OFF! – Wasted Years
Some aspects of life are inevitable. Politicians will break their promises, British summertime offers more shades of grey than literary-pretentious trashporn, and there will never, ever be anything good on telly when you’re skint. Another one for the list: Keith Morris will always be pissed off – and thank fuck for that. His crushed-gravel bark remains one of the most singularly compelling voices in punk rock, spitting corrosive bile over the exhilarating likes of Void You Out and Exorcised on OFF!’s second album proper.
With hardcore wandering down increasingly diverse paths across the past decade, there’s a shuddering thrill in the back-to-basics bruising of Dmitri Coats’ pulverising power chords. With notes cribbed from his own rifftastic Burning Brides, the guitarist occasionally slows proceedings to a metallic creepy-crawl, most notably on the sludgy Red White And Black, but of course brevity and brawn ultimately win out. As ever, Keith’s scene-stealing presence ensures these years could never truly be wasted. [Will Fitzpatrick]