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New Orleans’ EYEHATEGOD is the snarling, bilious sound of dead-end America. Since 1988, they’ve been a soundtrack for the troubled masses. Ugly music for ugly times. That’s the sense of disenchantment and disease that lies the heart of their latest and sixth full-length album, A History of Nomadic Behavior. Anyone familiar with EHG’s story knows this is survivor’s music, a sound unto itself where Sabbathian riffs are meted out with a caustic anger that goes beyond punk. That’s been the blueprint since guitarist Jimmy Bower (also of NOLA supergroup, Down) founded the band in 1988 with vocalist Michael IX Williams joining not long after. With a discography including sludge-punk mainstays like In the Name of Suffering (1990), Take as Needed for Pain (1993) Dopesick (1996) or 2014’s eponymously-titled LP, released in the US through Housecore Records, EHG laid the cracked foundation for their infamous and influential sound. A History of Nomadic Behavior finds the band, now slimmed to a four-piece rounded out by bassist Gary Mader and drummer Aaron Hill, leaner and meaner than ever; road-hardened by recent tours with Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity and Napalm Death in the US and abroad. From the bitter pill of opener “Built Beneath the Lies” to the hypnotic haze of closer “Every Thing, Every Day” it’s clear that that EYEHATEGOD hasn’t slowed or mellowed with time. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This is disorienting, uneasy listening. Music that still hurts.
Ringworm erupted in Cleveland in 1989 as an integral part of the city’s hardcore scene. They joined bands like Integrity in a brutal musical community that blended purist hardcore with heavy metal influences and punishing live shows. They played constantly for four years all over Ohio and West Virginia, securing a rabid fan base who embraced their 1991 self-titled demo and bolstered their reputation among the thrash underground in the continental U.S. Their debut full-length Promise appeared in 1993 on Incision, and garnered enough interest to tour the U.S., following the release with several singles that cemented their reputation, even as they transitioned toward thrash metal. They have pursued this direction – without forsaking their hardcore roots – ever since.
After the inevitable round of lineup changes throughout the decade, the band went on hiatus, re-emerging in 2001 with Birth Is Pain on Victory, where they remained through 2005’s effort Justice Replaced by Revenge. Touring between albums became even more difficult as vocalist Human Furnace (aka James Bulloch, the band’s only permanent member) started a chain of tattoo shops called 252 Tattoo, while guitarist Frank Novinec joined Terror, precipitating another break. They reunited for 2011’s Scars with a new lineup.
Forged during the Covid pandemic, New Orleans death grind/hardcore group BRAT have come in swinging with blast beats, bass-laden breakdowns, and riffs inspired by OSDM and NYHC.
Through the melding of genres, the foursome stand out from the sludge that the Crescent City is known for. BRAT also brings a yassified look to the scene, shirking traditional metal imagery for femme pop icons and pink-pilled Y2K aesthetic.
BRAT are making strides in the underground music world with powerful force, putting Barbiegrind Bimboviolence on the map.