This was made for parties. Made for punks and ragers who don't mind having a few beverages and/or substances and hanging their pretense on a coatrack near the door. One side is a collection of mostly shit-fi angular art freak sounds that fall in line with much of the Trim Tab catalog - heavy synth presence, lots of drums machines, a stripped down Neue Deutsche Welle vibe running through tracks by JPGRR, FUN FARE, PURPURSPYTT, THE STACHES (who steal the side with "Total Commitment"). MOSQUITO EGO...too any to run down the full list, but twenty tracks of pure freak musik filling almost 50 minutes with joy and intrigue. But it's arguably the flip side that really confirms the party is coming and YOU are fukkn invited. Shameless celebration of catchy commercial dance hits, some you know better than you'd like to admit and a few that were new to me on this mix...SUGABABES, DOJA CAT, PRINCESS fucking NOKIA just to touch on a few, then the side ends with the brilliant "Dye My Hair," which may or may not have been the first body blow in a fist fight with mainstream youth culture that ended with my mouse hovering over the *buy now* icon on ALMA's webstore, wondering if I could get away with wearing a neon yellow sweatshirt with printed tribal sleeves but knowing that "Chasing Highs" was going to be my winter jam. You need to just submit and trust me on this...better yet, trust Riso Club in Leipzig.
14 December 2018
13 December 2018
A Washington ripper from 2013, MULTITUDE's four song banger is like modern metallic ScandiCrust crashing headlong into '00s US mutant hardcore. So maybe you listen to GENOCIDE SS and think that's as fierce as it gets? Or maybe in your world "hardcore stomps" start and finish with 1-2-1-2 and you're scared of guitar solos? Or maybe you just need a serious kick in the fucking ass, like most of the world. Clench your fist, and don't forget the Late NeoLiberal Holocausts EP, released the following year.
12 December 2018
More nostalgia for a lost era of loose, arguably shitty and intensely earnest USDIY punk. It's the same charm that makes WHITE TRASH SUPERMAN more than just "some band from Mississippi" to anyone who can really hear them. It's the guilty giddy feeling you get when you crank Boogadaboogadaboogada when no one else is home. It's being sweaty and half drunk and not giving a shit about anything except that very moment, even if that means you might wind up crying in the bushes before the night is over. STAG push all of those buttons....and they did it on the first listen, even though (or especially because) that first listen came in 2018.
This generation Memorex suggests to me that STAG were a product of the early '90s, but with no information included, your guess is as good as mine. Date your demos, kids!
11 December 2018
Harder than normal to find the right words for VERA MALETA. These are sounds and feelings and conjurings that come from a distant time and an unimaginable place. Truly meditative, with layers of vocals and assemblages that take you on an inward path. Recommended for night listening, and seasonally appropriate...I don't throw out the "witchy" descriptor lightly, but rarely have I encountered an artist more worthy.
10 December 2018
I'm going to assume that Tokyo's UNARM need no introduction at this point. Maximum energy Japanese hardcore of the highest order, period. Four songs on this banger, released for their West Coast tour in 2017....relentless rage and riffs for days.
09 December 2018
At the risk of your world settling into a state of acceptance and/or complacency, I present Baltimore's ELAGABALUS. True freak synth psych/metal - there are guitars in there somewhere, but it's like GOBLIN and MONK MONTGOMERY reinterpreting one of those eyeliner mall metal bands.....dude, it's weird. After several trips on their journey, The Wizard isn't even sure if he likes ELAGABALUS, but still he keeps going back to the lab for more sonic research...and this is worth more than something - it is worth a lot.
08 December 2018
It seems like every time I discuss an old(er) band from the modern age (I'm talking '90s through mid '00s or so) I get nostalgic...like "I miss that" or "remember when punk felt like this" or some other old man bullshit. It would be easy to just dig into relic after relic and convince yourself that there was nothing worth listening to anymore, or accept that your relevance has passed, wallow in the basement DIY version of FOGHAT and feel pathetic. Enter DESERTER: by any typical measure, they are fine. It's a pretty rough recording, a small(er) town trainwreck of unintentionally raw epic crust and then-dated basement screamo crammed into a tortured cassette 4-track recorder and topped with leads screamed through a Gorilla 1x8' combo amp. BUT.....it's great. And that's the thing, the pretense is gone and DESERTER are going for it. Not going for the pretense, or the brass ring or the prize or whatever, DESERTER are going for it. And maybe that's the thing...there's not a better or worse, and it's not about importance or irrelevance, these are all artifacts, they are all moments. Maybe they are ours that we share, maybe someone else's that we observe or enjoy, or maybe they simply pass us by. Also, the URANUS cover is a bold move and kinda brings the whole damn thing together.
And speaking of relevance, SHIT COFFINS is playing a show tonight with several bands that collectively feature members of SCHLONG, VARUKERS, SACRILEGE, DYSTOPIA, ACTS OF SEDITION, NEUROSIS, TALK IS POISON, FLUX OF PINK INDIANS, and countless others.
07 December 2018
Again: regional punk compilations rule, ok?
Six tracks from Newfoundland, six from Nova Scotia, twelve tracks of killer mid-aughts hardcore and/or punk. Enough said.
In Order: BRICKS, GRUMP, WOOLWORM, PUNK LUXURY, NEVER HUMAN, WEAK LINK, NOT FRIENDS, BAD PLAN, CARNATION, MIND VIOLENCE, NEW FLESH
06 December 2018
How did these people make a shredding hardcore record sound like a damaged surf/garage assault and a perfect unknown '90s Basement DIY nugget at the same time? Then again....ours is not to question why, ours is to fucking dig, right? Total freakazoid Portland sounds of the highest order, as far as I can tell these kids dropped a demo 6 years ago and ghosted, which kinda adds to the mystique. Also, "Break Borrow" is a 100% classic punk jammer.
05 December 2018
While I'm not really going to pretend to be an expert and probably can't tell you much that you can't figure out with a relatively quick Internetting, I will drop enough characters to let you know that ELMO HOPE was a fukkn beast, a tortured beast but a beast nonetheless. Contemporaries with Monk, shot by the pigs as a teenager, plagued by heroin, and blessed with an approach to jazz/bop piano that was truly his own, Hope died in 1967 after just 43 years on earth, but managed a legacy on influence that extended (extends) far beyond his years. Also, he recorded this motherfukkr in 1963 with an ensemble who were all veterans of Rikers Island. My first real exposure to jazz was from my boss on a graveyard bakery shift in Oklahoma...her partner was named Morris, and that fool played the shit out of the piano and we would all listen to jazz all night long, both of them schooling me and telling me stories just like I probably bore kids today foolish enough to feign interest in whatever I'm into. Morris fukkn loved ELMO HOPE, and this record swings and bangs hard, from the drum intro to "One For Joe" right through to the slightly off kilter "Kevin."