Fishface: Central Mass Metallic Hardcore Band Offers Brutal Music w/ Empowering Message

Photo: Todd Follet

Hardcore in Massachusetts is all encompassing, there isn’t a section of the state where you won’t find a place that’s contributing to its culture which is why I’ve always considered this scene to be the true sound of Boston. No one will ever admit this but our most realized and communal music scene is hardcore.

A prime example of that community aspect across our state is Fishface, proudly hailing from Central Mass. Fishface began soon after the pandemic and by now they’ve earned their stripes within the scene, having played alongside major players such as Street Power, Wisdom & War, and Hard Target.

Central Mass in the post-pandemic scene saw a huge revival as bands started popping up in the wake of loosening restrictions and each one seemed to be attempting their own distinct style. Fishface debuted in 2022 with a sound influenced by beatdown and slam but also with an ear for '00s hardcore.

“At first we were definitely heavily influenced by bands like Sunami and Enemy Mind but as the years have gone by we are kind of taking on a new sound similar to bands like Incendiary and Gridiron, we’re taking a more traditional hardcore approach while still keeping the bit of beatdown that we have," explains vocalist Yvonne. "We’ve been listening to a lot of Soul Search and a lot of old MVHC bands like Rude Awakening, Hammer Bros, and Think Again."

Fishface's latest release is a 7-track beast called The Rebirthing, which arrived in late 2023:

But let's go back a bit. Fishface’s beginnings were as hardcore as you can get around here. Their first show was played under a bridge in Worcester owing to the DIY nature of the Central Mass scene. Post-pandemic Worcester saw a huge resurgence with bands like Wisdom & War, Shortest Life, and Blood Tithe leading the charge. Fishface fit those bills with their knuckle-dragging style.

Soon after they began, they released their debut EP, What a Nice Family, showcasing their take on the beatdown genre. Mixing Yvonne’s shouted and squealing vocals over beatdown rhythms, while utilizing lyrics that demand crowd participation, Fishface quickly earned the respect of the Central Mass and Boston scenes. From there, the group continued building their skills through countless live shows throughout New England.

Photo: Madyson Coburn

On The Rebirthing, Fishface displays their Hammer Bros-influenced sound as the riffs were just as thick and vicious-sounding as those found on the classic The Kids Are Dead album. With brick layered riffs and Yvonne’s ability to switch between shouted and even squealed vocalizations The Rebirthing seems like the record where Fishface truly find their form. Despite the dark and brooding atmosphere the EP gives off, Yvonne's lyrics speak hope into the listeners showing that even in the darkest moments there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking on her lyrics, Yvonne stated: “Usually, when I write, it's just about stuff that I've gone through or am going through, things I never got to say, lessons I've gotten to learn. Life can be weird and also very unfair, only if you allow it to be. Suck it up and own that shit, get what you want and don’t ever settle for anything until you are happy. Everyone has a sad story but how are you gonna make yours better if you don’t even try. It’s pretty much like suck it up music.”

Photo: Madyson Coburn

The camaraderie of the Central Mass scene stands out in particular because of its diversity and inclusion thanks to bands like Fishface and Wisdom & War. Being a frontwoman in a male-dominated hardcore scene, Yvonne charges into every facet of Fishface with this pride, asserting her own dominance over such stigmas. Within the last few years, there’s been an increase in women coming to shows and Fishface champion that inclusion in the scene stating:

“One of our main messages is definitely women empowerment and not taking any shit, but another goal of ours is for people to understand hardcore is not what they see on Tik Tok. Hardcore is real and in person, it’s sticking up for your friends and your family.”

After finishing a mini tour which took them to Philly alongside Chicago-based slammers Dizeaze, Fishface is currently working on their next EP due out this summer. With the range of influences they’ve listed previously as well as the brutality they dished out on The Rebirthing, you should expect their next outing to be a violently good time.

“We got a few runs we got planned for this year, out west for one of them and we’ll definitely be going down south again. We got merch right now you can grab a shirt at a show or through our Instagram page after this EP we got a split we’re doing with the homies in Damage Control."

Fishface has also announced that they will be playing New Hampshire Hardcore Fest in June alongside a stacked lineup of bands. They will also be hitting shows in Revere, MA and New Hampshire in May and June, respectively. For now, be on the lookout for Fishface’s new EP coming soon and follow their socials for all updates on shows, tours and merch.

Fishface would like to shout out: Lumpy, Dizeaze, Gumskab, Sophisticated Adult, Jackal, Wisdom & War, Xtinguish The Code, Beast From the East, Louzy, The World, Street Power, Risk, Move BHC, Hate Still Burns, Hard Target, Two Piece, Alley Trash, Fleshgate, Damage Control, hate5six, Clock Out, and Multiple Pieces.

Fishface on social media: FacebookInstagram

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