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GEL Picks Their Seven Favorite Modern Hardcore Bands

Featuring Faze, Phantom, Ideation, Big Laugh, and more!

Photo by Angel Tumalan

The following list was written by Gel guitarist Anthony Webster. Gel will release their new album Only Constant on March 31. Pre-orders are available here.

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Faze (from Montreal)

The 7" they released on 11PM Records last year was my first introduction to them, but they've been playing together for a few years prior to that. They have these really drawn out vibe-y interludes where the singer plays around on a trombone and it's really cool to see live. As a live band, they are incredible sounding. You can tell they've been playing together for years. Also, their first US show will be in NYC with us for our record release show 4/21 @ TV Eye.

Phantom (from New Jersey)

While still on 11PM Records, this band just put out their demo tape with them. These are a group of people I've been seeing at shows for like 10 years now, if not more. I booked their first show in February 2022 and begged them to record a demo ASAP. This finally dropped in December and I haven't stopped listening to it. It's like early 80s USHC with a lot of cool modern influence as well. Extremely fast, unrelenting hardcore punk with huge emphasis on the punk. Also, some of the craziest drumming I've heard in a while. This whole group of musicians are exceptional.

Ideation (from Florida)

Tallahassee has a really cool hardcore punk scene, comprised of a lot of the same members just playing in AMAZING bands namely Protocol and Armor, who happen to be some of my favorite bands for the last few years. Gel played with Ideation in Tallahassee and they rip live just as hard as they do on the demo.

Exhibition (from New York)

We did a short tour with this band in September of 2022. Aside from being some really cool and sweet people, they're quite possibly the best live hardcore band I've ever seen, hands down. You'd think these guys play 250 shows a year with how tight they are. And they also just dropped their first LP titled The Last Laugh on Triple B Records. There's a lot of crossover thrash elements, and some INSANE shredding on this record.

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Big Laugh (from Wisconsin)

My favorite part about touring and playing so much is getting to meet and tour with bands I just absolutely love. We just did 2 and a half weeks of shows with Big Laugh, and then their debut LP on Revelation Records dropped right after. I saw them for the first time at the Convulse Records Fest/Weekend in Denver in October 2021. Of the many incredible bands I got to see that weekend, Big Laugh was a stand out for sure. Just more fast unrelenting early 80's influenced hardcore, but with some late 80s influence as well. I hear a good amount of early Sick Of It All in there.

Candy Apple (from Colorado)

Continuing on with bands I've been fortunate to tour with, Candy Apple are a loud, noisy, perfect band. The 4 song 7" World For Sale they put out on Convulse Records late last year perfectly encapsulate how gritty and tight they sound live. The guitar playing might be some of my favorite I've seen, not because the riffs are technical or anything, but just how HARD and PUNCHY he can make a guitar sound. Tristan broke a string at maybe 5 of the 7 shows we played together last year. This band is best seen in a small room, packed to the brim with people, and it'll leave your ears ringing for a week. And it's perfect.

Repeat Offender (from California)

I've been following this band since the demo in 2020, and since then they put out an EP and promo (hopefully for a full LP eventually), the former of which Summery Execution EP was my favorite hardcore release of 2021. If you like your hardcore punk to sound tough as hell, but still with plenty of punk, this is what you're looking for.

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