Release date: July 12th 

To catch everyone up: Australian hardcore band SPEED is putting their foot down on the world. For hardcore kids from Sydney, which is where SPEED’s from and what they represent, this is a first. Everyone in the band has been going to shows for years—”real moshers,” always up front, dancing. (The full lineup: Aaron Siow and brother Jem on bass and vocals, respectively, Josh Clayton and Dennis Vichidvongsa on guitars, Kane Vardon on drums.) During a lull period in their home scene—“there were no new bands going on”—the guys stepped up and tapped in. SPEED decided to start out hard and traditional—a high-level aesthetic decision that, every five years, an all-time hardcore band does. A reset. For their first year, the group referred to itself on flyers and in interviews, as two words—SPEED HARDCORE—to make things extra simple.

This is what they’re about: Hardcore, played hard, played fast, “for us, by us”— explicit, immediate, definitive—hinting at all the crucial bands that have come before them.

Their new debut full length, ONLY ONE MODE, exemplifies their growth and distillation. It’s a concept album in one sense: a manual that explains, directly, SPEED’s beliefs, the five guys’ personalities, what they bring to the table, what’s special about their scene. Topics are sharp: “Real Life Love,” about the loyalty and realness they’ve learnt from hardcore, shows how SPEED connected through showing up; a depth of expression and emotion set against very punishing music. “The First Test” is full of dynamics—held notes, a tasteful flute break—and speaks on finding oneself as a marginalized individual—in Siow’s case, as an Asian-born Australian: striking out alone and growing in a beautiful and ugly world. “Kill Cap” displays real vulnerability—heartache, regret, spiritual themes, an homage to the friends and family lost to suicide.

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