A marriage of sparse solo guitar and subdued acoustic industrial improvisation, the sole release from Italian experimental duo MISE EN ABYME listens like a deconstructed SIR RICHARD BISHOP treated by BLIXA BARGELD. It's a challenging journey at times but one well worth embarking upon, as these two invite the listener to evolve and discover with them, in real time. The journey should be, after all, just as important as the destination.
15 February 2019
Angry, mean, desperate....weird. Modern hardcore put through a filter that I can only describe as "Oklahoman" sentenced to do time on tiny magnetic tape with '90s US basement 'core and West Coast Powerviolence greats. I wish I could say that everyone gets along here, but the clash of frustrations from all side results in an incredibly tense release, and you feel kinda dirty after you listen to it. Whether that's the point or not, it's the effect. And it's honest.
Maybe presenting cassettes in their physical form is rather assholish behavior (on my part) when it means that you get a mutated, hiss-filled tweak to what the band likely intended, but I still believe that that's a part of the joy, and the excitement, of sub-par media. Life is a crapshoot, punk, and sometimes you get what you fukkn get even when you try real hard...and besides, you're on the damn internet. So if you want to hear a version more suited for driving to the mall in your mom's '14 Acura instead of getting shithoused on a country backroad north of Guthrie in that shitty '87 Ford pickup you keep limping around town, then CROSSBREAKER still has you covered.
14 February 2019
The second demo from these Toronto mutants (the first, posted last year, was titled II) is full of even more noisy stomping ferocity that teeters along mad-as-in-angry and mad-as-in-insane. The aural chaos is intentional, calculated, and it still feels like JOCKSTRAP is about to careen off the cliff at any moment - even though you know that's how they want you to feel. The weird future feedback in "End It" is my personal highlight, but at seven whopping minutes you surely have the time to listen intently to find your own.
13 February 2019
I must be doing something right. A few weeks ago, a fellow who I work with very occasionally but don't really know at all (he appears to be a rocker, but we are essentially on a "nod of acknowledgement" basis) walked up to me and asked it I liked black metal. Sure, I said, though it's far from my field of expertise. Cool, he replied, and said he was going to make me a tape. A few days later, I had this in my hand. It only takes a few googles to see that Sweden's WULKANAZ are well established in the kvlt world, and a few tracks into 2018's self titled Wulkanaz to realize why. A solo project from Kumulonimbus from TOMHET (I didn't know that), WULKANAZ has been cranking out dark and weird black metal for a decade and it's the emphasis on weird that makes them as compelling as they are. You can get away with things when there's no one else in your band that would be really hard to pull off as a collective, and WULKANAZ's use of ambient noise and primitive recordings that careen wildly through various metal and industrial subgenres is compelling to say the least - take the double shot of "Det Svultna Gap" into "Stiärnväv" as an initial example. So yeah....this more or less random dude just walked up to me and gave me a tape because he thought I would like it. That's cool. And I do like it.
It's worth noting that the official cover art to Wulkanaz is decidedly more evil that the images shown here. Dude cut and pasted this shit like a true tape monger, and for that I offer even more appreciation. I have a hope that we never become friends, but continue to exchange tapes. Though I'm really going to have to up my cut and paste game:
12 February 2019
This is the sound of a truck hitting you in the face. Intentionally. Eleven blasts of rage and frustration in eight terrifying minutes, this 2015 demo is a beating that simply doesn't stop...until they close with a FLOORPUNCH cover that makes it clear that they could be the Kings of Hardcore if they weren't so addicted to grinding. This tape is power realized, and it's exactly what I need today.
This was released in a criminally limited edition of 30 by Knochen Tapes from Germany. If you like to grind, then you should already know who they are.
11 February 2019
"Fields Of Destruction" is, straight up, one of the best noiz/DBeat tracks I have ever heard. Four damn chords delivered with just the right combination of starts and stops and hiccups and relentless fukkn noise, plus the requisite desperate howls presented as vokills. 13 minutes of unhinged DBeat noise, this demo is is at once "by the books" and groundbreaking - perhaps just because they execute with such deadly precision. Check the first 15 seconds of "Feigning Life," and then try to have a normal day.
10 February 2019
09 February 2019
Raw and weird, these midwest mutants floored me when I saw them last year. With a Pay To Cum-caliber drum/bass attack (and recording), a perfectly buzzed 1982 guitar and a high pitched alien whine fronting the whole thing, ACCELA deliver a deliberate mic drop over the course of six minutes. Aside from the vocals, this demo sounds like it's from another era - with the vocals, it sounds like it's from another planet.
08 February 2019
RALFI PAGÁN's version of "Make It With You" is really all vol.6 needs to make it essential - dousing BREAD's '70s schlock with an innocently psychedelic Latin groove was a genius move, and it works even better than it should. The rest of this volume is certainly up to the challenge, of course, from THE WHISPERS doo-wop waltz to JOHNNY FLAMINGO dropping steelpans and inadvertently fuzzed out keys into the summer cruise. THE DELICATES "I Want To Get Married" is another standout, THE DUBS swing hard with "Could This Be Magic" and the ultra smooth "Pledging My Love" from JOHNNY ACE just oozes. This comps are so much more than "oldies" collections (THE MOMENTS' version of "Love On A Two Way Street" is only eight years older that Never Mind The Bollocks, after all), these are the soulful secret underbelly of the music industry hitmakers that held a death grip on artists and listeners alike...you can hear a little more grit, you can hear a little more desperation, a little more honesty. LITTLE ANTHONY's "I'm On The Outside Looking In" is a perfect example - it simply must have been too real for radio at the time, so it was relegated to bedroom 45s and late night cruises....and you can practically feel his sigh even (or especially) today. "gotta find a way gotta find a way gotta find a way back to your heart babe...."
07 February 2019
Few bands have written hardcore as interesting and engaging as Norway's KORT PROSESS. Ever. 34 tracks here, covering all three of their EPs spanning 1993-97. Remember, this is just a few years removed from BGK and overlapped chronologically with ECONOCHRIST and HIS HERO IS GONE. Think about that. Essential fire.