMAN GARBAGE speaks for the SoCal Hardcore kids from the struggle, and they don’t sugarcoat anything! They write incredible songs that jump out of the speakers and the energy is beyond intense. Straight Not Giving A Fuck is full of some sick breakdowns that keep me coming back for more. While listening to Straight Not Giving A Fuck, I feel like I’m blasting a brutal Power Violence LP, and at the drop of a dime, they sound like a Mammoth Beat Down Hardcore band. Their songs roll over your eardrums while injecting your soul with their pain. Damn, the samples y’all will hear on this album are spot on! I was Born X Raised in California, so when I bump “C.A. FIRST!” it hits a different. Big tunes like “Earn Your Respect” only make me respect this band more, and also remind me that I won’t give respect to anyone who has not earned it. HUMAN GARBAGE reminds me that we are not victims and we will not be victimized. Their songs uplift in their own way and this record speaks to the human condition we all deal with. This band is giving game to those who want to listen.

#5 KRUELTY Utopia

WTF I repeat WTF how fucking sick is the new KRUELTY album Untopia? Real talk, it’s way fucking beyond SICK! This record is an all-out sonic murder fest — all of the songs are highly addictive Death Anthems! The sound on this album is immense and unrelenting. KRUELTY has found the perfect balance between pulverizing Beatdown Hardcore and reeking stench-filled OSDM. Putrid tunes like “Reincarnation” will rain down tormented riffs onto your reality, while crawling under your skin with maggot-inducing melody. I swear this band’s music is so gnarly that it’s almost too hard to put into words! If all you want is thick basslines mixed with grim vocals and pounding drums, then Untopia is the record to deliver everything and then some. Honestly, I have been going through some heavy shit this week, but as I blast “Manufactured Insanity” I find myself gaining the mental strength I need to eradicate to destroy any self-talk that might come to mind. It’s been really awesome to see how this band has grown over time into the beast that they have become and they deserve all of the shine they get! Damn, KRUELTY has manifested one of our favorite records in 2023.


HC HC HC HC HC HC APEX PREDATOR has done it and released an extremely punishing new album called Jesus Wept. As they say, Respect Is not Given Respect is Earned and this band has earned my respect.! Every fucking song on this record is a beatdown anthem that keeps its foot on the necks of all weak hearts! Yo APEX PREDATOR if ‘you all are reading this HC HC HC HC HC HC y’all killed it! Respect due…It must be said one of my proudest parent moments was taking our kids to witness APEX PREDATOR do their thing live. When someone had to be carried out of the venue due to breaking their leg in the pit, our kids just kept watching APEX PREDATOR and did not trip at all! Once Jesus Wept is released on vinyl I will cry tears on HC HC HC HC HC HC JOY!!!!

#3 HARM’s WAY Common Suffering

HARM’S WAY new album Common Suffering is not only a straight banger from beginning to end but it’s the sonic medication I need to survive these mad times! They are a band that manifests tunes that go deep down into your mind where they become heavy beckons of light! I know for a fact their song with King Woman, “Undertow,” is one of the sickest songs of the year! I love the way that HARM’S WAY is able to blend Metal and Hardcore perfectly! It must be said that they are able to harness their rage and manifest a caustic audio atmosphere that is bleak plus full of hope. On tunes like “Heaven Call,” you will hear exactly what I’m talking about. What kind of riffs will be found on Common Suffering? You will experience riffs that suffocate you while also creating a force that will have you headbanging non-stop! What also trips me out about HARM’S WAY sound is that it almost has this industrial vibe about with these sinister tones that make me want to dance! Once you hear their metallic anthem “Terrorizer” you will realize that they are way more than a Harcore band! Real talk, this song slaps so fucking hard — imagine if NIN, Godflesh, Atari Teenage Riot, and HARM’S WAY decided to collab; the outcome would be this tune. I need this band to know that I have nothing but respect for them, and I know for a fact that they have created a classic album in Common Suffering.

#2 ZULU A New Tomorrow

I write this from a place of pure Black Joy. I write this from a place where Black Youth destroy all stereotypes. I write this from a place of knowing that Hardcore, Punk, Hip Hop, Reggae, Jungle, House, Blues, and Jazz were created through the lens of Blackness. I write from a place knowing that as Black People we have nothing to prove and it’s our time to celebrate and liberate. I write from a place of knowing that ZULU’s new album A New Tomorrow is one of the most important Hardcore Punk records ever created!

Over the course of 15 tracks, this band shows and proves on all levels! A New Tomorrow is brutal and at times it’s an all-out Rage affair, but it also packs huge amounts of SOUL. I love all of the songs on the record, but the glue that sonically holds everything together is the well-thought-out and passionate interludes. On no other record this year will you hear a band with a Curtis Mayfield or Dennis Brown interlude. Songs like “Shine Eternally” takes me to a place where I see my people thriving and loving themselves. ZULU is unapologetically expressing Blackness and celebrating their Past, Present, and Future on every track. I can’t front, “We’re More Than This” takes me back to the Good Life Cafe watching Freestyle Fellowship dropping gems. I want Dez to know that I really felt all of your lyrics and I love the visuals as well! On “For Sista Humphrey,” the band shows us how they can bring the ruckus, but it’s the outro of the song that has me saying, damn, ZULU can’t be fucked with!

#1 JESUS PIECE Album Title

April 14th, 2023 will go down in Hardcore history as the day that JESUS PIECE dropped …So Unknown, one of the hardest records of the decade! Straight up, everything about this record is beyond AWESOME! I feel honored and blessed that I got a chance to have an epic conversation with Aaron Heard of JESUS PIECE. It was rad that we were able to talk about everything from Hip Hop to Wrestling to Cooking to the creation of …So Unknown to why he kicked CVLT Nation interviews MOVE BHC”>Corey, which is out now on Century Media.

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