Baltimore is home to a number of punk and hardcore bands that have received national recognition in the last several years, including Trapped Under Ice, War On Women and Turnstile. Turnstile recently received three nominations for the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, and had two of its songs — “Holiday” and “T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)” — featured in commercials for Taco Bell.
Although I’ve seen more than 350 bands in the last few years, I typically stick to writing about courts and criminal justice. (So the maxim that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” now makes a lot more sense to me.)
Here are my picks for three Baltimore punk and hardcore releases to check out from 2022:
In its debut EP, Jivebomb packs five songs of raw aggression into five minutes and 26 seconds. The band recorded at Magpie Cage, the studio of producer and engineer J. Robbins of the alternative rock band Jawbox.
Jivebomb headlines the Ottobar on Dec. 30 with Tossed Aside, B.R.A.T. and Polarview. Tickets are $15. The band will also take the stage on Jan. 28, 2023, as part of Disturbin’ The Peace at Baltimore Soundstage, which is sold out.
End It — which, as an aside, is a fantastic name for a hardcore band — is labelmates with Jivebomb on Flatspot Records, the Baltimore hardcore label. The opening track, “BCHC,” is an acronym for Baltimore City Hate Crew, and the video for “New Wage Slavery” features footage from the city as well as parts of a live performance at one of my favorite places to see music, the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. (I’d recognize that carpet from anywhere.)
“Unpleasant Living” features six songs with tight playing, heavily distorted guitars and bass and crushing drums. The EP clocks in at seven minutes and 58 seconds.
Like its labelmates, End It is also on the bill for Disturbin’ The Peace.
On “All In A Dream,” Praise features upbeat, melodic guitars and evokes groups including Rites of Spring — the ‘80s punk band from Washington, D.C., that featured Guy Picciotto and Brendan Canty, who’d later play in Fugazi — as well as newer artists such as Japandroids.
The style of singer Andy Norton is reminiscent of Dave Smalley from Dag Nasty.
Praise shares a drummer, Daniel Fang, with Turnstile.