Words: James Frostick

High-octane Melbourne hardcore outfit 2 Stroke dropped a new track in late July, one where the aggro four-piece grapples with the thought of a meaningless existence. ‘Crisis, Crisis’ is a forceful rebuking of modern living and the dissatisfying ache it produces.  

2 Stroke swung through Brisbane this past weekend, performing as part of a touring double-header that also featured witch-punk outfit Bitch Diesel. The setting was modest – a dingy band room behind a bar in West End and a turn out that was about as good as could be expected for a Sunday evening gig in the River City. These unassuming surrounds set the stage for what was one of the more raucous musical experiences I’ve been witness to this year – all bands on the bill helped rip the place to bits, but 2 Stroke certainly took the crown when it came to making the most mayhem. A system-shock of pent-up aggression, 2 Stroke’s brand hardcore punk was immediate and impressive. The assembled crowd wasting little time setting up a collision pit – molecules bouncing off one another as the temperature around them rose. It was fast, it was loud, it was fun.

‘Crisis, Crisis’ is the band’s newest single and the assumed reasoning behind 2 Stroke’s jaunt north. A sterling example of the four-piece outfit’s cantankerous churn, ‘Crisis, Crisis’ showcases a knack for staunch yet surprisingly measured hardcore compounded with insightful lyrics. Here, the crisis in question relates to the all-familiar turmoil that comes with adulthood – that cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat that inevitably gnaws and feeds on the dreams and hopes of youth. Working to live, living to work – it’s a dead-end arrangement that frays the psyche. 2 Stroke wonders if that’s all there is – a life of unfulfilling jobs, missed goals, children and sacrifice. A privileged complaint in the grand scheme of things, to be sure, but there’s something to be said about the detrimental effects of deep-seeded unhappiness and a feeling of wasted potential. It’s clearly not the life the band envisioned, and the inevitability of it all is leading to a crisis of, well, everything. Makes for some good music, though. 2 Stroke’s got that going for them, at least.