Warhead: S/T 12"

540 Records


Warhead is one of those bands that don't get nearly the respect they deserve. Sure, there are the dedicated few who sing the praises of Cry of Truth, but I feel like overall they don't have nearly the cache of other comparable older-but-still-actiev Japanese hardcore bands like Forward, Systematic Death, etc. I think part of that is because Warhead's first EP didn't come out until 1991, placing them at the tail end of the golden age of the Burning Spirits style, and part of it is that when Warhead previously toured the US (usually along with Forward) they seemed to be pursuing this really harsh, noisy kind of style when the American audience really just wanted to hear big riffs and Chelsea-esque leads. I think they were still really great live and I still like a lot of the records they produced during that period, but this new LP finally feels like the right record at the right time. I'm not sure if it's the return of their original guitarist or just the way these songs were recorded, but the tracks on this LP sound decidedly more riff-oriented and memorable than much of the band's recent output. I spent a lot of time with the singles collection that was finally released on vinyl last year and that record is a total bulldozer, in places so punishing that it's difficult to listen to. This LP scales that back somewhat in favor of much more memorable riffs and changes. It's not a million miles away from the latest Forward LP in terms of style, but ultimately it's a lot faster, gnarlier, and doesn't have the same super anthemic quality that Forward has. Even if you haven't liked some of the recent Warhead material I would highly encourage you to check out this LP, because it really feels like the perfect summation of everything this band is about, and it may just be their best record.

Tags: hardcore Japan punk recommended yoobl