13 December 2019

THE JOHHNY ROTTEN HOUR: THE PUNK AND HIS MUSIC

You're not going to find a John Lydon apologist sitting behind this keyboard. Always an opportunist, especially today with his much storied and oft-wavering commentary on the political climate in the UK and the US, presumably motivated more by a desire more to keep his face in the press (and dolts at his shows) than any actual or informed interest in our collective future, I think Rotten v.19 is wholly uninteresting. However, I think he's conniving rather than stupid, he was obviously there pretty much from the beginning....and if this piece is any indication, his knowledge of and interest in music is boundless - and his perspective is fascinating. Recorded for Capitol Radio in 1977, this 24 minute piece is journalist Tommy Vance just rapping with Lydon about punk and The PISTOLS and social politics....and records. The records came from Lydon's collection and they primarily stay in the background - reggae, rock 'n roll, whatever the fukk he wants...FRED LOCKS, JOHN CALE, NICO, PETER TOSH, NEIL YOUNG, CAN, PETER HAMMILL, BOBBY BYRD and loads more. The music is all over the place, we never hear a track all the way through, and the back and forth between Vance and Lydon is engaging to say the least. This one deserves full attention, and if you are anything like me you're going to finish listening with a few more top wants in your mental pile.
"It's only sound, music? Innit?"

12 December 2019

CREEPIING PINK


I seriously have not been able to get enough of this tape since I ripped it a couple of weeks back. The companion to the FSDC2 compilation posted a few years ago, I don't remember the CREEPING PINK track on that tape grabbing me as much as everything contained on this 2012 recording does. Equal parts CHROME, Desert OraclePHAROAH OVERLORD and alien intervention, the 70+ plus minute journey that is Thee Creeping Pink Sound (Creeping Pink's NeverNeverLand) is a lesson in vision and execution...or perhaps an example of the two disciplines feeding off of and building onto each other. Moments harken early '90s psychedelic/indie, but mostly because CREEPING PINK are rooted in the same dirt that those then-visionaries were. These recordings are nothing short of magical, and fortunately for (all of) us there are several more doses of magic that have come in the years after their release. If you do not have a warm desert environment near you, then I suggest listening inside, at night, at least (but no more than) one lamp (preferably in the corner), and alone. 


11 December 2019

CRUCIAL SECTION


Y'all know CRUCIAL SECTION, right? I mean, you fukkn should, and I won't bother introducing them except to say that they have been at the center of of Tokyo's DIY fastcore/hardcore scene for twenty years now. They seemed like kids when we first met them...then again, we were just kids ourselves. When WHN? were in Japan in 2000, Guitarist Wada (aka Shithead) heard that I wasn't familiar with SO MUCH HATE so he went home and taped How We Feel and Blind Alley for me. The following year when ARTIMUS PYLE played with them in Tokyo, he had this tape waiting for me - then unreleased bursts of ferocious and urgent fastcore that sound every bit as intense and relevant today as they did 18 years ago.. 


Wada in 2000, photo by Karoline:

10 December 2019

BUTTERFLY NATION


Denton, Texas. 1996. Coulda been Olympia or DC just as easily. Frantic two piece that would have fit in just as nicely with THE GORIES or K Records...extra points for cuts like "Lies" where they write a part and still can't quite play it. I love that shit. 



09 December 2019

ZAVAR


This tape. I can't even begin with this tape. I just....how do you even conceive of putting this monstrosity together? There are so many ways it should be fixed, so many places it needs to be edited, and I just have so many questions. Questions like: "How?" and: "Why?" and: "Shit?" It's a noisy DBeat demo. Sometimes. It's found sound and digital manipulation. Sometimes. It's confusing. Most of the time. And I just want to listen over and over. No track listing, but I gleaned (some of) the titles from the band's internet presence. There's more in ZAVAR than lives in the internet, however, at least it appears that way, and several unnamed tracks are presented as mere numbers. Like a catalog of aural mania or some shit. Listen to the guitar solos on #15 and "Jövökép." Listen to the patient crinkling on #11, and listen to the howls on "Detonatór." When listening to hardcore, maximum volume is typically your friend...today, let that volume be your guide. And have a nice trip. 




08 December 2019

FREE THE LAND


A subtly ominous collection of audio manipulations, casual electronics and field recordings, the product of a TransAtlantic collaboration between PUCE MARY and HOAX members. The closer you listen, the more ou hear....the deeper you listen, the more you experience. 


07 December 2019

CAUSTIC CHRIST


I don't necessarily feel like CAUSTIC CHRIST flies under the radar of punk remembrance, but I definitely feel like they shirk the recognition that they justly deserve...even more in hindsight than at the time. AUS ROTTEN, SUBMACHINE and BEHIND ENEMY LINES members combined forces to create a wholly predictable juggernaut, and perhaps no one talked about it because no one was really surprised. Like, you knew CAUSTIC CHRIST was going to be amazing, so when you saw CAUSTIC CHRIST and they were, in fact, amazing, the response was more "duh" than "holy shit." But listen to this shit 15 years later - all of the power and low end of turn of the millennium USHC crammed mercilessly into the '80s hardcore punk construct. At times it doesn't even work - like there's too much energy in play for them to still be going that hard, but they are definitely going that hard. This cassette from Rabid Dogs came shortly after they released the Dark Thoughts comp (a C.O.C. tribute with HOLIER THAN THOU?, MUNICIPAL WASTE, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? and CAUSTIC CHRIST), and compiles the Can't Relate 12", splits with R.A.M.B.O. and INTENSE YOUTH, the self titled EP on Havoc and a ripping nine track demo that I have never seen in the flesh. This shit is so much more intense in retrospect, and the live shows were something else entirely...I miss this hardcore, but fortunately (thanks to Felix and antiquated 1990s pressing ethos) these slabs are readily available and affordable for current and future punk generations. 

Above show was from 2002, one of my favorites on that tour, KYLESA didn't actually play, they stayed in Georgia after burning through two vans in the first three days, but it meant we had a lot of really killer flyers when we got home from tour. 

06 December 2019

RESPONSE


Ruthless Southern California straight edge from 2014. I saw them once (at Muñoz Gym in Bakersfield) and it was very very sick, but I hadn't popped this demo in for quite some time until the other day and I honestly didn't remember RESPONSE ripping quite this hard. YOT breakdowns, searing, compressed guitars, that teenage doompa-doompa fast beat that isn't even really a beat at all, more like a metronome with cymbals (if you know, then you know what I mean) and lyrics that rhyme things like "in my way" with things like "make you pay." There's at least one recycled NEGATIVE APPROACH riff, and honestly that is just fine by me....shit bangs super hard. They dropped two EPs after this, both of which are essentially dollar bin fodder, which is exactly why you should (still) always troll the dollar bins. 




05 December 2019

JINX


Man...someone want to tell me why I like this? I'm at a loss, except to say that Moscow's JINX are just really good at doing the thing that they do. Shades of SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE (full disclosure: the first comparison I made was FOO FIGHTERS, but the vocals were too pretty), but really this is just commercial sounding indie/alt. "She's A Stargazer" could be a radio hit...and maybe that's the thing: "She's A Stargazer" should be a radio hit, but instead the radio is full of schlock. And this schlock is actually kinda good schlock, so maybe I'm drawn to JINX because this is what shitty music should be: it should be pretty good. It usually isn't, but it doesn't seem too much to ask. 



04 December 2019

EX-DIEL


This one was a breath of fresh air that rushed in amidst a horde of neanderthal hardcore stomps. If I had to reduce it to one word, Germany's EX-DIEL sound determined. Fortunately I have far more latitude than that, and I can say that Germany's EX-DIEL conjure '80s ghosts as varied as Faith and Evol on a recording dominated by spoken/shouted vocals in a constant face off with an atonal, open guitar furiously bashing simplicity into the earth. The songs are plodding and deliberate missives, deliveries that tell stories with both word and sound, and I'm as drawn to this tape as I have been to anything in quite some time. Simply put, sometimes punk with no rules is the best punk.