There’s a lot going on in the Richmond music scene these days, within all sorts of different genres. And that’s wonderful! But if you want to talk about the styles of music that have a fertile, longstanding tradition in this town, you probably can’t do better than bringing up the Richmond hardcore scene. Going back to the dawn of the 80s and extending all the way to today, Richmond has been a town in which hardcore thrives, and this show at The Camel on Thursday night is the proof that this continues to be true in 2020.
At the top of the bill is Bracewar, one of those Richmond hardcore elder-statesman bands who moved into “plays a few shows a year but is otherwise inactive” mode at least seven years ago, but did thrill us all by releasing their first new material in almost a decade in the form of 2018 EP Colossal. They’ve maintained a slightly higher profile since then, but a Richmond Bracewar show is still a relative rarity, and if you delight in their signature brand of powerful breakdowns peppered with moments of high-speed thrashing, you’ll certainly want to catch this one.
Beyond Bracewar, this bill mostly focuses on current all-stars of Richmond’s straightforward hardcore scene, most predominantly Division Of Mind. This group’s recent self-titled LP on Triple B Records demonstrates that, while they are very skilled at the mosh, they have quite a bit more going on, and are worth your time and attention even if you don’t still find diving into an energetic pit to be the best way to spend a band’s set. Combust are actually from New York, but released a 12-inch EP on RVA’s own Edgewood Records last year, and will bring an energetic and welcome NYHC attack to the Camel’s stage. Plus, there’s Mutually Assured Destruction, who are taking heavy hardcore in an adventurous direction that doubtless owes a bit to Life Of Agony and Twitching Tongues, and the first show ever from Guardrails, who will kick this one off with a ton of pissed-off energy. Carry on the tradition, Richmond — be at this show.