The San Francisco bay area is undeniably one of the most impressive breeding grounds for underground metal, punk, and hardcore talent in the United States. The region just carries a signature sound that is instantly recognizable in almost any effort bands that hail from that area unleash. This happens to be the case with the California natives of Mohicans. While it's not entirely clear when the band officially formed, they did issue a debut three song EP titled Sky/Ocean/Trench (named after the song names) in 2012 as a "name your price" digital download on Bandcamp. The group's popularity began to escalate quickly afterwards, and in the summer of 2015 took to The Atomic Garden to record a their self-titled six-song follow-up. Like their debut offering, this was made available digitally at the same cost. However, it has been picked up by Creator-Destructor Records for two different vinyl pressings. But is it one worth getting an official physical copy of, or is Mohicans best left bleaching in the sand?

Even if you didn't know this band hailed from the bay area, it's obvious from the very moment Mohicans starts. The abrasive, analog sound of the audio, as if being sandblasted in the middle of a busy street, is met with a highly aggressive mixture of punk and hardcore, not to mention a seething blend of crossover thrash and hazy sludge best described as Terror 2000 and Slayer raping early Relapse Records era Mastodon, and it sounds as balls to the wall heavy as you imagine it to be. Coarse harshened shouting, sharpened guitars, a mildly deep bass tuning, and crisp drum kit blur the line between an aural curb stomping and summer beach party fun in the desert sun depending on the mood the band happens to be in at that very moment, leading to a high effective follow-up outing.

"Eagle" immediately asserts its dominance through the infectious, sludge heavy grooves that are complimented perfectly with Chris Palomarez's sandpaper-like shouting, as well as the moody melodic segment that follows. It's a brief change of pace that sets a dismal setting for a time before the band again switches gears to a rebellious hardcore presence full of authority that quickly winds down with a doom-laden breakdown full of uneasy hooks and trudging riffs that take an otherwise aquatic approach and turn it into a sea of white sand being poured right down your throat. And, for the most part, this kick to the balls is what you can expect on the rest of the release, just with varying degrees of force represented by the styles the band happens to dabble in at that time.

And then there's "Swan", which is only short a random audio sample from a b-grade horror flick to play up a White Zombie presence in its opening and closing, or even that of Slayer's "New Faith". It doesn't take long for that atmosphere to degrade and reveal the punk-heavy presence hidden behind it, lashing out with tight rhythms that grow richer, allowing for some additional grooves once again later on. That Slayer presence can be felt during some areas of "Canyon", though the hardcore chorus shares the same intensity of the authoritative grooves found during the Terror 2000 track "Wrath of the Cookie Monster", just to name one that instantly springs to mind.

For being just shy of fifteen minutes, Mohicans not only accomplishes what it sets out to do, but leaves a lasting, addicting impression on the listener that goes well beyond the first few spins. Mohicans's abrasive mixture of crossover, hardcore, punk, sludge, and even doom metal speaks volumes of the talent they, and the San Francisco bay area music community has waiting to be utilized. This is a hostile kick square in the teeth that presents itself without holding any punches, and offering no apologies for how it sounds. If you're into attitude fuelled material angry enough to get your blood boiling in and outside the circle pit, look no further than Mohicans, which definitely deserves the proper vinyl release Creator-Destructor is giving it this holiday season.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.