United by the confounds of the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, LOOSE NUKES is truly an East meets West hardcore punk detonation of immense proportions. Consisting of one half of Pittsburgh's late great BLOOD PRESSURE along with other residents of the Quaker State that have served time in the likes of SICKOIDS, DARK THOUGHTS and countless other Philadelphian greats over the years, the pedigree is undeniable and, as one would guess, the tunes themselves are high caliber in both their composition and raw delivery. "BEHIND THE SCREEN" is eight tracks of smoldering hardcore punk in just over nine and a half minutes. If you're looking for some kinda new spin on the olde wheel, it might be best to just keep walking / scrolling / etc. But if ya got a hankerin' for well executed hardcore punk, well shit bud, you've arrived! Each record comes in a double sided fold out sleeve a la the Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers - Furious Party 7" adorned with art by resident Nukes crooner Jim Shomo.
Our take: First proper 7” (their first was their demo pressed to vinyl) from this much-hyped Pittsburgh band. With an ex- / current members of list that reads like a “best of the 2000s” article, it’s no surprise that Loose Nukes has gotten a lot of attention during their short tenure as a band. However, they more than deliver the goods, with their demo and this 7” quickly and firmly establishing them as one of the best hardcore bands in the world. Deep heads will recognize Eric’s distinct riffing style from his days playing guitar in Government Warning and Blood Pressure, and the songs on this 7” find the perfect balance between the catchiness of the former and the fury of the latter (GW fans will love “Innocent,” which sounds like it could have appeared on that band’s first EP). The rhythm section is rock-solid too; Vince (previously of Witch Hunt and Sickoids) is one of those drummers who will probably never be in a band I don’t like. His rhythms have a subtle swing to them that is, to me, what hardcore punk should sound like. And then there are the vocals courtesy of Jim from Dark Thoughts. While a lot of great hardcore vocalists lock onto the beat and use their voice as a rhythm instrument, Jim’s vocals are looser and wilder, frequently devolving into a pained scream that breaks out of the rhythmic lock-step like a lion escaping from a cage. Behind the Screen is an example of masters of their craft doing what they do best. For the foreseeable future, when I want to listen to a pure hardcore record this is what I'll reach for.