At the start of a (much-needed) new year, faith-based punk-rock powerhouse label Thumper Punk has given us a street punk addition to their roster, Doulos. Hailing from Riverside, CA, this high-energy act blends all the raw edges of punk rock, hardcore, and metal into their debut EP, The Middleman. The record is brimming with spirit and laced with the remnants of the band’s early beginnings playing car clubs filled with lowriders, rat rods, cholos, and punk rockers.
Between the no-fluff lyricism and classic hardcore instrumentals, each song is respectively unadorned to let the band’s conviction shine. The opening track, “Death Brawl,” challenges modern religious apathy, and the songs that follow take on equally heavy themes: authentic faith, sobriety, purpose in life, and mental health. The EP is littered with gang vocals, gritty guitar tones, and even a little bit of hair metal angst, presenting a full spread of hardcore elements that blend together with Doulos’ confident tenet and make for a hard-hitting first release.