Review: Kucoshka – Women and Police Everywhere (self-released, Oct 29)

The well-documented and well-love hardcore subgenre commonly referred to as “mathcore” holds a very special place in my heart. Exemplary artists like Hayworth, Gaza, Inside the Beehive, Arms, and others reach absolutely spectacular and soul-crushing heights through their unholy marriage of extreme, teeth-gnashing breakdowns, hardcore energy, and technical experimentation. It is perhaps the last artist I mentioned (Arms) to which the singular style of newcomer band Kucoshka comes closest; both share the melodic post-hardcore inclinations and complex, prog-indebted arrangements, but where BLACKOUT was a claustrophobic descent into dense, dark, noisy depths, this new project’s first (though maybe second?) full-length Women and Police Everywhere sprawls itself across a much wider area. The vocal performances are endlessly various, ranging from the Infest-esque tough-guy shouts (which themselves have an amazing versatility, from screaming “I’m a fucking physicist, bitch” on cacophonous opener “Young Turks to adorning the bizarre, swinging pub-punk at the beginning of “Info Wars”) to disarmingly clean, ersatz melodic hardcore breaks to unhinged shrieks. Though the production style isn’t the cleanest, it was a great choice for this album despite its emphasis on technicality, as much of the enjoyment of listening to Women and Police Everywhere is getting hopelessly lost amidst the chaos; and trust me, there’s plenty of it.