22 January 2021

DISARRAY IN THE BAY

 

Brilliant regional compilation compiled a 2004 by Clint...a then-young Clint who would grow into a local legend. Disarray In The Bay is a snapshot of the Bay Area that I had just left, so I confess that it's of particular interest to me. The hot shit bands of the moment (BRAINOIL, DYSTROPHY, VÖETSEK, IRON LUNG, LBAL, BORN/DEAD, FLESHIES) sharing space with the one who rolled lower and picked up some kids along the way (CASE OF EMERGENCY ["Never Again" is, perhaps, best track on the tape], HIGHTOWER, LIVE AMMO, THE URCHINS). A couple of bands from Reno because the scenes had considerable overlap then (BAFABEGIYA, ARABELLA), and I guess YAPHET KOTTO and HIGH ON FIRE are on the same comp because it was 2004. This is so clearly a tape put together by a fan, which is probably why it listens so damn good...so you can pretend you were there. Just like me. 


21 January 2021

TRUCKDRIVERS

 

I'm really sure why this one grabs me, but it does. Laid back ska-heavy vibes from the Ural mountains, it just feels...nice. A bit of a CULTURE SHOCK vibe at times though the groove isn't quite as heavy, and in the interest of completely useless references I'll add that the first track strikes me like TUOMARI NURMIO with Mike Muir singing. There are four cuts on this 2013 release, but if it grabs you like it grabbed me, then there is plenty more waiting for you if you go straight to the source. 

20 January 2021

MULTI FACET



It's probably best for me to just leave this demo here and not get myself all wound up. MULTI FACET released one of my favorite EPs of the 1990s - a record that is dark, relentless, and captures so much of Oakland hardcore punk. Until recently, I thought that those four songs and the split with SHEEPHEAD were it....turns out there's more. Jeneane's vocals sound like they are about to just collapse on "Slow Burn" (many of the lyrics are undecipherable, but listen to her fucking die while she forces out "feel so cold" and "crashing around me") and the take of "Reach" here is faster, more manic than the vinyl version. So just listen, and I'll get myself wound up in private. 


There's one cut on the tape that's not listed....any Bay Area heads want to help out with the title?
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I posted a Gilman set a few years ago...it's really fucking good too. 


19 January 2021

INTERNAL AUTONOMY

Sometimes I wonder how long INTERNAL AUTONOMY will fly under the radar. Amidst the swells of dark-anarcho-goth over the last few years, one would think that a band like this would be exactly what all the mutants were drooling over - especially a relatively uncelebrated band with so many brilliant tracks. Well, until that day comes, the relatively small number of you who decide to dig deeper can enjoy a stunning unreleased session titled Here In Our Hearts, Most of these tracks popped up on subsequent releases and/or the collection CD that came out several years back. "Star Spangled Banality" is unquestionably a timeless and unsung smash hit...every other song is pretty fucking good too. 

HERE IN OUR HEARTS
Also...some of the responsible parties are now (very) active in a project called FEROXIDE. The split with ACHE OF AGES is pretty damn incredible. 

18 January 2021

VOLUNTEERS

 

Remember when '80s hardcore bands started playing melodic and you wondered if maybe the catchy stuff was really their intent all along, like maybe the anger was just from them being frustrated that they didn't have the chops to write pop hits, and then they learned to play and record better and we were just hearing what they actually meant to sound like the whole time. Well, there are a few moments on this VOLUNTEERS demo that make me wonder if maybe I'm hearing that process in reverse. Like, the sound and the chops are there and they've got hooks like crazy, but you hear shit like "BBC Scum" and it's as if some grown ass musicians were like
"the fuck is this shit? we wanted to sound like HEIBEL" and they pulled the straps off and just let loose. While I'm sure my hot take is completely incorrect, but I still like to think I accidentally discovered the secret to recreating late '80s unhinged European thrash fury. 

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17 January 2021

IMPACT



This demo is....it's something else. There are only four tracks on IMPACTS's 1982 demo, but they are all perfectly executed UK82 stomps ripped from the grooves of your favorite Riot City and No Future 45s. There were other recordings after this one (many compiled on an excellent LP from AntiSociety that'll likely be far easier to source than a copy of this little monster), but even though it's trite to say it....the first demo is the best. This copy came from a Welsh source (apparently) well versed in the importance of filling blank magnetic tape with the sounds of the day, so a series of 1983 bangers follows the IMPACT demo. You're welcome.  


 

16 January 2021

TIMEKILLER

 

Fucking screaming modern hardcore from Viet Nam. A band of ex pats based in Ho Chi Minh City, TIMEKILLER have been active since the mid-10s and I've dug everything I've come across enough that I eventually just scooped all of it from them (powers of the internet age, though it does wash some of the magic away...). Howling vocals, tortured guitars that land somewhere between BL'AST and Hydra Head late '90s fare - the band fire on all cylinders at all times, comfortable enough to make serious sonic reaches like the end of "Callus" feel completely natural. This tape kills, that is all....just fukkn kills. 

15 January 2021

SUPERIORITY SOUNDS

I made a two volume mix tape for a restaurant on New York City. That's not weird...is it? 
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Just listened to both volumes the other day (back to back as intended) and can confirm that, objectively speaking, I did a really good job. If your restaurant makes good (vegan) food and wants a mix tape, please let me know. Two volume offerings reserved for restaurants who make really really good food - pretty sure there's a spot in Oakland who can expect one in their very near future.  



14 January 2021

NECROMANTX

 

I saw a few friends from Milwaukee blabbing about this band on social media a few weeks ago and my ears (or, more accurately, my thumbs) perked up. I'm not fucking encyclopedia, but I know a few things and it makes me especially eager to devour things I've never heard of - especially punk things, and especially punk things from Wisconsin and Oklahoma (though Ross has the Oklahoma market covered, so you should send your artifacts directly to him). So I reached out, and my pal Dug offered to send me his copy of Headless And Gutted to party with for a bit, and here I am...partying. You aren't in store for raging hardcore, but if you want a blast of irreverent screaming Midwest hardcore punk from the late 1987 then sign the fuck up. Listen #1 was excitement, anticipation. Listens #2 through #6 I was more like, "Man, this shit is childish." And it is childish...but then, you put yourself in a VFW Hall in Cudahay as a surplus store army boot wearing 16 year old....and it's kinda like the greatest thing ever. 

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13 January 2021

TAUREAN



Perfectly executed college/alt rehash from 2017 Portland. Think major label REPLACEMENTS, a touch of SOUL ASYLUM, early solo MOULD, think layers of guitar tracks (one of which sounds *just* out of tune, and it's brilliant). Vocals have an awkward adolescent SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE warble, the whole thing listens like a tattered teddy bear. It just feels....well, it feels good, and there's nothing wrong with wrapping your arms around it.