If you somehow missed the fact that crusty-hardcore-punk legends Tragedy dropped a new EP on August 31st you wouldn’t be alone. “Fury” may have come from left field but it definitely is hitting home with reviewers (our own Carson Winter gave it 5 out of 5 stars). If you want to see what all the hype is about you’re in luck because you can stream all 6 blistering tracks below.
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I was one of the lucky few, I got to see Tragedy on their home turf. For some, this will mean nothing. There’s so many nooks and crannies in the punk scene that we can’t possibly know it all. But for others—die-hards of crust and hardcore—the chance to see Tragedy is everything.
This is a band, that when they were first introduced to me were jokingly referred to as “the punkest band.” They exist on a different level from other similar groups, they are the progenitors of their melodic, D-beat infused style—with each member branching off into dozens of equally worthy bands. But besides the music (which is the reason we are here—but please, stay with me), the cult of Tragedy is also built around the group’s admirable, nearly monastic silence, ironic as it is for hardcore. Tragedy is the Fugazi of heavy punk; they self-release their albums, they rarely engage in interviews, and they don’t promote their music. Tragedy is mysterious, therefore: Tragedy is cool.
So, a chance to see this iconic band for a second time was something special. But you can imagine the beats my heart skipped when I saw a new album on their merch table. Stark black and white, vaguely apocalyptic looking and titled Fury—I had cash on the table in seconds.
Fury is their latest EP, and as any fan would expect, it wasn’t expected and it doesn’t disappoint. It contains six tracks and lasts about seventeen minutes, and to my ears is a hunkering down on the band’s more hardcore roots, while stepping away from the doomier aspects of Darker Days Ahead. The title is an apt one. While there are some prototypical Tragedy melodies (like the brooding bass on opener “Leviathan”), this is pure, unbridled rage. When the dirge like melody recedes and the thrashing begins, the first words of the album bark like a wild animal: “Keel, keel over!” “Leviathan” is classic Tragedy—as bleak and ruthless as ever.
“Enter the Void” opens with a great riff, and has some of the best fretwork on the album. Trilling guitars create tension; melodic solos make for heaviness that goes beyond mere down-tuning. Part of Tragedy’s appeal isn’t just sonic heaviness, it’s the fundamentals of their minor key dynamics working in tandem with their lyrical nihilism. It’s in the title-track where I wondered if Fury (and specifically, “Fury”) was written in response to the last presidential election. The album’s rage is palpable, but wisely, it doesn’t age itself with specificity. Still, the words of “Fury” carry the howl of an outsider watching a wreck they can’t prevent: “A look out the window, yields only darkness. A sick world going insane.”
“A Life Entombed” is a rousing response to the same predicament. It’s a call-to-action—a violent, furious rager that feels like a beatdown. It promises an uprising, “while they’re obese and delighted”—a message of grotesque hope for the outsiders looking in. The EP ends with a simple piano outro that carries the weight of a question mark. With these six songs of pure fury, it begs the question: will we do anything with the rage we’ve accumulated?
With or without Fury, Tragedy would have a perfect catalog. But more than ever, we need voices like theirs—to process the world around us, to engage our nightmares in a fair fight. Tragedy does this and more, without marketing, promotion, or theatricality. They are a punk band, and they trade in our scene’s greatest tenet: confrontation. And just like the Ramones—they let their art speak for them. In Portland, sweaty from the pit; my hat caked in beer-mud—Tragedy finished their set to applause and laughter. It was a rare sight. A chant started from the crowd, “one more song,” over and over. And I had to smile, because when the band leaves, the band leaves. Tragedy—whether on vinyl, or in person—does what they need to do, then vanishes. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 3:12 PM (PST) by Carson Winter
Fans of Tragedy know the band has a tendency to be a tad mysterious. These guys are punk to the bone. No marketing, no social media; all records self-released. When Tragedy does something, you don’t know it until it’s in your hand. And despite all that silence, their dark and crusty take on hardcore has become one of the most influential sounds of the genre. It bridges the gap between metal and punk, abrasion and melody. It’s at once brutal and musical—and never anything less than intense. For fans of the more extreme edge of the genre, Tragedy is as much of a sound as a band—an oft-imitated progenitor.
Last night, August 31st, the band played a sold out show in their hometown of Portland, OR, where attendees were surprised to see a merch table filled with shirts, stickers, and an album no one had ever seen before. This was Fury—six songs of vein-popping melodic crust available, so far, only on vinyl. Whether this counts as an EP or an LP is up to the readers, but on first listen, it has elements of the band’s doom-stricken Darker Days Ahead as well as the D-Beat of their earlier releases. Some might say this is a return to form, and Fury, is an apt title.
So, there you have it Tragedy fans, if you want the new album, keep a lookout. As of last night, it officially exists.
Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 12:35 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Deszcz is neo-crust/dark hardcore hailing from Poznań, Poland. Kuba, Wojtek and Michał barged into the scene with guns blazing with their debut album titled “Rain Keeps Falling” in 2014. Their second self-titled LP was one of the best crust releases of 2017 and also the album that made them known to a wide spectrum of extreme music fans.
The band released its third full-length endeavour titled “III” a week ago, displaying a remarkable progress in terms of quality both in composition and production, especially considering the fact that the time gap between their last two releases is less than a year. Combining dark, melodic neo-crust guitars with relentless d-beat drumming may be the backbone of their music but they don’t limit themselves to that pattern. By incorporating hardcore and metal elements, mid-tempo bridges and interludes and utilising the double vocals in the best way possible, they create heavy, distorted ambience filled with raw emotion and rage. Check out “III” below and keep these guys in mind. Something big is going down here.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 3:28 PM (PST) by steve_kingston
Japanese hardcore punks Reality Crisis are heading to the UK to play three shows this month! Joining them will be Scottish punk act Sedition which is also a rare treat! Other great bands will be playing the shows including Doom, Cress, Anti-System and Bratakus. The show at the 1 in 12 club has already sold out (no suprise, what a line up!) Here are the details of the shows:
Nov 17th – DIY Space – London
Nov 18th – 1 in 12 Club – Bradford
Nov 19th – The Lughole – Sheffield
You can find more information here.
Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 5:21 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Offensive Mindset hail from Montreal, Canada and deliver some pretty straightforward, aggresive anarcho-crust punk to bang your heads and trash your room. These guys have been around a couple of years but they released their first full-length album titled “Legacy” digitally and independently, a few days ago.
“Legacy” is comprised of eight bullet-like songs, aimed straight to the heart of the system. Mid-tempo punk filth laced with a tasty punk ‘n roll groove and fucking awesome vocals. Definitely worth listening and strongly recommended for the die-hard fans of the genre. Check it out below.
Friday, October 13, 2017 at 3:14 PM (PST) by Alexander Liakouris
Paroxysm is a d-beat infused crust group, hailing from Edmonton, Alberta. The Canadian quintet combines relentless d-beat drumming with crust guitar riffs, creating brutal sonic attacks and invoking a dark, sinister atmosphere. The band’s music is fast and aggressive while the throat-ripping vocals pass judgement on patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism and the political status quo in general. These guys also seem to be especially fond of cats, which is something always checked below “pros” in my list.
The band released a demo titled “Open Wounds” in 2016 and has returned a few days ago with its self-titled, first full-length album that was released in digital and vinyl format via a constelation of d.i.y. labels (Anomie Records, Chainbreaker Records, Doomed Society, Echoes from Beneath, Path to Oblivion Records). You can listen to the new album in full below.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 6:20 PM (PST) by steve_kingston
I’ve only been writing for Dying Scene for a short time, but if you look through my posts you will see I have a passion for real DIY hardcore punk. I’m from a small town in England called Boston. These days there are not many good things to say about the place, but once upon a time it was home to a legendary punk venue: The Indian Queen. Sadly those days are gone, but local band Wolfbeast Destroyer are keeping the legacy alive by producing awesome d-beat punk.
These lads have been at it for a while now in various bands and each one seems to get better. There latest split with This Ends here is no different, with brutal vocals, thrashing drums and the odd catchy guitar riff thrown in for good measure. It hits you hard and leaves you wanting more. If your a fan of crusty d-beat then you should defiantly give it a listen below.
They will be playing at London’s Fuk Reddin Festival next month alongside bands such as Discharge, The Domestics, AOS3 and a lot more. Last time I saw Wolfbeast Destroyer play it ended with a concussion and a trip to hospital that left me with no memory of the show! So take care in the pit folks as they are defiantly a band you want to remember seeing.
You can pick up all their releases for free on bandcamp. But if you can, help them out with a few quid, they’re a lovely bunch!
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 11:12 AM (PST) by Goldfinger
Canadian crust punks The Corporate Life are streaming their new release “Chimercury”. The album is available today and the first for the band since 2013’s “Woodshark”.
You can stream “Chimercury” in full below.
Monday, May 15, 2017 at 12:03 PM (PST) by rick delaney
Performing at Mr. Small’s in Pittsburgh last Saturday, Choking Victim announced their intention to record a live record. Whilst playing with the Sturgeon-Baillie-Skwert line-up, the band also gave fans a taste of some new material (albeit instrumental for now) that will also feature on the release.
Choking Victim’s most recent, and only album to now was the 1999 classic No Gods, No Managers.
Monday, April 17, 2017 at 8:47 PM (PST) by Double J
“Surrounded By The Depths” is available on vinyl and as a digital download. This record is the follow-up to their 2014 vehicle “In The Realm Of Defeat.”
Monday, February 27, 2017 at 11:59 AM (PST) by rick delaney
French crusties Exhaustion have announced they will release their second full length EP this April. The record will be titled “Surrounded By The Depths” and will come out via Distroy Records and should be one to check out for any fans of filthy, extreme sounds.
Exhaustion’s previous release was 2014’s “In The Realm Of Defeat”.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 10:36 PM (PST) by jaystone
For any of you miscreants that were somehow on the fence about going to the 2017 installment of Punk Rock Bowling…a lineup that already included Iggy Pop and Cock Sparrer and Pennywise and Bouncing Souls and a bunch more…the lineup has gotten even better.
The Spits and the one-and-only Choking Victim are the latest bands announced to be playing the annual festival that finds punks from all over taking over Las Vegas for a long weekend. Check out the full rundown and ticket info right here.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 6:39 PM (PST) by Jeff Schaer - Moses
Scenic Presents’ sold-out Choking Victim show was the sort of evening that many of the fans in attendance had been dreaming about since they were in middle school (three years ago). But notwithstanding the young crowd — and to be fair, there was a good smattering of more seasoned punks throughout the auditorium too — Choking Victim killed.
The Warsaw show sold out so fast that Choking Victim were able to add a 3 p.m. set at a free show in Tompkins Square Park that same day. The free set was about six songs long, highly entertaining, and featured two OG members of Choking Victim making guest appearances. I assumed that the evening show would be about the same, but honestly even if the set lists had been identical, it would still have been like watching two completely different bands. And the set lists were completely different!
Choking Victim tore through the entirety of their incendiary debut record No Gods No Managers and then concluded the night with a raucous cover of “Money Changes Everything.” In the park, they were a loose, comfortable band playing a show that could as easily have been in Stza’s livingroom as in front of hundreds of people in a historic New York City location. On the Warsaw stage, they were an unstoppable death machine ripping a hole through the eardrums of anyone dumb enough to listen (as I write this, my ears are still ringing).
The Warsaw moshpit erupted after about twenty seconds, and it had to have been within the next twenty seconds that a barrage of stage divers and crowd surfers rose to the top of the audience. People tried to stand toward the wings of the venue, but really being within fifteen feet of the stage put you in the blast radius for out-of-control skankers being ejected from the pit by the sea of moshers. Then whoever bowled them over would help them up and start all over again.
The current lineup was joined throughout the set by original drummer John Dolan, original bassist Sasha Scatter, OG bassist peasant James, C-Squat founder Popeye, and other close associates.
Stza claimed that the band only practiced each song twice, but it didn’t matter. No one goes to see Choking Victim, or any Stza-fronted band for that matter, for a precise musician who’s taking care to hit every note accurately. With Stza, it’s about raw emotion and explosive energy, which he provided in spades, fed on and intensified by bandmates Alec Baillie and Skwert.
There was a rich diversity in the people playing in many of the opening bands, but one thing that tied (almost) all of them together was Stza’s signature crack rock steady beat. No matter how far toward the precipice of heavy metal (almost) all of the openers got, they mostly found their way back to that more dub / ska sound.
(A)Truth and Trashy picked up two short early slots and both brought heavy guitars and the aforementioned beats. Death Vacation was a vicious kick in the teeth that may have been closer to metal than punk. Public Serpents are damn near as heavy as Death Vacation but went on dub tangents so mellow they could have been reggae. All Torn Up is one angry group of hardcore punks, and As$troland are an old school New York Hardcore band.
Death Vacation was close to stealing the show. After seeing Choking Victim, there is no doubt who the star of the evening was, but Death Vacation was damn close … check them out.
Friday, October 7, 2016 at 6:28 PM (PST) by Screeching Bottlerocket
Early last month, it was announced Choking Victim would be reuniting for a show in Brooklyn, NY, on October 30th. The band has since announced a few more reunion shows in Arizona, Colorado, and California.
Check out the tour dates below to see if they’re stopping near you.
Choking Victim’s lineup for these reunion shows will feature frontman Scott “Stza” Sturgeon, bassist Alec Baillie, and drummer Skwert. They’ll be playing Crack Rock Steady, Squatta’s Paradise, and No Gods, No Managers in their entirety.