24 March 2019


It seems to defy logic that I have not already posted this demo, but search engines don't lie....do they? There was a time back in the middle of the '00s that NW Indiana punks dominated all mutant conversations about cool, so much so that I entered my first CONEHEADS show with generally blah expectations. I got my ass handed to me. Supposedly the combination of BIG ZIT and OOZE were really the kings of the region (and maybe no coincidentally, the most hardcore of the lot, including the bands that followed), but CONEHEADS, C.C.T.V., DAGGER, LIQUIDS....the shit all rules man. There are more, to be sure, but I am an old and out of touch man, and they aren't making this shit for me - they are making it for their mutant friends. 1970s DEVO reincarnated, DEAD MILKMEN but faster and not as dorky, cerebral punk for drunk teenagers....just good, fast music. And if I've already posted this tape, then I'm not sorry. 

23 March 2019


I was turned off at first....a German band seemingly themed around the struggle of Native Americans just rubbed me kind of wrong. Like a cooption of sorts, it just didn't make sense. What does make sense after full exploration, however, is BRONCO LIBRE. I's not that they are good (and mind you, they are really good), it's that the thematic focus of the band heartfelt and honest, and it made me pause to think about all of the the "international" issues that First World political bands casually dip their feet into. BRONCO LIBRE dive in to the experience and the struggle lyrically, an attempt to identify more than empathize, and I leave this demo feeling stronger than I did when I pressed play....that's a serious accomplishment. That means you broke through. That means I'm coming back for more. Sonically there are similarities to NEON PISS, OBSERVERS, and high energy punk with a penchant for insanely catchy songs and killer guitars structures (the clean, the jangly, the distorted...all dancing together in harmony - it's like a metaphor for the life we want to live). I don't just recommend listening, I recommend learning. 

22 March 2019


The title of this mix should really give you all that you need. Well known Japanese hitmakers GHOUL (Jerusalem EP - 1985), THE EXECUTE (Hardcore Temptation EP - 1983), THE CLAY (Middle East Combat Area EP - 1984) and POISON (Mystery Temptation EP - 1986) join forces with a slightly more under the radar banger from CASBAH (1987's Infinite Pain EP, which has appeared here before but deserves a revisit) and R.U.G.'s wild NWOJHM-esque Deathly Fighter/Crazy Bomber 45. These are all mandatory releases, and most command serious coin (because they are mandatory)....so crank these degraded twenty year old mix tape quality reproductions and save your coffee shop tips. But the real highlight here is AZAGTHOTH's 1987 filthy deathrash masterpiece Shredded Flesh demo. The only non-Japanese act on the tape, AZAGTHOTH was a short lived Shane Embury side project and they were absolutely disgusting. To listen to "Bloodsucking Freaks" is to forever alter your perception of what is music. Three tracks here (P.D.C.," "Dwell On Death," "At Our Leisure") that don't appear on most (any?) of the track listings I've found online, but the dude who made this for me was teenage penpals with the people involved, so who knows. Dig it: Mix Tapes > Youtube Algorithms. 

21 March 2019


It's as if the very recording itself has been confined and is yearning to break free. Haunting, painfully minimal, tedious sounds from Jakob Pek spread out over one half hour. A casually tortured offering that ends with a drunkenly happy and seemingly aimless acoustic guitar to close "What Happened At The River," and leaves the listener (in this case, me) simply bewildered. Emptiness Smiles is sonic improvisation at its finest.

20 March 2019


 Come on. It's like POWER TRIP but with way more SLAYER, and Reforestation Records has still never let me down so you know you're about to get slaughtered. I've listened to Sacrifice more times than I can count, and I still start mentally moshing every time "Death Leads Us" kicks in....because it's a track that mandates moshing. COMBAT SHOCK made a tape for 17 year old me, for the 17 year old inside of you, and they made it to remind us all that there is a reason people all over the world shit themselves for knuckle dragging TPDM (ThrashPowerDeathMetal): because TPDM is fukkn great. I look to Russia for the future past, and for more of the past in the future. Listen to the opening 70 seconds of "Doomsday" and objectively evaluate your existence.

19 March 2019


Disgusting. I challenge you to make aggressive music sounds this genuinely damaged. The mix is all fukkd up, the components all sound like they were recorded in a basement toilet on a micro-cassette recorded and nothing sounds like it is even supposed to go together. I can't tell if the vocalist is mad at the world or just pissed because the bass guitar is smothered weird sauce and all you can really hear is the unfortunate off time click instead of the low end rumble that might give the recording some power. There are breakdowns....and those are a different story. A story about how JAPANESE FURNACE just doesn't make sense. I mean, it's hardcore to be sure, but I don't think you can set out to make something this demented, and I certainly cannot imagine a band hearing this mix after a recording and thinking "Yeah, sure....that's what we were going for. Let's release it!" It should go without saying that this band is fukkn great. Two demos, from 2013 and 2014, repackaged for further listening confusion and/or pleasure....the second one sounds slightly more cohesive, is no less intense, and the guitar solo in "Dried Out" is just...wow.  

18 March 2019


I first heard of LÉGITIME DÉFONCE from their late '90s split with San Jose's KRUPTED PEASANT FARMERZ, but I never looked any further (and honestly kinda forgot about them). Then this homemade collection appeared on my shelf (that's more or less how it happens around here) and it was like a time machine taking me back to the tours when we played a handful of tapes until they were transparent, sweating and drinking and discovering everything, us against the world. This was the punk that we listened to on these tours - not this band per se, but this was the sound that escorted us across North America and we would have loved this tape if it had been on our radar. High energy, snappy, melodic French hardcore....mid '90s hardcore that holds up extremely well, even if in retrospect there's a little too much NOFX in the mix. This tape features their self titled 1995 debut and the slightly rougher sounding ¡Ya Basta! from the following year...and I'm glad it lives on my shelf now. 

This '90s tape maker was a nice one, slapping eight tracks from the Higgledy Piggledy comp at the end of the tape....there's never a reason for leftover tape, kids. Excellent French shits from OVER TEN INCHES, TILT UP, BURNING HEADS, OUT OF ORDER, MASS MURDERERS and more. Included in the DL of course, because I am also a nice one. 

17 March 2019


A hallucinatory sonic sculpture spanning forty-five minutes from Spanish multi-disciplinary artist CARLOS VILLENA. The accumulation of sound is almost painfully slow, and the end result feels like he is opening a black hole in and through my very soul. Not for casual listening, not for a quick dip....this requires full immersion. 

16 March 2019


The first thing I thought of was that NAKED RAYGUN track "Hip Swingin'," but only because NEW BERLIN actually made me want to swing my hips. It doesn't sound like NAKED RAYGUN at all mind you...it just made me want to dance. We're talking SPITS, EDDY CURRENT level delivery with a similar casual cool oozing through every crease in the recording. Laid back, cool as fukk.

Also - putting a mini-mix tape on the flip side of your demo is an extremely sick move. METIN H. ALATIL, CHROME, CAN, LOS SAICOS and PETALOUDA serve to change the vibe completely. IT's awesome, and....who the fukk is METIN H. ALATIL (1970s Turkish Moog driven funk is the answer, but how could I have actually known that?!), because that track is siiiiiick. 

15 March 2019


An extremely cold release utilizing the combined grey matter of two cold entities. This half hour proto-industrial excursion leaves me feeling somewhat disoriented and more or less hopeless...it's centering. Grounding...and conveys a dark hopelessness that feels very very real.