If you look at the personnel involved, then the power contained in these tracks shouldn't really be a surprise. Sewn together with ominous soundscapes, Oakland's EXHAAUST drop four absolute bulldozers - low end crust/pv with terrifying slows (check the filthy start to "The Same Last Straw") and an arsenal of whirlwind riffing. A relatively new band, they are a few shows into their run and keep getting better live, I fear for Oakland when these kids really hit their stride.
29 September 2015
Child prodigy banjo picker Jimmy Henley started dropping jaws before he was a teenager, winning picking contests all over the heartland. Spotted by Roy Clark at one of those competitions, he became a regular on Hee-Haw and in Clark's touring entourage through the '70s and '80s. 1982's Classical Country Bluegrass shows 18 year old Henley alternating between proficient rippers like "Bird's Eye" and "The Kingfisher" and innocent novelty tunes like "I Love My Truck" and "You've Got Me Runnin' Scared" that are made all the more entertaining by a voice that seems like it's not quite finished walking through the puberty tunnel. Perhaps there's a touch too much production on this release (especially on the re-worked medley "Classical Gas"), so for those who want things a little rawer I give you this live recording (or Henley's One For The Record from 1976, likely available at your local thrift store if you live in Oklahoma) but this is the shit that happened to country music in the '80s and fans will be able to listen through the excessive string arrangements. Worth noting that my Salvation Army copy is presented in its naturally degraded state, making "Memories Of Yesterday" a truly warped journey.
28 September 2015
And this is your Monday. Completely pegged and bulldozing everything it its path, still drunk on the weekend and not ready to stop. Blown out, fukkd up, howling, clenched fist mania of the highest order...ABSTRAKT give you exactly what you want. Maximum distortion, maximum fury, and screaming bass solos (not kidding).
27 September 2015
LA LUNA was the band no one had heard of on a monster show in Oakland a few months ago, four soft spoken Canadians who were polite and appreciative as they took the stage after PILLS and before TÖRSØ. And then they left their quiet demeanors in the dust as soon as they started. Emotional hardcore delivered with maximum intensity and a soul baring honesty that's becoming rarer in this latest age of posturing. Their set was excellent, and their presence at the show was somehow grounding and extremely welcome...I hope the rest of the tour was good for LA LUNA, and I hope they come back again.
26 September 2015
It occurs to me often that I should spend some time re-posting old demos and fixing dead links, but I'll be fukkd sideways if there isn't a constant stream of new and/or worthwhile shit to share. But this shit is mandatory, so here it is again: Tip Of The Iceberg got the treatment here in 2009, and the words still ring true...though I swear I don't remember such a challenge editing the tracks last time around. This band forms a crucial bridge between early '80s anarcho-punk and late '80s metal/crust, but this 1986 demo is essential, regardless of subgenre descriptors. More old stuff to follow (again), after the new shit that I think you need.
25 September 2015
I think that my vinyl copy of this release was the product of an expedition to Tulsa in the late '80s (teenage Wizard was neither adventurous nor mobile) and resulted in my discovery of 18 then-new-to-me bands (which is precisely what a comp is supposed to do). That said, the 1000 MEXICANS track gets stuck in my head at least once a month (it's that damn bass line), THE RENEES are killer, THE THREE JOHNS track is mediocre but resulted in several of their records in my arsenal, and this JAZAWHAKI tune is as infectious as anything I can imagine.In addition, you get burners from THE GLOBAL INFANTALISTS, HAGAR THE WOMB (my first introduction was this track), THE MOODISTS, NIKKI SUDDEN, and THE RENEES ("Drink Problem" seemed so racy as a 16 year old...) among many others. I think the motivation for this comp was financial, as British Airwaves seems to have been compiled and released by a label hoping to break UK post punk/new wave acts into the US market, but I can't really see anything here that we Americans ever gave a shit about aside from NEW MODEL ARMY....though this is still my favorite NEW MODEL ARMY jam. But seriously, "Last Pop Song" is beyond devastating....turn and face the lights.
Turn up the music, one last time // This is the last pop song, come on and sing // This is the last pop song, it didn't mean a thing...
24 September 2015
I suppose it's a perfect accident that I drop this 2014 demo in your lap just after Belgium's SUFFER DAMAGE dropped a full length platter on my head, right? It sounds like it looks like it sounds: noisy, distorted, damaged raw punk. Bass dominates the recording while the guitar sears its way through nine tracks that sound positively shithammered. If there's something else you need...well, this is all you need for today, ok?
23 September 2015
Teenage mutant weirdos from Pleasanton, California that make STIKKY seem like they were intellectually advanced...this is what happens when those freaks two cul-de-sacs over get a boom box with a record button. You can't make this shit up, just a bunch of kids with nothing better to do. This is why video games suck - except the ones you play at the 7-11 while sucking down a slurpee after school. This is why I swear that society will eventually decide that internet sucks - because it stifles this kind of inane creativity by giving everyone access to everything. But in Pleasanton, if you wanted something and Mom wouldn't drive you to The Stone to see EXODUS, then you just made noise in Brad's garage. It ain't Stockholm, but when you're 15 it might be enough to get you through the summer.
Also, this motherfukkr was impossible to edit. 100% chance that I did not separate tracks correctly, though I swear that I tried for at least the first 45 minutes or so....
22 September 2015
Not exactly sure why this one strikes a chord with my ears, because this kind of raspy and casually melodic punk typically doesn't float my boat. It might be the manic venom from the vocals, or perhaps a certain je ne sais quoi that reminds me of '90s Mission punk created and captured on 4-track cassette recorders in the wee hours of the morning? Either way, Reno's RAD TIMES sound exactly like their name, and tracks like "You'll See" and "Don't Care" are shameless ass shakers. This is sweaty basement in the middle of summer, an afternoon at the lake with your friends, it's revolutionary in its wholesome honesty...RAD TIMES indeed.
20 September 2015
One two minute burst of power electronics from perennial favorites LIMBS BIN on one side, and a really compelling idea from SIDETRACKED on the other. The former melts your brain, while the latter takes powerviolence to a new place. I know you don't like to take chances, but four minutes is the total length of this cassette, so your risk is minimal...but the reward is splendid.
19 September 2015
Dirty, blown out punk rock that struggles (successfully) you mask what are really excellently crafted pop tunes. But you don't know that, you just hear some distorted rock 'n roll and you get drunk and wild. And that's totally fine, because that's what you are supposed to hear. I hear bits of several '90s acts seeping through this five song banger, but mostly these St. Louis monkeys dish out high caliber grungy punk...and I like it. "Death Rattles" is that track for this guy, if only because going out on a fast note was a really good idea.
18 September 2015
The first time I heard this record, I had no idea what I was listening to. I was getting promo shit from Elektra for my small town Oklahoma new wave radio show, which meant I got the new SUGARCUBES record before the other dozen weirdos in town had heard of them, and I got early copies of all the 12"ers from Disintegration, so that was cool. But this...it simply made no sense at all. I knew it wasn't noise, but I didn't think it was jazz either - it was just chaos. For the uninitiated, SPY VS. SPY was the result of one of countless John Zorn collaborations (he has done more than simply bring horns to hessians via PAINKILLER and NAKED CITY and his promotional "radio hour," also received from my friendly Elektra rep while I was still in high school, was my first exposure to NAPALM DEATH and DIE KREUZEN and pre-Thrash Zone DRI). Listening with my 40+ year old ears, these tracks are so much more next level than the teenaged wizard could have possibly grasped. Layers upon layers of pure shred, two manic saxophones simultaneously devouring, demolishing and reinventing Ornette Coleman with blast after blast of fury. I played it for my friends at the time, not so much to say "hey, you will dig this" as to say "hey, what is this?" but they all hated it (of course) and thought I was weird(er). But I stuck with it, I used this tape as a reference and a starting point, and this presentation of selected works of a jazz legend is still one of the most insane and innovative records that I own. Fortunately for you, I have supplemented my collection with a cassette copy as well.
17 September 2015
These Northern California have morphed their killer '80s SoCal hardcore in to killer SoCal dark punk...just like the bands they draw from did thirty years ago. Brilliant mid-era T.S.O.L. vibe, and the two originals here are certifiable classics. Making the move from being a hardcore punk vocalist to being a punk singer is tough during the course of a band's run, but that's what is happening here and the added nuances are exactly what they need to compliment the guitars that carry this short 'lil banger. SCREAMERS and T.S.O.L. covers fit in exactly as they should with the CRIMINAL WAVE tracks...it's what so many bands are trying to do, just done so much better.
Find CRIMINAL WAVE here.
16 September 2015
There are rehearsal demos...and then there are rehearsal demos. This three song banger features a rough recording of CHRONIC PLAGUE raging while the vocalist speaks the lyrics over the rest of the band. Presumably this was just meant as a tool to prepare for a future studio session...but even the unfamiliar will appreciate the novelty here.
15 September 2015
14 September 2015
Just one more absolutely killer Bay Area punk band that came and went before anyone noticed. Four songs from 2014 that trump damn near anything else released that year....
COSMIC TOILET // WORLD PIECE OF SHIT
13 September 2015
Devastating Washington state hardcore combining vigilance and determination with intelligence and serious riffs. Fists clenched from start to finish, aside form a portion of "XXX" this is a pure primal churn from start to finish. From the Olympia/Seattle family that's brought you a bunch of bands that you already love...now listen to "Pound For Pound" and punch a hole in the wall.
12 September 2015
Midwest basement hardcore from the '90s should be its own genre and anyone who was around, or passed through, at the time surely knows what I mean. That sound plus college rock/AmRep leanings is exactly what this MERRIMAC demo from 1996 sounds like, so if you were hoping for some DISCHARGE shit today then you should try back later.
11 September 2015
When Dave (IVENS [yes, my link is dead, but the links to the respective bands are still hot, and that's more important], WHITEHORSE [is this not the most foreboding bunch of humans you've seen all day], CONCRETE ISLAND, and more) asks for your address, then you give it to him....because you might get something like this in the mail. He describes it as "bleak techno" and I can't really argue. It's like the thing that the people would want to dance to if the people were wrong. Which is to say, if they were our people. One half hour of the best pulsations.
Hard copies available from the fascinating Sabbatical label in Melbourne. I don't know why you work, but if you do, then your money belongs here. Rent can wait, there are attorneys to help with that. Take care of yourself first.
10 September 2015
Seriously, I can't really think of anything I want form a hardcore band that OUTSIDE LOOKING IN doesn't deliver. They got the breakdowns, they got the crucial and desperate lyrics and the delivery to back them up, they are from a place that none of the cool kids give a shit about...and they fukkn rule. Hardcore punk from Chico/Redding. California...so good. You need this band, but I might need them more than you do.
It's another disheartening night // On the floor there was nearly a fight // From tough guys throwing their fists // And not giving a shit who they hit // I see people throughout the hall with cliché minds // With uncritical thoughts // In each corner there's a social click // I can't help feeling that I don't fit in // I don't feel moved or inspired // I feel like I'm existing on another dead night // The music rings in my ears but doesn't move my heart // The lyrics stand tall but the actions fall short // Too much of what we've fought against lives at the shows // At times I can't help but feel the disillusion grow // Tonight is another night that lays stagnant // Leaving me feeling burnt out and alone // Tonight is another disheartening night // Leaving me feeling burnt out and alone // Stagnant. Burnt out. And alone.
09 September 2015
08 September 2015
I'm telling you, punks, the 25¢ cassette box outside the Central Ave. Salvation Army in Albuquerque is a fukkn goldmine. At the end of 2014 I snagged the FREDDY K. AND THE BREEZE tape, and then a few weeks ago came this score. If you have any question at all as to whether or not this Mankato, Minnesota outfit is legit, then I suggest you check out this footage from '83 when you monkeys were looking at mobiles in your cribs and daydreaming about stagediving to some band playing covers of MINOR THREAT songs that were written before you were born. Am I right?! Personally I like when they pick up the pace on "Hard To Get Polka," but the whole fukkn thing is a winner.
07 September 2015
Filthy and terrifying death/black metal from St. Petersburg, Russia. The label describes themselves as a "metal label with punk attitude" and I think that suits this tape particularly well. I was hooked from the first instant, and I expect you will be too.
Find Reforestation Records here.
Find YURODIVIYE here.
06 September 2015
More...uh, "refined" than 1987's You Know What I Mean?, SLAMBODIANS entered the new and exciting decade with a five song collection of knuckle dragging crossover thrash. I don't even mind the slap bass on "Livin' Large" (the lyrics are a different story...wow) when delivered with this kind of fury, and when they slow down to a subtle ska beat on "Never Better Than Late" to are without question listening to a band from a different era. But the thrash shit? These motherfukkrs could go hard, and even with the edges smoothed up a bit the rippers on Wot's Wtrong Wit Choo? are certifiable. Under the radar Bay Area thrash? You're welcome.
05 September 2015
Raw HC/grind lacking anything approaching on the high side of fidelity. The blasts fall apart, there is no low end, the riffs are indiscernible...it's basically a complete racket. These are the sounds that people who dig "extreme" things will listen to and just go...."what?" because these Brasilians were out there. And they did not give a shit. So if you want chaos and mania (and, of course, riffs - because DUÄS NÓTÄ got riffs), look no further than this 2001 demo. As always, you're welcome.
TUM-TÁ-TÁ DE UM E DIOS TUM TÁ-TÁ
04 September 2015
The scourge of the Bay Area, I suppose. So many tiny and insular sub-scenes that if you aren't on the hunt at all times then you miss out. SAINT LORENA were short lived, but this demo makes me cringe at the thought of this band right under my nose and me just not smelling it. Angular, weird post/anarcho punk with some of the most gloriously awkward vocals I've come across. Bass and drums hold the songs together while the guitar does....well, it's doing something awesome. And those vocals....shouted in bursts of apparent hyper-dimentia and nasal congestion. They are weird and nowhere near what is traditionally considered "good," but that's what makes them so fukkn good. Atonal and in your face while still seeming distant, not unlike the band as a whole. I like this tape a lot...top track: "Brick Fire."
03 September 2015
Noise rock isn't supposed to sound right, it's supposed to make you feel weird. From the three minute/one riff "Eat" to the disjointed guitars that drive "Executionerman" into the dirt...there is little about this damaged outfit that sounds right - which exactly why it's right. Thundering drums and vocals more disenfranchised than that tortured hardcore band you saw last week, but with hidden hooks and a flare for making the simple sound more than simply interesting. These kids are every bit as good live as the demo suggests, and their new EP is even better.
02 September 2015
This presentation by AIR SIGN listens like an extended raga that morphs into layers of ambient drone and then closes with a high energy/low fidelity monotony backed by primitive drum machines, digital waves and blasting SUICIDE-esque organs. Split into two movements, both fronted by trance like vocals, this tape might take a while to get into, but after the first side crescendos about eleven minutes in with countless tracks of sound and caterwaul and electronics inviting you into another realm so you can truly live the rest of the tape....well, after you've let go, then the rest is pure gold.