23 April 2017

DOGFIGHT


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

CHASM


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

THE CELETOIDS


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

GAY SHAPES


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

NINE CURVE


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

CONDITIONS


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

CV+G


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

IS THE BIBLE REALLY THE WORD OF GOD?


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

TOUR // VACATION

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

GENEX


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

SCUMRAID


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

BIG BLEACH


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

BLACK PILLS


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.