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In recent years, while way too many bands were opting for a more stripped-down form of rock and roll via the garage/surf route in an attempt to make music from a more pure and primal place, Negative Degree (due at the hi-dive on Sunday, May 12) was embracing hardcore. And not just any hardcore, but the kind that you'd have to travel back before 1986 to find. The raw, aggressive sound is reminiscent of the like-named Negative Approach, with short, intense bursts of energy that crackle through each song. The group released its latest EP through Deranged Records, and the alternate sleeve, with its obvious visual and textual nod to Bum Kon, is proof of its connection to Denver hardcore and the usual suspects. A bit of a throwback, Negative Degree is also very much in the moment.