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 dropped 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.

13 November 2014


I got a bunch of shit that came from who knows where. Maybe it's one of the tapes Craig gave me? Maybe it's from the box Dan gave me in Milwaukee last summer and I just integrated into the "to be ripped" shelf gushing over the DYSTOPIA and DEVASTATION demos? I don't know how NO CHRIST FOR THE POOR came into my life, but those with a similar penchant for guttural, tense and shamelessly brutal powerviolence will be glad that it did. Massachusetts, and the samples date the recording as much as the sound (early '90s I'm guessing), these dudes lash out in sub-60 second bursts with a weirdness that would have had them right in line with the West Bay's finest (the 7+ minute hip hop track that closes the tape solidifies that impression) with erratic and utterly hateful downtuned dirges that erupt into fidelity-free blasts and pained distorted screams. This music is fukkn ugly. Oh yeah, and there is a 7+ minute power electronics piece before the hip hop, so...yeah, sometimes life is a harsh toke.

12 November 2014


I guess this one kinda sounds how it looks like it sounds, if that makes any sense? Fast, positive hardcore with gratuitous breakdowns - I suppose it's pretty early in the game for a country not exactly (or even a little bit) known for straight edge HC. This shit is by-the-books to be sure, but the shit is good and the fact that it's derivative does not bother me in the least. And it shouldn't bother you either.

11 November 2014


Peaceful ambient drones carefully constructed by guitar and electronics. Like a hum from a church bell frozen in mid-ring for what seems like an eternity, Terzakis' patience is astounding. Further description is really not necessary - either you have a place for these sounds or you don't. 

10 November 2014


There was a time a few years back when Mondays were reserved for regurgitations of derivative bursts of distorted noise punk...and a few people were really stoked about it. I'm a little more lax these days, but I feel like today's post should appeal to those looking to have their boundaries pushed a little more than they are really comfortable with. I give you Norway's PARLAMENTARISK SODOMI. Manic and insane one man HC/grind, I honestly do not think I have ever heard a band like this one, and this 2009(?) release is just the beginning - let them help you challenge everything you think you know about what you like. I feel like this band is going to kick people in the ass sometime in the future, it's primal and sinister hardcore grind metal mania delivered with terrifying precision, but I just don't think the world is ready for it (this was released in '09, and I still don't think the world is ready)...but once this shit sinks in? Fukkn look out. Next level space grind in your fucking face.

These songs come from a bunch of vinyl releases. Have you heard of 625? Did you think they were done because you are a lazy punk follower? That's your fault. Also, theres a thing called bandcamp.
I know it's early, but I promise you that you need these sounds NOW.

09 November 2014


It seems that this Parisian outfit is no more, but if a band's legacy is seven minutes of brutality than a band would find it difficult to leave the stage on more impressive fashion than AMER. Blasting hardcore of the highest order, these eight tracks are a fukkn bulldozer (and live footage indicates that it was not mere studio trickery) - take the knuckledragging pace of the intro to "Patriarchal Psychopath" and listen to it ease casually into a surge of powerfully violent hardcore with machine gun drums and then descend back into a hateful mosh. Shit is just ugly. Amanda's vocals are next level, especially for the style, and they suit the music perfectly....start/stop hardcore mania delivered with passion and maximum intensity - really wish this band had more tracks to offer, because these are going to get a lot of listens at TEHQ.

08 November 2014


In the late '80s when some hardcore bands were injecting funk into their songs and others were slowing things down and getting more and more schlocky, there were still new bands determined to play faster than ever but still managed to move away from the accepted formulas and make things a little dark in the process. The Bay Area was prime for shit like this, perhaps a reaction to the impressive array of high profile thrash bands from the region, and bands from here often seem like they have a different edge. Take CHRONIC PLAGUE from Albany (that's near Berkeley, and the town where a relatively well known band from area was formed around the same time this 1986 demo dropped) - first track is really just a crossover thrash screamer, but other shit starts to creep in on "Disillusioned" (especially the intro) and these primitive sounding yet quite complex bangers with their crackling guitar and teen frustration make a serious impression even on first listen. Do not expect a produced or polished assault - this is raw and very very real garage thrash. Also, I'm pretty sure the dude playing bass was my roommate in San Francisco ten years after this was recorded.

07 November 2014


I saw a few bands this summer. If you told me to make a list of the best five, then Milwaukee's FAILED MUTATION would be on that list. If you told me to make a list of the best three, then FAILED MUTATION would be on that list too. I could tell you some of the other bands that these kids are (and have been) in, but do you really need me to do that? You shouldn't. I'm not gonna lie and say that the demo kick my ass as hard as seeing them live, but band should be better live than recorded...right? This is Midwestern US hardcore punk.

06 November 2014


Chaotic and manic mid '00s grind/HC from Malaysia, ALL THESE WHILE... rip through eight tracks in as many minutes. Maybe that's not particularly noteworthy, but bear in mind that the final offering is a three minute echo laden doom/crust piece, making the preceding bangers seem even more off the rails. Light on the hooks, ALL THESE WHILE... crank out killer intros, killer breakdowns, and fill in the rest of the space with unhinged multi vocal mania - listen to "Fast God Fucking Violence" and then see how you feel about doing anything except wrecking shit. You're welcome.

Fuck off to: The insulter, fucker, abuser, sucker and torturer. We are the fucking sinners.