What's considered punk rock is often a topic of discussion in many circles. Who lives up to the old standard or even the new standard, what punk rock is as a topic can overshadow the music more than anything.
When it comes to hardcore, there's no mistaking it when something hits with precision and comes off hard edged and with plenty of intensity. That's how to describe the latest release from Houston's Loose Nukes. While the band isn't really a household name yet, their intense live sets and their music embody so much of today's modern hardcore world, while keeping nods to some of punk's past in for good measure. In just three songs, Violent Retribution proves there's still plenty of great punk coming out of the Bayou City.
Opening with a searing riff, these guys quickly turn inward to a faster stride complete with a dark hook on "Violent Retribution." At first listen, it reminds you of early Black Flag when Rollins was at the microphone, though there's hints of early Anti-Flag and Pennywise in the intensity and lyricism. By no way are these guys lifting, as the track sounds more modern than any of those, while they nod punk's past in the process. The drums pop and snap, the guitar and bass rattle and squeal, and the vocals hit hard.
This continues on the 24-second street punk sounds of "Fuck!" It's fast, it's over as soon as it begins, and it seems just about right on this release. They close things off with the moderately sped sounds of "MK Ultra." While this isn't the first time you've heard a song on the topic, it might be the most memorable one. Complete with a nice pace where all of the instruments don't get too intrusive, the song sticks with the political and intense sounds these four make.
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The whole E.P. is five minutes long, but it leaves a lasting impression from start to finish. With nods to punk's past without lifting too heavily from it, Loose Nukes show that there's still great hardcore coming from this far South. You can stream or purchase Violent Retribution from Bandcamp. You can catch the intensity of Loose Nukes live, when they perform at Dan Electros on for the Annual Baron Von Birthday Bash this Saturday, June 9. The 21 & up show will have sets from The Guilloteens, Omegawolf, and Baron Von Bomblast as well. Doors at 7 p.m.; tickets $10.