The Complicators – S/T (Pirates Press Records)

I remember a couple of decades back when a lot of American street punk bands were blurring the boundary with hardcore. Inspired by the likes of Slapshot, a whole generation of bands exploded, cranking out hardcore sounds whilst clad in boots and braces rather than trainers and shorts. That said there were always enough rabble-rousing choruses that kept one foot in both the oi! and hardcore camps.

Fast-forward to 2023/24 and that style is still massively popular, in fact through bands like Conservative Military Image it’s experiencing a revival. The Complicators fit perfectly into this bracket – serious hardcore beats and breakdowns, but with anthemic parts and street punk-inspired guitars. It is delivered with a snarl on their face, this is definitely from the “ugly and proud” school of songwriting. A fine dose of spit and sawdust to blow those festive cobwebs away. Tom Chapman

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