30 September 2011


From the same Acts Of Defiance camp that brought us No Pasaran! and No Justification comes 1989's Give Them Love, another 60 minute excursion into the world of under appreciated hardcore punk. AGITARE BENE, WHY AM I, MK ULTRA (not the Chicago band, but easily the best songs on this tape), KRULL, C.B.D.S. and a host of others....it's an international comp packed with bands you've never heard of, and most of them are really good. I assume you are downloading now, unless you are too busy clicking "follow," which is really the only proper way to thank me, aside from leaving comments.

29 September 2011


A few months ago I was in a one week band with my pal Jon, our friend Anton from Sweden and our buddy Ken on vocals. We joined forces for four days and then recorded on the fifth - and against all better judgement, we decided to play a show the next day. Ken had barely heard our songs, so we decided to play only 5 of them (we wrote and recorded 20 or so), and it was super fun. While we were loading for that show at Thrillhouse (which included THE SMELL and some others), I was perturbed by a band from Oakland who insisted on loading in all of their own equipment instead of participating in the glorious spirit of sharing that frequently takes over very small spaces when multiple bands are playing...but no, these dudes had to use their own cabinets, their own steel drums, and their own computer music making things...and it was kinda aggravating. Fred assured me that they were good, and I generally trust him (or at least trust his concept of what I will and won't enjoy), but I just could not imagine that this band  was going to be any good at all. And besides, I was tired and had just spent money on an exceptionally awful falafel across the street and really wanted to go home. But I stayed to see PRIMARY COLORS...and I'm glad I did. The live NITZER EBB vibe is somewhat lost on this recording (except "Dog In Red," which is not coincidentally my favorite song on the tape), but the miscellaneous percussion sits front and center, and the distorted keyboards conjure up dirty dance clubs hours after closing time. Their live show was a sweaty mess - the same all encompassing feeling that swept over me the only time I saw THE VANISHING - a calculated and subversive percussive assault devoid of all but the most primal urges and surges. PRIMARY COLORS are an intense cacophonous party - who doesn't like to party?

I retract all of my negative first impressions from these dudes when they were loading into that show. We can all be too judgemental at times, and that afternoon was one of my times. These sounds could not possibly been made on our shamefully normal equipment, and I now completely understand why PRIMARY COLORS had no interest in borrowing it, even if it seemed like it would make things easier. Also, the singer kinda sounds like Sonny from THE VSS and Trent Reznor, and that's rad.

28 September 2011


'80s Bay Area thrash metal? Meet modern heavy metallic crust. Now, you kids have a seat and watch some horror movies and your mom will be back soon with some cookies...unless she gets eaten by a monster or something.

27 September 2011


Female fronted goth/post punk from Montreal, these songs sound instantly familiar and welcoming. Perhaps it's because this is descendent from the same species of underground music that first pulled me away from pop music, but I felt an instant connection to this music, as if it had been in my life for years. The vocals drip with Siouxsie's influence and the guitars are ripped from the hands of grudgingly infectious bands like INTERPOL and returned to a circa 1979 Bernard Sumner, where they belong. Subdued and deliberate, calculated and penetrating, there are only four songs here, but DEKODER are nothing short of brilliant. 

Write 'em and see if they still have copies: dekoder(dot)muzyka(at)gmail(dot)com

26 September 2011


You surely know the drill by now - a noisy drunken hardcore assembly recorded live on the radio from Pittsburgh's RATFACE (and yeah, for those keeping track, the band features dudes from ANNIHILATION TIME and FLAK) backed with a noisy drunken hardcore assembly from DESPERATE HOURS, who hail from the oh so very hippie beachside college 'burgh of Isla Vista. Or maybe they are from Santa Barbara, which is really just the insanely wealthy version of Isla Vista, but either way they rule. Have a good week.

25 September 2011


Gloriously amateurish and inept UK punk. LETHEAN only cranked out this one demo session as far as I can tell - a ramshackle journey through 30 minutes of earnest but talentless political blasts. Things like timing and tuning seem to have not occurred to these chaps, and the result is just brilliantly awful. Needless to say, I love it.

24 September 2011


Simply put, this is one of the most insane things I've ever heard. If I tell you that Norway's PSUDOKU is a one man grind band then you will probably turn tail and miss out out on 28 incredibly bizarre minutes, so I will not mention that until later. Space Grind is absolutely faster and weirder than any other music you have listened to today, but it is played with manic precision and is loaded with hooks and stops and catchy riffs and bizarre time signatures and guitar breaks that are as good as anything this side of TOTAL FURY (or EYESORE). After my initial listen is was left more in a state of confusion than the blissed out euphoria I feel after being crushed by a killer tape. It was more of a "what just happened, and why does this exist?" feeling, followed quickly by a flip of the tape a further (and louder) research. What if GOBLIN started a grindcore band? These dudes:
Yeah, what if those dudes wanted to play technical grindcore? It would sound like PSUDOKU. I'm telling you, the shit is from space.

I promised not to mention it until later, but this is the end so I'll mention that PSUDOKU is the work of one Norwegian savant, the same one behind PARLAMENTARISK SODOMI, for anyone keeping track. This tape is available from Revulsion, and the whole thing was put to wax by 625...a wise decision made by a wise man.

23 September 2011


The second installation from the stack of tapes that came from Langford's mom, Punk, Ké Punk? Ya Horaque? is packed with killer '80s Spanish punk just like the first. From CARME DE PSIQUIATRICO's scorching opener right through tracks from URGENTE and ESPASMODICOS, it is very clear that this is going to be the finest hour of your day, and you are also overcome by a need to turn the volume up...a lot. K.G.B., CODIGO NEUROTICO, ANTI-MAGNUS, SEGURIGAD SOCIAL and others team up to round out the tape, a raw attack filled with smart hooks and pure innocent intensity. If this doesn't start a dance party, then you might want to have your pulse checked.

22 September 2011


These sounds draw you in as the tape rolls, and become indispensable with subsequent listens. Huge droning scapes woven together from long forgotten leftover strands of sound - creating brilliantly simple and emotionally pummeling music. FRKSE are warm and inviting, but sow the emotional seeds of loss on this bleak, layered soundtrack...shoegazing goth for the genuinely damaged. FRKSE have cranked out several releases since their inception in 2009, and I feel like I have let you down by waiting this long to share one of them with you - do not sleep.

21 September 2011


Released for last summer's West Coast tour, this tape compiles all the jams from these Midwestern sweethearts you might have missed out on. Seasoned veterans, the members of VILE GASH have taken their experience and put it to good use over a slew of demos and vinyl releases, many of which were immediately relegated to collector scum status. Far from mysterious and pretentious bullshit that is frequently (though inexplicably) mentioned in the same breath, VILE GASH are streamlined and furious - exactly the way hardcore bands should be. "Unfit" from the second demo seems as if it's half an hour long (it takes up over a quarter of the entire cassette) but its simplicity is brilliant, and rarely have three descending chords sounded so punishing. 20 songs in 23 minutes, including a few live covers.  

20 September 2011


There's a new best band in San Francisco. I know I say that a lot, but I mean it every time. SYNTHETIC ID play jerky and genuine jams for fans of WIPERS, THE FALL, PERE UBU and OBSERVERS. "Throwaway" is among the greatest songs I've heard in years - this three song banger is angular and deliberate, and the guitars are brilliant. Speaking of guitars, they are handled by the most understated and prolific musicians I've ever come across, who is also a contributing member of FACE THE RAIL, ECOLI, YADOKAI, and HUNTING PARTY. This demo is short, to be sure, but so very sweet.

19 September 2011


Taking the Noise Not Music mantra to the absolute limits of reason, RABIA unleashed this 24 song demo back in 1992. Lo-fi madness delivered with the fury of the live LÄRM tape I ripped last night and drunken insanity in spades, these tracks average less than a half minute each and tend adhere to the basic FUKKN GO!!! formula. Far from a blur of mincing mayhem, RABIA are a hyper charged hardcore band with occasional grind tendencies...raw and noisy as fukk with plenty of chaos. Just what you wanted.

18 September 2011


SWAMP WITCH meander through 20 minutes of hazy doom with the physical dexterity of molasses. I cannot think of a more appropriate name for the band...painful southern sludge is met with mystical howls and dark world growls, all while guitars lay serious tonnage at the feet of the gods. An agonizingly slow delivery of relentless punishment. The challenge when creating sounds that are so easily categorized (and thus, dismissed as "just another '---' band") is simplynstanding apart from the crowd, but if SWAMP WITCH haven't met that challenge with their sounds (and I think they have), then the flip side of the tape seals the deal. The entire recording was sent to DJ DREEMZ from Houston and given the treatment. I can only imagine one of Texas' premier Chopped & Screwed DJs trying to find the beat in these songs, and giving something this slow to a DJ renowned for making things slower was a genius move. The result is an atmospheric trip - a complete different vibe is made with the same sounds. Low lights and a bottle of purple drank only serve to heighten the experience...

Available from Gay Scientist Recordings, friendly purveyors of many fine aural excursions.

17 September 2011


I suppose I don't really need to put forth the effort explaining SACRILEGE, right?  This live set from metalcrust masters comes from Leeds in 1986 features songs from Behind The Realms Of Madness and Within The Prophecy. Put to cassette by Negative Insight fanzine (and distributed with the excellent first issue along with a killer 1991 live set from DISASTER). Sometimes the guitar is out of tune, but he fixes it at full volume.

16 September 2011


If, as the title suggests, this is indeed The Now Sound Of Montreal, then perhaps I like that city even more than I thought I did. This tape doesn't look like much, but it's a screaming introduction to a musically diverse underbelly worlds away from the hardcore and crust bands that have made Canada's greatest angel dust laden 'burgh famous with most Escape readers. Ten songs here, starting way out in left field with MUFTAH IBN AL-KHALISS and then continuing through STOOGES influenced and vaguely indie rock sounding JESUSLESFILLES, snotty  and sharp garage punk from THE AVERSIONS and SILVER DAPPLE, who close out the first side with a dreamy noisy pop song that launches me back to a time when college rock was not yet a dirty word, and originality (and personality) were still celebrated by bands sporting that descriptor. The flip is weirder, and I dare say better, with dark and brilliantly off kilter BOBO BOUTIN starting the side followed by MINGO L'INDIEN launching into a simple (and simply addictive) dance punk jam drowned in synths. LES BIBERONS BÂTIS slink even further away from punk (in fact, this sounds like MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT sucking on Robotussin, heavy on the samples). The down tempo vibe is broken up by a short blast of hi energy bedroom dance music from LE MONDE DANS LE FEU before the tape wraps up with a mesmerizing psychedelic guitar drone from ENCYCLOPEDINE VL, giving a wonderful treatment to a BRIGITTE FONTAINE number with vocals that are absolutely worthy of such a task. This comp is full of bands that exist so very far away from any scene that I have ever been associated with, and perhaps that is part of the appeal - even though their intent here seems to be more mainstream (I base this impression on the web presence of Vintage Violence, who are responsible for this release). Intent be damned, BOBO BOUTIN, ENCYCLOPEDINE VL and I are about to go pick up MINGO L'INDIEN down on rue St. Laurent and we are going to have a party - even the punks like to wear fancy shoes sometimes. 

15 September 2011


Hard to believe that this nonsense is a decade old, and that I first saw this band nine years ago. But time waits for no one, and those fukkd up Adderall junkies that delivered the most irreverent thrashing noisy hardcore that Beer City could handle are now wizened old men who have hung up their raging shoes in favor of day jobs and family life. Long gone are the days filled with beer from the discontinued and expired liquor store in the suburbs and the house shows and the arguments about who is sober enough to walk a wagon to the beer store on the East Side to buy the 48 pack that comes in an octagon and only costs $13. The nights of pharmaceutical speed and shotgunning cans of whatever is cheapest are in the past, right alongside memories of watching HOLY SHIT! blast through 20 a song set, then emerge from the basement ten minutes after they started and watching the steam rise from their shirtless bodies into the Wisconsin winter air. Now they are watching football with their families on the weekend, hosting potluck dinners and sharing potato salad, talking about their jobs. Tabman doesn't writhe on the floor anymore, and Andy has traded these 45 second blasts of Midwestern hardcore damage for the 9 to 5...it's hard to blame them, this rock and roll stuff is hard. It's cool though, they've left us with good jams, good shows, great memories, and a ballsy DIE KREUZEN cover. This is as raw as punk gets, and the longest of these fifteen tracks is a hair over a minute.

(HOLY SHIT! play tonight in Oakland at Sugar Mountain with YOUR PEST BAND from Japan, and tomorrow at Thrillhouse in SF with my buddies in COPS! ... Residents of the Bay Area will do themselves a favor by attending)

14 September 2011


This tape comes courtesy of the mind behind ROSENKOPF, and features some of the most enrapturing bedroom synth marches I've ever heard. I got this one in New York earlier this year, a collection of home recordings and minimal electronic dirges that has lurked in the background at Terminal HQ frequently since I returned from that tour. Rutlated Powerhaus pays homage primitive electro industrial/goth without recreating or aping any specific era or band...haunting vocals soar sparsely above KRAFTWERK styled blips and drones, and you would swear that a JOY DIVISION melody was being manipulated in one instant, before being whisked off on an aural journey that brings TANGERINE DREAM to mind as much as THROBBING GRISTLE. There is a second ROSENKOPF cassette release out now, featuring a full line up, but these tracks are a perfect interlude. 

13 September 2011


If you are like me, then you've been waiting for some band to equal the TOTAL FURY's majestic 13 Songs full length. The seemingly effortless mastery of early USHC on that record remains virtually unparalleled (even by TOTAL FURY themselves) since its release 11 years ago, but it appears that their countrymen EYESORE are up for the challenge. Recorded in 2008 and put to cassette by Hardcore Survives, these six tracks are fukkn perfect. Worth a listen if only for the guitar breaks, this will have you out of your chair in no time, and the start to "Nothing For You" will launch you through the ceiling.

12 September 2011


Got this little burner in the mail last week from A Friend Of The Escape from a band who said they thought they would be perfect Noise Punk Monday fodder. SCUM were right. Following the set guidelines for their various chosen subgenres to a fukkn 'T' and blazing through raw as fuck Scandi/Japan influenced noisy hardcore. Just the way you like it.

11 September 2011


Raw and brutal Swedish DBeat. I'll take the easy route and list the members of: WARVICTIMS, ELECTRIC FUNERAL, DESPERAT, TOTALT JÄLVA MÖRKER. They aren't reinventing the wheel, and the path they travel upon is well worn, but there's something magical about witnessing true masters at their craft.

Band: Here
Label: Here

10 September 2011


Haunting and disconcerting pieces of minimal electronic noise, DROWNER creates an entirely new atmosphere...and then crushes it. Making sounds that are so very simple seem deeply complex and worthy of genuine emotion is the real achievement of Burning Room, a tape that feels like the companion to an experience that you have missed out on, but are living now through other minds. 

09 September 2011


A non-stop hour of raw early Bay Area thrash metal demos and from some of your favorites and a few under appreciated ragers. The MORDRED tracks suffer from poor reproduction (and interruptions that I can only hope are someone's little sister pressing record on a teenage hessian's boom box), but the primitive power of "Burned At The Stake" cannot be hidden by a mere lack of fidelity, and this is easily my favorite jam on the tape. In the context of crucial mix tape construction, the choice of "Guitarmony" by ANVIL CHORUS to follow such a certified scorcher is questionable (not to mention exceptionally un-evil), so I'll suggest that this instrumental be used as a three minute cool-down before getting your face melted by some live Baloff & Company - who themselves get thrashed into the ground by ULYSSES SIREN fukkn screaming through three unrelenting tracks to close out the first side of the tape (the last of which is cut short by a poor mix tape planner - he was probably baby sitting his little sister though, so it's cool). Manic, technical and purely evil high end thrash insanity of the highest order. San Francisco's favorite teenage Filipino speed metal warriors DEATH ANGEL open the flip side with their seminal three track Kill As One demo from 1985, with the 11+ minute instrumental "The Ultra-Violence" still shining like a beacon of adolescent metal mastery (the drummer was fukkn 13 when they recorded this shit). And in case that instrumental isn't scary enough, two rippers from BLIND ILLUSION close out the side (a side once again prematurely cut off by a lack of preparation on the part of our baby sitting hessian). Get out your puffy white hi-tops, stuff a comb in the back pocket of your high waisted denims...and drink beer.

What high school metal mix would be complete without the personal touch of some outsider art? 
Not this one. 

08 September 2011


I was hooked immediately by the disjointed and minimal sound of VEGETABLE's EP a few months back - the off kilter "Castration Frustration" anchored that single with a perfect marriage of UK post punk weirdness and early DEVO awkwardness. I was out of town when they came through on tour, but after hearing this ten song tape I really hope that they will hit the road again soon, as the EP only hinted at what VEGETABLE were capable of. Songs like "Anatomical" could have easily found a home in the artiest corners of the early SF punk scene, when there were no rules. Guitar leads the band, often taking the single note melody to the forefront while the vocals lay back with an overtly urgent intensity that is enhanced by cracks brought on by an ultra lo-fi reproduction that does as much battle with tape hiss as with musical convention. Words like "quirky" and "challenging" could be used to describe VEGETABLE, their approach is anything but traditional, but these short bursts of oddity are simple and catchy, like pretentious dance punk stripped down to its barest frame and presented in its purest form. Plodding and deliberate, bringing to minds as varied as THE GOVERNMENT (Toronto), THE GIRLS (Boston) and THE FALL. More addictive with every listen, don't say I didn't warn you...and I think this might be a teaser for a full length in the near future. Let's hope so.

07 September 2011


UNDERGANG are a part of the resurgence of old school death metal that some friends of mine rave about. Filthy, mid tempo churning insanity with gutteral vocals...this two song teaser for their next LP was released for their jaunt with ACEPHALIX earlier this year. Of course, I didn't see them on that tour because the night they played SF I waited in line to see KREAYSHAWN, who was just starting to blow up into a media frenzy of racially charged hipster confusion, at some nauseating 16th & South Van Ness flat hat and flavored blunt-o-rama (we didn't make it in, thankfully, and I honestly think that the two hour wait in line was more entertaining - and enlightening - than seeing the show would have been). Realizing we had skipped out on a sure thing (ACEPHALIX and UNDERGANG) for a random shot at ridiculous mainstream merriment, we jetted up to the Tenderloin just in time to miss the metal show at a tight pants,  coke in the bathroom (nah, fuck it, coke it the corner),  please somebody just fuck me before I pass out shithole popular with people younger and hornier than me. With no successes in two attempts, we went to a nondescript second story joint around the corner and strutted down the bar kicking over people's drinks, all three of us screaming karaoke "Holy Diver" while a room packed with norms got on their knees and thrust frat boy metal horns in the air. After last call, our host invited us over for BBQ on his roof (it was 2:30 am), and when we declined he promised that next time we would "do it right," and honestly that scared me a little bit. It was a good night, and I drunkenly listened to these two songs several times when I got home, wondering if seeing them live would have been as interesting as the night I had just experienced. I'm guessing probably not, but it would have been way more metal.

06 September 2011


Only three songs on this demo, and only one of those seems to fit with their typical hardcore band logo...but typical or not, that's the song that that I fukkn love. "The Ultimate Asshole Theme Song" is the circlepit-your-fukkn-asses-off-during-the-fastcore-part-and-then-finger-in-the-air-dogpile-the-singer-for-the-sing-along-part song, and it rules, but the first two songs on this tape are more in line with '90s discordant emotional hardcore, FUGAZI is an obvious and not unwarranted comparison. Smart and thoughtful hardcore that never lets good songwriting get in the way of making good songs. We didn't get to see HOODED in action on the CONQUEST FOR DEATH tour in 2008, but they were some of the best folks we hung out with on the whole SE Asian trip...I am ashamed that it's taken me this long to post this demo, and I hope these dudes are all doing well.

This is straight edge with another edge...originality that breaks down walls and shows that critical thinking and humor are closer to the core than backstabbing macho bullshit.
- HOODED, 2008 -

05 September 2011


UK noise Oi! from WANKYS personel. Irreverent and undeniably catchy...if you aren't careful then you might find yourself in the middle of a one person pogo party in your kitchen screaming along with "Oi To Nori" as you prepare lunch. Not that this happened to me, I just want you to consider yourself warned. 

04 September 2011


There must have been thousands of bands like this in the late '90s - chaotic and inwardly directed emotional hardcore delivered with genuine youthful passion. On their 1997 demo, New Jersey's FANSHEN pull off a marriage of those distinctively discordant riffs so typical of the era and the unbridled vocal aggression of the Midwest hardcore greats - "1492" is packed with NEGATIVE APPROACH styled fury, and the song struggles to contain the vocals (vocals that start with "fuck me / fuck you / fuck fuck fuck / who the fuck / what the fuck / I don't give a fuck") with great success. Less than six minutes of music, enough frustration to fill an adolescence.