Refocus is a band from North Carolina whose sound inflames a sense of nostalgia in me. On their debut EP My Choice, My Fight they serve up five tracks of classic hardcore that serve as a strong reminder your band doesn't have rip off Pantera or Disembodied to be good these days. They play straight forward straight edge hardcore. Think Down To Nothing, think Break Away. Honestly, none of the records I've heard this year have been this simple in their approach to the genre and I appreciate that quality in a band immensely. 

The release opens with the title track, essentially a three minute introduction to what this band is all about. This song begins with a melodic intro, something I haven't heard in... God knows how long. It's beautifully executed and rolls right into a swell of drums and guitar which create the entire foundation that this EP stand on. From start to finish it's full of great guitar, bass, and drum work without ever trying to be something it isn't. 

Then "Fratricide" follows, an anthem about how being a rich kid with a stuck up attitude will leave you friendless in the end. From beginning to end this song is full of intense stomp parts which roll into an upbeat two step and it finishes strong with a solid breakdown. 

"Test of Time" is my personal favorite track on this release. It's everything that a straight edge anthem should be both sonically and lyrically. 
Don't try to change my mind, cause the choice has been made
I'll be straight edge til I die, knowing I stayed sane 
Even as an ex-edgeman those words ring to something in me. Indicative of a promise made that won't ever be broken, the entire purpose of the straight edge summed up in song. 

"Seniority" is the "short, fast, loud" track every good band needs on a release for it to be solid. Not to mention its lyrics feature a challenge to status quo and that's always appreciated here at LOD.

Finally, "Parasite" closes the record as the peak of the crescendo, the end result of the build created in the first track and it is done so wonderfully. 

Listen to My Choice, My Fight on Bandcamp and follow Refocus on Twitter.




If you're like me, then you listen to records and think, "what the hell made this person feel this way?" In Criminal Instinct's case, it's multiple and varying instances of people pissing them off. I asked Josiah how long he's been angry and his reply was one short "forever." Needless to say, he's damn near perfected the art of articulating what upsets him. From the 2012 Demo, to Fever, and now Zone 6 Music, he's told us exactly what is causing him to grind his teeth. Of all the LPs set to debut this year, I would argue that this is one of the angriest. 
So, in the spirit of curiosity, I asked him to tell me what made this record possible and give me the meaning behind these insane tracks.

This song is about someone I knew who got killed - and the world is a far better place for it. He was the kind of guy who thought he was a real "thug" because he would sell a bag of weed or two, would abuse any girl he was ever with, and ended up raping and killing his own aunt. Now, when I read the next few days things like "RIP Max Zayn" or "He was a great dude deep down" it literally made me sick. Death can be sad, we all know that. But death is also a part of life and can be a very positive thing when it takes away a piece of garbage that should have been removed from the gene pool at birth.

Max Zayn. Rest in piss.

Force Me
It's always weird explaining a song like this to someone. Essentially, my irrational life and the decisions that come with it leave me with no shortage of low points. During those kinds of times, the idea of peacing out can be pretty tempting and I'm left feeling like I'm kind of forcing myself through life, like I'm fighting what the universe really wants. But then I snap back and get to work - because being a bitch all the time can be a huge strain on yourself and the people you love.

Nothing At All
If you really know me, this song doesn't need much explanation. I'm straight edge, but my approach to the things I like in life is that of a text book addict. The only positive thing to say about it is that I try my hardest to make sure my problems don't affect others. Other than that, I'm the poster child for self-destruction. That basically sums this one up.

No Privilege
Being white has never really  came with an extra set of benefits for me in my life. I went to a school that was mostly Hispanic or hillbilly. Because I was neither, I never fit in there. I grew up going to shows in Atlanta and moved there in my early teens. In Atlanta, racial tension is at a constant 10, and white is the racial minority in the areas I lived in/hung out in. And then when I went to college, I didn't quality for a ton of scholarships that would have really helped me because I was white. It's not a sob story, and I'm not saying that I went through hell on earth. But it's enough to get me annoyed when some fucking dork rolls around saying "you don't realize how privileged you are." Privilege is based on your area, your surroundings and most of all, how much money you have. Money buys privilege, and that transcends races. I mean Magic Johnson beat AIDS in a time when it was viewed as impossible, was that "Black privilege"? No, it was being rich.
I guess my main issue is that the "privilege" flag wavers for the most part don't ACTUALLY care about the social progression of people. They just like to check their "good deed of the day" box by trying to make people hate themselves or be constantly apologizing for the color of their skin. We'll never evolve as a people or as a society while we keep tacking "White" or "Black" before whatever adjective we are using to describe a kind of person. Essentially, people need to think beyond some fuckin' barista's blog-post about why you should hate yourself.

That's My Desire 
I'm not a tough guy and I don't waste my life searching for reasons to fight. However, people tend to view themselves as these supreme higher life forms that are above learning how animals do. It's gotten worse over time which is why you'll see people dis-respecting each other more blatantly than ever, then hiding behind "non-violence" when it's time to answer the call. Long story short, this song is about putting a dog's face in its piss - in human form.

So we all used to know a crazy son-of-a-bitch named Chris. In a sense, it's our own fault for not seeing the signs of him turning into a total piece of trash sooner. He used to be a pretty loyal dog, but over time, evolved into more of a mangy one that would start fires others would have to put out for him. He then started stealing from people who cared for him, got hooked on heroin and eventually had to high-tail to another state to avoid running into people who would like to have words with him so to speak. He'll most likely spend the rest of his life this way until he dies or someone kills him.  

You aren't "fearless" until you've felt fear. It's all about how you handle that feeling when it comes. For years, people have evolved from overcoming adversity. But in recent times, people do everything in their power to avoid any kind of struggle or anything that would make them feel fear vs. moving forward and rising above whatever comes. Essentially, fear can be a very positive thing in terms of growing as a strong person. It's just whether you choose to run from it or use it as fuel. 

Helping Hand
Mental illnesses are an all too real problem. I've seen my own friends and families ripped up because of them. However, in modern times people are constantly looking for any kind of crutch in an attempt to deny the fact that they might just be a mentally weak person vs. a mentally ill person. Not to mention that the pharmaceutical industry is pure evil and tons of psychiatrists stand to profit from prescribing more and more people to pills for problems that - in some instances - their patients don't even have. Just think about how may times you've heard some shitty rich dork living off mommy and daddy's dime bitch about how depressed they are. I'm not saying it can't happen, but sometimes people like that just have problems copping with reality outside of their weekly allowance and get scared/sad - which isn't depression, that's weakness.

Won't You Spare Me Over To Another Year 
This song is about my grandma. She's a "bad person" in the traditional sense, but I love her and we are very similar in more ways than one. She's dying more every day, and I feel like my death experience would be very similar to hers. Kind of weird to say I know, but it's just how I feel.

Big Rock Candy Mountain is an old country song that's basically about one man's fantasy land. This song is my version.




Year of the Knife, or as I like to call them, the newest champions of northeastern metalcore. Now, it's been stated many times on this publication that I only care for the creme de la creme of bands in the metalcore revival and this Delaware outfit has more than earned their spot in that ranking. They released a demo in the summer of 2015 that (thanks to Chris Hatch's subwoofers) almost literally put me on my ass. They've since released Overgrowth, a four track sonic assault that has been on consistent rotation since I heard it. 
If you're attending This is Hardcore this August, be sure to watch this band. I promise you'll regret it if you don't. 

Listen to Year of the Knife on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.


I don't know if you guys have read up on North Carolina's history with the paranormal but fucked up, inexplicable things happen in this state at an almost constant rate. There's cults, cannibals, the Devil's tramping ground... need I say more? With such a dark cloud hanging over this place it only makes sense that evil music also comes out of this state. 
This is where Invoke from Wilmington comes in, they're here to take that sense of dread to the next level. 
They released their demo in October of 2015 and this month streamed a new song called "Surrender the Throne", both of which blend all the elements of good metal and good hardcore to create a band that's more than worth listening to in your free time.  
Oh, and apparently they'll be appearing at FYA IV, if this wasn't enough proof that they're a band you should be watching.

Listen to Invoke on Bandcamp and follow them on Twitter.




(Photos by Shadie, Painful Dayz)

There is nothing I find cooler or more respectable than doing whatever you want. That is exactly what Life of Delinquency is about and exactly what I like to give attention to here. Well, there is no one who lives the idea of "DIY" more than Shadie Boy Burciaga. With Painful Dayz being the vehicle for apparel, zines, film photography, and illustrations all created and curated by Shadie himself, you know you're getting something magical. The magic of being in it, not above it; the difference between standing room and VIP.

Visit the Painful Dayz website and follow Shadie on Twitter.




Over the course of the past three years our scene has had a giant resurgence of metalcore. Was it all good? Of course not. Most of it was trite, to say the least. Bands playing at an idea because it was gaining ground again, not because that's what they liked. Personally, I was fine listening to bands that formed before I was born and leaving it at that, but I'm a curious person so I kept checking out bands out and kept being generally unimpressed.
That is, until Tourniquet

With members who live and breathe their love for metalcore, it's not surprising that this band redeemed their genre. Tourniquet isn't an experiment, it's a lesson in the genre. The guitar and bass work by Fink and ZTP is a measured chaos, sonic water torture. Every note pushing you further and further into understanding insanity. Breza's drums serve as the barrel of the gun that this band is, giving a clear shape to the band's instrumental sound which can only be described as "destructive." How could I describe Little Chris's voice? It's impossible to compare him to anyone else, especially seeing as how he has one of the strongest vocal ranges among the new breed of metalcore bands.
 As a whole, this band is a force to be reckoned with, simply put. It isn't often that a band gets booked on multiple shows without first releasing a demo and even more rare that they back up that amount of hype at their first show. 

Anatomy of Obsession is only the beginning of what Tourniquet plans to unleash on the scene and I can't wait to see what else they have in store in 2016. 
For a four track EP to be as strong as theirs is, I can only imagine the power in their next release.

You can listen to Anatomy of Obsession of Bandcamp and follow Tourniquet on Twitter.


All hail the Lonestar State. I don't think Texas has ever produced a bad band. With well-known crushers Bitter End, Power Trip, Mammoth Grinder, and the mythical Iron Age all hailing from this state it's no wonder that the young generation of bands is constantly producing some of the best hardcore, metal, and crossover material in the country. They've got big shoes to fill. Violent Exit is the Cinderella of this story in that case. They released a five track demo on May 21st and it gives life to every rumor you've ever heard about what Texas hardcore sounds like. The riffs that compel you to bang your head until your neck snaps, drum and bass parts that crush your ribs, and vocals that leave your brain scrambled. At the end of the demo you're left a drooling mass who can only say "more." 



I know "summer punk" isn't a real genre but if it was, Krust would be in it. They released No Stress in 2014 and I thought they were done forever since it'd gone quiet for them but nope, I was wrong. They came out of left field with Paradise In Brick, just in time to be one of the records I'll be playing all summer. I mean, there's a fucking ska song on this joint, it's got everything. With fun riffs and great lyrics, Krust is what I would imagine Murphy's Law would sound like if they became a band in this day and age. If you listen to this and don't enjoy it then you don't like having fun and probably suck ass at parties. My favorite track from Paradise In Brick is "I Want Sex" with "Not Guilty" being a very, very close second. 
If you're looking for music to skate to, smoke to, bang to, whatever... you've found it in Krust.