War Bison, Acre (Self-Released, 2019)

It almost feels like this just appeared out of nowhere but I’m so thankful that it did!

Hailing from San Francisco (a rarer thing these days as many of the punks are getting priced out to the East Bay and beyond), War Bison fulfills the promises they made in their excellent 2017 demo. Taking their cues from 411, Verbal Assault and the like they play this driving, melodic, and breakdown filled take on hardcore that brings to mind a lot of early '90s bands.

What prevents it from devolving into '90s hardcore tedium, however, is the exceptionally adept guitar work and urgent pace of delivery—it provides a formidable backdrop to vocalist Dwayne’s shouted yet tuneful conveyance of lyrics which address both threats societal and internalized. 

While the production is light years better than what was being cranked out back then, if this was sandwiched on a mixtape between say Strife, Outspoken, Endpoint, and Four Walls Falling tracks I’d totally believe that it was some long lost band of that era.

What’s funny about this is, knowing some of the band members, they’d probably be like “what the fuck are you talking about?” But it’s true! And a good thing! 

Photo: Michael D. Thorn

There’s a part of me that wonders why this hasn’t taken off the same way so many others taking inspiration from that era of hardcore have—is it the sweeping metallic parts? Is because they’ve not hired the right PR person? I know the game done changed but to me they should be heralded in the same context as bands like Ecostrike, Fury, Tuning, etc that take so much inspiration from the era of hardcore when oversized t-shirts and moshing in VFW halls to lyrics courtesy of a PETA pamphlet ruled the land.

Photo: Michael D. Thorn

Here’s hoping the War Bison rolls through your town soon!

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