A hypnotic project probably made in someone's closet under the influence of a lot of things, Argo Nunya combines industrial noise, limitless tracks of guitar leads and sounds, repetitive sampled beats and manipulated vocal chants to create something that falls in a crevasse while trying to leap from stoned-teeneager-with-a-sampler-and-a-laptop status to a peak of aural greatness. The weirder HARSH NAYYAR is, the better HARSH NAYYAR is, as some of the more indulgent multi-track experiments fall short while subdued dubs like the third untitled missive issued here are stellar exercises in patience and the mid tempo monotony of the track that follows creates dance floor hysteria in my brain. This is a formula that must have been followed thousands of times: Dark Nights + Substances + Unchecked Ideas = (Something). And in this case: (Something) = Good.
30 March 2015
Here's a taste of the shit you monkeys used to lap up every Monday - I know I've dropped the ball a bit on Noise Punk Mondays, but the shit still rules and Mondays still happen almost every week...so here's KRIGSSYSTEMET. Malaysian noise mongers from bands you already celebrate (if you're worth a shit, that is...just saying) dish out six tracks on their first demo, though it only takes the seven chords of the intro to let you know full well what you are in for. Questionable tuning, derivative DBeat riffage and a chaotic production culminate on absolute killers like "Am I Your Punk?" and "Fool Life," while "Faceless Scum" is just an unabashed creamer that defies genre classification. You know what you're getting, you monkeys, and KRIGSSYSTEMET is exactly why you are here.
29 March 2015
Crazy catchy punk from British Columbia. These kids did their homework, drawing from hook filled and hard hitting Midwestern hardcore as much as from contemporaries (and countrymen) PROPAGANDHI. That rasp in the vocals is simply perfect, and the guitar attack here is too blown out to be poppy and just drunk enough to keep the recording on edge while the drums are captured perfectly (that's where the hardcore comes from), propelling AK-47 through 21 politically charged burners (and a few ska parts, but it was 1997). As useful as a time machine as it is a great collection of tracks...until I find myself realizing that this is a great collection of tracks no matter what decade it's from.
28 March 2015
This is one that probably should have been shared on Escape Is Terminal, but I felt like it was too good to be relegated to the dark alley that a few dozen people visit when they are bored (it's humanity's loss and their gain, of course). I have made no secret of my affinity for noise presented as hardcore, and New York's LIMBS BIN are a perfect example...there is no music, but these blasts of electronics are constructed like short bursts from a primitive grind band, and I imagine the live delivery being similarly intense. These recordings are from a 2012 trip to Israel - one show at an anarchist collective, one in the basement of a bagel shop, and a super heavy field recording from Bil'in, Palestine (heavy, perhaps, because it all sounds so normal). The motivation and presentation of these recordings is both pure and apparent, something that might not come across from simply listening to disjointed sonic eruptions, even the simplest act can be political....and even the smallest gesture can be important. More tracks from the same tour can be found here, along with recordings of Israeli bands that played with LIMBS BIN on their tour....do this, my friends. Do it now.
27 March 2015
I don't feel like I really need to explain or discuss this band, as I am pretty sure that anyone who visits TE is already familiar with DYSTOPIA - and if you're not then you need to fix that immediately. This 1992 demo is from the four-piece lineup when the band was still based in Southern California...devastating and depressive sounds that bridge a gap between primitive death metal, political crust and pure heaviness. Perhaps the demo is no Human = Garbage, but holy shit was this an intense band.
26 March 2015
From the first fukkn note, you feel that this one is gonna get you right in the gut....and it does. Ugly and furious hardcore that owes much to early California hardcore but somehow takes a bunch of sub genres that don't really do anything for me and combine them to create something that does something for me. I mean...the FLAG influence is blatant and the 'Nardcore is undeniable, but CATASTROPHE doesn't really sound like either. The vocals are lazy, late and confident - like they are meant to be exactly where they are...no matter what you think they should have been doing. That might be the "gotcha" this band keeps under their sleeve - hidden underneath the guitar hooks (and if you wanna talk hooks, let's discuss "Other Side," because it's next level). Smart, mean, hardcore...I hope there's more where this shit came from.
25 March 2015
In a weird collision of worlds, I was searching for background on this demo beyond what my old SF buddy could share with me, and I found a post on the still (always) venerable True Punk and Metal blog about the very same demo. That's not really that weird, I suppose, since Nate knows his shit...but turns out ROMPER ROOM REJECTS was Nate's band when he lived in San Francisco nearly 30 years ago, so BOOM! on that one. You can read his description here, or you can believe me when I tell you that this banger is classic late '80s shred. Irreverent, feisty, punk as shit, and unabashedly political while never seeming stodgy or unfun...just like you want a demo to be.
Worth noting that Nate's demo post has ten songs, but this tape has twelve (and in a slightly different order). Not sure what's up with that...it's one of the many mysteries of the internet. OK, the twelfth song is the theme from The Jetsons, so it's not really a mystery.
24 March 2015
Perhaps only the Japanese can pull off proto-psych/grunge/punk sounds like this, but if I'm in the right mindset this GASCON demo hits me just right. Then again, if someone wanted to tell me that they thought that it was a rejected early '90s attempt at something mysterious yet commercially successful...I couldn't exactly argue. This might be one of the weirdest things I've posted here, anyone is welcome to assist with describing and/or categorizing if you so desire.
23 March 2015
Man, all you monkeys that want to hear new sounds of blown out chaos? You need to be looking to shit like this, because these mutants were taking noise not music to new levels twenty years ago. I'm not talking about "distortion as adornment" hardcore, I'm talking about a relentless freak frenzy of grinding, tuneless Brasilian mayhem - shit that would be revered if it were from somewhere that people thought was cool (and for the record, at the risk of embarrassing myself with a sweeping generalization, most of Brasil is infinitely cooler than the town where you live) but instead it's some '90s band from a place you've never been. For the select (and wise) few who like to have their faces melted and their minds blown, I give you AJUNDANTI DI PAPI NOEL. As always, you're welcome.
22 March 2015
21 March 2015
I found this tape instantly compelling...washed out garage punk/pop with a waver in the tape, a warble in the vocals, and the catchiest tracks this side of early '90s indie rock. Not afraid of riding a good hook, Kentucky's THE ELSINORES will make fans of blissed out garage punk weak at the knees and hopefully win over a few codgers in the process. Consider me one of the latter.
20 March 2015
Back in January, STERILE MIND played a show in Santa Rosa with these Oakland mutants and we were all pretty damn floored. Hard hitting hardcore punk drawing equally from traditional Japanese shit and the current wave of bombastic USA shits...and it seems they may have heard a few heavy metal records in passing. Thunderous live show, with a lengthy between-song-banter sci fi story that spanned the entire set and didn't seem tongue in cheek....I can imagine that the show we are playing with them tonight in Dublin at a laser tag arena will be quite off the hook. That's right, we are playing together at a laser tag arena in the suburbs - should be weird.
19 March 2015
Brasilian hardcore circe 1996, raging and raw. The first time I heard this is wanted to rip holes in everything; anything the band might lack in presentation is more than made up for with the deadly delivery. Hooks when you least expect it, giving the tape an early Italian feel, but the majority of this demo is full on rage that would have melted people's minds if the band had been from North America. 13 some-odd minutes of magic -great shit.
18 March 2015
Absolutely gorgeous sounds from MJ GUIDER, channeling space age/new age ethereal ambiance and an odd (if unintentional) COCTEAU TWINS-meets-drone vibe. There are moments that make me feel like I'm listening to something off of 20 Jazz Funk Greats (specifically "Nightcycle"), and then Green Plastic ascends and unveils a shroud of sound that refuses to accept explanation or context - instead these sounds just sink into you. The day I first put this on (and there have been many more days since), all I could think about was how long it's been since something hit me this hard...Ask me tomorrow and I may have a different story, but right now I will take "Prima" over 90% of the tracks that have ever been in my life.
17 March 2015
16 March 2015
And, three years after their last visit to The Escape, Detroit noise mongers SCUM are back with more raw, noisy hardcore. I like that these maniacs keep things ultra chaotic, even within the admittedly restrictive confines of DBeat based noise punk...you get the feeling that they would be just as insane sounding with a thunderous production and that the insanity is real regardless of how it presents itself. Bass intro to "Living In The Shadows" is crucial shit. A few tracks here were initially presented on previous demos, but sometimes you like getting your ears blown out all over again.
15 March 2015
14 March 2015
Addictive from the first burst of guitar, HALDOL drench their three tracks in effects but keep the focus on the songs instead of the pedals. A certain DEAD AND GONE or THE VSS vibe (especially from the vocals) with a slightly more basic structure than either and the feeling that these kids ooze ferocity live. This demo is from 2014 - there are more recordings here and they are all very worth your while.
13 March 2015
You want to know why I keep doing this? It's tapes like this one. Sent in by a Friend Of The Escape, Maximum Hoosier is two hours of screaming underground punk and hardcore from the state of Indiana. Shit heaps of bands you've never heard of like WEIRD KID, DAISY CUTTER, KAM KAMA, RATSTORM and CLOSET BURNER, a few classics like DOW JONES & THE INDUSTRIALS, JETSONS and GIZMOS, plus CHAOTIC NEUTRAL and ICE NINE - bands that should be familiar to the thinking punk who pays attention. Hardcore, punk, crust - this thing will melt your face and open your eyes at the same time. Fave tracks are from REPELLANTS, ICE NINE, SIDE FX, APACHE DROPOUT, KAKM KAMA, CASQUE and OVERPOWER, but there are 84 tracks in all and clunkers are surprisingly absent, something especially tough to pull off with a regional comp. Absolute top quality mix.
Editing was kinda tough starting around 2/3 of the way through the first side - I might have messed up a couple of tracks. Hey Chris: I definitely enjoyed. Thanks.
12 March 2015
I've said it before, but black metal is a tough nut to crack - especially the insular world of underground black metal. Sure, a lot of the sounds are fukkn great (I mean, if that's your jam), but how do you know if these monkeys are discreetly perpetuating some bullshit nazi propaganda and it's sneaking into your earholes via some weird creepy ambient audio mechanism and then you wake up and you walk out of the white power closet? I mean, that shit is scary, right? I don't want to be a nazi - but if these monkeys are good and inserting propaganda into sound then the white noise (no pun intended) that I'm enjoying while I wash dishes at night might actually be indoctrinating me into becoming a holy warrior for the purity of my race. I just wanted to wash the dishes and hear some jams, but there were no lyrics....so is it my fault? See what I mean? Shit is scary. Enter HAAR....as near as I can tell, this act is just some noisy weird sounding black metal influenced lo-fi bedroom madness - "Burning The House Of False Prophets" is as close as the titles get to sketchland, and who likes a false prophet? Not me! So whatever. The label that releases this shit is from somewhere around where I live (I think), and since this shit is shrouded in mystery I figure I might even know the human (at least in passing) and I've maybe even shared their sounds here in the past (oh wait, no I didn't, I wanted to but that COSMIC BREATH shit was racist)...but I looked into Brotherhood Of Light before I posted this HAAR cassette. On a sad note, the label boss appears to have been sick for a while, and hasn't updated their website in over a year. On a much sadder note, this label distributes a shitload of white power, NSBM, RAC and "aryan" garbage from all over the world, so fukk that. And on a hilarious note, I apparently missed the label selling distro materials at a long running anarcho/hippie/weirdo bookstore called Adobe that's just a short jaunt from my house, so it seems like I'm maybe not the only one who finds it hard to determine which noise is white noise....and which noise is white power noise. And it also seems that this purveyor of racist garbage (are you still sick? stop selling nazi shit and get well soon, bro!) doesn't have a non-internet market for their wares so they are (were?) peddling cassettes at a live at in-store appearance (by the aforementioned COSMIC BREATH - see earlier comments on the confusing nature of white noise shit that is also racist) in an independent bookstore located in a gentrified enclave of San Francisco? Life is confusing...anyway - listen if you want, the sounds haven't turned me into a nazi yet, so I think you're safe. Sonically, it's shit-fi as fukk and duplicated like total garbage, which, in some circles, is a compliment.
11 March 2015
Waves of early PTV influenced trance inducing ambiance from BOYS OV PARADISE, one of the many indentured artists on the Ascetic House label. Like the soundtrack for an as-yet-produced futuristic horror short, Death Is An Imposition On The Human Race is a compelling listen that will take you on a journey...if you will let it.
10 March 2015
Great split from two South American bands who have stopped by for visits to The Escape in the past. Argentina's CUCSIFAE are shamelessly catchy, hyper energetic punk...this recording has a little more teeth than the 1996 recording I posted here. PIREXIA tracks are way more developed than the two song jammer I shared a while back - bouncy and emotional punk from Uruguay that seems to hit harder when they slow down. This is confusing, because fast punk is better punk....or is it?
09 March 2015
That guitar. Total HELIOS CREED level manipulation, topped with high pitched manic vocal lurches instead of angst ridden screams. But....that guitar. Shit is just wrecked. I want you to pay attention to the snare roll that leads into the breakdown in "Fuck You, Fuck Off," because that is exactly how good a simple thing can be when everything is on point. I want to go to Ireland someday, seems like it's nice there, and maybe I can see this band.
08 March 2015
Really damn cool band that RITUAL CONTROL played with in Austin a coupla months back. Hyper energetic Spanish language punk that would have made as much sense coming out of the early '00s Copenhagen explosion as it does today with all the kids discovering the Joy ov Pogo. Insanely catchy, raw punk. Way into it, and you will be too.
Find the dudes here...
07 March 2015
Who the fukk thinks they can change hardcore like this? This isn't a pogo beat and this isn't a DBeat and this doesn't thrash...so what am I supposed to do with it? Dance? Nah, punk, we came here to look cool and fit in and CACHIMBAZO are all pushing boundaries and making things different and making them swing even though they are still mean as shit. No, I don't know where to put this, so I'm obviously not into this. I do not like things that are different. And "Futuros Sin Barreras" is definitely different, so of course I do not like it...even though it is a slow motion lurch rocks my face off. The internet tells me that this beat is called reggaeton, but I thought that was dance music and therefore not punk - because I like things that are punk. But the riffs are punk and the vocals are just....well, intense and very, very punk. This is why I am confused. Why do punks change things? We've done just fine with those two or three beats for the last thirty some odd years, kinda like AC/DC but with (slightly) different fashion, so why does the best new thing today need to be something that legitimately doesn't sound like everything? That just complicates things, and punks like things that are simple.
CACHIMBAZO is a side project from some of these dudes.
Just A Audial made this for you. You should thank them.
06 March 2015
In March of 1997, I got on a bus in Milwaukee and headed home to San Francisco. My head was spinning - I'd just spent three winter months with Karoline, and we had decided that she was going to relocate to the west coast and we were going to get married after only knowing each other for a few months...maybe it's easier for some ideas to seem wise when you are younger, but even blinded by young love there was an element of Chevy-Chase-about-to-jump-in-the-pool, Vacation styled "this is crazy this is crazy this is crazy" shit going on in my brain as I headed home. Many hours into the journey while chilling in the back of the Greyhound listening to my walkman and trying to ignore everyone, a vaguely punk looking dude asked me where I was headed. "San Francisco," I replied. "Cool, I'm going back to Oakland...you want a snort?" I thought (hoped) he was offering me drugs, but he (fortunately) just had a flask of whiskey and we proceeded to get quietly tipsy on the back of the bus for a few days. It was an eventful trip - stranded in a freak spring blizzard in a Wyoming hotel (technically, all of the passengers slept in the lobby because Greyhound wouldn't get us rooms), a dude getting into a physical altercation with the driver (for drinking, ironically...he clearly wasn't as stealth as we were) outside of Elko, Nevada and getting kicked off the bus in the middle of nowhere. We didn't really talk much, but I realize now that he would have had tons of stories to share, and probably could have accelerated my introduction to east bay punk by several years....but we just chilled, drank, and took comfort in knowing that we weren't the only freaks on the bus. I never saw the dude after he got off in Oakland and I continued across the bridge...and nine months later he was dead. It wasn't until the summer of 1998 when Karoline and I went to his memorial show in Oakland to see FILTH, EXODUS and GRIMPLE play in his honor that I realized what a huge force Lucky was.
While it might be easy to dismiss this as a weird memorial post for a guy I didn't really know who died almost twenty years ago, let it be known that these tunes are fukkn sick. From the opening EBMUD track that sounds like a more punk WIPERS to the raw hardcore of NO DOGS, Lucky's output is stunning. Like a bridge from classic '80's punk/hardcore to the sound that made the East Bay famous, these bands are full of hooks and have enough teeth to rip your fukkn heart out. Relentless hardcore from FOR PEACE and NO DOGS are the clear faves for my ears, but THE LEFTOVERS, EBMUD (though, seriously, how can "Confused" be so undeniably brilliant and "Fly Into The Sky" be so really bad?), CRUMMY MUSICIANS and especially STOP THEM DOGS are classic blasts from '90s Oakland - melody and frustration combining forces to make timeless tunes. Most people outside of this area would probably never have crossed paths with any of these sounds, and thankfully Eggplant did a brilliant job of compiling and sequencing this comp to let us all know what exactly it was that we missed. Also and not for nothing: the interview clip from the Green Day tour is the best thing you will listen to all day. I can think of few better ways for someone to remember me after I'm gone than a snippet like this one. Later, dude...thanks for the whiskey.
05 March 2015
Sometimes punk music (and I'm talking about the large umbrella description of the genre/scene) is scary and menacing because the band is giving off the impression that they are outside of society and don't give a fukk. SACRED FOLLOWERS is absolutely terrifying because, while it's obvious that they don't give a fukk about you, it also sounds like they do not care about themselves. These sounds are destructive in every sense of the word - pained, filthy, churning...and really really heavy. Arizona, man....the brighter the sun gets, the darker the people become.