29 September 2009
28 September 2009
Andy, Chris and Big Al from Weymouth made this brilliant demo in 1989, and called themselves LIZARDS. I was completely sold mere moments into the first track "I Believe," which is a midtempo dark and gloomy number that would have fit in perfectly with All The Madmen releases that came years earlier. Eight songs on the We Want To Be American demo, and they are all superb, even when the vocals get all weird and almost BUTTHOLE SURFERS-esque on "Foetus" and even when they start "Pig Out" with a really odd wah-wah on the guitar and then launch into a disco beat. As always with the more random UK bands, if anyone reading this has any more information on these chaps, feel free to drop a line in the comments and share your wisdom with us commoners!
27 September 2009
Five songs in six minutes, this is my kind of hardcore! I could drop loads of early '80s references and claim them as influences on LIFE TRAP, but this is just killer hardcore punk with a guitarist who was clearly weaned on all the classics. This makes my want to punch holes in the wall like I did the first time I heard BAD BRAINS (this doesn't sound anything like BAD BRAINS, I'm just saying that when I was 14 living in Oklahoma and I heard I Against I, I wanted to punch holes in my wall). This shit rules, enjoy.
26 September 2009
Another complete mystery to me. I didn't like this demo from DOOR MARKED SUMMER on first listen, but as I was ripping it it got more interesting, and then it just got better and better. A reverb drenched recording and repetitive songs that drone on and remind me of BAUHAUS from time to time (methinks the first song sounds like BAUHAUS and mid era NEUROSIS combined). The vocals are definitely the weakest element, and the demo creeps too far into "rock" territory (after all, it is called Psychic Surfing), but the good far outweighs the bad here and even the seven plus minute "Put Me Down" is a total winner in my book. If anyone knows anything about DOOR MARKED SUMMER, let me know, even though I have no doubt that later recordings (if there were any) were likely pretty awful...this is a band that doesn't need to "mature" any more than they already have!
***UPDATE: was just handed a great fkkn link in the comments section to the Kent Band Archive. Cheers, balbulus, and please check out the site, it's a time vacuum in the best possible way (in other words, you can write off the rest of your afternoon!).
***Also, ANTI-STATE CONTROL post updated today with more of the rehearsal demo. After you are done getting all Psychic with DOOR MARKED SUMMER, you can tuck into that shit.
25 September 2009
Friday again, and this time you get a mix tape. I wish I could share the time that went into this one, it epitomizes the glory of The Mix Tape. Fold out cover lifted from newspapers and magazines, all taped together collage style; the songs painstakingly handwritten (alternating ink colors between artists and tracks), even including the year of release; and most importantly: the music chosen carefully for maximum flow and listening enjoyment. In 2003 we played a show at a squat in Bilbao, in Spain's Basque region. The lone resident to greet us was a cheery skinhead who spoke almost no english but did everything possible to make us feel welcome. He repeated over and over that he was "left skin," and would raise his left fist (in solidarity with all "good" skinheads I suppose). He didn't stay for our show (he went to work, like every good skinhead should), but when I woke up the next morning, there was this mix tape at my door, he had made it that night after work. We listened to this almost daily for the rest of the tour and I still bust it out from time to time, just a solid good time, with lots of songs by and about....well, skinheads. Good friday...
24 September 2009
Schenectady, New York has the distinguished and unfortunate nickname "Electric City" due to it's long and storied relationship with General Electric, that stalwart of the military industrial complex (they make refrigerators and light bulbs as well). Just outside of Albany, Schenectady shares few of Albany's perks as a state capital, and instead suffers from the same doldrums as scores of smaller rust belt cities across the Northeastern/Midwestern US. Schenectady is, however, a fantastic place to stop off the NY State Thruway and pick up some delicious greasy pizza. I miss the NE tour route (it's been over two years now), because chances were always good that Ron would be working when I called, and we would take that exit, and right in the middle of the historic and dilapidated downtown was a dilapidated pizza joint. It was always free, and therefore delicious, but breaking up a drive by spending 15 minutes with one of the funniest and most honest dudes I've come across was the real point of the detour. Ron sang for ECFU, who I first came across while on tour in some other upstate NY city in 2004. If memory serves, we arrived late, and heard them play a few songs from outside the venue. Our loss, as this is pure, raw and simple hardcore, frustrated and pissed, the kind of hardcore that comes from living in a dead end place like Schenectady. 9 tracks in just under 7 minutes, with songs like "My Dad Sucks," "You Suck," "Ruiners," and "New York Shitty." Just about every one of these gems follows the terribly predictable verse/chorus/verse/chorus/end formula, which just means that by the second listen, you don't need to follow along with the hand scrawled lyrics sheet, you can rage all over your bedroom screaming along instead. No frills on this tape, just pure thrills.
23 September 2009
INSTIGATORS should need no introduction. One of my favourite 80s UK punk bands, with releases on US and European labels reaching into the '90s. These tracks appeared in different versions on 1984's Nobody Listens Anymore LP, though "Not Free" is called "Free" on that record (as a side note: I always found it curious that the song "The Blood Is On Your Hands" was not included on The Blood Is On Your Hands EP that was also released in 1984, but was included on the LP). To me, the most interesting thing about this recording is the studio censoring on "The Blood Is On Your Hands," bleeping out lyrics in the first verse. The songs you have surely heard before, but hopefully these (slightly rougher demo) versions of 25 year old punk tunes will tickle your fancy. INSTIGATORS rule.
22 September 2009
Raging Japanese thrash/hardcore from the Tokyo area. This was recorded in 2006, and the band is still killing it (I get to see them again in just a few weeks!). Here's a short clip of them live, and though the sound isn't the best, you can see that vocalist Mau is a treat to watch on stage. For anyone who pays attention, Mau is from the early '00s Tokyo band LiE, who had great and often overlooked records on 625, but personally when I saw FLIPOUT A.A I knew that they had managed to reach the heights that LiE were striving for. Four songs, rage on.
21 September 2009
VIRUS. One of (at least) two 80s UK bands using the moniker, not to mention the (at least) two bands from the states who chose it as well. This VIRUS, from North Dorset, only managed to crank out two demo tapes before splitting up, but the second, "You Can't Ignore It Forever," is a brilliant slab of UK/anarcho punk that is loaded with fucking fantastic tunes. They had a track ("Oven Overture," from this demo) on a Mortarhate comp after they called it quits, and then 1/2 of the band started up again two decades later. They released an LP in 2007 which I have heard is actually quite decent, and you can check out their current goings on here. Killer tape to kick start your Monday, enjoy.
20 September 2009
Pittsburgh's punk scene has given us many fantastic bands through the '00s (BRAINHANDLE, CAUSTIC CHRIST, F.L.A.K., KIM PHUC, and the list goes on...). Years back, there was APHASIA (who later morphed into DIE SCREAMING), who were good, but always seemed to me like they were almost able to combine their differing influences and ideas and turn themselves into a truly great punk band. Well, after the demise of DIE SCREAMING, 1/2 of the band started ICON GALLERY, and let there be no doubt that tremendous success has been achieved! This is their first recording from 2007, and these four songs manage to put together one of the most unique vocalists I've ever heard with a complete powerhouse on guitar, and the result is simply fucking beautiful. The guitar is the focal point for me (I'm perhaps in the minority here, Chani's vocals are out of this world and impossible to ignore, but the guitars are so fucking great), classic '80s US Midwest hardcore style riffing (think HUSKER DU, ARTICLES OF FAITH, but completely original) and leads that come out of nowhere and then fade seamlessly back into the song. ICON GALLERY has released two vinyl slabs (one of which is this cassette demo) that both made my top 10 releases last year...I'm just thankful that this one was a tape first, so I get to share it here.
19 September 2009
A rehearsal demo from 1982 that features a full hour of drunken UK punk. "Sniffing Glue Blues" and two other tunes appear in cleaner (and honestly far better) versions on the EP of the same title, but there are loads of great songs here; "Plastic Surgery," "Muse," "Nobody Cares About us" to name a few. I never like to pick a cover tune as a favourite, but their version of "Dear Prudence" is indeed stellar, and I think it takes the prize here. There are 19 songs on this demo, including several songs played twice (it was, after all, a rehearsal). Mark from ASC helped out a bit with some song titles, and I've named all of the files that I can. Enjoy!
18 September 2009
This one is a total killer, if I do say so myself. The bands I was already familiar with pretty put Punk Invasion in the "win" column: SCREAM (DC), FUNERAL DRESS (Belgium) , COWBOY KILLERS (Wales), CULTURE SHOCK (England), and the mighty fucking Japanese band THE CRUCK, who deliver tracks as good as their offerings on Get Back The Discharged Arrow LP. But I was also treated to my first exposure to THE WORMS from Finland, brilliant songs from D.S.S. (West Germany), and Swedes SPEED TEAM. The title says "World HC Sampler," and that's exactly what you get!
11 September 2009
After the excessively wimpy post from yesterday, here's a little redemption: Toronto's BASTARDIZER, a complete metalcrust attack in five movements. The band is no more, but at least they left us this tape. The self titled Bastardizer comes complete with a REPULSION cover, just in case there was any doubt as to where they drew their influences.
I was playing this in the van one day while on tour with an 80s UK band a few years ago. The drummer poked his head up into the front of the van and asked, "Is this BLISS THE POCKET OPERA?" "It is," I replied, surprised that he knew and/or was familiar with the band, "did you like them back when they were around?" He laughed. A deep, raspy, and quite sincere full body laugh, "I always thought they were rubbish, fucking rubbish then, and complete rubbish now!" And went back to the rear recesses of the van. BLISS THE POCKET OPERA play keyboard driven anthemic goth/new wave with female vocals (the singer sounds just like the vocalist for BOOK OF LOVE, though the music is way way better, and I just lost a load of credibility by comparing anything to BOOK OF LOVE, didn't i? shit), and I can't get enough of these songs.
BLISS THE POCKET OPERA
Yesterday was ANARKA AND POPPY, female fronted punk from 1982. Today is SALTED CITY, the 2009 version of the same animal. Hard hitting and heavy handed Portland, Oregon punk with killer guitar work (likely even better now with the addition of a second axeman) with equal emphasis on Ginger's vocals and the crushing guitars. Seven dark and impressive songs, I believe they are coming to the Bay Area next month...color me excited.
Five song anarcho punk tape from 1982. ANARKA AND POPPY play tuneful female fronted punk, and if they had stuck together longer or produced more recordings than they did, I imagine they would be far more important than they are. According to their brief bio at KFTH, they recorded for an EP on CONFLICT's label in 1983, but it never saw a proper release (interestingly, the EP was to consist of three of the five songs on this demo), they released a live tape as well, also featuring most of these same tunes. "Acceptance" certainly reigns as may favorite track here, but all five are great...this one will get stuck in your head for days.
Ultra burly straight edge hardcore from Ohio. This is the cassette version of their One Of Those Years EP, which I like more every time I listen to it. Fast and furious, the way hardcore should be, get into it.
Yesterday was the Statements compilation tape, and today is the second STATEMENT demo, from 1986. It's really just 3 1/2 songs, as "Drug Dealers Shall Be Shot" is a short simple instrumental number that sounds as much like an intro as a song. The other tracks are reverb drenched guitar driven 80s UK punk, killer stuff (even if "What Lies Ahead" meanders a bit too much). STATEMENT did a couple of splits with THE APOSTLES in the late 80s, and they were on an animal rights comp that featured a very early vinyl appearance by VEGAN REICH...not that this information is really that important, I just thought it was interesting.
It's Friday. This time it's a European Philips FE-I 60 cassette from 1985, Statements. Two of may favorite 80s Dutch bands, INDIREKT and FUNERAL ORATION, offer up tracks (the early FUNERAL ORATION songs are anarcho/goth in the way THE MOB or LACK OF KNOWLEDGE managed to bridge those two styles, and they are probably my favorite songs on the tape), as well as Scotts POLITICAL ASYLUM, whose track "Cat's Eyes" is dreary and just totally brilliant. KONJETS are mid paced drum machine anarcho punk, KONJETS offer up one long awkward experimental track, SUBHUMANS should need no introduction, though it sounds as if these songs were recorded live at a gig attended by virtually no one. Two UK82 tunes from XPOZEZ, heavy epic female fronted punk from MIND GAMES, the A-STRANT songs are excellent driving UK punk, but the recording is just too off, even for my non-discerning taste, and the four songs from PRAGMA are just one dude yelling off key with a guitar banging out a few chords in the background (actually, the more I listen, these bedroom punk bursts are some of the best shit on the whole tape!). I've split up the two sides for downloading convenience, because I'm exceptionally considerate.
10 September 2009
I don't really know how to describe DIE TROTTEL....they are probably Hungary's longest running punk band, though the music they played into the '90s I certainly wouldn't call punk. This, their first demo from 1988 (I think?), is a mix of rudimentary punk and bizarre psychedelic sparseness. The first track is over 8 minutes long, but the punk parts of the songs are blistering, and it runs right into "Hosi Halott" which is full of spoken word and meandering riffs that would have fit in rather well on 29:29 Split Vision were it not for the harsh and frustrated female vocals that make this band even more unique than they would be otherwise. Three songs on side 2: the first meddles with some rock songwriting, but then blasts back into killer three chord punk; the second track is recorded horribly, and if this weren't an early recording of Hungarian punk, then I probably would have left it off, but historically I figure it's worth a listen; side 2 wraps up with a two minute scorcher, galloping punk with the best performance from the singer on the whole demo. If you're interested, the band/collective still exists, though primarily as a label. Otherwise, just enjoy these five tunes from DIE TROTTEL.
09 September 2009
TONE DEAF hail from Osaka, Japan. Complete and total USHC worship on these five songs; think early Dischord put through the filter of high energy 80s Japan punk like THE STALIN. Yeah, it's that good. This demo is from 2004, and it rules.
08 September 2009
I've got two ADMASS tapes. One of them (this one) is titled ADMASS DEMO 1, while the other is titled (rather geniusly) ADMASS DEMO 2. Those crazy punks, who knows what they will think of next! This rehearsal tape comes from 1982, and is an ultra raw anarcho punk gem. Eight tracks in all (though it's possible after further research that "Cunts" and "Gary Bushell" are parts of the same song, making the total number of tunes seven instead of eight? It's hard to tell, and after scouring the World Wide Web for info for a few drunken hours, I'm rather inclined to declare that I'm not really all that bothered either way), and this basic and rough practice punk makes me feel fucking fantastic, especially as I listen to this after spending hours in band practice earlier this evening. ADMASS play totally out of tune and awkward sounding punk that was recorded when I was 10 years old...there's something insanely cool about listening to this now. Perhaps it's that I just went to see a live electronic "band" (after punk practice was over), and I need to remind myself that punk is awesome before I go to sleep? Or perhaps it's that no matter how sloppy and wonderful, punk is simply awesome.
07 September 2009
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the SF band PUNCH play a show, the first time I'd seen them in several months. I knew nothing about any of the other bands playing the show, which makes show-going a new and exciting experience, right? First band was pretty good, I was looking forward to listening to their EP that I was gonna buy, but after hanging out by the merch table for 30 minutes waiting for someone to sell it to me, I figured it was time to either steal it or go without...and like I said, they were pretty good, but not good enough to steal a record. That's money I spent on 2 extra beers kids, your loss. The next two bands were pretty terrible, it was like a tough hardcore dude singing for MUDHONEY first, and the next one sounded like the shitty bands that played the frat bar down the street from my house in Oklahoma (bands like THE NIXONS, BLEMISH and WAKE, truly some ass awful shit) and I couldn't believe that I was at a hardcore show in the Bay Area, circa 2009. Then CHEST PAIN came and saved my fucking night! Crushing powerviolence from Texas, and they delivered a set in about 13 minutes that was honest, to the point and had no frills whatsoever. They played fast, they played hard, and when they were done I was grinning from ear to ear. So I bought a demo, and it would seem that these kids might even be better than I thought..just as fast and just as heavy as I remembered, but add intelligence and wit to the mix, and I'm fucking sold! Extra points from me for the two color screen on the cassette case, in addition to the nice artwork on the tape cover...spend a little time, and people will surely take notice. And, in case you were wondering, PUNCH was amazing. But they are honestly so damned great that it's hardly worth mentioning. It's like saying "apple pie tastes good with ice cream," or "being hungover is not fun," we all know these things, right?
06 September 2009
CONTEMPT started in 1984, and are still at it 25 years later. Pretty basic UK anarcho punk on these two demos, but after the spotty intro on the first tune (I really thought I was in for a late 80s punk/funk attack) things pick up quite nicely, and these eight songs are catchy as hell. Anticop, pro-animal, all that good stuff. I highly recommend reading their band history, it reads almost like a comedy sketch about a band's revolving membership merry-go-round. They had Stu-Pid (from SENSA YUMA, ENGLISH DOGS and others) on vocals for a few months, and singer Borstal appears to have been in the band a dozen different times. I know it's Sunday, but I couldn't find any of my 80s Christian Anarcho Punk. Sorry...
(tracks labels A1-A4 are the 1987 recording, B1-B4 are 1989)
05 September 2009
One look and you know what this tape sounds like. But this total crust assault is from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo. Some folks think of Borneo like this, but I will always remember it more like this (except our flight was late and we missed half of the show!). HASRAT play noisy grind/crust, and from the delivery, I would guess that they have at least one dude (guitarist, likely) who loves the shit out of METALLICA, but what band doesn't have at least one dude who loves METALLICA, right? Total assault.
04 September 2009
Friday. Last week was an "official" compilation tape from Germany, this time it's a mix tape from New Zealand. The songs on this mix are from between 19878 and '84, and their styles are rather varied. Five killer songs from Y.F.C.'s Between Two Thieves 12" take up side one; angular and quirky, almost post punk, almost arty anarcho weirdness. The sample that makes up the otherwise instrumental track "Lynch" is top notch, and the only bad thing about these tunes is that upon hearing them, I needed to find another record (meaning: I need to find this record). Five bands on side two: SKEPTICS (rather straightforward UK82 style punk from, no surprise, 1982), NO TAG (raucous street punk from their 1983 Oi Oi Oi 12"), two tracks from THIS SPORTING LIFE (rough and dirty punk, reminds me almost of the Australian band X, maybe my top tracks on the mix), and FEATURES (awesome '77 style punk from their 1978 EP).
As you can read on the cover, this was a tape that someone ("S.C.") made to highlight the bands from his/her area, and expose them to someone else halfway around the world. Far be it for me to wax nostalgic for the "old" days (though the days on this tape are way before my time in punk), but there was something more exciting about "finding" or "sharing" a band that you love, as opposed to the modern version of trading URLs. That said, this tape can be downloaded by going to:
03 September 2009
I'm sure this demo (and their other recordings) are readily available online, and questions you might have about the band can be answered here, as the band is playing shows again as of 2007. This 1986 demo came between the Welcome To The Orgy EP and 1988's Rock n' Roll Conformity full length, and is a much more anarcho punk approach to the stenchcore/crust that they would become famous for. While the later LPs strayed a little too far away from punk for may taste, DEVIATED INSTINCT took the torch borne by AMEBIX and marched with it proudly until they split in 1991. Members continued on in SPINE WRENCH, who took the weird parts of DEVIATED INSTINCT and ran with them, and BAIT. Guitarist Mid is a pretty well known artist as well, especially with the crusters...but you must know all of this already, yes? For such a well known and revered band, I'm kinda surprised that these songs haven't been put to wax (at least I haven't found it if they have), and in case you haven't come across them elsewhere here they are.
02 September 2009
The only thing wrong with this demo is that it only has two songs. This Providence, Rhode Island band made a handful of these after their first recording to get people like me fired up. It totally worked. Even after my friend left the band, I was still floored by their combination of 90s hardcore (the kind that was almost emotional, but still took your head off) and pure chaos, all channelled through the mind of kids living in an art school haven (Providence did give us KITES and LIGHTNING BOLT, after all). Their records are few, but all well worth your time, get 'em.
01 September 2009
HEX. Not exactly the most original name, although I could only find one other band Called Hex (from Italy, old), and one label with the name (Pacific Northwest, current). But in the 1980s world of UK punk, "HEX" seems to belong solely to these chaps and their pro animal, anti-government fueled hardcore punk. Like a lot of 80s UK shits, I think that this was probably a few years late at the time, but a quarter century later, this straightforward moody four chord punk suits me just fucking fine thank you. It's not all "generic" by any means, "Food To Conclude" could be an attempt at a Worlds Apart era SUBHUMANS track, and the killer "Join Hands" is mid tempo and dark with guitars drenched in reverb. "No To The Bomb" is a more basic four chord rager, which is nice, as I happen to enjoy a nice four chord rager. Four tunes here, no information on the band, except that it's made up of Pikey, Golly, Cubby and Lainy, which might be the untoughest sounding bunch of blokes I've ever come across. Total coincidence, but notice Kim Phuc in the photo on the cover, I just mentioned her a few days ago in reference to the killer demo from KIM PHUC you will find below. You should download that as soon as you are finished downloading this...