Austin, TX’s NOSFERATU are one of the most substantive and powerful hardcore punk bands currently in operation. Often likened to rage linchpins such as VOID and KORO, Nosferatu’s too-good-to-be-true attack succeeds on all fronts: inventive & highly impressive drumming, tortured, piss-gutter vocals and excessively grimy riffs that unveil multiple hooks despite the concise nature of each breathless tune. Since forming in 2016, the gang have since amassed myriad short-run cassettes, stray compilation shards and one recognized ruler EP via Lumpy Records --- each new entry building upon its predecessor, exhibiting a brand of winning and raw scuzz that’s too drool-inducing for punks to ignore. Timed to coincide with their debut album (soon to be released via La Vida Es Un Mus), Neck Chop is thrilled to present all of Nosferatu’s savage formative material on LP format --- 56 tracks total!!! Mandatory punk, no excuses, no snoozing.
Our take: A Field of Hope is a “The First Two Years” compilation from these Koro-worshipping Texans, bringing together their debut EP on Lumpy with the very limited demo and rehearsal recording releases that they’ve put out over that time. There are several recording sessions compiled here so the sound can change from track to track, but it’s uniformly raw with the focus on the catchy guitars and frantic drums, with the vocals and bass always fighting for your attention. Even with such primitive-sounding recordings, Nosferatu sound explosive. Like Koro, they pack so much drama into their short songs, each one its own maze of dramatic punches, stops and starts, tempo changes, clipped leads, and off-balance lunges. With so much material crammed onto the record it blends together into a monumental, punishing whole, but you can drop the needle anywhere and find nothing but raw, face-shredding hardcore. Dabblers might want to opt for their proper debut LP (for which the US press is, frustratingly, still on the way), but if you follow fast, 80s-inspired hardcore in the year 2019 this record should be in your collection.