Warthog’s Hardcore Crusade Against Cultural Complacency
Warthog don’t do albums. Since their 2012 formation, the New York band — which comprises former Men bassist Chris Hansell, plus members of Nude Beach, Dawn of Humans, Creem and Nomos — have abided by one of hardcore’s most sacrosanct principles: Keep the releases coming, but keep them short, loud and filler-free. “I feel like punk and hardcore bands usually bomb when they finally do an LP, so we’re going to avoid that,” Hansell declared in a 2014 interview. “I just don’t think we’ll take that chance.”
The band’s ephemeral approach doesn’t mean they don’t take risks. Exhibit A: Warthog's new self-titled EP, their most cohesive, brutal release to date. The four-track tour de force doesn’t contain any paradigm shifts, but it certainly marks an uptick in the band’s latent savagery. On “Culture?” — a pummeling reminder to put away your damn phone and be a human — Hansell’s vengeful grunts and banshee-like howls pierce his bandmates’ furied fog, while “Tightrope” sees the group unleashing a bludgeoning Oi! pogo. “Are you a functioning human in a functioning world?” demands the EP’s Bandcamp description. A fitting inquiry, as Warthog’s thesis is essentially “Live in the moment, motherfucker.” And damn, does it feel good to be alive.
Warthog is out now via Beach Impediment/Static Shock.