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80s Hardcore

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Self-Titled Tape Review + Footage

Canadian hardcore band Acousma have really set the bar high with their self-titled cassette EP released this past May. This tape is gritty, raw and completely mosh-worthy, falling somewhere between the blasting stomps of Ceremony circa 2008 and the evil mid-tempo groove of Hoax. The band recorded these six songs live in their own practice studio by Calvin Monaghan, and the tracks were mixed and mastered by Orchid mastermind Will Killingsworth at his Dead Air Studios. These songs also harken to classic powerviolence acts like No Comment and Crossed Out at times, with grinding passages suddenly stopping on a dime and inciting total war on the dance floor.


“Evading the Pervasive” and “Ancient Transcripts” personifies the band well: fast parts interspersed with a heaviness that could cause one to headbang his skull right off his shoulders. “Humanity In Words” and “Fire Is Bright, Fire Is Clean” would cause Acousma to fit in perfectly on Youth Attack Records (and perhaps give Hoax a few tips on getting back to their own sound). The midway point of this release, “Outside In,” slows down the pace and gives the band another layer to work with in a dark yet melodic guitar riffs over trudging drums and heavy distorted bass. The tape closes with the mostly instrumental track “It Spoke,” which lurches back and forth with the same darkness of “Outside In” but with the evil knob turned up to 11.

The art of this release, sketched by Derek Setzer, matches the desperation and darkness of the music contained: a black and white figure seemingly flipped inside out holding a flaming book and a noose while perched on what seems to be a fucked up tree. All in all, Acousma’s self-titled tape is a sign of great things to come from this band. This tape can be downloaded for free at Acousma’s Bandcamp page and purchased at their BigCartel page.




  1. J.

    January 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm

  2. thenakedissue

    July 30, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Fuck, I’m proud this band comes from my hometown.

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