25 July 2021

EX LAX

 

I'm not sure what happened in South America in the 1990s, but in that pre-internet age in countries packed with rich and furious hardcore punk legacies....there were like hundreds of middle of the road "melodic hardcore" bands. And I know that this was a style of punk that dominated (or infected) virtually every corner of the earth in that decade, but RATOS DE PORÃO released Feijoada Acidente? in '95 and that shit rips (even if it was covers)...so what's up with all the fucking pop punk? I'm not really complaining I guess, I probably would have jammed the fuck out of this in 1995 - shit has a nice 'arm hanging out the window on a summer afternoon' vibe, but it's just weird, you know? Because there were a LOT of these bands down there. I'd say it was ALL YOU CAN EAT's fault, but they're the folks who brought so many of these tapes back to the states, so clearly the virus had started to spread long before AYCE toured there. I'm getting off track - six studio cuts here (one with really cringeworthy lyrics) and then live versions of five of them. No live version of "I'm Cumming." And "I'm Cumming" isn't the one with the cringeworthy lyrics, so now you've definitely decided whether you will investigate further or whether you will definitely not investigate further, so I can slowly back away from the keyboard.

24 July 2021

CAULIFLOWER ASS AND BOB

 
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THE WORLD IS A TERRIBLE PLACE
AND YOUR DAD IS A TERRIBLE MAN
SITS AND FUCKING COMPLAINS ABOUT
SHIT HE DON'T UNDERSTAND

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Sometimes I hear a song and I feel like it was written just for me. Suspend belief and expectation, and just let CAULIFLOWER ASS AND BOB sing to you. Just to you. Because, I'll Tell You What, it'll change your outlook on the rest of your day. 
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I HATE BEING SOBER
IT'S DUMB TO BE SOBER
IT'S WAY BETTER BETTER TO DRINK UNTIL YOU PASS OUT

23 July 2021

SCHADENFREUDE



Light years more advanced than their debut Destruction Workers, Waukesha's SCHADENFREUDE combine teenage punk experimentation and adolescent isolation to create something that exists in a void between time capsule and accidental masterpiece with Death Hawks, Killing. Primitive and rudimentary but time appropriate (late '80s - early '90s) industrial/electronic (mostly) dance punk, but with vocals ripped from early BOY IN LOVE material. It's as if they are thumbing their noses at future music - Grill T. Cardinal and Grimlock combine forces (presumably/hopefully in a suburban bedroom) for tracks like "Evil Doing Evil" and "Eighteen Random Stabbings" over the course of a tape that requires constant attention. I'm not saying these kids were brilliant...but I know that I wish there were more than these two tapes. The journey through Wisconsin's odd past continues. Someone want to send me a CRUSTIES demo? DISDAIN? MALIGNANCE? Anyone?

look into my eyes, what do you see?
the end of what was, and what will be...

22 July 2021

SHADOWED VEIL



Why not stay in Wisconsin for a dose of true freak shit? My thoughts exactly. The Oshkosh duo of Pus and Skabb made up SHADOWED VEIL, who released just this one cassette as far as I can tell...if there's more, then I fucking need it. I posted half of Resist The Punisher back in 2015, but the half hour of untitled sonic experiments on the flip side was too good to not revisit (and plus - Wisconsin), so here we are. Primitive industrial bursts, audio collages and general aural torture awaits you...
 
RESIST THE PUNISHER


21 July 2021

MODERN MACHINES

 

Not only is the Riverwest 24 scheduled to start in roughly 60 hours, but there was a sporting event last night that ended favorably for residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Maybe I should have held off on the America's Dairyland comp and just spent the entire week celebrating the 414 area code, but instead here's the 2002 tape from MODERN MACHINES. Those dudes live(d) in Riverwest and they surely enjoy sports, so it feels like the right move. Also, their shows were really fun.


20 July 2021

MANNEQUIN

Came across these tacks tacked onto the end of a tape after a KILLING JOKE set someone I have never known made for someone else I don't know sometime in the 1980s, and they hit me hard and fast. San Antonio's MANNEQUIN existed for a blip, self releasing two elusive EPs filled with gloriously airy radio ready, freak friendly synth-pop. Perhaps they were just ahead of their time - lyrically, conceptually - perhaps late 1970s Texas wasn't meant for MANNEQUIN. But these songs....take Paul Weller and Johnny Marr, THE GIRLS (Boston), throw in some Roger Waters and remember that this was recorded in 1981. Fuck. Indescribably brilliant, instantly familiar, and an undeniable conceptual innovation that cannot be understated. I'm almost sad that I wasn't familiar with the band before I played that tape all the way through, but...better late than never. 

MANNEQUIN
...well it often makes me wonder what corporations mean to us...
...when i breathe in that factory air....
...is this the so-called american dream? is convenience worth that much to you?

19 July 2021

ADJETIVE NOUN

 

I can think of few examples of a joke being taken to such an extreme. ADJETIVE NOUN is the kind of band (project? concept?) that come up eight beers into a twelve beer evening rehearsal....but it doesn't make it out of the practice space. Well, they made it out of the space...onto a stage (more than once)....into a studio....and immortalized their idiocy on magnetic tape. Good luck.


18 July 2021

KNIFEMAN

 

The term "modern hardcore" can naturally be used to describe....well, hardcore created in the modern era. Sometimes it means "current," sometimes it means "not NEGATIVE APPROACH," sometimes it means "kinda like CONVERGE" and sometimes it doesn't actually mean anything at all. But Özmein is...modern hardcore, and I don't know how else to describe it. An absolutely massive blast of metallic DBeats and erratic structures that lurch and rage, led by a devastating guitar tone ripped from Left Hand Path. The tape is fast and demanding, and it just feels like the logical destination for so many of the well-traveled roads punks (and met'lers) have been traveling. It's fully realized, it hits hard and heavy, and there's a pile of bonus tracks the didn't put online...including a DIRE STRAITS cover. 


17 July 2021

DIDGERIDOO



A nice dose of late '80s Scottish shits that kinda teeters on a weird knife edge between punk and glam metal....but it's not power pop even though it's got the hooks. The guitar tone is what really makes the recording, even though (or especially because) it dominates the mix. "Shanks For The Memory" reminds me of ALL YOU CAN EAT, "Do The Spock Bop" would have found a nice home with some of the post Killed By Death-era HASKELS material, and the title track is just a solid four on the floor dirty punk stomp that highlights the band's deficiency in the vocal department. The completists will add it to their want list, the curious will "check it out," and the casual listeners will probably just keep walking. And maybe that's the right move...but what about your humble host?  "Phantom Whipper" and "The Brucie Bonus" back-to-back is mare than enough to keep me around.

 ROBOTS IN DISGUISE


16 July 2021

AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND

 

The cover is so simple, right? Upper Midwest farmland. Quaint. Peaceful. Winters are cold but oh let's talk about the unbridled joy of spring, and think of the warm summer nights after the mosquitoes have abated. How do you justify that illustration with the completely damaged hell guitar in G.F.O.'s "Police Raid," or the 74 seconds of pure rage that is "Anti-Christ" by Mishicot, Wisconsin's NO. This 1983 compilation from Last Rights is classic for a reason....it's also untouchable. Simply one of the best and most essential regional collections of USHC ever, even (especially) as it approaches its 40th birthday. Part of what makes America's Dairyland hold up so well is that mixed in with the bands who "made it" out of the state or later became immortalized by collectors and taste makers (DIE KREUZEN, MECHT MENSCH, CLITBOYS - and to a lesser degree SUBURBAN MUTILATION, SACRED ORDER and IMMINENT ATTACK) are bands never "made it" beyond this tape - and some of those bands stand out just as much as, if not more than, the legends. Of course you've heard DIE KREUZEN's "Enemies," but what about "Frozen Popsicle" from Sturgeon Bay's MALIGNANCE? The tracks from the aforementioned NO are straight stunners across the board, buried underneath the raw noise of a live recording are three pure burners from Madison's N.F.O.D., and Wauwatosa's DISDAIN are off the rails and unhinged, especially on "School." Sure, CLITBOYS shine (not surprising that, even in 1983, they knew to offer their three finest cuts to this would-be classic comp) , but the manic blob of BACKSTAB's "No Rules" sounds less dangerous than they probably were (and it sounds fucking dangerous). Of course BLOODY MATTRESSES (pre-TAR BABIES) sound good on "Red White And Blues" (that drum beat, seriously), but there's a reason why THE CRUSTIES are quietly legendary in Milwaukee...even if few folks outside of the region ever paid attention. And maybe that's what makes America's Dairyland (still) hit so damn hard, because these bands (and songs) were a product of the myth of that simple illustration, a product of the Rust Belt collapse of the '70s and '80s, when the shroud slowly and cruelly fell off of the American Dream for so many people who had fallen for the lie. The reality, and the reality of the failure, hit different in the Midwest...and maybe their brand of hardcore was a result. Listen to IMMINENT ATTACK's "We Are Not Alone," perhaps the most accessibly punk song on the comp, at least twice today. Please.