06 December 2019


Ruthless Southern California straight edge from 2014. I saw them once (at Muñoz Gym in Bakersfield) and it was very very sick, but I hadn't popped this demo in for quite some time until the other day and I honestly didn't remember RESPONSE ripping quite this hard. YOT breakdowns, searing, compressed guitars, that teenage doompa-doompa fast beat that isn't even really a beat at all, more like a metronome with cymbals (if you know, then you know what I mean) and lyrics that rhyme things like "in my way" with things like "make you pay." There's at least one recycled NEGATIVE APPROACH riff, and honestly that is just fine by me....shit bangs super hard. They dropped two EPs after this, both of which are essentially dollar bin fodder, which is exactly why you should (still) always troll the dollar bins. 

05 December 2019


Man...someone want to tell me why I like this? I'm at a loss, except to say that Moscow's JINX are just really good at doing the thing that they do. Shades of SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE (full disclosure: the first comparison I made was FOO FIGHTERS, but the vocals were too pretty), but really this is just commercial sounding indie/alt. "She's A Stargazer" could be a radio hit...and maybe that's the thing: "She's A Stargazer" should be a radio hit, but instead the radio is full of schlock. And this schlock is actually kinda good schlock, so maybe I'm drawn to JINX because this is what shitty music should be: it should be pretty good. It usually isn't, but it doesn't seem too much to ask. 

04 December 2019


This one was a breath of fresh air that rushed in amidst a horde of neanderthal hardcore stomps. If I had to reduce it to one word, Germany's EX-DIEL sound determined. Fortunately I have far more latitude than that, and I can say that Germany's EX-DIEL conjure '80s ghosts as varied as Faith and Evol on a recording dominated by spoken/shouted vocals in a constant face off with an atonal, open guitar furiously bashing simplicity into the earth. The songs are plodding and deliberate missives, deliveries that tell stories with both word and sound, and I'm as drawn to this tape as I have been to anything in quite some time. Simply put, sometimes punk with no rules is the best punk. 

03 December 2019

SPOT 1019

The late 1980s, when all of the rules were either willfully disobeyed or simply rewritten. No longer did your band need to sound punk or sound hardcore....or even sound good, as long as you were doing something different then the collective scene seemed to give you a pretty long leash. San Francisco in particular, where TRAGIC MULATTO shared the same urban space as STONE FOX, was a breeding ground for whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-do, a permissive ethos that has not been looked upon kindly through the rear view mirror of history. Enter SPOT 1019 - equal parts X-TAL, DEAD MILKMEN and DEVO, addictive vocals melodies and a frenetic cowpunk beat, almost like HICKOIDS-lite at times. Imagine a world where this was released by Frontier, the samer label that dropped the debut SUICIDAL TENDENCIES slab. Yeah...times had definitely changed. 

02 December 2019


NEVER DIE! drop one of the best late '80s Japanese hardcore rips I have ever come across, with rffs so spot on that I had to check myself a few times and wonder if they were, in fact, from Japan. The drums are all wrong though - beats are straight with no lurches, I can't think of any double taps in JPNHC, and the cymbals (in addition to being buried in the mix) never accent the riffs the way Muka-chin does. The drums are awesome, don't get me wrong, they just aren't Japanese Hardcore drums and this is clearly a Japanese Hardcore band, or at least an homage to one. There's flattering in imitation of course, and this four song banger rages hard no matter the intention. Screaming (but tasteful) leads and furious speed picking in the fast(er) parts (check "Carry The Flame" for confirmation here), and the yeeeeooowls will clench your damn fist for you. Good job, punks...I wonder if you'll try to sneak an LP by us next?

01 December 2019


Two doses of demented garage punk schlock from New York's CRAMMM. Tortured, awkward, primitive....very very real. 

30 November 2019


A lot of people in the US spend the last weekend in November with family and away from work. Some by choice and some by force, some celebrating an arbitrary "holiday" and some just taking advantage of a commercially coopted holiday and enjoying solitude and relative quiet. Without getting into the complicated and shitty baggage associated with this "holiday," I will just acknowledge that there are a lot of ragers in this country who, by Saturday, realized that they don't actually like their families all that much and are looking to get out of the house, get fukkd up, and listen to some ripping tunes...and it's for these people that I offer today's cassette. It's a mystery, it's an adventure...and it fukkn shreds. It came in a shell for EMPTY's 1994 All Alone demo (which I thought I had, and I still want...hint hint), but the handwriting on the tape said DERANGED, ARMOOROS, MORAL DECAY, CAMEL CLUTCH + more! but after some sonic research I'm pretty sure I can only pick out the ARMOROS tracks and I surely don't hear any MORAL DECAY. Six bands appear to have made their way onto the tape -
A) Ripping old school death thrash. This might be DERANGED, but I couldn't place any of the tracks.
B) Pretty sure this is ARMOROS (thanks internet, I had never heard of them) - killer '80s Midwest DIY meets classic thrash metal - I'm into it.
C) Technical power metal - kinda like SLOUGH FEG from another dimension. Less operatic maybe (and yeah, I know that SLOUGH FEG are already from a different dimension), but way way out there.
D) Just one track here, neanderthal death sludge reminiscent of ASBESTOS DEATH but with savage vocals.
E) Maybe the most professional sounding thing on the tape - colossal thrash/death metal that sounds like '90s SEPULTURA at times...but mostly just sounds fierce as fukk.
F) Whoever put this together saved the best for last....four doses of absolutely brutal grindcore. Relentless and primitive savagery. Definitely not MORAL DECAY.
So there you so...something to blast in your cousin's man cave while you avoid talking about politics with Uncle Lynn and get uncomfortably fucked up on cheap wine by yourself and dread going back to work on Monday. Also - someone please tell me who these fukkn bands are? I tried. I promise.

29 November 2019


RESIST shouldn't really need any introduction - straight forward, in your face, political punk rock. By the time they ended their initial run with 1994's Ignorance Is Bliss LP, the sound had definitely matured and admittedly the songs were more interesting, but there's something about the honesty of this debut release from 1989. Think about time and place.....Feel The Darkness came out the following year, SSD had only split a few years prior, and traditional US hardcore was considered by most to be dead and buried as bands either turned to midpaced pre-grunge or metal (or worse: funk) and new punks started venturing down the more melodic trails blazed by later BAD RELIGION records. And then there was RESIST....fast, pissed, hardcore. 

28 November 2019


Just when you though the blown out shit was passé (it's not), Seattle's LEXICON kicks you square in the mouth. Riffs forever (check "Denial" if you think I'm lying...I'm not), fiercest snarl this side of hardcore and everything cranked waaaay into the red. The needles stay peaked to the right at all times and LEXICON just keep raging as if they don't know what else to do. And maybe they don't.   

27 November 2019


More magic uncovered by the folks at Loathed Sound, this time in the form of a 1978 collaboration recorded in Berlin. No attempt from me to regurgitate and paraphrase the results from blind internet searches, I'll just say that this was an incredibly good listen on a somewhat melancholic rainy morning...and most of us don't have any business asking for much more than that. 

tears in their eyes are not for crying...