It’s become something of a cliche to say that a band has stripped away all the excess and reduced songs to just the necessary pieces. At first listen, Richmond’s Cretins seem to be reductive, but when you listen, you realize that they’ve stripped away nothing but the pauses.
Cuts like “Piss On Your Pieces” and “Last Path” demonstrate this pretty effectively, as they open each side with a blast of hardcore, blowing out of your speakers with an intensity that frightens. Whereas any other band would let their guitars feed back a little, generating a little anticipation before launching into the next verse or iteration of the chorus, Cretins chooses instead to cut everything short, and just power ahead.
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.