You can't mention Parisian hardcore without mentioning the most infamous hardcore band of all time that isn't Fury of Five: Kickback. Billed as the antithesis of positivity, Kickback's knack for inciting (and participating) in wanton violence is unparalleled in the annals of hardcore and metal. Now whether or not you think that's a dumb thing to be famous for, the fact remains that Kickback has always been an absolute, boasting three bone-shattering full-lengths (sadly, their fourth was kind of a weird, pseudo-goth mess) and a tough-as-nails reputation for insane and uncompromising live shows. Without a doubt, they've earned their moniker as "Paris' Most Wanted." And their particular brand of ultra-negative metallic hardcore has yet to be fully replicated. But a young group of fellow Parisians called The Worst Doubt are doing a damn fine job of trying.
Straight and Alert Records is becoming a more reliable hardcore label than so-called mainstays like Deathwish and Bridge 9. They just keep dropping one solid release after the next. The Worst Doubt is a bit of a departure from the more traditional hardcore the label is known for, but their new cassette EP is nevertheless yet another feather in Straight and Alert's cap.
Taking equal cues from Kickback and Merauder, The Worst Doubt deliver a brutal EP of crushing, streetwise metallic hardcore. These five tracks are just ridiculous. Great vocals in the mid- to low range, but not so much so that they become an unintelligible burp. The riffs are massive and rending, the lyrical content confrontational and furious, and the rhythm section is so abrasively heavy and focused at times it feels like someone is hitting you directly in the brain with a hammer. In a good way, if I'm being unclear.
This cassette-only release is far and above the quality expected from any band's first demo, so I can only imagine what these guys will come up with when it's time to sit down and put the full-length together. The Worst Doubt is poised to take up Kickback's mantle, when and if they ever decide to pass the torch - they're just going to have to start kicking more cell phones out of people's hands at their shows.