Dealers – Most Hated

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Label: self-released/independent

Bandcamp stream: Link

On their Facebook page, New York’s Dealers list their genre as “loud as fuck”. I’m not arguing with that assessment. This is negative hardcore of the post-Converge era, with more than an appreciation of what makes doom metal work, and scratches the same kind of itch that Cursed used to. Dealers understand the power of being loud as well as almost anyone else you care to name. They don’t make the mistake of simply relying on volume, turning everything up to 11 and hoping it’s enough to get by, though; there’s enough song-writing talent on display here to keep things interesting once the initial rush has worn off. And whilst they might not change the world, their debut EP Most Hated provides an excellent soundtrack to a day characterised by the blackest of moods and feelings of nihilism.

A short burst of feedback opens the record, and things don’t get much prettier from there. Vocalist Brian possess a formidable roar, sounding very much like a man at the end of his rope, and the occasional backing barks provide further texture to them, helping prevent monotony (something many bands playing negative music are guilty of when it comes to vocals). The rhythm section packs a real punch, and the tone of the guitars is wonderfully heavy, with occasional leads and short solos rising up from the darkness and adding further character to the songs. The influence of Converge can’t be denied, but at the same time, Dealers have plenty of their own personality, as dark and violent as it is if these six songs are anything to go by.

Whilst much of the EP goes by at quite a considerable tempo, there’s plenty of variation within each song, with many moments that drop to a near-crawl, whilst others start slow before racing ahead. Notably, third track “White Lodge” is a sludge/doom beast of quite considerable proportions, and final track “Conduit” is an absolute black hole of negativity. Such moments are well placed, helping to ground the record and stop it being too overwhelming. It’s still a nasty bastard of a record though, and is perfectly suited to those days when you’re torn between despair and mindless violence. But even if you’re not in a mood for crying in a corner, or throwing punches at strangers on the bus home, there’s still enough going on here to recommend it to fans of the darker side of hardcore.

You can stream and download Most Hated from the band’s Bandcamp page, for free/pay-what-you-like.

Rating: 8.5/10

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