Is it powerviolence? Is it grindcore? Is it fastcore? No, it’s Punch, a hardcore band out of California who have blended all three of those styles together for “They Don’t Have To Believe”. It’s an album that should come with the warning ‘do not listen to this while stuck in a traffic jam’ slapped across the front. If you do, you’ll either end up eating your steering wheel out of sheer frustration or crash into the cars in front of you like a roid-raging maniac.
At the forefront of this collision waiting to happen is Meghan O’Neil whose vocals can either be described as frenetic, bordering on unhinged or über-pissed off. And while O’Neil is raging against guys who harass women in the street (“Worth More Than Your Opinion”) or other subjects women are entitled to be pissed off about, her band members are doing their utmost best to surround O’Neil with just the right kind of hard-hitting riffs and drums that will make your teeth rattle for 19 minutes straight. Hint: they succeed.
It makes “They Don’t Have To Believe” an album that is as brutal as it is unapologetic and one that you definitely need to hear.