"The LA hardcore community was really inspiring to us," says Greg Briskin. The vocalist of power violence outfit Half/Cross is chatting with No Echo about the band's origins on the West Coast. Though they're based out of Philadelphia these days, Greg and the band's guitarist, Matt, both grew up in California, but we'll let the singer continue: "It was a space where we felt truly comfortable, and there were always incredible bands playing in the city.
"We both bonded over a love for Vitriol Records bands like Graf Orlock, Birds in Row, and Dangers. Discovering Loma Prieta, Thou, Punch, and Iron Lung would all be big moments for us as we got deeper and deeper into hardcore. Having lived in different parts of the country through college, we both recently moved to Philadelphia and finally released this tape."
The "tape" Greg is mentioning is called Terminal and it can be streamed below:
So, what would Greg call the style Half/Cross is working in? "In terms of describing our sound, I'd say we're heavily rooted in power violence and fast hardcore. As corny as it sounds, we really just try to go with what sounds good to us.
How Greg explains it, Terminal was not an easy proposition to put together, though it was worth the headaches. "Living in different parts of the country over the last year, it took us awhile to get everything together for this record. We would be sending ideas back and forth constantly, beyond practicing and playing shows when we were both home in California. Since we both got to Philadelphia, we've been able to really commit to finishing this and making it everything we wanted it to be.
"Sonically, we wanted it to just be extremely heavy and aggressive. Our friend Erol Ulug (who recorded and mixed the record) was a huge help in making it sound exactly how we imagined it. Lyrically, the record focuses on mental illness, addiction, interpersonal violence within everyday relationships, the continued presence of racism and rape culture within 'revolutionary' spaces like DIY punk, etc."
Greg wanted to make sure he gave props to some other groups Half/Cross feel a kinship with right now: "Having been based in California for a couple of years, we got close to a couple of bands from Los Angeles. Our drummer and bass player both play in LEAD. We got to play with them a bunch of times, and you should definitely check out the S/T tape that they released this past fall! We always try to shout out Quiet Fear. They're an incredible screamo band from LA that you need to see play live. Keep an eye out for 'em."
Donate a few bucks to help with No Echo's operating costs:
Tagged: half cross