Protestant
Reclamation 12"/Stalemate 10"

“We continue to storm forward with no real sense of direction or purpose. We repeat ourselves, retell the same lies and never change. We all have become stagnant and entitled.. We know better, but we do it anyway. We are greedy, lazy and tired. We are destroying everything we’ve worked to preserve and shitting in the places we eat and sleep. It’s not just us, it’s everything, everywhere is fucked”  – note from the inlay of Reclamation 12″.

S0 back in 2012 the excellent Halo of Flies released two slabs of vinyl from one of the hardest working and best ‘real’ hardcore/punk bands out there, Wisconsin’s Protestant. Both releases were on vinyl with Stalemate being a 6 song 10″ release and the latter release, Reclamation being a 5 song 12″ LP. Both releases blend together seamlessly with the sound started on 2011s Judgements LP, where the band dropped some of the sludgier, doomier hues in favor of a darkly melodic and intense take on hardcore/crust that come across like  a burlier Bane mixed with Tragedy fighting depression and an analog fueled mean streak.

Stalemate is a concept based release with all of the songs dealing with themes of death. The warm but raw fuzz of the production is a perfect way to render the band’s fury and intensity and the 6 songs, all running between 3 and 4 minutes are minimalist slab of rumbling, but vehemently harmonic hardcore. No gang chants or breakdowns, just a gruff, vitriolic expulsion, made even more intense with the vinyl sound. Standouts on this release include “Passing On” with its sudden clean break amid the seething vortex, the releases longest cut, “Misplaced” which features a rumbling closeout and “Corners”, which closely resembles my favorite Protestant track “Funerals” from the Judgements LP.

Though a 12″, Reclamation only runs for 20 minutes, but has 2 almost 5-minute songs and is equally intense with a consistent guitar tone and sound (as both were recorded at local Howl City Studios), despite being a separate release. All have the same dark, melancholic undercurrent- this is isn’t uplifting, singalong, clean, safe hardcore, its crusty,d-beat- ish, mean and tangibly pissed. Opener “Home” has just a sick, slower bridge at 2:16 while ” Jan Palachi” (about a Czech activist who set himself on fire in 1969) while having a gang chant of sorts, the song drips with an intensity matching the subject matter. “Unbecoming” is this releases longest cut and a patient brooding number before “Salad Days” suddenly explodes from the speakers and close the 12″ out with a furious climax.

Both releases come together in my ipod by a virtually singular, killer release and again prove both entities (Protestant and Halo of Flies) to be at the very forefront of the modern hardcore/punk movement and the rest of the scene had better pay attention.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
February 20th, 2013

Comments

  1. Commented by: stiffy

    Damn that label is killing it. Me want!


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