28 May 2015


One of the more oppressive posts in recent memory, Oakland's THOABATH are an ominous cacophony of sound and manipulation. Primitive industrial noise struggling to bury haunting black metal ambiance backed by a distorted vocal attack that makes you feel like you are standing in a blinding snowstorm, submitting to the elements. The rhythm starts around the four minute mark, a premature death knell that only builds upon the foundation built by everything that came before...this shit is enveloping, and creepy as hell. 

27 May 2015


Just saw the SUBSTANDARD/NERVES split EP in a bargain bin in Osaka and urged my buddy to scoop it up (it's genuinely one of the finest regular residents of the dollar bins of the world), an easy choice at twice the price. Ripping UK hardcore from both acts on that split, and I was raving to him about how I see the record all the time and why doesn't anyone care about killer under the radar jammers and about how I later met one of the dudes in NERVES and he is chill, all while flipping through the bargain cassettes: boom, there's the SUBSTANDARD demo for about the price of two sips of beer. So there you go, always check the bargain bins.

26 May 2015


There are often bands that are referred to as the incarnation of another, more well known, band but from a different country. That was the case where MUGA popped up in the early '00s, when the influence of TRAGEDY was actually changing the way crust and hardcore bands around the world were approaching songwriting and inadvertently homogenizing the continent of Europe. Their demo dropped a shitheap of soaring melodic guitars in my lap and all I could think was "this is the Japanese TRAGEDY." With distance and perspective, Nagoya's MUGA might fall more in line with the epic emotional hardcore (that became incorporated into the aforementioned subgenre) than Swedish influence mid tempo DBeat but, regardless of how you classify them, their songs will consume you. Only three tracks on the cassette that Satoshi quietly passed around Philadelphia when I met him in 2004, and every one of them is an absolute crusher. Two full lengths followed, and I celebrate the entire discography enthusiastically. 

And to add a little unnecessary context:  I met bassist the Yas in 1996 at the ASSFORT/HICKEY/FUCKFACE/PISSED OFFICERS show in Boston, and he was ANAL CUNT's sometimes roadie while he was living in the states. 

25 May 2015


All hail bedrooms and four-track recorders, because the world is littered with garbage like this and I couldn't be happier. Music, inverted and disemboweled by a couple of Northern California mutants, SRE is the bastardization of music, accidentally presented as intellectually advanced outsider art....or perhaps is some dudes fucking around when then were wasted, the jury is still out. ANAL MÜCÜS related nonsense here, starting with a & minute versions of YOUR MOTHER's "Greg, Ex-Masturbator," so those in the know will have an idea of what to expect. As for the rest of you.....?

23 May 2015


I was in Korea recently and got to share a stage with these creamers, but I snagged the demo a few days before we left on tour thanks to Ormolycka and my neighborhood weirdos at Aquarius Records. An inventive, but most notably blistering, hardcore trio from Seoul, DEAD GAKKAHS don't hit the seven minute mark on this seven song banger, but still manage to cram more awesome things than should ever be asked of a tape this short. Tracks like "First Lady" touch all the bases and it's hard to believe it's only 72 seconds long...the sound is huge and the vocals have an edge that makes you wince. Fukk man, I miss when hardcore like this was "cool."

22 May 2015


Shockingly stacked upstate New York comp from the mid-'00s. Sloppy snarky punk shits, pissed in your face hardcore shits, lots of raw and lots of punk. Bands you might have heard of include WARSQUAD, THE DENTS and BLÜDWÜLF. Bands you've never heard of but should get familiar with include BOB BARKER + THE WOMANIZERS, THE END, NOBODY CARES and 17th CLASS. Regional compilation tapes kinda rule.

21 May 2015


Super tripped out German avant metalpunk from sometime in the late '80s (I'm guessing). The first track conjures serious Japanese thoughts (and thoughts of the highest echelon, if you know what I mean), and then the tape stands up and just kicks you in the ass. If there were a genre called "outsider thrash," then MOED would be the flag bearers, just super fukkn weird and manic crossover mania with songs like "Suck My Dick (your)," "Where's The Meat...." and "Fucking East." I have rarely listened to a band that gave a smaller fuck than these monkeys seem to give, and of course that's a quality that I appreciate and celebrate,. Get weird, my monkeys. 

20 May 2015


I consider myself pretty lucky to have seen many of my favorite bands over the years. I don't count missing out on bands that hung up their hats before I knew what punk was, but I've crossed paths with most of the bands that have really kicked my ass since I started listening to DIY punk...which is obviously one of the best things about this scene and the bands in it. In 2002 when WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? went to Brasil, São Paulo's INFECT and DISCARGA were probably the band I was most excited to see, and we were touring with DISCARGA so that one was easy. We played just one show with INFECT (a scab lineup with the bass player singing and Pedro playing guitar, if my memory is correct) and the energy was fukkn great. Things I remember about that show include: me wearing shorts (a rarity even then), Mozine drunk on wine (not really that rare), and a balcony surrounding the stage that was jammed with kids. INFECT were all female straight edge thrash, but beyond whatever niche appeal that garnered, they fukkn ripped. I strongly recommend the vinyl discography to all interested parties, and offer thins 1999 demo in the meantime.

19 May 2015


While the cassette overflow section at Osaka's Punk & Destroy was dangerous for a fellow like me, I was extremely happy to scoop a handful of previously unknown to me rippers like this 11 song banger from MUTANT. High energy Japanese fastcore/thrash along the lines of early RAZOR'S EDGE and FUTURES, a bargain at only 50. I win, you win.

18 May 2015


Haven't posted any lo-fi blown out distortion-laden punk since I came home, so here's GULAGS. Detroit noise mongers bashing through amped up pogo punk dished out with gratuitous chaos seeping into every crevice of the mix...but check the sneaky hooks in "Preach Roses," there's more to this than just power and fury. The vocals throughout are powerful as hell, landing somewhere between VIOLATORS and ICON GALLERY...repeat listens confirm that she has a no bullshit set of pipes, and subtleties like that make it well worth digging through the distortion. But if you aren't interested 
in subtleties and just want to rage, GULAGS have got you covered.

17 May 2015


An incredibly difficult to digest collection of tracks from SHREDDED NOISE. I am inclined to believe that the folks at Chondritic Sound issued this 40 minute release as two cassettes simply because devouring the aptly titled Failing To Maintain in one sitting might drive you mad. Electronic chaos and pseudo-rhythmic industrial damage combine forces here in the most gloriously cacophonous manner. Not for the weak.

16 May 2015

Чëрная Речка

Sometimes something is so well done, so on point, so....perfect, that you just listen with your mouth half open and wonder how simple human persons could have possibly done something exactly as things are supposed to be done. That's what happened when I started the Черная Речка (BLACK RIVER) tape. You can file it alongside your goth/dark/new wave/80s rock reincarnated as new millennium punk bands, and you won't be wrong, but I'm telling you that this band is doing something special. Two demos, both from 2014, are contained on my cassette, so you get ten songs....and every fukkn one of them is perfect. Listen to "Снег," and then listen to "Пропасть" and you will know that I am right. This band just turned my world on end, and I can't thank them enough.

Find the band and even more brilliant sounds here.

15 May 2015


I missed these Texas punks in SF last weekend, battling the one-two punch of jet lag and eviction made leaving the house seem all but impossible (even though it would have been the best thing for me, of course). And, as usual: my loss. KURRAKÄ deliver brilliant space age pogo punk with nods towards '80s Spain and distant shrieks echoing straight into your skull - as good as this 2012 demo is, their vinyl releases are even better and the live presentation is transcendent. Most TE visitors are already familiar, but this is for the uninitiated. Pay special attention to "Hermanas de la Obscuridad," so simple and so damn good. 

14 May 2015


DEAD FISH would have found themselves at home on the Fat or Epitaph rosters in the early '90s had they been from California, but instead they became one of the biggest melodic punk bands in Brazil. If you still have a soft spot for FACE TO FACE, or perhaps are able to admit (when your cool friends aren't looking) that the first couple of LAGWAGON records have a few bangers hiding under the slick veneer, then you will want to quietly dig into this 1993 demo, DEAD FISH's first. People say they are like the Brazilian BAD RELIGION, and when I saw them in Natal in 2001 I would have had a hard time arguing that stance - ultra high energy, tight as any band I've seen, and feeding off the audience's energy as much as they were feeding the audience energy. The monkeys at Läjä Records slapped this and the '95 demo onto a disc sometime in the '00s, so a physical copy awaits you...