New Jersey Hardcore Comes to a Head on New Chokepoint EP

The local, DIY community in New Jersey has been supporting each other (and thriving) for the last 30 years (at least). By finding new, creative ways to be heavy, that community continues to flourish and maintains their reputation as one of the best hardcore scenes around. Now, in 2024, we are getting the first new release from a band called Chokepoint. This hardcore group, while new, is already making waves with their music. Originating in South Plainfield, the band was quick to play shows across the Garden State and into New York and Brooklyn. Their upcoming EP, Manifesto, is wholly in its own lane – even going as far as to drop on a Sunday, this weekend on June 9, to be precise. And to put it simply, the record absolutely rules.

Chokepoint consists of Liam Glynn on vocals, Anthony Frascino on guitar, and Chris Papaleo and Tim Wilson (from hardcore band Against All) on bass and drums. They’re already hot, but with this new EP, they’re about to be on fire.

Photo by Shotzzz

Manifesto was produced by Dr. Chud from the Misfits (!) and recorded in Cliff Evan’s studio in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The production of this EP lends itself to the music flawlessly; it’s gritty where it needs to be and polished where it needs to be, too. The entire experience walks the line between raw and unfiltered, but it sounds intentionally so.

Nothing is buried in the mix. Every instrument takes turns in the spotlight to deliver a fantastic music listening experience. Dr Chud really adds what he knows best into the production. The entire record is a cosmic mix of up-and-coming talent with a seasoned veteran. It’s a match made in punk rock heaven!

The songwriting on the five tracks that make up Manifesto are top notch, as well, and not just because of the perfectly rough production. It’s an insanely catchy, almost melodic record for how heavy and pummeling it is. The chorus on “SPHC” will get stuck in any listener’s head. The low-pitched scream-style breakdown on “Uncivil Disobedience” is guttural and incredible. The guitars on “New World Order” have an almost thrash metal feel, which adds a different texture into the music. The blasting beat drum fills on “8128” are just mind blowing. You have to hear it all to understand (and you can this Sunday)!

Having been inspired by the Misfits and produced by a former member of the band, the EP definitely takes on the classic punk sound that bands like the Misfits helped make. It takes everything that came from punk before them and gives us their version of it. In reality, this EP was clearly written by lifelong supporters of the scene; the band understands the genre on a deep, fundamental level. Its artwork, too, could be taken out of our pages in the eighties. Look at it above as it leads this review, and tell us it couldn’t be seen amid our music directory and classified ads back in the day! (This artwork was also done by their frontman’s brother, Bill Glynn!)

Another aspect that’s rarely discussed in hardcore reviews is flow. The pacing of these songs is impeccable. The vocals are smooth and consistent throughout the tracklist and singer Glynn delivers a phenomenal performance one-after-another – it’s channeled rage that is perfectly on tempo. The lyricism feels poignant, so that sort of delivery adds nothing but raw personality to the songs. It’s the kind of hardcore that sounds like a punch to the face. To those uninitiated to the mosh pit, trust us – this is a high compliment.

Overall, Chokepoint’s EP, Manifesto, is a fantastic debut. The band finds a way to express themselves through heavy music in a way that feels new and honorable. For a genre in which most bands sound similar, Chokepoint manages to stand uniquely above the rest. They may only have five songs out, but the talent and passion weaved into every one shows us that the best is yet to come. We’re witnessing the start of something beautiful here, and we recommend everyone get on board.