28 November 2014


New York City scene is all over the place and pretty over the top musically these days. Handfuls of punks have taken the blown out noise paradigm and applied it to all kinds of weirdo subgenres with often excellent results. 23 bands on this cassette put together in the manner of a classic hype inducing mix tape with shout outs and samples galore - highlights include G.M.K., SURVIVAL, CHILDREN WITH DOG TEETH, WART HOG, SEX CROSS, and SPIDER MAN. Irreverent, raw bursts of punk sound. Also, there are a couple of bands from other places (Seattle, Boston)...I guess it's good to have friends in high places.

27 November 2014


Melancholy rarely sounds as good as on this airy six track offering from Kentucky's SALAD INFLUENCE. Vocals float above the recording, guitars jangle and drunkenly sway while the band plays the most perfect modern incarnation of '80s college radio alternative that I've heard since the first incarnation of '80s college radio alternative. The tracks breathe, and the careful, deliberate construction of the songs and their placement on the tape is subtly stunning. "Feeding Time" is an absolute pop classic, followed the six plus minute warbling dirge of "Re(a)d" that sounds as much like a struggle as a lament. Sink in. 

26 November 2014


Spastic '90s nerdcore from a pre-Youth Attack Mark McCoy and other suburbanites. This is exactly the kind of music teenagers should make - fast, raw, catchy, punk with no fucks given. And there's an almost ska version of "Steppin' Stone" because...well, why not? There's something to be said for simply not knowing any better.

25 November 2014


No more brutality. No more murder. No more getting away with it because you're a cop. We keep saying the same things over and over again, yes....but we keep saying the same things because the things are still fukkd. I'm a grown ass man, and I teeter between complete disillusion and complete fury. This demo is really good, and I need this.

24 November 2014


Aside from their 1985 split tape with ABADDON, the only REJESTRACJA releases were comp tracks and blasts on various compilations (including their tracks from Jak Punk To Punk, which are obviously fantastic). The first time I went to Poland, this band was presented to me as a thing of legend; live tapes and stories passed between friends over the years but few actual studio documents of this band that should be filed alongside SIEKIERA, DEZERTER and TZN XENNA in that country's seminal first wave. I got this tape on that trip, a late '90s reissue of a 1985 live show and recordings from '82...screaming and absolutely crucial Polish hardcore punk. If you don't know, this this is a good place to start.

23 November 2014


There were a handful of really killer mid '00s bands that might have slipped by those who didn't live in the upper Midwest - East Coast tour circuit.  I probably saw FIGHTING DOGS a dozen times and they were always crushing...but how many people in California talk about them today? Same goes for Ohio's BLACK DOVE; powerful and infectious low end hardcore with a touch of the melodies that were perhaps too common at the time (and perhaps not common enough today?) and a glorious metallic churn on the mid tempo bits. The songs are expertly constructed, the combination of riffs will make the nerds keep rewinding to figure out what just happened...it's easy to puke up verse/chorus/repeat over and over again, while BLACK DOVE cram six different parts into a two minute hardcore banger without sounding like they're even trying. First 80 seconds of "Black Doves" might be all you need to make it through a tough day....now I need to dig up a DISMAL demo.

This self titled demo is from 2005, and the tracks also appear on their excellent 2008 full length. Members went on to NUKKEHAMMER, VILE GASH, TOMES and many others.

22 November 2014


I know it's a minor thing, but the effects on the vocals on this demo grab me by the throat immediately. The vocals for this band are not supposed to sound quite like this....and it fukkn rules. Japanese dudes playing US style youth 'crew but seemingly unable to escape the general vibe of Japanese hardcore? Yeah, that's a killer combo and I wish I knew more than these six songs. "Factor Of Ruin" sounds like SICK OF IT ALL on speed, which is obviously awesome.

21 November 2014


Electronics and general audio manipulations backed by drugged out repetitive drumbeats, Virginia's EARTH MESMERISM took a minute for me to really sink into but the moment I crossed the threshold I just wanted to submerge myself completely. Intense and captivating raw drones, this hits the same nerve as BOHREN & DER CLUB OF GORE...and that's a powerful nerve.

20 November 2014


I've said it before, but there must be thousands of bands that are only not considered crucial because of when they existed, not where they were from or what they played. Imagine for a moment that FATALITY was from San Francisco, circa 1984...seminal Bay Area thrash without a doubt. But take the same band and drop them in 1990 San Jose, realize that they existed in the same time and place as ASBESTOS DEATH and ask yourself if you think anyone gave half a shit about a band playing thrash metal. I'm guessing they didn't....but I'm damn sure that this demo melts my fukkn face in 2014 San Francisco, so someone please tell FATALITY that their legacy is in good hands. Colossal backing vocals, screaming guitars and an appropriately relentless pace - listen to the singer gurgle "crime pays the fukkn rent" and you'll wonder whether you want to grab your high top white sneakers of a knife (I suggest both). The whole thing (all three songs of it) is damn near perfect - this monkeys knew exactly what they wanted to do and they crushed it on their only release, nevermind that grunge and crust were hot on their heels. Raw and brutal thrash metal: you're welcome.

19 November 2014


RITUAL CONTROL played a show in Chico, California in the spring. It was everything you want from a house party filled with misfits and miscreants, and the 15 or so people crammed into that hole they call a basement had a fukkn blast and made us feel welcome. It was a good reminder that sometimes you need to get away to simply get real - and when I was done taking my picture next to a teenager duct taped to a barstool in the kitchen, I watched CRIMINAL WAVE rock the shit out of that sweaty ass hole in the ground and the kids that weren't drinking and playing video games in the living room showed their appreciation enthusiastically. Southern California sound, small town hardcore determination. I was pretty sure this demo would rule when Miles told me he was gonna drop one in the mail...and for once I was right.

18 November 2014


This 1989 demo was in a pile of stuff I got from a friend years ago and I just kept skipping past it until this past weekend....it was worth the wait. You want this to be some lost goth punk gem, and it gets close at times, but this is pure psychedelic freakout gold - tracks like "Old Nik" and "Drop Dead" just burn and the guitar is impossible to contain. Listen to the vocals on "Professor Heed," it sounds like she is so busy losing her shit that she can barely make it over to the microphone to lay down her tracks, and then the guitar starts off with some theremin sounding shit lurking under the surface, taking only a short break before filling the last 90 seconds with solos while the drums keep surging forward. I can't tell (nor do I care) where these maniacs were coming from and the recording is rough around the edges at times, but this near-hour long demo is going to be one hell of a reward for you monkeys brave enough (read: smart enough) to take the plunge. 

Also, more than once when listening to this for the first time, I thought, "This kinda sounds like AMEBIX." Tell me I'm crazy.

17 November 2014


Good Morning: "Black Poison." "Lycanthro Drunk." "Ruin." I mean, you already know what you're about to get into, right? SILENCER does exactly what you need them to do, and they do it with military precision. Blistering Scandi-by-way-of-PDX hardcore crust punk with hollow vocals and tasty leads (but only when appropriate...which is apparently often) and that half gallop, half fist in the air thing that people who love things that are awesome seem to be into. Because people who love things that are awesome are smart people. You want to be smart, right? Then I suggest you start studying.

16 November 2014


Epic doesn't even come close. Oakland's ABSTRACTER soar, pulling a blanket of suffocating despair over you while you listen. Only three songs on this 2012 tape (also released on vinyl and CD), confidently accelerating to a swampy KYLESA-esque crawl at their very fastest, but spending most of the time slogging through riff after powerful riff before laying back and letting the atmosphere take over. Black metal minor chords sneak into the slower parts, even though the reviewer that pegged them for an offshoot of that genre would be a very very lazy reviewer - Tomb Of Feathers is dark, heavy, and beautifully menacing, even if the torment seems to be pointed inward. And to think that this band is right under my very nose...

15 November 2014


It takes a lot to make something that I can't really talk about. I talk a lot. But I don't know what the fukk these kids are thinking and this short (short!) demo confuses me. Two short and super intriguing keyboard (organ?) driven soundscapes and two brutal and excellent lo-fi bass/drum powerviolence eruptions. Three minutes of magic on a 60 minute blank tape...that's all I know. 

14 November 2014


Before we trolled the internet looking for new (or old) sounds, those of us lucky enough to live in the broadcast range of someone more enlightened or informed would crowd around the radio and listen. College stations were the obvious sources of many early punk educations, but I remember tuning into a hazy KMOD from Tulsa and adjusting the foil outside my window so I could hear their "deep cut" classic rock LPs on Sunday nights (I recorded many of them, and the thrill of snagging an early '70s DEEP PURPLE record as a 13 year old was immense). When I was 15, I started a new wave radio show on the AOR/easy listening/schlock format station in my small town, and ran with it until I left town, so hopefully someone tuned in to hear whatever gems I had unearthed during the week (though for the first couple of years it was mostly non-single cuts off of CURE and VIOLENT FEMMES with a DEAD KENNEDYS or THRILL KILL KULT track thrown in here and there). Maybe (probably?) the internet will take over completely (or maybe the radio format will just transfer to the internet, as with the still excellent and still weekly Maximum Rocknroll Radio whose show this week features pals of mine) but there's something special about the static swelling in and out of a poorly recorded cassette recorded by a kid hoping to hear something new, and last winter I definitely cruised through Grants, New Mexico at 3am listening to a certifiably ill black metal show on a Native community station. Found a place to park on a hill where I could get a clear signal and I just listened...

Anarcho punk, late '80s college rock, reggae weird snippets, and two dudes talking about tunes they like and generally being weirdos. Exactly what we want.