Buggin: Chicago Hardcore Group’s “Brainfreeze” Single Jumps Off the Speakers

Photo: Bryanna Bennett

Chicago’s Buggin has been killing the numbers game of late. After subtracting the “Out” that once rounded out a The Low End Theory-inspired moniker, they added to their resume the enviable position of signing to the hardcore institution that is Flatspot Records.

Having ditched the adverb, their reverential reference to hip-hop instead comes on their label debut. The superlative two-spot and Flatspot debut dropped last week and, if it’s any indication, they’ll be on tongues for years to come.

The single is available on all streaming outlets now, along with Buggin’s cover of “Gratitude,” a Beastie Boys banger from 1992’s highwater mark, Check Your Head. which serves as the B-side. It finds the group paying back a spiritual tax and highlights their more mid paced and far afield influences. 

That’s not why I’m here, though, y’all. I’d rarely welcome the swollen blood vessels associated with a hastily sipped Slurpee, but I’m ecstatic to experience Buggin’s “Brainfreeze.”

The band’s first material since their dizzyingly good S/T 2020 demo absolutely jumps off the speakers. Sonically, Buggin sounds huge here, trading straightforward hardcore stomp and a choppy start/stop that manages an almost playful ferocity.

To quote the aforementioned cover track, the A-side “bounces like a Spaulding” and incorporates a rousing dose of their trademark groove. They manage to fuse everything great about their demo in just North of two minutes here.

Still replete with the NYHC bounce of Buggin's demo’s self-titled track, there’s more than a generous helping of early Midwestern pummeling for the more “down the line” inclined. 

It’s a fiery rush of boundary-crashing hardcore punk that fits well alongside myriad scenes, as evidenced by the wildly varied list of acts they’ve split stage time with.

Photo: Errick Easterday

The final minute is a bass and cymbal-led pit stormer, topped off by Bryanna’s best performance to date. It’s an urgent and ferocious vocal attack, unfettered and stacked with measured chaos. Let the tape rock until the tape pops. Absolutely rad stuff. Get on it now. 

Buggin on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Bandcamp


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