Personal Damage - Violent Ritual 7"

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Personal Damage - Violent Ritual 7"

Violent Ritual is the third EP from Los Angeles’s Personal Damage, originally released on a small run of self-released cassettes in 2022 and now upgraded to vinyl courtesy of Sorry State. Violent Ritual offers five tracks of Personal Damage’s trademark snot-fueled, short-fast-and-loud hardcore punk, the longest track clocking in at a mere 80 seconds. While the songs are short, they’re hardly insubstantial, packing albums worth of excitement into each delicately constructed and tightly wound composition. Pedal-to-the-floor fast parts are punctuated by Lucky Lehrer-style rhythmic inventions, each song building toward a climactic guitar solo and/or call-and-response chorus. While so many contemporary hardcore bands de-emphasize the vocals, they’re Personal Damage’s most potent weapon, with all three members contributing to the dynamic vocal arrangements and every track offering a chance to shout along. While the first four tracks blazes at early Gang Green velocities, the closing “Banned from Society” stretches things out ever so slightly with a classic SoCal rhythm and the record’s most anthemic vocal. Violent Ritual is the most potent dose yet from one of the 2020s’ most exciting hardcore punk bands.