Recommended by Chris Stamm
Thanks to the influence of speedfreak goofs like Spazz, Charles Bronson, and In/Humanity, the powerviolence heyday of the mid-’90s was always at least a little bit silly. Even Man Is the Bastard’s bass-heavy grand guignol was kind of funny. Despise You, meanwhile, was a brutal rebuke to anything resembling levity. The Inglewood band’s first life was bright and brief: a few splits with groups like Suppression and Stapled Shut and they were done. They never even played a show. The records, unbelievably intense documents of despair and loathing, were more than enough. Perhaps sensing that we all needed a proper soundtrack for our 21st century hellscape, Despise You reunited in 2007 and finally brought their bleak brand of super-fast hardcore to the stage. On their side of last year’s split with Coke Bust, the powerviolence pioneers sound as despondent and pissed as ever. Which is, in a weird way, comforting.