27 March 2015


I don't feel like I really need to explain or discuss this band, as I am pretty sure that anyone who visits TE is already familiar with DYSTOPIA - and if you're not then you need to fix that immediately. This 1992 demo is from the four-piece lineup when the band was still based in Southern California...devastating and depressive sounds that bridge a gap between primitive death metal, political crust and pure heaviness. Perhaps the demo is no Human = Garbage, but holy shit was this an intense band.

26 March 2015


From the first fukkn note, you feel that this one is gonna get you right in the gut....and it does. Ugly and furious hardcore that owes much to early California hardcore but somehow takes a bunch of sub genres that don't really do anything for me and combine them to create something that does something for me. I mean...the FLAG influence is blatant and the 'Nardcore is undeniable, but CATASTROPHE doesn't really sound like either. The vocals are lazy, late and confident - like they are meant to be exactly where they are...no matter what you think they should have been doing. That might be the "gotcha" this band keeps under their sleeve - hidden underneath the guitar hooks (and if you wanna talk hooks, let's discuss "Other Side," because it's next level). Smart, mean, hardcore...I hope there's more where this shit came from.

25 March 2015


In a weird collision of worlds, I was searching for background on this demo beyond what my old SF buddy could share with me, and I found a post on the still (always) venerable True Punk and Metal blog about the very same demo. That's not really that weird, I suppose, since Nate knows his shit...but turns out ROMPER ROOM REJECTS was Nate's band when he lived in San Francisco nearly 30 years ago, so BOOM! on that one. You can read his description here, or you can believe me when I tell you that this ten song banger is classic late '80s shred. Irreverent, feisty, punk as shit, and unabashedly political while never seeming stodgy or unfun...just like you want a demo to be. 

Worth noting that Nate's demo post has ten songs, but this tape has twelve (and in a slightly different order). Not sure what's up with that...it's one of the many mysteries of the internet. OK, the twelfth song is the theme from The Jetsons, so it's not really a mystery. 

24 March 2015


Perhaps only the Japanese can pull off proto-psych/grunge/punk sounds like this, but if I'm in the right mindset this GASCON demo hits me just right. Then again, if someone wanted to tell me that they thought that it was a rejected early '90s attempt at something mysterious yet commercially successful...I couldn't exactly argue. This might be one of the weirdest things I've posted here, anyone is welcome to assist with describing and/or categorizing if you so desire.

23 March 2015


Man, all you monkeys that want to hear new sounds of blown out chaos? You need to be looking to shit like this, because these mutants were taking noise not music to new levels twenty years ago. I'm not talking about "distortion as adornment" hardcore, I'm talking about a relentless freak frenzy of grinding, tuneless Brasilian mayhem - shit that would be revered if it were from somewhere that people thought was cool (and for the record, at the risk of embarrassing myself with a sweeping generalization, most of Brasil is infinitely cooler than the town where you live) but instead it's some '90s band from a place you've never been. For the select (and wise) few who like to have their faces melted and their minds blown, I give you AJUNDATI DI PAPI NOEL. As always, you're welcome.

21 March 2015


I found this tape instantly compelling...washed out garage punk/pop with a waver in the tape, a warble in the vocals, and the catchiest tracks this side of early '90s indie rock. Not afraid of riding a good hook, Kentucky's THE ELSINORES will make fans of blissed out garage punk weak at the knees and hopefully win over a few codgers in the process. Consider me one of the latter.

20 March 2015


Back in January, STERILE MIND played a show in Santa Rosa with these Oakland mutants and we were all pretty damn floored. Hard hitting hardcore punk drawing equally from traditional Japanese shit and the current wave of bombastic USA shits...and it seems they may have heard a few heavy metal records in passing. Thunderous live show, with a lengthy between-song-banter sci fi story that spanned the entire set and didn't seem tongue in cheek....I can imagine that the show we are playing with them tonight in Dublin at a laser tag arena will be quite off the hook. That's right, we are playing together at a laser tag arena in the suburbs - should be weird.

19 March 2015


Brasilian hardcore circe 1996, raging and raw. The first time I heard this is wanted to rip holes in everything; anything the band might lack in presentation is more than made up for with the deadly delivery. Hooks when you least expect it, giving the tape an early Italian feel, but the majority of this demo is full on rage that would have melted people's minds if the band had been from North America. 13 some-odd minutes of magic -great shit.

18 March 2015


Space age and absolutely gorgeous sounds from MJ GUIDER, channeling space age/new age ethereal ambiance and an odd (if unintentional) COCTEAU TWINS-meets-drone vibe. There are moments that make me feel like I'm listening to something off of 20 Jazz Funk Greats (specifically "Nightcycle"), and then Green Plastic ascends and unveils a shroud of sound that refuses to accept explanation or context - instead these sounds just sink into you. The day I first put this on (and there have been many more days since), all I could think about was how long it's been since something hit me this hard...Ask me tomorrow and I may have a different story, but right now I will take "Prima" over 90% of the tracks that have ever been in my life.

17 March 2015


Bouncy, infectious punk from Southern California. Not sure exactly what more you need.

16 March 2015


And, three years after their last visit to The Escape, Detroit noise mongers SCUM are back with more raw, noisy hardcore. I like that these maniacs keep things ultra chaotic, even within the admittedly restrictive confines of DBeat based noise punk...you get the feeling that they would be just as insane sounding with a thunderous production and that the insanity is real regardless of how it presents itself. Bass intro to "Living In The Shadows" is crucial shit. A few tracks here were initially presented on previous demos, but sometimes you like getting your ears blown out all over again.

15 March 2015


Makes you want to lean back, crouched with one foot way up in the air and stomp the floor while you propel yourself across the room...and do it over and over with fists clenched tight. Shit is really good.

14 March 2015


Addictive from the first burst of guitar, HALDOL drench their three tracks in effects but keep the focus on the songs instead of the pedals. A certain DEAD AND GONE or THE VSS vibe (especially from the vocals) with a slightly more basic structure than either and the feeling that these kids ooze ferocity live. This demo is from 2014 - there are more recordings here and they are all very worth your while.

13 March 2015


You want to know why I keep doing this? It's tapes like this one. Sent in by a Friend Of The Escape, Maximum Hoosier is two hours of screaming underground punk and hardcore from the state of Indiana. Shit heaps of bands you've never heard of like WEIRD KID, DAISY CUTTER, KAM KAMA, RATSTORM and CLOSET BURNER, a few classics like DOW JONES & THE INDUSTRIALS, JETSONS and GIZMOS, plus CHAOTIC NEUTRAL and ICE NINE - bands that should be familiar to the thinking punk who pays attention. Hardcore, punk, crust - this thing will melt your face and open your eyes at the same time. Fave tracks are from REPELLANTS, ICE NINE, SIDE FX, APACHE DROPOUT, KAKM KAMA, CASQUE and OVERPOWER, but there are 84 tracks in all and clunkers are surprisingly absent, something especially tough to pull off with a regional comp. Absolute top quality mix.

Editing was kinda tough starting around 2/3 of the way through the first side - I might have messed up a couple of tracks. Hey Chris: I definitely enjoyed. Thanks.