22 May 2017


Excessive words can sometimes dissuade potential listeners, so I will keep it brief. SLAVEDRIVER are massive, filthy, intense, and relentless. That should be all you need....it's certainly all that I need. 

21 May 2017


The first song is called "Telecaster To The Head." That should be enough. You shouldn't need any more convincing. Discombobulated, erratic, weird, chaotic, discordant, deep. Mostly though...just weird. 

20 May 2017


The contents here conjure up more questions than the included information could ever answer. And by "included information," I mean the cover you see pictured above. That's all I have, so assistance is appreciated. Over 90 minutes of ramshackle UK punk (I'm guessing late '80s?) await you - some live, some rehearsals, some demos, some pure noise....and almost all of it is compelling, especially for those with shit-fi tendencies. So dig in. And dig.

19 May 2017


File under: "epic"

Five tracks filled with the kind of stadium crust that is so permanently identified with the mid/late '00s that it's almost impossible to believe that this project was recorded in 2014. While I do not miss the time when half assed versions of this music were seemingly represented at every show, I certainly miss the opportunity to see the good ones with devastating frequency. And ANOPHELI, dropping their cello drenched mid paced dual vocal action years after the cool kids started worshipping at the dupa-dupa altar. It's a nice altar - but come the fukk on.....sometimes you need power. Sometimes you need emotion. 

18 May 2017


Here's your demo of the month, punks. Sweden's FERAL BRAIN drop eleven minutes of searing hardcore punk in your lap with the most mandatory vocal listening in recent memory. Don't get me wrong, the tracks are great (and there are TRACKS, you dig - not just a collection of riffs) and the high moments ("No Way" specifically - it's the rippingest fast hardcore song I have heard in fukkn years, and that might not even be hyperbole) are more than enough to make this demo mandatory listening. If you like hardcore and you like to get your face melted, and you don't care about what new thing is cool because you just want to go harder....then FERAL BRAIN is basically your new favorite band. 

...also - the breakdown on "Judgement Day" is really REALLY sick...

17 May 2017


Y'all don't really need a lesson on this, do you? Washington state mutant hardcore kids, though they done growed up years ago. Blown to shit KEXP recording, I can only hope that some 30something who thought they were gonna jam some public radio on a Saturday evening got an earful and turned this shit off as soon as Joey urped up at the beginning of "Lot Lizards." This shit is ugly, my friends. (you're welcome)

16 May 2017


This shit. All day long....and hopefully all night. Primitive bedroom electronic/industrial brilliance, there must be legions of these acts releasing tapes in sub-dozen runs that will just languish until inevitable obscurity. There are so many of them. It's impossible to think one could find them all, so we enjoy what we can get our hands on. Fire In The Sky is a three part opus - a murky and relatively mellow wash shielding erratic beats and awkward sounds from direct engagement. Things really get rolling around the six minute mark of Part II, but by then (if you've been listening properly) you'll be in a haze anyway. Folks from Nostilevo, SIOBHAN, LFA (in case that stuff matters to you). Shit is real ill, enjoy.

15 May 2017


Maximum strength late '90s fastcore from Argentina. These kids would have destroyed audiences in North America, just enough of the melodic singing (I am not talking pop punk melodic singing...it's a '90s hardcore thing, you either get what I mean or I'm just going to keep confusing you) and blistering speed on the fast parts. The crew vox juxtaposed against the lead singer and the blistering delivery of riff after killer riff (if you need to pick one song to convince yourself, it's "Operacion"), these kids were doing shit right. <<***see below***>> PROPIA DECISION combine proto-fastcore, relentless contemporary Japanese hardcore (I'm talking the US influenced stuff like contemporaries NUNCHAKU or YELLOW MACHINE GUN) and the aforementioned impassioned vocals that really make this shit stand out. I'm rambling. Because I really like this tape and I want you (yes: YOU) to listen to it....and hopefully you will like it too. Punk is cool, I super like punk. Also hardcore. And if there are more recordings, then please drop me a line and get my address. 

*** <<...for context, this was released the year the WHN? and LIFES HALT first crossed paths...further reinforcing the hopefully-all-to-obvious fact that the world outside North America is continuously cranking out killer bands and records (and tapes) that get passed over simply because of geography....but I digress...>>

14 May 2017


Freaked out lo-fi Detroit synth punk with a horror punk bent, this 2013 cassette creams hard - and even harder once you get down with the washed out filter the whole thing is presented under. Fans of SPITS and REATARDS will rejoice, as there's as much garage punk (actual punk) crammed into these sounds as there is weirdness, but then tracks like "Cathedral Fever" and "Pink Clouds" drop and you wonder if these aren't just a coupla drugged out psych mutants who got lucky when they cranked up the speed. If it's luck, then I want some of this juju, but I'm pretty sure that SEX OBJEX are just really good. 

Worth noting that the included link contains six songs. For better or worse, I remain committed to sharing cassettes that I have my hands on, regardless of the intended condition or contents. This release is meant to have twelve tracks, but the A side on my copy is blank...so you get what you get. Of course, moments like this are what The Internet is for - the band's online presence is very helpful if you find yourself wanting more. 

13 May 2017


Sometimes I like things in private. There are records (and tapes) that I fucking adore and listen to with (alarming) frequency that I rarely talk about in the company of anyone outside of my most trusted friend circles. I'm not ashamed, per se, it's just that I don't think that most folks would get it, and discussing the brilliance of uncool things is sometimes a thankless task....so why bother. Power pop. It's a tough one for some people, it's a deal breaker for others, but when delivered properly it can be pure perfection. The vocals, slightly out of whack on "No Remorse" and straining for that '60s gravel and drive that made EDDIE & THE HOT RODS so damn good even though you knew they were punks. You know what I mean? There's that thing that you can't really nail down but it's fukkn there, and this is why I don't talk about shit like this too often. But seriously, this four song demo is soooooo sick. "No Remorse" is clearly the creamer du jour, but feel "Let's Ride" kick in and it's almost like you are listening to the ancient groups that M.O.T.O. modeled their existence after (for real thoguh, the start of that track could almost be a rip of "All Night Vivarin Jag," which is the second best M.O.T.O. track ever...."Gonna Get Drunk Tonight" is obviously the first). My point is simply that this four song cassette by THE SMARTHEARTS is really fukkn good, and whether or not you want to admit that to your cool punk friends is entirely up to you. 

12 May 2017


One of the early installments from the Building label was this sub-five minute explosion from DIFFERENCE. Filthy and raw California hc/pv with desperate vocals in league with (gasp) deliver songs structured more like forms of punishment than anything approaching music. "Again" is a magical piece of devastation, as close to perfect as you could ever expect to find. I would ask you to enjoy this tape, but enjoyment is not the point. 

11 May 2017


The cover should be enough for those of you who know. Greh Holger (HIVE MIND, PURE GROUND, CLEANSE, BLACK SAND DESERT, Chondritic Sound) and Pete Swanson (VIOLENT MAGIC ORCHESTRA, YELLOW SWANS) combine for 20 minutes of anxiety inducing analog electronic torture. And those of you who don't know.....? Time to go to school.

10 May 2017


This 2013 demo is the most glorious collision of early '00s fastcore, ugly '90s SoCal powerviolence and boys making dogpiles all over other boys in the spirit of East Coast hardcore. PUBLIC SUICIDE hit all of the buttons, they flip every switch. And they turn all of those switches to the "ON" position. Five tracks, 4 minutes and 14 seconds - and 64 of those seconds are the instrumental intro. It's so simple, there's no reason it should be this good.....and yet it is totally this good. 

09 May 2017


A relic form the collection that inspired the birth of this blog, 54 Songs About Sport is....well, it's kinda exactly what it says is. 54 mostly sub-minute UK punk/post punk missives all somehow related to sports (plus four instrumentals). Insert MINUTEMEN, healthy doses of circa '83 Rough Trade and a serious lack of pretense, and you're left holding a brilliant collection. 

I wrote my source because I was curious - these were demos from the SPORTCHESTRA 101 Songs About Sport double LP that came out in the late '80s (how did I not know this existed? it's kinda brilliant, and also really good). A CHUMBAWUMBA related project, they sent this (incomplete) version to Dick because they wanted him to sing on a few tracks. Which he did. And the "MCH 88" on the spine? That mysterious punk petroglyph that has confused me for ages....? It just means that the tape was dubbed in March of 1988. Mystery: Solved. 

08 May 2017


Remember when this is what Mondays were all about? Fists in the air, DBeating like maniacs to give ourselves the mental and physical energy needed to face the horrible world we live in? Noise and mangel at maximum, waiting for the guitar to ring out so we can hear the steady tupa-tupa of the toms before the riff kicks back in? Well....those Mondays aren't gone, my friends. You're living one right now and Mexico's MISERÄBLE are flying the DBeat flag at full mast with no pretense and no shame. Let the wind brush the stench of life off of you, and let your fists fly. 

07 May 2017


A few months ago there was a fast, heavy hardcore band coming through town and I was talking to my buddy Will about locals to team them up with. We quickly reached an unfortunate conclusion: our geographical region suffers from a severe lack of crust. It's too easy to take crust for granted, perhaps because poor-to-average crust bands are a dime a dozen, but there's never a bad time for a dirty downtuned DBeat churn with metallic guitars and fist in the air breakdowns...that's what we wanted. But fear not, "lack" does not mean "absence," and EXTRACTION are holding things down until proper equilibrium returns. Clenched fists, lots of hair, screaming (but short) leads, and tracks that get in make their presence known with force, then get out. Just seven tracks, Dead And Buried clocks in under eleven minutes and ends with a perfect chug in "Hidden." When Will and I were talking a few months ago, EXTRACTION exactly what we wanted...and wanted more of. 

06 May 2017


When I travel and take time away from The Escape, I frequently put out a very general request for people to give me tapes. I mean....of course I'm going to do that, right? Who doesn't like free shit? Well, every now and then my plan works, but sometimes it really works, like last month in Los Osos, California. The show was sold out, but a young woman came to the merch table, asked if I was Robert (I said that I was and braced myself), then told me that her friend was outside with some tapes for me. Obviously cassettes trump fire marshall capacity regulations, so within moments the young man was inside, and I had a grip of tapes in my hand. Some grindcore from Iowa, some PV from Florida, some schmaltzy '60s pop dude....and the beautiful voice that you will hear today. Sixteen year old Gigliola Cinquetti stole hearts across Europe when she won the 1964 Eurovision contest - just listen through the Mantovani styled strings and gratuitous overproduction on this hits collection and it's easy to see why. Her voice is like silk, and with this (well loved) tape as my introduction, I quickly got lost in a rabbit hole of soft beautiful words that I could not understand. But you don't need to be a linguist to translate the depth of tracks like "Do Come Ti Amo." For the record, this post is not meant to be tongue in cheek, and I highly recommend spending some time with this greatest hits collection, a tape which fate has inevitably destined for bargain bins even before it finds its final resting place at the bottom of a plastic tub on a shelf in a thrift store somewhere in Kansas....wondering if it will ever bring anyone joy. Well....this one has. 

05 May 2017


Blazing Japanese raw punk seemingly obsessed with Spanish language hardcore, specifically the band coming out of Southern California over the last decade or so. Five rippers sung in Spanish (of course) driven by a bass that walks over straight ahead riffs and allows the guitar to noodle at will - it's never overkill, but it's always right. Five tracks on this 4 Songs Demonstracion, which leads me to believe that I'm missing a cover somewhere in the mix? All of 'em are bangers, though, so who cares! Commence full body pogo in 3, 2, 1.....

04 May 2017


These Florida crushers paid us a visit almost six years ago, and they have certainly not mellowed with age. Heavier than last time, with more churning blasts and leads that hint to metal roots lurking under the stench that dominates the recording. Relentless punishment in eleven doses. 

03 May 2017


Weirdo electronics and live drums create something that's not at all easy to listen to, much less identify. The fine folks at Aklasan Records never disappoint, but this 2015 release made me think hard about different approaches to music and sound. Well played, EDOMITES, well played.

02 May 2017


You already know about this shit, right? I mean, both of the singles are straight screamers, but you might have let the demo slip by you since it came out a few years earlier. Don't fret, I'm here to help. Now, enjoy this healthy slab of harDCore. 

01 May 2017


This collection of demos shows that Yugoslavia's QUOD MASSACRE aren't simply noteworthy and important - they are fukkn essential. A pace that easily places them with the hardcore acts of the time, but with UK82 and Oi! hooks flying through every damn song. The theme song "Q.M." alone is worth the price of admission, but literally every track included here is a burner (including/especially the live cuts that make you wonder how screaming good these kids were in the flesh). 

It should go without saying that TE visitors are encouraged to directly support current artists/labels discussed and presented here. Links (when available) can typically be found in the body of the posts. But I specifically suggest direct support with this release, because in addition to the tunes, the tape comes with a full zine of artwork/flyers/lyrics/photos...Doomtown Records did a fantastic job here.