25 April 2017


Full freak vibes from (NEW ENGLAND) PATRIOTS with murky.under.water.fukkd vocals and space age minimal garage/indie jams...it's just weird. And "out there" sounds are often the best sounds, so weird wins. THE ABOMINABLE SKI MASK pollute the flip side with seemingly directionless electronic noise drenched noise rock missives...like THE COWS getting abducted by WOLF EYES or some shit. "Reapply For Warrior Scholarship" is the standout creamer, if only because it's the track that makes the least sense. Come to think of it, very little on this cassette makes any sense at all until you realize that there is a (perhaps extremely?) loose connection with Boston's FAT DAY (there's a vinyl version on 100% Breakfast, and Doug recorded both sides....and to the small percentage of readers who know what that means, this information will be important). Once a FAT DAY connection is on the table....anything is possible. I'll check tomorrow to see how many of you actually checked this out - it will be a good way to determine your actual courage, or lack thereof. 

24 April 2017


Well, here you go, Noise Mongers. And in advance, I say "You're Welcome." The start/stop mania of "80" and those mental sounding drum rolls...that's where I really felt hooked, but you might get sucked in even sooner. Seoul's ARRYAM harness all of the face melting power of blown out noise punk and present it with the fury of early '00s fastcore, trading DBeats for blast beats and making two subgenres seem fresh and exciting in the process. Dongwoo (SCUMRAID) must have shredded his throat laying down these vocals, and JP (MY MAN MIKE) has genuinely reinvented relentless with his drums....this thing is just a fukkn beast. A dozen creamers in less than 13 minutes, but I dare say that most listeners wouldn't be able to handle any more than that. 

23 April 2017


I was familiar wit this '90s Minneapolis act by name only for many many years before I heard them. Saw the name around on flyers for missed shows, heard the band mentioned in passing during jaunts through the Midwest, plus Karoline had a gloriously threadbare DOGFIGHT shirt that was a mainstay during the first several years of our marriage before it was deemed a relic. But I believe that my first proper introduction was when I popped this tape in last week. Acquired from the Daniel Gatewood collection two summers ago, I just kept putting this one off, more interested in the things I had never heard of or the things I already knew I liked and wanted to hear more of, DOGFIGHT always slipped into the "listen to this later" category (the scourge of too much stuff and too many tapes, really: the hundreds that are in line, just waiting for love and recognition, constantly pushed to the side and into the shadows by some newer, fresher, cuter kid at the dance...). But, good things come to those who wait (or, in this case, to those who procrastinate), right? I feel like DOGFIGHT couldn't exist in 2017, and if they did, they would be shoved into some obscure art punk subgenre to be celebrate by a criminally small minority of the larger punk scene (cue '90s nostalgia rant here). Lazy and funky freakouts with multiple vocals, a horn section, and songs that are overwhelmingly dominated by furiously clanging and shockingly proficient bass guitar. File alongside SUBMISSION HOLD, DOG FACED HERMANS, CRASS at times, but all of these categorizations only mean that DOGFIGHT was doing their own fucking thing and didn't sound like anything. Which is exactly why this tape hits me just right, even though I'm hearing the band 20+ years after I should have. 

22 April 2017


Saw this Kansas City trio last spring in the middle of the afternoon in a depressing bar on the south side of Oklahoma City while some gutter punks who I casually knew a lifetime ago played pool in the back. It was a churning and frenzied set that lacked all pretense, no small feat in the world of regurgitated SABBATH/PENTAGRAM riffs. Perhaps it's the vocals, or perhaps it's the lumbering pace, but CHASM also manage to exist in that decidedly retro world while exuding more than enough originality to separate them from the masses....and this is why I was excited to see them twice earlier this year. Still good. Still loud. Still chill as fukk to watch. I was pleased. 

21 April 2017


It's fast. It's peppy. It's catchy as hell. It rocks and it swings. It's somewhere in that mysterious and indescribable void that you didn't know existed between MARKED MEN and NEON PISS. Yeah...it's that good. 

20 April 2017


Sometimes it just doesn't make sense to try to describe the thing...just listen. Please. These sounds come from 2012, but they will impact and assist you in your Today World. I promise...and I rarely lie.

19 April 2017


The title of this banger should tell you everything you need to know, right? I sometimes wonder if there will come a time when this brand of high energy positive determination will ever not appeal to me...and I truly hope that time never comes. Maybe these sounds are passé to some, but these sounds are very very real to me, and even though I might go days (or weeks) without ever pointing my index finger to the sky and silently singing along to something that once meant something greater, it just takes a few seconds of loosely blasting drums and powerfully catchy guitars to remind me how much this shit moves me. Give "Notice" (perhaps the most dated track on this 199? demo) a full volume listen and you'll see what I mean....the whoa-ohhs at the 2:20 mark say it all. So yeah, 18ish year old melodic/posi fastcore from Tokyo. Enjoy and remember.

18 April 2017


Legitimate freak sounds from Oakland, CONDITIONS drag bedroom synth oddity to new depths on Fight Nothingness. From the drab and almost predictable (but no less killer) sounds of tracks like "Crushed" to dark and trippy primitive missives like "Into Mountains," there is an air of OTHER that is omnipresent on this tape that makes even the amateurish "I Get The Msg" seem important. Mutant space synth interludes break up the tape but increase the tension instead of providing a respite...the whole thing is overwhelmingly compelling and extremely listenable, even (especially) through the difficult parts. Sometimes "good" is hard to put your finger on, you know?

17 April 2017


One off collaborations are a good idea, but good ideas are sadly and too often fraught with lackluster execution and results best kept secret. Not the case with the three tracks presented here by the bleak powerhouse CRACKED VESSEL in cahoots with one-man raw black metal act GIDIM. Not surprisingly, the addition of GIDIM gives the recording a sharp edge, and the emotional exposure that makes CRACKED VESSEL so compelling on their own adds nuance to even the harshest parts of this offering....like when "JDV" breaks from the introduction and subtly pulls you in in preparation for a wall of sound akin to '90s German metalcore clashing violently with atmospheric black metal. Fans of all encompassing acts like CELESTE will want to take special note here...these aren't the "cool" sounds that are making kids squirm these days, but I suspect that CV+G is going to stand the test of time quite well. 

16 April 2017


Live recordings and outtakes from the brilliant and prolific FRKSE, this time in collaboration with heretofore unknown (to me) KHLYST [K AHLAN]. Oppressive pulsations, manipulated reverberations, sounds that swallow you completely. It's been a pretty swell couple of months, and I've enjoyed the vacation. I wish I could say that I'm happy to be back, but answers to unknowns can only come with time and reflection...if they come at all. But some things I know today and always, and with absolute certainty: Volume is your trusted ally. 

This was released in a criminally small run (thank you, noise scene, for always remaining elitist, mysterious and weird) of less than 25, seven of which were packaged in the shockingly appropriate Tract Society book you see pictured above: 
"Dedicated To The Cause Of Truth, Which Honest-Hearted Persons In All Lands Seek To Know."

05 April 2017


I would say that I hate to do this, but I totally don't hate it at all. The tapes will be back mid-April, but until then, you can deliver them to me in person at the Iron Lung Records 10th Anniversay party What We Like in Seattle, and then slinging merchandise for SUBHUMANS for a few days starting Monday April 10th in Los Angeles. I get around. After that: more tapes. I promise.

04 April 2017


More howling, distorted, mysterious, bombastic hardcore punk music. Crank the mosh that starts "Enemy" before you do anything important today and you'll be prepared for anything life throws at you. You won't be prepared for the start/stop riffs that follow, but reality will be yours for the dominating. Luckily, I'm still not tired of this shit, because there's a lot more of it to find. 

03 April 2017


Remember a few years ago when all you mutants wanted on Mondays was some blown out, distortion laden noise? I miss those days. For a while you just wanted goth rehash nonsense, and maybe you still do, or maybe I just don't know what you want anymore, but I'll be fukkd if a blast of face melting distortion doesn't start my week off right. So as this year's Manic Relapse fest approaches, here's a blast from the best band that graced the Bay Area at last year's fest, South Korea's SCUMRAID. If you have the internet (and, let's be frank here: you do), then you must already know about this trio so introductions and descriptions are probably wasted on you. But here you go - 6 1/2 minutes of blistering and relentless noise punk. And for the (foolish) few who think this subgenre passé, listen to the guitar at the 0:12 mark of "Generation," and then pay close attention until the 0:34 mark....and now fukkn tell me these freaks aren't geniuses. Go ahead. You can tell me, but you'll be wrong. The starts/stops in "Controlled Society"? Brilliant. From complete insanity to total stop and then back again before you even know what the fukk happened. So yeah...it's Monday. 

02 April 2017


Fast and feisty....and super fun. DEAD MILKMEN vibes with modern DIY vigor, and the ability to make instantly recognizable covers sound completely original. Only thing better than blasting this demo on a spring morning was when I watched them rip through a set of their own creamers in Oklahoma last spring. Hattiesburg, Mississippi is (apparently?) where it's at right now....road trip?

01 April 2017


Last year, to celebrate the birthday of white America, STERILE MIND played a show in Vancouver and then drove 16 hours to play a show in a park in Santa Rosa, California with two bands from Colombia. It seemed like a good idea in theory, and when we rolled the whole thing out.....? It was, in fact, a good idea. It's hard to explain to civilians what "we" do, and telling a stranger about that Vancouver show would surely be met with agape jaw/s and curious eyes....because there were like 13 people there. And they certainly didn't seem to care. But the show was good, you know? And we played with BLACK PILLS, and when we talked to them, it seemed like we were all on the same team...and being on the same team is so much more important than being cool or being liked, you know? These freaks dish out MASSIVE emotional hardcore, and since we met them last year they've toured Cuba and Brasil (maybe more?), which means they are rippers that I am jealous of. It's a good and inspirational jealousy though, so I'm OK with it. More, please. 

31 March 2017


You might not want to trust me, and I understand that. Sometimes I steer you wrong, like the time I posted the interview with my father-in-law talking about heat stroke and hydrating enemas. Sorry. But surely you are by now smart enough to trust Chondritic Sound, yes? Good. They were nice enough last fall to repurpose two older recordings by ENEMA SYRINGE and present them with two short new pieces to create Flapper. It was a good move. Lo-fi disjointed repetition, minimal beats, and polite distortion make up the initial track, and then things slowly get darker and more chaotic. It's like a journey and an escape, all in just under twenty minutes.

30 March 2017


I woke up today with the first track from the SMOKERS demo implanted in my head. Naturally it came up on my "random" shuffle during my commute (because, the universe...obviously), ensuring that I would be humming "it kinda defeats the purpose..." all damn day. But as soon as that song was finished, I thought about this demo from Olympia's SOGGY CREEP....there's something so plainly good about this shit. Moody, driven rock music of the highest caliber that would have fit in nicely in my early '90s rotation before I fell hopelessly down the hardcore rabbit hole. This banger is from 2014, and I recommend their subsequent releases just as highly.

29 March 2017


What? You said you like hardcore punk music? And you said you like hardcore punk music that's kinda weird and creepy sounding, as if it was made by deranged mutants? Cool. Here you go...

28 March 2017


I ripped this little creamer just before I left for tour, and it got me pretty good. Many (many) listens during my month away, including one especially memorable one in the middle of a crystal clear and pitch black night in the southern Arizona desert. Something about this recording just draws you in...the tracks may be simple but the presentation is deep, and these two kids from Kansas utilize the tools at their disposal to make a compelling collection of sounds. You can call it garage if you like, and in the most literal sense you would be pretty spot on....I think of it as dark and sweaty full power rock 'n roll stripped down to the barest essentials. But I don't get paid to think, so there's that to consider also.

27 March 2017


Howling, filthy, raw, primitive metal. Nothing tight or concise, nothing professional or clean....this is about as primal as it gets, and proof once again that the $1 castaway bins of the world still overflow with bounty. I'm back....did you miss me?

23 February 2017


The Escape is going on vacation and then going on tour and then going on vacation again. Please find me with RAKTA starting next weekend, then both STERILE MIND and NO STATIK will be playing Everything Is Not OK III the weekend after that....and I believe it will be the first time I have played in Oklahoma since 2002. Then it's off to Mexico for a week, just to make a general nuisance of myself before I trek back to SF through the desert. To tide you over, here are the second and third mix tapes in a series that I made for some dear friends. As I mentioned in the post of the first tape (which was Volume 2 when sequenced alphabetically) a couple of weeks ago, there are common themes through the tapes, several shared artists, and all three start with the same track, and I will likely listen to each of the several times on my drive to Austin which will start in a few hours. 


Friendship is to be valued and treasured, and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. 

21 February 2017

20 February 2017


Perfectly executed bombastic Japanese DBeat hardcore punk. Loud, fast, massive guitars, howling vocals, just the tiniest hint of melody in the riffs...check the "ooopphh!!" after the drums start "Shinjutsu" and if you are raging then you aren't listening. This 2014 demo is exactly what it's supposed to be, and it's exactly what you need. 

19 February 2017


Lurching slogs, lumbering forward with unmistakable and endearing determination. 
Analogies abound.

18 February 2017


The unearthed gems from the would-have-been commercial success stories that never were...the stories are mysteries, and the cassette bins at your local charity shop are likely hiding a few of the gems. Late 1980s suburban Bay Area glam/punk/schlock, LATENT IMAGE harness elements of THE CULT, (then) contemporary IGGY POP, Sunset Strip leads, and Eldridge pomp. Some of the songs are too long (especially the 6+ minute opener "You're Still The One"), but there's something that just clicks about this one....maybe it's because they are clearly so deadly serious. The solo in "Working Girls" is brat pack montage gold, and there's not a hint of irony. I picture some dudes in a garage with flowing locks, who would have their dreams crushed just a few years later when the dirty and underproduced sounds of Seattle took over the airwaves...struggling to add the grit they had spent a would-have-been career sweeping off. Keep digging, my friends.

17 February 2017


Hard to comprehend that the seeds of the current (and now, I suppose, recently past?) crop of mutant hardcore in and around Olympia, Washington were planted more than a decade ago. But alas, it was 2006 when we shared a mobile home with WHITE BOSS at a show that ended with a massive trash fire out back and chants of "MEGA! MEGA! MEGA!" as freeks threw compressed combustibles into the blaze. Low fidelity reality from the radical libertarian void, circa 2007: SEX VID, SISTER, FUNEROT, HIV, HORRIBLE, and LOOSE CHANGE. Pull up your trousers.

16 February 2017


It's cool if I don't always have the right words, isn't it? Because the things that SHAKING HEADS remind me of sound so dreadfully typical so I'm going to keep me references to myself and wait for yours. I'll just say that it's good. And that's it's perfect for those punk occasions when hardcore isn't actually king. I mean, hardcore is obviously king, but we don't always want to be in the king's court all the time, right? 

15 February 2017


The tonnage of life itself can weigh you down in inexplicable ways, and sometimes the tonnage itself is the only relief. I know what I mean when I say that, even though it doesn't make sense when I read the words....but it's a nod to the earnest intensity of this Russian band. I guess we called this "metalcore" or even "modern hardcore" back in the '90s, though all of the era specific genre descriptors seem even emptier now than they did at the time. AFTERLIFE are heavy, powerful, determinedly midtempo slog. The shit takes me someplace, and I am happy to be there. It's not here. So let's go.