San Jose hardcore bands Gulch and Sunami (who share members) have released a new split EP on Triple B Records, with two new ragers from each band. Like on their excellent 2020 album Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress, Gulch offer up evil metallic riffage, drums that speed by with a peppy punk hop, and screams that sound like vocalist Elliot Morrow is gargling lava. Sunami continue down the path of last year’s self-titled EP with a more traditional hardcore bark and thick, bludgeoning, metallic hardcore riffs. The whole thing absolutely rips and you can stream it below.
Sunami’s songs serve as a teaser for their upcoming debut LP, which is due out on Triple B this year, so stay tuned for that.
Best Punk/Hardcore/Emo/etc Albums of 2020
20. Envy – The Fallen Crimson
19. War On Women – Wonderfull Hell
18. The Suicide Machines – Revolution Spring
17. Svalbard – When I Die, Will It Get Better?
16. Mil-Spec – World House
15. Call Me Malcolm – My, Myself and Something Else
14. Soul Glo – Songs to Yeet at the Sun
13. Respire – Black Line
12. Ska Against Racism
In 1998, Mike Park put on the Ska Against Racism tour with the goal of bringing back the anti-racist politics of ska at the height of the genre's mainstream success in America. "I felt like [ska] was becoming so manufactured as this fun wacky circus music and the original politics were gone from the 2 tone movement," Mike told us earlier this year. "The whole 2 tone idea is black and white equality. Did kids even know that?" Now, 22 years later and with the help of Bad Time Records and Ska Punk Daily, the Ska Against Racism name was revived for a new 28-song compilation featuring some of the bands from the original tour (Less Than Jake, Mustard Plug, Five Iron Frenzy, and MU330) alongside other veterans (Tim Armstrong/Jesse Michaels, The Suicide Machines, The Chinkees, Hepcat, Buck O' Nine, Left Alone, Big D and the Kids Table, etc) and a slew of newer bands who are keeping ska alive today (Kill Lincoln, We Are The Union, JER, Catbite, The Best of the Worst, Omnigone, The Skints, The Interrupters, Half Past Two, Bite Me Bambi, etc). It not only connects the established veterans with the new guard and functions as a who's who of the current ska scene, it's also a mission statement for today's ska scene and a declaration of the values that these bands stand for. "Mike [Park] wanted to bring [the politics] back for his generation, and I feel like now we need to make that statement again," Mike Sosinski from Bad Time Records/Kill Lincoln told us. "It's almost like a waypoint that people can look to in time and be like, alright, ska in this generation, this is where we're at, and it's no longer just anti-racism, it's anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia, anti-sexism, it's just acceptance of everything but hate."
The compilation will benefit The Movement for Black Lives, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Alpha Institute, The Conscious Kid, and Black Girls Code in perpetuity, and the anti-racist, anti-bigotry message lies not just in the benefit aspect but also in a lot of these songs. From covers of classic anti-racist ska anthems that remain depressingly still relevant today (Kill Lincoln doing Skankin' Pickle's "David Duke Is Running For President," The Doped Up Dollies doing The Specials' "Racist Friend") to newly-written protest songs (JER's "Breaking News! Local Punk Denies Existence of Systematic Racism," The Best of the Worst's "Illusion of Choice," Omnigone's "Swallow Poison," Mustard Plug's "Unite and Fight," etc), the message of Ska Against Racism goes much deeper than just the album title. And with so many genuinely great songs that are exclusive to this comp, Ska Against Racism is just as essential as the albums by all the bands featured. Comps aren't as popular in the streaming era as they were in the CD, cassette, and vinyl eras, but Ska Against Racism is poised to become one of those scene-defining comps like Mike Park curations Misfits of Ska and Plea For Peace were two decades ago.
11. Anti-Flag – 20/20 Division
10. Teenage Halloween – Teenage Halloween
9. Kill Lincoln – Can’t Complain
8. Higher Power – 27 Miles Underwater
7. Touche Amore – Lament
6. Record Setter – I Owe You Nothing
5. Gulch – Impenetrable Cerebral Fortress
4. Strike Anywhere – Nightmares of the West
3. Stay Inside – Viewing
2. Infant Island – Beneath
1. Jeff Rosenstock – NO DREAM
See #45-21 here.