27 November 2021

SCUMBAG



Completely fucking unhinged Japanese hardcore circa 1988.  "Happenstance" is on the Enjoy Your Youth.. comp (which I just sold - why did I do that?) and everything else here either appears on the FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS split or the Have Fun More Fun demo. This copy is from the Pat Wright archives, so it may have been a dub from someone, or a promo sent into Gilman or KALX. No matter really, the point here is wild ass hardcore (think IDORA or IDOL PUNCH, not your typical fare) and Pat writing "hardcore - 18 year olds" on the label. Because the band were 18 year olds? Because hardcore 18 year olds would eat tracks like "Fuck You Arch Girl" like it was cereal? Either answer is acceptable. 



26 November 2021

PRESENCE NOT ABSENCE



If you really take the time to digest this comp, it will move you to fucking tears. As a People, we are so unbelievably bad at looking out for Us. And let's be clear: We are ALL Us. There's no Them when it comes to taking care of Us, because we could all so easily be any of them. We don't have a ceiling here, especially in the country where I live, if you get dealt the right hand and the sky is quite literally not even the limit. The problem is...we also don't have a floor, and countless human lives keep slipping through the cracks. Is a cassette compiling 20+ musical artists going to change that? Nah, not even close. But visibility matters. People matter...and what if someone notices who wouldn't have noticed otherwise? Because that fucking matters. And throwing your weight behind people who are standing up for the most marginalized....that is important. Because WE HAVE NO FLOOR, and those people who are clinging to the cracks might not have anything to reach for except some idealistic weirdo who found social activism through a random collection of freak sounds. So all praise to Volar Records for this comp (which is, for the record and without exception, outstanding). 


Choicest cuts: IGNONOIR, COBY BLANCHARD, TULLIVER, NO NO BABY, COED, BLUE ZERO, UNO LADY, PUBLIC INTEREST. But there seriously is not one bad moment.

25 November 2021

DREAMBOAT

 


The weird thing about things called Region Rock is that they are certainly not region specific, and also that sometimes I like them. The second thing is definitely the weirder thing, but really the folks over at Remote Outposts are better equipped to discuss the nuances of the subgenre (even though the blog exists primarily as an archive at this point), so I'll just casually and confidently say that "Y'all Might Consider Stepping To This" is a brilliant example of a band conceiving something that is over their collective head and going for it anyway (a lot of the WITCH HUNT shows as a trio were like this - the look on Rob's face when he missed a fill and knew how is was supposed to have sounded was one of my favorite things in mid-'00s DIY punk...but I digress). That song is all over the place and this tape is just great heartfelt gritty melodic punk. You like THIS IS MY FIST? Yeah, friend...me too. And that's not just OK - it's great. 

DOLLAR PLAY - 2 RECORD EQUIVALENT

24 November 2021

PROFANE GRACE



Record stores, as a concept, are cool. We can all just agree on that, right? And the cool record stores are a whole different level of special. For those of us (I'm talking to you, if you're reading this) who like to dig, there's nothing quite like a good shop, out of the way, with a worker/owner/proprietor kinda lurking behind the counter pretending to do something important while they watch you dig...wondering if you're one of them. And when (if) you can break that seal, the distance evaporates and conversation immediately turns into "if you like this then you gotta check out THIS" and "have you heard that?" and then you're just talking to an old friend because you get each other, you know? That happened to me a few months back at LongHair Records in Albuquerque. Extremely cool small shop that focuses on the fringes of metal and experimental sounds without making your regular ass rock shopper feel alienated. I brought the dude a stack of records (good stuff - not "valuable" in the monetary sense, but also not dollar bin fodder) and left with a stack of excellent tapes. More importantly, I left knowing that this was the store I need to visit every time I'm in Duke City, because everything felt right. Regular ass store in a strip  mall, next to a smoke shop and a bunch of empty store fronts. In the non-Covid reality they host gigs inside and/or in the parking lot. Heavy emphasis on freak VHS tapes and new age tapes (ask me for the story he told me - it's genius and you will be amazed) and this brutally raw black metal tape from PROFANE GRACE. I basically said all that other shit just to tell you that I got this PROFANE GRACE tape there - but the other shit was probably more important. I also snagged the Artspace Quarterly tape, and a bunch of Krshna chants. I just needed an excuse to blab, apparently. It was a really good visit. 



23 November 2021

JUNIOR

 



Un(der)known punk. Kinda melodic, would have fit in nicely on a bill with J CHURCH and/or GOMEZ and/or TINA, AGE 13. There must (still) be thousands of these bands filling up the cracks in time. Waiting for the future to find them. The final track here is the reward for your (minimal) effort. 


22 November 2021

V.A.P.E.



The sheer quantity of sonic documents that the Oklahoma City DIY scene produced in the 2010s is impressive. The overwhelmingly high quality of those documents is astounding. I guess when you don't have anything to do except be pissed....well, it gets the juices flowing. Enter: V.A.P.E. and their two minute legacy. Imagine if this dropped as a vinyl 45 and the band had played just one or two high visibility shows on one coast or the other? But they didn't. You just get this tape, but oh my what a motherfukkr. 
 
VIOLENCE ANARCHY PEACE EQUALITY



21 November 2021

THE RITA

 

For those simply not equipped for this world, there is noise. And for those who have mastered navigation on another plane entirely, this is music. THE RITA has spent more than two decades mastering the harsh noise wall, a full sonic immersion that is experienced more than simply listened to. Womankind 2 is a 2012 offering; calculated, debilitating, brutality. 

20 November 2021

THINGS I HATE



Late '90s raw, discordant sounds that form a nice sonic bridge between fervent mid decade basement punk and the more realized hooks of the new millennium, with approaches borrowing liberally from the classics. "Dull Knives" has roots in manic late '80s SST, "Hallmark" could be the precursor to OBSERVERS and the like. Just a solid ass punk tape by a band from Portland, released for a 1997 tour in California. 

19 November 2021

KALX - MAD MAX

Another KALX (Berkeley, CA) broadcast from the cassette archives left by Pat Wright. An unbelievably killer mix of tunes from THE CLEAN, SUBWAY SECT, URBAN GUERRILLAS, POTENTIAL THREAT, THE BRISTLES, BOB VIDONE, FINNICUM, ANTIETAM and loads loads more, hosted by DJ Mad Max. Even if the magic and excitement of radio (particularly experimental college radio) might be lost on a generation that can quite literally click a link or access a stream and hear virtually (or...virtually hear) anything they can imagine, it's impossible to overstate how important these stations and these DJs were. Obviously the Bay Area was already well versed in punk and underground sounds by 1985 or so (when this broadcast was taped), but you were still juiced when you learned about a new band from Oklahoma before hearing SUBTERFUGE blaze into THE HYPNOTICS. Old Man Escape over here is gonna put his foot down and declare that you just can't get that experience from a digital file. Not even this one, which I encourage you to download. 


KALX - MAD MAX
An editing snafu vanished tracks by PRIMAL SCREAM, ED GEIN'S CAR and THE THINGIES. So maybe some of the magic of the unknown is manifesting in the files after all.,,,

18 November 2021

SCHWUND



Anyone want to help me figure out what is happening here? It's like KRAFTWERK decided to play OBLIVIANS tunes or some shit. The energy is wild, the energy is through the roof, and it sounds like space invaders (the game) just invaded a sweaty basement with some NDW freak in a turtleneck marching around with a bullhorn telling everyone to remain calm while demanding SUICIDE hand over their keyboards to their new overlords. They comply...the people and SUICIDE. They all comply. And it sounds like SCHWUND. It sounds crazy. It sounds beautiful. You love it. Everyone loves it. 


There you go. I painted the picture. Now look at it. You're welcome.