Review: Guilt Dispenser – Guilt Dispenser (self-released, Jan 1)

Once the new year rolls around there always seems to be a standout short ‘n’ sweet extreme hardcore release that helps me barrel through the duller moments of winter break. Last year it was Bandit’s Warsaw, an eight minute slab of brutal techgrind that still gets regular plays over a year later. Exactly one year and two days after, we’re given the gift of LA fastcore quartet Guilt Dispenser’s succinct self-titled debut. Plowing through ten tracks in less than half as many minutes, Guilt Dispenser draws elements from a vast array of hardcore subgenres into its breakneck vortex of speed and fury, devoting as much time to angular riffs in odd time signatures and mathy core breakdowns as the breathless d-beat gallops one would expect. Incendiary opener “Incite” fulfills its titular promise with a heavyweight propulsive groove that gets heads banging right off the bat, while shorter tracks like “Discern” showcase the band’s penchant for jarring arrangements, tempo changes, whiplash vocal trade-offs, and bite-sized atmospheric interludes. The minuscule outing ends on a powerful note with the formless “Cease,” a swirling whirlwind of effect-laden vocals and distortion. Inject full contents intravenously for maximum energy increase.