With the ongoing resistance to mainland China’s attempts to absorb the former British colonial city, Hong Kong has been a source of some incredible struggles and acts of public unrest and civil disobedience in recent years. While many of the citizens of the city demonstrate a desire for more democratic reforms, their interests and goals come into direct opposition with the mainland government, whose primary agenda is to see through the implementation of new security and extradition laws.
Three years in, and the battle is far from over. Even though the protests against the Chinese government’s incursions of authority have subsided for the time being, and reports of active resistance no longer make their way into the daily news cycle here in the U.S., the tensions that initially sparked the protests cannot be abated or soothed. Such an environment of civil unrest, with the backdrop of a battle of ideals and political power, would seem to be the perfect stomping ground for artists who can bottle the hostility in the air and do it service with their sound. And so it is. Allow me to introduce you to Regret.
Regret is a Hong Kong-based, hardcore punk band formed by one of the good people behind UniteAsia.org. The group serves as a way to work out his anger the old-fashioned way: Bb playing with rip-and-rally hardcore, as fast as possible. Regret has a little bit of youth-crew energy to it, but most of the tumble and slam quality of the riffs and grooves, and blustery, braggadocious quality of the vocals performances point to the bulk of their influences flowing from early NYC hardcore bands like Murphy’s Law, Sick of it All, and Agnostic Front.
Although they do have some metal in them as well, something that comes out in the locked, metallic grooves of tracks like “Do You Believe” and “You’re Scum,” which definitely have more than a hint of Anthrax’s headless push and pummel thrash in them. “We Exist,” a song that addresses ethnic tensions with Hong Kong, literally feels like it could bring down a concrete barrier with the persistent heaving pressure of its grooves, and the final track “This Ain’t For You” is so consistently angry that it probably would not be satisfied kicking your ass just once, and would probably prefer to schedule a regular weekly appointment with you to run you across the pavement like a toddler playing with a wet paintbrush.
And, of course, if Regret don’t wring you dry on the first play through of their self-titled album, you can just hit play, and start your thrashing again from the top. I did. A couple of times. And I’m still alive … some how.
Buy and stream Regret’s self-titled album below via Bandcamp:
Every copy of Regret’s cassette sold comes with a copy of a zine they’ve produced. You can get your hands on a copy of it here.