31 January 2015


The tunes are snotty and straightforward hardcore punk, almost rudimentary at times. But FELDSPAR wins with the presentation; blown out naturally, chaotic unintentionally, on edge constantly. They take basic shit and make it sound urgent as anything....gratuitous samples, three chord riffs, copious amounts of distortion and a strained voice piercing through the mire. "Morag" is the coolest song I will listen to today. Good shit.

30 January 2015


I could just list the bands on this mix tape and you would knock over your coffee lurching for the download...or I could just tell you that some punks from LA are about to take all you retro goth mutants to fucking school. Deep cuts galore, no proto-punk pretense, and the closest Feasts Of Blaze gets to mainstream is THIS MORTAL COIL. I hadn't heard of more than half of the bands included, and this is the shit that got me through my adolescence before I found out what DIY punk was...suffice to say that my ears were pretty juiced to hear this tape. You get Volume 2 first because I like it better than Volume 1, but you'll get that one soon. Don't worry.

29 January 2015


The thing about tapes like this one is that it makes you wonder how many bands there are/were from weird suburbs. I mean, it's easy to make a list of crucial late '80s bands from San Francisco or Oakland...but what about South San Francisco, San Bruno or San Mateo? I'll be thinking about this raging thrash metal this morning while I'm settling down to a fun filled day in a cubicle near the SSF/San Bruno border, and I'll wonder what happened to these mutants. And I'll be thinking about that crew of teenagers with leather jackets and punk patches that I frequently see chilling near the San Bruno BART station when I'm on my way home, clearly up to no good and obviously on my team (even if they don't know it). Hardcore and thrash metal were fukkn made for the suburbs, and bands like this were fukkn made to be from the suburbs. Screaming, demented crossover/thrash insanity at its unpretentious best.

28 January 2015


The first thing I noticed about this tape was the primitive digital recording, everything kinda tinny and almost warped sounding...except that the ROTTENS demo was recorded in 1995 and my ears were hearing analog warp and tape disintegration - either way, the sound puts and (unintentional?) edge on the whole recording. Classic late '70s punk (think Spanish) offered up by '90s Brasilian pop punk kids, with the hooks of each era co-mingling effortlessly. Life changing? Probably not. Worth repeated listens as I wake up this morning? Definitely.

27 January 2015


This came in a package with a few killer hardcore tapes, and kinda passed me by at first listen. A lot of the melodic bands that people love are like that - even though sometimes I go back later and find out that I really like them, like J CHURCH (who I played with in Colorado in '94 and left the room before they played because I had heard they were a cool pop punk band...I told Lance about that night a decade later in my living room and we both laughed). Sometimes those bands get me right away, usually when they have a little grit, like NEON PISS (first song here is on par with the first track on the NEON PISS demo, by the way), and on a second visit that's exactly how French band GHOST TRAP strikes me. Whatever I wanted to hear when I first played this banger, it wasn't infectious and earnest punk played by a band with teeth (and, apparently, braces) that tear through the raspy melodies and guitars front and center dishing out Midwest HC hooks. Whatever I wanted to hear on that day was not this...I must have been in a weird mood that day. 

26 January 2015


What a weird concept: snotty '90s East Bay punk with lyrics based on nursery rhymes. Whatever man, it fukkn worked. Feisty, in your face and catchy as shit, THE GR'UPS (that's short for "the grown ups," ironic since by my current standards they were still kids when this was recorded) dropped a handful of songs off before calling it a day and pursuing lives in politics, public service, academia, and entertainment without ever leaving punk. That last part is an accomplishment in itself, but the jams here don't need any context to be awesome. For the uninitiated, imagine a drunker Northern California version of X (and the similarity goes well beyond the relatively pedestrian male/female vocal observations) planted in the 924 Gilman's fertile soil...but you should already know that.

25 January 2015


After slow, METALLICA-esque intro, DIVIDED WE FALL turn into an unimaginably burly hardcore steamroller. Early Blood, Sweat era SOIA with more than enough chug to satisfy any early '90s 'core mutant. The recording is blown to shit, giving these kids a disconcerting edge that definitely works in their favor...I just wish there were more than three songs. "Dissed and Backbitten" is your "time to break shit" jam of the weekend.

24 January 2015


It's like industrial dance music chopped and screwed and completely deconstructed. It'll hurt your brain if you let it, but these ultra minimal, breathy and manipulated sounds are the perfect soundtrack to a cold dark evening. Which begs the question: Why did I post this in the morning? Good question, and I don't have a good answer. Repeated listens and maximum volume will be rewarded.

23 January 2015


If someone described this SF band to me, I am certain that I would skip right past them. Who wants rockabilly tinged catchy (read: poppy) punk in their life? Not this guy, right? Right. Songs about trucking and CBs and a faux honky tonk non-burner about '90s contemporaries that achieved fame and fortune simply doesn't appeal to me....yet CROSSTOPS did. Saw them a few times on accident and the shows were a fukkn blast. NOFX caliber energy and irreverence and enough manufactured redneck to sell out a SUPERSUCKERS show sounds like the most painful combination imaginable, right? Right. Yet this four song demo holds up after nearly twenty years. 

22 January 2015


I remember cruising into a kitschy antique store on tour once, and Devon reluctantly following me. Of course I found nothing and Devon scored a pristine copy of Scrap Metal, the 1986 slab from CIVILISED SOCIETY?. I'm sure I got another record in some other store, but that one still miffs me because the only reason the dude was in the store was because he didn't want to wait for me outside. I might have been looking for a gift for my lady, who knows - who even cares?! I kinda think of them as a bridge between anarcho and UK metalpunk, all of the recordings I've heard are excellent, and their first record is a perfect place to start (or a great place to revisit). Here's Scrap Metal from a cassette released a while back, and I threw in a three track demo that includes versions of "Just A Dream" and "Carefree" along with a banger I haven't heard elsewhere (I can't really imagine it's really unreleased though) called "Carefree." 

21 January 2015


All the in-your-face of '80s Riot City, with the gruff vocals and perfectly dirty recording to go along with it. The bass fills, the guitar leads that will swim around your head like a PCP hangover, the clenched fist vocals delivered with a clenched fist...this is what squares should picture when they hear someone say "punk rock." Because this is punk rock - pure, simple and brilliant. 

20 January 2015


Painful garage thrash/death from Florida, circa 1990. With that blurb and the ridiculous logo, you should be downloading already, right? I suggest reading the lyrics included in the download, definitely worth a hearty laugh.  Now...somebody wanna put on their detective shoes and tell me how many of these hessians still love Jesus?

Holy Shit - 45 seconds of internetting and it turns out that ROYAL ANGUISH are still active!!!
Dig in, kids...

19 January 2015


There was a time when all you monkeys would climb over each other's dicks for a taste of the latest burst of distortion. No one cared what it was, as long as the vocals were drenched in reverb and there was at least one guitar track tweaked to a tinny pulp, nothing more than ambient noise and hiss showering the entire recording with shades of white. Drum could play a DBeat, or pogo punk, or galloping crust - it didn't matter as long as the shit sounded fucked up and there was chaos (implied or real). That was 2010, and 2010 was a long long time ago. Now you monkeys want synths and choruses, you want your harsh noise to come from weird shelves of pedals and laptops instead of guitars, and your pretentious shoelace headbands have been replaced with pretentious trench coats or some other ironic garb. This is for you, you monkeys: six minutes of madness. I love you.

18 January 2015


Every now and then you hear something and it just strikes you. You weren't expecting it, and it smacks you on the side of the head and says "listen to me...no, pay attention." Maybe DEALT A BLOW is not what I would normally (or ever) listen to, but this three song demo came in a box of hand-me-downs from a friend in the UK and it sat for literally years, ignored because of the hideous cover. How long will you let the cover keep you away....?

17 January 2015


Sometimes it just sounds like a garage-psych/goth/jam session...and then sometimes it gets weird. The 5 minute "Sharon Days" could be a BIRTHDAY PARTY/DOORS hybrid, and then they follow it with "Life Not Dead," which basically sounds like the previous cut but on klonopins. Dreary, meandering tracks that drunkenly swagger with a confidence that shines a light to the fog, as if to remind you that CROSS know exactly what they are doing, that the apparent lack of direction (or motivation?) is nothing more than a ruse to tempt you to move along. Don't fall prey. It's a trap. The thing you will move along to is boring and predictable. Stick around for a while. Get weird.

MA TURNER is affiliated with this project, and this cassette comes from Chondritic Sound - that's TWO stamps of quality to shine light upon any shade of doubt.

16 January 2015


Rumbling, chugging Norwegian hardcore, LASH OUT are way rawer on this demo than on any of their vinyl releases - kinda makes them seem like a posi band just about to plunge into metalcore abyss (for the record, they didn't go that route, their recordings just got beefier). "Note From The Death Planet" is the absolute banger, from the "kick it" after the intro to the mid-'80s SUICIDAL bass noodling (just saying that the dude's fills could have put in work on Join The Army, that's all), to the obligatory breakdown, this jam is pure gold even amongst top notch hc sounds with all the clichés. I like the records I've heard (certainly not all of them), so I was psyched when Daniel bequeathed the demo to me...just like you are going to be psyched a few moments after to decide to download it.

15 January 2015


It's entirely possible that ULTRA LITE is contrived art punk drivel, but I'm inclined to believe that Slang Term For Hip Murder is nothing short of a brilliant piece of outsider noise. Disjointed ramblings and questionably tuned everything combine with a carpet bombing of various and sundry sounds and snappy, snotty, fukk you vocals. Tracks like "Portrait Of The Artist As A Piece Of Shit" certainly imply these New Orleans mutants are very very aware of what they are doing, and it doesn't make it any less appealing. I can't really picture a band consciously trying to manufacture a SOCKEYE vibe, but this one comes close and adds a stylish erratic swagger (I'm talking about the title track here). File under whatever you like, digest at your own risk, I can assure you it sounds even better on the way out. 

14 January 2015


Positive hardcore doesn't necessarily have to be all slick and polished...in fact, I kinda prefer the shit to be a little rough around the edges. Iowa's ONLY TEN BETWEEN US can maybe use a little sanding (and a little tuning), but fukk their raw ass '80s guitar and constantly cracking and creaking teenage vocals go a long long way towards making me not give half a shit how rough this demo sounds.  The riffs are basic but good, the attack teeters on chaos in (almost) the same way as a certain late '90s LA band did on their first EP, and the melodic leads are endearing (even if they put a time stamp on the demo). "INAA" is the killerest track - "I'm not afraid anymore!!!" is a great way to open a track. Get into it, sing along, jump on the dogpile in your mind while they sing about the joys of believing in positivity, even when staring at life's of grim realities like in "Yeah Right, That Kid Fucking Jumped". It'll put a smile on your haggard ass face.

I don't care if you're from the other side // All I care is that you've got HARDCORE PRIDE

13 January 2015


An absolute ripper from Hayward, California (remember kids, in the late '80s the trashier parts of the East Bay were a hotbed for thrash metal, so the Hayward thing might not be all that weird), KAOS shred the shit out of four songs on this 1990 banger. Speed picking to rival Scaccia coupled with legit mosh stomps? Oh yeah, I'm all in. KAOS pay more attention to speed than to precision, and the whole thing teeters on the the edge of the rails for almost the entire duration - but listen to the scream in "Descent Into Madness" and tell me that you want them to settle in?! Fukk no you don't. You want your thrash like this.

12 January 2015


Filthy, dark, discordant, bleak, cavernous death/black metal. An absolutely excruciating listen, so much so that you will (almost) be glad that Males Antiguos is only two tracks because most ears would not be able to tolerate more than that. Pure and primal power on the jaw-on-the-fucking-floor level. Essential sounds from Mexico.

11 January 2015


While I hesitate to call WŁOCHATY "legendary," their quarter century of Polish anarcho punk should certainly put them in that category. Multiple vocals spitting far left politics amid a blur of lightning speed angular hardcore, lazy horns lurking (mostly) in the background, and a presentation that is the very embodiment of "in your face." WŁOCHATY liberally use samples and interludes to break up the flow of Wojna Przeciwko Ziemi (War Against The Earth) - take the more than two minute intro to "Ostatni," for example - which helps the feeling that your are listening to a complete thing...because you are. This 1996 release might be my favorite of theirs (Droga Oporu is very very worth your time as well), there's something about the combination of UK anarcho (think the choppy, CRASS-esque approach) and sharp Eastern European punk that hits just about every nerve. 

Still in print and available from Nikt Nic Nie Wie.

10 January 2015


Oppressive late '90s metal from the hessian hotbed of Davis, California, MISSILE COMMAND's legacy is all of one demo...but it's a fukkn screamer. A churning miasma of distortion, leads dropped in like actual bombs (not the silly mosh metal dive bombs), guttural male/female vocals and unrelenting intensity, Prepare To Be Attacked is an exhausting listen. Breakdowns like the one at the two minute mark in "Henry" conjure up memories of West Bay Coalition stalwarts, but rarely will you encounter a band who so successfully assembles such chaotic (neurotic?) tracks. 

Worth noting: lead guitarist went on to LUDICRA, and the "Electric Funeral" cover is a seriously bold (and successful) move.

09 January 2015


Serious jams from this Curitiba, Paraná outfit - end of the century hardcore with more groove than I'm comfortable admitting to liking. First six bangers are the 2099 demo, followed by twelve rawer tracks from and unknown (to me, anyway) session that pack a lighter punch but have more of an edge. What can I say...hardcore was different in the '90s.

08 January 2015


45 minutes of primitive ambient electronics and subdued psychedelic instrumentation. Song titles include "Loopstation Samba," "Fuck You, Joe" and "Penis Power." Also, in case you still need convincing, there's a song called "Wizardbeard." 

All penises are not created equal and they do not hold the same intensity.

07 January 2015


I'm back. Tour was great, though it's hard to imagine that I was gone for more than two weeks and only played six shows. Fuck it, all six of them were totally different and totally great...but you don't care about that. You want to get annihilated, and I'm here to help. Buffalo's RESIST CONTROL are faster than your band, more desperate than your band, more intense than your band, and very likely better than your band. Their recent LP drips of CAPITALIST CASUALTIES influence, and this cassette (demo/EP/live recordings) isn't far off...awkward, not even remotely cool, face melting mania. Listen to "Submission Accomplished." Several times. In a row. You're welcome.