Song of the Day

Manic Ride, “Roll with the Punches,” from Manic Ride (Refuse Records, 2019)

Photo: Mikael Holgersson

I needn’t remind you that Sweden has long been a hotbed for all things hardcore punk. Malmö’s long and storied punk scene history reads like a veritable best-of list. If nothing else, it’s the place that birthed Anti Cimex, a band whose swath of influence is unknowably large. Somewhere around the time that 2020 got particularly blurry, I blinked and missed a slew of killer releases. Rightfully diverted as our collective attention has been of late, I’ve recently since set out to rectify my Bandcamp blindspots.

Released via the Berlin-based Refuse Records was the debut self-titled EP from Manic Ride. Rounding out a label lineup on an already dizzying run (see No-Heads, Firewalker, Government Flu, DISAVOW, Protein, Waste, Vicious X Reality, etc.), their opening gambit is a rad one that should find them in the rarified air of their contemporaries. 

Tearing through 5 songs in 8 minutes, Manic Ride gives further credence to a name that recalls nothing but the classics. There are subtle bits of the off-kilter My War worship that made Take the Manic Ride by Bl'ast! so enthralling as well as the Neanderthal hardcore sleaze that typified Manic Ride Records.

Their namesake, however reverent and referential, doesn’t tip its hat to just how indebted to Mangel these Swedes are. I’d imagine they’ve worn well their stashes of Massgrav, Mob 47, and the aforementioned Anti Cimex LP’s. In keeping with the raw and brutal vibes conjured by the Discharge/Motörhead school of devastation, Manic Ride are the proud purveyors of the Song of the Day. 

Though “Roll with the Punches” is slotted at the tail end of the 7”, it’s a ferocious slab of D-beat informed raw hardcore punk. Elsewhere, the band manages savage and intimidating USHC a la Poison Idea, but here the mission statement seems a bit more steamrolling. As is tradition, I instinctively scan band photos for shirts and therein lies their secret weapon.

With members sporting both Chain of Strength and Youth of Today duds, Manic Ride don’t so much channel the sonics of their X’d up forebears as they do the impassioned delivery. Yet, there are stylistic throughlines in the instrumentation owing to sXe genre signifiers.

Two-thirds of the way through the punishing track there’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” two step that’s ultimately swallowed whole by their vicious Swedish hardcore attack. 

Featuring members of Anchor, Damage Control, Sectarian Violence, and more; the collective DNA of Manic Ride has long been plying their wares in a scene that’s managed to remain evergreen and energized for far longer than most. Here’s hoping Manic Ride’s drive is only beginning. Hold on, fuckers, it’s a fast one. 

Pick up a copy of the Manic Ride 7" on Refuse Records, or via Bandcamp.


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