Grave Mistake Records label head Alex DiMattesa recently teamed up with Bobby Egger, owner of Richmond’s Vinyl Conflict record store to relaunch the label of the same name. While formerly a subsidiary to No Way Records, it’ll now be a sub to Grave Mistake, but will keep the original incarnation’s “focus on Richmond Punk and Hardcore bands.”
First on deck for the relaunched label is Barge‘s No Gain 7-inch. It was pitched to me as “fast hardcore, like Infest / No Comment.” Yes, yes it is. Holy fuck, it’s fast. Eight songs in eight minutes. The first side blazes through so quickly and punishingly, you need that time it takes to flip the record over to brace yourself for what you know is about to come in the second half.
Of course, what happens at the start of the second side isn’t blazing hardcore, but a sickening stomper entitled “Where’s the Violence,” which makes up for the lack of proper punctuation by way of pummeling you with thudding riffage. The violence is in the song, which sounds like the soundtrack to stomping a mudhole in someone and walking that sumbitch dry (with apologies to Stone Cold Steve Austin).
The squalling guitars on tracks like “Live For Pain” and “Plague Me” hint ever-so-slightly at crossover, and that’s not a bad thing. Since when have you been able to air guitar to a hardcore record? You get the idea, listening to Barge, that they know what moves a crowd. There are something like three breakdowns on “Your Lies,” and it’s barely 46 seconds long.