Worn have been making a name for themselves in the Wilkes-Barre hardcore scene for a few years (and also have members in Choice To Make), with a handful of EPs/singles dating back to 2016, including releases on Pop Wig, 12Forty Records, and a Live on Axe to Grind EP. As mentioned, they're now gearing up to release their full-length album Human Work this Friday (3/5) via From Within Records (who also just dropped that killer Malice At The Palace EP). The album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Will Hirst (who fronts Maniac and drums in Restraining Order), who also lends his voice to the track "Tangled Crown of Paranoia." "We wrote this record over the duration of 2019 into the summer of 2020," the band tells us. "A lot of the themes and lyrics on the record were written pre-pandemic is it’s a little ironic how things turned out."

The album whips by with ten tracks that almost all clock in at under two minutes (and never reach three minutes), and if you like straight-up, no-frills, ass-kicking hardcore, you should definitely not sleep on this. It's not exactly "metallic hardcore," but Daniel's gnarly vocals and the dark, thick guitar sound makes this a record that metalheads and hardcore kids can definitely agree on. There's some thrash, some D-beat, some double-time circle pit fuel, and some classic stomping hardcore, and the sonic fury is matched by genuinely purposeful lyrics that -- to quote fellow Wilkes-Barre hardcore musician Ned Russin (Title Fight, Glitterer) -- "[question] the necessity of war in the bluntest of terms and tones." "Blunt" is right; this album is fueled by vitriol for corrupt politicians and a broken system, and Worn do not mince words. Hardcore has always been a genre filled with anger, and this album points that anger in the right direction.

Human Work officially drops Friday, but a full stream premieres in this post. Listen and read Ned Russin's full description below.

Ned Russin (Title Fight, Glitterer) on Worn's Human Work:

The thing about the modern age is that as soon we announce it, it becomes untrue. Modernity needs to be contextualized, for life now is different than it was 20 years ago and will be different 20 years from now. But despite the ever-changing nature of our reality, there are some things that have stayed the same throughout history, namely ceaseless and needless wars passed off as morality. Worn are a hardcore band from Wilkes-Barre, PA from their modern era. Their new LP is a violent pushback against this worldview, one that questions the necessity of war in the bluntest of terms and tones. So when Worn asks us “Who do you trust in the modern age?” we all know the right answer.

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Best Punk/Hardcore/Emo/etc Albums of 2020

See #45-21 here.