This one's probably not for the squeamish, as all four bands on this incendiary bill push punk to its extremes. The three EPs released by Massachusetts' Hoax rank among hardcore's meanest of late. Their razor-wire feedback and abrasive distortion propel a volatile performance that merges Negative Approach's vitriol with the scowling stomp of SSD. Hoax's rudimentary beating clashes with the noise-addled fits of SoCal spazz-masters NASA Space Universe, whose last visit to Raleigh featured projections of E.T.-themed vintage porn, indoor fireworks and tinfoil projectiles. NSU, with like-minded Golden Staters The Coltranes, keep hardcore weird by embracing the sputtering spectacle of the Butthole Surfers and the warp-speed groove of early Bad Brains.
Between Hoax's bludgeoning and the tag-team tangle of The Coltranes and NASA Space Universe, Raleigh favorites Double Negative build a bridge. Augmenting the blunt force of hardcore with acid-bath shoegaze, Double Negative augments belligerence with nuance. Despite a recently volatile lineup and another impending rotation behind the drum kit, Double Negative has been operating at gale force, not so much refining their sound as honing their blades. —Bryan C. Reed