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Toxic State Records



Before I get lost in excited rambling, here’s a conclusion right at the beginning: this is a great LP. Listen to and get it somehow, anyhow. ABISM put out a rehearsal tape in 2021 and went straight into writing a debut full-length. This is a rare, and therefore respectable move. Crafting an LP is a real test for a band, and ABISM easily passes. They consist of members of previously acclaimed bands such as CRAZY SPIRIT/DAWN OF HUMANS, SALVAJE PUNK/100%, IVY/NUTS zine, and GARRAPATA. Another gem from the scene of a dozen people making three dozen amazing bands, released by Toxic State, who document this sub-scene—documenting how your friends create a scene is pretty much a major point of contemporary punk. There is a slight chance that your songs might not abolish the current existing order of the world, so you should rather save yourself, your community, or at least the music you make. In that sense, ABISM is a perfect result. Nothing on this record sounds as if you could not play it. But they are playing it, not you, and the whole flow and energy of the record is so effortless and flawless. There are no riffs you wish you could come up with, but hearing these super sick riffs inspires you to get down to the rehearsal room and blast such primitive jams at high volume. The intensity is maintained even with the longer tracks that fill half of the record. “Hypnotic,” as they state, and it works; it remains raw hardcore and has odd vibes even without unleashed chaos. The mixing sounds great, and while the music has a lot of space due to the hypnotic/repetitive and not too complicated parts, there is a buzz that offers an easy connection to the band’s energy. The vocals bind the record together in a great way, leaving a lot of space for the music while maintaining an angry presence. I loved the GARRAPATA demo, so it’s nice to hear the same voice here. Regardless of any reference, ABISM sounds unique in a way that they are not uncategorizable, but could be matched to the essence of many different genres. It’s tight, aggressive, and raw, but has no challenging or alienating element—maybe I am misunderstanding the world around me, but this should excite all punks and hardcore heads who are not afraid of dirt and mesmerizing simplicity. Maybe even your krautrock-loving acquaintances would dig this. It’s been on constant repeat since the first time I heard it, and it’s not only great music, but makes me appreciate punk, too. I want to go to the rehearsal room and jam, and you should do it too, but first check out this record for a little motivation. Oh, and the cover looks great. - MRR