The modern wave of NYC hardcore birthed in the mid-aughts by bands like Crazy Spirit, Dawn of Humans, and Hank Wood & The Hammerheads, though still in tact, started to shift a little over a year ago. In the time frame between the 2014 and 2015 iterations of New York’s Alright, the scene essentially drew and quartered itself, symbolically bookending a vital chapter in the contemporary scene on what would end up (supposedly) being the last year of the fest. Some found the light mangled at the altar of classic rock (Cheena), others soldiered on faithfully down the bung horrorshow short a six-string (Mommy), and, in the case of L.O.T.I.O.N., they time-warped just past the apocalypse only to find it chronologically much closer to the present than we could’ve thought. Started by local illustrator/designer and SURVIVAL member Alexander Heir, L.O.T.I.O.N. has evolved into a full industrial band, some cyborg of human angst and mechanical spasm melding punk guitar playing and blown-out e-drum into full tech-horror. It’s an aesthetic that could be construed as “futuristic” in a kitschy way, but it’s strangely, and rather scarily, relevant to our current era, one where we’re always being looked at and don’t really know what to look forward to. The post-9/11 dread of a budding police nation that Hank Wood espoused as street-level wisdom on their debut record, though serious and felt, almost felt like a game of cops and robbers by comparison. In L.O.T.I.O.N.’s world, the chances are slimmer and the stakes are more dire, as we’ve grown outnumbered and outmatched. One of the final lyrics of “Vid The Pigs,” a track from their debut full-length Digital Control And Man's Obsolescence lays it out most plainly: “Technology / is a weapon / use it / or be abused by it."
Nader Habibi is a frizzy-haired and heavily tattooed Lebanese-American from Yonkers, New York. He has a fondness for mesh tank tops, large earrings and raging hardcore punk. After his parents fled the Lebanese civl war in the 80s they settled in New York where Nader was raised in a Muslim home and sent to a Catholic school. He is now vocalist for Haram, one of the most exciting bands in New York's thriving punk scene. Taking their name from the Arabic word for 'forbidden', Haram play a pulverising style of punk that has Nader singing vocals and lyrics entirely in Arabic. Two days after improvised bomb attacks left New York City tense and frightened, Haram have dropped the follow up to their well received 2015 demo. With fall out from the attacks likely to result in young Arabic men like Nader facing further racial scrutiny and profiling, the record and its sentiment come at an important time.