We hope you’ve got your gold wristbands at the ready, because it’s that time of year again. Last year’s Outbreak was one for the hardcore history books – marking its 10th anniversary in absolute style, the festival was infamously raucous. Blood, sweat and tears were shed in the pit, feral crowds egged on by the stacked-out line-up, bands equally as eager to indulge in Outbreak’s no barrier chaos.
While 2022’s weekend was an undeniable high point for the alt scene, it seems this year is only heating things up. In a remarkable step forward for the festival, the 2023 chaser is set to be a perfect melting pot of subcultures, welcoming in an entirely fresh wave of hip hop and rap artists.
With headline sets from the hardcore staples Bane, the disorientatingly gritty Death Grips, trap wordsmith Denzel Curry and the metallic magnificence of Converge, it’s set to be a pretty unreal weekend. But we thought we’d help you pick out some brilliant new acts to catch at Outbreak this year. So – who’s made the cut? Here are our suggestions…
The pests are loose! Writhing their way over from Leeds, crossover thrashers Pest Control are here to knock you out cold. With dense, sprawling instrumentals and abrasive walls of blast beats, Pest Control are endlessly exhilarating. They’re the kind of group that have you instantly hooked – we promise you, one track and you’re done for. So don’t waste another second and sink your teeth into some of this meaty, whiplash-quick thrashy goodness.
PAIN OF TRUTH
Bursting onto the scene in 2020, Pain Of Truth have quickly made a name for themselves – and it’s clear why. Serving up sturdy, classic hardcore ragers, the Long Island collective are a prime example of just how gloriously satisfying raw hardcore can be. Their tracks get straight to the point, no frills necessary to serve up total bangers. These tunes are timeless, the kind destined to soundtrack people getting elbowed in the face in the pit for years to come. With their debut album set for release in September, it’s time to get stuck in.
Post-hardcore collective Militarie Gun are a perfect balance of mellow and menacing. A punk-rock vexation is stitched into twangy 90’s-tinged soundscapes, resulting in an effortlessly resentful slew of nostalgic bangers. Gritty vocals are sharp, yet the sting is often softened by melting instrumentals. From the distorted daze of ‘Let Me Be Normal’s, to ‘Very High’s fuzzy wave of nostalgia, to ‘I Can’t Stand Busy People’s light wash of acoustic musing, Militarie Gun are effortlessly chilled out.
Scowl. Do we even need to expand? The gruelling punks are impossible to pin down, riling in the guts of filthy, unhinged hardcore before floating in a haze of spellbinding indie-rock. Vocalist Kat Moss is truly the poster-child of all things bittersweet, sugary charm and glittering gogo boots offset by a gut-wrenchingly poisonous fury. Their shows are also religiously frenzied, so you’re guaranteed to have a total riot. So make sure to get yourself in the pit if you’re looking for a ferociously fun time.
Giddy up, goths – the gloomy sheriff is in town. The self-proclaimed goth cowboy Denzel Himself is a woozy patchwork of distortion, melding hip hop and gothic hardcore unlike anybody else right now. Denzel’s synesthesia is somehow captured on track; tracks often feel like a lucid dream, staccato beats and sharp rap chopped up and layered in a way that feels messy yet intricate. Listening to Denzel Himself is a uniquely immersive experience – and we’re sure the live experience will be equally as enriching.
Koyo are an absolute lesson in melodic hardcore. Harnessing the nostalgia of Long Island emo and giving it a fresh injection of vigorous life, the collective have crafted a sound that is simply irresistible. And it’s no shock that Koyo are able to churn out such a sharp, accomplished sound – with members of SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Typecaste, Rain of Salvation, Hangman and Adrenaline at the helm, the supergroup is the brainchild of some brilliant hardcore minds. Definitely not a band to sleep on.
Hailing all the way from Down Under, Aussie five-piece SPEED are here to cause a some havoc. With girthy, down-tuned breakdowns and rumbling choruses, the beatdown hardcore gang are utterly formidable. They’re dead-set on shaking up and revitalising the Australian hardcore scene, churning out bangers to grow the community back home, as well as aiming to create a safe space for all. It’s bruising tunes with a strong message – what’s not to love?