28 July 2013


If this one looks familiar then you are paying attention. Here's what I said about this cassette in my post last September:
Iowa ain't a hotbed for hardcore killers. I came from Oklahoma, not exactly punk's ground zero, but Iowa? Shit is rough. Perhaps NERV are trying to go back in time and rewrite their state's hardcore legacy, and if that's the case then this demo is a great start. Screaming hardcore ripped right out of the backwards attitudes that dominated '80s Midwestern culture. This is teenage anger dished out in sub-minute bursts - addictive riffs bashed out at a frenetic pace and frustrated vocals barely keeping it together. The guitar leads alone make this worth the price of admission, nine songs in as many minutes. Maybe my opinions about hardcore in The Hawkeye State are worth reconsidering.

And then I got an email from Joe a few days ago. Joe took exception to me seemingly clearing Iowa off the punk map and he let me know that Iowa's hardcore legacy did not need any rewriting. As proof, Joe included a link to a CD comp he made spanning Iowa punk and hardcore from 1983-2013. While there are a few bands I recognize (FORCED EXPRESSION, TEN GRAND, SONG OF ZARATHUSTRA, BLACK MARKET FETUS and MODERN LIFE IS WAR should all be relatively familiar names), there are 30 bands on this comp and the vast majority were new to me - and awesome. A healthy helping of the '90s pre(and proto)screamo the Midwest and Plains were so good at cranking out (ECLIPSE OF EDEN, THE KINSHIP, IN LOVING MEMORY..., SWING BY SEVEN), some weird shit (PATRICK SWAYZE'S GHOST, LOS VOLTAGE), some terrifying hardcore (TOO PURE TO DIE, AGRESS, APPROACHING NAIN, OMENS) and a killer cross section of newer ferocious punk bands (NERV, BIG BOX, SUPERSONIC PISS). I missed some, to be sure, but since I mentioned punk "history," I gotta talk about the five bands from the '80s....every single one of these tracks is an absolute stunner. ABCESS (Midwest hardcore punk madness), PREACHERS (totally demented and furious), PENT-UP AGGRESSION (this is Killed By Hardcore perfection), STIFF LEGGED SHEEP (nasty blown out hardcore)....and then there's HUMAN ERROR. The 61 seconds that make up HUMAN ERROR's "Mig 21" are simply insane; MOB 47 by way of THE FIX, and every bit jaw dropping as either. Seriously. Maybe you're too cool to admit that METH AND GOATS are punk, but I can assure you that this HUMAN ERROR track with blow the fukkn doors off of whatever you thought Iowa was capable of. 

And so I included Joe's comp in the file that contains Joe's band NERV. You can also get it directly from him, via the excellent Iowa Hardcore blog, and you can blast the new NERV EP here. I assure you that this too, is awesome. Being set straight has never sounded so good.

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