Sawblade is a brand new hardcore punk duo based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The project comprises of vocalist John Hoffman (Weekend Nachos, Ledge, Spine) and guitarist Morgan Carpenter (Hiva, Prison Shank, Bosnia). These two individuals connected over a shared love for Japanese hardcore music, so they decided to start a project heavily inspired by bands such as Bastard, Deathside, DBS, Nightmare…etc. Then they decided to record a demo cassette during the pandemic, by strictly following the spirit of DIY ethics. The scraps of guitars, bass, and drums circulated back and forth until both John and Morgan were satisfied with the result. After that, John recorded vocals over it, and this collaboration resulted in five blistering hardcore punk tracks.
Perhaps Sawblade bases its music upon Japanese hardcore, but there’s a lot more going on throughout the recording. Sawblade vividly resembles the sound of Bastard, Judgement, DBS, Deathside, Nightmare, Exclude, but the group also focuses on the rich American hardcore punk heritage. The duo blends in some dirtiness of eighties hardcore, so these two primary genres bind together in harmony. Sawblade commences with an echoic overture that indicates the imminent impact packed into four ferocious hardcore punk numbers. The chainsaw sounding guitar shreds are pervading through dynamic rhythmical maneuvers, so characteristic for Japanese hardcore. Sawblade nurtures unpolished, abrasive, rudimentary sound of the eighties hardcore bands, but everything is equally hearable throughout the entire recording. Subtly distorted basslines are coming somewhere in between and additionally highlighting the caustic guitar tones.
The vocals are profoundly transcending the spirit of the Japanese hardcore scene, and John has done incredible work on this one. Sawblade appears as an actual chainsaw, out of nowhere, slashing everything in the broader radius with overwhelming dosages of relentless dynamics, powerful riffages, and ferocious shoutouts. The group demonstrates the ultimate power through cleverly arranged compositions that are delivering the best affinities of Japanese and US hardcore music. The demo cassette is currently available at their Bandcamp page, but it’s strictly limited to 100 copies, so act fast and preserve a copy for yourself.