31 December 2013


Two years ago NO STATIK played in Pittsburgh. On the way to the show we had a spirited discussion about punks using, wearing or celebrating the rebel flag (to my non-USA friends, this is the flag that represented the Confederacy during the US Civil War, and the Confederacy were the ones who, among many other complicated and arguably virtuous ideals, supported slavery, and that flag in modern times has come to represent a primarily right wing ideology). It was stated by one van dweller that any punk seen wearing or celebrating the rebel flag on our tour might be met with some sort on confrontation. Without going into details, our van political conversation ran first into someone else's inside joke at the show that night, and a few months later I got this killer fukkn tape in the mail. And this was the return address:

And a while later, even though I never got around to posting the DRUG LUST tape, this banger showed up on my doorstep. RADIUM GIRLS are grating high end hardcore, disjointed and wholly original in the same way that MUKILTEO FAIRIES made you perk up and go "...the fuck?" I want to hear a full studio recording bad, not because I feel like anything is missing from the demo, but because I want to know how much more they are capable of. And just to seal the deal, this was the return address:

(if you know the reference, then you know what I mean)

NEW YEARS EVE in New York City? Are we fukkn insane? Find out at The Acheron with LA MISMA, GRUDGES, PERFECT PUSSY and CREEPING DOSE. And tomorrow, you should join me for the Coney Island Polar Plunge, because stupidity is better when you are surrounded by other idiots.

30 December 2013


My friend Greg said these dudes were the best. And then my friend Doug told me they were the best and sent me this tape. I'm not gonna say that a few months ago when I went to Oakland to see INFEST instead of seeing these dudes at Thrillhouse that I made the wrong choice, I'm just saying that this tape is really good, and that Greg and Doug are, as a rule, typically right.

Philadelphia: THE BROOD and ANXIETY HAMMER will be joining us at The Golden Tea House, which is something that I am excited about.

29 December 2013


Slower than most of their output, and throwing noise/electronics into the mix, War Whore sounds like early '90s UNSANE/Am Rep crashing headfirst into later decade political crust...which is kinda what it is I guess. DEPRESSOR were a mysterious outfit while they were around, I think I only saw them once, but there is a substantial discography of limited cassettes and split singles that are sadly treated as $1 bin fodder. Oh yeah, and "Devils" is probably the best track you'll hear all week.

NO STATIK tour starts tonight in Washington DC at The Rocketship. COKE BUST, VILE FAITH and MISLED YOUTH will be kicking our asses.

28 December 2013


It should come as no surprise to learn that they did it, but nonetheless COLUMN OF HEAVEN left me stunned with this release. Classic industrial dirges and power electronics mesh seamlessly into soul crushing doom, a union that begs NEUROSIS/NEUROT comparisons even though I think my Canadian friends will call such a comparison weak and lazy. The presentation is instrumental, but no words are needed to convey the sorrow - Failures is every bit as bleak as the COLUMN OF HEAVEN...

It's just after 1:30am, and I leave for tour in three hours. Instead of catching a quick nap, I will be spending that time preparing the next two weeks for you, my dear friends. Expect ensuing posts to be brief, nonsensical to the point of being delirious, and likely filled with the shameless promotion of shows you likely could not attend if you wanted to (I'm mostly referring to geography here, but desire might be a factor as well). I will be back to normal eventually...

27 December 2013


Tell me you wouldn't buy this cassingle for $1.00 when you came across it in a box of religious tapes in a thrift store in New Mexico. Go ahead, tell me it wasn't worth the gamble. Now let me sweeten the deal:  BAD SALLY are from Henderson, Kentucky and their contribution to the world of butt rock was self released on the band's Party Time Records. That pretty much erased any hesitation.

26 December 2013


Seems like every time I turn around there's another killer local band I feel like everyone should know about, and the next five minutes is going to make you realize that everyone needs to know about TRENCHES. Members of HUNTING PARTY, NO BABIES, THE LIGHT, REPLICA and others, I figure this is pretty much how hardcore punk is supposed to sound: straight forward and furious.

Did you really just show up to pretend?

25 December 2013


I went on my first tour in 1992. After we started off in Clovis, New Mexico, we set off for Albuquerque to play with the closest thing to a "known" band we would share a show with during our two week, seven show adventure: NAKED AGGRESSION. But we showed up to find that our LA via Wisconsin pals had broken down, and that a band from El Paso was giving them a ride to the show...and that's how we met NOT SO HAPPY. Scruffy, fast and crazy catchy, they blew the other bands off the stage (and yeah, that included New Mexico's infamous WADS) then zipped off into the desert, carting a helpless NAKED AGGRESSION back to their busted ass van. Dudes from this band would spend the rest of the '90s in other underappreciated bands like CHINESE LOVE BEADS and LOS VAGINAL BLOOD FARTS (the latter did a split with HICKEY, though I think they were just called VBF by then).

24 December 2013


I suggest spending the evening putting yourself into a trance. I suggest settling deeper into your own thoughts than you have done all year. And I suggest doing it while listening to these sounds. Granted, you'll only have a little over a half hour for this personal reflection (unless you put these two tracks on repeat, of course), but I think you will find that DAN HAUGEN has already managed to look inside you...all you have to do is listen to what he has found and perhaps all will be revealed. 

23 December 2013


I think I only know this band existed because Danny B. from ALL YOU CAN EAT played guitar in some incarnation, but listening today I cannot imagine why they aren't more well known amongst neanderthal thrash maniacs. Sinister crossover from 1987, not far removed from Bay Area contemporaries - dumb as a bag of hammers and totally shredding. The gratuitous use of effects on the snare drum and guitar are especially appreciated, and while the lyrics are sometimes cringe worthy, the vocals the deliver them are gravelly in the best way. 

22 December 2013


I know that thickneck hardcore probably isn't your thing, but holy shit does this tape totally hit the spot right now. Burly vocals (the growls and the rhythmic barking borrowed from hip hop), endless riffs that young men in basketball jerseys would do that stupid windmill dancing to in the late '90s...kinda makes me want to pull up my hood down real low over my face and look menacing. I'm not very good at it, but I still want to try. A total guilty pleasure here, and the fact that this tape is so primitive (and somewhat out of tune from time to time) might be what keeps me from purging it. I think they were from Uruguay...now Let's Go!!

21 December 2013


This band has been flying under the radar for well over twenty years, but their rumbling, metallic Japanese hardcore attack has always resonated with me. It doesn't sound "cool," which is probably part of why I like it, but it sounds powerful, determined, and is more than weird enough to reel me in. Just four tracks on this demo, and there are three more here if you are interested. Someday I'll see them live and then I'll really be sold.

20 December 2013


An absolutely glorious journey, SIOBHAN cruises through five tracks of deconstructed minimal techno, just raw manipulated beats and an ambiance the teeters between industrial and dark psychedelia. The vibe created by Mind Court is literally and virtually mesmerizing, each track worms its way further under your skin. The fascinating world of the Nostilevo label continues to impress and amaze.

19 December 2013


There was a time in the '90s when I would buy absolutely anything with skeletons or dead bodies on the cover, provided that cover was black and white (and preferably blown out from excessive photo copying). I landed more than a few generi-crust duds as a result, but I was woefully unversed in the world of international hardcore at that stage of my punk growth, so I devoured all of the $1 singles I could get my paws on. I remember not liking MASSKONTROLL - the songs were too long and it was probably too close to metal (and metal was something I was trying to get away from), but upon revisiting this band nearly twenty years later....fuck! Yeah, it's kinda metal, but these dudes just annihilated the Swedish and Japanese hardcore/crust models, and they did it with a relentless fury rarely matched then or since. Absolute punishment, and the title track is as close to a legitimate hit as you'll find with a skeleton on the sleeve - even if there are only two riffs.

18 December 2013


GAY KISS are pretty well documented on the internet, and the LP that dropped earlier this year is among the fiercest things to pass through my ears in a while. The vocals are unparalleled, and they somehow stick tenderness into music that is so relentlessly intense that I'm convinced that any hint of sensitivity must be an accident. This three track demo was released for their tour a few months back (obviously), and I wish I could tell you to listen to it and think of happy summer times...but this thing is every bit as bleak as the winter. It's hard to believe that the enthusiastic fastcore kid I stayed with in Phoenix on tour in 2004 has turned into the beast that is even partially responsible for this filth...

17 December 2013


I'm at a loss for context here - late '80s is my best guess, crazy and slightly metallic anarcho punk with multiple female vocalists. The band name is a tough one to search for, and since I'm pretty sure than this isn't the late '80s Swedish HAPPY FARM then I look to you for any info. All I can say is that the songs are fukkn great, with "Right Is Right" and "Slaughter In The Faroe Isles" standing out as my two favorites...

16 December 2013


I don't really need to say anything about this one, do I? There are two kinds of punks, the ones who already have this and the ones who need it.

15 December 2013


As a rule, I try to avoid posting tape reproductions of vinyl/CD releases since it kinda defeats the purpose of sharing music that has been denigrated to the cassette medium. There are exceptions of course (like when I taped the STRESS record so I could share it here without breaking my self imposed guidelines), and Holland's SHIKARI is a perfect example. A collection of vinyl releases (splits with PHOENIX BODIES, SEEIN' RED, AÇÃO DIRETA and the Robot Wars 10") and is a perfect example of metallic European chaos frequently tagged with the screamo label. Maybe the label is fair if you want to be literal, as the music is certainly emotional and there is definitely a lot of screaming, but to put a band like this in a box with a label is to do them a severe injustice. The killer metal/hardcore/emo sound from late '90s Germany (SYSTRAL, AKEPHAL) is surely present, but the vocals are high, constant and beyond intense while the drums are a never ending barrage - I cannot think of another way to set the foundation for the wall of guitars that front SHIKARI. Mournful progressions, desperate and all encompassing, drawing inspiration from equally black metal and '90s emo. The level of intensity this band reaches with their very first burst of energy is one that most hardcore bands never achieve in their entire careers. So yeah, I am glad Malaysia's Bullwhip put this shit on a tape so I can share it here....and you are glad too. Powerful and essential.

14 December 2013


Two incredibly prolific noise artists join forces on this 2011 split. SICK LLAMA (aka Heath Moerland) dish out 15 minutes of churning harsh industrial sounds - imagine a soundtrack for a film documenting the end of The Robot Age, the metal parts tossed aside with the same casual disinterest that The Robots showed to our weak human emotions when they took over the planet. MSHING (aka Luke Holland) is a soundtrack too...a soundtrack to a film documenting bitter cold howling terror. 

13 December 2013


SHUT IN is disgusting. And really really pissed. Bombastic hardcore/crust at the very end of its rope - the low end is crushing, but the vocals are simply terrifying. There are blasts, there are devastating breakdowns (sometimes the two fall into each other with jaw dropping results) and everything is filthy. This is what it sounds like when you have had enough.

Members of PROTESTANT, ABADDON, MALACHI, PARTY BY THE SLICE, NO BRAINER, ARCHITECTS OF THE AFTERMATH and others, in case you are keeping track or need extra incentive...

12 December 2013


Grindcore from Canada and the USA...that should really all you need, but in the interest of comprehensive coverage I'll delve a little deeper. Some of it sounds neurotic (PIZZA HI FIVE, COKSKAR, LT. DAN), some of it is just all out manic grind (NIMBUS TERRIFIX, P.L.F.), some of is is noisy and weird (DISLEKSIK, HITOKIRI), some of it will change your mind about grindcore (COOKED AND EATEN, TU SUFRES), some of it is raw (SIX BREW BANTHA, PAUCITES), and some of it is just great (ARCHAGATHUS, OBACHA). I don't know if you need Introductory Grind 101, a refresher course or a swift kick in the ass, but there are no duds on this comp. Even if the noise bursts from YOSO MONO are my favorite tracks....

11 December 2013


A perfect bridge between ripping '80s Italian hardcore (think INDIGESTI here) and more constructed (read: slightly less unhinged) '90s contemporaries from the States. This nine song demo from 1996 is the first (and only) thing I've heard from them and, while there are moments that sound dated, bits like the chorus of "Via La Polizia" are undeniable.

My copy is well worn but the sound quality improves drastically halfway through "Corri." Didn't seem right to leave a few tracks off just because they sound a but muddy as a result of years of repeated listens (and likely improper storage)...if it bothers you then you know how to use the delete feature, right?

10 December 2013


There must be thousands of barely unearthed regionally active bands from the '80s who never committed their tracks to wax and will likely languish in the memories of the punks who were there and the lucky few who manage to snag well worn demo tapes. In the case of Chico, California's DOG KILLER, I find myself in the second category. Superb guitars that swerve between ADOLESCENTS and DEAD KENNEDYS, snarky vocals and classic California attitude...all of the ingredients are here, and aside from a couple of duds ("Man's Best Friend" and "Up To You" are just unnecessary musically, even though the latter is excellent lyrically) the result is stellar. "Superpowers" is the standout (either because of or in spite of the meandering guitar led breakdown that makes up the last third of the track) and tracks like "No Reason To Live" are certified creamers. And yeah, I know the band name is stupid, no need to mention it other than to shrug and say: "well...it was 1986?"

09 December 2013


I mean, the first song is called "Russian Hardcore Thrash Attack," so how much explanation do you really need? Relentless, raw dual vocal fastcore/thrash dishing out seven tracks in as many minutes...it was 2003 and we basically couldn't get enough of this shit. But this cassette and a split with CONGA FURY is all we got, so listen repeatedly.

08 December 2013


I got this in the mail several months ago, and was intrigued enough by the title alone that I dove in almost immediately (an admittedly rare thing - when I get cassettes sent to me, they tend to go onto "the pile"). Sounds For Wax Museum is an exercise in patience and sound, 95 minutes of drones and haunting electronics, painfully mellow and painstakingly crafted. It's hard to tell if this is brilliantly executed genius or a giant inside joke, but the end result is mesmerizing.

These and other unrelated sounds were released by Energetic Action, and apparently things are different in Alberta....different and good.

07 December 2013


This is perfect pre-crossover North American hardcore punk. Regional identification is not immediately obvious as with some bands of the era, but if I told you they were from Toronto (Willowdale, technically, an "established, affluent suburb") you would probably listen to their rust belt originality, their New York attitude and their DC energy and think (the title track "Freaked Out" is practically a lost MINOR THREAT jam) "yeah...that makes sense." Vocals are fukkn flawless for the style, and the guitars just make you clench your face into a fist that says "yes...this is why I do this." There were full lengths that followed in 1986 and 1988 - the first is a more bombastic and metallic take on this demo's hardcore attack, and the second is a relatively flat foray into crossover thrash...naturally I prefer the raw power of 1984's Freaked Out. Get into it.

06 December 2013


This was on the flipside of the SEX MANIACS tape I got in Leeds in 2003. Ebullition/Gravity hardcore meets the melodic/metallic chaos of Per Koro somewhere in England. I obviously didn't listen to this enough the first time around, because since I ripped this tape I cannot seem to get enough of the HUMANFLY side. There's a history of the band (and more jams to download) here, or you can try this tape first...but either way, you need these sounds in you.

05 December 2013

(former members of alfonsin)

I posted this today simply because of associations, but I was struck all over again by how subtly powerful this band was. I only saw them once, a show in Oakland where I knew virtually no one, where I felt wholly underactive (in virtually every aspect of the word), but was made completely welcome. File this amongst the whole late '90s "personal is political" movement if you like, but realize when you do so that there are a few bands who deserve to be filed in a category all their own.

04 December 2013


Absolutely massive stench/crust from Oakland, if I gave you a personnel pedigree it would send your expectations sky high...and those expectations would be exceeded. Eschewing drawn out mood building interludes for pure attack, FEMACOFFIN weave charging ScandiCrust effortlessly into sludge ridden metallic stenchcore, never once forgoing the pure power necessary for either to be successful. I figured after I saw them that this tape was gonna be pretty good...it's better.

03 December 2013


I originally posted this one in the early days of The Escape, and recently dug the tape out again to repair the dead link. But after blasting it a few times, I figured Spoilsport warrants proper re-posting instead of a fresh download buried beneath four years of posts. Either ripping metallic UK82 or rudimentary proto anarcho/metal/punk depending on their intent, these tracks are searing and fiercely (shamelessly) political in a way that bands just don't seem to be anymore. 

For the curious, here's the blurb that accompanied the original post:

CITY INDIANS hailed from Derby, and this is the Spoilsport demo from 1986. Relatively basic, but super in your face UK82 punk, with a very serious animal rights angle. (It is sometimes astounding to me just how fucking political a large part of the DIY punk scene was in the UK, and equally bewildering how much a large part of the scene in the US today is just simply not.) Killer four song demo, that probably came 4 years too late for anyone to get really excited about it at the time. But now? This guy is excited.

02 December 2013


This relic is a total mindfukk. Bass, drums and electronics combine with chaotic, impassioned vocals to create a truly bizarre ruckus. A painful experience all around, but one offered up with a sincerity that trumps execution or pretense. I dare say that when I realized was recorded 22 years ago in Nebraska, I thought it made perfect sense.