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30 August 2013

Exclaim - 'Critical Exploder' (Sound Pollution)

Extreme Japanese hardcore, though there's little in the sound to indicate it's far-East origin. This outlier in my vinyl accumulation exists as a gift from a friend, and a much appreciated one. Though they're probably forgotten already, this 2001 release stands as an document of some amazingly fast, uncompromising hardcore - this is similar to a style known as 'power violence' but I'm not sure if Exclaim strictly qualify (nor do I really care). What I do know is that this is super fast, super aggro, and recorded just poorly enough to be exhilarating, but not too badly as to lose it's impact. Song titles in English, lyrics apparently in Japanese, and a few stick out of the lyrics sheet like 'YES' 'YES' 'KEEP ON PUSHIN'. There's parts where the (single) guitar and the voice becoming indistinguishable as a mess of static. There's always been a lot of back and forth on the boundary between 'noise' and 'hardcore' - some of these are balanced better than others (Combatwoundedveteran, anyone?) and others fall too clearly into one camp. There's not a lot of 'noise' here in terms of electronics or improvised mess - the guitar playing is pretty straight - but it's a total buzzsaw and somehow this transcends everything into truly remarkable territory. I'm not expert on hardcore but my tastes have always gravitated towards the unusual, extreme examples which can be appealing to fans of all/any extreme musics; hence, the continued existence of Critical Exploder amongst all the wimpy folk and indie-pop records. 45 rpm of course, so it's louder, and faster, and while it's pretty short to be a proper 'LP', it's a fully satisfying assault.

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