12 May 2021

DESOLATION



Wrong place, Wrong time. By 1991, the SS Buttrock had already left port, sailing the seas in search of state fairs and potential fans who hadn't heard about the shifting cultural tides. But things move a little slower in Emond, Oklahoma, and bands like DESOLATION sometimes get abandoned by time....so sonic archaeologists get to rescue artifacts like Hand Of The Wicked from thrift store grab bags or suburban closet shoeboxes. And the reason we keep digging is....this DESOLATION is almost good. Not "good" as in "this rips, I want to listen to this all the time!" good. Rather "good" as in "oh man, poor dudes - I can envision a world where they made it" good, and "almost" as in "not quite." Leaning heavily on the anthemic ballad end of the commercial heavy metal spectrum, like a band who was actively consuming classic rock radio and absorbing all of the influences - the positive and the negative - this release (their only one?) still has moments. "Don't Scream" owes a debt to the ALICE IN CHAINS dark ballad formula, "Make 'em Pay" has a Sunset Strip Strut that would make FASTER PUSSYCAT proud, "Angel's Rage" is a flat out hard rock burner...and there are more than enough cringe worthy cuts to balance things out. Biblical themes and songs about societal conflict are present throughout, which might give the closing track "On Your Knees" a different context than other hair metal songs with similar titles.....nah, the chorus is "night time is the right time for my love" and the verse goes "oooohhh baby /  honey / baby honey please / please me squeeze me, love me on your knees / I need you right now / I want you nooooowwwwww" so I guess we can skip the righteous shit. 


11 May 2021

GREYLAND

 

Aside from appearances on a few (extremely sick) flyers from the late 1990s and an Albany, NY return address, I don't have much background to share. Truly a product of the decade, GREYLAND's brand of DIY stoner/crust falls in line with RINGWORM (or RINGWURM), BUZZOV•EN, even some of the metallic stench that bands like DAMAD cranked out earlier in the decade. But seeing their name on flyers with SPAZZ, MONSTER X, PAINDRIVER, DEVOID OF FAITH and the like, you know these mutants were dropping bombs in hardcore spaces and that just makes it feel so much heavier. Guitars are just a touch off in a gloriously nauseating way, the entire recording is redlined, they just sound awful. "Awful" as in...ugly...and then they grind. Repeated listens over the past few days have only drawn me in closer - pure and ruthless US hardcore stench, and I love it. 

Listen to "Hate Inheritance." Seriously. 

10 May 2021

HELLGRAMMITE

 

Some wild ass prog-crust from Seattle, circa 2008. Safe to say that these nice fellows had a couple of DYSTOPIA records, and safe to say that the roughness of the demo enhances the listening experience. 


09 May 2021

HOOD RATS



HOOD RATS should appeal to fans of....punk. And also punk. And hardcore. And rock 'n roll. Digital Wasteland hits instantly and keeps battering for twenty minutes until "Prisoner Of War" lurches to a stop. Light speed trash by way of POISON IDEA, INEPSY, ANGRY SAMOANS, ANNIHILATION TIME....you get the deal and HOOD RATS deliver the goods. It's like KBD and snarling US hardcore and Motörpunk converging at an abandoned desert skate spot gakked on trucker speed and malt liquor, shredding a pool long abandoned by a would be suburbia until the sun goes down and the day descends into darkness and chaos. That's what this shit sounds like. 



08 May 2021

UNREAL THOUGHT



I think that unless I choose to spend a week or two focused on Canada's Atlantic Provinces, I will just be playing catch-up for years to come because the quality and frequency of the output from DIY punks there has remained frighteningly consistent for the last decade. The second tape from UNREAL THOUGHT came out back in 2014, when every punk was stacking flangers on flangers and there were more smoke machines than riffs...when a new wave of DIY rippers all seemingly discovered SISTERS and TONES ON TAIL when they were at summer camp together and made a pact to flood the market. But embedded in that mass of hastily thrown together throwbacks were (are) some brilliant releases and some bands who were using available tools to create their own sounds....no one sounds like UNREAL THOUGHT. Layers of spoken vocals, damaged and piercing guitars, a dark shroud drawn over a punk band who still sounds like a fucking punk band. I don't feel like I'm listening to a band trying to sound like 1984 - I feel like I'm listening to a band creating a sound that captures their existence. There's more where this came from. 



07 May 2021

AS THE TWILIGHT FADES



The first volume in an excellent series from the folks at Pinhole Collapse, As The Twilight Fades is an hour of outsider blues and international guitar rock that gives way to a second side filled with psyched out oldies tinged with the light fuzz of history. From CHARLIE MEGIRA's "The Girl Afraid Of Ashtrays" to CHARLIE FEATHERS' "One More Time" and F. KENYA's transcendent "Ewule Adoma Kuma," this collection just nails a vibe while dancing between and within sonic cultures and arbitrary genres. Fans of the Contact Records Astral Maps and Enchanted Surf compilations will want to pay close attention to this series....because there are two more volumes waiting in the wings. 



06 May 2021

THE DARTS



(Very) short lived band from Oakland/San Francisco that featured members of JACK ACID, THE CRIMINALS, BLACK FORK and a host of others. Loose and ramshackle 1994 Bay Area punk that existed for less than a year and sounds exactly like what you would expect from a short lived mid-'90s project. I would have listened to this constantly if I had heard it at the time. 







05 May 2021

I OBJECT

 

It had been a while (quite a long while, actually) since I had cranked up some I OBJECT. And while it's cool to revisit a band and realize that they "hold up," there's something awesome about having your ass handed to you all over again by a band you let fade into the distance. I might have thought that I passed by I OBJECT, but I can assure you that these songs have done nothing but get more intense in isolation. This tape has the America Today...And Tomorrow on the A side and a scorching live set on the flip. Fueled by a deadly mixture of anger and optimism, 2021 might need I OBJECT even more than 2005 did. This is from 2006, but I think you get the general idea.  

04 May 2021

DOUBLE THINK



I don't know how many times I've said it, but it's impossible to fathom how many DOUBLE THINKs existed in the world. I'm not talking about bands called DOUBLE THINK, though there were likely many, I'm talking about bands who sound like (this) DOUBLE THINK. Fast, tight, proficient...they were called "melodic hardcore" at the time - metallic speed riffing, whiny nasal vocals, probably a few too many songs about girls, minor chord rhythm guitars and ripping leads. If you lived through the era then you have seen this band one hundred times. The were called NOAH FENCE in Ontario. They were called KPF in San Jose. They were called USELESS ID in Israel. They were called HEFFER in Brazil. They were seriously everywhere. DOUBLE THINK were from Sacramento...and maybe the guitar player is in EVANESCENCE now? Wake me up. 


03 May 2021

ECONOMY MUSIC



The artwork should answer any questions you might have. 
A picture is worth 1,000 words? Well, there are two pictures below.
Not sure what I can say that ECONOMY MUSIC isn't already saying.