28 February 2013


While I am still engaging with Mediafire to recover the bulk of Terminal Escape's back catalog, I am not optimistic that the outcome will be positive. Most recently, my account has been hit with a litany of violations due to supposed offensive content that range from ANAL WARHEAD and CUM STAIN to I'm Buck Naked and Wessex '81, making it clear that the files are not actually being flagged for their content, but rather falling victim to blanket searches for generic keywords. If you are interested in an older Terminal Escape (or Escape Is Terminal) post, please leave a comment or send me an email and I will repair the link whenever possible (it is almost always possible). I have started a list at the bottom of the main screen where I will add recently replaced links.


This one song banger simply slays. This predates the fetishism of raging thrash metal by damn near a decade, and there are tech flourishes that set TERROR SQUAD even further apart from the pack. The next four minutes will make your head spin, and so that you are well aware of what you are about to get into, please preview the lyrics below.

27 February 2013


Short lived Portland City hardcore punk, this SEPTICK SYSTEM shuffled around my van for months before I unearthed it from the depths of Lost Forever. And I'm glad I did.

26 February 2013


If there is still any doubt after HORDES' 8+ minute rendition of "Rocket USA" then perhaps these are simply not the sounds for you. This Michigan outfit drones their way through four mesmerizing tracks, and though the treatment of the aforementioned SUICIDE number is a bold and brilliant move, it is still not the highlight - that prize falls at the feet of "Summoning The Rust (The Palindrome)," a 23 minute exercise in subtle swarms of sound. There are a few other releases floating around (including a newish CD) and all are well worth your ears, but this release is by far my favorite HORDES material. Relax.

25 February 2013


More twisted joints from some of my favorite San Jose miscreants. Their second demo is packed with more of the same demented ramshackle drug addled mania. I picked up their third demo last night - but you don't get to hear that one until later...

All three METH SORES demos included in this download.

24 February 2013


Totally killer and hopelessly infectious synth punk that has been sitting on my shelf even longer than the POTTY MOUTH demo from this past Thursday. Call it art if you want, file it with bizarro no wave if it makes you feel better, or maybe just say it's yet another modern incarnation of no rules post punk oddity. But whatever you do, just know that this 2009 cassette release is a total creamer.

a pain in the ass for everybody

23 February 2013


Come with me. Walk into a time warp, stuck between DC and California in the year 198something. I can see a space somewhere between BL'AST and BEEFEATER, and I can picture BECOME filling that space with energetic and passionate hardcore. Somehow this demo sounds like the cover looks, how does that make any sense?

22 February 2013


Perhaps this comp is better suited for a Monday, but I don't want to confuse things by mixing up the two quasi-designated days of the Terminal Escape week. Five Los Angeles area bands on this cassette - five different brands of destroyed and chaotic hardcore. CONDITION and ASPEX have visited The Escape before (these CONDITION tracks are rawer but no less killer and "Bombed Out" might be the crucialest jam on this tape, while ASPEX...well, they are also rawer here but no less killer), and we are graced with new visitors ATRAKO (embracing the raw punk world's newfound love of '80s anarcho goth on one track and then ripping my face off with lightning fast hardcore with the other two), PESSIMIST (injecting bleak metal into a raw ponk attack) and MAL PASO (if there is a guitar then I certainly can't hear it, just raw forceful pogo hardcore). Perhaps you might find it interesting that the best song on the tape might be the uncredited instrumental that closes it, or perhaps you just might want to fukkn rage - either way, you are about to enjoy the shit out of the next half hour of your chaotic raw punk existence. 

21 February 2013


No apologies implied or offered, I am slow. I am slow and I procrastinate and I often intend to do things for months and never get around to them, even if I sometimes look directly at those things on a daily basis. For example: sometime last year, Catherine from Puzzle Pieces Records sent me a package with a couple of cassettes. This is not exactly a major event here at TEHQ since I do get tapes in that mail from time to time - some are good and some are bad but they basically all go on the new arrivals shelf until I get around to dealing with them. Sometimes that takes a while (there are killer new records to listen to like the newest FRACASO EP that I jammed no less than four times last night, and that takes up precious earhole time), but Catherine made it a point to tell me about the tapes she had sent me, and it was a note not written necessarily for promotion but rather because she thought the bands and their music was important. And because she thought they were important enough to take the time to tell me about them, I felt it would be unfair to simply give them a cursory listen...and so the tapes and her words sat on that new arrivals shelf. For a long time. But the thing about me is that I will eventually get around to whatever it is that I need to do, and those words and those songs were just as important to me last weekend as they would have been last spring when Catherine sent me the package - it's just that there was a little unnecessary lag time between the action and the reaction (or is it the cause and the action?). How exactly this relates to your day is irrelevant, it is nothing more than an anecdote.  What matters is these five songs. POTTY MOUTH are from Western Massachusetts and deliver exactly not the kind of knuckle dragging hardcore that region has become known for over the last decade or so. The all female outfit does have moments of Girls In The Garage style flourish, but the majority of this tape is midpaced post/garage punk that feels more like BEAT HAPPENING than any lazy gender specific comparisons. "Drip-Dry" opens the tape and is easily my favorite track (chalk that up to the vocals), and the guitar leads rocket the follow up "Dog Song" to pure dreamboat status. POTTY MOUTH have dropped a handful of vinyl releases since this 2011 cassette, records that I will own very soon...and every time I listen to them I will think about how I need to work on my procrastination.

"we've changed for the worse but I'm having so much fun // you smoke and I curse, I just love living young // I tried and I tried, I did what I could // why oh why is all this bad so good?"

20 February 2013


There's something magical about breakneck hardcore, when it's full speed ahead from start to finish and you just know that the band is leaving everything they have on the floor because they can't possibly play any faster or any harder than they are. That is the feeling that I get from the first moment of ROXOR's 2008 demo - eleven tracks of lightning fast hardcore mania taking Eastern European punk and low end crust and making them both fly by at a pace that will leave you breathless. Their new LP is a total scorcher (as are all of their vinyl releases), but this first demo is a great place to get blown the fukk away until you grab the new shit. Seriously.

19 February 2013


The RHINOCERVS group has put forth some of the most interesting underground black metal I've heard and as their eponymous band progresses, those releases become more transfixing. This is the fourth of eight (and counting) untitled releases from the label - more bleak sounds, more addictive than ever. 

18 February 2013


There is something special going on in Halifax, Nova Scotia and if it weren't so very far from my house then I would go there myself and investigate further. CONCRETE ASYLUM crank out fiercely aggressive hardcore with shouted vocals that owe more to Ian Mackaye than anything from Japan, but the guitars are the reason they are featured on this fine Monday...think the S.H.I.T. demo but way more fukkd sounding, faster, and completely dominated by the guitars. The other elements are excellent, but they are also secondary, this romp is all about an assault on an innocent six string bystander - just a blur of madness interrupted by crucial riffs. "Spit To Me" is the song of the day.

The entire demo is included twice. The version labeled "(noise)" is the way my cassette sounds. I am quite certain that this is a defect, but nonetheless I think that pure Noise Not Music fans will eat it up. The version labeled "(clean)" is likely closer to what the band intended.

17 February 2013


Here I go sounding like a broken record, but sometimes I miss the 1990s. No, bands didn't pay as much attention to the quality of their recordings, and yes there were a lot of bands cranking out music long before they had closed in on their style of attack or the musical vision of their outfit, but all of this happened because there weren't any rules. And the result was often primal bursts of emotion and aggression like Pueblo, Colorado's AMNESTY. Early '90s hardcore fronted by unhinged vocals and a guitar being mercilessly brutalized so badly that it hurts to listen. The pace is a mid tempo stomp throughout, and whatever AMNESTY lacks in technical proficiency they more than make up for in pure passion.

16 February 2013


When SLUMP slows down they are truly terrifying, and when they speed up it might be best to step aside. There is a ferocity in the vocals often missing from filthy modern hardcore - it's easy to sound mean but sounding insane and desperate is something entirely different. "Nein, Kein Gott Da" is my choice track, 90 seconds of a building storm followed by a swirling crescendo into the eye of madness to close the track. After this 2009 demo there was a split with LIFE ENDS, and since then....silence unless you live in Germany and get to witness this freight train in person. SLUMP are from Mannheim, I bought a stack of Neue Deutsche Welle records in Mannheim a decade ago.

15 February 2013


Both of these Tokyo bands draw on US emotional hardcore and primitive grunge simultaneously, but the angular and in your face guitar attack of BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS and the manic song construction (and in your face guitar attack) of COPASS GRINDERS give them each a distinct impact. While kids around the world are trying to recreate the filthy fuzz of MUDHONEY and the inward frustration of Cobain, they would be well served to look instead to bands like this, bands who took those sounds and molded them into something that was their own...something that was independently important.

14 February 2013


Consider this vinyl release one of my top wants, even though I know essentially nothing of its actual existence. CYANIDE SCENARIO perhaps featured future members of INTERNAL AUTONOMY, and the lead track here, "Awayday To Auschwitz," appeared on 1990's Inquiry LP...but the rest of these tracks are a mystery. The sounds are gloriously brooding anarcho tinged goth with female vocals that envelop you like a slow moving mist. I have listened to these songs a thousand times.

13 February 2013


Crust gets such a bad rap, man. Probably it's because there are so many shitty crust bands and so many shitty crust punks, but when I think of grinding crust madness, I think of bands like HUMAN ERROR, and it gets me stoked. These kids have been kicking out seriously brutal jams for over a decade, and the Scandinavian tinge is tempered by indescribable power and intensity. 22 songs, 25 minutes. All killer, no filler.

12 February 2013


As I have probably mentioned before, in the late '90s I worked in a bagel shop in downtown San Francisco. I stole whatever I could (ask anyone who bought FUCKFACE shirts on our 1996 tour) and gave as much free food as possible to elderly Russian women and bike messengers and punks. There were a lot of positives and very few negatives, it was a good gig and I met a lot of nice people, many of whom I am still friends with today. One of my regular free food takers was talking about music one day, and mentioned that he was in a band that was about to have a release on Tzadik. Naturally I assumed he was full of shit, because I held Zorn and his label in high regard and had a hard time imagining that some schmuck delivering packages downtown could possibly be involved in a project that had warranted the interest of John Zorn...actually, he was a pretty nice dude and I was probably jealous of the potential, but nonetheless I was suspicious. Well, he brought me a tape and of course it never came out on Tzadik so I was kinda vindicated - but there was obviously a LOT of effort spent on this project...manic dirges, sax drenched bursts of avant insanity, gratuitous samples from adult films and preachers. Total weirdness in an extremely (but indescribably '90s) way, perfectly suited for Tzadik - even if Zorn never gave the record a proper release (apparently it was the samples that caused the roadblock, and San Francisco's Radical House eventually distributed this recording, as well as BIBLE LAUNCHER's 1998 follow up). Sometimes you give away a few bagels and you get something in return that has some serious staying power.

For the brave Terminal Escape follower, there was this DAVE DAVE recording on the flip side of the BIBLE LAUNCHER tape and I might as well share it today since without context it would be quite a nonsensical post. Primarily just drum and bass, and while it appears to be just a jam session cassette (and the first four tracks are the same riffs played over and over and over again), there are some weird bits worth checking out: tracks 05 & 06 are just treated drums but they stand well as minimal pieces of avant sound, track 08 introduces vocals and innocence before the side descends into astronomical weirdness for a few tracks and then closes with several tracks of treated drums that are bizarre and mesmerizing. This is certainly not for everyone, and perhaps it is little more than an unearthed cassette oddity, but those who find themselves interested might have a good time over the next 45 minutes.

ALSO: From the same family of free food takers was a bike messenger named Anthony who would lounge in the general vicinity of my shop for what seemed like hours, wandering in when it there was a lull and we would chat and he would eat. He played in GAY BARBARIANS... AND OR JAURWAURS (whose "Bohemian Special" CD is a near masterpiece) and an exercise in amplifier abuse called NAPPYTIME JUNCTION. 17 years later, his drummer is the master tenant in my studio and their 2001 live set from Mission Records is available on Escape Is Terminal. I don't know...it's a good band and the connection seemed at least vaguely relevant.

11 February 2013


I discovered DEMON CITY REAPER a few years ago from Cosmic Hearse, so imagine my excitement when Drunk With Power sent me their entire collected works! Complete insanity masquerading as music, these tracks take the chaotic metalpunk paradigm perfected by '80s Japan (GISM, ZOUO, etc.) and twist it into an hideous and unrecognizable form. A horde of cartoon demons are at the helm, recording this masterpiece of raw punk psychedelia. This tape features the two tracks from the '08 demo previously shared by Aesop, as well as songs recorded for one never released split EP and one never released single. So far beyond over the top.

10 February 2013


Three minutes of authentic USHC from Indianapolis. SIDE FX nail early '80s power - stripped down to the raw essentials (an irreverent wail for vocals, meat and potatoes  rhythm section and a menacing assault delivered from the guitar) and offered up with a forceful but nonchalant attitude. Only four songs here, just enough to get you excited. 

09 February 2013


Swarms of all encompassing sound...subtle, precise and intense. Listen with the lights off.

08 February 2013


In short, this is a killer compilation of South American punk and hardcore, nothing short of essential. A lengthier description would include meeting a member of FRACASO in Vancouver a few weeks back and having a great time hanging out and talking about punk and politics and life and then he gave me this tape he made for a friend. That bit of background isn't really all that much longer, but you should be spending your day listening to this tape, not reading my words.

07 February 2013


Terminal Escape is having issues with file hosting. This does not affect current posts, but you will likely find that older downloads are not available for the time being. I realize that this is a common roadblock with many audioblogs, and I hope that it is not a permanent roadblock with Terminal Escape.


The first release from Olympia's RAGANA is as difficult to classify as just about anything I have posted. From casually ethereal to just plain morose, the ability of these two women to harness intensity seems to only be surpassed by their ability to craft mesmerizing songs. It's over ten minutes into Unbecoming that they finally break free and drop 40 seconds of frustrated and bleak blasts, the first confirmation that the these sounds are rooted in metal and not '80s 4AD as much of the cassette suggests. But it's the ability to walk that line that makes RAGANA so intriguing, and I find that 24 minutes is simply not enough.

we don't ask for much // isn't it hard enough

06 February 2013


IVENS have visited The Escape before, but their stay here was not nearly as sinister sounding as this collaboration with DARK MATTER. Synths swarm like locusts through this recording as electronics pound uncomfortably into your chest - a SWANS like dirge first, and then a ten minute sonic exercise that concentrates on numbing you with subtle intensity. It succeeds.

05 February 2013


Instead of asking why, it might be better to just play this shit at maximum volume. RATAS RABIÖSAS are raw as shit, vocals distorted to oblivion and packed with intensity while the band tupa-tupas their way through fifteen minutes of primal punk rock stripped down to the barest of essentials. Song titles were tough to navigate on this one, so the tracks are merely numbered (notice I've included the band's song titles, so you are welcome to decipher for yourself). This is not pretty.

04 February 2013


A subtle but significant tweak on the raw DBeat paradigm, this anniversary demo (13 fukkn years!) from Malaysia's APPÄRATUS is nine minutes of raw mutilating insanity. The only time this shit lets up is one high end tinged MOTORHEAD influenced number, but they launch right back into raging DISCHARGE by way of Sweden on the last track...and the "this is the end" chorus seals the deal (as if there was any doubt left). Blistering.

You can probably get this through Hammercharge, and (in case you still need convincing) APPÄRATUS feature ATOMIC DEATH members. So there you go.

03 February 2013


This is the modern incarnation of the dancefloor jams that ran through my veins as a teenager. Sure, I had SMITHS records, and I had DEAD KENNEDYS records too, but this was the sound that really got me through a small minded small town existence. Synth drenched dreary new wave sounds retooled brilliantly for the new millennium...

02 February 2013


After releasing some of the most seminal underground Philippine punk in the late '80s, DEAD ENDS were quiet for several years before their final release in 1995. Mamatay Sa Ingay definitely shows the influence of more commercial '90s punk and metal, but the vocals are searing and undeniable, and even the influence of western melodic punk cannot reign these fools in. At one point I considered suggesting that it sounded like Paul Baloff fronting early NOFX on crack, but then I figured that would turn some of you off so I decided not to say it. "Ngunit Walang Umintindi" could be lifted from the self titled FACE TO FACE debut (what, you didn't know? that record is fukkn brilliant) but tracks like "Madaling Sabihin, Mahirap Gawin" are just blistering proto-fastcore and "Pulis! Pulis!" is a mandatory circle pit banger. Bassist Jay (who founded the band along with his brother, guitarist Al) passed away shortly after this release and DEAD ENDS subsequently disbanded, but it's clear that the eight year gap between 1988's Damned Nation and this killer swan song were well spent - even if the result is more proficient than their early releases, none of the power is lost and it absolutely kills start to finish.