Joshua Lyford

As a disgusting, ancient creature fueled by cheap beer and tawdry, broken things, I am thrilled to leave 2023 in the rear-view and perform a tire-squealing getaway into the new year. Let the trash remain where it lie, I say.

Like a lost can of Busch rolled behind an expired tub of spinach, rising like a phoenix from the ashes: there are a few things from the tail-end of 2023 that deserve revisiting. In this case, we are talking straight up aural, baby.

Worcester’s own Clock Out released their “No Control” EP in late September and it rips, hard. The riffs are mean, the vocals are meaner and, if you haven’t caught them yet, it’s time to right your wrong. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the next generation of hardcore kids doing their thing.

At the time of this writing, I have been unable to view what I’m about to gleefully discuss [Editor’s note: get your stories in on time and I’ll grant you more time to watch videos], but Wisdom & War, who toured extensively through the last year, have released a music video for their single “Painting your Hell.” I don’t want to blow up their spot too hard here, but Central MA music aficionados will likely get a kick out of the video’s shooting locale and you should hop into the algorithm to catch it for yourself.

Speaking of getting after it, The Mass of the Oracle, who themselves returned from a UK run late November, have released a split EP with Reign A.D. The Oracle rides in their own lane, so it’s especially interesting to hear them in this setting. Again, if you haven’t caught The Oracle, you really should. I can promise that you haven’t seen anything like it.

The new year ought to be an interesting one. Central Massachusetts hardcore is as alive as it’s been in years with talented new bands going off and some of the old dogs shaking the cobwebs off to jump back in the ring. I see this as a net positive for everyone, specifically sales for affordable tall cans and Uber rides to strange basements.