Named after 2PAC song released on his posthumous 2004 album Loyal to the Game, Greek metallized hardcore punk band GHETTO GOSPEL just dropped their ruthless debut EP on Tambores De Guerra Discos from Spain and today we’re giving you some exclusive insights about their crew and this no joke of a record that doesn’t lack in brutality. Taste the short, fast and furious bursts of GHETTO GOSPEL’s rage and check out our brief interview and track by track commentary below.
GG started last Christmas when some old and newer heads of the local scene got together in order to fight against quarantine & boredom.
“We never rehearsed (since we cannot do so due to the restrictions), so we gathered a few times at our drummer’s house, composed all the songs and then recorded them.” – says the band. “Our drummer went actually to a friend’s studio to record the drums, while we recorded everything else at his laptop! Everything was done by new year’s eve and then we sent the material for mix and mastering which took around 7-10 days. Nicky Rat did the original artwork and A.D. Visions edited it and voila! Tapes are coming soon by Spain’s finest, Tambores De Guerra.”
Members of GHETTO GOSPEL play in different bands, varying from hardcore punk to black metal: My Turn, Downwinder, Faithreat and Isolert, to name a few. “Or main goal was to create something heavy and in your face, no fills hardcore / thrash in the vein of 90s NYHC or so.”
“The driving force behind doing the band was to be creative and do something amidst the chaos. Stagnation leads to depression and we definitely need to avoid it.” – they continue.
“Moreover, there is not many bands in Greece playing straight forward hardcore music nowadays, and we thought we have to do something to fill that gap. Concerning the name, we obviously took it from the 2 Pac song (we use samples of the song as intro / outro, too), because we simply like it and besides that some of us love hip hop, too.”
GHETTO GOSPEL plan to record a couple more songs in the near future and hit the road as soon as the pandemic craziness settles down.
Track by track commentary:
The EP kicks off with an intro, jamming hardcore / punk / crossover.
The first song with lyrics is called ‘Scum’ and its dedicated to all those toxic people surrounding us every fucking day. ‘Paper gangsters, fake commandos’… I love this verse, haha! There’s so many scumbags that pretend to be full of hate for everything around them but in reality they just hate themselves. Music wise, it’s a straight up old school hardcore / thrash / punk song, in my ears.
‘Run Run Run’ features some more metallic riffs, death-metallish I dare to say. Our drummer wrote guitars for this, so it makes sense. The lyrical content is about our everyday routine and the struggle to survive. You know the drill; run, work, make money, buy useless stuff and die happy.
‘Side By Side’ is next and starts with a sample from one of the best Greek movies ever a.k.a. ‘Spirtokouto’. This song is a call for unity… ‘side by side we’ll make it count, now it’s time to make a difference’. The only way to accomplish a positive change is by uniting with all those ‘unchained spirits’ around us. SBS is a more classic hardcore song with a huge NYHC touch.
The self-titled song (‘The Price You Pay’) is probably the most complex song of the EP when it comes to guitar riffs. It’s also one of the longest songs of our EP, lasting 1.46. Starts with a metallic riff and ends in typical chugga chugga hardcore. Lyric wise it’s all about the price we have to pay for being on society’s margins, ‘true pirates always in form, choppin’ heads to make our way, get away, we are the doomsday’.
‘Last Warning’ is a 19 seconds blast. ‘This is the last warning, next time you are fucking dead’. Tough ain’t it? Hehe!
‘Outcast’ is our punkiest and most anthemic song. Dedicated to all those outcasts and freaks out there, staying loyal to the punk / hardcore scene and their ideals.
‘Liar’ is one more short song, lasting almost half a minute. Too many liars around us, talking and talking bullshit and blah blah blah. Go away fakes.
The last song of the EP is called ‘Losin’ the fight’ and it’s about all those nights that we ‘feel the blade rippin’ out our hearts and the axe swinging above our heads’. It’s about those nights that we stare at the wall, struggling with depression trying to find something to believe in or someone to get hold of. There’s so many people struggling with no one to reach out at. Let’s not take everything for granted and try to help each other, let’s be the voice of the voiceless. ‘This night we are gonna win the fight’. Musicwise it’s a hardcore / metal assault, nothing more, nothing less.
In Effect Zine review:
“Straight from Greece, my new favorite corner of the hardcore world, we have Ghetto Gospel – “The Price You Pay” EP, which contains 9 formidable songs from members of the Volos hardcore and metal scenes. On vocals is Apostolis, the man behind the “New Wave Of Hardcore Mixtape”, as reviewed for In Effect late last year. My favorite thing about this EP is its unpredictable mosh parts and hybrid of styles. The songs are short and fast but there are also unexpected mosh parts that jump out at you periodically, which adds up to the sort of release that grabs your interest.
The EP is bracketed with clips from the 2pac song “Ghetto Gospel”, first at the beginning of the intro and then at the end of final track “Losin’ The Fight,” which is also the only song here over 2 minutes long. If you just search for this in Bandcamp and hit play, it might skip the intro track, as it did during my first two listens before I had added it to my collection. I’m not trying to say the intro is not exciting, but it’s more straightforward than the rest of the record, the opposite of how some bands start things off with a hard intro but their subsequent songs suffer in quality. Anyway, I was hooked immediately by “Scum”, which is track 2. It is followed by “Run Run Run”, the beginning of which reminds me of Agnostic Front – “Power,” along with the vocals reflecting a bit of Miret at various places on this release.
The whole thing almost adds up to a combination of early Agnostic Front and a more pared down version of Strength For A Reason, or comes off as the type of band I would have seen in Baltimore in the early 2000’s. I first got the Baltimore and SFAR vibes on “Side By Side”, a solid tune featuring some movie clips in Greek. Title track “The Price You Pay” has both my favorite bass line and mosh part, and the AF references continue with super short song “Last Warning.” Ghetto Gospel wraps things up with 3 last tracks, but overall this feels shorter than 9 songs, which perhaps they recognized by denoting it as an EP. So there you have it – the latest report from In Effect’s new Greek bureau – check it out on Bandcamp.” – Becky McAuley (In Effect Hardcore)