Taking a little break. A few days in Albuquerque, where LAUGHING DOG and WORD SALAD will be grinding my face to a meaty pulp, and then RITUAL CONTROL heads out for a few dates in Texas and Mexico. See you fools in 2015, when I will continue tirelessly digitizing cassettes, rambling on about a different cassette every damn day, and hoping for some old punk to drop me a line and tell me that there's this box of old demos in their closet that they just "don't have room for anymore."
19 December 2014
Listen to the start of the second track. Just listen...this is what raw metalpunk is supposed to sound like. I heard their only proper release once, and I was underwhelmed (Late '80s. Alchemy records. Hit your dollar bins, thrashers), but this demo is a fukkn screamer. Equal parts MOTÖRHEAD, ENGLISH DOGS and ripping California thrash/punk, this demo is a power packed assault with So Cal hardcore vocals, metal leads and a drummer that is dead set on playing heavy metal beats, even while his band is getting all primal on some street level crossover thrash. How do you find this energy and honesty today....? I don't know, but I want to learn.
18 December 2014
Rarely does a band set a mood like São Paulo's GATTOPARDO. Piercing, gripping, dark sounds that land miles away from the '80s rehash that they are likely to get lumped in with. Visceral comparisons to early post punk and post-goth independent/alt rock and there's a WARSAW thing that creeps into certain aspects, but the determined sputtering vocals and the lazy buzzsaw guitars combine to create a sound that is totally their own. Four of these tracks were on the Virus Tropical comp that made the rounds both here and on RAKTA's recent tour, for those keeping track.
If it's possible for a video to capture a band's aesthetic, then this clip for "Jornada Noturna" does so brilliantly.
17 December 2014
I've blathered on about TROTTEL in previous posts, so I'll save a few cringe worthy superlatives and say simply that this demo is excellent. Late '80s Hungarian punk with elements of UK anarcho and mind melting psychedelia wrapped inside their unique approach to songwriting. While the "official" demos I've shared before are excellent, I think I prefer this session that came to me with nothing but song titles and a band name on the spine...TROTTEL were playing outside of the lines before the lines were even drawn.
16 December 2014
Worth a download for the eponymous track alone, MANIACAL GENOCIDE are the epitome of blurry late '80s crossover thrash. The San Gabriel Valley may have missed the hardcore explosion in the early part of the decade, but these mutants did their part to put the suburbs on the thrash mania map...even cheesy bangers like "So Trendy" have teeth in the current millennium (which might say more about this era than that one?). Screaming whirlwind thrash. You're welcome.
15 December 2014
Dark, aggressive punk sounds driven by a perfectly treated guitar and fronted by vocals that remind me as much of '90s political hc/crust as the death rock that STRANGER are likely compared to. The presentation and production commands those comparisons, while the songs themselves are straight ahead punk bangers. There's no faux morose vibe, no lurking in the corner, if this is death rock then the death is right in your face...you know, just like death will be.
14 December 2014
This could just as easily be a rehearsal recording from some burnout hippies as the product of a small gathering of forward thinking anarcho/art punks but, as rough as This Is Art? can be at times, even the 9+ minutes of "Walking Song" with its lazy violin can be rather endearing. Meandering jams like the opening "I Saw It In A Western Movie" are accidental classics even though LOST BOHEMIA are at their best on the cacophonous "She Wants," which sounds like a beat-era rap set to bookstore jazz reborn as noise rock. Shit is weird, and some of it sounds like drug addled garage blues. The title track is a total brain melter...but it is the last track on the tape, so I would be surprised if you have a brain left by the time you get to it. Can you last 62 minutes? Can....you?
13 December 2014
Vocal manipulations and adaptation presented as art. CARRIE FUCILE can describe her methods and intent far better than I can, so I will let her do so:
My interest lies in exploring what the hidden sounds of vocal recording can possibly tell us about unexpressed desires that constitute part of our attraction to popular music.
CARRIE FUCILE can be found here, and here body of aural and conceptual art is nothing if not interesting. I came about this cassette accidentally, but I am very very glad that I did.
12 December 2014
I was just on the back end of this band - I moved to San Francisco in 1995 but attended almost no shows in Oakland until a couple of years later (that divide is hard to explain, though it was much more severe then than it is now), and I feel like LUNG BUTTER wasn't really playing shows often by then. I caught them a few times in the late '90s, a crusty (looking, not sounding) bunch cranking out weirdo mathy East Bay. It never sank it, but this recording does. It's somewhere out there in the inter-dimensional void between SCHLONG and DYSTOPIA...I would say you had to be there, but I wasn't. This is from when punks could still actually be whatever the fuck they wanted to sound like, and LUNG BUTTER wanted to sound demented.
11 December 2014
Sometimes this is exactly what I want...not often, but sometimes. METHRA is the perfect band for those times, expertly crafted stoner/doom with tonnage for days. There's a higher, almost OZZY-esque voice that appears in "Blessings" and "SBS" and you realize that these kids are doing their own thing because it's almost funny....almost. The pace quickens for "Slumscraper," but the closer that follows is an exercise in deliberate delivery and patience. Heavy doesn't begin to describe METHRA; they can rely successfully on the riff or on the presentation and either way they win. Sometimes this is exactly what I want.
10 December 2014
I'm not sure what kind of shit you find on your street but, one morning in 2012 when I was walking to the bus stop, I found this DANG OLSEN cassette sitting on some yuppie endorsed seating area that should have been a parking space for a working stiff that probably had to park two blocks from her/his house. I didn't know what it was, but it was a tape....so I picked it up, because why would you leave a tape sitting on the street? (found a Jonathan Richman record there a few weeks later that I snagged and then sold on the internet for $20 to a guy who said he "knew me," so thanks, seating area) Turns out the sounds are solid as fukk ambient/synth/psych pieces with forays into goth (#07) and straight atmospheric noise (#12/13) that are every bit as successful as the more "normal" sounding tracks - and how much would I love an entire release based on that first track (#01) and its aggressive synth attack? So Much! The street giveth, my followers....the street giveth. Good Fortune Infinity is right, motherfukkrs...look to the street. (Also, #4 is absolute fukkn bliss.)
I know nothing about this creator...but I want to know more.
09 December 2014
A 13 song demo in less than 11 minutes? OK, sign me up. Raging São Paulo fastcore from 2000? OK, sign me up. Relentless and politically fueled hardcore punk played at a breakneck pace with breakdowns that are faster than most bands can muster up for their "fast" parts today? OK, sign me up. Throw "three really good dudes" into the mix and I will ask you again to sign my ass the fukk up for more DISCARGA. Their vinyl releases on 625 should be mandatory listening for fans of this era of hardcore....and it's an era that I miss more and more, so I'm gonna just say that DISCARGA is mandatory.
08 December 2014
My introduction to black metal was gradual...read a few interviews and got intrigued in the the early '90s (take my brief but ridiculous fascination with BLACK FUNERAL, for example), and I recently saw a picture taken during my first trip to Japan of me wearing a BURZUM shirt...I guess that was weird because I never really listened to them (I think I traded it with someone for a FUCKFACE shirt based solely on the fact that the dude was a weirdo? Didn't learn about the aryan shit until later...live and learn, I suppose). I made a few random purchases, shots in the dark, and most were forgettable (though I have a KVIST disc that has lasted several purges). Then WEAKLING were just the new metal band in town and Aesop lived down the hall and played all kinds of shit and some of it was good and some of it was stupid but all of it was different than the German metalcore I was probably immersing myself in at the time. The point is: I don't know that much, but THIS sounds like all of the good stuff that made me think that this subgenre was worth delving deeper into. And sometimes when you delve deeper, you find bands like Norway's HELVETESPINE. Harsh, bleak, plodding raw black metal in the tradition of the first wave of Nordic heavyweights. Maybe someone else will tell me that these sounds are unworthy for one reason or another, but I think you will find that this 2007 release is more than capable of making your skin crawl. Guitar solo at the 4:22 mark of "Helvetespine del I" is a particularly grim moment....let yourself sink in.
07 December 2014
Hiltz gave me this tape a while ago, just after I posted the TRIGGERVISION '87 demo...shit, that means he gave me this shit like five years ago, which explains why I found it randomly in the glove box a few weeks ago? Actually, what explains that discovery is my lack of organization, but nothing can explain TRIGGERVISION. Equal parts THROBBING GRISTLE, KILLDOZER and SWANS, this chaos was light years ahead of its time in late '80s Jersey...I'm talking PSYCHO SIN irreverence clashing with epic waves of troubled sound - tell me that "Slow Death" isn't one of the most fukkn tortured songs to pass through your earholes. It's not? You're lying (or you need to send me all of your tapes)...and then "Ultimate Border" is just a bizarro psych-freakout of the highest order. No background or context required, fukk me if this isn't one of the coolest tapes in my house.
06 December 2014
I just missed this band's run when I moved to the Midwest in 2003, but I was fortunate enough to see the outfits that emerged from their wake (PEDESTRIANS, MANIPULATION and REPERCUSSIONS amongst others). DEAD RECKONING sounds....well, kinda like a band that would have spawned the other bands I listed. Tinges of raucous garage punk mingling with knuckledragging hardcore riffs and glimpses of '90s DIY basement punk ("Mourning America") means I will listen to your demo...a lot.
05 December 2014
This is what all the cool kids are trying to do right now. Some are succeeding, to be sure, but this comp is what they are striving for. Dark, raw and fucked up punk rock. The more familiar bands included here are ones that don't typically get lumped in with "goth punk" acts, but listen to SELF ABUSE and PARANOID VISIONS in this context and I got a whole different vibe than when I shove them into the anarcho punk compartment in my feeble little brain. A TOUCH OF HYSTERIA, INSTIGATORS, VEX and SCREAMING DEAD round out mainstream contributors, and you can then revel in tracks from LEITMOTIV, BURIAL, PART I, VIOLATORS, QUEL DOMMAGE, FREUDIAN SLIP and several others. A seemingly out of place power pop banger from QUARTA LITE ended up being my favorite track, but they are all top quality. Some monkeys from Portland assembled and distributed these a few years back, and I must say they did an excellent job.
This one has your name all over it, Joel.
04 December 2014
I should just be able to say "metallic early '90s Japanese hardcore with a MOTÖRHEAD cover" and you start downloading immediately, right? That's what I figured, so here goes: "Metallic early '90s Japanese hardcore....with a MOTÖRHEAD cover." Shit rips.
03 December 2014
Hook riddled, laid back garage punk/power pop hybrid. The chilled out vocals are just kinda hanging out in the vicinity of the songs, with harmonies stopping by for a brief visit every verse or two. Kinda reminds me of DANGER LOVES, though these punks are a touch less poppy. I'm pretty sure this 2007 demo is all we got from NERVOUS WRECKS, before members went on to LIBYANS, SIAMESE TWINS and a host of others. Get down.
02 December 2014
It kinda sounds like a twenty minute prolonged explosion contorted into a musical piece. After awkward waves of false starts, 777 builds for minutes upon minutes, a digital rumbling from beneath the surface. And then the build starts to swell, climaxing at the midway point with waves of redlined debris and a few seconds of terrifying screams. And then the process examines itself in the mirror, disintegrating for more minutes upon minutes until the churning is distant, no longer threatening. There's a hint of a return near the close of the piece, a hint that is nothing more than a woeful sigh.
01 December 2014
Got this jammer from Laura when she was in town last month...and it's brilliant. Laura's guitar isn't that far removed from what she does (or did) in RAKTA, but NOITES TERRIVEIS are more over the top and feisty, I might even suggest more punk (as opposed to the witchy psych of RAKTA). "Recordando O Futuro" starts with a disjointed and awkwardly lurching pace, coming up behind you and shoving you into the rest of the demo..and they don't let up, not even the slow first half of "O Gigante A Deo Rex, A Rege Rex" can calm the listener because the barrage of beats and reverb that you know is right around the corner jolts you just like you know it's going to. Certainly the effects take precedence over the music for a fair chunk of these songs, but the songs are goods ones that have been tweaked and manipulated instead of drivel that's been coated in cheap makeup. First offering is a winner...now I want more. Also, "Cárcere" is the best song.