12 April 2015


The Escape is closing shop for a few weeks while I go on tour to places I've never been before and meet people I've never met before, and then I will go to places I have been before and hang out with rad people that I haven't seen in a while. Since you won't be getting a daily dose of audio insults to your intelligence and verbal diarrhea, might I suggest that you: 
1) visit Maximum Rocknroll (and after you listen to the latest radio show, why not subscribe while you're in the neighborhood?)
2) visit Remote Outposts
4) check this out because....well, just do it. Trust me. 

I've been in CONQUEST FOR DEATH for almost a decade now, through a continuous credits reel of rotating members, understudies and fill ins. We've done some pretty crazy tours, and committed financial suicide more than a few times without learning our lesson. So this time we are playing in Mongolia, China, South Korea and Japan....hopefully I can get some tapes. I mean, you want me to get some tapes, right? Send me your good tapes vibes so I can score some unknown Mongolian metal cassette and then I can share it with you and we all win. Also, we have a new split EP with FLIPOUTA.A on 625 - I'm pretty stoked on it and I'm pretty excited to hang out with those monkeys in Japan. Also...did I mention that we are playing two shows in Mongolia? See you punks in May....

11 April 2015


Killer, if fully predictable, Midwest hardcore. The shit is built for dog piles and the breakdowns are textbook entry level hardcore. Perfectly placed gang vocals belt out cringe worthy lyrics...it's kinda great.

10 April 2015


When was the last time you listened to a rehearsal demo from a South African hardcore band? Probably been a while, huh? I'm here to help. You don't have to thank me, but you might want to imagine how much more killer these tunes might be if given the proper studio treatment. Not that this is bad, but nuances in tracks like "Another Bhopal" are kinda muddied by the rough recording...such is punk I suppose, and this tape is still crucial. Got this from some our hosts when CFD were there in 2007 - we played with member/s of CONTRACAPITOL in other bands at our second Johannesburg show....that was a really good tour. Met a lot of really good people on that tour, both at the shows and in the not-punk world. 

09 April 2015


I like stories, and tour stories are especially appealing. I like hearing them, and I love telling them. Understandably, stories evolve over time...as our memories become more memories of the story and less memories of the actual incidents, embellishments and distortions are inevitable. But that's a part of it, and a part of what makes a good story. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a story and thought "I don't want to know if that's true or not, because it's a great story." We aren't news reporters and we aren't writing critical historical accounts, we are passing legends within our own small society, and that's what history is. I'm not supporting factual inaccuracies, but we need to acknowledge that an acceptable amount of distortion, revision and adaptation is to be expected in the interest of a good story. Enter: Shitbong. This is the way I remember a certain show on the FUCKFACE/HICKEY tour in 1996....
We rolled up to a house in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A young gentleman named Jizz greeted us at the door and showed us around the place we would be playing and staying...it was cold as shit, and the oldest person in the house seemed to be 15 years old at best. These kids were young, like "where are their parents" young, and had us all wondering if there were would be "adults" present. Not that I'm opposed to a 15 year old getting wild and partying (quite the opposite), but my grown up California ass in a house full of plastered runaways is a tough thing to explain to the cops that are inevitably going to come bust the show...these are things you think about in a free society, I suppose. Jizz introduced us to the kids, showed us to the basement that was barely big enough for our gear and only left space on the stairs for anyone to watch the band (should they even decide to pry themselves away from the party long enough to try....which seemed unlikely). After the basement, we saw a lethargic young man sitting on the couch, hovering over a giant pile of weed on the coffee table. Jizz introduced the guy as Shitbong. "Don't call me Shitbong man, that's not my name. My name's Mike," was Shitbong's reply. Jizz laughed, "Whatever, Shitbong." The show was fun, it never got warmer, kids did indeed crowd the stairs while our bands played, and I have no idea if we slept there or not. I'm sure Shitbong's given name has changed countless times as I've recounted the story over the years, but "Don't call me Shitbong, that's not my name" has been enough of a constant that it's crossed over into "don't care if it's true or not" territory.

I ran into Jizz a few times in Milwaukee, years after our initial meeting he was working in a tire shop and was always filthy with adult work scum instead of youthful party scum. He left town shortly after I arrived...and I eventually met (and worked with) a woman who knew Jizz in Grand Rapids and confirmed my memories of the punk house as a repository for wayward youth. Then I got this LARVAE demo from my pal Daniel a few months ago. Grand Rapids catchy hardcore circa 1995, anti-government, hell bent on partying, and unhinged as fukk. But more importantly: Shitbong was real!!  If only I remembered meeting Spitter or Penis Dan - and I'm sure they were there - the story could be so much better. 

08 April 2015


More morose black metal from Southern California mystery outfit RHINOCERVS. I've said plenty here, and more than enough accolades have been heaped on the band elsewhere, so I'll spare you. Just know that this is slightly more introspective and slightly less brutal than some of the other RHINOCERVS releases, almost mellow in comparison to the brilliant eleventh release that preceded this one. But "more introspective" should not imply "less intense," and this three song untitled release is devastating in it's intensity...

07 April 2015


Technology. Think about how many geniuses of the past were limited by the availability of a means to create. You might have thought of some killer synth oddities in your brain in 1951, but what the fukk were you supposed to do with them, you know? Thankfully it's The New Millennium, and enter: EARTH JERKS. The product of one San Francisco dude and a few devices, EARTH JERKS create a palpable vibe with these two tapes - hypnotic synth/organ drones meet cryptic industrial weirdness, all presented with a subtle confidence that is rare. The subdued sixth track is my personal favorite, perhaps because it stands so far out from the full on presentation of everything else included in this post...but any single number here is, without question, a part of an overall vision. And when I close my eyes to really see with EARTH JERKS is doing, all I want is more.

06 April 2015


Fast and raw Italian hardcore circa 1996. The whole thing is packaged in stapled cardboard at there are like five different inserts and a handwritten note about how half the band quit and they are looking for new members and are gonna keep playing...it's a time machine in cassette form, really. But the bonus is that the jams are really damn good - furious raw hardcore masking infectious hooks. As always, you're welcome. And I'm kinda sorry that I rarely (read: never) repair dead link, but I'm too busy (read: distracted).

05 April 2015


It's too bad this was a project band, but if we never get more than these nine tracks then I will still consider myself lucky. Feisty and furious in your face punk with high end guitars, snarling vocals (I'm talking that almost shrieking, early '90s kind of snot and venom) and an unabashed affinity for a serious hook. Apparently they never checked to see if it was acceptable to play lightning fast raw punk with teeth and make it catchy as hell...I'm not sure if The Rules say this sort of thing is acceptable, but I damn sure know that I say it is.

04 April 2015


Just under six minutes of raw, bombastic hardcore from Mexico that sounds exactly like the cover implies. Driven by thundering drums and hollow, hoarse vocals that drown out the wash of guitars, ASSÄSSINI are fierce and hideous. Which is just how you like it.

03 April 2015


Early '90s sounding DIY hardcore straight out of early '00s Milwaukee. I GIVE UP perfectly capture the determined churn, the discordant guitars, the lurching tempos, the general cacophony and the vocals....three dudes just spewing their guts and you know they mean it. I like when you can just tell, when it sounds desperate, when it sounds like they are just about to....well, just about to give up. The samples and bits between tracks (mostly culled from banter off of rehearsal tapes) are a touch goofy at times, but they add a welcome touch of unpredictability to a demo that already sounds like nothing else. I only saw the band once, and I remember them sticking out and confusing people...I'm guessing that happened a lot.

02 April 2015


Tripped out mutant psych punk from Argentina, ANIMADVERSION dole out a mixture of lo-fi and off kilter '90s punk and drench it in a world of weird.  Guitars are damaged and deranged, and I instantly feel a '90s Mission vibe (that's HICKEY, TINA AGE 13, RUDIMENTS, et al) that helps work me through the marginally tuned guitars. Weird hippie shit and punk collide in this collection of tracks spanning a few years in the early-mid '90s, there are live jams and what appear to be rehearsal jams...but give me one creamer like "Loas, Altruista, Magnificente Spid" and my ass is sold. If you want professionalism then move right along (or move on to the band's later studio releases), but this thing is gold.

01 April 2015


Ripping tunes with a fierce guitar lurking in the mix, THE KANAMITS dish out trash/hardcore with maximum intensity. "My Rules" is the obligatory mid tempo banger, and it brings the mosh like few others can - irreverent and determined hardcore along the lines of Sacramento's RAD. WORMEATERS take their raw approach in a decidedly more sinister direction - a nasty, blown out attack that holds absolutely nothing back and employs a complete lack of subtlety. The epitome of primitive hardcore with a possible Oi! fetish...really really mean shit. I think these bands are from New Jersey, but I might be wrong. I know this tape is a creamer (and I'm not wrong that often).