Join the Wolfbrigade brigade | Bleader

Join the Wolfbrigade brigade

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There were some dark years during the apex of bad suburban metalcore's popularity when it seemed like bands of 19-year-old dudes with flat-ironed hair and overpriced hoodies had ruined the whole concept of fusing metal with hardcore, a time-honored tradition extending nearly as far back as the existence of hardcore punk (but which nevertheless appeared to have a definite sell-by date). Recently, though, audiences have displayed renewed interest in seeing artists mix the two, and instead of chunky start-stop rhythms and intricate double kick-drum work, these listeners want bands that fuse metal's frenetic nihilism to hardcore's thing for getting a bunch of people together to fuck shit up.

In recent months much of the discussion of this thrash renaissance has centered on Sacramento quartet Trash Talk, who after touring extensively behind 2010's Eyes & Nines have gone from being a really, really good thrash band to one that's almost disturbingly effective. (At SXSW I walked into a venue directly after a Trash Talk set, and the number of fresh bruises and split-open noses on the people coming out of the pit made the place look like a riot had happened.) But I've also noticed a considerable uptick in T-shirts and battle vests promoting veteran Swedish d-beat group Wolfbrigade. Which in my eyes is a good thing. D-beat is one of those musical formulas that can still be completely enjoyable even when executed badly, and Wolfbrigade has the advantage of being extremely good at it. Below you can stream "Ride the Steel," from their upcoming album Damned (their fifth overall and first for the esteemed Southern Lord label).

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