The (way) Northern California scenes in Chico and Redding have been killing it the last few years. VEXED, OUTSIDE LOKING IN, CRIMINAL WAVE and a host of others have been churning out punk and hardcore in the oft overlooked dead zone between the SF Bay Area and Portland...and it's time to stop overlooking. Add CELL BLOCK, dreary and lazy vocals clash with an affected guitar that lumbers awkwardly through distortion, settling into a comfort zone behind the rhythm section. It fits nicely under the "goth punk" umbrella, though at times ("Half An Hour" for example) CELL BLOCK are really just goth...but most notably they don't really sound like anyone else, and that's a huge plus. You can probably guess what bands they celebrate, you can probably guess what people will compare them too....and I'll just keep listening to "Bedroom Floor" and that damaged guitar, and I'll keep smiling.
30 January 2017
I'm open to information, here, and I'm guessing pretty much any fan of outsider anarcho punk would be eager to know more as well. Shrill (uhhh, that's an understatement) vocals and challenged UK influenced sounds from (I presume) late '80s West Germany. Sometimes bordering on inept, but sometimes that's what makes the shit work, ya dig? There are only three tracks here - maybe that's all you need.....? Or maybe you're going to spend the rest of your day (week_ trying to figure out what planet this demo came from.
29 January 2017
You should check this out. I mean, everyone who likes hardcore should give this little creamer a listen. But you should pay particular attention if you play hardcore. This is not to say that non-hardcore players shouldn't pay attention. You should. Everyone who likes hardcore should give this little creamer a listen. But if you play hardcore, then I think these tracks will make you stiffen. Not like that. Like "whoa, what the fuck was that? how is that riff again?" and then players and non-players alike will marvel at the painful dirge "Handcuffed To A Pole" and if you are like me, you'll find yourself wondering if SOCIALITE would be better served as the best modern hardcore band or as the best dirty mid tempo noise/rock band. Because they could be either. See? Now you're stiff. Not like that. Like, alert. Everyone who likes hardcore should pay attention to this little creamer. Also, it looks really cool.
28 January 2017
If you were around in the '00s then you likely heard about this French band. And if you weren't turned off by the art then you surely dismissed them because of the name. I mean, you have a lot of stuff to choose from, a lot of things to enjoy, so it makes sense that you would want to focus on the things you think you might like. It's cool...I did the same thing. Thankfully, the folks at Dratsab Records in Malaysia are here to help us to get right with this one, and they've made these tracks available to a new audience - even if that audience is made of people who should have paid attention the first time around. Absolutely relentless crust/grind with searing female leads and harsh male backups. The guitars are like rusty knives, and there's a vibe that touches the killer German shits of the era that we all fukkn loved for a season (AKEPHAL, ACME, etc.)....but mostly this tape just rrrriiiiipppppssss. No reliance on downtuning or crushing riffs, instead CONTAINER CRUSTIES FROM HELL just drop a monster in your earholes and leave. Because after a half hour like this? There simply ain't nothing left.
27 January 2017
The joys of having friends who got into the game before you....and dropped out before you. Those are the friends who give you their shit because they are sick of dragging around that shoebox of tapes that they just aren't ever gonna listen to, and damned if those friends don't have a friend in ME who is happy to help them solve that problem. Craig was probably like 14 when he was seeing PRICK somewhere in the East Bay. Me? I was 1 16 year old new waver with a couple of DEAD KENNEDYS records lurking in a milk crate in northern Oklahoma. I wouldn't have known how to find DIY punk even if I had known it existed (I didn't), so I relive those teenage punk years that I never had through the cast off remnants of adolescence....and I'm grateful. Four songs here from 1988....LES THUGS coming out of the guitars (and the songs too), GITS from the vocals, and hook filled Bay Area punk oozing out of the whole damn thing. The first two tracks are solid fukkn gold, while the second two show a band who was probably planning to continue in a "different" direction that could either have meant alternative rock or whatever you call the subgenre that JAWBREAKER accidentally invented. But, to my knowledge, they didn't go in either direction....they faded away (if I'm wrong here, I would like to be corrected), like most bands do.
26 January 2017
This demo grabbed me the second it started....when people use the dreaded term "melodic hardcore," this is what I always want it to mean. It rarely does, but when it does.......damn. Heartfelt and high energy hardcore is hard to pull off without coming off corny, but Las Vegas punks REMAINDER are tough as nails through the strained anthemic vocals and the guitar leads (I mean the solos and those GORILLA BISCUITS harmonies), and there's not a hint of insincerity as this criminally short demo sinks into your skin.
25 January 2017
Raw and ripping fastcore from Puerto Rico, P.S.T.H. cranked out a shitpile of demos during their brief run in the late '90s/early '00s. Some of the tracks are pretty basic punk delivered with a fervor that pulls you in....and then they level you with full speed skate thrashers. Make no mistake, this one is raw and nasty sounding - which means it sounds fukkn perfect.
24 January 2017
23 January 2017
Oooooohhhh, this one is tasty. Exceptionally fierce and heavy Hungarian hardcore, this cassette was a pre-release for an EP (which is now obviously a thing that I am going to need) and it bangs. The slow moshes just churn, and the vocals are deadly....and then there's the fast bits. Yeah. Sometimes hardcore rules. Sometimes I wonder if I'm gonna be one of those "old punks" who gets bored and just shrugs, dismissing new punk because I've lost touch with "the scene" or whatever bullshit excuse old ex-punks give. Then I hear shit like this....yeah, I'm still in it.
22 January 2017
21 January 2017
20 January 2017
Another in the long list of under appreciated bands that The Escape enthusiastically celebrates, Seattle's COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON has dropped some serious tonnage during their run. Like a rabid pack of wolves, they charge at your earholes from the first "go" and never let up, subtle melodies lurking under gritty buzzsaw guitars and fierce dual vocals, while a driving snare batters relentlessly. Epic light speed hardcore/crust with all of the teeth that you need and none of the trappings that keep getting the subgenre dismissed by flavor of the month naysayers....(don't get me wrong, sometimes the flavor of the month can be delicious too, but you get my point).
19 January 2017
Spanish hardcore, wild and nasty. I know nothing about this unearthed '90s gem that's not included with the tape so I'll save you the know-it-all bullshit and let you get to raging. Heavy '80s USHC influence, five songs in five minutes. You're welcome.
18 January 2017
17 January 2017
This one too me by complete surprise. The artwork led me to believe I was either stepping into a pile of shit-fi noise or was about to be tortured with some awful "ironic" pop punk...artwork lies, my friends. TRASH MANTRA is gorgeous, hypnotic and advanced psychedelic electronic trance brilliance. Simple and raw, not calculated, the half hour of sound on this cassette grabbed me immediately and never let go....listen to the opening of the second track "we are the rats // feeding on your trash" and the careful drunken meander that follows. "Liquor Store" is the closest thing to a traditional "song," and could be reincarnated as a blissed out indie anthem were it not so fukkn weird (in a very very good way), and the tape ends with a driving ten minute synth drenched freakout...it's all here man. And it's all good....like, really good.
16 January 2017
You mutants know the drill here, right? Through countless membership changes and mutations, Baltimore's LOTUS FUCKER have been sporadically serving up ferocious noise punk for the better part of a decade...and it still cuts straight through the shit and draws blood. The shit is pure, the shit is weird, and the shit is not for the timid. Maximum volume, please.
15 January 2017
Fast and irreverent late '90s punk from the Brazilian beach town of Vila Velha, this is the kind of melodic shit that we all (and I mean "me" when I say "we") embraced shamelessly at the time because it wasn't dirty yet. Listen to "All My Friends" and hear the HICKEY hooks, while an unmistakable F.Y.P. vibe runs through the whole demo (F.Y.P....I guess I get it, but I was never a fan). Folks from MUKEKA DI RATO and MERDA got their feet wet here, which will likely perk the interest of a few of you....the rest of you? Stop being cool for half a morning and just enjoy yourself, blast "Cuspa Cerveja Na Minha Cara" and think about the good things in the world. If only for a few minutes. It's worth it.
14 January 2017
13 January 2017
I don't really need to put words on the internet about THE CRAMPS, do I? Honestly, they never really did it for me. I get it, their place in the annals of over-the-top sensational punk and glam was cemented long before I knew who they were, and eternal cheers for shoving their cross dressing make up wearing asses in the collective lap of the sketchy skinhead retirement club known as "rockabilly." So here you go....some tracks from '83, a few from '78 and a live set from sometime around the same era.
12 January 2017
You don't just have to pay attention, you have to look. There are hundreds of these. Thousands. Bands that popped up somewhere on the other side of this flat disc we call home, played their hearts out and then moved on or faded away before the geographically challenged had a chance to notice...or, perhaps, bands that took an entirely different trajectory and ended up playing Wacken, like our Indonesian guests BURGERKILL. 2000's Dua Sisi was their first release, and it's very much a hardcore platter, though the roots of the metal powerhouse they evolved into are evident. I suppose if you put the term "crossover" in a modern context, this is a perfect example? I just think it's a meaty hardcore platter.....
11 January 2017
Absolute ripper. Pure and positive Y2K fastcore from 1999, these kids dropped one EP and one split before disappearing. But this demo.....ooof. All go, no slow, riffs for days and a clenched fist with pointed finger at my keyboard. Someone want to tell me if the Henrik on vocals here is the same Henrik who fronted OUTLAST? Same era, both bands hailed from Linköping...anyone?
10 January 2017
People try really hard to be this weird. This dark. This pure. This real. But Minnesota's LIFE DRAG aren't trying.....they are just trying to be. Morose and monotone noise rock dissected and dismantled, dragged back to its most primitive and sinister state. Get loose. Let go.
09 January 2017
How many more of these gems have yet to be unearthed and offered to hungry ears? From 1984, At The Point Of Death is an atmospheric death rock masterpiece - deadly plodding pieces with calculated vocals that fall back and sooth when appropriate....only to envelop you. This was new to me when Nostilevo released it a few years back....no history, only history. Superb.