Retaliate: Oxnard Hardcore Band Roars Back with “Disgrace” from Forthcoming LP (PREMIERE)

Photo: Amy Carla

It's not a regular occurrence to see a hardcore band get past one album mark, let alone their fourth, but don't tell Retaliate that. 

Featuring members of In Control and the Warriors, the Oxnard, California-based bruisers will be releasing the aptly titled album IV before the end of the year. The group's crushing riffing style will be complemented by guest appearences from Dave Peters (Throwdown), Anthony Herrera (Take Offense) and Dan Weinraub (Downpresser), all brutal vocalists, of course.

Speaking of brutal vocalists, Retaliate frontman (and 185 Miles South Podcast host) Zack Nelson chatted with No Echo about IV, his band's many years in the game, and his thoughts on the legacy of Nardcore.

If that weren't already enough, we're also premiering "Disgrace," a blistering cut from the forthcoming Retaliate album.

Give me the backstory on the formation of Retaliate, and the groups you’ve all played in before we might know.

I played guitar for a band called In Control that was around from 1999-2004. In 2002, I started Retaliate as a side project band cuz I wanted to sing. We put out a demo that year and played a handful of shows, but in 2003, In Control was really active. We did two US tours supporting our second LP, The Truth Hurts

I booked those tours myself which takes a ton of time. Needless to say, I didn't have time to do Retaliate, so we stopped playing and those dudes formed Vendetta.

After In Control broke up in 2004, I took a year off from playing music which eventually drove me crazy, and we brought Retaliate back in 2006. We put out our first LP on Indecision Records that year, and this year will be our fourth LP.

Since we're premiereing "Disgrace," tell us a bit about it from a lyrical perspective.

I feel like a fossil being 40 years old and criticizing social media, but that's what this song is about. Basically as a society most people spend more time sharing information that they haven't read than actually reading anything that is longer than a headline or maybe a paragraph.

The news media turning into a huge for-profit industry has turned us all into morons. It's all about driving numbers and selling advertising, not truly educating a populace. 

How would you describe Retaliate's sound? 

Sonically it's a mash up of post-One Voice NYHC and Cleveland hardcore, I guess. The guys make fun of me because before every record we do, I send through the first In Cold Blood LP and say, "I want to sound like this." So whatever that sounds like, that's what we're going for but not achieving because no one can. Blaze set the bar too high.


A post shared by zack nelson (@zackretaliate) on

Is there something quintessential “Nardcore” about the Retaliate sound? Is there a Nardcore sound in the first place?

The glory of Nardcore is that there is not a sound. Between 1983 and 1985 the most notable Nardcore 12"s other than the Nardcore comp would be: Agression Don't Be Mistaken, Dr. Know Plug in Jesus, Stalag 13 In Control, Ill Repute What Happens Next, and RKL Keep Laughing. None of those records sound like one another but they are quintessentially Nardcore.

I used to get upset in my early 20s when people would be disappointed that In Control didn't sound like Ill Repute, but Nardcore has always been about finding your own sound.

That idea is still valid today. Look at two of the best current Nardcore bands: Dead Heat and Char-Man. They sound nothing alike but the spirit is the same. 


IV will be out December 4th via Indecision Records. The pre-order is live today.


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