22 April 2014

GONE TOURIN'


CONQUEST FOR DEATH is going back to Brasil and I couldn't be more psyched - shows with our pals CÄTÄRRO and D.E.R. and finally we get to see fukkn BANDANOS. With any luck, TEST will play on a sidewalk somewhere and melt our minds again (seriously, that link is the video for the show they played in 2011 outside our first São Paulo show - you need to watch that shit). Also, we will get to see OHLO SECO, ARMAGEDOM and MOB 47 and I am going to eat acarajé on the street in Fortaleza and Prime Dog at 3 o'clock in the morning. Also, we will play some shows.

But instead of leaving you completely in a lurch, I leave you with some places on the world wide net to visit and enjoy:
Perhaps you should just trust me on this one? The man behind this project is a legitimate genius, and anyone who lived through (or has heard stories about, or likes bands from) the '90s DIY scene needs to get amongst this now.
This dude played drums for RUDIMENTS, OFF DA PIGS, FUCKFACE and ARTIMUS PYLE among others. The most insane drummer I've ever played with, and an extremely great fellow. I don't normally share "uplifting" or inspirational things on this blog, but holy shit man - this is 3 1/2 minutes that will change your entire perspective.
Kind of a weird one, but this is a link to my mother's blog. 67 years old, and she and her husband (who is 70) are on a three month trip hiking and climbing through Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and other places that I have never visited but hope to some day. I always thought that I would be able to talk about my travels to my folks and watch their eyes grow wide at my tales of playing to African metalheads in Botswana and othe adventures....but a few years ago they spent weeks hiking village to village in Kurdish eastern Turkey along the Iraqi border and I knew that I would eventually need to up my game. It's good to have something to aspire to, even if it's something as not-hardcore as your mother - also, she updates that shit daily.

I know I have a ton of requests for re-uploads, I'll get on top of that when I get home. Honest. See ya'll in a couple of weeks...

21 April 2014

VERMIN


Thundering raw DBeat coming at your from the furthest recesses of cavernous life. No frills in the songs themselves, but the guitars rely on flange and manipulation instead of pure distortion and the vocals are hollow shouts - it's the inevitable result of noiz punk maniacs starting to devour (and recreate) '80s goth and post punk...of course, the result is simply that it's even more reminiscent of the past. They crushed it when we played with them in Gainesville.




20 April 2014

DISPIRIT


The second offering from this Bay Area horde is now well over a year old, so perhaps this post is for those who exist outside of the inner circle of underground metal (like myself). DISPIRIT are even bleaker on this effort, deliberate aural missives that torturously trudge forward just to descend into a whirling pit of chaos. Three tracks totally nearly 50 minutes...when this band spends the time in the studio to make a record, the result is going to be legendary.


19 April 2014

TIME IN MALTA


There was a period in that late '90s/early '00s when genre divisions in San Francisco were blurred, especially within the subsects of bands loosely considered "hardcore," and it was nice. On initial listen, TIME IN MALTA are polished, emotional and sound very clean (as in clean music made by clean people for other clean hardcore fans). Todd's vocals are always at their breaking point, but are still controlled, and the songs them selves are a picture of managed discordance with more than ample opportunity for boys to mosh. So yeah, sounds like a band that might have been fine, but one that probably existed in another realm. But, perhaps because they didn't exactly have a realm of their own and perhaps just because they were down ass dudes, TIME IN MALTA spent much of that era playing the Tip Top, Covered Wagon and Mission Records, they played with TRAGEDY on their first trip down the coast, and shared the stage with ARTIMUS PYLE often enough that we jokingly dubbed ourselves the SF Passion Metal Mafia (a split EP was discussed and 625 offered to release it, something I still wish had we had done, if only because that combination of forces would have been even weirder in retrospect than it seemed at the time). Their live shows were always incredible, the embodiment of a band who always left everything on the "stage" (or floor), and even if it wasn't your "thing" it was hard to deny their power. These two songs are from the Construct and Demolish 12" on Escape Artist, a record that holds up shockingly well to my ears. There were two full lengths that followed on Equal Vision, and they definitely found their realm in the world of club hardcore. While the later records aren't really to my liking, the band always crushed it live, and it baffles me that, even (or especially) in the context of that world, their releases are relegated to discount dins. 


18 April 2014

SOUTH AFRICAN MIX TAPE

Remember all the shit I said about mix tapes last week when I posted that French heavy metal collection that someone made for my buddy Devon? Well apply all of those accolades to today's collection of bands from South Africa. Chaotic live anarcho/thrash from OUTRAGE (who have previously visited The Escape) and a chunk of commercial metal/grind from GROINCHURN, probably that country's best known punk or metal export, but everything else on this mix was new to my ears. Melodic '90s punk from FUNGY GONE WEST and CRUSH, while DIMINISHED RETURN play charging metallic hardcore with UK punk vocals, and DEVIATE are heavy grinding metalcrust. INFECTIOUS OUTBREAK (total weirdo/anarcho art/grind), THE GLEE CLUB (FROGS meets TEENAGE FANCLUB), and FRIDGE MAGNET (average punk, but the chorus just repeats "Police Stupidity" so I'm kinda into it) make appearances, but the highlights for me are the bands that start and end the tape. Seven tunes from FUCT OFF kick off the A side, raw and forceful UK influenced politically charged punk - simple but absolutely killer songs (these tracks are really raw, sounds like a several generations old recording...would love a cleaner version if anyone's holding?). And the whole thing ends up with BATTERY 9, a commercially successful dance/industrial band from the mid '90s - these two tracks were my introduction, and inspired me to get lost down an internet rabbit hole searching out more music from this duo. Land Of Rape And Honey-era MINISTRY meets POP WILL EAT ITSELF as a lazy reference, great shit. This is why mix tapes rule...again.


17 April 2014

DREAD 101


Sometimes the next greatest thing ever doesn't matter and you just want churning, heavy, ugly hardcore/crust. And sometimes you feel like maybe it should have blast beats every four or five songs. If you are having one of those days, then I suggest you blast the shit out of the Czech outfit that was active in the early 2000s. This tape compiles a shitload of demos and splits, 27 tracks altogether.





16 April 2014

DROWNER // SELF SOM


Deep psych synths from DROWNER, a bit of an '80s influence and generally more constructed than 2011's Burning Room. But that's just the first few tracks, eventually their side of the split descends into the same sparse electronic bliss that I was expecting and then erupts with "Nail The Coffin Shut," which sounds like a Wax Trax! dancefloor burner that's been kidnapped by DJ Screw. On the flip, SELF COM offshoot has made a couple of appearances in the past. Sweeping digital despair that flirts with SUICIDE minimalism but denies us all of the hooks. Bleak sounds, with the painfully deliberate "Meal Worm" bringing a resignation that sets the stage for the band's closer, and absolutely morose procession called "Telephone Vision." Friends Of The Escape should already be familiar with SELF COM, a product of MUTANT VIDEO and FEEDING brethren, the outfit becomes still colder with this offering.






15 April 2014

CLIKATAT IKATOWI


I guess this band is kinda the full embodiment of the California version of '90s emo, right? It's different from DC emo, different from the Northwest emo...they make you wait so long for the freakouts, but when they nail it maybe it's worth the wait? Sometimes chaotic and powerful, and sometimes whiny and off kilter like a PROMISE RING who have lost their way. I remember getting the LP and really trying to like it. I also remember giving up and eventually selling it. I like MOHINDER better, but it's pretty interesting to listen to this analytically with a couple of decades for distance and perspective. Stories, context and anecdotes welcomed...






14 April 2014

ABSOLUT


Sometimes I am a little late to the party, and this tape is a prime example. There are punks in this world that have been listening to this demo for months, and here I am just turning myself onto it a couple of weeks ago. My fault, no excuses, the fukkn thing was sitting in my pile, I just get distracted. But maybe the wait made ABSOLUT just a little more awesome? More tantalizing? More mysterious? Probably not, but it helps to make me feel better about snoozing, so let me have my consolation...please? This Toronto outfit is the very definition of bombastic Japan/Sweden DBeat hardcore, but with classic heavy metal solos instead of the Scandinavian bendy notes. And I can't believe that no one has thought of this marriage before now, because it is a beautiful union. I try not to beat myself up about missing shit while I'm on tour, but these dudes are playing a few blocks from my house a few days after I leave, and that is a bummer. 

They've released a couple of online demos since this early 2013 creamer, and while I think the recordings lack the power of their first offering, the jams on Insane Power Demos are certified. West Coasters should consider themselves lucky.




13 April 2014

BOTCH



I remember BOTCH's American Nervoso full length kicking my ass pretty soundly when I first heard it. I skipped a lot of the clean masculine hardcore when it was around, and only recently revisited some of those bands (and some of them are pretty good), but bands like CAVE IN and BOTCH seemed to be doing it differently, and I liked them. I saw them in Oakland (was it at The Stork Club? really? Because that's where I remember it being but man that seems like a weird spot for them to play...the guitarist was definitely tall though) and I had to scrape my jaw off the floor - advanced and self indulgent hardcore that was confident without being pretentious. By the time that We Are The Romans opus came out, I was either waist deep in generic fastcore (which is still not an unappealing predicament) or BOTCH had advanced themselves right into an echelon that I was not even remotely interested in, and I stopped paying attention after that. Enter this demo a few months back from a friend's unwanted pile (thanks, Master Ums), and man shit this is just '90s emo. Super indulgent and epic (at times unnecessarily so) with healthy doses of mosh friendly bro-core ("Imprisoned") that somehow seem not at all out of place with the vocals that are stuck between that gruff desperate screamo whine and burly hardcore, but perhaps most notable for how not polished and proficient some parts of this demo are ("Roadwork"), especially considering what the band would turn into just a few years after this. And this is a looonnnngg ass demo, clocking in well over 40 minutes....bold, my Seattle comrades, very bold indeed. I admit that this one is more interesting than enjoyable to my 2014 ears but context is important - kids need to learn about shit, you dig? 


12 April 2014

ASBESTOSDEATH


I don't really need to talk about this band....do I? Pre-SLEEP (and therefore pre-HIGH ON FIRE and pre-OM), ASBESTOSDEATH shoved weirdo prog rock right in the face of grungy metal dirges, and they did it in a metropolitan area that was, at the time, consumed by pop punk. Three of the songs here are on the band's two singles (re-issued by Southern Lord a few years ago), but there's a banger called "Absorb" that I have not been able to find elsewhere...it's probably out there, but I just don't know where to look. And while the tape clearly states that this is "not a demo," these are not the versions that were eventually committed to wax. The final two tracks seen on the cover are live jammers of a decent caliber (and can be found today at Escape Is Terminal) - ASBESTOSDEATH were absolutely ahead of their time.





11 April 2014

"BACK TO THE 80's!"


You've heard me espouse the virtues of the tape trading days many times on these pages (or are they screens), and this banger is yet another prime example of how much mix tapes rule and how much my buddy Devon benefits from decades of relentless networking. Screaming '80s heavy metal, strutting through Pigalle in search of the next sleazy strip club, tight leather and frills galore - every track on this tape would have owned a Sunset Strip Battle Of The Bands any time before 1985. DEMON EYES mix classic Vince Neil vocals with a touch of NWOBHM, while SORTILEGE flirt with dark power metal a la MAIDEN and MORSÜRE dish out blistering double bass driven speed metal (their eponymous track is a face melting burner).  Classic driving heavy metal from SPEED QUEEN, ANYWAY and STOCKS flows nicely into a slightly more amped up version of the same animal from KILLERS and mid-era SCORPS meets Vengeance-era PRIEST from H-BOMB. "Rock Suicide" from ATTENTAT ROCK is sometimes my favorite jammer, but then there are times when the raw power of S.M.F. has me hitting rewind. This is for fans of the bygone genre, fans of the bygone culture of mix tapes (I know they are "cool," but I'm talking about a time when they were a lifeline), and fans of sleazy French heavy metal....wherever you are.




10 April 2014

SLAVESTATE 641A


Tons of modern bands spend time looking to and reinterpreting the past (just as many bands from the past were in turn reinterpreting things from their own pasts), and laying a new set of hands on a tired and intellectually exhausted incarnation of rock can often result in a new and exciting listening experience. But far too often, the sounds are just rehashed or recreated, and the instant availability of every subgenre's historical digression has made the problem even worse. Whatever your interest, you can learn from the masters and vomit out exactly the same thing...if you're good enough. And sometimes that's enough - without naming names, there are stacks of records on my shelves from bands that are relatively unimaginative but who are really fukkn screaming. I'm fine with that (I think we punks all are to an extent, or we would've gone the free jazz route years ago), but I really like it when a band kicks the paradigm in the gut while still somehow fitting within it. Enter SLAVESTATE 641A. These two songs nurse at the teat of SWANS, JESUS LIZARD, even KILLDOZER (tonally, if not conceptually), but an entirely new animal is born out of an insemination of influences. Evolution, my friends, manifested here in the form of fourteen minutes of painful dirge with anguished shouts. Sonically industrial with the deliberate crash of monotony...kinda like life.

Interview with the dudes here.

09 April 2014

BÉRURIER NOIR


My knowledge of this French outfit is extremely limited (nonexistent, in fact), though I have seen their name for years. Unfortunately, these tracks come from a homemade mix tape, so my already limited background information would be subject to the factual inaccuracies of the (presumably...hopefully) blitzed punk rocker who lovingly put this 90 minute mix together many years ago. While I always assumed that BÉRURIER NOIR were a two fingers in the air chaos punk act, this tape starts with midpaced gruff drum machine/guitar tunes that lumber more than rock, and while perhaps something is lost in translation and the lyrics are the draw (mon français est tout à fait insuffisant), I find them rather boring. The pace picks up with tracks from the Nada 12", but it's essentially an improvement on the same formula. There are a pile of songs that are attributed to a live record (Concerto Pour Detraques) and then a few legitimately catchy swingers that close the whole thing out (admittedly, these are the only songs I will ever listen to). Always wanted to know what they sounded like, and now I do...peut-être un FOTE français peut éclairer le reste et entre nous et de fournir un contexte historique?




08 April 2014

FLORIDIAN WINTER


Ultra primitive plodding black metal/raw punk hybrid from Tampa. Guitar/drums and sneered distorted vocals. It took me a while, and maybe it's something about the echo in the guitar (though the awkward adolescent moaning in "She Likes Many Things" didn't hurt), but I consider myself a convert.