"Growing up, we were all going to Backtrack, Incendiary, and King Nine shows, and that really kicked everything off for us and got us into the older bands from Long Island," says Hangman's Michael Smith. The guitarist is chatting with me about the LIHC band's forthcoming EP, A Vile Decree. The EP was recorded and mixed at Silver Bullet Studio with Greg Thomas (Shai Hulud, Enabler) and is rife with one negative-sounding riff after the next, which isn't so surprising considering what Smith was consuming during its construction. "When it comes down to it, all I was listening to in the time of writing A Vile Decree was the Neglect's Don Fury Sessions CD over and over in my car."
A Vile Decree will be released by Flatspot Records, a label owned by musician Ricky Singh (Backtrack, Manipulate) that is also responsible for records by such hardcore acts as Higher Power, Mizery, and End It. "My brother got me into hardcore and introduced me to Ricky at my first show. So, I've known him since I was a little kid," Smith reveals. "I knew if I was gonna send anything to Ricky, that it would have to sound as great as possible. After getting A Vile Decree back and hearing how great Greg Thomas did with the production of the songs, I figured before sending them anywhere else that I would get them to Ricky. He got back to me after listening to them and we pretty much immediately started working on getting this together ever since that point."
I've been keeping an ear/eye out for Hangman going back to the band's 2015 demo, so I'm really happy to bring you the exclusive premiere of "Pesticide," a monster of a track from A Vile Decree.
"The song is about the mindset of ignorance and stupidity owned by a majority of people in the world today," Hangman vocalist Dan Mulligan tells me. "The basic idea of the song is that this mindset and attitude is seen as vermin that stalls progress in this world and instead of being a little bitch and complaining about the problems I see, I take it upon my self to use my brain and actually fucking change it."
Before I go, I ask bassist Sebastian Skaar if there's anything about the current hardcore scene that he's annoyed with. "What's frustrating about the hardcore scene in the present are the kids who are into collecting merch and looking cool first, and the music second. More kids spend time on the Internet than contributing to their community. It sucks. Bring someone who's never been to a show before to your next show." Amen, sir, amen.
A Vile Decree will be out on Nov. 3 via Flatspot Records. The record will be available in runs of 350 copies on black vinyl and 150 on clear, and all digital platforms. Find merch bundles and more for pre-order at this link.
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