20 July 2017

MIDNIGHT CHOIR

There's a BAD SEEDS vibe. Surely it would have been filed with THE EGYPTIANS and other assorted alt rock of the time (1986)...but really I know nothing of the actual context, or whether those deadly guitars are coming from a place of post punk intensity or an artificially manufactured...something. I mean, really all I have is this tape, so any supposition or hypothesizing is just a few steps short of complete bullshit. And yet I want to say MIDNIGHT CHOIR is like HICKOIDS meets MISSION UK...and for about ten of you, that is going to sound like the coolest thing ever. So, to those ten people: I am posting this for you.



19 July 2017

CRIATURAS


I remember scooping this from Vinnie's distro after a VACCUUM practice a looong time ago. Meant to post it then because it was fresh and it was hyped, but I guess I'm posting it now because it's a seven year old debut demo from a band that has consistently wowed with every release. Guitar shreds on point even from day one, and I swear Dru even sounds younger on this tape - but mostly these Texas fools just know how to crank out one killer tune after another.  Of course, this shouldn't really be news to most of you. "No Hay Futuro" on repeat all damn day. 



18 July 2017

THE ID


Ramshackle bass-free mutant core from the Chicago suburbs sometime in the Lost Decade Ov Thee '90s. Three tracks (most listeners would not be able to take much more) of pure chaos, like AFTERBIRTH playing NEGATIVE APPROACH. Bass break in "The Kids At School" is worth smashing your computer to bits on its own...the rest of the shit is just gravy. "Shotgun Facelift" is the soundtrack of the day.



17 July 2017

DEATHLY EYE


Man, I can describe this beast, but there's no way I can do it justice. I mean....a short collection of UK punk covers - who needs that, right? Well...you do, punk. You need this. Hard driving primal versions of SUBHUMANS, ENGLISH DOGS, VICE SQUAD, GBH and THE EJECTED tracks, delivered with paper bag distortion guitars and viciously hollow vocals. It's such a simple proposition, and one that I am inclined to accept. 


16 July 2017

VACUÜM


Originally posted here back in 2010, the 1982 LP from Holland's VACUÜM deserves a revisit. Fully programmed drums and a fun, irreverent approach to fast, aggressive punk. Not much to say that I didn't say the first time around, so in case you missed it...


15 July 2017

FAUX DÉPART


Sometimes I just want it smart and snappy. Sometimes I want the tunes stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Some days I don't want distorted guitars and walls of sound - some days I want to bounce off the walls and even smile a little bit while I sing along because I don't parlez-vous Français but I sure can regurgitate a catchy tune (as long as no one is watching). FAUX DÉPART hits the same nerve for me as OBSERVERS, VERDUN, SMOKERS, NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS....you get the drill. It's the good kind of catchy. Actually, it's great.



14 July 2017

ANARCHIYA (Анархия)


A weird one, and I imagine one that will be tough for most of you to even venture into, much less get into. But....damn. 22 earli '00s Russian and Ukrainian punk acts that definitely lean more on the mainstream end of the spectrum, but there is something indescribably coimpelling about bands like this that develop in other-world vacuums (I think that Шмели is the most perfect example on this release). Flirtations with "traditional" sounds are frequent (as are nods at goth and late '80s Manchester), and even though I find this more interesting than essential, it goes to show that this thing we do exists all over the damned place....and has done so for quite a while. It ain't just about rehashed NYHC breakdowns and subtly tweaked DISCHARGE riffs, you know?



13 July 2017

MILLION BRAZILIANS


My introduction to this outfit was 2013's Wet Dry Jungala LP, a record I still spin on the regular. I want to say that it was an impulse purchase, probably based on their relationship with CORUM, but I can't say for sure exactly how I came to meet the band. But that meeting led to more research and a deeper bond, a bond that is still growing....and recently led me to this cassette release from 2009. Total freakout free jazz clashing with ambient psychedelic sounds, New Ideas In Psychic Music gets the point across, but in a very (and gloriously) primitive manner. This feels wholly organic and very real, and I love listening to the (unnamed) tracks develop naturally...patience and concentration may be required for some, but effort is rewarded. 



12 July 2017

DISVEIN


Parallel scenes, man. These rippers are based less than an hour south from me, and I've never seen them in the flesh. If this tape (their second of four releases over an 18 month period) is any indication, then I need to rectify that issue as soon as possible. Blistering grind/crust with trebly black metal guitars lurking in the shadows of the mix, and then they slow shit down and it gets downright deadly and/or dystopian (intentional double entendre). Full throated and full throttle even when they scale things back, San Jose's DISVEIN take the bleak and melodic elements of European crust and present it with the relentless intensity of '90s US DIY hc/crust...and then they fukkn blast and it's like game over. 



10 July 2017

SURGE


Noisy and demented hardcore sounds used to dominate Mondays at The Escape, and sometimes it's nice to take a deep breath and dive back into the chaos before your week begins. Like today. Closer to the S.H.I.T. school over over bearing bombast that DBeat mani, the double snare tap on "Avalanche" is, on its own, enough to keep this tape in heavy rotation for a while. But the desperation in the vocals, the buzzsaw guitars and the sheer mania of the whole recording seal the deal and the brief but ferocious leads in "Fractured"  put the damn thing over the top. Related information: I've never been to Ireland. I wonder if SURGE would let me sleep in their floor.....?



09 July 2017

SACRAMENCE


Never mind the band's black metal-esque origins, this dose of brooding low end industrial dance fever is just what the doctor ordered. Synths swoon, darkness abounds, and I stop caring about the origins or the path....I just care about where we are.



08 July 2017

DIVIDED WE FALL // HIS DIVINE GRACE


Like a time warp in the form of a cassette, two Filipino hardcore bands capture second wave (well....one of the waves) positive hardcore perfectly. The melody might scare off some listeners, but listening to HIS DIVINE GRACE close their side with "In Pursuit Of Light" takes me to a really excellent place, and both outfits crush floor stopping finger pointing sing alonging HC . Fitting that the Pinoy Punk issue of MRR dropped this week, no? I swear, that island nation drops some of the most earnest hardcore I have ever heard...


07 July 2017

DJ EONS


A few weeks ago REDACTED (ex-PLUTOCRACY, DEADBODIESEVERYWHERE, IMMORTAL FATE, KALMEX AND THE RIFFMERCHANTS and countless others) played a show at a townie bar in Redwood City. For readers familiar with West Bay Dankstahz, Doomryderz and the associated scenes....you know that this is a thing. And the chance to see this thing in its natural element was tough to resist. So that day at noon I saw SAY BOK GWAI and VOCO play above a garage on a gloriously sunny tree lined street in the Mission, then NO STATIK played in Oakland a few hours later, and then I dragged the wife down to the Peninsula to see some fukkn madness. The promise of madness, face melting grind and a relentless barrage of riffs had my mental Hope Bar set high....but I had no idea. Bar fights. Bar stools. WHITE ZOMBIE (and yeah, dear readers, I had more than a Tabasco Incident flashbacks - if you know then you just know, and if you don't then just read on). A gun. A mic stand. So many riffs. A shoe to the neck. It was everything I could have wanted....and REDACTED fukkn destroyed. Of course they did. 

There was a DJ that night....his name was DJ EONS. He didn't play crucial power violence/grind rarities...because that would have gotten old real quick. He didn't play rap....because that's what everyone would have expected him to do. Instead, that fool filled every between band DJ set with infectious hard rock and heavy funk jams, and he made a mix tape while he was pulling records for the show. Not a "here's some tunes" kind of mix tape, but top notch DJ shit with songs mixed together and occasional effects and beats mixed over existing tracks (this theme seems to pick up on the second side - and I hope it's because dude was partying while he mixed). Everything from MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND to EUGENE McDANIELS to SCORPIONS is represented here, and the presentation is worthy of aspiration. Get down, young punk....get fukkn down.

<<...TOMB OF THE CRATE GOBLINS...>>
A quick double shot without the lengthy back story. Similar to the tape DJ EONS made for the aforementioned REDACTED gig in Redwood City, he made a mix CD (yeah...I know) for the What We Like weekend in Seattle this past April. Mostly his own remixes and beats and manipulations and tracks he contributed to, a collection only available at the show. I recommend getting down here too. 



06 July 2017

S.A.S.


A repost from the very early days of The Escape - just two months after inception back in 2009 - but this tape has remained a staple of earhole enjoyment. UK82 circa 1983, S.A.S. take the fury of that genre and apply it to the fierce determination of classic UK anarcho....and it's awesome. The initial link is long dead, and no good punk should live their life without listening to "We Don't Need It" on repeat for at least one afternoon. So yeah...punk rules. 

 SING ALONG SONGS

Read the initial post here, if you are so inclined. And listen to punk and outsider music at all times. It's perfectly fine to acknowledge the importance and/or relevance of so-called "mainstream" music, but remember that those songs are fucking engineered to "speak" to you. You can enjoy it, but it isn't your music. You can enjoy them, but they aren't your songs. This music? These songs? It's something different. And if you don't feel it....then I guess this just isn't the music for you. Me? I'm gonna keep blasting "Empire Of Destruction" until I'm on my fukkn deathbed. 

05 July 2017

BE:AT THE START


Noise punk and insanity meets weirdo outsider punk and pure freak out mania. I don't know what to think when I listen to it....but I keep listening. I don't know what to say when I talk about it...but I keep stammering. It's like the Natural Black Inventions: Root Strata LP reimagined by a bunch of midwest basement mutants. And yeah, I am fully aware of the weight that comparison holds....but this tape is from another universe. I don't know if you are strong enough, but if you are....? Then may your strength be rewarded. 


04 July 2017

THE SPINNERS


Ramshackle jerky punk is one thing...but what if it's channeled through three Turkish women and it was recorded in 1991? Exactly. I'm not at all sure how this tape has flown under my personal radar for so long, but when I popped this tape in a few weeks ago it was as if someone had turned on all the lights. I initially assumed it was a ruse - some third generation "dubbed" copy of a "lost" demo from some feminist Turks - but holy hell this thing actually exists and how has it escaped everyone I know for this entire punk existence? I mean, if Golnar and Grace and Layla are all in the dark I suppose I can be excused...but still. Novelty numbers like "Fuck Acid" sit alongside legit bangers like "Anticipation" and true freak punk missives like "Shit In The World"...I want to know the shit world in which this exists in real time. 



BATTLE OF DISARM


Do I really need to extrapolate on these Japanese DBeat/crust veterans in these pages? I mean, most of you probably have had these sounds dancing around inside your earholes for years already, but in the interest of making sure, here's BATTLE OF DISARM. An unofficial fan compilation sold for cheap with tracks from splits with MASSKONTROLL, SUBCAOS, SNIFTER, FLEAS & LICE, KATASTROFIALUE, and HYLKIO, along with the In The War and Anti-Vivisection EPs. And man, these tracks still rage fukkn hard - ripping this tape put me on a '90s Japanese crust bender for two days. 



03 July 2017

CUNTROACHES


Straight up, this is the most compelling band I have heard in a long long time. Last year's demo was mind blowing, but this one....? This one is something else entirely. Germany's CUNTROACHES have taken erratic freak show noise punk and given it the howling intensity or Bl(e)ak Metal, and they've done so without even a hint of pretense, just three people going hard. Total irreverence for everything - everything, it seems, except the Pure Power Ov Sound And Intensity Ov Being. I know I am wont to lean on superlatives when perhaps I should be more subdued, but CUNTROACHES are seriously the most important punk band in the world. 



02 July 2017

MULTIPLE CHOICE


I am currently on a short tour with my band STERILE MIND, tonight we play in Ventura, California. A free show at what looks to be a dive bar that doesn't like punk....so full circle. The lead up to this little five day mini-jaunt was fraught with missteps and failures and fall throughs and a comedy of errors that brought to mind my earliest days touring. And you know....I have to admit that I kinda liked it. So here's to a Sunday in Ventura, perhaps winning over a few townies, and maybe even connecting with a handful of punks who had previously never known that we existed. 

We booked this tour as MULTIPLE CHOICE in the spring of 1995, but then changed our name to FUCKFACE after we got a drummer through a newspaper classified ad about two weeks before we left. We started booking these nine weeks pretty much as soon as we got home from the previous nine week disaster, because we really hated money I guess. Or perhaps because we really loved playing shows, no matter the cost or reward. It's good stuff. It's the stuff that keeps us going. Enjoy my cringe-worthy backing vocals....

01 July 2017

ART PHAG


Dubbed copy of a classic (to some) record from my past....I know I owned the Wanghead version at some point in the '90s (purchased because NINE POUND HAMMER was on the same label), though this tape appears to have the tracks from the Vinyl Drip UK press from the following year. Irreverent garage/noise rock clashing with punk attitude in a way that was the norm (well, a norm) at the time but would surely be frowned upon now. Listen to the trance inducing drums in "A Boy And His Gun" setting the scene for the barked vocals and dissonant guitar wailings...it's like CRAMPS deconstructed. This band didn't do much (just two LPs from what I can discern), but this platter is a (still) brilliant time and place marker, and fans of BOSS HOG, GORIES, MORPHINE, JON SPENCER and the like will enjoy this look over your shoulder if you missed this Detroit trash outfit the first time around.