30 November 2015


Oof...this one is a crusher. So much greater than merely a sum of parts, Portland's EMASCULATOR combine the white hiss of damaged guitar with a rhythm section worthy of the du-pah-du-pah hall of fame and a vocalist than lands between LEBENDEN TOTEN and HUGGY BEAR. Shit might not make sense, but it's soooooo good. Far from a mere collection of sounds, there are tracks galore on this thing and it all works, down to the noise/fastcore surging out of the explosion on "Male Fantasies" and the vocals samples bridging tracks. Really really solid noisy mania, you're welcome.

29 November 2015


I've thought for a few years now that I want to get old(er) in Paraguay. That's where I want to retire. I've never been to Paraguay, and I don't know anyone there....it just seems like it would be chill. A quick current news search tells me that the country's head of the National Institute For The Indigenous was just fired by President Cartes for kicking an indigenous woman at a protest...obviously this is not awesome, but think about two things: 1) The country ACTUALLY HAS and Institute For The Indigenous, 2) the President fired the prick saying, "Whoever represents the indigenous and kicks them, I don't want to discuss it, they have to go." 3) This is the only news story I could find. No police murders. No bombings. No insane people running for political office...just an asshole who did an assholish thing and got his asshole ass fired. Seems chill. I mean, further down there was some ugly shit about the country's poor being used for drug mules, which also and obviously sucks....but still, it ain't carpet bombing. I've looked at pictures, the joint is fukkn gorgeous, and when was the last time you heard someone hate on Paraguay? Right? It's damn near the last spot that will get blown to smithereens when the world comes crashing down....and it's far enough from metropolises like Medellin and Buenos Aires that when shit does go down, you'll still have time to trek into the forests of Bolivia to really hunker down. And besides, spending my elder years drinking a Polar Lager and listening to TRIO PAREJHARA seems like a very achievable goal, and I bet these boys party.

28 November 2015


I kinda felt like this band was the poor man's DEAD MILKMEN. I mean, the cow on the cover didn't hurt, but it was mostly that jangly guitar and endearing adolescent sense of humor masking legitimate social commentary...and some killer tracks, of course. THE JUDY'S weren't as fast or as in your face as their Philadelphia contemporaries, but they were also a little earlier to the dance - 1981's decidedly more new wave killer Washarama dropped a full two years before the first MILKMEN demo. Tracks like "Joey The Mechanical Boy" and "Ghost In A Bikini" have a DEVO by way of B-52's flare, while much of this 1985 release is just punk-lite presented as palatable new wave...or maybe it was snarky new wave that appealed to punks. Whatever, I was a new wave kid just trying to hear anything new that I could shove in my earholes, and I listened to this thing hundreds of times in my teens. 

27 November 2015


No introduction needed here, right? But incase you missed them the first time around, here's second demo from Boston's WASTE MANAGEMENT. Folks from BOSTON STRANGLER, MIND ERASER and a slew of others were involved in this nonsense, and that should be reason enough to dive in. USHC, thick and beefy - the intro to "Too Much Unity" is an absolute steamroller that deserves repeat listens at maximum volume. 

26 November 2015

25 November 2015


The irony here is that this rudimentary bare bones du-pah-du-pah-du-pah early '00s punk from Ecuador is really not that far from the sound that today's kids are trying to pull off. But you can't fake this kind of urgency, you can't manufacture this kind of determination, and N.A.P.A. are hitting these tracks a force that can't be copied. "No Puede Ser" is the perfect example, the awkward 1-2-1-2 giving way to an off the rails attack at the 0:48 mark that clearly pushes the limits of the band's abilities. Vocals struggling under the white hiss guitar distortion that's competing with that washed out hi hat cymbals, just to give way to moments like the drum/vocal break in "Mierda En La Cabeza" - five seconds of sheer raw punk bliss that is easily worth the entire download. As always, you're welcome.

Related sounds, though limited, can be found here.

24 November 2015


This thing being this good doesn't make any sense. "Chemical Drink" is the standout on a tape that sounds like a SPITS/DEVO mashup..."Sewer Rat" is a hyper active, erratic no wave number with a brooding chorus moaning "my life is over now"  just to remind you that they are sensitive. I like when I can't tell if a success is accidental or intentional, and that's definitely the case with KNOW SO, whose demo took the exit for Awesometown about three clicks from Suck City, USA. "No Patience" is pure brilliance - it's not the way I work, oh no, I got a lot of fukkn shit I wanna do - and it makes me think that they actually meant to do this. If they did, then these monkeys are fukkn geniuses.

Try internetting "KNOW SO" and you get some random shit for sure, but you can probably find more magic from these monkeys here...

23 November 2015


Once again, these San Jose freaks deliver the goods. Noxious and creepy punk - hateful rhythms and a menacing presentation all creeping around the room to the 1-2-1-2 that you know you love. This is the underground, and sometimes MUTANT CROSS is mysterious because it's actually weird as shit. So get amongst this before it fades away.

22 November 2015


Murky and ominous deathpunk from Mexico. Forceful tracks from kids who know exactly what they are trying to achieve. "Christy" is the banger, a lurching and uncomfortable number with a tempo that surges, desperate vocals and guitar leads that put you on edge waiting for something to go wrong...nothing goes wrong. Everything goes right. This is their second demo from 2014, plus an EP released earlier this year and a third demo that just dropped a few weeks ago, so you've likely got some catching up to do, and i f you're feeling it, then ZOTZ are going to hit the spot. 

21 November 2015


If you are anywhere near my age and had parents who gave a shit about music in a casual normal person way while you were growing up, then chances are good that there was a copy of this 1975 release in your house. Described as a "crossover" composition (just not the kind of crossover frequently covered in these annals), jazz pianist/composer Claude Bolling wrote this piece for a jazz trio and flute because...well, because no one had done that before. His approach to jazz is relatively standard - no freakouts here, no incomprehensible time signatures, the kind of jazz your vanilla ass parents could totally get down with. He kinda shreds the piano in "Sentimentale" though, and he was pals with Oscar Peterson, so respect. Jean Pierre Rampal, for his part, was a square ass French flautist (that's a person who plays the flute, you imbecile) who played a solid fukkn gold flute (true story). Bolling wrote the shit, Rampal joined his trio, and BOOM they sold millions of records to people like my parents. I picture this record in the living rooms of adults who owned 20 LPs, and this was the beginning and end of their "cultured" genre, proving that they didn't just listen to Bob Seger or (in my parents' case) THE CARPENTERS. That said, it's actually a pretty pleasant listen, even today. It doesn't slay or anything like that...but it's pretty easy on the ears, and I guess it kinda sounds like spring....whatever that means. Also, I not only still have my folks' vinyl copy, but this cassette that I have kept hauling around with me for twenty plus years for some unknown reason...so I guess that makes me a square grown up now.

20 November 2015


It's the guitar that wins me over. Not that everything NEW ARMOUR brings to the table isn't compelling....but those guitars are ultra damaged and tortured, even during "Vereor Nox" when they are doing beautiful things. Vanessa from LA LUNA suggested this one, and I appreciate the recommendation - pained and strained emotional sounds from Toronto. And the guitar....fukk, such a winner. So clean and so painful. Love it.

19 November 2015


One of the many killer Bay Area outfits that existed while I lived in the Midwest, unfortunately this demo is the entirety of their output....but fortunately Greg floated me his copy because somehow having fewer things means you have to get rid of some of the good things. Quintessential East Bay punk, which is to say that ABANDON sounds like fukkn ABANDON - perhaps a sum of parts (parts that include but that are by no means limited to: FILTH, FIELDS OF SHIT, HUE & CRY, DYSTOPIA), or perhaps the product of simply writing songs without rules. Jake and Clara's vocals feed off each other perfectly, and Mauz and Jerry are so in the pocket at all times that it just makes sense when they start sneaking free jams into the tracks (I'm talking "Edgar Bastard" and "Sometimes The World Is Clean" specifically). These tracks (minus the PENI cover) found their way onto the Letters From The Landfill comp with THIS IS MY FIST, SHOTWELL and PEELS (aka OVENS) which you can probably track down easier than this tape...though the demo has cooler art.

18 November 2015


Total under the radar Japanese ripper from 2002, this demo was put to wax by 625 a couple of years later and is probably waiting for you in your local bargain bin (because Western record shoppers are clueless, apparently). Metal tinged fast hardcore delivered with precision and unmatched ferocity, much of the tape can be compartmentalized as fastcore, but "Not Parts" stands out not only as a departure from the style but as arguably the best song on the tape....though the blazing simplicity of "Back To Basic" that kicks in next is pretty hard to fuck with (most bands go from blast beats into breakdowns, or blast beats into hardcore riffs...WE MUST BURN goes from a blast beat into a faster blast beat). Total quality.

I have two copies of this tape...the one with no cover has a seventh song which I have included for your pleasure. It's a really good song, and I like to share.

17 November 2015


From "Something's Changing," the opening minimal techno track that constantly flirts with thoughts of abandoning the beat altogether and settling into a deep and extended chill, SØREN steps into "Lesser Vehicle" and takes chilling to new and dark heights. It's like techno chopped and screwed, downbeat and erratic, but m-e-l-l-o-w and hypnotic. And then the final track slaps you to attention - manic stream of consciousness electronic dance music that somehow manages to crank the BPMs to inhuman levels while maintaining complete and deliberate calm...three distinct approaches and all more than a little bit successful. SØREN is one of the brainchildren behind ROSENKOPF, so that success should come as no surprise, and this cassette was released by Ascetic House, further removing any expectations for unsuccessfulness. 

16 November 2015


Fist in the air Japanese shits from 2000. More hooks than you might expect from the crasher crust cover, but never at the expense of blown out fury. "Reject" could almost pass for a banging USHC number with different vocals, the breakdown drumbeat is perfect and it makes me wonder how many '80s 'crew bands could have benefitted from mass guitar distortion, and the title track is a meeting of the worlds with melodic prot-neocrust guitar leads (this is 15 years ago, remember) mingling with galloping drums and anguished vocals...all rooted in guns blazing Japanese hardcore. Also worth noting: the cover proudly states "SINCE 1999" - this demo was released in 2000.

15 November 2015


Just look at that motherfucker in his straight edge letterman jacket and his CHAIN OF STRENGTH hoodie and his index finger stretched out and ready to indicate when you need to sing along....yeah, look and that motherfucker and know that his band is called TIED DOWN and they sound exactly like you think they might, except they are better. This is the 2012 six banger repacked two years later (that's last year, if you're keeping track) with two bangers from a different studio session. Initial demo tracks are heavier, but "Step Back" is the bangingest track on the tape (dude, the drum fills that open that track make drip a little in my pants and the breakdown will drop you to your knees - and the fukkn thing isn't even 60 seconds long). Brutally poignant edge/core from Buffalo, these kids do more in seven minutes than most bands do with their entire discographies. Get ready to be a little tougher than you were before you listened to this....and also to mosh. Yeah, get ready to mosh. Hard.

you think you're the only one
the only one with problems
take a fucking step back, man
look at this world we live in

14 November 2015


It would be hard to imagine a demo more quintessentially '80s than this seven track promo from BABY CHERIE. The would-be-radio-hit is clearly the opening track "Oh, My Little Rocker" an infectious dance floor stomper streamlined, polished (complete with a QUEEN-esque operatic vocal break) and ready for a shopping mall montage scene in some terribly dated teen movie. Ballads abound (I question the inclusion of four slow dance numbers on a demo this short, and running "I'll Let You Go" right into "Walking On A Thin Line" right out of the gate is a boner killer), but "Summer Night" is fresh (dig the synth/bass leads around 1:40) and while "Trust Is A Fool's Game" drags a bit, its thin production and anthemic driving tempo are amateurishly endearing...and the guitar solo is quite legit. There must have been countless thousands of BABY CHERIEs in the mid '80s and clearly most never achieved any kind of success, but hats off to Cherie Bronow for laying it all out, and I'm glad you left us this gem to document your efforts.

(come on back) - 'cause I miss your touch
(come on back) - want to show you how much
(come on back) - I've been saving it up and I CAN'T HOLD ON

13 November 2015


My introduction to STREBERS was on my first Euro tour, when Rülle told me they were his favorite band and was more than excited to show me how great they were. Their approach is as infectious as relentless, starting with the impossibly catchy chorus to "Sanningen" inserted into the track's all out hardcore burn. Comparisons to contemporaries are not out of line, but the '80s Swedes had an uncanny ability to make that fist in the air hardcore that was still catchier than any of the pre-landfill pop drivel that denizens of the rest of the planet were regurgitating at the time. The 1991 collection Kaos & Skrål is a pretty perfect place to start, with EP tracks and some solid bangers from STREBERS' first 12" platter from 1986...and someone was kind enough to slap the thing onto cassette so I could share it with you.

And speaking of kind, that same someone filled the B-side of that STREBERS tape with a starter kit titled Mixed Punk, HC & Crust. Essential rippers from ANTI-CIMEX, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, YOUTH OF TODAY, NO SECURITY, and because so few homemade compilations are truly perfect there are a few tracks from the debatably interesting but often unlistenable then-future commercial juggernaut TEDDYBEARS from when they were just a kinda weird rock band (be careful, the internet suckhole related to this band can be detrimental to any kind of constructive activity and may adversely affect your opinions of humankind in general and pop culture specifically). But on a positive note, it had been a while since I had blasted ENT and that band still crushes so hard. The B-side of this tape is an excellent primer for the uninitiated and a ripping refresher for those already in the know. Quality.

12 November 2015


Face shredding early '00s hardcore, these six tracks fly by before you know what hit you. STAN HANSEN make sure to include plenty of hooks to keep you reeled in and tracks like "Affluenza" fall in line with more "traditional" Japanese Hardcore, though the bulk here is just chaotic, frantic hardcore of the highest order. Track of the day: "Faith In A Life."

11 November 2015


Twenty two minutes of bliss presented as Neglect. Those not familiar with EMACIATOR are welcome to start here....and know that from this point, all directions lead to places more pleasant than your own.

10 November 2015


Totally off the rails crust/PV from somewhere between Poughkeepsie and Troy, New York. Maybe living on the Hudson River makes people play really disgusting music? Half the time these kids barely manage to hold it together, which is kinda the charm...and I feel obliged to tell you that the vocals are either going to win you over or keep you away forever. FORCE FED DRUGS sound real and not at all contrived, and sometimes that plus a sick bass tone is all I need.

09 November 2015


I rediscovered this one when I was unpacking after ur recent move and I popped it in instantly...still bangs. Uncompromising black thrash from some of the same players (that helped bring you RHINOCERVS and the Silenzio Statico collective. Appropriately, THEY FEAR THE RECLAIM drop raw black metal tinged hardcore on you like a ton of bricks on their early '00s demo...guitars are so fukkd sounding and the vocals seem so painful but the power here is hardcore to my ears, even on that drumbeat that wraps up "Dismantling The Blame." This is the sound of pure and desperate power and struggle - how they crammed it into a little plastic shell is a mystery.

08 November 2015


Sometimes the simplest things hit you at just the right time, and that's exactly the case with this 199(?) demo. Four on the floor three chord pogo punk...it doesn't get much simpler but, when it clicks it just clicks, you know? The songs meander into straight up pop punk territory at times, but in that energetic and unassuming '90s manner (that explanation was for the 40-and-over crowd, perhaps) and with buzzsaw guitars politely pounding out the hooks while the drums try to figure out the absolute simplest way on earth to keep a beat (seriously, the double snare hit at the 1:26 mark of "Sair Por Aî" is the only non du-pa-du-pa part of the whole song)....because they are doing everything they need to do. Never mind "Mundo Kaos" and its attempt to be heavy and raging (though the "ANARQUIA!!" chorus is pretty sick), this band's calling was to crank out simple catchy punk tunes, and they did an excellent job.

07 November 2015


Absolutely moronic lo-fi nerd punk that is so bizarrely brilliant. And I mean "brilliant" along the lines of SOCKEYE, 50 MILLION and FAT DAY, which is to say that appear fully capable of crafting and disseminating legitimately brilliant tracks but insist on masking them so that only the truly righteous will be able to figure it out. It's entirely possible that they are really just an ultra lo-fi garage punk band with a witty sense of humor and incredibly good luck, but either way I'm onto you, WET POOPY NURSES, I'm hip to your game. Choice tracks include: "Fire Safety (And I Thought Safe Sex Was A Scam," "George H.W. Bush Is Dead," and "Beer Made Me A Heterosexual Man." Strap in, kids....the next eight minutes of your life will be a challenge that you may not be prepared for.

06 November 2015


That bass kicks in and you know you are in for a serious creepy crawl stomp...and it's everything you want it to be. But then Singapore's MILD SHAG get better. I like the knuckledragging Oi! influenced hardcore that the white-clad kids are squirming over these days, but apparently I like it better when it is delivered like this. Dual guitar tracks are executed perfectly with heaps of filthy single string picking that gives the whole demo a weird tweak - the whole thing is just fukkn flawless. At this moment, this is what I want from hardcore. Maybe tomorrow I will want something slightly different, but right now this is doing the trick.