Ripping metallic traditional Japanese hardcore with screaming leads and that undeniable Japanese snarl/yowl from the vocals, presented with a subtle nod towards the breakneck mania of the modern noise punk set. Reminds me of the first DSB single, but the drummer is playing that stripped down thrash 1-2-1-2 instead of the beats I normally associate with rampaging far east hardcore. Five song banger recently given the pro treatment by Black Konflik, don't pass this one up.
29 April 2012
So many forgotten bands from this era of hardcore punk...listen to this 10 song banger from Pinole, California and tell me the late '80s sucked. Eat shit, man - this is fukkn brilliant. You don't have to listen if you don't want to, but it's in your best interest to do so.
28 April 2012
This is for all of the people who do not have their finger on the pulse. I heard this when I was in Boston in January (our show ruled, by the way)...Paul played it for me and I was instantly hooked, as much breathy modern pop as '80s new wave sounds, with two distinctly different female vocalists. Just as I was falling head over heels for this six song tape, everybody in the joint started exclaiming how much they loved it. Wait a minute, I thought....how do these people know about this exclusive thing that my friend is playing me? How do all of these people somehow have their finger on the pulse of the thing I thought I had my finger on the pulse of? Apparently, these people look at the internet, and I just put things on the internet and don't look at it enough - and apparently my priorities are all screwed up, because I missed out on several quality months where I could have been listening to SIAMESE TWINS every day. The wave of '80s worship sweeping the punks is more than evident here, but I hear COCTEAU TWINS, STONE ROSES and THE HOUSE OF LOVE. Everyone will tell you that the vocals are the star here, but the reverbed guitar plays front and center in each one of these songs, every bit as breathy and ethereal as the vocals want to be (think THE PRIMITIVES on downers - fukkn perfect combination). Brilliantly crafted pop music that has already been shared generously on the internet - I Could Die Tomorrow and Cosmic Hearse have already offered this cassette - and they are both far better at this sharing thing than I am...but just in case you also languish in the shadows and miss out on the next cool thing until after it's no longer the next cool thing but the last cool thing? This shit is for you. Just as amazing as when it was unknown and undiscovered (to me), SIAMESE TWINS will carry you to new heights.
27 April 2012
Six band Indonesian hardcore comp from 1999. Two songs from each band, covering all the bases: DEADLY GROUND steal the show with their UNIFORM CHOICE styled attack, INSIDE FRONT sound like a beefed up EARTH CRISIS weened on '90s SEPULTURA; STEP FORWARD come off exactly as I would expect based on the name (if you listen to youth crew, then you know just what I mean); BURGER KILL take as much from HELMET as from basketball jerseys; DEAD PITS are stuck in second gear, but if crew vocals and midpaced metallic chugs are your jams then you just struck gold; O.O.S. make me want to blast 7 SECONDS while I make breakfast. Did I mention that this comp is from Indonesia...I went there once, and I loved it. I hope to go back someday.
26 April 2012
While 1987's Dementia Americana single is a deliberate goth punk stomper somewhere between early P.I.L. and KILLING JOKE, this unmarked demo from 1984(?) is an unhinged primitive blast of psyched out UK punk. The second track sounds like a marriage of SUBHUMANS and HAWKWIND, and they only get weirder from there. The fifth song could be a lost Rough Trade no wave/post punk nugget, as much in common with snotty '70s art/noise as with any era of English punk. "All your religions: Nothing. All your politics: Nothing. All your art: Nothing. All your thoughts: Nothing. All your ideals: Nothing. Free yourselves and feel nothing." Damaged and brilliantly raw...and punk as shit.
25 April 2012
Received a killer package from Drunk With Power last week, and I've been blasting the UNBROKEN BONES demo ever since. Sick late '80s UK metal/punk crossover madness from Russia - blistering madness with gratuitous leads and massive presentation, with crew backing vocals to seal the deal - this is a four song masterpiece. Get amongst this NOW.
Drunk With Power order info: punkwithpower(at)yahoo(dot(com)
24 April 2012
Mind = Blown. Tortured DBeat hardcore insanity from Venezuela. Perfect execution, and recently repressed in the states by IFB. I know this tape has been blogged and gushed over and shared elsewhere, but these jams are not to be missed. I like to be thorough.
23 April 2012
The lineup has expanded, and with a few more shows under their studded belts EFFLUXUS keep getting better - last Friday at Thrillhouse was no exception, and it was great to see them in action in a basement. Just three songs (including and updated version of "Lifeless" from the first demo), but there's a flexi floating around if you can get your filthy paws on a copy, and the 12" is due out soon. These kids are at the epicenter of a pretty exciting scene in San Francisco, and if people start following their lead then this town is about to get crazy good.
Find them here.
22 April 2012
This might be one of those "time and place" bands, but I dare say that if you lived anywhere near Indianapolis, Indiana in the '90s and knew about hardcore, then you liked BLATHERSKITE. I saw them once in 1993, and at the time had seen nothing like it...well ahead of their time, churning out brutally heavy hardcore with irreverent precision. Johan's vocal growls are low and sinister, and the overall effect of the band is akin to a wall of death administered by a team of earthmovers - get out of the way or submit. The rhythm section went on to form ICE NINE, one of the most criminally under recognized bands of the decade, and San Francisco passion metal pioneers TIME IN MALTA, but this demo is fukkn primal. From the opening "Yo Scoth, drop it, G" you know this isn't your average demo, BLATHERSKITE were something else.
21 April 2012
20 April 2012
I've often praised the power of a well crafted mix tape, and Toon Disasters is exactly that. Excellent combination of deep cuts (10,000 HURTS, OCEAN ZOO, RED SCARE, RUGGED EDGE) thrown together into the mix with whole releases from Canadian shitpunks GROUPOEM, Florida's unsung STEVIE STILETTO, VIXEN (the true gem on the tape is this five track slab from '83 - killer female fronted NWOBHM styled jams from Hawaii) and more independent metal/punk from Philadelphia's BLACKTASK. Throw in rippers from WRETCHED, VICE SQUAD, STIGMA and CAPITALIST ALIENATION with a couple of burners from '80s christian band UNDERCOVER that will almost make you wonder if it's worth looking into the world of religious "punk," and you have one bad ass 90 minute tape. Good job, and enjoy.
19 April 2012
The folks at Alta Intensidaz Tapes can seemingly do no wrong. The MIERDA tape rules, SENTENCIA still gets regular spins at TEHQ, and this gem from 2009 is perfectly raw Spanish styled punk, surging forward with the subtlety of a tidal wave. The bass at the start of "Jode Lo Maz Ke Puedaz" personifies the ramshackle descriptor, this is lo-fi punk at it's absolute best.
18 April 2012
I write often of an affinity for bands that remind me of hardcore in the lost decade of the '90s, and bands like Prince Edward Island's YEAR OF THE RAT convince me that I am not alone. From the PENI by way of DEAD AND GONE dirge of "Hominidae" to the understated phenomenal bass that drives "Truth," these fools crank out serious jams, and spend less than four minutes proving that you need to be on their team.
17 April 2012
This one is just ugly, a roar of low end rage that will churn your stomach. Nasty sounds from Germany featuring THE NOW DENIAL and BURIAL members, NIGHTSLUG take nearly a quarter hour to lumber through just three songs - but before you dismiss this as some second rate stoner wet dream let me introduce you to the guitars that haunt the higher registers while you are being bludgeoned. And allow the painful simplicity of the riffs to transform themselves into a wholly unique monster when treated with such brutality. And sit down for seven minutes with the eponymous B side...this is a different animal entirely.
16 April 2012
I know what you're here for, you greedy fukks. You want more noise, more fists in the air, more breakneck speed Scandinavia in your face, and you want it to be from somewhere very far from your house so you can feel exotic. I'm here to help. From Lion City, the bizarre and magical first world city state at the tip of peninsular Malaysia comes VAARALLINEN, ten tracks of hardcore fury in the Finnish tradition (and language) that do not let up for one fukkn minute. Vocals are a wash of reverb and the tempo is relentless - I fully expected this to kill (members from EXKORIATOR and PAZAHORA sets the bar pretty high) and my expectations were left languishing in the dust after the first track. "Rotta Hakissa" is the standout here, but the whole tape is a creamer.
15 April 2012
REPLICA are the best. This doesn't mean that your favorite band is somehow bad, it just means that any time I see REPLICA live or listen to this demo, they are the only thing in the world. I never want anything more than what they are giving, and there is nothing missing...they are the best. The band kinda came out of nowhere, B from NO STATIK making some noise with a lady from Philadelphia and then before I knew it they were a fukkn machine. The first show at Thrillhouse was only five songs, shorter than this demo cassette, and the room was absolutely leveled...B and Alicia were joined by Dharma from DUCK & COVER and Juliana from Brasilian '00s thrashers INFECT, whose work I have been a fan of for a solid decade. So that REPLICA was good - really good - came as no surprise, but I don't think anyone was prepared for them to be this good. This is hardcore with teeth, and with more originality on this five song banger than most bands manage to eek out of their entire futile careers. Dharma is an absolute animal, and her live rage somehow manages to transfer to cassette without losing a shred of intensity. The riffs just kill, going from bursts ripped from the hearts of DBeat maniacs to the chaotic urgency typically found in the mid '90s, all propelled forward by B hitting the drums with a determination that just screams for you to get out of their way (makes me realize how lucky I am to do time with him in NO STATIK). "Last Judgement" touches on a catchy hook (it's mostly the bass), and when they play this jam live the joint erupts in gloriously uncontrolled spastic elation, and then they close the demo by pounding "Sandy Bottoms" into the ground. The most straight forward song on the demo, Dharma uses that last 0:59 to make sure that you have been paying attention, she takes a basic track and makes it exceptional with a snarl that will give you chills. Press play, and you won't need anything else until it's over. Because REPLICA are the best.
A show filled with the best bands tonight in Oakland. Terminal Escape veterans SICKOIDS from Philadelphia might be the sickest hardcore juggernaut in North America right now, and locals EFFLUXUS and HUNTING PARTY typically have the same effect as REPLICA - once the set starts, everything else stops and nothing else matters. That's what the best bands can do.
14 April 2012
Tough, churning metallic hardline bands were not unusual in the '90s, but in Japan they were certainly an oddity. Forged in the EARTH CRISIS mold, XTILL I DIEX rumble through four tunes on this 2000 demo, harsh and primitive low end SXE hardcore. Straight Edge in Japan tends to include smoking, sometimes drinking, and almost always eating meat, but these dudes chose the very straight and very narrow and were even nice enough to include a 'how to' guide. "Staight Edge is a modern rebellion//Straight Edge is the thing that keeps me free."
13 April 2012
A collection of bands and misfits (or bands of misfits, if you will) from Grand Rapids, Michigan laying waste to all assortments of genre descriptors. There are a couple of barn burning punk numbers here, but this tape seems to mostly be a home for weirdos, something I can totally get behind. From the opening industrial dirge from AUDIBLE XXY you know this isn't your average comp, and a haunting siren by the name of WAYLON THORNTON really drives that point home a few tracks later. TELEFONES are circa 1979 styled new wave/art punks, WHITE MYSTERY are a raunchy version of the breathy garage that made me flip over fellow Midwesterners STARING PROBLEM, and WICKER BASKET play campfire music from outer space. INVISIBLE MANSION take me back to the heyday of early '90s guitar driven college rock, swirling in my brain like a primitive Shields, while eXXXposre are perfect '80s club jams. There are a few clunkers, to be sure, but this one is all over the map, and the quality level is shockingly high. As a sampler and introduction to the label, consider this one a success...not bad for a bunch of weirdos.
Hard working folks who do it for the love of sound (just like all of us at TEHQ), the PVC H.Ex collective is well worth your attention. Find them here.
12 April 2012
Mandatory '80s Italian hardcore, this is tape version of the split LP from I REFUSE IT! and CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS. CCM crank out 20 tracks in well under half an hour - searing guitars and gravelly vocals snarling their way through an attack that is equal parts GERMS, primitive FLAG and murky European squats. I REFUSE IT! have always (perhaps inexplicably) reminded me of BIG BOYS, but incarnated as relentless thrashers. The irreverence is there and is arguably their principal appeal, but tracks like "Fall Down" and "Contagio" just fukkn swing, and make awkward physical motions often referred to as "dancing" nearly unavoidable. This release and these bands have been well documented, and most internet trollers have probably had these files lurking around their external hard drives nicked off youtube in some fourth generation manifestation two months after they first heard Operation Ivy. But punk evolution (and the evolution of punks) used to be different, and even though I knew about Sfregio Permanente, it was years before I ever heard these sounds. No matter, because "Questo e I'inferno" and "Secret Hate" will blow your mind, regardless of the stage of your punk development.
11 April 2012
I confess that I snoozed on this one after I picked it up at their SF show last year. Maybe it was an off night, maybe I was still reveling in the glow of the FOREIGN OBJECTS show that had just happened across town, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for PINK NIGHTMARE...but when everyone told me how killer the show was the following night in Oakland, I just didn't quite get it. Giving this tape a listen now (over a year later) trying to purge a few (hundred) unwanted cassettes, I'm fukkn beating myself up for not crossing the bridge to see them in Oakland, and I'm laughing at myself for letting this gem languish on a shelf for all those months. Foolish decisions, but at least I can make up for lost time on the second one - as for seeing them live....I'll just have to hope they hit the west coast again so I can feel redeemed. PINK NIGHTMARE put the punk into UK influenced jams, but these women are rooted in US punk and hardcore, and they can't quite seem to break from history. Members of FOREIGN OBJECTS, RED THREAD, CONVERSIONS, POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT and many others...don't make the same mistake I did.
10 April 2012
FACTION's You've Got The Fire EP from 1983 was an excellent uptempo anarcho punk record, with shadows of early Siouxsie lurking in the mix. In case you would rather read my words than the writing on the label, this tape has two different mixes of the EP and an eight track demo. The demo appears to be 1983's If They Give You Ruled Paper...Write The Other Way minus "Blinded By The Dark" which the internet tells me appeared on the original version - warbly guitars and timid vocals, and awesome tape. But the first mix of the EP is the real gem here - heavier guitars and less keyboards than the eventual EP version (which is included as the "remix" tracks on this tape), with a psyched out 6:26 version of "Turn Away" that descends into swirling guitar chaos more akin to HAWKWIND than CRASS. The piano that starts off "Drowning" on the EP was initially tacked onto the front end of the intro, and that version starts of the first EP mix here. Members of A-HEADS (Mel joined just before this recording) and SNAILS (criminally under appreciated) made up FACTION, in case you are keeping track....
09 April 2012
Powerful and relentless chaotic Japanese hardcore - quality of the highest order with searing vocals struggling under an assault of guitar noise. Less than ten minutes of sound, but this one will reaffirm your commitment to living life with two fingers in the air. If you still give a fukk after listening to this, then it's time to hand in your studs and renew your civilian card.
08 April 2012
As if the 39 songs on STIKKY's 1987 3D & A Half demo weren't quite enough, this one comes with the first two demos slapped onto the beginning. So get ready for 55+ tracks of juvenile spazz core, like if SOCKEYE were blistering thrashers. Legends.
Oh yeah, there's a practice session from '87 in there as well, so make it 63 tracks. Give a guy a 90 minute tape and what the fukk do you expect?
07 April 2012
Musically confrontational, San Francisco's COPS blow through 6 songs in the time it would take most hipsters to carve out the perfect line on the tape case. COPS would just do the whole bag and play faster. Hardcore by way of weird, synths lurking under the wreckage to turn your stomach - the thing this tape does most is make me want more recordings. Members of TOTAL SHUTDOWN, NIGEL PEPPERCOCK and half of '90s Mission denizens FUCKFACE...you know what you are about to get into.
06 April 2012
It was the 1990s, and the idea of starting a label with two bands a roster made up of drug addled savants from the neighborhood, your aspiring rapper co-worker and your long defunct metal band seemed like a great idea. So Chewy did exactly that, and I can only imagine how much money he lost in the process. At the beginning of the ordeal, he dropped this cassette featuring two tracks from HICKEY (well documented, but find more here if you are uninitiated), BIG MEAT COMBO (the Mission's finest raunchy bluegrass band, long before retro country was en vogue), OSGOOD SLAUGHTER (pre-UNHOLY CADAVER, who were in turn pre-HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE, and likely the only American metal band to ever tour Guam), THUNDERCHIMP (the space metal band that came in between OSGOOD and UNHOLY CADAVER), P.H.L.O.N. ("It's Not About A Salary" could have been the theme song for the label) and FUCKFACE. Poverty released a few EPs, HICKEY's ill fated discography (recently given the total treatment by 1-2-3-4 Go!) and a brilliant box set of singles that perfectly captured our little neighborhood circa 199whatever. I don't see Chewy as often as I would like, but the new HAMMERS record is fukkn great, and I think I want KING CITY to play our twentieth wedding anniversary just like they did our tenth. Even if it's just in our kitchen.
05 April 2012
From the moment four hi-hat crashes usher in the start of this three song screamer, you know exactly what you are in for: Motörcharged madness. Sad that your house is really far from the dust stained streets of Montreal and that you and your studded leather will never get to see INEPSY in the flesh? Rest easy, children, just cruise down to (sometimes) sunny San Francisco and bask in the beer soaked glory of these maniacs. Hell, why not do it Friday when they play at Retox with SYSTEMATIK? Seems like a good idea to me.
04 April 2012
Fuck. PLUTOCRACY was in a league (and often a world) all their own. Death metal weaned on powerviolence and genuine disenfranchisement, perhaps no band personified a scene the way that PLUTO did. Redwood City...fuck. Inadvertently self relegated to mere cult status, these dudes have influenced countless bands, blown countless minds and smoked a little bit of weed in the process. Most of their vinyl releases and plenty of other West Bay Coalition artifacts can be found on the Doomryderz blog, but here is 1990's Progress? demo - a steamroller.
Vinnie called me yesterday to let me know that Kindred aka Stinkweed passed away. Few lived life at maximum volume the way he did - and virtually no one riffed harder. PLUTOCRACY, KALMEX & THE RIFFMERCHANTS, SHADOW PEOPLE, GO LIKE THIS, TORTURE UNIT, BULLSHIT EXCUSE, SHADOW PEOPLE and many others. People come and go, but this one is irreplaceable.
03 April 2012
DISPLEASURE could just as easily have been born in Midwestern basements circa 199?, but I'm happy that they rose up here over the last year or so. Members of NEON PISS and FUGITIVE KIND take forceful, determined punk and inject an undeniably local attitude (think MUTANTS by way of FILTH). The demo is just a taste....live DISPLEASURE is the shit.
02 April 2012
Between a guitarist relocated to Southern California and other projects (HUNTING PARTY, EFFLUXUS, FACE THE RAIL, SYNTHETIC ID and more, strangely all of them are bad ass), I think YADOKAI are on their way out. It's too bad, because their version of lightning speed Japanese influenced hardcore punk is unparalleled, especially around these parts. The first demo is great, the first EP is a chaotic treat, but the second drummer suits their style perfectly and the result is a little more cohesive, which allows them to ramp up the energy and the pace. A second EP can (maybe?) be had through these punx, but this tape (released in a pathetically limited run for their summer '11 trip to LA) is long gone. Crucial.
That the San Francisco Bay Area produces an disproportionately high number of quality punk and hardcore bands is not a secret, but lately I've felt especially fortunate to live here and see so many excellent shows. I missed out on a couple last week due to adulthood, but instead of getting all bummed out I hauled my ass to Oakland to get drilled in the face by PERMANENT RUIN and LA's BLOODY PHOENIX - worth it. So I'm going to spend the next week celebrating this wealthy ass metropolis filled with miscreants, weirdos, yuppies, tech millionaires and addicts.
01 April 2012
IRON LUNG should need no introduction, they have been honing their craft for nearly 15 years and have influenced hoards of followers in the process. The students have become master craftsmen. This is IRON LUNG live in Australia in 2011...one side features a set in Newcastle, and the other has Sydney playing in one speaker while Adelaide plays in the other. Brilliant positioning (editing?) to get the two shows to line up as disconcertingly as they do.