Unsanitary Napkin, All Billionaires Are Bastards (Hardcore Victim/Sorry State Records, 2022)

For the last 33 years that I’ve been involved in music, there’s been a constant influx of amazing hardcore punk and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

As most of us know, not everything hits the marker as styles have been regurgitated numerous times and the experience of hearing a “first” is a bygone era. With that, the energy, enthusiasm and most importantly the message are still alive, or I wouldn’t be here writing this!

Occasionally, I’ll come across something that reinvigorates me, and Unsanitary Napkin easily falls into that realm. UN come from Aotearoa, New Zealand and give a walloping sound of anarcho-driven hardcore punk that is uncompromising from start to finish.

This is pedal to the floor rage and is exactly how hardcore punk needs to be. Shredding sound with a determined voice that gives rise to question.

Although having a handful of releases, I discovered their latest material towards the end of 2021, and it instantly went on my Top 10 list for the year over at DIY Conspiracy. At that point they had two songs available from the upcoming album that included the tracks “TERF War” and “Speak up for women, you don’t speak for me”, this told me the bands direction, and for me that’s vital considering the state of our world.

I was recently contacted by the band, and they offered to send me their latest full-length album, All Billionaires Are Bastards, and to say I was stoked would be putting it lightly. No overly saturated noise or a barrage of guitar feedback, just straight up well-executed punk that gives the adrenaline the boost it needs.

For me, punk has always been about screaming from the roof tops regarding the horrors of the world and this does exactly that. The vocals are sharp, intense, and thought provoking while delivering a fist-in-the-air chant that make the energy in the room go off!

Riffs, this band has riffs! The guitar is precise with a no-frills structure but has groove that checks all the boxes. One element that stands out with Unsanitary Napkin (besides the name, which we’ll get to) is the bass and its chord progression. Some tracks are straight forward, but others have a mind of their own and it works very well.

At times it can feel like a Rudimentary Peni lick with a contemporary boost (i.e. the track "Peter Thiel (Literal Fucking Vampire)"). The drums are fantastic and give a sense of tight tempo while retaining a diverse range of percussion across the board. 

Photo: Bruce Mackay/Darker Arts

The band name leaves something to the imagination, which is the point. I asked about this specifically “…I guess we were wanting to counter the resurgence of regressive patriarchal bullshit through alt-right fantasies about embracing traditional (patriarchal) gender roles, etc.”

Not only is this hardcore for trans rights and feminism, but a blatant message against the atrocities of capitalism and the wake of destruction it leaves. Unsanitary Napkin is function over fashion, and this is what keeps the punk rock war drum beating.

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