They Don’t Have to Believe
Deathwish Inc.
Street: 08.19
Punch = Vitamin X + What Happens Next? + Suspect

There could be no better name for this band. Punch plays fastcore with amps pegged as high as they will go, and singer Meghan O’Neil returns the hollow descriptor of throat-shredding back to its original intent. This album is lean and intense—apparently recorded live straight to tape, which is the ideal way for something this visceral to be captured. With feminism, the war on women and rape culture in the national dialogue, O’Neil’s enraged hardcore perspective is an essential part of the conversation. The refrain in “Worth More than Your Opinion” saying, “Your unwanted opinion is worthless, but not harmless” is an impeccable distillation of everything wrong with the male gaze, and is sorely needed in aggressive music. Musically, Punch plays fast and hard with the expected breakdowns and sing-a-longs. The album can bleed together during its brief 20 minutes, but that’s a minor gripe in contrast to how fierce it is.
–Peter Fryer