31 October 2015


Thirty minutes of violent and abrasive noise. Exceptionally dark and undeniably appealing.

30 October 2015


It's almost incomprehensible how pervasive the NYHC sound was in South American DIY hardcore in the '90s...it's also noteworthy how much better many of those bands were than their counterparts north of the equator. Argentina's PENSAS O MORIR inject liberal doses of metal and melody into the mix, elements that stand out pure riff laden stomps like "HC Head" and "Solo Hablas." Vocals are strong and venomous even when melodic and the delivery is deadly throughout, this band sounds like a machine on virtually every track. Quality.

29 October 2015


Spanish language crooner from New Mexico (relocated to Connecticut), David Salazar had a few minor regional hits before settling into life as a regular adult...at least that's what I presume he did. Thankfully, in addition to a syrupy sweet version of "Crei," he left us this 1981 cassette time warp with winners like "Historia De Un Amor" (the best track on the tape) and the dusty waltz "Soñe." Digging through bins in New Mexico sometimes pays off.

28 October 2015


Paying eternal homage to The Riff and making a case for headlining every neanderthal hardcore fest this side of Barcelona, a bunch of mutants from McAllen, Texas just dropped this 3 1/2 song demo that will destroy you. Guitars overpower everything in the mix and they are just barely in tune, drums sound like paper sacks, vocals are demented and constantly cracking...it's damn near perfect. The mosh parts are deadly and INGRATE only get weirder when they speed up. I hope they make more songs soon...and I hope they never move to an actual city because whatever they are drinking down there is working quite well. Main riff in the verse to "The World's A Pigsty, We're All Shitting In It" is all you need, the rest is just gravy.

27 October 2015


Any person who is frequently mentioned in the same breath as GG ALLIN and BOYD RICE is a person who pushes boundaries. I ain't no expert, but there is a wealth of information and background at your disposal, and you can spend ages sinking into article after story after rumor about Lisa Suckdog; creator of the venerable Roller Derby zine, made a baby with Boyd Rice, wrote a book about Yoko Ono, feminist, prostitute - you get the general idea. No art form is sacred or out of reach...everything is on the table. Musically (or perhaps I should say "musically") SUCKDOG (a product of Lisa and her then-partner Costes) cranked out several compilations of noise, aural missives, field recordings and bedroom boombox/4-track collections. The shit is weird, and it comes from someplace completely different....Little Flowers Dying is 19 tracks of non-music released in 1990. Are you ready?

26 October 2015


I was excited but hesitant when I first put this one in....I am friends with a member of the band, and didn't know they played music until MORDANT started up. So I probably waitied longer than I should have to dive into this tape (I mean, what if it was a stinker and I ran into my pal in public and they asked my opinion.....? hashtag: awkward), but even on my most enthusiastic day I could never have imagined that MORDANT would be this incredible. Eschewing virtually every modern hardcore trapping imaginable, they channel mid '90s chaotic emotional hardcore flawlessly...and my jaw is on the floor. Because they don't just embody the sounds (which they do really well, by they way); the tension is there, the intensity is there...they just fukkn nail it. Mostly high end vocals try so hard to give up but they keep getting pushed ever further, scattered and manic structures that are ruled by constantly meandering bass lines and a guitar assault that holds nothing back. Guitar/vocal combo in "Ruined Machine" reminds me of MILEMARKER, the subtle bass octave drop in "Justines Of The World: Unite" is indescribably perfect....and the whole fukkn thing reminds me of ONE EYED GOD PROPHECY. Do you have any idea how many times I have thought or said that I wanted bands to start trying to sound like ONE EYED GOD PROPHECY instead of primitive knuckle dragging hardcore? A lot of times....so many times. So yeah....thanks, MORDANT.

25 October 2015


From "what and why?" to "why are there only three songs?" in about 30 seconds, this Bay Area recording from 2008 spent a frightening number of cycles on repeat at TEHQ. Simple and repetitive riffs (read: monotonous...just not in a bad way) drone on while sparse vocals and assorted sounds pepper the background and "drums" do more to provide texture than to drive a beat home. Lowest of fidelity garage recording, and that casual distance is exactly what hooked me...it's almost like they did this for themselves and really didn't care at all when or it anyone else heard it. Sometimes those little things you just make for your friends wind up in the hands of the right people.....three tracks only, and featuring George Chen (COMMON EIDER, KING EIDER, and many more) and Jess Scott (ex-BRILLIANT COLORS, current FLESH WOLRD). 

24 October 2015


Murky, cold and detached minimal electronics...like alien industrial sounds in slow motion, or living through a catastrophe while trapped helpless under water. Four tracks (or "Aktions") spanning one half of your precious hours. Respect to Black Horizons for never disappointing.

23 October 2015


Two tracks of relentless no-fi DBeat/noise; raw and chaotic, just like you want it. The cover says there are four songs, but my tape has two...I think you can guess what the other two sound like. Your three minutes of mania start as soon as you click play.

22 October 2015


Murky, psychedelic sounds that I cannot possible do justice with words. These kids are waaaay out there, like LOVE & ROCKETS taking acid with BEACH BOYS and deciding to make a reggae record. Yeah, shit is a trip. I don't really imagine being able to convince you with descriptors, but those who take the plunge will be rewarded with a half hour journey to a very strange place.

21 October 2015


I think this is when hardcore started to change. A decade or so into DIY punk, and bands had run the gamut - hardcore, thrash, pop punk, politics/anti-politics, crossover, grind, grunge, selling out, reunions, house shows...little tastes of all of the microscenes can be found in the '80s. But with the new decade, bands started to settle in and really explored possibilities of sound and behaviour. California's DOWNCAST take East Coast chug-on-E riffing, pre-pubescent hardcore breakdowns and palm muted circle pit fast parts typically associated with knuckledragging oafs but they integrate it into fiercely DIY political and emotional hardcore. I missed this band by a few years (and even if I had known, I cannot imagine how disastrous it would have been if we had crossed paths when I first toured California in 1992), and by the time I heard their recordings I was struck by how thin they sounded compared to "bigger" moshy hardcore bands (especially on this demo). But maybe that's why this one holds up today - DOWNCAST is a time capsule. The pressure of looming success, whether perceived or desired or threatened, had subsided and the DIY scene was starting to become its own thing instead of a part of something larger (and something better). Perhaps the connection between DOWNCAST and the shift currents in the underground scene (shifts that swept me up and still haven't let me go) is manufactured by my personal associations? I'm sure someone else will say I'm wrong, but then someone else might suggest that this shit should be lived and not studied. Now I suggest that you go get a copy of Ebullition #1.

20 October 2015


I'm pretty sure when you woke up this morning you thought to yourself, "Shit. It's Tuesday. I know I have to go to work, but what I really want to do is blast some riff-heavy early '00s fast core with ripping crossover leads, gratuitous sing along choruses and shameless speed picking." Well, friend, I said the same thing.  Fortunately there was a band from São Paulo who is happy to help us all out.

19 October 2015


Sometimes you need to mosh, and sometimes you need to punch something (like...the floor), and sometimes you need crushing dismal doom riffs in between machine gun blast beats. My friends, sometimes you need YPERITE GAS. I was impressed by their track on the Beat Our Heat Intoo Your Head Kyoto comp, so I was pretty chuffed to snag their full demo in a bargain bin in Osaka. Grinding low end metallic hardcore with riffs for days, YPERITE GAS grind shamelessly and drop some serious tonnage on these four bangers. Fave track: "September 16th."

18 October 2015


Primitive UK punk maybe (or maybe not? but probably) delivered with drum machines in 1984. A couple of anarcho rejects that sound great in 2015, really long dub track and a CLASH cover cut accidentally manipulated by a defective cassette. These kids have visited The Escape before, but it's been years and the links are long long dead....

17 October 2015


There is a certain power in sounds that can confuse you, and sometimes I think that is the power of noise. HOPE FOLLOWED BY DESPAIR is noise. Just noise. No apparent structure, certainly no songs, and definitely no riffs. Just....noise. But to be able to take that and make it engaging requires skill (or luck, or the right mindset), and that is what happens here. True, there are are moments that are engaging on their own (start around the 4:23 mark of the first track and you'll see what I mean), but the vast majority of this tape is just...noise. It'll knock you off your rocker and reset your brain at the same time - which will help you endure the 45 minutes that follow because you will need a clean slate to digest this shit. Listen. And listen loudly: By now you should trust me, right? So prepare yourself for maximum volume (obviously), and blast the fuck off...you're welcome.

16 October 2015


Killer. Jangly. Punk. Dark/hollow vocals. Good songs that stick with you. Garage Goth. 

15 October 2015


Played with these punx in DF last December, and the energy was just right. Nothing I can say describe the feeling of seeing them live except to say that they were punk as fukk and they just killed. A female, all power, and sometimes, determination triumphs over all. And I truly hope I get to see ANTI-SEX again.


A seemingly nice grandmother type from Arizona belting out endearing versions of your favorite '70s/'80s pop/country faves. Her rendition of "Could I Have This Dance" (Anne Murray) sounds like a high school talent show version of the original, while "Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For" might swing even more than Crystal Gayle's version (wait, who am I kidding? but April manages to pull this one off nonetheless). I wonder if she had a backing band? Session musicians? Regardless, finding a crew to belt out Tanya Tucker's "It's Only Over For You" and make it sound authentic is no mean feat - right down to the drum fill into the initial chorus. "Talkin' In Your Sleep" sounds almost fresh from Walker, feel free to file this track alongside legends Crystal Gayle (several reworkings of her hits in this collection) and Reba McEntire, who both had good runs with the same simple (and simply perfect?) song. Some of the instrumentation is admittedly hokey (take "Somebody Loves You" as a prime example), but this is a solid collection, crafted by an obvious fan...enjoy.

14 October 2015


I don't even know what to say about Halifax, Nova Scotia, but when someone finds a bad band from that fine Canadian city will you please let me know? BRICKS are the aural manifestation of an earthmover, uprooting your existence with casual disregard. Listen to "Exhausted," a track that starts with all of the trappings of en vogue knuckledragging hardcore but you like it anyway because the shit is right as rain...and then you hit the 1:10 mark and things change a bit, and six seconds later you just get leveled with an indescribable assault. But here's the thing: these fukkrs do that in damn near every song. The blasts are devastating, and when BRICKS slow down to a normal human's searing hardcore pace, I can only suggest that you prepare yourself. There are earlier recordings here, but this one burns so hard.

13 October 2015


For some people, I will just be able to say "emotional '90s hardcore from the Midwest," and they will know exactly what I'm talking about. How you explain SMASHING PUMPKINS and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE seeping into a DIY punk band's sound is a little tougher...I mean, that shit happened all the time. But tracks like "One Sided" are legit time capsules, and "Mushy Foundation" sounds so much like someone from that era that I can't put my finger on even after listening  to the song five times in a row and it's killing me. STRAIGHT FORWARD were from the suburbs of Milwaukee, and I can't give you any background at all....though clearly they made me think about my own.

12 October 2015


Filthy Korean DBeat/crust/grind from the late '00s - three separate recording sessions on a tape that clocks in at a whopping 8 minutes, brutal lurches and dual vocal crust crash headfirst into a brick wall built on a foundation of guttural grind and uncompromising raw crust. The band called it "D-Bakja Nal Punk," and I am in no mood to argue. I got this in the same envelope as the killer I.C.B.M. demo....that was a sweet package.

11 October 2015


Maybe some people would skip right by a 1993 demo from an unknown UK band...but some people do lots of things you don't do, so maybe you should listen. The guitar is the first thing you notice with L-PLATES; distorted and affected in a way that is equal parts teenage thrash demo and Ahead-era WIRE. Drop that sound in to a dual vocal adult anarcho assault and you get something that is noteworthy at worst ("Our Fixture World" and the eponymous second track), but stop-and-take-a-listen-no-really-pay attention! at it's best. The recording sometimes masks legitimate burners like "M.O.A.B." and "My Twilight Zone," while several numbers come off like a Spiderleg band born one decade too late. But "Civilian Depopulation" is the track. It's when the seemingly random '80s WIRE comparison popped into my head (though on this one it's as much the vocals as the guitars), and it's just a really well crafted and engaging song. So skip L-PLATES because it's not on the back of your cool friend's vest, but remember that your cool friend probably makes fun of you when you aren't around. So question, change, and use your mind.

10 October 2015


Noise drenched raw sludge/fastcore hybrid PATHETIC HUMAN just walk right up and lay waste to their side of this split...an exercise in devastation, pure and simple. Very, very ugly. On the other hand, COLLAPSED TOILET VIETNAM makes their friends sound like flowers and butterflies. One ten plus minute improv distorto-rama titled "Choking/Vomiting/Spitting/Bleeding/Wheezing" and you will start to wonder what you have done with your life as the movements just fall into each other. You know that "noise not music" symbol on Art Garfunkel's forehead? Yeah, these monkeys mean it.

COLLAPSED TOILET VIETNAM have just dropped a bunch of new tunes after a recording hiatus that followed the 2008 release of this cassette. PATHETIC HUMAN shut their operation down a few years ago, but their final offering is available here..it crushes.

09 October 2015


Lots of live shit, lots of bands you've never heard of. Raw and essential German punk blasts spanning 1982-1990 are going to fill the next ninety minutes of your life. Some of these sounds will thrill you. UMSTUM IM KINDERZIMMER, SANDOW, VAUSX, MULLSTATION, and SONNENHRILLE are my personal faves, but everything here was new to me aside from SCHLEIM KEIM, which made the whole thing a great listen. Some of the sound quality leaves a bit to be desired....deal with it.

08 October 2015


Seven minutes of complete and utter annihilation from New Zealand.  Riffs are killer, attack is ferocious, people are cool as shit to hang out with, and I fukkn swear that if this band were from somewhere cool then people would have lost their shit. Well, it's been a few years, and no one's looking, so feel free to let yourself go, motherfukkrs. Also - they pressed a 12" in criminally limited quantities, but a lot of them made it off their island(s), so I suggest you start looking.

**The breakdown in "I Don't Pray, I Think" is so short and so unbelievably sick. 
**I want to visit New Zealand's southern island someday. 
**This band makes me want to listen to '00s fastcore forever. 
**The riff that starts "Fundamentalist" is so simple and so simply perfect. 
**Punks should wear shoes....I mean, I'm not wrong here.