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Lahar – Provide & Conquer

The day I stumbled upon Berlin’s Core Tex Records was one of the happier ones in my life. Even now, it still seems unreal – a huge, clean store devoted almost entirely to hardcore punk, with decent selections of metal and other kinds of punk, and racks upon racks of CD’s, vinyl, videos, t-shirts, hoodies, and shoes. If not for the weak dollar, I would have spent all my lunch money there. I have never seen such a deep selection of hardcore back catalogue.

Heartbreak Press
Children of War

That day, the speakers in the store blasted something so face-peeling, I had to ask what it was. “Lahar” was the reply. They showed me the CD – Provide & Conquer (Spook City, 2005). How did Germans know about a small Seattle band on a small Philly label???

Provide & Conquer is Lahar’s (not to be confused with other bands with the same name) only full-length. It’s essentially raging thrash disguised as hardcore punk. When “Heartbreak Press” goes thrash, and the snares switch from downbeats to upbeats – I love it when drummers do that. I’ve been rocking this album often and nearly giving myself a heart attack – not good for my hypertension. But if I burst something while listening to this, at least I’ll go out with a smile and an imaginary boot (courtesy of Core Tex) to someone’s face.

Some new demo tracks are up on Lahar’s MySpace, so hopefully more goodness is on the way. This is hardcore exactly the way it should be – raw, pissed off, and, for me, heavy on the metal. I dig the straightforward, honest lyrics: “So nothing has become of me / My only hope is fleeting / Off to a place where they burn all maps / And drink the gas.” If you’re in the Seattle area, Lahar is playing the West Seattle Legion Hall on November 4 alongside Gaza, Trap Them, and Architect, which should be a blowout of epic proportions.

Provide & Conquer is available from Spook City.

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