Words: James Frostick
Band image: Luke Henery
Stalking the alleyways of Brisbane, Ascot Stabber emerges from the murk with the glint of sharp brand-new 7″ in hand. Barely restrained fury and brutal sonics collide, creating a murderous blend of hardcore with a sting that lingers long after the slap.
Brisbane’s always had a thuggish streak pulsing through its punk and hardcore scene, but few of the current crop have enough savage mongrel and on-point musicianship as Ascot Stabber. I first caught the potent four-piece performing at a local multi-venue festival, where the group played in one of the earliest slots. I can’t fathom the band’s mindset when they were gifted the time, but the aspect of performing to a room half full of punters less than two drinks in them didn’t deter in any way. The aural blitzkrieg that assaulted the assembly was impressive – a set of tightly wound 80s-inspired hardcore that truly deserved a later time slot, a danker venue and an audience willing to come unhinged in response to the band’s own internecine energy.
If you like the sound of that, then you’re in for some good news. Ascot Stabber has linked up with Pissfart Records to put out a 7″ packed with murderous hardcore ruckus. Of the four tracks featured, only one entitled ‘Futility’ has been shared digitally. In a sub-two-minute timespan, the band rips off a pristine piece of prickly punk, containing enough testy grunt, bowel-shaking low-end skronk and vicious guitar gnash to put you on your arse. The ‘futility’ in question perhaps alludes to the unending frustration of modern living, as the band doesn’t seem the kind to be content with the status quo (Ascot is a highly affluent Brisbane suburb, and stabber… well, let’s just say the band is anti-wealthy fat cats and leave it at that). Brisbane’s hardcore punk scene’s got no end of malice, but Ascot Stabber’s brand is menacing enough to have me looking over my shoulder for denim-clad werewolves.
Ascot Stabber’s 7″ comes out officially on Wednesday May 22. Pre-order it here. The band will be hitting the road in June to support the release. Check the poster below for dates and shows near you: