Song of the Day

Nothing Clean, “Punched In,” from Disappointment (Psychocontrol Records, 2021)

Photo: Joshua Sumner

Whilst everyone was busy ingesting tired Star Wars memes on the 4th of this month, the UK was not so subtly prepping to drop a sonic bomb on unsuspecting masses. That explosion comes courtesy of Liecester’s Nothing Clean. The appropriately named act fuses powerviolence, grind, and dizzyingly fast hardcore in a way that, while not altogether new, should enthrall anyone looking to satisfy the scratch itch that Regional Justice Center-infected us with a couple short months ago. 

Having dropped a heavy handful of splits, their 2018 debut full-length album, Cheat, is a furious speed test that tops out at a whopping 41 tracks. The East Midlands unit’s sophomore effort comes via Psychocontrol Records, a long-running extreme music label that’s been pissing in the mainstream, or at least the river Elbe, since 2007. The Czech purveyors of fastcore and its subgenre family tree have quickly become a rewarding deep dive analogous to To Live A Lie here stateside.

Though it’s perhaps a bit cheeky to call a 34-song LP “taut," Nothing Clean’s Disappointment is an even more condensed and sharpened take on their firebrand ferocity. Clocking in at around the time it takes to watch a sitcom, there’s nary an ounce of fat on this rager. TGIF, motherfuckers. 

Picking a Song of the Day, depending on how you look at it, is either the easiest or most taxing of tasks here. I’d argue that you could be randomly dropped in at any point along its runtime and know whether or not it’s for you. That said, they manage to wrench in some power violence prerequisites, peppering passages of depressingly brutal sludge and low slung groove to break up what is otherwise a relentless sprint towards oblivion.

No better place than the beginning, to be honest, and “Punched In” sets well the table before the subsequent 33 tracks reduce it to smithereens.. Even at its decidedly frenzied BPM’s, the band maanges to incorporate sounds from hardcore’s myriad corners. Brazenly punk in its presentation, there are hints of both classic hardcore and the sneery, two fingers up sensibility of UK82 and early crust.

Their aesthetic is clearly DIY, sporting austere and apocalyptic black and white art across their already meaty discography, the outlier being the hilariously unnecessary parental advisory sticker. 

It’s a shockingly perfect song that eschews it’s workmanlike, lunchpail moniker and crams it full of exhilarating moments. It’s replete with a proper feedback and bass drum open that’d satisfy folks who need track ones to be titled “Intro” and drenches it in noisy guitar fuckery. We’re gifted both killer divebombs and a sickeningly perfect bass tone that also flirts with two step. A number of their greatest assets are scattered expertly across the track. The band has tracks and chops. 

Fans of everyone from Sex Prisoner and Lack of Interest to SPINE and World Peace take note… this shit rips. Disappointment never sounded so satisfying. 

Tagged: nothing clean