28 July 2014


This was on a tape I borrowed from Devon. You could easily argue that outsider/noise punk does not get any more ridiculous than this. If I had previously initiated a Sockeye tag on Terminal Escape, then I would use it now but I don't have one.....yeah, that's the caliber of weird we are talking about here.

26 July 2014


Early '90s metallic and engaging Polish punk. I really like these sounds, even though I would guess that the band were aiming for something that I wouldn't like. Does that even make sense? Maybe the second sentence is confusing, but those of you who were intrigued by the first sentence should get amongst this shit immediately. You're welcome.

24 July 2014


Sometimes old(er) recordings are a "time and place" thing - like you love it if you were there, but you just scratch your head if you hear the tracks after the fact. Sweden's FINAL EXIT is a perfect example; it's boring, derivative and utterly forgettable to me but they are a band that absolutely changed some of my friends' lives. Good for them, and my fault for listening to ERASURE in high school ("Oh L'Amour" is a banger, deal with that). But sometimes you can hear the shit years later and you're all like, "oh dude, I bet this shit was bad ass, I totally get this....wish I had been there, but I'm stoked to try to relive the magic through these recordings." So here you go: Brasil. 1996. If you weren't there then, then do your best to go there now.

23 July 2014


This dude takes electronic dance music (is this house? techno?) and makes it so casually compelling. These tracks in their entirety make up the Esconced EP on Dark Entries, but this teaser cassette takes those jams and turns them into a mini fresh mix, like an abridged version to wet your whistle. It worked.

22 July 2014


Seminal late '80 Bay Area thrash that was resurrected in the early days of 625 Productions. Way under the radar for most folks not from around here, I'd probably never have heard the name if I hadn't been in a band with Max (he fukkn loved this band)....then again, I've been in a band with the guitarist for the better part of the last decade, so I guess it would have come up eventually. 

21 July 2014


These women are out there. Piercing wails from both guitars and sets of vocal chords, rhythms that lope and lurch, challenging listeners more than entertaining them. Dissecting divisions between art, noise, punk and music. Suffice to say that I am a fan.

I am driving in a big ass circle through the plains and western states with my wife for the next two weeks. The posts will continue, but the missives will be brief (you're welcome) and requests for repairs on dead links will be even slower than usual for a while. 

20 July 2014


In the early days of The Escape I was contacted from time to time by members of older UK bands, presumably after said members had performed boredom induced vanity searches for the bands they were in when they were young and the world was still theirs to conquer and the system there for the smashing. A few folks asked for cover scans of demos they no longer had copies of, a couple asked for the tapes themselves, and one (I think it was a guy from THE SNAPPIN' BOGSEATS?) sent me this tape in return. I had never heard MAXI PUCH & THE MACHO MOPED MEN, but this early '80s catchy UK shits rules hard, and it's become a regular staple since its arrival in my mailslot. The instrumental "Pursuit" is an absolute classic, instantly familiar even when hearing it for the first time, but "Order Of The Black" is a totally mindblowing UK punk jammer. Kinda like SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS riding Vespas - is that even a sound? I think it is. And these are the perks of the job.

19 July 2014


You see, this is the trouble with black metal. You get a tape from the used section because it looks like it might be cool - it's a band from Belarus and a band from the Bay Area and it looks cool so it's worth a gamble....right? And then the Belarusian band starts with a song called "Blue-Eyed Land's Horizon Will Flare With Fiery Crimson" and I'm all like shit I got me some weird NSBM nonsense here? but I can't really tell. So do I chunk it? Or do I listen and acknowledge that these are sounds that have no relationship to or affect on my life in any actual sense, and perhaps I can listen to them with objective ears? I honestly don't know, because these things are important and intent trumps sound any fukkn day in my book....but I'm unclear here. GNEIU are outsider black metal, a chaotic onslaught of aural misanthropy -  the meandering shoegazing of "Disobedient Spirit Of Wind" followed by the nonstop whirr "Breathtaking Taste of Enemy Blood" with no apparent direction other than total destruction. The shit is intense and introverted, but explosive and dangerous. LASCOWIEC are at least more understandable, if not digestible. Buried blasts of treble ridden agony, a call to harsh winters never known (c'mon man, these dudes are from the Bay Area), this is relentless, pained black metal in the most base and classic sense. It's also really weird sounding, so digest that info however you like. I don't know what either of these bands are like, what either of these bands believe, or what either of these bands are into, but I know that "Before The Birth Of Storm" is a super heavy track....so there's that. Metal is hard.

18 July 2014


Typically when people talk about punk comps as "starter kits," they mean: "here are some important bands from a particular region or genre." In this case, "starter kit" is actually referring to the very start of hardcore punk in Brasil. Included on this volume from the swell gents at B.C.T. are the seminal Sub comp (only the tail end, unfortunately, the rest is on Vol. I), the brilliantly rough O Começo do Fim do Mundo (recorded at Brasil's first major punk festival) and the debut EPs from OHLO SECO (Botas, Fuzis, Capacetes) and INOCENTES (Miséria e Fome) - unhinged power, legendary recordings. And I figure this will compliment the Virus Tropical post from a few months back....

I don't have Vol. I to share, but I bet the internet does....

17 July 2014


From the lurch of the repetitive bass line you know these Orange County kids are on to something, and even though that first guitar chord made me think inexplicably of PINK FLOYD I could tell this shit was gonna jam. And I was right. UK influence to be sure, but this is just catchy fukkn punk reared equally on the classics and their neighbors in the LA scene. "Life Sentence" is dark and urgent, somewhere between OBSERVERS and SADICOS, and following track could be a lost No Future artifact. Next level bangers here, looking forward to their next installment.

16 July 2014


If you weren't around at the time, then perhaps it would be difficult to explain how killer BENÜMB were. A pack of thrash mutants and suburban outcasts dishing out hyper fast metal while their frontman Pete went from the absolute nicest man in hardcore to a possessed animal frothing on stage. Their releases were packed with thanks lists and contact info for literally every band they came in contact with, and Pete would spend minutes listing every upcoming Bay Area punk show he could before launching the band into another 60 second barrage...the fact that they were on Relapse and existed (thrived, even?) outside of our Bay Area subculture was completely beyond me. At the risk of making this seem like a post about Pete (to be fair, I never met any of the other dudes), the band fukkn ripped. Always. Every time. But if I had seen them around the time this shit was recorded, I would have lost my mind. In '94, before BENÜMB were a full on thrash metal band, it appears that they were a devastating tortured hardcore outfit. The next eight minutes are unhinged low end madness - bass is the focus (shit man, I'm wondering...is it possible that they didn't have a guitar in the beginning? I can't remember. Someone help me out here?). The churn of "Stagger Forward" and the mania of "Abstain" take center stage, but every track here is legit. Thinking about what this band might have become had they channelled this shit into HC instead of metal is terrifying. Cheers, Pete.


15 July 2014


Spastic, jerky fastcore from Portugal circa early '00s (or course). Erratic, high end shrieked vocals (like almost DEVOLA high), marginally in tune and killer adolescent breakdowns. I was sold from the first blast, though it might take the average listener two or three.

14 July 2014


Seminal mid '80s New Jersey hardcore, it's hard to believe that this shit isn't widely celebrated today...but then I guess that exactly what I'm doing right now. The vocals are barked out with unrivaled ferocity and the songs are snappy, throttling USHC at its finest with a spastic pace and over-flanged guitar. I got this on a mix tape that also featured SOCIAL DECAY and a few other Jersey acts, and the handwritten notes indicate that the bangers contained in today's download come from two live sets in '86 and '87 (way better quality than you expect when you think of a "live recording" - I'm talking along the lines of Live At The Crystal Pistol with this one, in terms of both both quality and caliber).  Ten tracks of killer, pissed and under the radar '80s shit, the internet exists so you can find out about shit like this, punk.

13 July 2014


Someone want to talk to me intelligently about French emo? It's a subgenre I'm far less familiar with than most so I can't speak with anything approaching authority. This release sat essentially dormant on my shelf for years after I bought it (probably because I thought it was a weird metal thing, but also probably because I had four too many dollars that day) until I unearthed it recently and was throttled the same way I was when I first heard Nihiliste(s) in 2009 - the same year BÖKANÖVSKY released this opus. Each side is a complete journey, but you have to be willing to travel if you want to reach the destination - impossible song construction makes you forget that the first track clocks in at more than a quarter hour, but the final minutes are more than worth the wait. The second movement acts as a cool down from the first, more relaxing/resigned and less determined...until the final 70 seconds suck the air out of you. Calculated and gratuitous, I'm not sure why I like it (or how many points it will cost me), but sometimes it's best to not ask why.

12 July 2014


I bought this on nothing more than a whim - early '90s under the radar Midwest death metal reissued on cassette? Three dollars? Yeah, I'll bite. Apparently the entirety of the reissue worthy DEMENTOX output is four songs, but they are all screamers so I think my dollars were well spent. Early Bay Area thrash and filthy primitive death metal fronted by sinister barks and delivered with a recording buried in tape hiss (I did the best I could). "From Within" is my choice banger - you can choose it if you like, but you are welcome to select your own favorite.

11 July 2014


Crushing mutant hardcore from Boise. A half hour of downtuned discordant devastation that nods at '90s powerviolence without ignoring the nuances that have come since. While touches of KARP (by way of grunge) and basement emo guitar work keep DEEP CREEPS firmly rooted in the past, this demo is more modern and aurally topical than any by-the-numbers hardcore act cranking out the rehashed flavor of the month - this shit is weird. Intent(ional) listening is not required, but the full effect cannot be realized without it.

10 July 2014


In January this year, the freakshows at Ascetic House released one cassette per day from bands in and related to their circle of mystery. This is a nearly impossible thing for a casual (or even curious) outlier to stay on top of, but I snagged a few when DESTRUCTION UNIT came through SF in the spring. I commented that there's no way anyone could be expected to keep up with that kind of output....dude just smiled and implied that might have been the very point (which begs an entirely different discussion about scenes and art and accessibility and determination). SUBLIMATION's Brain Ded is an incredible dip into the primitive industrial past, sparse beats and breathy vocals accompany sounds that fall somewhere in the early CABARET VOLTAIRE but with more harsh ambiance than beats. Four tracks mixed together over a quarter hour for a dark, lonely and disconcerting experience.

09 July 2014


Somehow when TEST BAN TREATY screams "I've Got The Straight Edge!" at the 0:49 mark of the second track, it hits a little harder than your average 'core act. Brutally harsh blasts of hardcore that give off nary a hint of youth crew aside from "Trademark," a blistering and rough mangling of the clean cut paradigm. Classify this 2001 Brasilian demo as you like (and I confess that the final track is a head scratcher that falls in line with something a North American basement HC band might have done a few years earlier), but shit rarely sounds this forceful...

The anti-CorelDraw missive might date the band even more than the musical content...

08 July 2014


This Swedish/American combo might have started as a simple project amongst friends, but the result is undeniably ripping Scandithrash by way of DISCHARGE. There's nothing fancy, but the riffs are beyond stellar and the delivery is essentially flawless - USHC makes a brief appearance in "Dö Ditt Jälva As," but despite the North American contingent partially responsible for these jammers, this is pure Swedecore brilliance. I suggest that you stop paying attention to cool things long enough to get into this mania.

07 July 2014


I clearly remember the first time I saw SUBSANITY, nothing short of a complete sensory overload at a club in Norman, Oklahoma. I almost identified with them in the broad context of metal, but there were so many more things going on that I did not understand. In retrospect, SUBSANITY were on the cusp of the heavy hardcore/metal/crust that was infiltrating DIY punk at the time, but of course I knew nothing about that...(I just came to the show because this dude I knew who was into ballet said the band he was in was playing a show). And my mind was blown. Two singers, a bassist who looked like a fucking monster, and an aural assault that was like nothing I had ever seen or heard before. Listening to these tracks years later, these dudes were way ahead of their time (especially considering their geographical handicap), and the shit sounds just as urgent in future decades as they intended at the time. They were always teetering between a trainwreck and total brilliance when I saw them live, and these songs in my ears today help me realize that my initial impression was pretty much spot on. I know that SUBSANITY changed lineups over the years more than a few times, and vocalist Mike can shed more light onto their history than I ever could (he was one of the earliest followers/comment leavers here, so mayhaps he will?), but even today there are songs on this informationless cassette that will melt your fukkn face. Nothing short of pure brutality, and the band was from a place called Pauls Valley. What the fuck were you doing in 1991?

06 July 2014


Beefy Japanese hardcore from the end of the millennium. Sometimes you just need to dumb it down and get ignorant, and if today is one of those days and you also feel like sporadic blast beats and guitar squeals, then you have found your jam. I'm here to help...you are welcome.

05 July 2014


It was a few years ago.  I was urinating at a storied and well documented all ages venue in Berkeley, California, and I saw this cassette resting on top of the toilet's flushing apparatus. If someone can tell me how I could NOT take this tape home, then I am willing to listen....but I cannot imagine scenario in which these sounds would not end up in my (and in turn, your) ears. So I took the tape home, and it sat on a shelf or in a box for far too long until I digitized it. And I now, you can hear it too. Just pretend you are a regular punk taking a pee break at the show and you found this shit - you would take it home. Right? Of course you would. For the same reason that you will pursue these sounds today...because you want to know. What band or weirdo or performance artist disseminates their work on anonymous toilets? 

04 July 2014


This might be the single most important mix tape anyone has ever made me. When Dan Riffe (much celebrated on this blog, ex-ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O, VAN GOGH'S EAR, BRUTAL GARDENERS and current frontman for Tulsa's DON'T CARE BEARS) gave me this tape in '91 or '92 the only bands I was familiar with were FEAR, N.O.T.A. and BLACK FLAG, and my introduction to searing Euro hardcore for the first time was like a kick in the gut. With educated hindsight, I can see that Dan primarily just put a couple of records on and let the tape run - but when they are the right records, that's maybe all you need.

03 July 2014


It is perhaps strange to try to wrap a context around a band that I never saw, a band that I didn't actually hear until years after they released this demo. But Ottawa's COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION were all of the great things about crushing late '90s hardcore crammed into one insanely good band that left us with a criminally small recorded output, so I will do my best. Ripping metallic shred (as in "Poster Children For Family Values"), screaming dual vocal proto-fastcore ("No Brainer") and amalgamations of that decade's crushing hardcore/crust-by-way-of-DIY-basement-hardcore (most of the rest of the tape) sound brilliant to my new millennium ears. This is for the tools who still waste breath stammering about how '90s hardcore was shit...COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION might have dropped this near the end of the decade, but the years are seeping out of their very pores.

02 July 2014


I might like these tracks better than their portion of the excellent TRTRKMMR split (though that's a stretch). HUSERE GRAV makes sound that implants itself into you, darkness that imposes its will instead of merely suggesting a mood. Simple on their face, these tracks are beyond deep and leave you waiting in vain for any kind of climax or resolution. This is what silence sounds like, this is deliberate ambiance.

01 July 2014


Maybe I should be posting this on Escape Is Terminal, but most of you punks don't really bother with that joint and I would hate for these bangers to go unnoticed. Live on the radio, Toronto's S.H.I.T. cram a baker's dozen into 20 minutes. Those of you who have been paying attention already know what's up, and the rest of you need to learn...I plan to study up at their show in SF tonight just to make sure.