31 August 2013


Primitive and chaotic punk from PUBLIC DOMAIN, only marginally in tune (at best) and cohesive (that's generous) and often as much of a struggle to listen to as it sounds like it was to play. NEKHEI NAATZA on the flip lean towards melodic (even a few awkward ska punk bits) but pull out a few burners that serve as foreshadowing for the records they would release later (their discography can be found here). Fiercely political, at their best they come off like mid-'80s German punk ("Forever More,""Entire Genocide"), while at other times the intensity definitely trumps the proficiency. This tape was released in 1993, and both bands are from Israel.

30 August 2013


Ten band compilation featuring Spanish language punk from all over Latin America with a token European submission from SIN DIOS, not at all surprising considering the time (released in 2000) and the political focus (anarchism). FUN PEOPLE (Argentina), RECICLAJE, @PATIA NO, LOS RESIDUOS (Venezuela), DESARME and NIQUITOWN (Colombia), ACTITUD SUBVERSIVA (Puerto Rico), VANTROI (Mexico)...and oh yeah BANDA JACHIS is from Spain too. Earnest melodic punk, a few hardcore burners and a handful of tracks that came as complete surprises (NIQUITOWN's "El Cambio Es Ahora" is by far my favorite jam on the tape). The whole thing was released by Noeske Records to benefit El Libertario, a Venezuelan anarchist periodical.

29 August 2013


Crushing in its quiet intensity, RAAJMAHAL's Celandine starts with "Bridge Of Temptation," a haunting eight minute journey into the depths of transformation. The mood continues through the nearly three quarter hour release, subtlety masking emotion and vocals floating casually in and out of consciousness. It's a wonder that sounds so peaceful can create such anxiety, almost as if you are waiting for Celasndine to descend into despair...but it never does. Mournful and longing but at least resigned, even if not yet content.

28 August 2013


I wish I could provide some personal insight or background, but I got this tape from Devon and I know nothing except that THE P.I.N.S. are one of hordes of San Francisco area bands that must have existed in the late '80s. Top quality snarky hardcore punk rooted in MDC, disenfranchisement, D.R.I. and adolescence - this tape does everything that the more influential and long lasting bands of the era did, but you didn't know their name until today. Without trying to read deeper meaning (or analysis) into tracks like "Ayatolah" (sic) and "Unemployment," suffice to say that I am quite happy to listen to hardcore punk that is at least concerned with the goings on of the world. Can someone please tell me why this unknown punk from 198something is important? I don't know man....but it fukkn is.

27 August 2013


The rebirth, reintroduction and supposed reinvention of the sounds that I grew up with is an interesting phenomenon. On the one hand it's nice to hear a band that is so instantly comfortable, but it strikes an awkward chord to hear people who were not born when you were in high school emulating the bands you listened to when you were in high school. This isn't a "fukk the kids" stance, nothing could be further from my intent...it's just a shock to the system when the cool kids of today are taking their cues from bands that were absolutely not cool at the time, at least not where I came from. In the late '80s we listened to HÜSKER DÜ and THE OCEAN BLUE, and loved each with equal fervor, and that dichotomy evolved into musical ears in the early '90s that were tuned to BORN AGAINST and GRIMPLE as much as MY BLOODY VALENTINE and SONIC YOUTH. I say this not to imply that GLASS is reminiscent of any of those bands, but rather to imply that they appear to have been forged from similar steel, a life of outcast obsession that resulted in genuinely original sounds...sounds that sank into complete obsolescence. This four song release, apparently recorded at a coffee shop, draws from '80s goth as well as brooding indie bands of the day, but adds an inexplicable edge to the package that makes it all the more intriguing two decades later. There are only four songs here, but "¿Bleed?" is a killer (though subdued) noise rock instrumental fronted by guitars that were hopefull(less)y destined for greatness, while "Looking Glass" blatantly lifts a riff from a then massively popular song and throws Siouxsie wails on top. "Push Down A Staircase" and "My Favorite Parking Meter" are supercharged goth/punk burners, propelled by driving drums and howling vocals. I know nothing about this band - who they were, where they were from, what they became - but Mark gave me this tape last year and I was pulled in instantly. GLASS remind me of how I felt when I first heard Nebraska's SOME KIND OF CREAM...and while I seriously doubt that will mean anything to anyone who reads this, suffice to say that it was a positive feeling (and now I'm going to listen to the SOME KIND OF CREAM 45 and see if comparison is a musical or ethereal one....).

Update: I have apparently purged the SOME KIND OF CREAM record over the years (it was probably a wise decision, as I cannot remember when I last listened to it). I would be very happy if anyone could let me hear that record, sell me that record, or tell me anything about the band GLASS that I have posted today. I am feeling a little nostalgic. 

26 August 2013


Sometimes I get a tape in the mail and I know it's going to be good, and that was the case when I tore into this plastic shell with Vancouver's SNØB trapped inside. Considering their pedigree, I figured this was a sure thing...but I wasn't prepared for this. Every bit as furious as I had hoped, they start with a dirge and then step effortlessly into a relentless pace that rarely slows until the surprisingly excellent DICKS cover that closes the demo (and I only say "surprisingly" because it's pretty gutsy to fukk with THE DICKS). New millennium raw punk ferocity shitting all over the '80s rehash paradigm, this tape is pure devastation. Also, the BEASTIE BOYS cover is a killer random blow.

25 August 2013


This is what I want from my punk. RAW NERVES are a juggernaut as fierce as they are smart, it's a brand of crushing and apocalyptic hardcore that has seemingly gone the way of other bygone subgenres, but fuck if these eight tracks are not pure and total devastation. Influences from '90s US DIY hardcore and early '00s heavy melodic shits are defiantly in the forefront, but this sounds undeniably fresh and unbelievably powerful. Subtle metal tinges in the guitar (ok, there are a few leads in the slower bits that are not so subtle) and vocals strained to their absolute limit, this band slogs forward with an unwavering determination that makes the slower tunes arguable more important than their rippers - "Not Getting Better" is total perfection. All of the recorded output from this band is excellent, but this slab (with a new vocalist) promises that RAW NERVES are only getting better.

we still try hard, it never gets better

24 August 2013


Extremely harsh and distorted noise scapes, the kind that just lull you in the same way that the cacophony of the ocean becomes peaceful if you just....submit. This is layers of brutality masked as pure serenity, with the last minutes of the cassette serving as a conduit to another world. I do not suggest listening casually.

"There's gotta be somebody out there somewhere who can hold me in their arms and tell me everything's gonna be ok..."

23 August 2013


Absolutely pulverizing grind/crust comp that pits Italy against Czech Republic. Never mind who wins (the jury is still out), this is a devastating array of power...GRIDE, LAHAR, LYCANTHROPY, INKONGRUENCE and KOMPLEX VINY from Czech Republic (you should seriously examine just how fast GRIDE is, the shit is insane) backed with CONTRASTO, KONTATTO, DOWNRIGHT, LE TORMENTA, TEAR ME DOWN and CAMPUS STERMINI from Italy (DOWNRIGHT are the standouts - flawless ferocious female fronted political fastcore). There is a stunning array of power here, and a distinct lack of clunkers. And I have no idea what's up with the rooster.

22 August 2013


I just got this 2010 demo via punk post from a very nice dude...a dude who apparently has very excellent taste. Rafael likes his punk raw and rudimentary, and Mexico's AVICHINES fit that bill perfectly...hopelessly addictive poppy sounds filtered by speed and (non calculated) distortion, it's like bouncy '80s Spanish punks discovering THE GRUMPIES. Forget that nonsensical faux pogo with the calculated distortion on the guitar, this shit is catchy and raw without the posturing. It is also very very punk. Like you.

21 August 2013


Do you remember ten years ago when København could do no wrong? I played there twice in 2003, and whatever either show might have lacked the town more than made up for by just being generally nice, accommodating and cool as shit. But it seemed like every band from that city was amazing - sure there was probably just a small percentage on our USAdar, but GORILLA ANGREB, AMDI PETERSENS ARMÉ, URO, NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, YOUNG WASTENERS....you get the drill. And now there's MØNSTERRPPORTEN, who seem to be treating shoegazing garage punk with the same same domination that the aforementioned bands treated their respective subgenres. It's just...perfect. Refreshing even (especially?) in the context of a seemingly constant need to impress, these jams are just fukkn good. That is a fact, not something up for debate.

20 August 2013


I will never pretend I was in the tape trading world, and especially not in the hey day of the 1980s. I didn't know shit then, and if my adult procrastination is any indication then I would have been the worst trading partner ever...never mind the fact that I would have had exactly zero bands that anyone gave half a shit about to offer in exchange for quality sounds from around the world. But fortunately for me (and, indirectly, for you) I have been lucky enough to make friends with punks who were enthusiastic tape traders in The Golden Years, and some of those homemade friendship offerings make up today's post. Four Japanese bands...perhaps you know them? Perhaps you can help sort out the track listings for your fellow Escape denizens? These recordings are all killer but lack complete information.....

This is their 1993 demo. I have two versions of their 1993 demo, but this one doesn't the have the live version of "American Dream" at the end and the overall recording sounds a little heavier. My guess is that this is simply a result of duplication quality, but purists are welcome to compare the two - the other one is here if you wanna get wild. And enthusiasts should visit Escape Is Terminal for a live OUT OF TOUCH set from the same era, and if that still isn't enough then I re-upped their 1991 demo.

C.O.S.A. released but one EP in 1992(?), but this cassette features ten tracks attributed to them. The first song is studio, and the remainder are rehearsal recordings - fist in the air Japanese hardcore with a serious rock 'n roll bent. Four tracks are listed on the insert that came with the tape, but instead of guessing, I will leave the detective work up to you. Dudes from this band went on to form EFFIGY and REALITY CRISIS.

Gloriously primitive death metal. While NECRO-E were unknown to me before this tape, their output is churning filth at its finest. As you can see, I was given a subpar insert that lists three tracks...but this tape features nine. Ethereal introductions and interludes make up a few of the cuts, which tells me that this is not (or is at least a different version of) the Assemblage Of Emanated Embryo demo, but these tracks are of a substantially more disgusting quality than the version of that tape that I tracked down here, and knowing nothing of the band I cannot honestly tell you where these tracks come from. Different versions of the demo were released in 1991 and 1992...hopefully a death metal expert will come forth and enlighten us all?

While there's a lot of "hmmmm, I wonder where these songs came from" with today's other bands, ZIG-ZAG are a total mystery. Ripping Japanese hardcore, the kind of shit that would likely be lumped under the "Burning Spirits" umbrella - gratuitous leads and insanely powerful vocals. Maybe there is information to be had - but good luck searching the internet for a band called ZIG-ZAG. For the style, this is fukkn perfection....anyone?

19 August 2013


Bombastic and chaotic madness of the highest caliber. Vocals are practically thrown out of the singer's mouth as if the words themselves are a horrible entity from which he is trying to free himself, while the low end is a constant and terrifying death knell. South Korea's SCUMRAID capture a primitive intensity missing from a lot of Noise Not Music bands, you get the impression that this isn't an act, that the distortion of sound and thought is an actual manifestation of the world as seen through these six eyes. 

They appear to be every bit as powerful live as this demo suggests. The tape is sold out, but find the band here.

18 August 2013


Whether intentional or not, the aural presentation of these sounds is as interesting to me as the sounds themselves. Low fidelity is one thing, but Brooklyn's VORDE have drowned legitimately advanced black metal in a murky sea of washed out cymbals, guitars in a seemingly endless struggle with the mid range white hiss that constantly wants to take the lead role. But thankfully the songs win the battle, and the scene set by the aural presentation is a genuinely haunting one that benefits the band in the end. Droning, morose vocals and plodding drums give way to howling blasts and whatever nuance VORDE might have lurking far beyond the shadows...the overall presentation is a desperate wash of power and desperation, and I genuinely fear what might happen when this band progresses beyond the "demo" stage. The internet gets excited because the drummer for this band was in FELL VOICES, though personally I am more juiced hearing that the dude was in MOHORAM ATTA and the mighty RESIN HITS - but never mind "former members of" lists, this is raw North American Black Metal at its finest.

17 August 2013


25+ years later, this listens like a (slightly) more metal STIKKY. Thrash punk/crossover from Illinois, these Bloomington, Illinois ragers rips through 12 ultra sloppy and ultra snotty numbers on their first demo recorded live in 1987. Later releases would have IMPETIGO dishing out gore/death metal and honing their chops substantially, but here they are ripping tongue in cheek pimply faced thrashers. More than enough energy comes through this recording to compensate for the less-than-precise delivery, and these dudes sound legitimately hilarious between tunes. I read once that this was recorded at their first live show, but consider that nothing more than an unsubstantiated internet missive.

Tracks from this demo appeared on the 1999 split EP with TRANSGRESSOR, which was my first exposure to IMPETIGO. The whole thing was issued on CD around the same time by a porno grind label from Europe, in case you were curious.

16 August 2013


60 minutes of early East Bay Area punk from the same gentleman that brought you Absolutely Zippo! fanzine. The track listing should speak for itself here: FUEL, BLATZ, GOODGRIEF, SPITBOY, ANGER MEANS, FILTH, MONSULA, FIFTEEN, JACK ACID, DOWNFALL (post-OPERATION IVY and pre-RANCID), THE GR'UPS, CHICKENHEAD (Florida cult noise punk from the purveyor of SCAM! zine), and the way lesser known FUZZZONE and BUMBLESCRUMP. Personal highlight is the PAXTON QUIGGLY/GEORGE HATED track, taking a spoken word track and slapping it on top of a PAXTON QUIGGLY instrumental - the slipshod mix adds to the dark vibe of the story. Even though I moved to this area a few years after Later, That Same Year (and didn't venture across the bridge with any frequency for a few years after that), these are the bands at the nucleus of the most important era of Bay Area punk this side of DEAD KENNEDYS. Raw, earnest and real.

15 August 2013


This tape is an absolute stunner. Uruguays's AVITACION 101 capture the power of '90s personally driven hc/crust and the European bands of the same era that started venturing into chaotic emotional territory (so basically I'm saying it's like AKEPHAL crossed with LOGICAL NONSENSE). The guitars are positively screaming throughout with discordant leads soaring over the top, but the vocals are the focal point of the recording. High end impassioned screams that remind me more than a little bit of Mariam (PERMANENT RUIN, CONDENADA) are backed sporadically with low crust growls, but those lead vocals will pierce you and hold you like a vice. Listening to this will sound like stepping into a time warp for some, but for others it will open a door. 

14 August 2013


Sit down and take notes, kids. Vehemently straight edge and defiantly hardcore, Boston's BORN IN HELL dropped this tape in '03 and then moved on to bigger things. I'm not going to say those things are necessarily better because these five jams are ill as shit, but you are almost certainly more familiar with all of the bands that followed. It's super pissed, but the vocals have an earnest posi vibe and the music is intent without coming off as overly aggressive. The guitars are advanced well beyond four chord hardcore, and it should come as no surprise that these dudes are responsible for a mountain of crucial jams in the decade since this demo.

"so hate me because I see right through you / hate me because I've accepted my fate / we're just unremarkable people doing unremarkable things / pretty soon we'll all be dead and no one's gonna remember your name"

13 August 2013


The first half of SILVER PEARL's self titled cassette features the some of the most genuinely dark sound I've ever heard. Morose electronics drone hopelessly amidst a sea of distortion and subtle industrial cacophony, like a church organist rising from the grave but not quite able to shake off all the dirt. The second half features painstakingly slow moving drones with jarring bursts of manipulated metallic noise, like the soundtrack to a film you desperately want to stop watching....but you cannot tear yourself away. The primitive synths that close out the track indicate a relatively happy ending, if that makes you feel any better.

A 2008 release from Chondritic Sound

12 August 2013


A chaotic and bleak whirlwind of screaming hardcore. Primal and precise, with politics up front and power from the heart. The more you listen, the better it gets. This is their second cassette, I am going to order the first one right now...

11 August 2013


You can dismiss this as hipster schlock if you like, but it'd be your loss. PEACE OF SHIT is the solo project of some dude who is in some band that people (presumably) care about though I think now they are a real band maybe...but all I care about right now is these damn songs. It's like some space age Reatard shit and THE SPITS all blissed out and half drunk making a party in my kitchen and arguing about whether or not INDUSTRIAL PARK is the second coming of MY BLOODY VALENTINE. While I like my kitchen in its current and empty state, I kinda like the idea of this fuzzed out 4-track party happening on the floor right next to where I make my sandwiches...

I read on the internet that PEACE OF SHIT have changed their name to DUMB BEACH. That's like changing your name from something weird and stupid to something that's just stupid. Good job.

10 August 2013


What is it with Germany? The rest of the world has rock, Germany has KrautRock. We have new wave, they have Neue Deutsch Welle. Bands from around the world play punk, yet still there is DeutschPunk. I don't know exactly how to differentiate DeutschPunk from punk, but there's something in the guitars, something in the tempo....and most importantly there is something in the vocals that puts this shit in a different league. PANZERBAND fit the bill perfectly - forceful punk concentrating on the upper register and intelligent intensity. When North Americans espouse the virtues of bands like DILLINGER 4 I just wish that shit sounded like this shit...these are my "poppy" punk bands, bands that have the hooks but still have an attack. PANZERBAND also have a song about how stupid skinheads are stupid, so I'm pretty much on their team.

09 August 2013


As I have mentioned before, a group of us hosted a monthly mix tape exchange in Milwaukee in the mid '00s. While interest in this event waned almost as soon as we got the thing off the ground, some seriously powerful collections of sound resulted from our experiment. This tape came from one Mr. Sirek, and features some seriously jarring noise and power electronics...but instead of just spending 90 minutes pummeling the listener (which would be relatively easy to do within the realm of noise) Sirek reigns through subtlety and skill. A consistent assault from CHAOS AS SHELTER is followed by VERTONEN's mesmerizingly calm ode. A SWANS by way of black metal excursion from SKY BURAIL is tempered by the sparse and hesitant peace of NIPSEY RUSSELO and ENVENOMIST. Positively brilliant tracks from LUASA RAELON and BENEATH THE LAKE are worth the entire cassette on their own, and incredibly brutal pieces from STROM.EC and AUBE ensure that any calm derived from peaceful interludes will be short lived. There is indeed an art to crafting a mix tape, and I dare say that crafting a noise mix tape is a decidedly more daunting challenge....Sirek did well.

08 August 2013


Snotty, loud, raw and punk as fukkn shit, Green Bay, Wisconsin's SUBURBAN MUTILATION will still put you on edge. Hits like "Daddy Was A Nazi," "El Salvador Stomp," "Eat A Preppie," and "Bored Teenager" just scratch the surface of this tape's greatness. I suppose they fall somewhere between the two famous DEAD bands of the early '80s (MILKMEN and KENNEDYS), but there's a RAMONES worshipping garage rock 'n roll simplicity that demands to be blasted at maximum volume and allows SUBURBAN MUTILATION to bypass advanced songwriting chops. These 13 jams come from a tape claiming to be a live recording, but if this is true, then they are playing in front of the least enthusiastic crowd ever and Rev. Norb's wit is conspicuously absent....but fukk me they are screaming. If this doesn't kick your day in the ass, then I'm not sure if I can help you.

07 August 2013


Fast and furious skate thrash with more emphasis on raw power and breakneck speed than nuance. That guitar break near the start of "What Is The Truth?" is so damn simple but proves that simple can be really really good. Quirky, weird fast as shit and a buzzsaw guitar fighting through the hiss....Nagasaki, represent.

06 August 2013


LIBYANS were from Boston. LIBYANS had riffs that were fukk all catchy but delivered them with raw and earnest power...and they were fast, something that I sometimes think should be mandatory for bands on the melodic end of the spectrum. This demo came pretty early in their run, and was limited to eleven copies. Mine copy is number six. Also, Liz's vocals rule.

05 August 2013


When the worlds of raw distorted punk and rudimentary lo-fi black metal crash headlong into dreary self indulgent shoegazing solitude, the result can be as glorious as it is painful. This work was the first from MOONKNIGHT (though my copy is the reissue), and has been followed by a split with MOLOCH and the superb Ligeia cassette. Solo project of one of the HARASSOR dudes, in case that matters to you, "Absurd Horizons" might be the most important song you will listen to all day. 

04 August 2013


A nod towards US hardcore to be sure, but Brasil's O INIMIGO eschew the knuckledragging aggression so en vogue today in favor of mid/late '80s hooks and melody. They never veer in the direction of pop punk, but instead take the approach mid tempo pre-emo acts like SWIZ and DAG NASTY and infuse it with the power of BL'AST. These dudes were totally not what I was expecting when they hit the west coast last fall (especially considering the breakneck fastcore and thrash of some of the members' previous efforts), but I was fortunate enough to see them four times in and around the Bay Area and I was sold from the first burst of energy. As good as the songs on 2011's Imaginario Absoluto are, the live show is even better. 

This cassette was released for last year's West Coast tour, LP/CD available from 78 Life.

03 August 2013


One of the first shows I played in Europe was in Gronigen, Holland. We stayed with a super sweet dude named René and cruised around the city late at night while he went to see ISIS with his lady friend. René was in a criminally underrated band called THE LAST MILE (whose entire discography should be mandatory for fans of devastating European HC/crust) who we crossed paths with a few more times during our tour. Around the same time, René was getting GRINDING HALT off of the ground, an equally devastating but more emotional hardcore act that just drips with sincerity. This 2010 cassette compiles the Sprookjeshof 12" and splits with VUUR and DRAINLAND, and the tracks floor me every time I hear them. Splits this year with DAIGHILA and SUFFERING QUOTA (also featuring René on guitar) only show the band getting more intense. I haven't talked to the dude in several years, but if René reads this then he should know that his kindness and hospitality were appreciated...and that his bands are very very good.