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An introduction to 6 up-and-coming Singaporean hardcore bands

An introduction to 6 up-and-coming Singaporean hardcore bands

Hardcore punk, more often known as hardcore, is a genre that has existed since the 1970s. Hardcore made its way to Singapore in the early 90s, resulting in bands like Stompin' Ground and Voiceout who paved the way for the scene, eventually coining the term, Lion City Hardcore (LCHC).

The hardcore scene is tight-knit and thriving, with new bands forming all the time. Six of these emerging hardcore bands will perform at New Breed Take Over, a gig this Saturday showcasing the new blood in the scene. We talked to five of those bands – Raw Dog, Resist, Vital Sign, Realm and ISO – as well as fellow newcomers FUSE about their influences and how they met.


Raw Dog

How did you meet?

We met through hardcore gigs eventually became friends then one day Ethan had the idea of forming a band so he asked the rest of us and we were like okay fuck it, let's go.

Who are your influences?

Minority Unit, Coolside, Rotting Out, Guns Up!, Trapped Under Ice are our main influences. There's actually a whole lot more since all of us have really different musical backgrounds.

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore?

Hardcore's only about showing off your strength or dominance. It's so much more than that and we wish people realize it from the get-go when they get into the hardcore scene.

Why should people listen to your band?

We try to promote a lot of good things in our songs ('Drink Drank Drunk' included hahaha). For example, there's noise about sexual predators in the scene both locally and overseas so we wrote a song about it cause it's something that we felt strongly about too. Whether you're guy or girl, if there's no mutual consent then you better keep your hands to yourself. We try our best to keep things groovy too, something that would encourage people to further explore the crazy world of hardcore/punk music. 

What can people expect from your band in the future?

A lot of dogs... A lot of funky fun... A lot of music... 

Follow Raw Dog here: Twitter


Resist

How did you meet?

The scene in Singapore is pretty small so it wasn't very hard finding like-minded individuals that were interested in forming a new band. Since most of the band members were already playing in different bands, we actually met through shows.

Who are your influences?

Our main influence would probably be Bent Life but it isn't really just one band. We take a lot of influence from different bands and just try to create our own thing.

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore?

Most people in Singapore still have the common misconception that hardcore music or noisy music in general is music that has or promotes a bad message. But that's actually pretty far from what the hardcore scene is all about. Most bands here in Singapore just write about their daily struggles and hardships they go through trying to fit into society.

Why should people listen to your band?

We're not a band that will force our music down anybody's throats so if people want to listen to our band we're just very thankful that our music is appreciated.

What can people expect from your band in the future?

Hopefully, we'll get to play more shows and maybe even get the chance to open for some of the bigger bands that stop over here in Singapore. One thing for certain is people can expect us to put out some groovy hardcore music in the future!

Follow Resist here: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook


Vital Sign

How did you meet?

Izzat: Vital Sign was formed as a side project, or rather that I felt like putting out music to fill my time. It was an idea that I had for awhile but really never got on to writing, not until I was weeks away from enlisting. Never intended to do anything fancy, so I recorded everything in my room. A day before enlistment, I uploaded the songs on Bandcamp, posted it on Twitter and let the days pass (also because I rarely have time to use my phone).

The reception was alright. A couple of friends somehow figured out I was behind this, and suggested we should jam and play a show. That’s pretty much how we formed. The rest of the band members which make up Vital Sign are Hasif (Plague Bearer), Hady (Plague Bearer/Fuel), Shahril (Fuel) and Elton (Hollow Threat/Spirits/Plague Bearer).

Who are your influences?

Izzat: The main influences for the current songs we’ve put out are bands such as Trapped Under Ice, Turnstile and What’s Good.

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore?

Izzat: I guess the rowdy nature of hardcore shows leads people to develop the misconception that it’s nothing more than a group of violent and angry people losing their heads. I recall seeing a tweet saying that people in the hardcore scene, and I quote, are “scene jocks”. I wouldn't say it’ll be wrong to have that impression, because indeed the people and the atmosphere in the venue can get intense. 

But beyond all that, like any other form of music, it’s an outlet to express ourselves: where we channel our frustrations through the music, singing along to words that we can relate to. In fact, I feel that it’s because of this, that there are new faces who show interest in hardcore and want to be at a show and part of the crowd. The scene has become more accepting of people who are new to this, which is the way it should be.

Why should people listen to your band?

Izzat: I find it hard to take on this question. The most decent reason I could think of, is that perhaps, the lyrics are something you could relate to. It’s not the most complex composition of words and sentences with beautiful metaphors, but it’s just honestly what I feel. 

What can people expect from your band in the future?

Izzat: We’ve all got commitments with our other bands, so I guess Vital Sign remains everybody’s side project. We’ve had, however, discussed on putting out an EP sometime soon; perhaps lean toward a different sound just to allow us to expand our creativity. But till then, we’ll play shows as and when we can.

Follow Vital Sign here: Twitter


Realm

How did you meet?

We actually know each other as we all play in different bands: Exhibitors, False Plaintiff, Tides, State Of Pain and The Parallax Error. Our drummer, Afiq, showed interest in starting a 90’s metalcore influenced band and gathered the members.

Who are your influences?

Mostly bands from the US. Vein, Sanction, Zao, On Broken Wings.

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore?

I don't know what to say for this. No comment. 

Why should people listen to your band?

Because I think our sound is pretty unique. All of our songs consist of odd time signatures and our songwriting is not as straightforward as generic hardcore. Other than that, we’ve implemented the element of noise tracks too, to create an atmosphere during our live sets.

What can people expect from your band in the future?

We’ve actually finished recording an entire EP so keep an eye out for that.

Follow Realm here: Twitter


ISO

How did you meet?

We were originally an alt pop-punk band called Outliers. Faris and Izz met in secondary school, and the rest of us all met in school (Temasek Polytechnic), except our bassist now, Fariz, who was brought in by Izz cause they were sk8 buddies. after we realized Outliers just wasn’t gonna work, Faris, Pravin, and Izz still decided to continue music and started ISO along with Fariz.

Who are your influences? 

Errrrr, not gon’ lie, but, we don’t actually have any particular influences. We don’t even listen to a lot of hardcore lol we just write whatever we think sounds cool. Some of our fav bands are Easy Money, Buried Alive, Turnstile, The Strokes, Teen Suicide, TUI, Angel Du$t, Mild High Club, The Story So Far, Bauhaus, Acid Ghost, Trail of Lies, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, New York Dolls, The Smiths, Homeshake, and like fuck so much more.

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore?

Our parents think we do drugs every time we go to a gig lol… Anyway, no comment on the whole hardcore scene thing we just here 'cause we want to be hehe. If you want all that juicy gossip and scene drama stuff you asked the wrong band. We don’t want no beef cause we’re vegetarian.

Why should people listen to your band?

Don’t – unless you wanna hear Faris’ shitty vocals and if you got nothing better to do :P

What can people expect from your band in the future?

No idea. We literally have nothing planned we just write and do shit whenever we want. If we play shows then idk come peep the fits and the guest instrumentals we have. 

Follow ISO here: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


FUSE

How did you meet?

Initially, we were all just acquaintances who go to the same hardcore shows. Then our vocalist wanted to form a band to have more female representation in the scene and since we all had a mutual interest in hardcore, she brought us together.  

Who are your influences? 

Our sound is a mixture of old-school and new-wave hardcore. Some influences are The Rival Mob, Freedom, Righteous Jams, Primitive Blast, Odd Man Out.  

What’s the biggest misconception about the Hardcore scene in Singapore? 

One of the biggest misconceptions is that hardcore bands from Singapore will not be as successful as bands from other bigger countries like the US. But this is inaccurate because we do see some hardcore bands from Singapore doing well internationally, be it touring or getting on international labels. What we can do is to get out of our comfort zone and try to expand to outside of Singapore and even Southeast Asia to show the global hardcore community that there are good things coming out of Singapore’s hardcore scene.  

Why should people listen to your band? 

Our songs are about our frustrations towards social segregation, which we feel a lot of people can relate to. We also really enjoy what we’re doing and we would love it too if people who listen to our music appreciate it as much as we do.   

What can people expect from your band in the future? 

We are in the midst of recording and finalising our songs for our upcoming EP. So, for sure keep a look out for this and some more exciting things happening towards the end of the year! Hehe.

Follow FUSE here: Twitter | Facebook


Raw Dog, ISO, Realm, Vital Sign and Resist, alongside other bands like UNSUB and ZODD, will be playing New Breed Take Over this Saturday, 21st April at Analog Factory, Woodlands. Doors open at 5pm and tickets cost S$10 at the door.

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