30 June 2015


WON'T BELONG sounds like early '00s fastcore/hardcore reborn for new millennium punks and thrashers. Heavier on the breakdowns, and some killer awkward start/stop riffing, but the breakneck whirlwind of tracks like "Expectations" is like a time warp. Vocals are at their breaking point from the word go (sadly, there are not actually any GO!s that I can make out), and the recording is treble heavy and completely in your face. That WON'T BELONG is excellent should come as no surprise when you look at the members-of list involved (FOREIGN OBJECTS, ORCHID, VACCINE, RELICS, DEATH EVOCATION, and loads more), but a simple list of cool kids would take away from the power dished out by these five tracks. Soundtrack to your day: "Refusal."

29 June 2015


BABELDÖM have an unpolished edge that is so damn infectious, it's pure raging hardcore played at the very brink from start to finish. The blasts in "Fight Against" take the intensity even higher...and the feedback squall into blast into breakdown into noise solo back into thunderous Japanese hardcore that makes up "Hazy Earth" is just...I don't know how to describe what that song does to me. The very definition of relentless, BABELDÖM play furiously and add the manic energy of off the rails '80s Boston to their brand of punishment. Unhinged and brilliant.

28 June 2015


One of the gems I got from Daniel last summer, this DEVASTATION demo has gotten countless plays at TEHQ. Seminal '80s thrash/death metal from Chicago, these hessians released various versions of a relatively small handful of burners on two demos and self released full length (cassette) during their short existence. Unclear exactly which session this tape is from, since Daniel got it from the band at some point, but you get screaming renditions of "Cranial Hemorrhage" and "Beyond Fear" along with five tracks I couldn't positively identify...but I can declare that the (brief) mosh riff in the third (instrumental) track is unfuckwithable. Fretboard gymnastics are next level on all tracks, but DEVASTATION never sacrifice speed or intensity in the process, these dudes are hard as nails and unrelenting throughout. Collections of the demos have been released on CD and there's a vinyl box that includes a couple of live sets for the completists. But start here...

Definitely recommend listening through to the 0:46 live banter, your patience will be rewarded.

27 June 2015


The opening note of this demo made me think (hope) that this was a cover of "Tonight (Back From The Death)" from THE DECAY, a factoid that will perhaps only appeal to two people who will never read this (hi Golnar, hi Layla)...but I'm digressing here before I even get rolling. Hopefully adorable power pop meets Girls In The Garage from Chicago, kinda like a more rudimentary DANGER LOVES but with a little more attitude. There's an emphasis on cuteness that is, well, cute - there's the last track "Tell Me I'm Cute" and the "you're so-o-ooh-o cute/baby you're a dream come true" in "Decked" (which also features the genius line "your friends are fucking useless"), and the forlorn "Teen Dream," which is so perfectly adorable that you almost wonder if the whole band is a ruse just to suck me in. It worked. 

26 June 2015


Hard to believe these monkeys have been active for two decades? First met them in 2002 when Mozine picked up WHN? at the airport with wine stains on the front of his shirt. He blasted GG Allin at his apartment in Vila Velha while his mother made us breakfast, he blasted GUITAR WOLF every day while we drove, and they were a party to watch every single night on tour (I mean on stage and in the van). When we next crossed paths at a festival in Recife last year, and the party had not slowed down one bit (and clearly the 10,000+ in attendance liked the party as well). This is the first MUKEKA DI RATO demo from 1995, high energy catchy hardcore with a couple of ska parts (don't judge, it was the '90s). 

Three extra tracks tacked on to the demo. They aren't identified on the tape, and I'm pretty sure they are not by MUKEKA (this is a common theme with the last batch of demos I picked up from Brasil, but who doesn't like a nice mystery, right?). For now, they are included with the demo, but some nice civilian is going to solve the mystery for all of us and we will edit the files in our computers, which is pretty much the same as refiling records. You can (and should) find MUKEKA DI RATO bassist, Crackinho co-parent and Läjä Records empresario here. Also, I just realized Crackinho has his own Twitter account, and I really wish I spoke Portuguese. 

25 June 2015


Just two songs here, and rarely has a demo sounded so undeniably '90s. From college town, Illinois, HAND TO MOUTH are the perfect combination of melody and grit, with a pile gravel in the voice and the mid tempo drums commanding a bounce and sway as you listen. "Soy Sauce Love" is about seeing a pretty girl in the grocery store (she's probably buying supplies for a delicious tofu scramble). "Omnivore" is about having a political activism discussion with your friend and then realizing that your friend eats meat. Not sure I would have liked this in 199whatever, but it suits me just fine this morning...and at least one of these tracks is a certifiable classic. 

24 June 2015


I was immediately drawn to the tuneless and abrasive churn, reminding me of instantly of primitive organic noise mongers. I can't really imagine that early industrialists cared if a single second of their sounds were deemed "digestible," and I see Detroit's SLAYMAKER WELDING in the same light Rhythmic, distorted, atonal, mournful in its repetition, twenty minutes of monotony that will make you feel trapped and, if played at the appropriate volume, paralyzed. 

Treat yourself here, you're worth it.

23 June 2015


Fierce hardcore - more than the simple sum of parts and certainly more power than any description from me could indicate, New York's NAMATAY SA INGAY ride a sharp blade for the entire ten minutes of their first demo. I hope to see them when they pay SF a visit next month, I can only imagine that they are every bit as intense live....

Released by the Bay Area's Aklasan Records, an excellent source for info on the growing Filipino American hardcore/punk scene, and the fest coming up next month...

22 June 2015


I've raved about these mutants in these pages before, and the legend has only grown as their live performances have increased in intensity...but on 2014's Demonstrate Overpowering Might, PIG DNA have outdone themselves. Total and complete noise so all encompassing that when the tape descends into a three minute track titled "Noize," the casual listener (if there can be such a thing with this band) will hardly notice. While I'm still not convinced that the success of PIG DNA is intentional, I am certain that they are setting new standards for outsider/noise punk. This thing is a total mindfukk.

21 June 2015


I had owned the self titled PRESSURES 12" (which features all of the tracks on this Casting Shadows cassette) for a few months before I saw that they were scheduled to play a fest that I was already planning to attend - needless to say I was very excited. The band is such a perfect time warp, electro/synth dancefloor bliss with brilliantly robotic vocals...they do absolutely everything right. It's perhaps not hard for bands to simply recreate, but when the bands take the feeling and the energy from bygone eras and long passé subgenres and breathe life into them, make them feel new again? That's something special, and that is what PRESSURES do. So yeah, I was excited. They were slated to play in the small room at Mohawk with a bunch of other not punk at all bands, which suited me fine (I would be seeing a lot of punk bands over this four day event), and their time slot didn't really even conflict with anything else I wanted to see, so boom. Robert wins. I arrived late and missed SURVIVE (which I still lament), but got to see New York band DIIV who, based on preliminary research into this not punk at all gig, seemed to have a few good tracks, and they were really bad. Like, absolutely terrible...but I've committed to spend the evening at the not punk at all show, so fukk it, right? I mean, it's not like I was going to go see MILK MUSIC, so I just stayed and drank - though I admit that I sneaked out to peep a few minutes of the POWER TRIP set (ruled, duh). And then 11:50 had arrived and it was time and I was pumped, I was going to lose my shit and dance my ass off.....and then it was 12:15....and then 12:30, you get the idea. Are you fukkn kidding me? I know there are a lot of things to plug in, but seriously?! It was taking them over an hour to set up four damn keyboards, and there seemed to be zero urgency as they just lolligagged around the stage, drinking, talking, casually plugging in patch cords while I waited. And waited. At a certain point, I started to take it as a personal affront, as if these two men were intentionally ruining my night, making me regret my decision to attend the not punk at all show instead of seeing punk things. Well, PRESSURES, maybe you won that night, because after standing in the back with my thumb up my ass waiting for you to figure out how to make sound come out of your overgrown Casios, I fucking left. I walked two blocks and I saw INSERVIBLES deliver the absolutely punkest set of the entire weekend. They were so punk, and they were so good, and even though it was still early when they were finished, I didn't even bother stopping back by Mohawk to see if you dummies had decided to entertain anyone because I didn't need you anymore. Good tape though, I listen to it often. 

20 June 2015


Genuinely one of the most compelling and indescribable releases I've come across, Invocation Of Nirrti is also one of the best. The seldom used guitar will bring black metal hordes to the altar, but they will be lost and empty upon their arrival...the tracks breathe and grow, and grow more menacing as they do, and then the sound finishes without closure. The first time through, I found myself lying down next to the speakers, mouth agape, in total silence for several minutes after it was complete...I hope the same for you.

19 June 2015


I posted the 1999 demo from these São Paulo heavyweights last year, and now here's the bomb that dropped the year before. Fierce mid tempo mosh, crew backing vox that sound like an actual testosterone dogpile, this shit makes me revert back to the adolescent that I never was...and when they lurch forward with the uptempo sections of "Mídia" or "Respieto" I feel like even the casual listener should lose their marbles. CONSTRITO appeals on a very base level, and maybe you take a peek over your shoulder before blasting this in 2015 (there are cool kids lurking everywhere!), but once you get the shit into your earholes? Fukk it man, cool kids need to learn.

18 June 2015


Drum machine driven, crazy catchy Japanese punk with sing alongs galore, this was a ¥50 score in that heavenly box crammed full of tapes at Punk & Destroy. I would like to visit that box again...

17 June 2015


It's like the energy of youth crashing headlong into the anger of adulthood. NEGATIVE VIBES are trying so hard, and the result is an absolutely glorious mess; chaotic, noisy, totally off the rails and pissed. You know how VOID kinda falls apart sometimes and that's one of the things that rules about them? Yeah....NEGATIVE VIBES, man.

16 June 2015


Froeseian electronic deposits and bastardizations of primitive techno/EBM, on 2013's Meditations/Industry, WWC spend 90 minutes either convincing doubters or mystifying rock purists. That mystification turns quickly to numb acceptance when one realizes that these monotonous works have wormed their way under your skin. The hint of dirt on "30.26367, -97.77082" makes it the standout track for me, but perhaps more as part of a collection of brilliant analog electronics captured organically. A random purchase from Obsolete Future, and a smashing success at TEHQ.

15 June 2015


I mentioned this pickup a few days back, five WIDE AWKE tunes dubbed on the backside of the DIASPORA's killer 2001 demo. You've seen the cover of their Schism Records EP forever (slightly different from the homemade art on the cassette version that came into my life, included above), and you figured that you knew what they sounded like, even if you didn't know a thing about the band. You were basically right. Just killer 'core, file alongside UNIFORM CHOICE, early 7 SECONDS, positive NYHC and the like....I'm not exactly sure where this recording falls, some are on that first  EP, some on the 1987 demo....but they all made it onto the discography CD that you can probably snag for cheap. But really, once you hear "Friendship," you might not need the rest of the tracks: "just one simple word I'm sure you've all heard...it's called FRIENDSHIP!!"

14 June 2015


Raw and dirty thrashing punk from Slovakia's S.I.K.A. (who cranked out several splits aside from this one). Extremely chaotic noise/math/grind from Sweden's BINGO....like really fukkn out there music. Five from S.I.K.A. and seven from BINGO, this cassette served as a promo for an EP that wasn't yet released when I met the S.I.K.A. dudes on tour. Good tunes, very happy to pay them a repeat visit.

13 June 2015


A more than compelling collection of sounds from Adel Souto's performance moniker 156. Minimal industrial crashing into full throttle sonic bliss (I'm talking "And The Crowd Calls For His Head" into "Expand And Contract," which is nothing short of perfection to these ears) is compelling, but the reward is the wait....punishingly sparse missives like "Leaving Without Dinner" positively beg for action, and the result is five minutes spent on the edge of your seat waiting. The start of "Blasting Away" comes off like a a modern adaptation of Barry Adamson that dissolves into more waiting, but fortunately the percussive "Compression" is in the wings. These are sounds that demand attention, even in their absence. I confess that my hopes were high, and Taking A Look At A Moment Lost easily surpassed them.

From Chondritic Sound, of course.

12 June 2015


I don't think I've heard shoegazing '90s guitar driven alt/pop done this well. Ever. Not even in the '90s, and I listened to this shit like it was about to go out of style (it was). New Orleans' HEAT DUST are noisy, drunk, and absofuckinglutely beautiful....they pull out big guns with the guitar leads on "Sleeping Call" (the opening track, for fuck's sake), and they manage to get better from there. Lazy, breathy vocals, confident in their casual delivery, belt out indecipherable missives that had better be self deprecating laments about lovers lost and looking over your shoulder at the life that you missed because you were going the wrong direction...but if HEAT DUST makes a wrong turn on this 2011 recording, then I can't find it. 

For what it's worth, I keep seeing the internet calling this band "grunge," it's a rare example of the internet being wrong. TAD is grunge, MUDHONEY is grunge, HEAT DUST is pop.

11 June 2015


I will freely admit that I joined the CITIZEN FISH camp pretty late in the game. The early '90s were, by most accounts, the heyday of both the band's output and their popularity, but I didn't even see them play live until 1997 (and even then, it was only because Karoline was on tour with them, I am not sure I had ever even heard their music). But it didn't take much to see why people and punks from virtually every subsection of every scene were into the band, and I've been an unabashed fan ever since that first show. I'll still hold Life Size as my favorite record, but please don't ask me to pick a favorite show because there have been to many to choose from...and they are never bad. It just doesn't happen. The Psychological Background Reports are collections of outtakes, field recordings and remixes, things that few bands could pull off in an even remotely interesting fashion, but when CITIZEN FISH digs into the archives, the result is nothing short of fantastic.  This is the first installment, circa 1993....a full hour of dub, reggae, remixes, techno (lest you thought Phil was a latecomer to the electronic music game!), alternates and interviews, all carefully manipulated for your listening pleasure. Sometimes I rip tapes and leave them in the background while I get on with life, but this one held me mesmerized....the manipulation is every bit as effective today as it was then. And, for the record, no matter how many crucial shows (or years?) I missed out on by jumping on the bandwagon late, I wouldn't change a thing about my relationship to the band or their music because it's been nothing short of perfect from that show in San Luis Obispo until today...

10 June 2015


This comes up from time to time, and is perhaps only of interest to the more adventurous of you, but your curiosity will be justly rewarded. Five different tapes that made it into my life with little or no identifying marks. And to all the nerds (which is hopefully most of you), you see the challenge before you, the only question is whether or not you are up to it. So....are you?

1. Twelve tracks of chaotic industrial noise. Greatness is approached, embraced, and then cast aside over the course of one half hour. Cassette marked only as "ETC......."

2. Ten minutes of crucial grind/powerviolence. The completely unmarked tape was in a box full of master tapes and live recordings from '90s Bay Area bands, so I'm inclined to think this is from the same time/scene...but I cannot identify it. The recording is absolutely ruthless.

3. I feel like I may have shared this one before, and simply unearthed a double? Dual vocal fastcore/thrash that I think is from South America. The recording varies quite a bit from track to track, but the vocals are pretty consistent so I think this is all the same band...but I might be incorrect.

4. From the flipside of the DEAD FISH tape I posted a while back. The collection of Brasilian demos I picked up from Allan had many tapes with records dubbed onto the blank B side (like the WIDE AWAKE demo on the back of the DIASPORA tape). Someone with a better mental encyclopedia than me can surely pick this one out.

5. Live (at least mostly?) outsider shit-fi punk. Four tracks, all essentially inept, possibly from England, and endearing (if only for a few minutes).

Get to work, kids....

09 June 2015


I hadn't listened to these recordings in at least a decade, but for some reason "Bureaucratic Itch" has been stuck in my head intermittently for the last few months so I thought it was time to open up the closet. ANCIENT CHINESE PENIS started in summer 1991 - initially it was just Dave and me in his apartment living room, but by the time the fall semester got rolling we were jamming with Dan on drums and Matt playing guitar in a tiny room connected to my place in Norman. We hit the road shortly after we recorded the Fistful O Penis demo in '92 (I think we spent something insane like $700 on that session), playing a whopping six shows over two weeks (two of those we jumped on at Raji's in LA), met NAKED AGGRESSION in Albuquerque, got kicked out of DeDe Troit's apartment, and played what I remember being a brilliantly fun show at a teen center in Eureka. When we came back home, it was like we had legitimized ourselves simply by touring, and our shows were actually pretty good. Maybe it was the frequent nudity and lazily executed amateur antics (play your local college bar and shower the crowd with marshmallows...trust me, it's fun), or maybe it was....nah, I think people just came to laugh at us. We recorded ANCIENT CHINESE PENIS: Envy the following year and got the itch to tour again...this time we booked shows in towns where we didn't know anyone (which was most of the towns) by posting up at the college library, pulling out microfiche (remember that, kids?) for phone books from the towns we wanted to play. We would find the record store listings, call the stores and ask where punk bands played, then cold call clubs and see if they wanted to host some mutants from Oklahoma called ANCIENT CHINESE PENIS. And if that's not weird enough, some of them said yes. We sold shirts in grocery store parking lots on our days off to get gas money, we saw BORN AGAINST and AVAIL in Cudahay, Wisconsin (a show that's been written about at length in previous TE posts), we broke an axle outside of Bloomfield, Indiana and spent a weird weekend partying with local teenage dropouts waiting for the only garage in town to open up Monday morning, we got wooed by a bizarre promoter/pervert in the hills outside of Asheville who promised us main support on a festival with BUTTHOLE SURFERS and didn't we want to get in his sports car and check out his hot tub? We booted Dave shortly after that tour and enlisted Dan Riffe (oft mentioned on these pages, he was a then-recent Tulsa transplant and frontman for ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O) and cranked out our last demo, Al Fresca, but we were not long for the world. Matt had recruited me for MULTIPLE CHOICE, a band that seemed much more "legitimate" and that band relocated to California in early 1994, morphing into FUCKFACE the following  year. I'm pretty sure that Al Fresca is the most listenable of the three demos, but I don't have a copy...hell, I don't even have artwork for the first two (though I can assure you that the imagery is every bit as dated as the sound). Included in the download are the first two demos in their entirety, plus an alternate version of "Bible Belt Blues" from the first session, and never before released TWISTED SISTER and MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT covers from the second. Inexplicably, we did release the 5+ minute "Down Wit' A.C.P." on Envy...just one of many questions that will remain unanswered.

Terminal Escape turns six years old today. 2,000 posts and counting, and more than two million visits to the blog...hopefully some of you have found some killer tunes in the process.

08 June 2015


Ran into Chris from OXYGEN DESTROYER at our show in Fukuyama in April, he's living on some tiny ass island with 200 elderly citizens, teaching English to anyone who will listen. In addition to his pleasant demeanor, he brought this new demo on the two hour ferry ride into town...and it seems that his return to Japan has energized his already fervent passion for weird noisy hardcore. Chaotic, raw and blatantly nerdy, this project is less Kyushu worship and more pure outsider hardcore, like a bedroom project come to like. Since Chris's island is pretty far removed from anything,  I don't know how frequently we will be hearing more installments from SIBERIAN ASS TORTURE...so I would suggest making these eleven minutes last.

07 June 2015


A complete steamroller from the UK, BEAST AS GOD make their intent to destroy perfectly clear from the intro, and proceed to make good over the tracks that follow. Fist in the air metalcrust driven by The Riff and propelled by a massive machine gun drum attack with tiny hints of melody that make brief appearances (though in tracks like "I Know Who You Are" there simply isn't enough time). The guitar lead in "Against A Dark Background," the devastating intro to "Eulogie," the transition from overpowering doom in the middle of "Eschatological Vision" to the thunderous Scandicrust that closes the track...these kids know exactly what they are doing, and they are doing it right.

06 June 2015


Sometimes it's best to not describe things, but to just be blown away by them. Seattle's EYE OF NIX are a truly unique combination, a swarm of gloom and sound fronted by pure power. So heavy...and so weird.

05 June 2015


In case you haven't picked up on my feelings about '90s DIY punk from previous posts: '90s DIY punk was awesome. No rules, no pre-determined subgenres, no internet, no deciding exactly which obscure cult band you're going to sound like before you have your first practice...shit was honest. Even when it wasn't good, it was fukkn honest. It's hard to move my mind past BLATHERSKITE and ICE NINE when I think of '90s Indianapolis, but this ONCE AGAIN demo gives me more than enough reasons to revisit the hardcore legacy of The Crossroads Of America. Listen to the youth in the vocals that start "Day One," an innocence immediately countered by the chaotic pummeling that makes up most of the song...this is (almost) the shit that naysayers past and present dismissed as emotional hardcore (people would say the same about ONE EYED GOD PROPHECY, and we all know how stupid that dismissal would be, right?), but brutal determination cannot be faked, and twenty years later these kids sound hugely important. Even if they never warranted more than a ripple when they made their initial drop into the pool....