Hardcore for me still is a place where you feel a sense of danger but at the same time safety. Hardcore for me means unity, acceptance, having fun, small bands, smaller venues, stage dives, hand drawn flyers, looking out for each other and reading fanzines. Over the years bands have become big within no time, hypes are an everyday thing and merch is being flipped more than ever. We seem to forget what punk is really about, what hardcore is really about. We’ve got major labels and even bigger bands and that’s just not how it’s supposed to be. It’s all too manufactured and formatted…all I want is just some good old fashioned hardcore punk.
Social Damage is a straight edge hardcore punk band from Indianapolis and they know how to bring it old school. They’ve combined their (excellent) demo’s to be recorded on vinyl. It will be released under the name Both Demos through Straight & Alert Records. ‘Wrecked’ is the opening track and sets the tone. Catchy riffs, strong bass, thrashing drums and fast, raw vocals. In terms of sounds think Straight Ahead, Free Spirit & Intent, mixed up with early Agnostic Front, Judge, Breakdown, SSD and The Abused vibes. ‘Unwelcome Mat’ starts with some eery feedback and turns into another fast blast of straight forward 80’s/90’s inspired hardcore. ‘Forget’ is another catchy jam. It’s a bit slower than the previous two, bringing a certain groovy edge to it.
The way Aaron sounds on ‘Tied’ is just sublime. It’s the ultimate angry finger pointing/aggressively singing-a-long song, if you can keep up with the words that is. ‘Deadbeat’ is the shortest but probably my favorite Social Damage track. With only 0:38 seconds duration they’re still able to hit the nail on the head with lyrics like “No more second chances, your time is up. You spineless piece of shit, you never gave a fuck.” Again a crucial sing-a-long is guaranteed. Current bands Social Damage is similar too are Zero Progress, Freedom, Raw Justice and New Brigade. Last but not least is ‘Thin Line’. It continues the tone set throughout the record perfectly. It’s a typical Social Damage jam with the riffs that get stuck in your head, the on point lyrics, this time there’s some two-step possibility too.
Social Damage prove themselves with each song over and over again, and I am without a doubt that this band does great live. It embodies the old school hardcore punk sound perfectly without sounding out dated. I fell in love with their sound when the first Demo dropped and I can honestly say it’s one of my favorite current bands. So, I advice you to give them a listen.
Tracklist – Both Demos
2. Unwelcome Mat
6. Thin Line
Social Damage: Facebook / Bandcamp
Written by Nigel