22 April 2019


It's really special when you can hear the intensity, even through shitty little computer speakers. When you can hear the anger boiling, and feel it drive the entire recording. When it transcends riffs and moshes and parts and even songs altogether. That's what THREAT does. That's what THREAT presents. That's what THREAT is. Listen to "Bash Back" and it will take you over completely - if hardcore is about power, then THREAT is hardcore. 

21 April 2019


Think about 1997. Things were different. There was a band from Southern California called THROWDOWN and they delivered some truly devastating downtuned mosh metal that, at the time, I thought owed as much to German metalcore as to EARTH CRISIS. That band went on to become really popular and may or may not still seem relevant to someone...somewhere, even though they are like PANTERA-lite. But what about THROW DOWN? I mean - same time, same state, and you'd be hard pressed to draw a stylistic line between the two....except these Bay Area freaks likely didn't give a fat fukk about EARTH CRISIS because they were blasting locals like FORBIDDEN and EXODUS and also....well, PANTERA (see...the divide isn't so wide after all). You can't make this shit up, and you surely can't fake the vocals in tracks like "Let 'em Bleed" because it's either in your blood or it isn't. Six tracks here, spanning a solid half hour filled with riffs and intensity...the only question you have to ask yourself is: "Can I take this?"

20 April 2019


I don't know where this came from (I do actually, it came from France) but this ROBOTNÍČKA band is fukkn fire. Spastic synth freak punk insanity, released for their Japanese tour in 2016. Equal parts SPITS and CARS and SOVIETTES and SCREAMERS and NENA, and highly recommended. 

19 April 2019


Regional comps still rule. Ten Maine punk/hardcore acts from the age before myspace networking, the age of going on tour without cellphones. Fierce, aggressive hardcore from DOWN TO KILL, WICKED DEAD and CREEPY CRAWLERS, ripping off the rails fastcore from COMBAT and DONKEYPUNCH, brutal street stompers from GENITAL PANIK and PINKO AND THE ACTION BOYS, with CONFUSATRON, THE PUBCRAWLERS and some good ole '90s melodic skate punk from DHYS to round out the tape. Chances are extremely good that you weren't there then, but these fukkn kids were, and they documented it. I thank them for that.

18 April 2019


If you were around SF in the mid-'00s then you might know THE FOUR EYES. But you definitely know their millennial earworm "Hat Nerd." I've still never consciously listened to the song, but I feel like I could probably sing along with most of it simply because I'm friends with Floyd, who seemed as apt to gleefully sing "his head's where his hat's at!" as he was to simply say hello. But after spending some time with this 1994 demo, I may have to back off of my boycott, because good is good, even if (or especially when) it crawls under your skin. These Sacramento weirdos were (are?) super heavy on the nerd angle - examples include, but are not limited to: "Nerd Power pt.2," "Nerds In Space," "Nerdy Girl" and "Video Games" - but their arguably accidental fusion of garage/Nuggets/pop punk/HICKEY transcends simple geekdom and enters realms typically reserved for formidable '90s Bay Area greats.  There's something about not caring and just doing that is impossible to fake, and THE FOUR EYES surely lean more on the "don't care/just do" side of the fence. So I'm gonna blast "Riptide Robots" on the way to Riverside today, and all three chords are gonna make me smile.

17 April 2019


Y'all cool if I keep rolling on this Canada shit, right? Cool, let's roll. THE UNCOMMITTED is the brainchild of one of the SONS OF ISHMAEL dudes, and apparently he is a fukkn savant. Irreverent and uncompromising hardcore...fronted by a lap steel guitar. It works frighteningly well without ever sounding like a novelty, it just sounds weird. Weird is good, especially when weird also slays. Listen to "See? Aye...." - particularly the fukkn A it's the CIA chorus and you can kinda get the sense that these dudes are geniuses. Because they are. Nine songs in seven minutes, and Canadia marches on. 

16 April 2019


If you know the artist, then I'll just say that this early '80s Peel Session is every bit as good as you think it would be. If you aren't familiar, then I'll just say that Jamaican reggae is a daunting mountain, and we all need a little help getting started. 

15 April 2019


Fuck it. Shameless Canadian appreciation continues in the form of frantic apocalypse DBeat from Ontario. Shaped in the DOOM mold with MASSKONTROLL delivery - throaty, guttural vocals and swarms of buzzsaw guitars - UNFAIR skip all of the bullshit and get straight to the point. Banging is mandatory. 

14 April 2019


Halifax. Seriously...and still. In another world, I get to experience their early/mid-'10s scene in person, but in the real one I will simply keep blasting the tapes. And there are a lot of them. In SCIENCE PROJECT, we get four tracks of true mutant punk, warbled and fukkd and demented like '77 DEVO through an hallucinogenic filter and/or THE SPITS ridiculing CCTV through song. It's weird, and it's good, and very good and weird. There's an EP on Neck Chop (that I need) and another demo from 2016 (that I need), so let's blast and dream of Halifax. Maybe it's a great place....but if you never visit, then it can be perfect. 

13 April 2019


My professed affinity for the '90s continues in the form of Belo Horizonte's HEFFER. Melodic, high energy hardcore from 1995, this demo flies leaving a trail of DAG NASTY and BAD RELIGION in their wake...though the solos lean a wee bit too much in the El Hefe direction. After these three tracks and a second demo in 1997, the band was active for years under the name REFFER....but it's really those two demos that you need.