27 May 2020


True mutant sounds from one of the fellows from VIOLENCE CREEPS, already mutants in their own collective rite. Audio collages, damaged sounds, psychedelic pop from another dimension. For the (few) people who will get the reference, this takes me back to the minimal recordings of ARTHUR STONE or other, related, drug addled Mission District creations from a long lost decade. It might also or alternately be free jazz for the new age. 

You can find physical copies of this one and a pile of other weird shit at Digital Regress
Be careful though. 

26 May 2020


I kinda can't really stand how good this tape is. The second I've heard form Moscow's ОСОБЫЕ УСЛОВИЯ, this full length from 2016 is a stone classic. Steady and steadfast dark pop with soaring guitars and a vocal delivery worthy of Bizarro comparisons. There's an EP and a demo that came before this ('14 and '12, respectively), but they were building to Страх Уйти Без Сожаленя, and it was worth the effort. This release is magnificent. 

25 May 2020


I was exceptionally psyched last year when I saw that SOW THREAT were coming to California. Not just because I want to see a whirling stench crust band from Okinawa in the flesh, but also because their drummer is Kiku (ex-ASSFORT, ex-CHARM, CFDv.1), one of the greatest dudes on this forsaken planet. I dropped him a line to tell him I was excited to see him....and alas he's only their local drummer - he moved to Okinawa after the 2011 Tōhoku quake and I'm pretty sure the island life suits him, but I digress. The band...was a filthy, murky, downtuned mess, like ENT through a fog, but with the irreverence of SOCIAL PORKS. I was floored, if there is any justice in the world then the 12" on SPHC will be revered as a classic, and who the fuck bookends a collection of songs like these with damaged Link Wray covers...? SOW THREAT do. Pairing them up with Portland's SUSS LAW was perfect for the tour and for this split - a piercing, hard charging new millennial crust assault drenched in noise. Drums are....well, the shit is fast and everything else is just trying to catch up. Volume, drinking, chaos - not necessarily but very likely in that order. 

While writing this, I read that SOW THREAT guitarist Tamura passed away earlier this month. I met the fellow twice and he was extremely fucking nice.... 

24 May 2020


Let's keep trudging forward in the direction of "No Rules," shall we? This Buffalo act come off somewhere between THE OFFSWIZZARD and TRAGIC MULATTO -  just weird rock 'n roll freak outs with a trombone and a couple of ska parts. Shirts off summer sounds...if your summer includes getting extremely loose. "Claustrophobic" is an absolute classic. 

23 May 2020


Did you miss the Not Normal cassingle series from a few years back? I feel like the tapes were gone in less time than it took to listen to them (which was not very many minutes), but what a seriously killer batch of killers. FAILED MUTATION, GLOW GOD, NO NEGATIVE - I'm sure there were others and I'm sure that I missed a few. I didn't miss SPLASHIN' SAFARI. Two 67 second rippers with snappy paper bag drums, a hollow rumbling low end and a piercing aggressive jangle masquerading as a guitar. "Violent Days" closes the tape, an unexpected piece of aggressive pop punk with the whiniest most perfect vocals. Hard to explain, definitely great...short, to the point, excellent. 

22 May 2020


Everything that I said yesterday? It all applies to this band and this cassette as well. We dubbed and assembled an unknown quantity, one at a time, to send to promoters (read "promoters") before a series of consecutive tours that lasted almost six months in total. A couple of songs from our first EP, a song from the HICKEY split with different lyrics, and what I think is the only FUCKFACE recording of "Hedonistic Calculus," which was leftover from our time as MULTIPLE CHOICE and always one of my favorite songs to play. Just another artifact.

For those interested, all of the FUCKFACE releases are now available on most streaming platforms. So if you ever felt like asking your mom's Smart Speaker to "play Big Pile O' Cocaine by Fuckface," then now is your chance.  

21 May 2020


I don't need to start an essay about the 1990s, about how the years are misrepresented by punk revisionists. I've certainly blabbed more than enough in these pages to warrant a '90s Reader that will offer more than my fair share of the collective opinion on the matter, and yet the fact remains....the 1990s USDIY punk scene is far too often dismissed horribly misrepresented. The life and genre defining bands that took advantage of the last gasp of organic scene and sound development, before taste makers (and their tastes) went digital, went warp speed, and some element of free thought and expression was replaced with access and emulation. There are countless lost artifacts from that lost decade, and certainly many of them are from bands trying their hand at this punk thing because of something they saw on cable television instead and not because of a crucial mix tape they got from a pen pal's pen pal in Austria who knew about all of the good bands, but this was a time when even those late night no budget music video shows were precious little glimpses into the world that you wanted to touch. Does this mean that every mid-'90s Ohio artifact is an invaluable piece of punk history....? Probably not. It just means that it was, and somehow that context means something. 

Worth noting that the demo pictured is probably from 1994/95, but the band were nice enough to slap the 1996 Centsless Records demo at the end, and those four cuts are way better than the first eight. Killer GG/early-Weasel spit and vinegar with screaming NYC'77 guitars. 

20 May 2020


Four songs. Three minutes. Destructive US hardcore ferocity that nods generously to the early '90s...a time when, in retrospect, when things weren't nearly as dangerous, but the music was. 

19 May 2020


Mindfuck electronic and industrial improvisation, recorded and released in 2005. Not much I can say that the ebbs and swells of distortion and manipulation that they don't say for themselves...but I can say that a complete and disorienting immersion into this recording was exactly the kind of release and/or escape that the Earth called for today. Volume.

Each side is edited with a cool down period...I found the subtle (to the point of absence) chatter after completion to be almost therapeutic in and of itself. 

18 May 2020


There was a time when I reached for this genre (and honestly, this band) with some frequency. For whatever reason my ears started turning towards the kids in the '10s, and I feel like doom is primarily a second wave thing - your first band doesn't play oppressive doom, it's the later bands...after you've become rightly disillusioned. But still, the familiar riff that starts "Who Is This Who Is Coming" makes the chills come, and slowly the intensity and despair cloud the rest of the experience. Eight songs, averaging around six minutes apiece, with a devastating RORSCHACH cover to close things out. MOLOCH's catalog is much celebrated, but I confess that I always reach back.