From the opening snarl, from the 45 seconds of unbridled disdain that starts "Decay," there can be no doubt that VICIOUS BRICKS are angry. The tracks that follow are measured but unhinged, crushing hardcore delivered with a HELLHAMMER ferocity. There's something in the water in Florida.
30 November 2011
29 November 2011
All of these songs save one ("Systematic Violence," arguably the best song on the tape) appear in different forms on the You Can't Ignore It Forever demo, also released in 1984, but Dorset's VIRUS are too fukkn good to let a tape slip by just because you have already heard the songs once before. Or twice. There's a MOB styled moodiness to their anarcho brilliance - the vocals have a mournful lilt even when shouting out the determined mantra of a 1980s UK peace punk band. Such a brutal shame that this band only managed to record a handful of songs before calling it a day, VIRUS were fukkn brilliant.
The liner notes were typed on the back of the cover, not photocopied, and the cassette was done up by hand...both seemed worth including.
28 November 2011
Not a long lost demo from the superb Japanese ragers, but a new demo from a Connecticut trio aiming at the hearts of raw punk fans worldwide. Noisy as shit, disjointed and amateurish delivery, howling feedback competing with howling vocals...I'm guessing they are teenagers, and the fire in the lyrics only serves to reinforce this belief. They will prevail, indeed.
27 November 2011
I worked at a local chain restaurant when I first moved to San Francisco, providing excellent customer service to business men and women downtown, giving everything that wasn't nailed down to any person who appeared to have a shred of humanity, and doing lines off the food prep counter at 4:30 in the morning just because I could. That job helped finance many of my early tours - band shirts were printed on the inside of restaurant shirts that I ordered from corporate, gasoline was paid for with money leftover from excessive manager voids, and a charming smile ensured that it would all be waiting for me when I came home a few weeks later. I crossed paths with a lot of interesting people during my stint behind the counter, and food was unofficially free to any bike messenger, punk or weirdo smart enough to work through the unspoken code of the illicit hookup. The tattooed electrician who came in for lunch with his crew turned out to be the guy who was distro-ing my band's then new EP, the straight looking dude in khakis who I had seen a few times at shows wound up married to my good friend and I toured four continents with him behind the drum kit. Bands would quietly stop by on their way out of town based on a rumor of a cheap meal, and people I met only because I gave them free food became friends that I still have today (nothing lasts like a relationship based on free shit). One morning, one of the regular recipients of my "fukk the man" disguised as generosity asked if I wanted to come see his band that night - he offered to put me on the guest list as a thanks for all the free sandwiches. He looked to be a pretty square dude, a rather noteworthy beard if memory serves, but I figured a random show was as good a place to take drugs as my bedroom, so I told him thanks and asked him where the show was. "The Fillmore," was his reply. This was about to get interesting (for the non-Bay readers, The Fillmore is one of the oldest venues in town and holds several thousand people, random squares typically don't play there - famous squares do), my free lunch guy had seemingly secured a gig opening for some rock stars, and I was going to waltz into one of the most storied rock clubs on the west coast. I didn't see the dude for most of the night, but the place was packed as shit and I got my first glimpse of MELT BANANA that night (they were the first band, and they blew my mind). MR. BUNGLE was the headliner, before Patton had gone off the deep end of overindulgent art/weirdness and scatological obsession, and they were actually pretty good. Though I was more interested in trying to figure out if the masked saxophone guy on stage left was in fact the same Zorn who had contributed to MR. BUNGLE's then new album (still not sure), they blasted through a legitimately ripping set and left the stage with a packed house screaming for whatever was their funk/metal quasi-hit at the time. They didn't play it, but instead returned to the stage to clear the room with a 30 minute improvisational noise encore - no structure whatsoever, just cacophony and a chorus of bewilderment from the quickly thinning audience. The free food guy? He was the drummer. I never talked to him about the show, but I kept on giving him free sandwiches whenever he stopped by.
This demo came from 1986, years before anything approaching notoriety, when MR. BUNGLE lived in Northern California and seemed as obsessed with EXODUS as with toilets and funk.
26 November 2011
I got super stoked on this when I heard it last year, and fully intended to share the sounds immediately...if you people could only imagine how amazing I would be if I actually managed to pull off a fraction of the things that I have "fully intended" to do during my adult life. But, as with most of my "accomplishments," better late than never, and please enjoy Michigan's THE OILY MENACE. Clearly taking their cues from the earlier and more original bands under the heavy umbrella, elements of melody are eschewed for raw blasting violence, and sweet candy hooks are skipped over for bursts of unbridled power. Downtuned non-formulaic '90s crust with a downtuned '80s death metal delivery...and band who takes their cues from The Dead Of Night... is at least starting off on the right foot. Oh yeah, and they are really into kale, which is my favorite vegetable. Enjoy.
25 November 2011
Continuing in the tradition of mix tapes used simultaneously as promotion, celebration and hype, Buffalo's Feral Kid Records dish out this plastic shell filled with glorious sound. The reason I like the label (and one of the many fine attributes of said label's empresario) is that there seems to be no real focus beyond the simple requirement that the music be good, and this mix tape follows that guideline rigidly. Not to imply that these songs from all over the spectrum don't make for a cohesive listen, quite the contrary, but FATHER IGNORANT's "Sex Ceiling" into "I Bleed Cash" from GOLDEN BUFFET certainly falls a little outside of the prevailing punk wisdom these days. That's why this comp rules. Made up of bands mostly from upstate New York released by, affiliated with or friends with Feral Kid, including SKATE KORPSE, GHADDAR, BROWN SUGAR, UTAH JAZZ, PLATES, MAYDAY and several others. The main stand out is the fact that none of these bands sound particularly like anything else - I can't say this is a hardcore comp or an weird punk comp, though some of the bands featured would surely fall into one of those categories, but most of these bands write songs that aren't concerned with the square hole they will wind up shoved into, and it makes the ears perk up at virtually every turn (or flip of the tape). I snagged this (and the fukkn sick new BROWN SUGAR 12") when man responsible was in town last weekend...didn't see them play because I make poor life choices sometimes, but an hour at the beach is better than no time with your friends at all, right?
23 November 2011
Welsh bangers SHRAPNEL left a criminally small output before calling it a day, but with this and the Restricted Existence demo in your stable, I guess it's not really necessary to crank out a bunch of crap to beef up your discography. UK82 styled punk circa 1983 with gloriously amateurish lyrics ("We're just working class // So they can stuff their education right up their ass") that look at the world with the bleak and uncertain frustration of 1980s teenagers. Pogo your asses off.
Accompanying this post is a 35+ minute live set from SHRAPNEL, also from 1983, which can be found on ESCAPE IS TERMINAL.
22 November 2011
Subtly sinister, synth driven sounds from the Seattle. The entity behind SELF COM sits at the center of this project, and the similarities are notable, but MUTANT VIDEO quietly expand on the minimal sound of that project, adding more electronics, a distant mournful bass guitar and manipulated percussion while remaining within the rigid confines of sparse dark ambience. Not exactly a roaring return after my three week absence, but this recording got me through many turbulent flights and more than a few sleepless night while I was south of the equator, and it seemed fitting to share.
02 November 2011
With about 5 hours in between the last note of our 11/1/11 show in San Francisco and our airline departure for São Paulo, everything seems pretty much normal. Sweaty, exhausted, fighting the first stages of total physical shutdown - I can't think of a better way to start a tour. Thanks to COPS! (who might just be my new favorite SF band, I am awful fickle in that department, but every time I turn around there's another band blowing my face off) and BOOM BOOM KID from Buenos Aires, who started their US tour with us as we prepare for the aural devastation of their home continent. No updates on Terminal Escape until the last week of November, but stop by Escape Is Terminal from time to time as I'll have a few live jams to sprinkle on your toast. And check out CONQUEST FOR DEATH, because I'm guessing Craig will have some pretty entertaining tour blogging for you to read.
01 November 2011
Malaysia's SARJAN HASSAN have visited the escape before, a full on blast of retro crossover thrashcore. Sick. CONQUEST FOR DEATH started as a project of sorts, and has evolved into a sporadic juggernaut - a vessel that has brought a constantly evolving network of friends to half a dozen continents. In 2006, our pal Kiku (ASSFORT, CHARM) was visiting San Francisco from Tokyo and he and Devon (WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, ALL YOU CAN EAT) concocted a one-off studio project. The project included Alex (SAY BOK GWAI, cult Bay Area '80s thrashers MORBID LIFE SOCIETY) and was recorded by Craigums (YOUR MOTHER, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, LOVE SONGS) who not surprisingly contributed guitar work to the project. The result was a self titled EP and plans for a west coast stint later that year with CHARM and Tokyo's fast/noisecore monsters U.G. MAN. I was drafted for that tour, and the next few years was/has been a whirlwind that included members from three countries and tours of five (soon to be six) continents. The songs on this split were culled from that first session, written and recorded in one afternoon.