As someone who grew up in the prime hardcore punk resurgence era and then promptly entered mosh retirement, walking into a hardcore gig a few weeks back was bloody daunting. Did people still throw their bodies around with gay abandon, collecting people on the edges of the pit with their limbs? Was it still a highly-masculine space, absolutely teeming with macho energies? Were women still looked at with the assumption that they were a girlfriend or partner of someone in a band in the Australian hardcore community?

Stepping into the venue to see Knocked Loose and Jesus Piece, I was greeted with a woman in a skirt and a band shirt with the sleeves rolled up, unleashing some of the most ferocious roars and howls I’ve ever heard. It was a local act called Boundless, and they’ve single-handedly gotten me keen to get back into the hardcore community that I once felt quite lonely in.

Women, non-binary, and non-cisgender male folks have existed in Australian and all hardcore scenes for a very long time, I won’t dispute or deny that. But seeing the stage being lit up by literally anyone that isn’t a cranky white man is like striking gold, and if it’s enough to make me wanna get to more shows, it’s a good thing.

So if you’re looking to get into some new bands, or want a reason to get back into the pit like me, get right around these fucking incredible hardcore bands with brutal women turning Australian venues to absolute smouldering rubble.

Women & Non-Binary Folks In Australian Hardcore Who Can Totally Kick My Head Off If They Wish

Outright

Melbourne’s own Outright has been around the traps for about ten years now, and they’re going from stride to stride constantly. Creating noise and music around domestic violence, gendered oppression, and existing as a woman in world, you can get your head blown off your shoulders by them via their Bandcamp.

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Boundless

Undeniably a huge new player in the Melbourne scene, Boundless flicked something in my psyche that made me feel like I actually have space to take up in the hardcore community. They dropped their first EP in late 2019 and have already supported the likes of Knocked Loose, Jesus Piece, Antagonist A.D., Harms Way, and Endless Heights, so you know they’re onto a good thing.

Canine

Blending a love for hardcore and also pups, Sydney’s Canine is one of the hardest bands I think I’ve ever witnessed. Unapologetic, thrashy riffs interjected with Tara-Jayne‘s throats will reduce any stage to ashes by the end of their set. Canine truly live up to their name, they approach every show with the animosity and energy of a puppy in full zoomies mode.

Oh, and their Instagram is filled with dogs wearing their merch so, how could you not love them.

Spitting Teeth

Leaning into the big blast beat sounds of older hardcore from the UK and US, NSW Central Coast’s Spitting Teeth are a force to be reckoned with. They’re dead-keen on using their platform to change the industry and the hardcore community, and are a huge voice for women in hardcore. Listen closely to the lyrics in ‘To The Front‘, where Kayla Parish roars “we’ve been here all along” because it makes me wanna go and headwalk a crowd of men.

Arafura

Want some anti-colonialist anti-powerviolence? Let me introduce to you to sheer brutality that is Canine. It sounds like a wall of noise at first but listening in you can hear all the intricacies from the trio, helmed by the unrelenting fury of A’isyiyah. With lyrics about identity embedded in indigenous issues across Australia and Indonesia that’ll send goosebumps rippling across your skin in an instant, Arafura is at the pulsing heart and rallying cry of anti-colonialism in east coast hardcore.

Masochist

Noted on their Bandcamp as “socially-conscious hardcore from the Northern Rivers”, Masochist from the NSW North Coast spits hard truths back at the male-dominated scene that they inhabit. In ‘Isolated‘, which gives me very strong 80s US hardcore vibes, “you won’t get anywhere without us” is a rallying cry and clapback to all the men in hardcore that are clearly not taking women, non-binary and gender-nonconfirming folk seriously. Love it, more of this, please.

HISTAMINE

Frenetic and able to spike your heart-rate within seconds, Sydney’s HISTAMINE infuses thrashy, fast-paced punk with classic breakdown beats that’ll have the floor cleared and punters mopping it with each other before the end of their first, very quick song.

Crave Death

As self-described “hell metal”, Brisbane’s Crave Death immediately give me the highly-coveted stank face as soon as I chuck them on. Fresh off playing Invasion Fest in Sydney alongside the likes of TerrorAlpha Wolf, and The Red Shore, this five-piece from up north will surely make you scrunch your nose up (in the best way) at their heavy riffs.

Friends, this is simply a mere taste of all the terrifying and terrifyingly-incredible women and non cis male folk producing heavy music in Australia at the moment. The pit is opening, and we’re getting more space.

For more bands with blast beats that’ll smack you through to last Tuesday, I stress you should check out acts like Hacker, Volatile Ways, She’s The Band, VengeanceJudas Wolf and Boudicca, to begin with. Get to their shows. Buy their merch. Support these people who have traditionally been excluded or ignored in hardcore. Bloody just get around ’em hey.

Image: Instagram / Nicole Goodwin