New York’s Foster Care is back with a brand new LP for Total Punk, and the first since adding Allison Busch (Awesome Colors, Call Of The Wild) on drums. El Abuso finds Foster Care at their most realized. It’s tight wound, ferocious, dark and dare I say smart. Has Foster Care grown up? Have they left their foster parents for the half way house? An 11 song nineteen minute punk maelstrom. This isn't a collection of songs it's a heaving beast. An absolutely relentless wall of pounding drums, vicious guitar, and gnarly bass rumble with Chris Teenager biting the air above it all. They even finds some moments to get weird and reflective between the throbbing outburst and violent spasms. Mean, loud, and 100% TOTAL PUNK!
Our take: Third 12” from this New York band (their second for Total Punk), and holy crap does it rip! Total Punk has always dabbled in hardcore with releases by bands like Lysol and Beta Boys, but El Abuso might be the most ripping thing the label has ever put its name on. While you would expect some complexity and maturity from a band on its third 12” release, Foster Care has stripped everything to the bone here, paring their music to its skeleton: simple riffs, relentless beats, and crazed shouting. Hardcore these day carries decades of history with it and there is a host of unwritten rules about how bands should do things, but El Abuso sounds like the early Discharge singles, Finnish hardcore by bands like Kaaos and Destrucktions, and the primal rage-outs of Swedes like Mob 47 and Shitlickers, bands that threw out the rulebook and went straight for the throat. The sound is raw, blown out, and in the red. The only concession to anything other than raging is the (compelling) bits of abstract noise and tape manipulation that link some tracks. Forget breakdowns, metallic riffing, guitar solos, shoelace headbands, pedalboards, and all of that nonsense. This is 100% pure hardcore punk.