Australian hardcore group SPEED released their two song flexi titled 2020 Flex for Flatspot Records today, marking their debut for the US label. Across two tracks, SPEED wastes no time living up to their name through grooving and grindingly heavy hardcore that calls to mind the classics like Madball and Biohazard. Also in line with their name is their mission to continually move forward and reject complacency. TO celebrate, we have teaed up with a special feature, including their first-hand commeentary on their project, new music, future plans, and their take on Croronavirus outbreak, anti-racist protests, punk scene in Australia, and more!
Both new songs further that agenda from different angles, while “A Dumb Dog Gets Flogged” warn against the dangers of idle speech, stressing the importance of practicing what one preaches, “Devil U Know” deems a strong moral foundation as a true mark of strength, comparing complacency and nihilism to a sickness. With so much happening for a relatively young band, it’s clear SPEED has no plans to slow down and are on course to continue their mission.
Comments the band:
‘2020 FLEX’ is our way of charging forward amidst the chaos and social injustice that permeates the world. We’re proud of our identity and beliefs – it’s a flag we carry through these songs and a taste of what’s to come.
A Dumb Dog Gets Flogged was born in reaction to the continual failed leadership of our government. Compassion and empathy must found the basis of any meaningful action. Stop running your mouth and put your morals into action.
Devil U Know is about cowards who fear progress and positive cultural change in this world. It’s a gee up to those who fight for social justice in the face of continual oppression and helplessness. Look inside yourself before talking shit on those who impede on your false sense of security.
2020 Flex is available now on Bandcamp or Spotify and physical orders are available from Flatspot Records here on blue flexi vinyl and from Last Ride Records in Australia here on red flexi vinyl. SPEED, Flatspot Records, and Last Ride Records are donating all webstore pre-order profits from the release with 50% going to The Bail Project in the US and 50% going to Sisters Inside in Australia. Also, this Friday Flatspot Records will be joining Bandcamp in solidarity by donating 100% of the profits from their Bandcamp page on the label’s entire catalog to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, including SPEED’s 2020 Flex.
Formed in 2019, Sydney’s SPEED is an injection of vital energy into the hardcore scenes of both Australia and the world at large with a clear-cut mission: to positively grow the hardcore scene by challenging cultural norms, embracing diversity, and promoting compassion across political and racial lines.
The majority of SPEED’s members are of Southeast Asian descent; drawing strength from its members diverse cultural perspectives, SPEED makes it a point to stand up not only against racism and xenophobia but also the toxic masculinity and gender prejudices that have crept their way into hardcore. Working closely with local streetwear brands and musical crews across genres as well as their own Forge Ahead Podcast that highlights members of their community, SPEED embodies the messages of inclusivity and cultural unity that are as foundational to hardcore as the music ever was.
Returning with the follow-up to their 2019 debut demo on Last Ride Records, SPEED presents two new tracks of grooving and grinding hardcore, set to be released on flexi vinyl through Last Ride Records in Australia and Flatspot Records everywhere else. In spite of their recent arrival onto the scene, SPEED has already shared the stage with a diverse list of bands, ranging from hardcore giants Terror to local hip-hop acts like Posseshot and Haz. As the world seems to grind to a halt and individuals become more isolated than ever before, SPEED rejects the alienation and chooses to march confidently into our new future with a message of unity, solidarity, and progress for all who fight for it.
George Floyd, Black Lives Matter and anti-racist protest
Racism permeates all levels of society around the world. It’s built into the fabric of culture. Culture, behaviours and values are developed through time and generations, and much of this is formed upon ignorance.
𝑆𝑜 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑏𝑖𝑔 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑖𝑔 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠. 𝐼𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑠𝑒, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑑 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡’𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡’𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑛𝑜𝑤.
It needs to happen in a huge way for justice to prevail and a true sense equality to exist. Australia is a western country built upon racism and oppression of our indigenous ancestors, who have never fully conceded justice for their land and people. It’s a crime which perpetuates today, and I hope people continue to wake up and better themselves in light of events like these.
𝐼’𝑣𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑝𝑖𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑖𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑜𝑢𝑡𝑝𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑑𝑣𝑜𝑐𝑎𝑐𝑦 𝑏𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒𝑠.
It’s really hammered home how intrinsic our ideology and ethics are to this culture. Hardcore continually empowers my worldview and challenges me to be a better person – it’s something I feel very grateful to have in my life and makes me all the more passionate about what we do and how we do it.
As fucked up as this whole situation is, there are many silver linings that I’ve come to realise. I think this period has been a great exercise for reflection for most, and in Australia there’s been a huge reinvigoration of enthusiasm for hardcore. People seemed to have realised what’s truly meaningful for them and this seems to be a uniting factor for most. I also hope that this period has helped people realise how essential the music industry is in society.
𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑤𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑛 𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑖𝑛 ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 – 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑖𝑠 – 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑔𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑡𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑒𝑟𝑎 – 𝑏𝑖𝑔𝑔𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 – 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑐𝑎𝑛’𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑖𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑓𝑜𝑙𝑑.
Your local scene:
There was a period where Australian hardcore was massive, but unfortunately took a dive in the last 5 years. Bands broke up, people fell out, and those who stayed were the ones who truly loved and cared for the music and community. I think with that came a shared sense of unity, appreciation for what we have and a desire to re-grow the culture in a more positive way. It’s been coming back hugely in the last year – really inspiring conversations have been made, more contribution and involvement from all corners of the community has happened and a greater sense of recognition from the outside world.
𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝐴𝑢𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑐𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦 – 𝑤𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑤𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑐𝑒𝑙𝑒𝑏𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟.
The world is gonna know about is in 2020 and the years to come.
Other bands worth a check: Primitive Blast, Rapid Dye, The Chain, World View, Broken, Fuse (Singapore), Whispers (Thailand)