New Releases by No Qualms and Knife Hits

No Qualms and Knife Hits, two of the most original and energetic hardcore bands to come out of Central Florida in years, hit the road the other day for a two month tour of the United States. Starting off the tour by playing with Capitalist Causalities in Miami last weekend, both groups also released new material on their own label: Sea Turtle Loud Noise. The No Qualms 7” is a co-label venture with Give Praise Records, the label responsible for releases by Hummingbird of Death, No Comply, Unholy Grave, and many others, and is available through their website (unfortunately, the Knife Hits/Discordian Pope split cassette is only currently available through the band). Below is a description of both releases. 

I first heard No Qualms a few years ago when they released a digital ep titled No, You Calm Down. A friend, whose taste in music usually coincides with mine, recommended it and I couldn’t be happier they did. Playing a very hectic, angst ridden brand of hardcore/power violence, No Qualms take what bands like Infest or Capitalist Casualties did in the past but make it contemporary and not a derivative pastiche of their forerunners. Their lyrics are simple, small slices of existence instead of predictable, banal political rants, the songs are short, fast, and aggressive, and the changes are inventive, demonstrating their ability to transgress the limitations of the genre. No Qualms’ new 7”, Hyenas, is a continuation of what they accomplished on their digital ep and the Own? 7”. Recorded by Jonathan Nuñez (Torche), this record captures No Qualms’ live intensity but without the violence usually associated with their performances (which, if you’ve been to one of their shows and know how they go, usually feature their vocalist stage diving every few moments and eventually kicking people in the head). Highly recommended. 

Knife Hits is a hardcore band in the vein of late ‘90s groups like Orchid or Jerome’s Dream but without being redundant. Instead, Knife Hits adds a straightforward hardcore approach to what some have labeled “screamo” or “emo-violence,” bringing elements of early ‘80s hardcore into the mix. What you get is an intense and angry, yet sometimes melodic sound, invoking the same feelings their precursors did. On their sophomore release, a split cassette with the Philadelphia band Discordian Pope, Knife Hits prove they’re one of the better hardcore outfits to come out of Florida in some time and why the genre is still potent and fun. Intense drums (including blast beats), screaming, and innovative guitar parts embody Knife Hits’ side of the cassette. The Discordian Pope contribution to the cassette is an analog copy of their demo, which appeared online in January 2013. Featuring members of Knife Hits, Khann, and Dead Radical, Discordian Pope play a fast and short brand of hardcore. The changes happen quickly, the intensity is potent, and it’s over long before I’d even begin tiring of it. I hope to hear more from them in the future. 

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