Negative Standards – “VI.VII.VIII.IX.X.XI” – [Vendetta]
Gritty pit-smashing hardcore mainline from Oakland thrashers Negative Standards. This four piece hit you hard with their brand of dissenting resentment that is simultaneously introspective and personal, with lyrics both poetic and dismal. Mostly no FCC, though you wouldn’t know since Will spews vocals with his fist in his mouth, forcing out hoarse yells between breaths. The band alternates between the boisterous scourges and sludgy neck-straining doom imperceptibly, building and severing energy with acute musicianship. Live they like to incorporate a visual element, with dueling video collages, that help to submerge you in their desolate worldview. There are some spoken word (FCC on intro to VIII) or noise interludes that incubate the dystopian feel, narrating a world where all is lost and there’s nothing to lose.