With the recent resurgence in hardcore music — and you can thank (or blame) whatever factors you like — it’s no wonder a lot of us in America don’t check out the burgeoning scene in Europe. Especially when we’re so overwhelmed here at home trying to discern those merely following formula (this has become way too common a practice) from those playing with the level of sincerity the genre used to presuppose.
Luckily the good ears at Level Plane are around to help weed through the muck of chugga-chugga chords and pull out a crucial release. But rather than re-release everything from a fairly prolific gem like Shikari, the label had the good mind to consolidate the band’s vast history into one brutal lesson in important hardcore.
Hardcore doesn’t have that many avenues to head down, and it’s pretty difficult for a band’s sound to stand out, but Shikari does a decent job of maintaining some sense of originality. The vocals can get tiring at times, and I wouldn’t recommend listening to all nineteen tracks in one sitting. But overall, 1999-2003 is a great fucking package. Brutal.