When WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? toured with LIFES HALT in 2001, I met some people and made some friends and made some connections that still hold strong today. It was essentially a bunch of dudes driving around telling fart jokes and throwing food at each other, but it was an incredibly important five weeks for most of us. In Connecticut, we stayed with a fellow named Chris and it was weird but he was a cool cat and we all talked about records a LOT (full disclosure: I had never heard of most of the records he talked about and this might have been the first time I heard the term "killed by death" used as a genre descriptor and not just a series of compilations), then in Providence at our July 4th afternoon show there was a group of dorks there who referred to themselves as the New Bedford Mosh Crew (they had shirts), who went super hard in the basement but then chilled awkwardly on the sidelines at the show in Western Mass when older (rawer) hardcore kids were going harder (full disclosure: we all kinda hated the Western Mass gig, but that shit in Rhode Island was a blast). Anyway, Chris was in SELF DEFENSE, who I crossed paths with a few more times in the '00s. And those New Bedford Mosh Crew kids were part of the scene that gave us XFILESX. So you see, it was a very important time...and this tape that Mick (Room 101 Records, Connecticut, DIALLO, also met on that tour, also haven't seen in years) release is a straight rager - even (especially) released for their tour in 2002 is an essential document of a time that has long since passed. Also, if you like really fast hardcore then I strongly recommend this cassette.
19 July 2019
18 July 2019
Fuuuuuuukkkkkkk this one just doesn't get out of my head. Ultra catchy Montreal punk - forceful femme vocals and hook forever laid on top of a ridiculously solid rhythm section. The most obvious comparison is from France, though I think it sells MALOKIO somewhat short. There are only four song on this tape (five on their 2014 recording, that might actually be better), but these Québécois have set a seriously high bar for future efforts. Highest Escape recommendation.
17 July 2019
In the relatively early days of The Escape, I posted some New Jersey freak show noise rock and my pal John sent me additional recordings from the same band...and a casual obsession with TRIGGERVISION began. I feel like they embody what SONIC YOUTH was going for years earlier, but that they did so with the artistic perspective that only time can really provide. That doesn't mean the second wave is better than the first, but using experience and knowledge as tools can't really be a bad thing. Then a few months ago I got an email from Daniel asking if I wanted to hear some unreleased TRIGGERVISION recordings....I did, and Daniel delivered. Almost an hour of studio and live recordings (including their first from 1987) that will absolutely melt your mind. Psychedelic freakout prog/no wave/punk, they simply don't make them like this anymore, and I strongly suggest that you dig real deep into what TRIGGERVISION had to offer. Seriously and endless gratitude to Daniel for sharing...there recordings make my brain hurt. And these recordings make my brain work, which is even more important.
16 July 2019
These bands were like weeds in the mid-'00s. Bulldozer crust with gruff vocals and Scandi-lite guitar leads that kinda sounded like '90s pop punk if you dropped them onto a STRUNG OUT record. There were often little hints of black metal too, but that was before people openly acknowledged that the Burzum dude was a fucking nazi (full disclosure: I wore a Burzum shirt for most of my first Japanese tour 1996 - it's not a thing I feel awesome about). Some of these recordings make me cringe when I hear them, and some of them strike a nerve...the right nerve, and they make me nostalgic. Check the TERROR LEVEL RED 12" for example - it was maybe a little late to the picnic in 2007 (an unavoidable timeline perhaps, as they were really young), but holy SHIT does that thing hold up today. See also Southern California anarcho-crusters PROBLEM REACTION SOLUTION....the metal tinges are more on the melodic and anthemic end (MAIDEN, HAMMERFALL), but none of that detracts from the guttural dual vocal churn that makes up most of this 2005 release. Pretty sure this was all they ever offered, and a fifteen year old $1 bin demo probably isn't going to make of a blip on most radars since, you know...it's not "cool," but I'll take the guitar break at 2:42 in "Drug Addicted Population" any fucking day. Also, "Mass Murder" shamelessly rips "Eye Of The Tiger" in the best possible way.
15 July 2019
A chaotic performance from Australia's THE NUCLEAR FAMILY captured in Sapporo in 2016. Think early punk, when there were no rules and when you could just kill one hook for four minutes and call it a song. Think saxophone. Think STOOGES meets GERMS. Think MUTANTS. Think fucking punk then think free jazz and then ask yourself is technical ability is really the only true barrier. I typically house the live bangs over at Escape Is Terminal, but I feel like it would be criminal for this document to get lost in the less-visited shuffle. Take your time here, THE NUCLEAR FAMILY is neither an easy nor pleasant ride. But they take you where you need to go.
14 July 2019
Pay Attention. Because if you're going to harness decades old sounds and regurgitate them as your own, then you need to put in the work required to make them your own. That's what THE MOLDS have done. Airy '80s indie/alt as a base, and then they...well, they make it theirs. Beats are weird, guitars feel like they are descending from all directions at the same, and moments like the chorus in "Bad One" sound like lost nuggets from the 120 Minutes era of primitive late night cable TV alt discovery. Like, even though it's on the internet for anyone to see and hear and have, THE MOLDS make themselves belong to you as you listen to them - it's a rare feat, and not an easy one.
13 July 2019
Further evidence that it doesn't have to be fancy to be good. Like, really good. Buffalo is only a couple of hours from Pittsburgh, and I hear CAUSTIC CHRIST and SUBMACHINE is in this demo (bridging generations, y'all) - meat and potatoes hardcore punk, lyrics full of vinegar and frustration. "Audio Masturbation" is far and away the choice cut, and off the rails burner that never seems to let up, even when it slows down...the REALLY RED cover is a strong move too, of course. This one dropped in 2012 and the band appears to have gone silent, but I'll take what I can get.
12 July 2019
11 July 2019
Simplicity can be a very powerful tool. Controlled beats, the subtler side of power electronics, a gentle blanket of manufactured tape hiss to curl up with. MARATHON listens like an ambient space synth excursion, but eschews traditional synths and sounds in almost every way ("III" as the primary exception). It's a curious excursion, and MARATHON truly does seem they are trying to lure you in instead of merely entertain you. I recommend reaching out....meet them halfway.
10 July 2019
You got two yesterday because I figured one was so standard that you should already have it anyway.
There's another world where fukkn everyone knows this band, and the underground metal world swoons over Indonesia's POISON NOVA. In this world, however, they may be lost to most rippers outside of Indonesia. There are only two songs on this cassette, but.....just, wow. I think that this is what power is supposed to sound like. You can tell me they are too polished if you like, you can even tell me that this is like my HECATE ENTHRONED to your GORGOROTH demo. And I'll tell you that these kids from Cirebon fukkn slay.