07 July 2015


This is one of those recordings that just takes you away. Released in painfully limited quantities in the early '00s, Blackmass Of Hate was given the proper (cassette) treatment by Parasitic Records a few years ago (thanks for that). A quarter hour into this release, when the drums painfully slog through the last moments of "The Imp Of Perversion," is the first time that I was aware that AGHORI were not permanent...and still it seems like their presence will continue indefinitely. Crushing, somber, all encompassing doom in three excruciating movements that will rattle your bones and your soul. Should go without saying that maximum volume and darkness only serve to enhance the experience...let it sink in.

06 July 2015


1987 collection of outtakes and live tracks from a band that should need little introduction. If you are like me and think that Martha Splatterhead is "fine" and More Fun Than An Open Casket Funeral is actually not really essential at all, then I suggest you get into this cassette immediately. As the title suggests, these bangers all pre-date their first studio platter, and everything contained in this plastic shell is fukkn gold. The later stuff here flirts with the crossover/thrash they would become famous for, but way more punk tracks then I was expecting (foolish, I realize, given the timeline of these recordings). So yeah, I shouldn't have to talk about the band, because you already know them - you just might not have known that they were this good. That's why I'm here...you're welcome.

Was it colored by hand...? Maybe.

05 July 2015


Sometimes, the discount experimental section at your local record store can be your friend. Two separate doses of layered ambiance from Portland's EXCAVACATIONS and Milwaukee's BLACK EAGLE CHILD. Both acts compliment each other well....EXCAVACATIONS have an calm but eerie ambiance not dissimilar from some SIGUR RÓS stuff, while BLACK EAGLE CHILD offer a campfire comfort that I'm not ashamed to say I quite enjoyed. An excellent way to end the day, and $2 well spent.

04 July 2015


GORILLAXMONSOON spend the first 90 seconds of this split with a one riff intro that creates a mountain of tension that you just know is going to come crumbling down on you, and even when it does you aren't quite prepared. After an intro that features a gutsy five second silence and a fist clenching yeeoowl, they launch into five tracks of killer 'crew incarnated as devastating heavy hardcore. The breakdowns, the backups, the chugs, the determined falter in the vocals...it's all there, but GORILLAXMONSOON are none of the posi hardcore that those elements might imply. Pissed, desperate and brutally honest, these five tracks are real. And then GORILLAXMONSOON hand the torch to their neighbors in VEXED and the reality gets dark in a hurry. That desperation fades into depression, and the grey area comes out in the music as much as the vocals - which is saying a lot, because the vocals give me chills. Five minutes of crushing, blasting hardcore/pv sandwiched in between four minutes of painfully slow riffing, the VEXED side of this tape is a really dark counterpart to the already dark flip...none of these kids are fucking around, and I would love to hear more from both. And for those keeping track of the places where all the good bands come from, GORILLAXMONSOON are from Chico, California, and VEXED are from up the road in Redding. 

03 July 2015


I know that history somewhat relegates STIKKY to the joke-band category, maybe it was the lyrical content? Perhaps the artwork and/or hilarious liner notes? But take a minute to listen to those fukkn drums and find a hardcore band that was playing faster in 1987...or any year since for that matter. An absolute blur of teenage angst and fart jokes, these three kids from Santa Clara were relentless and the tracks hold up brilliantly today. So good.

I was feeling generous and re-upped the "3D-and-a-half" demo, because if you need eleven STIKKY tracks, then you probably need 63 more. Also threw in a live Gilman set from 87. You're welcome. 

02 July 2015


There are a few stamps of approval that will make me buy something blind almost every time, and Los Angeles by way of Detroit label Nostilevo is one of them. There's no "sound" per se, but the label's distinctive layouts are a guarantee of quality, and it makes taking that step into darkness as easy as ordering that second cocktail...you may not know what's going to happen, but you know you're going to like it. 2013's The Alliance is one hour of sound that proves my point - 13 artists culled from the Nostilevo roster to create an impressive collection of hypnotic noise and carefully controlled industrial chaos. There's the minimal electronics of SCORPIO & GLASS, a devastating SUICIDE-esque tracks from RITUAL HOWLS, dark dance synth in multiple forms (dirty and ominous: CRAOW, classically self indulgent: PHASE FATALE), a filthy rhythmic industrial collaboration from LIABLE, and BLUE KRISHNA's perfectly placed sample laden cool down track at the end of the tape...there's more, but you need to be listening and not reading my drivel. A stunning collection, you're welcome.

01 July 2015


A little something different for you, my friends. Maybe you want some weird christian outsider rock with a singer who is (sometimes) a dead ringer for Fred Cole, especially noteworthy on tracks like "The Kids Were Tough As Nails" and "Ineligible Contestant For Life." Somewhere between the story telling style of DAVID ALLEN COE and freaked out acid drenched space folk crashing face first into your annoying dad jamming in the garage after a few too many Old Styles. One of many greats I've scooped from the bins at the St. Vincent de Paul in Albuquerque, second only to the antique mall near my mother-in-law's house for potential scores. I've seen the private press vinyl issue listed for sale as "garage punk," which makes me laugh a bit, buyer beware!! Favorite tracks: "Different Shade Of Love" and "Old Hippies." 

30 June 2015


WON'T BELONG sounds like early '00s fastcore/hardcore reborn for new millennium punks and thrashers. Heavier on the breakdowns, and some killer awkward start/stop riffing, but the breakneck whirlwind of tracks like "Expectations" is like a time warp. Vocals are at their breaking point from the word go (sadly, there are not actually any GO!s that I can make out), and the recording is treble heavy and completely in your face. That WON'T BELONG is excellent should come as no surprise when you look at the members-of list involved (FOREIGN OBJECTS, ORCHID, VACCINE, RELICS, DEATH EVOCATION, and loads more), but a simple list of cool kids would take away from the power dished out by these five tracks. Soundtrack to your day: "Refusal."

29 June 2015


BABELDÖM have an unpolished edge that is so damn infectious, it's pure raging hardcore played at the very brink from start to finish. The blasts in "Fight Against" take the intensity even higher...and the feedback squall into blast into breakdown into noise solo back into thunderous Japanese hardcore that makes up "Hazy Earth" is just...I don't know how to describe what that song does to me. The very definition of relentless, BABELDÖM play furiously and add the manic energy of off the rails '80s Boston to their brand of punishment. Unhinged and brilliant.

28 June 2015


One of the gems I got from Daniel last summer, this DEVASTATION demo has gotten countless plays at TEHQ. Seminal '80s thrash/death metal from Chicago, these hessians released various versions of a relatively small handful of burners on two demos and self released full length (cassette) during their short existence. Unclear exactly which session this tape is from, since Daniel got it from the band at some point, but you get screaming renditions of "Cranial Hemorrhage" and "Beyond Fear" along with five tracks I couldn't positively identify...but I can declare that the (brief) mosh riff in the third (instrumental) track is unfuckwithable. Fretboard gymnastics are next level on all tracks, but DEVASTATION never sacrifice speed or intensity in the process, these dudes are hard as nails and unrelenting throughout. Collections of the demos have been released on CD and there's a vinyl box that includes a couple of live sets for the completists. But start here...

Definitely recommend listening through to the 0:46 live banter, your patience will be rewarded.

27 June 2015


The opening note of this demo made me think (hope) that this was a cover of "Tonight (Back From The Death)" from THE DECAY, a factoid that will perhaps only appeal to two people who will never read this (hi Golnar, hi Layla)...but I'm digressing here before I even get rolling. Hopefully adorable power pop meets Girls In The Garage from Chicago, kinda like a more rudimentary DANGER LOVES but with a little more attitude. There's an emphasis on cuteness that is, well, cute - there's the last track "Tell Me I'm Cute" and the "you're so-o-ooh-o cute/baby you're a dream come true" in "Decked" (which also features the genius line "your friends are fucking useless"), and the forlorn "Teen Dream," which is so perfectly adorable that you almost wonder if the whole band is a ruse just to suck me in. It worked. 

26 June 2015


Hard to believe these monkeys have been active for two decades? First met them in 2002 when Mozine picked up WHN? at the airport with wine stains on the front of his shirt. He blasted GG Allin at his apartment in Vila Velha while his mother made us breakfast, he blasted GUITAR WOLF every day while we drove, and they were a party to watch every single night on tour (I mean on stage and in the van). When we next crossed paths at a festival in Recife last year, and the party had not slowed down one bit (and clearly the 10,000+ in attendance liked the party as well). This is the first MUKEKA DI RATO demo from 1995, high energy catchy hardcore with a couple of ska parts (don't judge, it was the '90s). 

Three extra tracks tacked on to the demo. They aren't identified on the tape, and I'm pretty sure they are not by MUKEKA (this is a common theme with the last batch of demos I picked up from Brasil, but who doesn't like a nice mystery, right?). For now, they are included with the demo, but some nice civilian is going to solve the mystery for all of us and we will edit the files in our computers, which is pretty much the same as refiling records. You can (and should) find MUKEKA DI RATO bassist, Crackinho co-parent and Läjä Records empresario here. Also, I just realized Crackinho has his own Twitter account, and I really wish I spoke Portuguese. 

25 June 2015


Just two songs here, and rarely has a demo sounded so undeniably '90s. From college town, Illinois, HAND TO MOUTH are the perfect combination of melody and grit, with a pile gravel in the voice and the mid tempo drums commanding a bounce and sway as you listen. "Soy Sauce Love" is about seeing a pretty girl in the grocery store (she's probably buying supplies for a delicious tofu scramble). "Omnivore" is about having a political activism discussion with your friend and then realizing that your friend eats meat. Not sure I would have liked this in 199whatever, but it suits me just fine this morning...and at least one of these tracks is a certifiable classic. 

24 June 2015


I was immediately drawn to the tuneless and abrasive churn, reminding me of instantly of primitive organic noise mongers. I can't really imagine that early industrialists cared if a single second of their sounds were deemed "digestible," and I see Detroit's SLAYMAKER WELDING in the same light Rhythmic, distorted, atonal, mournful in its repetition, twenty minutes of monotony that will make you feel trapped and, if played at the appropriate volume, paralyzed. 

Treat yourself here, you're worth it.

23 June 2015


Fierce hardcore - more than the simple sum of parts and certainly more power than any description from me could indicate, New York's NAMATAY SA INGAY ride a sharp blade for the entire ten minutes of their first demo. I hope to see them when they pay SF a visit next month, I can only imagine that they are every bit as intense live....

Released by the Bay Area's Aklasan Records, an excellent source for info on the growing Filipino American hardcore/punk scene, and the fest coming up next month...