24 January 2020

HARSH REDACTOR


Oh come on, punks. Other punks just gonna hang up their twangy distorted angular fukkd up sounding pawn shop guitars when they hear this. Other punks gonna just go back to their Mark E. Smith Book ov Sounds how-to manual and start taking notes from scratch when they hear this. Bands with two guitars are gonna listen together and look at their two guitarists and fire them on the spot cuz they can't create mania like this shit. Rhythm sections gonna be all like damn we gonna learn about that "pocket" thang and figure out how to really get in it. Memphis quartet HASH REDACTOR just walk in, casually (and effectively) destroy the fukkn place, and take their shit and saunter off. Solid, damaged groove with the coldest no nonsense vocals this side of Big New Prinz. Also, the LP that Goner released last year is an absolute stunner. That's all.  

23 January 2020

CRUCIAL ATTACK


I think this might be my favorite CRUCIAL ATTACK offering. Reno's millennial edge warriors never sounded dirtier, never sounded more intense....never sounded punker than on this 2004 offering -  eleven minutes of lightning fast, filthy, furious straight edge hardcore. The guitar that starts "Head Straight" (lyrics below) is straight shit punk amped up real real high, and the lurching blown out drums that drop at 0:43 are simply destroyed and, as a direct result, destructive. I could listen to this shit over and over and over again - CRUCIAL ATTACK doesn't make me feel strong or satisfied in any way, CRUCIAL ATTACK makes me pissed



22 January 2020

MENOS QUE NADA


Feisty Spanish shit, circa 1998. It's straightforward, it's urgent, and look out for a terrifying storm of raging hardcore when they choose to let loose. About half of the tracks are midtempo plods, occasional single note UK82 leads and some undeniably catchy bits, but when the first pure ripper drops in you're bowled over with a maelstrom of rumbling fury - and this is what I like ("Vota" is the purest example, and it's not surprisingly the choice cut on the tape). Intense chaos or chaotic intensity, you choose...either way you win. I can't find any info other than a Madrid address, but if there's more then I would certainly like to hear it. 


21 January 2020

RED THREADS


This one just oozes early '90s alt/art - a collection of jerky indie dirges that land somewhere between Rough Trade, Homestead and Simple Machines, fronted by soulful/filled vocals a la BELTONES and/or (the good) HOLE. At this point in my missive, after the first sentence, you're either drooling or so far gone that you can't even hear me say goodbye, but I can assure those who stuck around that Ohio's RED THREADS are compelling at least, and weird as shit in the best way possible. The tempos are kinda awkward, the guitar rips come out of nowhere if they come at all, and there's an under/overlying funky vibe that keeps even the suspect listener hooked. Keep listening, because this one just gets better. 


20 January 2020

THISCLOSE


This one is tough. I've slammed THISCLOSE in print before today, and I have probably publicly stated that I don't like the band on more than a dozen occasions. I'm not really sure why, but perhaps it's the premise of the band that dislike more than the band itself....even though I can't really find a way to justify that statement. There's no reason to slag a band off for trying to emulate a formula (especially when they are successful), that's essentially the premise for modern DIY hardcore/punk - if you want originality then you're gonna need to look to the noise world I'm afraid, because the UNA BESTIAs only roll through once a decade or so (and most punks can't actually handle reggaet├│n beats in their hardcore). So why the fukk should I hate on THISCLOSE? Because I feel like it's a pisstake, even though it's awesome. It's like they set out to regurgitate the shitty era of a good band and convince a new generation that it's good. And they succeeded, because THISCLOSE is good, but I still can't back their sonic existence because I feel like that means I am admitting that their joke worked. Somewhere I have a piece of physical correspondence from one of the members, received after I slagged a record in MRR, asking me to look further into the mission of THISCLOSE, and wondering why I heaped praise on xSAXONx (who share member/s with THISCLOSE) and had dissed their record. The answer was simple...in my mind at least...why should a band be celebrated for brilliantly recreating the forgettable and justifiably dismissed era of a legendary band just because no other bands had been dumb enough to emulate it before them? OK, that's not a simple answer, it's kinda confusing actually, but fukk man, Grave New World is a turd. It just is. And Massacre Divine ain't much better, so why why why why why? But...what if THISCLOSE is just showing us what could have been if DISCHARGE hadn't fukkd up as bad as they did? What what if they are just showing us how incredibly bad ass a metallic DBeat record can be with weird falsetto vokills throughout? And what if I only dismissed the band because I didn't fully grasp their vision?? These are the things I wrestle with mentally...and it's hard. So listen to "Sexcel" at full volume at those chunky high end guitars and...I don't know, maybe I'm just wrong across the board. But surely I'm conflicted. 


Asheville, North Carolina, 2006:
I was on tour with SUNDAY MORNING EINSTEINS and we played that killer record store there that did the shows in the '00s. I found a copy of Grave New World for $5 and I bought it...my first DISCHARGE record (yes, that one - and yes, 2006). EINSTEINS guitarist Peter was the most devout DISCHARGE apologist I had ever met (or perhaps a close second to Markku), and I challenged him to convince me that the record was good. We bought a 12-pack and when we got to Jeremy's house after the show we retreated to a vacant room to do our research. After a few beers and the first side of the record, Peter gave up and asked to leave the room...or at least to stop listening to the record.  Because it's bad. Like, objectively it is just not good music. Cool logo, several ripping releases in the early '80s and that drum beat surely kills....but that record sucks. And maybe that's my point with all of this...is it an art project? Because why else would you want to make a shitty thing into a killer thing? If you're good enough to do that, then clearly you can make your own killer thing from scratch, right? And after all of this....I'm still listening to the 2012 THISCLOSE demo thinking "wow...this is pretty bad ass," so what the fukk do I know?

18 January 2020

MUTABARUKA


I can assure you that Outcry is as killer as the cover suggests. Jamaican dub poet MUTABARUKA sounds fully acclimated to the eighties world of synths and production here, quite a departure from  the gloriously primitive debut Check It!, but it was 1984....so almost all production miscues are forgiven. But listen underneath - the flute on "Canaan Lan'," the poetry of "Black Queen," and the entirety of "Blacks In Amerika" and "Free Up De Lan'" demonstrate the power without question. 

17 January 2020

SABRE


What an absolute motherfukkr this SABRE tape is. Seriously. Ruthless hardcore punk with early '80s Midwest melodies (think ZERO BOYS style) oozing out of the guitar while rhythm section beats the songs into your being, giving a platform for gruff, insistent vocals. Oakland's SABRE falls somewhere between UK82 on steroids and ARTICLES OF FAITH, but they stand alone with a sound that is truly impossible to compartmentalize....and there's only this demo. Members of a ton of bands, but they only played one show. They open the demo with "I Will Live Forever," and they only play one show. What the fukk is that?

OK....apparently they played TWO shows. But they were on the same weekend. 

16 January 2020

LASSIE


Fucking GORGEOUS shit-fi synth punk swing outs from Leipzig, Germany. Turn on to BILLY SYNTH, SPITS, URANIUM CLUB, DEVO, CCTV-esque jammers, dance your collective ass off, and understand that punk should also be fun. I mean, we can't all smash the state all the time, but punks who do should certainly be having a blast while they are


15 January 2020

NOBODY'S CHILDREN


Simultaneously relaxing and terrifying, NOBODY'S CHILDREN hide subtle melodies behind a wash of lo-fi noise and chaos, and then gradually transform the melodies into chaos itself. The white noise that initially served as the blanket that comforted and covered the sounds becomes the only escape that your psyche has from the unnerving cacophony that is borne by the only pleasantry that Released From The Hospital has to offer. I've returned to this twenty minute cassette several times since it (recently) came into my world, and I'm still floored at the casual confidence required to create this union of sound. With a discography exclusively on Hermitage and Fag Tapes, you should know more or less what world NOBODY'S CHILDREN are coming from (the two members operate the two labels), and this 2009 release certainly does not disappoint.