Got these tracks on a tape from Devon a while back, and it reminded me how other worldly this band was. Nowhere near straight forward enough to be death metal, way too metal to appeal to Japanese hardcore purists, and too innovative for anything approaching mainstream attention. Watching them live was like watching an earth mover destroy a playground, casually sucking all of the sugar coating out of life and leaving you with reality, and recorded is no different. On my list of top shows ever: HELLCHILD, DS-13, ARTIMUS PYLE and DDX13 in Joe's Garage outside of Reno in 2000. Not a bad gig at all, and watching Scottzy smoke meth in the loft while convincing a teenage mall punk girl that he was a bad influence and that it would be a bad idea for her to get in the van that was parked across the street...in front of a playground and in broad daylight? That was pretty funny. Only two songs here, and no recording information - just an endorsement and an anecdote.
30 May 2015
I try not to get disappointed about things that I miss when I'm on tour because...well, because I'm on tour and I'm doing a cool thing so I shouldn't be bummed about missing out on a different cool thing, right? But last month, playing just a 15 minute walk from the VOCO PROTESTA, LAST SENTENCE, KAFKA show in Osaka was pretty harsh - well, at least until you realize that I spent the night playing with TONE DEAF, FLIPOUTA.A, FEROCIOUS X, COMPLETED EXPOSITION, and DIRTY IS GOD. So there's no disappointment here...but LAST SENTENCE is really fukkn good.
29 May 2015
No secret that I have a soft spot for the stuff that we all called "melodic hardcore" in 1994, I bought the "Liza & Louise" single just like many of you did, and, even though I purged mine years ago, I'll still tap my toes when I hear it. But what I really like is that kind of music played by DIY punks, because it somehow sounds different and somehow sounds better. That's how ASUNTO PENDIENTE strike me; high energy catchy punk with excessive backing vocals (and whoa-whoas) and that middle ground between pop punk, hardcore, and quality college rock. Countrymen FUZZY skip the high energy hardcore and just go straight for JAWBREAKER styled crooning melodic punk (except on "Pasión," a burner with a driving pogo beat that makes me wonder what else these kids had up their sleeves), and pull it off perfectly without ever sounding like a soulless clone of anything at all. Both bands are from Uruguay and left a limited discography, so enjoy what you get your ears on.
28 May 2015
One of the more oppressive posts in recent memory, Oakland's THOABATH are an ominous cacophony of sound and manipulation. Primitive industrial noise struggling to bury haunting black metal ambiance backed by a distorted vocal attack that makes you feel like you are standing in a blinding snowstorm, submitting to the elements. The rhythm starts around the four minute mark, a premature death knell that only builds upon the foundation built by everything that came before...this shit is enveloping, and creepy as hell.
27 May 2015
Just saw the SUBSTANDARD/NERVES split EP in a bargain bin in Osaka and urged my buddy to scoop it up (it's genuinely one of the finest regular residents of the dollar bins of the world), an easy choice at twice the price. Ripping UK hardcore from both acts on that split, and I was raving to him about how I see the record all the time and why doesn't anyone care about killer under the radar jammers and about how I later met one of the dudes in NERVES and he is chill, all while flipping through the bargain cassettes: boom, there's the SUBSTANDARD demo for about the price of two sips of beer. So there you go, always check the bargain bins.
26 May 2015
There are often bands that are referred to as the incarnation of another, more well known, band but from a different country. That was the case where MUGA popped up in the early '00s, when the influence of TRAGEDY was actually changing the way crust and hardcore bands around the world were approaching songwriting and inadvertently homogenizing the continent of Europe. Their demo dropped a shitheap of soaring melodic guitars in my lap and all I could think was "this is the Japanese TRAGEDY." With distance and perspective, Nagoya's MUGA might fall more in line with the epic emotional hardcore (that became incorporated into the aforementioned subgenre) than Swedish influence mid tempo DBeat but, regardless of how you classify them, their songs will consume you. Only three tracks on the cassette that Satoshi quietly passed around Philadelphia when I met him in 2004, and every one of them is an absolute crusher. Two full lengths followed, and I celebrate the entire discography enthusiastically.
And to add a little unnecessary context: I met bassist the Yas in 1996 at the ASSFORT/HICKEY/FUCKFACE/PISSED OFFICERS show in Boston, and he was ANAL CUNT's sometimes roadie while he was living in the states.
25 May 2015
All hail bedrooms and four-track recorders, because the world is littered with garbage like this and I couldn't be happier. Music, inverted and disemboweled by a couple of Northern California mutants, SRE is the bastardization of music, accidentally presented as intellectually advanced outsider art....or perhaps is some dudes fucking around when then were wasted, the jury is still out. ANAL MÜCÜS related nonsense here, starting with a & minute versions of YOUR MOTHER's "Greg, Ex-Masturbator," so those in the know will have an idea of what to expect. As for the rest of you.....?
24 May 2015
23 May 2015
I was in Korea recently and got to share a stage with these creamers, but I snagged the demo a few days before we left on tour thanks to Ormolycka and my neighborhood weirdos at Aquarius Records. An inventive, but most notably blistering, hardcore trio from Seoul, DEAD GAKKAHS don't hit the seven minute mark on this seven song banger, but still manage to cram more awesome things than should ever be asked of a tape this short. Tracks like "First Lady" touch all the bases and it's hard to believe it's only 72 seconds long...the sound is huge and the vocals have an edge that makes you wince. Fukk man, I miss when hardcore like this was "cool."
22 May 2015
Shockingly stacked upstate New York comp from the mid-'00s. Sloppy snarky punk shits, pissed in your face hardcore shits, lots of raw and lots of punk. Bands you might have heard of include WARSQUAD, THE DENTS and BLÜDWÜLF. Bands you've never heard of but should get familiar with include BOB BARKER + THE WOMANIZERS, THE END, NOBODY CARES and 17th CLASS. Regional compilation tapes kinda rule.
21 May 2015
Super tripped out German avant metalpunk from sometime in the late '80s (I'm guessing). The first track conjures serious Japanese thoughts (and thoughts of the highest echelon, if you know what I mean), and then the tape stands up and just kicks you in the ass. If there were a genre called "outsider thrash," then MOED would be the flag bearers, just super fukkn weird and manic crossover mania with songs like "Suck My Dick (your)," "Where's The Meat...." and "Fucking East." I have rarely listened to a band that gave a smaller fuck than these monkeys seem to give, and of course that's a quality that I appreciate and celebrate,. Get weird, my monkeys.
20 May 2015
I consider myself pretty lucky to have seen many of my favorite bands over the years. I don't count missing out on bands that hung up their hats before I knew what punk was, but I've crossed paths with most of the bands that have really kicked my ass since I started listening to DIY punk...which is obviously one of the best things about this scene and the bands in it. In 2002 when WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? went to Brasil, São Paulo's INFECT and DISCARGA were probably the band I was most excited to see, and we were touring with DISCARGA so that one was easy. We played just one show with INFECT (a scab lineup with the bass player singing and Pedro playing guitar, if my memory is correct) and the energy was fukkn great. Things I remember about that show include: me wearing shorts (a rarity even then), Mozine drunk on wine (not really that rare), and a balcony surrounding the stage that was jammed with kids. INFECT were all female straight edge thrash, but beyond whatever niche appeal that garnered, they fukkn ripped. I strongly recommend the vinyl discography to all interested parties, and offer thins 1999 demo in the meantime.
19 May 2015
While the cassette overflow section at Osaka's Punk & Destroy was dangerous for a fellow like me, I was extremely happy to scoop a handful of previously unknown to me rippers like this 11 song banger from MUTANT. High energy Japanese fastcore/thrash along the lines of early RAZOR'S EDGE and FUTURES, a bargain at only ￥50. I win, you win.
18 May 2015
Haven't posted any lo-fi blown out distortion-laden punk since I came home, so here's GULAGS. Detroit noise mongers bashing through amped up pogo punk dished out with gratuitous chaos seeping into every crevice of the mix...but check the sneaky hooks in "Preach Roses," there's more to this than just power and fury. The vocals throughout are powerful as hell, landing somewhere between VIOLATORS and ICON GALLERY...repeat listens confirm that she has a no bullshit set of pipes, and subtleties like that make it well worth digging through the distortion. But if you aren't interestedin subtleties and just want to rage, GULAGS have got you covered.
17 May 2015
An incredibly difficult to digest collection of tracks from SHREDDED NOISE. I am inclined to believe that the folks at Chondritic Sound issued this 40 minute release as two cassettes simply because devouring the aptly titled Failing To Maintain in one sitting might drive you mad. Electronic chaos and pseudo-rhythmic industrial damage combine forces here in the most gloriously cacophonous manner. Not for the weak.
16 May 2015
Sometimes something is so well done, so on point, so....perfect, that you just listen with your mouth half open and wonder how simple human persons could have possibly done something exactly as things are supposed to be done. That's what happened when I started the Черная Речка (BLACK RIVER) tape. You can file it alongside your goth/dark/new wave/80s rock reincarnated as new millennium punk bands, and you won't be wrong, but I'm telling you that this band is doing something special. Two demos, both from 2014, are contained on my cassette, so you get ten songs....and every fukkn one of them is perfect. Listen to "Снег," and then listen to "Пропасть" and you will know that I am right. This band just turned my world on end, and I can't thank them enough.
Find the band and even more brilliant sounds here.
15 May 2015
I missed these Texas punks in SF last weekend, battling the one-two punch of jet lag and eviction made leaving the house seem all but impossible (even though it would have been the best thing for me, of course). And, as usual: my loss. KURRAKÄ deliver brilliant space age pogo punk with nods towards '80s Spain and distant shrieks echoing straight into your skull - as good as this 2012 demo is, their vinyl releases are even better and the live presentation is transcendent. Most TE visitors are already familiar, but this is for the uninitiated. Pay special attention to "Hermanas de la Obscuridad," so simple and so damn good.
14 May 2015
DEAD FISH would have found themselves at home on the Fat or Epitaph rosters in the early '90s had they been from California, but instead they became one of the biggest melodic punk bands in Brazil. If you still have a soft spot for FACE TO FACE, or perhaps are able to admit (when your cool friends aren't looking) that the first couple of LAGWAGON records have a few bangers hiding under the slick veneer, then you will want to quietly dig into this 1993 demo, DEAD FISH's first. People say they are like the Brazilian BAD RELIGION, and when I saw them in Natal in 2001 I would have had a hard time arguing that stance - ultra high energy, tight as any band I've seen, and feeding off the audience's energy as much as they were feeding the audience energy. The monkeys at Läjä Records slapped this and the '95 demo onto a disc sometime in the '00s, so a physical copy awaits you...
13 May 2015
Some people may have thought that the resurgence of metalcrust in the early '00s was some kind of passing fad. I can assure you that if more bands of that ilk were this good (or, dare I say if any of them had ever been this good) then the genre would never have viewed as passé. A juggernaut of dual vocal mania with screaming leads and a relentless pace. There are people in this band who are (or have been) in other bands that are also important, but such comparisons would only serve to cheapen VX GAS ATTACK. These sounds just makes me shake my head...rarely will your ears come across a thing done this right. Don't snooze, you're worth it.
12 May 2015
Those of you who paid attention to the Sounds For Wax Museum cassette from a while back will want to sit up and take note here, and for those who let that gem slip past instead of through your grey matter, I urge you right your wrong as quickly as possible. Born from the same barren Canadian plains, CRIST APPEARING AS SUN offer one hour (as the title suggests) of lurid avant garde outsider sounds on a cassette that practically defies description. Lurid, suggestive, disturbing and impossibly engaging loops and manipulations come together as a brilliant composition instead of an aural dumpster diving expedition....the second side could be inserted anonymously into the Cazazza catalog and no one would suspect a thing. This is new millennium sound, my friends...and honestly this is probably a better listen if you aren't quite ready. Turn down the lights if you are at home, and settle in for a weird day if you are in your cubicle.
11 May 2015
On the recent CONQUEST FOR DEATH tour, I was lucky enough to not only spend time with heaps of old friends and acquaintances, but meet a long list of new punks, metalheads and ragers and see a pile of bands I had never heard of before our trip. That's the point for me, and it's the main reason most of us keep doing this shit...I want to get floored by LAI SEE in Beijing, and I want to have brief heart-to-hearts that will stay with me for years, even if our paths don't cross again. These punks from the Philippines provided me with similar experiences in 2008, even though RUSH IxDx was a side project on hiatus when we were there. We played with members' other bands in Lucena, and got floored like we wanted and had the heart-to-hearts like we hoped...and the encounters are still with me years later. This outfit reassembled in 2009 to make this recording (A-side is their studio output, live versions and some extra covers on the flip), and fans of The Fast Shit will lament that this handful of tracks is all you're gonna get. Good times, kids...but good times with a point. That is what this thing is all about.
10 May 2015
If you thought I was going to start back up with some crucial piece of Asian hardcore history that I unearthed on my recent journey, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. Unfortunately I wasn't able to hit Flower Records in Nakano (a hotbed of weird demos, I snagged the SEX one song banger there in '09), I passed on the handful of rare Japanese tapes I came across (wisely deciding that my Yen would be better spent on records), and cassette culture was a thing of the past before punk culture took hold China or South Korea. I did scoop a couple of Mongolian tapes that will intrigue the open minded and bum out punk purists, but those are for another day. Today you get noisy, raw, disjointed and irreverent Brasilian hardcore dished out by a crew of teenage punks and weirdos in the late '90s. The attitude here can be found in a lot of current Midwest HC rehash, the 6th unnamed track in particular would sit quite nicely amongst the pile of gold currently plopping out of Northwest Indiana's backside. Sharp, smart, and unabashedly filthy hardcore punk. Welcome back.