Brandon Critt (v), Jesse Adkins (v), Chris Norman (g), Shawn Williams (g), Kyle Nastal (b), Miles Pardo (d)
Photo By: Melissa Pardo
Smash Your Enemies
It should come as no surprise that Detroit’s own Smash Your Enemies habitually leave the art of subtlety at the door. This hardcore crew’s sound and aesthetic is one of wholeheartedly straightforward aggression: no gimmicks, just groove-laden bellicosity. This is music, in short, designed for bloody knuckles, bruised ribs, and the sweet taste of violent catharsis. Featuring a notably burly low end, spine-snapping riffage, breakdowns a-plenty, and snarled vocals dripping with attitude, Smash Your Enemies proudly exemplify the embattled realm of hardcore metal. As such, they will undoubtedly appeal to acolytes of Terror, Kublai Khan, Madball, and, of course, Hatebreed--the latter of which, given this outfit’s homage of a moniker, is practically a given.
At this stage, the hardcore scene is exceedingly familiar territory for Smash Your Enemies. Since their official formation in 2008, they’ve been putting in the work, the result of which has been a series of shows throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, as well as a stream of EPs across the past decade. Each fresh release is a reinstatement of intent--indeed, their previous effort, 2019's Become Death, was praised for its no-nonsense application of pugilistic fury. In the words of No Echo, "the intimidating metallic hardcore on display is as cold blooded as their homestate’s punishing winter."
Needless to say, these Detroiters strive to make a similarly aggressive impact with their forthcoming 7-track, due March 4th of 2022. Genocide is Smash Your Enemies’ second release via Upstate Records, and serves to shake things up in the viscerality department. Featuring several (comparatively) slower tracks, yet clocking in at a brisk 20 minutes, Genocide is a vicious and varied affirmation of what Smash Your Enemies does best: injecting the hallmarks of the genre’s foundations with a fresh enthusiasm, vigor, and a notable willingness to pulverize their audience. Bottom line? Come March, fans of hardcore--or blatantly muscular antagonism in general--will do well to take heed.