31 May 2023

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Brawler NZHC - EP Review: Hard Truths

23 Mar 2023 // A review by Kev Rowland

Over the last 12 months I have been fortunate enough to catch Hamilton hardcore outfit Brawler NZHC a few times, and although I have always been a little concerned that singer Joe Steiner is going to pass out before he finally removes the balaclava, I always know we are in for a high energy show with plenty of angst and passion. They have also impressed NZ hardcore royalty along the way, with Luke Manson of Xile joining in on vocals for Pay The Price. Drummer Facundo Ferreira knows just what to do to drive the band forward, changing his patterns but keeping the snare to the fore, and guitarist Damz keeps the riffs coming in a wall of sound.

One things which makes Brawler NZHC so powerful is not only the togetherness they display but that they refuse to stick in just one tempo, and although the songs are short they can contain multiple sections. This was mixed/mastered and produced by Jake Booth of Mordecai Records, who shows just how much he understand the scene by also providing bass on this (Greg Weaver joined the band after they had already started the sessions, so they decided to finish in the same manner for continuity).

Inspired by bands such as Warhound, No Zodiac, Xibalba, Queensway, Billy Club Sandwich and Six, their latest EP Hard Truths is aggressive and passionate, and although the songs rush by in just fourteen minutes there is a great deal here to enjoy. Opener Spitting Teeth may be under a minute in length, but it lays the groundwork for what is to come, and when Luke makes his presence felt on next song Pay The Price, one knows this is going to bs a fun and brutal ride.

Too many hardcore bands feel the need for each song to pass by at a blistering pace, but Brawler NZHC understand contrast, so when they slow it up it is dramatic, and the same when they let loose the reins again. They also have sections where there is no guitar whatsoever, so when the buzzsaw riffs come back in they have that much more impact. For those into this style of music then here is a band showing that while the heart of the scene may well be in New York, Aotearoa can also play this game, and this is certainly worthy of further investigation.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Brawler NZHC

Backed by growing Australian hardcore & metal label 10-54 Records, Brawler NZHC aims to bring the next level of beatdown hardcore to the rising wave of NZHC. The 4-piece combines punishing lyrical content touching on subjects of addiction, violence and self-betterment head on with a fresh blend of heavy, street-style hardcore guitars and drums to deliver a ruthless yet polished dose of tough love.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Brawler NZHC


Hard Truths
Year: 2023
Type: EP

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