Fre(ak)e music for fre(e)ak people, THE BLUES use one saxophone and one guitar to create a soundtrack to a modern metropolitan dystopia. I don't want to read too much into this, since it's really just an improvisational upchuck that most (boring) listeners will find utterly unpalatable....but THE BLUES are making something that is more than just a racket. It's a racket, to be sure...but it's the right racket for a wrong time. There is more.
30 July 2017
Brutally heavy stoner/doom is not what I typically think of when DIY Pinoy Punk comes to mind....but that just shows how narrow my mind can actually be. EYES OF FIRE are equally versed in the BRAINOIL school of groove (a noteworthy comparison in the vocal department as well), but when they downshift and focus on pure tonnage the result is astounding. Vocals creak over classic chugs with a weight that defies description. The recording here is raw, but it adds to the ambiance and takes nothing away from the power...the 12+ minute "Last Toke" is like a fukkn clinic. BONGZILLA level riffs with Sore-era BUZZOV•EN caliber darkness. Highest recommendation.
29 July 2017
Hard driving and intentionally shitty sounding demento-punk from the hills of upstate New York, TECHNICAL ECSTASY nail the outside punk vibe so well that I (almost) wonder if it's a vibe or a lifestyle. Snotty, bratty, peaked, over reverbed vocals front plodding, swerving adolescent stomps and by the time "Losing Frequencies" is half done I'm through caring if this is real or if I'm just on the(ir) hook. Freaky is as freaky does.
28 July 2017
A compilation of Brasilian artists that RAKTA put together before their US/Canada/Japan tour last summer. Pieces from FLORES FEIAS, GRUTA, MARCELA LUCATELLI, POST, RAQUEL KRÜGEL, DIBUK and others, including solo contributions from two of the three members (CARLA BOREGAS and ACAVERNUS). It would be a waste of my time and yours for me to discuss each track, but this hour contains chaos, harsh sonic realities, calming sounds, and so much beauty. You deserve this.
Physical Copies: SABA
27 July 2017
A few months ago there was a fest thing in Oakland called Manic Relapse and a bunch of good bands played. I don't like to pick favorites, and seeing PISSCHRIST in a dirt floor basement at 3am is hard to top....but fukk me is Mexico's CRIMEN wasn't the single best set I saw all weekend (then again...TOZCOS in the backyard....why should I have to choose?!). By defying conventional '00s crucial mores and writing the tracks they want to write, this trio takes simple and makes it perfect by making it their own. "Traicíon" is the best song that you will hear today. Period.
26 July 2017
Read yesterday's 23 MORE MINUTES post and think about the whole "no rules" thing that I implied was a great wonder of thee DIY '90s. Now listen to Pleasanton, California's FUAD RAMSEY for a darker take on that same phenomenon. It's like MINUTEMEN gone PRIMUS and it doesn't have any business existing anywhere, much less on this blog...but I include it here in the same spirit that I have shared many things. Bad things. Things that make you feel better about yourself. Because I like to help. Try it. It feels good.
25 July 2017
It was a different time, and your punk rules about how things were supposed to be? They didn't matter in general, and they certainly didn't matter in Glorieta, New Mexico. Most people probably know them from the split LP with LOGICAL NONSENSE (essential listening for fans of early US DIY punk, and fans of good music in general), but this 1990 demo is a fukkn timeless artifact...vocals are gruff and tuneful, songs have hooks but they are filthy and determined in a way that predates weirdly objectionable "region" rock by at least a decade. Also, three song titles start with the word "things" and nine of the twelve songs here start with Keith's bass. For context, this is what US punks were doing just a few years after MINOR THREAT called it quits....in other words: they were doing whatever they wanted. And it was awesome.
24 July 2017
Enjoy this three track Synth/Punk/Noise/Freakshow released in 2012 by MYNX, a California outfit seemingly bent on pushing boundaries and breaking rules. Maximum volume yields, and the yields here are stellar. And weird. Are you prepared?
(also: bass at the start of "Cavity" is fukkn deadly)
23 July 2017
I've visited these ladies previously, but every time I come back I feel fulfilled once more...and I hope the same for you. Like gazing into a sunset with the wind in your face, Portland trio CANDACE (formerly IS/IS, named changed for relatively obvious reasons) capture COCTEAU vibes but still make me feel like I wanna start riding vintage motorcycles. How do you describe that in the context of sound? I don't know, man, but these songs just get me....and I keep coming back to them.
22 July 2017
Very much from the OBSERVERS and NEON PISS school of hopelessly infectious punk and sinks into your very soul and turns you into a freak for sing along punk before you even realize that you are wearing a D-CLONE shirt and singing along is not cool. I dunno, man....this stuff just rules me.
21 July 2017
The cover implies that this was a tape left for Karin (SPITBOY, FULL BONEY) by the boys in DAS DAMEN. The contents indicate that this is a recording of a radio show circa late '80s/early '90s featuring piles of killer tracks from a time when hardcore and punk and indie and college rock were all kinda colliding in a way that I can really not imagine ever happening again. It's essentially the time when I got into punk, and it's a collision of sounds and ideas and subgenres that I miss.
20 July 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
<<...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
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.
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.