2022 is already giving us tons of great new music, but we're still catching up on 2021 stuff too (and probably will be forever). So, in the name of sharing cool music even if it didn't just come out, here's a writeup on one of the best hardcore punk LPs I've heard in a while, the debut album by Seoul's Slant. It's called 1집 (which loosely translates to "album 1" or "volume 1"), and it came out on the Seattle label Iron Lung Records, following the 2019 EP Vain Attempt and a 2018 demo. It's the band's first release since adding a second guitarist, and as promising as those earlier releases were, it's easily the best thing they've done yet.

With 10 songs that clock in at under 17 minutes, the whole thing moves at breakneck speed and doesn't ease up on the gas at all until the final track, "Casualty" (which, at two minutes and 27 seconds, is the album's longest song by some margin). Instrumentally speaking, the band takes clear influence from early '80s American hardcore, but vocalist Yeji's harsh, venomous shrieks suggest a more modern and extreme influence than Minor Threat and Black Flag. She sounds absolutely abrasive, but she's got a catchy sense of rhythm and there's a melodic quality to her screams even if she's not really using much "melody." These are songs you'll be shouting along to after just a few listens. And even with 40-year-old influences, this album just sounds so fresh. There are a million classic hardcore bands you can compare it to, but the band they make me think of most is Gulch. Like that band's 2020 LP, 1집 is an album that's just impossible to stand still to, with a drummer that sounds like he's propelling every other member of the band to play faster. 35 seconds in, you'll be starting a circle pit in your living room.


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