Die: Vexed 7"
Second EP from the almighty DiE, to my mind the best hardcore band going in the UK right now, though they definitely have some competition from bands like the Flex, Perspex Flesh, Violent Reaction, and Arms Race. Anyway, everyone flipped out over this band's first EP, and with good reason... it's straight up one of the best hardcore records in recent memory. Things have changed just a little bit for the second EP... while there are some definite hardcore stompers here (quite a few, in fact), it feels like the balance has tilted slightly toward a more frantic, kind of unhinged sound. There's a lot more lead guitar on this one, and the songs are generally shorter, faster, and more to the point. The band's main selling point, though--those insanely powerful vocals--are back in full force, and even the fastest tracks have a singalong quality that very, very few bands can successfully emulate. In other words, this is just similar enough that everyone who loved their first EP that will love it, but just different enough so that it doesn't feel like more of the same. Utterly essential.