Powerviolence (sometimes written as power violence), is a raw, dissonant sub-genre of thrashcore. Musically, powerviolence bands focus on speed, brevity, bizarre timing breakdowns, and constant tempo changes as a result of the injection of noise rock elements. Powerviolence songs are often very short; it is not uncommon for some to last less than 30 seconds. Lyrically and conceptually, powerviolence groups were very raw and under-produced, both sonically and in their packaging. Groups such as Spazz or Charles Bronson, on the other hand, wrote lyrics mocking points of interest for hardcore and metal fans, or even used inside jokes for lyrics, referencing specific people many of their listeners would not know.
The term was first mentioned in the song "Hispanic Small Man Power (H.S.M.P.)" by Man Is the Bastard.
Spazz vocalist and bassist Chris Dodge's record label Slap-a-Ham Records was a fixture during the rapid rise and decline of powerviolence, releasing influential records by the likes of Neanderthal, No Comment, Crossed Out, Infest, and Spazz. The label's Fiesta Grande was an annual powerviolence festival held at 924 Gilman from 1992 to 2000. Spazz drummer Max Ward's label 625 Thrashcore has started its own festival, Super Sabado Gigante, in a similar vein. While powerviolence is closely related to fastcore (often referred to simply as thrash), the style is distinct from the thrash metal groups active in the same place, at the same time. .