31 December 2015


Home recordings and minimal compositions from GARAGE FUZZ frontman and borderline brilliant São Paulo collage artist Sesper, Clouds On Green Valley ranges between subdued synth based interludes and quietly engaging fuzzed out guitar jams. Tracks inspired by and composed on an early 2009 trip to California, recorded later that year in Brasil and released in a criminally limited quantity of 50 by the Outprint collective (I strongly suggest following that link). 

30 December 2015


Anyone who lived through the '90s should know this band. One of the first Polish acts from the DIY scene that made it to North American shores, HOMOMILITIA were as renowned for their pro-queer, anarchist politics as for their relentless dual vocal crust whirlwind. Yes, I know my copy has a few defects...I've listened to it a lot of times.

29 December 2015


A Bay Area supergroup if their ever was one, THE PATTERN seemed like they were primed for success, but a slew of singles and a seemingly straight-to-the-dollar bin full length and they were gone. Poof. Lucky for you though, young rocker, because the wise amongst us know that the dollar bin is sometimes where you find the gold. Motor City proto punk and new millennium garage rock clashed headfirst into all these young dudes who knew just how to meld their collective experiences into a sound with a serious swagger. Members of THE POTATOMEN, TALK IS POISON, YAPHEY KOTTO, THE MOONEY SUZUKI, PEECHEES, BLACK FORK and countless others in case that helps seal the deal, this is a band that coulda been huge.

28 December 2015


Short, sharp bursts of angular hardcore punk. Soaked with attitude and venom, WOTZIT never let themselves descend into aggression needlessly, instead opting for a more calculated (and funkier) approach. At their height, I hear prime Biafra and BIG BOYS and early So Cal hardcore all sneaking into the mix and these Tokyo maniacs are more than up to the challenge that those comparisons present. Listen to the damaged guitar at the 1:24 mark of "Eyes Of Pervert," and then listen closer, because that tasty lick might be the best thing you hear all day.

27 December 2015


Drunk sounding Spanish language punk from North Carolina, INFECCIÓN manage to sound like a time and place that is very far from their reality. From catchy ass shaking punk when they drop a mid tempo swerve, to breakneck chaos with indescribably piercing high end guitars when they pick up the pace. Their gallop is one of the weirdest things I've heard put to tape, and those guitars sometimes sound like D. Boon playing hardcore...all of that with a swinging bass and lazy vocal shouts? This 2012 demo is a total winner.

26 December 2015


Stark and minimal black metal...does it sound odd if I suggest that the band's cover art suits their sound? Slightly deranged and amateurish, but deeply depressive at the same time. The approach is simple, with wailing tinny guitars dominating the mix while drums bang away in a seemingly aimless manner, struggling to maintain anything resembling a steady rhythm, but that's exactly the appeal of Italy's OVSKUM. By the time the "blast" (a generous descriptor) starts near the 5 minute marl of the second track, I had already accepted my fate and was settling into a weird and distant recording, which made that section of the song especially off putting and set me up for the remainder of the tape. OVSKUM has been prolific over the last decade or so, Untitled I was released in 2006. This is far from advanced music, more like an exercise...or perhaps a test.

25 December 2015


I don't really need to wax on about this one, but I will say that if you aren't familiar with Florida's NO FRAUD then you need to be. If I asked someone to describe their idea of "perfect 1980s US hardcore" and they simply handed me a copy of this 1985 demo, then I don't think I could make an argument to the contrary.

24 December 2015


It's easy to date this brand of metallic emotional hardcore, and these three tracks capture the earnest desperation of many bands from the era...and sometimes these sounds are exactly what I need. Also, that box of tapes I snagged from Allan in Vila Velha last year was a windfall of gems from early '00s Brasil. 

23 December 2015


Raw and chaotic fastcore/grind from Nagoya. SEPTIX are more primitive, while N.E.K. are a little heavier (and a little more heavy metal). We played with N.E.K. in 2007 at a weird upstairs rehearsal studio - some kids busted out some ALL YOU CAN EAT covers and had Devon sing but I missed it because I went to the store with Kiku. Also, all of the people were very very wasted.

22 December 2015


Exceptionally compelling dark gothic industrial noise from Sweden. A blatant fixation on religion and ritual makes these sounds all the more interesting to my ears even without the aesthetic accompaniments...I was hooked instantly. If 2012's Deathward, To The Womb intrigues you, then I encourage you to explore here.

21 December 2015


I'm pretty sure that you requested a bulldozer, right? A collection of sounds with enough power to yank up your complacency at the roots? Well, here's a juggernaut from Victoria, BC that ought to do the trick: THICK SKULL. A few bits from mid '00s heavy North American crust, the tiniest sprinkling of chaotic emotional hardcore and a hint of black metal, but mostly just desperate sounding and devastating hardcore. For those of you who would like to start your week with power.

20 December 2015


1987 recording of tracks that would be included on the More Fun Than An Open Casket Funeral full length. Fast, anxious crossover thrash from a band at their absolute prime - when these dudes were firing on all cylinders the result was scary. Worth noting that this is presented as a four song promo, one of which is scrawled out by hand on the cover...but there are five songs. Hey man, beer helps.

19 December 2015


As anyone who's spent time on the American South is well aware, there's a difference between the denizens of the deep Southeast and the hillbillies in the Smokey Mountains, the big city Texans and the generations old Virginia clans - "Southern Culture" has countless layers, and the people of Mississippi are certainly their own breed. I spent chunk of my early summers at my grandparents' outside of Lorman, Mississippi until I was in high school (technically, Mamaw's place was just off a rural route between the villages of Red Lick and Coon Box...seriously...but the address was Lorman), about 50 miles roughly south of Liberty, where the subject of today's post was born. JERRY CLOWER wasn't a comedian, per se, he was an incredible story teller and anyone who's spent time (or has family) from rural Mississippi will sure appreciate his gift of gab...just stories, but these stories put places that no one had ever heard of on the map in the early '70s. Sweet and endearing, pure and wholesome...and yes, funny, Jerry's first two releases are collections of tall tales and legends, the same kind my Uncle Sammy and Papaw traded back and forth with neighbors when I was a kid. For further reference, I don't think there would be a Jeff Foxworthy without a Jerry Clower...though I'm not sure that's the most rousing endorsement. More punk stuff tomorrow.

Due to an organic cassette defect (time does have its way with Terminal Escape's medium of choice), the last few tracks of each release are...well, altered. Time has degenerated these stories into blips and blurts of nonsensical redneck lingo, giving the impression that you are on drugs. 

18 December 2015

Июльские дни

Absolutely killer dark indie/punk from Russia, Июльские дни (JULY DAYS) attack with deadly precision. Take elements of late '80s Polish punk that flirted with new wave (REPUBLICA, the SIEKIERA full length) and somehow fit it into the small handful of mid '00s indie bands that did it right (guilty pleasures like INTERPOL, FRANZ FERDINAND, even bits of BLOC PARTY), and then put it all in the hands of punks. The results are before you...and the results are astounding. These tracks are severe and bleak, but they are sheer bliss.  Really killer stuff coming out of Russia these days, and I'm sure I don't even know a fraction of it.

17 December 2015


Make a fist. Examine it to make sure the fist is as lethal as possible. Take a deep breath, and plunge that fist into your gut with all of the force that you can muster...and repeat. I'm trying to prepare you for the feeling you are going to have when you ingest these three songs. I wish I could do more. "Bone To Pick" is so seemingly simple, but after you catch your breath and regain your composure and try to figure out what is actually going on in that trainwreck of riffs, you'll probably just give up and go back to punching yourself again. I mean, what choice do you have? You're just going to wrap yourself in the mid tempo mosh false-security blanket of "Blank Meridian" before getting dropped by the pure steamrolling force of "You Climb, You Lose." You've lost before you even started...so clench, be strong, submit.

16 December 2015


16 more tracks of mania from Nagoya's CFDL. A fukkd guitar to be envied and emulated, a blistering pace, and simplicity drilled into your brain with devastating intensity. You know this drill.

15 December 2015


Bulldozing hardcore from Hungary with the subtlety of an earthquake. HELMET style churning riffs with suffocating crew backup vocals on the first track before they launch into the fast and meaty 'core that makes up the bulk of this 1997 tape. Breakdowns abound, and it's hard to describe how awesome the saxophone is in "Return To Sadness."

14 December 2015


Got this little banger in the mail a few weeks ago, and it had an obi strip that read Portland's Only Band. Well, Queen City, y'all motherfukkrs are lucky if this is the shit you get to listen to every night - I mean, I'm sure it gets boring without Steve Miller Band on the radio, and I like Poison Idea as much as the next guy, but if these are your only jams then you could do WAY worse. So revel, Portland, revel in the 1-2-1-2 drums and the damaged ass vocals doing battle with themselves while the bass pounds through relentless bouncy eighth notes and the guitar is busy just being punk (listen to the title track, and take notes, it's a perfect punk guitar track). Like, really punk. Short bursts of noise and weirdness to keep you on your toes, but CHEMOS are as straightforward as it comes and still manage to sound like they are from outer space. You know this....you've just never heard it done like this. Perhaps because you've never heard it from the only band in Portland. "Cleanly" is the choice cut, but all five are winners.

Also, the tape came with a nice note. Cute animals in parachutes, space ships, flags...really nothing more one can ask from thank you note stationary.

13 December 2015


My heart started beating a little faster when I saw this package from Reforestation, even before I knew what was inside. But even still...this shit blew my mind. It's difficult for me to imagine precision death metal to sound any more primal than PYRE; they don't play, they unleash. The four and a half minutes of "Merciless Disease" will leave you breathless...and that's only the first song. There are eight more. Downtuned, churning, primal and something well beyond fierce, this Russian act is an absolute force...and Reforestation Records has not disappointed me yet.

12 December 2015


Bare bones, no nonsense garage punk from Arkansas. Vocals perfectly tweaked and then reverbed just a little bit extra (for good measure), while the band plows through Goner jams galore. Raw, basic and a sound that is perfectly and intentionally dated. Sometimes you shouldn't have to think too much - sometimes simple is better....but I swear that "Little Girl" could be a crushing hardcore banger.

11 December 2015


I'm no expert, I can't pretend to be. I was introduced to Arvo Pärt by my bandmate Betsy in the late '00s and since then I have explored only casually...but the results have been quite rewarding. Estonian by birth, Pärt was initially influenced by baroque composers, but was received poorly by authorities when he started to expand his horizons. Allowed to emigrate in the '80s to Austria, he began to delve deeper into the untraditional, and is considered a pioneer of holy minimalism....yeah, I don't know what that  is either. Subtle and extremely intense music, and it's worth nting that this entire recording was conducted with Pärt in presence...just because that makes it heavier. Like I said: the results have been quite rewarding.

10 December 2015


Killer comp of mostly under-the-radar hardcore/pv bands. CALLATE from Chile start out with three tracks of frantic grind with crushing sludge dirges, then Japan's FLAT SUCKS dish out ultra chaotic spastic bursts that bring to mind acts like FUTURES and DKs - hard to put a finger on what exactly  they are doing, but suffice to say that when I was playing the tape my lady friend commented "wow, that is awful" to one song and "who's this? I like it" to the next. San Francisco's VENKMAN are up next - eight tracks of fastcore and comedy (typically at the same time) before our Italian friends xDELOREANx drop four downtuned numbers influenced by West Coast pv/thrashcore. All four acts are quality, and will inject a healthy dose of irreverence into your serious consumption of sounds. It's good to be a little irreverent.

09 December 2015


FATIGUE is a new hard hitting hardcore band from San Francisco with boys from SCALPED, SYDNEY DUCKS, MERDOSO and a host of others. FATIGUE was a ripping early '90s melodic hardcore band who put their songs on a tape that eventually made its way to me with no background, just song titles. I say early '90s just because...well, listen to it and tell me this doesn't sound like it was recorded around '93 or so? Hints of SNFU, BAD RELIGION, early NOFX, and the whole thing smacks of a time when "melodic" and "catchy" didn't mean pulling punches or taking your foot off the gas. There are tracks like "Bite" and "Falling Over My Keys" that come off like early OFFSPRING, but irreverent rippers like "Alcomohol" more than compensate. Two separate recordings here, the first batch of tracks are definitely more polished and aggressive while the second are decidedly more amateurish but no less capable (and yes, I realize that "Cheers!" and "Ahhhh Shit!!!" are ridiculous, but I find that both are signs of the times as much as the style of punk FATIGUE is playing). So yeah, check out FATIGUE, and also FATIGUE have a single on Warthog Speak that is quite good.

08 December 2015


Filthy and primitive grind that slips periodically into bouts of classic Southern sludge. HANGING ROTTEN deliver both with venom, and if you can imagine BUZZOV•EN dishing out sub-minute bursts of grind then you're starting to get the right idea. Standout track is "Regret," which is thirty of the brutalist seconds ever and features a blast that isn't even human, but there's nothing on this demo that I don't want to listen to again. These tracks were released on wax by Putrid Filth Conspiracy and I see the record in used bins with shocking frequency (the two extra tracks on the B side of that LP are scrape-your-jaw-off-the-floor good), but until you wise up, I offer you a digital version of the initial cassette release.

07 December 2015


Repeat visitors here have surely read my waxing and waning (both pro and con, to be fair) about modern hardcore's apparent newfound love for Oi! and streetpunk. But take a gander at this shit and tell me that the new wave of rehash isn't about three generations past its time - which is totally fine...just a gentle reminder. FIST OF FURY hailed from Kuching, Sarawak (that's in Malaysian Borneo, in case you are curious), and dropped this demo in 1997 (the year their city was covered by an inexplicably brutal haze arguably caused by multinational greed, in case you are curious), and even though the "third world" punk scene was still burgeoning at the time, these tracks are pure devastation. Four on the floor straightforward hardcore punk, with gruff, throaty vocals that could not be more blunt - the "Chaos!!" chorus to "Organised Chaos" is quintessential blitzkrieg, so simple and absolutely bang on. There are only five tracks here, with the title track and "Fuck The System" standing out as highlights, but those looking to expand old school hardcore horizons beyond North American shores would be well advised to join in. 

06 December 2015


Another terminally fascinating offering from the Nostilevo family. Erratic dub/drones meld with abstract industrialisms for a truly weird experience. I find DESIRE XXI difficult - the first few listens were a challenge, and I still find this cassette difficult to digest...but it's worth it. The sputtering low end combined with THE NORMAL-esque minimal synths (but on acid) that make up "Destorsion De La V.L.F." is the example of a thing so weird and yet so perfect. This sounds like it comes from a really dark and confined place....

05 December 2015


This Portland outfit just nails it. So casual and confident, they just stroll in and just ooze out flawless dreamy fuzzed out noise/pop. Bass lines drive most of these tracks, while guitars swim in the aether, a relationship that bears more than a passing (and extremely flattering) comparison to Fraser/Guthrie circa Blue Bell Knoll, when they really dialed the shit in (I'm probably in the minority there, but you get my drift...). IS/IS veer effortlessly into garage pop on "Sideways," and reaching deeper into their repertoire it seems that this success isn't a fluke, and the band pulls off a brilliant '90s alt/indie number with "Gleam," but their excellence is rooted in the way they approach relatively simple melodies and breathe life and mystery into them. Listen to "Rune." Listen to it a lot. I stumbled on this cassette in a bargain bin and purchased on a whim and a fondness for the cover (don't think I'm a baller, the thing was a dollar), and IS/IS is my favorite accidental discovery in years, even their stabs at a rudimentary grunge rehash are worth your time. For fans of STONE ROSES, WAX IDOLS, early PINK FLOYD, MBV, COCTEAU TWINS...and sheer bliss.