The key to creating a good Powerviolence record is finding that balance between total chaotic collapse and sheer frantic brilliance. Canadian trio Bugfight walk this tightrope perfectly with layers of hardcore in amongst the power and the violence, their skill evident from this opening salvo. The three-piece’s Demo 2022 is eight tracks of squealing feedback led chaos, with plenty of variation between grinding obliteration and raging breakdowns.
Bugfight lure you into their record with a false sense of security, with opening track ‘Spiraling’ sounding more like a straight up fast hardcore song with a more melodic structure to the song and a groovy hook towards the end of the song. But suddenly ‘Can’t Be Myself’ opens with drummer / vocalist Damon Dooley screaming the title of the song before powering into blast beats. The trio cram so much into a 36-second song that it takes a couple of listens to really decipher what has just happened. As the song progresses there is greater urgency in the vocals and guitar attack, and these moments are Bugfight at their best.
For the experienced PV fan, Bugfight have produced a record which in some aspects is by the numbers. They have the fast parts, they have the blast beats, they have the short noisey interlude and they close with a slower noise heavy song (the fantastic ‘Again’). Nevertheless, this demo is still extremely effective, alternating between vital gnashing disgust and Flipper-influenced atonal punk drawl, and surprisingly spacious production even with lo-fi equipment. There are a few elements where you can hear the roughness around their already ragged edges, but depending on taste that might not even be a complaint.
Demo 2022 is out now via Lower Class Kids Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Tim Birkbeck