Halshug, hailing from Copenhagen, play their D-beat straightforward, traditionally and proudly. Their debut full-length, Blodets Bånd, sits somewhere between the territories carved out by Discharge and Hoax, respectively, with their fuzzed out energy cutting its way throughout the collection’s eight tracks. Apt, considering their moniker means “to decapitate.”
Their D-beat roots and “raw punk” proclamation have been done time and time again, to the point of over saturation. To their credit, Halshug aren’t a trio of Neanderthals banging instruments against their bodies, hoping the resulting sound is pleasantly grating. The eight pieces largely remain indiscernible from each other, with each boasting the same blood-spewing, fist-throwing power. Which, of course, is Halshug’s intention. The vocals are notably furious, barking like a militant overseer, while the calamitous, circle-pit churning of the guitars follows suite, gyrating like a cyclone resplendent in filth. The title track plays with daggers raised, with the intent for harm palpable throughout its length, the guitars steely hunger descending in violent, stabbing solos by its end. “Kvaelende Frygt,” the ending track, is particularly brutal, with its entirety dedicated to bombast, with the drums and guitar trading punches like a coordinated, though no less bloody, boxing match. Halshug’s destructive aesthetic is woven intricately, though bluntly, throughout Blodets Bånd. While not unlike many D-beat bands, Halshug pull off this thirst for mayhem with better concision than most, with this debut LP awash in blood, sweat and fear.
Halshug adhere to a style that remains steadfast in its roots, giving way for little room to grow or expand without extirpation from those genre confines; however, the embrace of D-beat, and abrasive music in general, is generous and welcoming to its fold. With Blodets Bånd, Halshug may not be amending any unwritten coda, but they are sure as hell providing exemplary reason to keep up the good fight.
Blodets Bånd is available now from Southern Lord.