Anyone who's toured Europe has undoubtedly seen APATIA tapes and CDs filling distro boxes, especially as you head east. We were predictably entertained at the title of their 2000 full length 100% Vegetarian Band, and that was probably what made me check the band out in the first place, but I came back from that trip with a few different APATIA tapes that still get regular attention today. Energetic Polish punk that nods at mid '80s UK anarcho (I'm thinking later SUBHUMANS) instead of the two chord UK82 stomp that is (and has been) so often emulated, these tracks were recorded in 1992 many also appear on the Wlka Czy Apatia? CD (also released by Nikt Nic Nie Wie). Light years from brainless hardcore, bands like this remind me how refreshing it can be to listen to bands who are....well, who are light years away from brainless hardcore.
02 March 2015
01 March 2015
Maybe some of you people can educate me here, because I had never heard of ROTZLÖFFEL before this tape compilation fell into my lap. Apparently, while it seemed like every German band I knew was cranking out thunderous metalcore, these punks were bashing out gloriously off the rails Deutsch Punk played...so pogo your asses off, and someone tell me how I completely missed this band. 16 tracks from a self released LP from 1997 (that I now need), and seven more from the following year.
28 February 2015
I keep wanting to call UDÜSIC "feisty." If you wanna break down their riffs, then the songs are pretty straightforward, but the guitars are anxious, like they want to get the song over with so they can go drink or something...and Sarah's vocals want to be catchy but it sounds like she's too pissed to pull it off. Check the beginning of "Mature" (the whole song, really) - it's the laid back number on the demo but it's teeth are like fangs and the swinging guitars are more like the sound track to a knife fight. Also, the OUT COLD cover is next level sickness. I guess when I wanted to call them feisty, the word I was really looking for was "punk."
27 February 2015
Early '90s European rough and tumble edge and 'core comp - from the hyper speed chugs from PROFAX that open the tape to the chaotic live X-LARGE track that wraps things up 90 minutes later, Coming Back To Haunt you is a killer glimpse into the less celebrated world of hardcore. THE CLOWN, LAST STRAW, X WOOLHEAD, HAMMERHEAD B.T., VITAKORN, ALL IN THE HEAD, and a slew of other bands you've never heard of....plus two rippers from MAN LIFTING BANNER. A heads up that a lot of the content here is live (or just generally raw), but personally I think that adds a little charm - the tape hiss just goes up with the volume. BETRAY (harmonics right out of the gate and straight into a whirlwind), ALL IN THE HEAD (pre-fastcore mania!) and POINT OF NO RETURN (best/worst bass tone ever) offer up my favorite tunes, in case anyone is keeping track.
26 February 2015
1988 hardcore from San Diego County - a tenuous attack from a tuneless, over-overdriven guitar (that would be better suited on a DISORDER record) that sounds especially out of place backed by thunderous drums. Snotty '80s HC vocals (check out "Secret Society," vocals are perfect) from the future BUCK-O-NINE frontman (there's someone from UNWRITTEN LAW in the mix as well), bordering on crossover thrash but the music never quite lets him get there. Confidential ain't gonna change your world and perhaps this is for the overly curious and/or completists only, but my world is filled with under the radar second tier hardcore...and this pretty much hits the spot. But second tier or not, the guitar break in "CID" is fukkn screaming.
we are victims of society // labeled victims, can't you see?!
25 February 2015
Walked into a living room in Santa Rosa a few months back and was pleasantly surprised to see a wall of gear lined up along one wall, indicating that all five bands would be using the same equipment (this makes shows run waaay smoother kids). And then I looked behind the table lamp in the opposite corner and was even more pleased at the pile of knobs and machines and noise makers assembled and plugged into a couple of small amps - these suburban punks and transient weirdos were gonna get treated to some fukkn noise, and I was gonna love it. RAE PUS BARA BUS started the show with a mind melting, fishnet laden, neck goiter bursting explosion delivered at a deafening volume and about a quarter of the attendees were at least intrigued (if not enthralled) while most chilled outside and took advantage of the garbage can full of Keystone Ice that was available for our enjoyment and lubrication. Count me among the former group, and if the bands that played that night hadn't been so damned good then that burst of noise might have been the highlight of my evening. But the bands were good, it was a great evening, and the dude with the fishnet and the thing on his neck that popped out when he screamed (which was often) hooked me up with two tapes of previous noise projects. CONJUGAL VISITS is one of those tapes - a fifteen minute journey through two rooms.
And rest assured that the image contained in the download features a non-pixellated image of the wiener going into the place where the poo comes out. You've been warned...
24 February 2015
The combination of sounds doesn't sound like it even belongs on the same tape until a few minutes into this demo...but when it all clicks things start to get really sweet. Bouncy pogo drums keep ELECTROCUTIONER from going off the rails while a blown out bass rumbles and a teenage guitar struggles to be heard over gruff Japanese-hardcore-meets-black-metal vocals cranks mercilessly high in the mix. The start/stop of "Undercover" is quick to remind you that these are not amateurs at work, and thankfully the plodding closer "Gentrified" comes after the listener has grown accustomed to the bizarre mix, because the shit is ominous as anything. It should come as no surprise that something this raw and catchy comes from our friends down south...the LA area is just killing it lately.
23 February 2015
I listened to the 1985/86 INSANITY yesterday on the drive back from Bakersfield (you can still find them here, and I still recommend it), and it reminded me that I've been meaning to plant this 1989 burner right on your precious little cheeks. The riffing does not stop, and these monkeys look at you like you are a fool if you ask for a breakdown....and then they drop "Ultimate Death" on your ass and the dancefloor just crumbles, it's as if they are saying "What, punk? You asked for it, you get what you asked for. We are going to get back to thrashing now." This is raw Bay Area Thrash - nothing more/nothing less.
22 February 2015
Mid '90s dark punk that just bleeds Oakland (and I say that even before the song "Oakland" closes the demo). Multiple vocals, with the main roles filled by author/poet/performer Wendy-O-Matik and Noah from NEUROSIS. These ten songs are like a time warp, a window looking back to a time when "punk" seemed to mean something entirely different...
21 February 2015
Brad Misanthropic made this tape for the Milwaukee Mix Tape Exchange in the early '00s, and it's still a regular jammer around TEHQ. An insane collection of crushing '70s heavy rock from an A-List of collector nerd fodder. If you aren't familiar with SEOMPI, DARK, ICECROSS, DIES IRAE, WICKED LADY, BUM (pre- IRON MAIDEN), POOBAH....well, today is your lucky day. A few slightly better known heavyweights are included as well (MAY BLITZ, HIGH TIDE, Brasil's MODULO 1000, T2, JERONIMO), but these are "well known" to freaks and mutants and afficionado more than your average punker. Can't even stress how much this tape jams, listen to the BULLETPROOF track repeatedly. You're welcome.
20 February 2015
Hugely important band in my life, CHAINSAW KITTENS were one of the hundreds (thousands?) of almost famous bands that should have made it instead of hundreds (thousands?) of piece of shit schlock acts that crammed the airwaves and rock clubs in the '90s. Brilliant glam/pop delivered with a fiery and borderline psychedelic live energy. I saw the band countless times, and no doubt those live shows are part of the reason why this band (and this record, specifically) still blows me away. Violent Religion was released in 1990, and the band almost rocketed to superstardom (at least I like to think they were that close...) with their follow up. But they didn't, instead releasing three more quality full lengths on an assortment of indie labels before bowing out a decade after they started. Perhaps there are a few editorial critiques that could be made ("Feel Like A Drugstore" seems like filler or a JANE'S ADDICTION outtake, and it's followed by "Savior Boyfriend Collides," which is arguably the weakest song on the record), but I think this is one of the best collections of songs that I own , and few bands hold such a perfect time/place marker for me. And, while I know I've said it before in these pages, "I'm Waiting" is without a doubt my favorite punk love song ever. You're welcome.
I have also updated the link in the CHAINSAW KITTENS demo post from a few years back, in case you would like to hear slightly less awesome versions of some of these songs.
19 February 2015
Really tough to nail what these fools are going for, but if they wanted to make a punishing noise rock opus when they recorded When Your Friends Become Cops, then they fukkn nailed it. Ominous from the first note, and (inadvertently?) steering clear of virtually every cliché, this New York outfit sounds cool as fukk without trying to sound cool. What they are trying to do is bulldoze you with noisy guitars and riffs like molasses, all drowned in mystery and vocals that land closer to THE VSS than any band they will ever get compared to. As usual, I'm late to the game, and dribbling over a demo that was released a year ago...but my goal is not to give you what's new....my goal is to give you what's good. Listen to "Ask Girls" at maximum volume...CHAIN GANG GRAVE is good.
18 February 2015
I don't go out of my way to post the noisy raw shit every Monday like I used to, but if I did then Halifax freaks LIFE CHAIN would be first in line. I know it's Wednesday...but you can pretend, right? And you can pogo your ass off when "Mind Pollution" starts, right? Perfect. Guitars fukkd right and proper, everything drenched in the wake of every pedal available at the pawn shop and high female vocals soaring over the whole mess, more suited for urgent anarcho punk and then raging assault that is "Nightmares," but they are fukkn perfect. DISCLOSE cover is legit, and the two EPs that have dropped since the release of this demo two years ago are well worth your time. Obviously, some punks have tired of this style but, when it's this sick, I don't give half a shit whether or not something is now, or ever was, en vogue.
17 February 2015
There are a few crews in the world that can seemingly conjure up perfect hardcore riffs at will and execute them with terrifying precision...this is one of them. Pay close attention to the chorus of "The Grip," you monkeys, because that is what it feels like to get kicked in the face by a hardcore song. And the intro to "Turn Your Back And Run" that follows? That's what it feels like to get ground into the pavement by a hardcore song. You should already know this one inside and out since it came out in 2013, but I'm sharing it today to help the poor, sad souls who missed the boat. Those drums, man....fukk. Snap to it, you monkeys, get amongst it.