Artist: Influence Néfaste / Shinken
Title: Split 2020
Release: 10″ / CD / Digital
Two hardcore punk bands from Grenoble, the largest city of the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France. Influence Néfaste is first with three hardcore punk tracks that stomp the line between mid-’90s hardcore and skate punk sound. Shinken play a harder, NYHC-influenced hardcore with lyrics in English.
In a little bit over five minutes in total, Influence Néfaste (Harmful Influence) alternate between mid-paced moshing breakdowns and a faster, thrashier sound. There’s a good amount of positive energy, singalongs and punk attitude on their side of the split. Despite the opening track “The Backlash” being the fastest and most stomping one, I really like the following two songs where they sing in French. I think it’s great when less popular, DIY bands sing in their native language. The third track, “Ville Ecarlate”, is the most interesting one as it has a saxophone added to the gang choruses, which brings to mind a tribute to the great ’80s French skinhead & punk bands like Camera Silens and Snix. At first I wasn’t that much of a fan, but as I gave it a few more listens I find Influence Néfaste a more diverse and interesting band than I thought.
For their side, Shinken present two tracks of mid-paced hardcore which doesn’t deviate too far from the typical Eurocore style. Basically, European bands jumping around with their guitars in Madball, Sick of it All and Cro-Mags shirts (wearing their influences on their sleeves). According to their Bandcamp page, the band has been around since 2007 and I’m not even a bit surprised of the fact. I mean, almost every other band I saw around 2005 – 2010 was playing that same style of hardcore. As far as the lyrics go, Shinken don’t sing about scene unity, brotherhood and all the other clichés, but don’t expect any deeper meaning or a political message, either. I’m not a huge fan of the style and I would most probably buy any shitty Discharge/Disclose clone above whatever band with Terror or NYHC influences cited on their page. Nothing personal against Shinken, it’s just my general boredom for this type of hardcore.
For the sake of this split, however, these two songs make for a good pairing. If you liked the Influence Néfaste’s side, chances are you’ll enjoy Shinken, too.