By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
If New Times had a time machine, the first thing we'd do is travel back to the late '50s when everyone was up in arms over Elvis and his gyrating pelvis. We'd turn off The Milton Berle Show, plug in the turntable, and give them a crash course in powerviolence and fastcore.
Or maybe we'd bring these hypothetical people from the '50s to present-day Churchill's Pub. We'd skip the past 60 years of guitar-based din and get right to the fast-and-brutal punk-metal hybrids of the 21st Century, courtesy of Chest Pain and Mindless, a pair of Texas-bred hardcore bands more rottweiler than hound dog.
Though the Internet might tell you that Mindless is a fastcore band and that Chest Pain plays powerviolence, Mindless vocalist Faiza Kracheni thinks those terms are overused: "Any band that uses blast beats or is faster than mid-tempo hardcore is automatically labeled one of the two." Ironically, her disregard for genre appears to be a bona fide fastcore move. The subgenre cuts out the breakdowns and stomp hooks of '80s hXc (and later Youth Crew, which exaggerated those qualities), instead opting for straight-ahead, blinding, shredding speed.
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Fastcore may be self-explanatory, but it could take the less experienced a hot second to understand powerviolence, another speed-oriented punk variant. Only this time, tempo — along with grindcore shriek — is paired with the growling monster dirge of crusty sludge metal. Though songs usually last less than a minute (and sometimes less than half a minute), their structures are packed more densely than a Yes album. "I think we write songs with just as many parts and riffs as other bands," Chest Pain bassist Matt Needles says. "We just play them three times as fast."