Song of the Day: Gridiron, “What Can You Do?,” from Loyalty at All Costs (Streets of Hate, 2020)

I started seeing a little hype for Gridiron float around on Instagram last week, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is some of the best hardass metallic hardcore that I've heard in quite some time. I mean, when the opening track quickly started droppin' lines about "fake-ass lies" from a "lyin' snake and a sucker"/"bitch-ass motherfucker," I couldn't help but crack a smile! The project apparently features members of Year of the Knife and Never Ending Game, which also explains some of its strengths.

You'll find some contemporary beatdown grooves without anything spilling over the top, as well as that "rapcore" flavor without venturing into full-on E.Town territory or anything. A killer guitar tone highlights nonstop chunky midpaced rhythms that occasionally kick over into some of that Merauder or H8000 metal lean, but while bits and pieces bring a few bands to mind, Gridiron definitely manages to retain their own identity. The vocal character and diversity makes a huge difference, for sure.

Loyalty at All Costs is available on limited edition cassette through Streets of Hate, digitally via Bandcamp, or you can stream it on Spotify. Hopefully this isn't just a one-off, 'cause the world could use a little more of this level of hardcore these days...