Guilt Parade, Guilted Palace of Sin (Alternatives Label, 2019)

In tending to the home fire, again I find singing the praises of my ever-evolving and always crucial  neighbors in the DMV. This is the now sound of Washington, DC y’all. More aptly, it’s the glorious melange of Youth Crew and D-beat peddled by the ripping hardcore unit Guilt Parade.

Keeping lit the long-burning flame of hardcore in the City of Magnificent Distances, they’ve found themselves the marching band du jour, as it were. Though due in part to my overwhelming local bias, NWODCHC has become a bastion of fiery, self-aware hXc , having seen incessant waves of bands riding the recalculating waves of that particular city’s hardcore scene. Seemingly void of pretense, Guilt Parade’s unique procession has fully blossomed in the two years since their impressive April 2017 Promo. Still built upon the same premise, they’ve since reinforced their collective buttresses with an impressively dense and explosive EP entitled Guilted Palace of Sin

Released via the wonderful folks at Seattle’s Alternatives Label, the five songs herein are, essentially, a tour through straight ahead raging hardcore that pulls from corners both classic and unexpected, flashing a long-held literacy in myriad adjacent subgenres. Guilt Parade are clearly students of the game, lifers by default. As much as everyone longs to fit bands into the tidiest of pockets, GP manage to seamlessly marry their Bold influence to the legions of Japanese and Swedish bands that expanded and fleshed out the apocalyptic dis-beat of the mighty Discharge. As if predetermined by the looming shadow of grotesquerie that is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Guilt Parade bring a street-wise fury and an air of unrelenting dissent to the proceedings. 

Over the course of the all-too-brief collection of songs, there’s a wealth of highlights that travel from the perfectly placed vocal tradeoff in the back half of opener “The New Way” to the rabid rock and roll guitar riff that swallows the back end of “Victim Insane.” One of Guilt Parade’s most expertly employed weapons, aside from the tar thick D-beat drum sound, is their ready embrace of early USHC. There are touches of Negative Approach, both in the feral stomp and Brannon-esque shout cadence. Elsewhere, both “B.B.T.B” and the reprisal of their Promo’s hottest self-referential jam “G.P.” take their Dis- love affair to new extremes. The former absolutely pummels with  low end fury that could be cribbed from The Holy Mountain, Wolfbrigade.

Photo: Angela Owens

Personally, “The Total End” is a favorite among them, the leader of a ravenous pack. Recalling, to these old ears, the lost classic “Never Give Up… Never Give In” by Burial (remedy that immediately). Every element of their sound seems to coalesce around a riff that works as well as a UK82 assault as it does the more muscular '90s Youth Crew sound. They adorn their attack with divebombs, lightning fast two-step mosh rips, and touches of early ‘oughts Boston. Atop an absolutely killer run of bass and toms, the venom of the vocals is palpable, clear, and absolutely harrowing. Mercifully, it’s not the “total end” but only the second track. Killer. 

Fresh off a run with Baltimore’s children of devotional honesty The Truth Cult, catch ‘em May 7th at their record release at Spirit World in Baltimore. Ask a punk. 

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Tagged: guilt parade