Shouldn't really need an introduction today, as ICONOCLAST should already be on your radar...but I'm here just in case. Screaming bare bones 1983 hardcore punk drawing from DISCHARGE, CRUCIFIX without ever completely abandoning snotty Southern California punk (it's the inclusion of that last element that makes them so crucial to my ears). Buzzsaw guitars, vocals that personify teen angst from the land of the Valley Girl....and in the time of Valley Girl, the angst is not hard to imagine. Lyrics follow the DIS-themes of war, death, injustice and general destruction, and "Death Race" is the best song I will listen to today.
23 October 2014
Dark, sparse industrial drones. SECAM KINO excel when they inject beats into the mix ("Full Tab," "New Doctrines"), but perhaps it's the anxiety of waiting that makes those rhythms so enchanting. Extreme patience required for maximum effect, you need to let these sounds guide you....they already have a destination in mind.
22 October 2014
Feisty hardcore/thrash from Modesto. Not familiar with Modesto? I don't want to malign the meth infested outlying Bay Area hamlet, but suffice to say it's never been a hotbed for punk - the punks smart enough to know better tend to hit the road for SF or Oakland as soon as they are able. But thankfully for us these dudes stuck it out to crank out this 13 song banger, and it fukkn rips. Early '80s vibe, harnessing early SUICIDAL and MDC and dropping one screaming track after another. Songs like "Family's Only Family" are undiscovered classics, just top notch California hardcore...apparently the late '80s weren't a total void?
21 October 2014
How many different sounds can be accurately described as "hardcore"? It seems like an endless number, and yet that's how I describe Brasil's COLLIGERE. The meat of the songs are super charged juggernauts; hardcore rage with a US straight edge energy and catchy (almost poppy) palm muting, but the vocals are pure '90s emotional hardcore...the combination works really well. Only three tracks here, that will likely serve as an introduction to a band you will want to hear more from.
RAKTA tour of the West Coast starts tonight in SF at El Rio with MANE and INTERIOR 27.
I am exceptionally excited to have them on this coast...
20 October 2014
"Everything Louder Than Everything Else" is a phrase attributed to one specific band, but Italy's CONFUSIONE seem to have borrowed the mantra for this tape. Tracks from a few early '00s vinyl releases and live shows, they rip through a few dozen bangers in just under an hour, catchy fast hardcore mingling with amped up melodic Eurocrust and blistering fastcore with a more than casual nod to their contrymen form the '80s - and everything pegged in the red for added intensity. The live tracks show a band that I would love to see in person, maximum energy without sacrificing chops and an excellent partner for the blown out studio tracks that make up half of the tape. 40+ songs in all, and I'm virtually certain that I fukkd up the titles somewhere along the line...I would apologize if I was actually sorry, but I was chair moshing too hard to really care.
19 October 2014
I snagged this from Irv a few days before he went to jail on some bullshit last year (he's a free man today, as he should be), and lagged super hard on sharing it with you. ATRAKO is like the a bridge between the energy of early '00 fast hardcore bands from LA (HIT ME BACK, LIFES HALT, TRAGATELO) and the scene that cropped up around South Central several years later (RAYOS X, TUBERCULOSIS) - fast, driving hardcore punk with manic drums, crazy hooks and distant, strained high pitched vocals. No song titles, no artwork, just nine killer bangers with an honesty that cannot be faked (pay special attention to tracks six and seven). Sorry you had to wait so long, but I can assure you it was worth it.
18 October 2014
Screaming raw fastcore/grind from PARENTAL ADVISORY - this outfit would have been completely at home on one of the Cry Now, Cry Later comps. NO PREJUDICE are next level dual vocal raw hc/grind (light on the low growls though), and their tracks from this split are live which accentuates the "raw" part of the description. "Festa Da Exploração" and "Não Seja Um Robó" are the standouts if only because NO PREJUDICE slow the pace to a steady BONE AWL paced stomp. Zero nuance from either band, just an all out blast, which is exactly what I needed this morning. These sounds come from Brasil, sometime in the late '90s.
17 October 2014
I've been sitting on this one for far too long. Started to post it more than once, but the words never seemed right so I opted for something easier. GAS CHAMBER is not easy, not simple. GAS CHAMBER is deep, visceral, and intense beyond words. This year's Hemorrhaging Light LP on Iron Lung defies description, it is a revolutionary collection of sound that transcends mere hardcore music. So it should not be surprising that this cassette collection that was released before the LP, a series of interludes, compositions (and one banging single), is a total stunner. The two pieces that make up "Prone" set the stage for the remainder of Kairos Will Erase, prolonged ambience exploding into massive bursts of advanced hardcore. Goosebump inducing vocals and bass flanged to oblivion, driving the recording (indeed the whole band) through treacherous twists that would have most outfits stumbling over their own fingers. For me, this tape is all about the noise... "IX" and "X" take up over 25 minutes, and it's that sparse, anxious intermission that makes this presentation of the Corpse With Levity EP (presented here in the same form as the vinyl release) seem wholly different than the first time I listened to it cold. The list of bands that can make so many different sounds and styles all feel like they belong is very short, and this band is at the top. Trying to describe the music is hard enough...but describing the power is impossible. Without question, GAS CHAMBER are among the most intense live bands I have ever seen, but this tape will hold you over until you become one of the The Fortunate Ones.
Physical copies from Peterwalkee Records
16 October 2014
A stunning collection of sounds from this Montreal outfit, album blanc is absolute perfection in the increasingly polluted sea of retro sounding dark punk. A vibe that's somewhere between raw garage and angular energetic post punk fronted by a screaming all encompassing guitar. The music is filthy, but it sinks into you like the good bands do...and NO.NEGATIVE are very very good at getting under your skin. Some people like lazy musical comparisons, so here you go: PERE UBU, DASHER, STOOGES, DKs, BIRTHDAY PARTY. This banger came to me from a place far outside of my aural comfort zone, and won me over instantly. Prepare yourself.
15 October 2014
Six bursts of simple, raw and ferocious Spanish language punk. Three chords, rarely more than two riffs per song - these kids just bash out the basics and it rules. "Utopia" is the banger, actual desperation transformed into sound...proof that sometimes keeping it simple is a good idea. Members of ESKE for those who pay attention to that special brand of hardcore from Chicago.
14 October 2014
Second track reminds me of THE DEAD MILKMEN (it's the meandering bass line that does it), and the vocals sound like GRUMPIES, and sometimes (just sometimes) the reverbed guitar sounds like a more surfy East Bay Ray - so yeah, I'm sold. Dreamy and endearing garage punk with a laid back vibe and a penchant for irreverent hooks. I feel like THE DEATH would thrive in the Midwest pop/garage scene, but hopefully they play with hardcore bands when they are at home in Japan. "Reality Or Fantasy" is the angular jerky weirdo jam of the week...in case you were wondering. This one keeps growing with repeat listens.
13 October 2014
Maximum fukkd blown out blasting hardcore. Full frontal intensity from these So Cal kids, with a healthy emphasis placed on creating a mood and then crushing it (I'm talking about "It's Practically Worthless" here). I'm sure they get lumped mindlessly with a new wave of PV bands dotting the aural landscape and that's not unjustified, but FISSURE's approach has more in common with HHIG than a bunch of bros throwing a mosh in between a few blasts (I'm talking "Frozen Spit" here). Saw it live a few months back and was quite pleased....next time will be even better after fully digesting the sounds.
12 October 2014
A welcome Chondritic Sound reissue of SPINE SCAVENGER's 2008 cassette release, Pigs. The 14+ minute title track alone is a mind melting exercise in sound - layers of monotonous synths assaulted by waves of noise, descending into sparse analog manipulations. The remaining missives are like an extended cool down from the opening composition, more reserved and almost soothing...until "The Embryo" scrapes nine minutes of looped abrasion across your face. The sound is primitive, the execution is superb.
11 October 2014
Just one of the killer DC demos I snagged on the NO STATIK tour last winter. I remember holding up the stack and Nick just went "That's 2013, a year of DC hardcore," and he was right. Not a clunker in the bunch (NUCLEAR AGE and CORRECTION have already stopped by The Escape), and each one has a slightly different feel - as if the same crew of kids tried to make each of their bands distinct. So I guess PURE DISGUST is the kinda street punk/hardcore hybrid, with marbly vocals and amped up Oi! riffing (things that go together extremely well, apparently). Five bangers in under eight minutes, and the intro "Blind To Race" smokes anything on Don't Forget The Struggle, Don't Forget The Streets (which I listened to for the first time ever tonight on my way home from work - true story, good record), while the second half of the song goes somewhere...well, somewhere else.
Apologies for the fuckup on yesterday's NO STAND CREW link, even Wizards make mistakes.
It has been repaired.
10 October 2014
Hyper posi late '90s youth crew from Brasil. Two demos here (I've been pretty generous with the jams this week, no?): the slightly more produced and clangy bass guitar driven Live Fast Di Young from 1998 and the previous year's Barulho Tapes Songs which is rougher, tinnier and way more awesome. This band is like an intercontinental bridge between 7 SECONDS and OUTLAST.