Conceived sometime in the early '00s by a dude from THE END OF THE CENTURY PARTY but not released for several years, this comp is an excellent time warp if nothing else...but fortunately it is also smoking. A veritable who's who of bands that rarely got the recognition they deserved while they were around: FAT DAY, PRETENTIOUS ASSHOLES, GODSTOMPER, EPAJAESTYS, DENAK, along with some heavyweights of the era: KUNG FU RICK, PALATKA, ASSHOLE PARADE. Czech Republic's MRTVA BUDOCNOST and Japan's D.P.P.S. were surprises, but the penpal was a powerful thing in pre-message board punk world. AUTORITAR, VILENTLY ILL, DEAD END, CROOKED COPS, WARSORE, KATASTROFIALUE and CHAPTER 13 round the tape out, I miss comps like this.
07 March 2014
06 March 2014
In 2001 I was assigned the Pleasure/Disgust LP from Finland's HERO DISHONEST to review. I fukkn loved it - hyper energetic fastcore that was smart, witty, and had more thought and originality in one song than most bands of that ilk could muster on an entire record, and my positive review reflected those impressions. The following year when I was assigned their second album, Juggernaut, for review, I assumed it would be a let down (if only because the first record was simply that damn good). It was anything but. In addition to espousing the virtues of this excellent (and, it would seem, prolific) band, I mentioned in the pages of Maximum Rocknroll that should HERO DISHONEST ever want to tour in the USA that I would be more than happy to host them and book a tour....because no band would ever take up a total stranger on an asinine offer like that, would they? A few weeks later I got a call from the then coordinator who let me know that a certain Finnish band was looking to get in touch with me...uh-oh. After trading a few messages we realized that we were going to be playing together in København later that year and figured we would use that opportunity to make a plan. Instead we just used that opportunity to get really really drunk and dance to G.I.S.M. and then Vellu told me sometime after dawn that all Finns are naked, drunk and wielding knives. I informed him that he was, in fact, clothed and knifeless (the drunk part was well sorted), so he stripped in the middle of the street and started pleading with passerby to loan him a knife since he was Finnish. So yeah...the tour was on. HERO DISHONEST came over in fall of 2004, touring on their third excellent record Let Your Poison Scream, and then they returned two years later. I love the shit out of this band, and their lust for life is rarely paralleled - bands that play punk music are a dime a dozen, but when you cross paths with the right people, it sticks with you. 2006's When The Shit Hits The Man is easily one of my favorite records of the '00s (yeah, they just kept cranking out quality), and I think last year's Alle Lujaa might even be better still.
This tape was released by a collection of Russian labels for one of their many tours there. The first two LPs, split EP with REBOUND, the demo and various compilation tracks and covers. 62 songs in all, clocking in at almost 80 minutes, and I can assure that it is all quality. A band that covers OUTLAST and AGNOSTIC FRONT on the same release gets my vote, the guitar solo in "Part III - Let Go" is just icing on the cake.
05 March 2014
Fukk it, why not stick with Los Angeles for a third day? OUT OF VOGUE eschewed the raucous thrash of the early '00s for meat and potatoes hardcore punk - more akin to NEGATIVE APPROACH than DRI, and tracks like "Fashion Victim" and "Ol' Joe Rides Again" are quintessential Southern California bangers. I first remember seeing them at The Smell with SCHOLASTIC DETH at the start to ARTIMUS PYLE tour in '02, they were little ass kids and they killed it. They seemed to be the next generation of positive and determined California hardcore, roaring down the road blazed by LIFES HALT and then HIT ME BACK...but punk generations are relatively short and only a couple of years separated those bands from one another (and only a couple more separated them from us). Eric has since played in JUMP OFF A BUILDING, INDEX, NODZZZ (with fellow Thrash2K youth veteran Ant from DOWN IN FLAMES) and others, Uly has been in RAYOS X and a host of seminal LA bands in recent years, and the other two.....I dunno?
04 March 2014
Rarely does a black metal recording completely consume me as this one does. More concise than 2010's debut Toplov, the second release from Los Angeles solo outfit MOONKNIGHT takes calculated detours into fuzzed out drones before crashing repeatedly into walls of guitars distorted to white drone status and vocals that reek of despair. Moments like the guitars two-thirds of through "Thyrsgreiden" give a glimpse into the insular world being created, an all encompassing swarm blasted through the prism of emotion by despondent and relentless primitive metal. "The Translucent Path" closes the release, an almost 8 minute electronic exercise that (hopefully) segues into a future chapter from MOONKNIGHT. You will find nothing approaching closure from this track or from Legeia as a whole, just longing.
03 March 2014
So you like that primitive simple punk and you like the bouncy 1-2-1-2 and you even like the snotty (read: whiny) vocals and you love it when the bands make it noisy on purpose but try to make it seem like an accident? But you still want your shit to have teeth. You don't want your hardcore to be happy. STUPID LIFE are childish....and menacing, the kind of not giving a fukk that is actually terrifying instead of a mere nuisance. Six bangers in as many minutes, raw and pure.
02 March 2014
Pop punk wasn't always a dirty word (or a dirty combination of words), and I still turn happily to many feisty, energetic and fukkn punk bands form the '90s that fell into that category. VAGINAL BLOOD FARTS play hardcore with hooks, JERK dish out poppier punk all snotty and dirty, and both bands have the power to validate your anger and frustration while giving you something to sing along to (even if it's just "I Hate Bad Religion"). This tape came out in 1993, before VBF members moved on to form the excellent garage punk outfit CHINESE LOVE BEADS and the nucleus of JERK started AT THE DRIVE IN.
01 March 2014
A mid tempo mosh riff extravaganza from Japan, V.C.R. keep is short with just two songs (three if you count the intro) that continually threaten to unleash but instead maintain a steady creepy crawl pace. Think "Sergeant D" regurgitated for 14 minutes. The vocals indicate a desire to be weird instead of tough, though the end result is really neither.
28 February 2014
Mateus brought a handful of these comps up on his last visit, and I owe him big for slipping one into my grubby paws. You should get real familiar with RAKTA if you aren't already, their recent 12" is an absolute stunner and these tracks are in the same department: demented and dreamy ethereal post punk drenched in fuzz and confusion. LIKZO take the bombastic bellowing hardcore approach - teetering on the edge of too distorted creates the right kind of tension throughout, and "Cornered Rat" is pure power. CADAVER EM TRANSE pleased me with last year's flexi, and I continue to be pleased with these goth/post punk tracks. The vocals are the hardest thing to pull off in bands like this, and the vocals are the strongest element here...I look forward to more. GATTOPARDO are by far the mellowest of the bunch, 17 Seconds-era CURE styled guitars lazily lead the band through subtly plodding tunes as suited for an introspective afternoon as for a drunken rager. All four bands are from São Paulo, and I would be quite happy if I get to see any one of them when I'm there in May....hint hint.
RAKTA tracks are from a yet-to-be-released EP, though with an alternate mix. LIKZO recorded their songs at their first rehearsal, which is very very punk. Two CADAVER EM TRANSE songs are from their demo and two are from the flexi session (though only one made it onto the flexi). GATTOPARDO tracks were originally released on their 2013 demo, and Mateus is pretty good at taking pictures.
27 February 2014
The hardcore is off the rails. The riffs are killer. The tension is palpable when they slow it down (I'm talking the start of "Monotongue" here, or the flawless execution of the middle of "Host Becomes Parasite"). The vocals have an almost McPheeters quality. Vile Bodies are clearly on their own path, which is refreshing. And the tape is really really fukkn good.
26 February 2014
It's bands like this that will keep me from ever saying that I don't like "melodic punk," even though most bands saddled with that moniker are indeed complete garbage. VADER'S command singing along from the very first tune, and even though my Spanish falls somewhere between horrible and non-existent I find myself repeating these hooks over and over in my head. A blast from a lost generation, when singers could croon away and the punks fukkn loved it. This tape will inspire bouncing, joyful dancing and perhaps even a few smiles - and you won't care how many cool points you lose for loving it. For fans of GOMEZ and LA FRACTION, and all bands both in between and parallel.
(and I have no idea what's up with the apostrophe)
25 February 2014
The (cassette version of the) first 12" from New York City's STARK RAVING MAD is an absolute ripper. You should be familiar with this already, but for the less fortunate: I am here to help. Screaming political start/stop spastic thrash from 1984 - there are connections to (fellow former Texans) DRI and MDC and in a different world perhaps this band would be just as renown....but the second record from these freaks dropped off a bit and that was the end of the road. But these 15 songs, clocking in at a whopping 10 minutes, are pointed and chaotic in all the right ways.
Interview with the band from March '85 here. I'm guessing these are my kind of people, and I sincerely hope they stayed that way...
24 February 2014
23 February 2014
It's hard to tell if the forceful guitar melodies or the powerfully determined vocals are the focal point of this demo, but they work together from start to finish. And while those might be the first things you notice, it could be the rhythm section that makes NERVOUS TREND so completely indispensable. Rarely does a band work so well as a unit, and this one kinda demands to be listened to over and over. This is easily one of my favorite demos from 2013, and I will listen to it more than most demos that come out in 2014...the internet seems to already think they are awesome, and this time I'd say the internet is right, but if you're late to the party then do yourself a favor.
22 February 2014
Did you know the GORGONIZED DORKS have well over 100 releases? That's an average of more than one release per month for their almost ten year existence. Impressive, no? Barely controlled and meticulously restrained power electronics make up their side of this split - it makes me a bit anxious when I listen to it, which is almost certainly the point. DAN GARNELLI (for what it's worth, the To Live A Lie dude is responsible for this alter-ego) on the flip are a more focused and singular animal. Instead of a wall of sound, we get one layer of madness that flirts with sparse and primitive electronic noise. I keep coming back to this side, the last five minutes are particularly engaging...good night.
21 February 2014
Just like the cover says, this 1987 comp is stuffed with punk and hardcore bands from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. A relatively known acts (VATICAN COMMANDOS, VIOLENT CHILDREN, 76% UNCERTAIN, SHEER TERROR) and some absolute killers that I heard for the first time (JAVI AND THE BASTARDS, UNJUST, KRIEGKOPF). Nearly an hour of jams, and I'm guessing this comp was released years before "metalcore" became a bad word, so don't let that scare you off. It's all punk shits.