Named after the Vancouver Police Department’s mental-health response unit, Car 87 is a hardcore unit seemingly determined to stir up shit. The band’s Facebook page promises a “no bullshit” old-school punk group fed up with the local scene’s “cross-genre garbage”.
Sure enough, on Car 87’s debut EP Trapped, no bullshit is to be found—just pure ’80s hardcore and guitar-revving aggression. Singer Bryce sounds like he spends his time gargling gasoline and violently upchucking, using his tortured, guttural voice to full effect on lines like “WANNA FUCKING SHOOT MYSELF.” (And, yes, he sings in all caps.)
Beneath the finger-bleeding fretwork and cymbal-crashing bedlam, there are some pretty gripping, albeit simplistic, lyrics. On the opener “Shoot Up and Die”, Bryce rails against hard-drug use, singing “Drain away all your fucking pride”, while on “Suicide” he tackles self-hatred and self-destruction with “Stare into the mirror and look what I’ve become/Wishing I were dead and there’s nowhere to run.” Elsewhere, there’s nothing more attention-grabbing than kicking off a song like “Cock Rock” by bellowing, “We’re all gonna die,” no matter how ridiculous it sounds.
Does Vancouver need another standard punk four-piece with three-chord riffs and two-minute tracks? Nah. But is moshing and screaming your guts out a lot of straight-up, cathartic fun? Of course, and Car 87 agrees.