Supercrush Desert Photo By Dave McKinnon(1)

Although best known for playing in a long lineage of hardcore, punk, and metal groups, Mark Palm’s focus has always been song-craft and pop sensibility. After beginning to explore softer sounds in the late aughts as a member of San Francisco shoegazers Modern Charms, Palm adopted the Supercrush moniker as a vehicle for his pursuit of powerpop preeminence.

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Hailing from their hometown of Boise, Idaho, Neocentrics is an indie rock band originally conceived as a solo project by guitarist/vocalist Evan Zurilgen. Constantly working to create an exciting sonic environment, Evan brought on bassist Quinn Carrier, as well as drummer Carsen Cranney and guitarist Demetrius Vargas-Morman, to help bolster up Neocentrics’ robust, energetic, and overall contagious sound. Evan has also worked with a talented roster of other local Boise musicians during his time in Neocentrics.

Neocentrics have been playing shows since April 2019 with big plans and a bright future ahead. The band is about creating an all-enveloping experience. Their mission is to produce “something we not only will be excited for and satisfied with, but to provide that same feeling for our audience when they listen to our music or come to our shows.”

Neocentrics are deeply rooted in their love for music itself, borrowing influence from genres like indie rock and folk,  while also taking note from genres like punk, shoegaze, post-rock, etc. Writing their vigorously flavored songs about “stuff going on” and hardships in their own lives, often pulling from other sources to fill in the gaps.

Rotten Apple Trees

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Big Laugh

Even if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of contemporary hardcore, you’ve likely heard of Milwaukee’s reigning champs, Big Laugh. After a self-released demo in 2019 and a 2020 7” (Manic Revision) on 11 PM Records, 2023 saw the release of their debut LP Consume Me via the legendary Revelation Records. While the isolation of 2020 and 2021 washed out the weak, Big Laugh returned to the fold like a honed blade, sharper than ever.

Landing somewhere between the untethered mania of first wave hardcore freaks like United Mutation and YDI, the floorpunching fury of late 80s NYHC luminaries like Breakdown and Rest In Pieces, and even the odd burst of patented D.C. melody a la Rites of Spring, Big Laugh are one part combat boot and one part Air Jordan. As self-professed “punks who listen to Judge”, the band manages a tight rope act that lesser groups would never even attempt. Underpinning these sensibilities is a masterful ear for hardcore songcraft that translates just as well to the car stereo as it does to a basement full of rabid mutants tearing each other apart. But, like all quality hardcore acts, Big Laugh is best experienced live—As exemplified by the crushing, razor sharp performances on their winter 2023 run with fellow up and comers Gel.

In a sea of pale imitations and trend hopping opportunists, identity is a precious commodity, and Big Laugh has it in excess. Whether you’re a sentient studded bracelet or a semi-conscious embodiment of a Lockin’ Out hoodie, Big Laugh’s got the goods.