Electric Chair: The Beat Sessions cassette (PRE-ORDER)
Electric Chair: The Beat Sessions cassette (PRE-ORDER)

Electric Chair: The Beat Sessions cassette (PRE-ORDER)

Tags: · 20s · hardcore · hardcore punk · hcpmf · USHC · washington
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Much like your crippling anxiety wrought by chronic existential dread, Shout Recordings is back with the next volume of the Beat Sessions, the undying, live-in-studio recording series. This time serving an “electrifying” performance of American, hardcore punk. 7 songs prepared by one of the finest contemporary purveyors of the genre, Olympia’s mighty Electric Chair. The material here is unstepped on, uncut, and hits like fine powder that’s been heated and concentrated into spiked leather punk crystals. Each dose enters the bloodstream before the intro riff even crashes into the first verse. The high dissipates by the chorus, leaving the user fiending and scratching for the next 65 second hit. This frantic cycle perpetuates for the entire unrelenting 9 minutes of the performance. The withdrawal hits fast. And hard. And you will flip the tape time and time again. Notching the volume higher with every play. Feeling the sweet, numbing release. The only feeling you even care about having anymore. Ease the pain. Make it all go away with Electric Chair’s Beat Sessions.

Our take: As someone whose idea of perfect production is the low-budget, quickly but professionally engineered records that came from the underworld of recording hubs like London and Los Angeles in the late 70s and early 80s, the Beat Sessions series is a dream come true. Like Peel Sessions, Beat Sessions capture bands clearly and powerfully, but force them to work quickly and lean on their strengths as players. And as anyone who has seen Electric Chair live knows, they’re a blistering unit, perhaps the single best hardcore punk band in the world right now. Recorded in a single day, this cassette features a selection of tracks that pulls evenly from the band’s three EPs and recent LP. Electric Chair is ferocious here, the clear and powerful recording showcasing both how insanely fast and precise their playing is and how hooky their songs are. It’s exhilarating in the same way Pick Your King is, and just like Pick Your King, as soon as it’s over, I want to listen to it again right away. The tracks from Act of Aggression sound great here, and I think many people will prefer this recording’s dynamics over the more punishing, full-scale-assault sound of the album. And the tracks from their first two EPs blow away those other versions… the band has gotten so much more ripping since they made those early records. It all adds up to a killer tape, and one of 2023’s most essential hardcore punk releases.