When young punks draw liberally from the sounds of decades past, foregoing anything resembling originality in favor of trying to recreate an artifact, when young punks spend their time doing the new millennium equivalent of the kids in my high school jamming "Stairway To Heaven" ripoffs, when it seems like maybe there really is, in fact, nothing new....then I want it to fukkn sound like CONTINGENT. When the tracks are this good I don't give even half a shit if it's a rehash, and these young punks sound like they got plopped straight out of 1982. Three pogo friendly burners with perfectly gruff vocals, just enough flange on the bass, and "In The Wild" is the most gloriously ignorant track I've heard in ages. Well done, young punks, I take back everything I said about you.
30 January 2016
I genuinely love the fact that there are so many of these to unearth. Countless bands that have flown under the radar for ages, forgotten by advancing time and changing winds, perhaps never known by anyone outside of their geographic area, perhaps never known to anyone at all. Maybe MAFFICKS don't fall into any of these categories, maybe I just missed them, but popping this late '80s cassette into the deck last week was my first introduction. A mix of D-Punk and era-appropriate DC with more than compelling guitar work and earnest vocals, these are five tracks that will likely not change anyone's world, and that's OK....because it's all a part of the hunt.
29 January 2016
A grab from their 2014 West Coast tour, this is IN SCHOOL's demo and debut EP combined in one handy plastic shell...perfect for the boombox in your bathroom or your '82 Datsun. A few years ago I referred to the demo a "thinking punks hardcore," and I feel like the EP takes that even further. On the one hand, this is four really smart women who are killing it in a way that supersedes most any hardcore descriptor. But on the other hand, IN SCHOOL are four punks simply killing it. "Gaining Force" from the demo is still the banger, but the guitar in "Fear" is next level and when Golnar lurches out of the breakdown at the 1:04 mark or "Conquest," you're moshing hard.
Full Disclosure: My cassette sounds pretty bad since it was probably hastily dubbed in someone's bedroom the night before tour. But since I am a purist, the download above is from my tape...exactly as it sounds. Which is pretty bad. I suggest downloading these tracks directly from IN SCHOOL and drop them a line while you're at it. Tell them I sent you and they'll send you a free button in the mail. Seriously.
28 January 2016
There's something to be said for studio projects. When it comes down to it, you're pretty much doing it for yourselves, for the pure enjoyment, and if no one likes it or cares or ever even hears it? Well then maybe that's fine too. It relieves virtually all of the pressure, removes pesky irritants like outside influence, and opens up the songbook so you can essentially do whatever you want. ZINK TABLETZ was a two-day studio project from upstate New York, and it sounds like they had no qualms about baring their garage rock 'n roll souls while playing killer basement punk. Keyboards on "Bloodbath At The Disco Prom" give off a vague SPITS vibe, while the whole thing has an ear to the past that is equally in tune to STOOGES as to the kind of early punk that you hear on those Songs By Bands That Broke Up Before You Knew About Punk compilations. "Idiot Box" is a screamingly simplistic banger, and everything else is rough, feisty and very nice.
27 January 2016
I am not really sure how I missed this until recently, but I am here to help my fellow unenlightened. THE HAUNTING PRESENCE play absolutely sinister death/black metal, and they do so with a ferocity rarely (if ever) witnessed. Two songs here....and you are encouraged to devour more.
26 January 2016
Casually foreboding, GRANIT MASK spend a full quarter of 2012's Missing Footage in introductory preparation before a meandering onslaught of minimal synth and primitive analog electronics. I picture this as a replacement of missing raw demos from early electronic/industrial acts or first wave PIAS artists...and I hold this outfit up as further evidence that the difference between good and mediocre has less to do with making something new, and more to do with making something right.
25 January 2016
I dunno what it was specifically, but this one kicked my ass right out of the gate. Riffs straight out of '80s DC with a methed out freak show presentation, these Norwegian monkeys tweak things just fukkn right. For starters, their nine song tape is titled 6 Trækk Attækk...but maybe they just had a fukkd up eight track recorder they borrowed from a friend...I don't need to know.
24 January 2016
Anyone who has ever met me knows that I'm going to jump at a band called HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS without hesitation. I confess that the intro almost made me regret that decision, but thankfully that disintegrated into "Must Go Faster" and then it was off to the races. Heavy on the tongue in cheek everything (especially dinosaurs), they thrash relentlessly and almost certainly drink with equal fervor. Get ready.
23 January 2016
I shared the 2011 demo a while back, but I think that France's PEUR PANIQUE got better after I did. The 61 seconds of "Gachis Permanent" sets the stage (and kinda validates the existence of fast hardcore), and the remaining baker's dozen tracks just keep on settling the score. Ferocious, blistering fastcore/PV with slow riffs that will bring you to your knees (or incite you to mosh the shit out of your bedroom). That 2011 demo takes up eight tracks, and the remaining six bangers (and they are basically all bangers) seem to come from two separate sessions...shit man, I don't care when they recorded them, I'm just happy that they did. It's worth noting that "A Quois Tu Penses?" has a sick Tragicore vibe absent from the rest of the tape...but mostly I just want More French Fastcore!
22 January 2016
If you don't know, then you should. CARBURETOR DUNG are the elder statesmen of Malaysian DIY punk....active for well over 20 years, and singer Joe Kidd is responsible for Ricecooker Shop in Kuala Lumpur. Two tapes in today's link, both reissued relatively recently (that's a lot of Rs). 1993's Songs For Friends is more rudimentary and more melodic, catchy tunes that fellow remnants of the '90s will find instantly familiar. The sound had been fine tuned by the time The Allure Of Manure was released in 1999, and the attack was faster and more precise. Political hardcore punk mingling with elements of CRIMPSHRINE and FUN PEOPLE with Ben Weasel caliber catchy lead vox (yeah, I know that guy is a piece, but most of us have rocked Boogadaboogadaboogada at some point and there's no reason to be ashamed of it) and the chorus backing vocals are bang on. There's no shame in getting addicted, young punks...these are the sounds your ancestors thrived on.
Terminal Escape also recommends the decidedly more rough and raw Inginku Rejam Raksasa Kejam! 10" from 2011, and Genjing Records just released a split EP with underground Chinese punk legends SMZB. So I guess you have some homework to do...
21 January 2016
Montreal's NIGHTWITCHES spend more than a quarter hour massaging two tracks into a peaceful submission. Numbing, if only in their sheer monotony, these sounds are as crushing as they are beautiful, with ominous vocals soaring over only occasionally. I mean, really it's just two people bludgeoning you with tonnage, but they sound so fukkn perfect when they do it. Fans of IDES OF GEMINI, KARP, RAGANA and the like will want to take note here...it sneaks up on you pretty quickly, but this shit is deadly.
20 January 2016
This is what I think of when people mention Revolution Summer - heartfelt and pretension free USDIY punk music. This shit was born in basements and is likely doomed to stay there, but perhaps that best suited for all of us. Listen to ARABY when they sing "life is so fragile" and you'll know it's true...and make no secret about my quiet longing for this brand of bare and shameless punk.
19 January 2016
18 January 2016
Fierce and militant rhythms drive this industrial outfit's title track, pulsations that will leave you dizzy and disoriented (if you listen loud enough - which you obviously should). Then "Play Of Flight" serves as a six minute refuge, as innocent as it is ominous. But the final 13 minutes of "Not For Glory" is the swan song for Slavestate, a grueling 7 minutes of ambiance give way to encroaching vocals manipulations and sparse sonic eruptions. BIRTHRIGHT is nothing if not patient....and I certainly hope this is not the last we hear from them. I am patient.
17 January 2016
All the bands who want to draw from '90s grunge and college rock need to listen to this. And all the bands who want to play dreary and boring goth punk but can't seem to remember how to make bleak music sound punk need to listen to this. And the people who just generally want an example of how to positively use effects pedals for guitars are welcome to give this a spin as well. Reno, you're doing a good job right now.
16 January 2016
I remember when this little burner from Sweden dropped in sometime in the mid '00s, and I remembering wondering if it was going to cue a wave of hardcore kids turning more towards rock 'n roll. And while it did (I mean...it happened, not saying this release was the cause, just an indication that it was coming), THE BLINDS are fukkn punk...there's just a careful ear towards snarky rock hooks and there's a KBD meets power pop on crack vibe that you can't help but dig. Those clean guitars getting battered to shits while the vocals have a perfect hipster rock swagger that predated the revival of that descriptor by at least half a decade. Everyone thought Brandon was gonna do a ripping hardcore label...and then somehow this banger way No Way Records 02. Go figure. I guess it's just good, fast, high quality, hi energy rock 'n roll music, and you can qualify or classify it however you want...or you can just get ripped and rage. I vote the latter.
15 January 2016
14 January 2016
Two NY/NJ raw hardcore Spanish language powerhouses. Both bands are blown to smithereens and ruthless. Get ready to put your Noize Not Music tattoo to the test. Tu-pa-Tu-pa-Tu-pa? Meet pure distortion...I think you two are going to get along great.
13 January 2016
I was drinking beer in a Los Angeles record store a few weeks ago, perusing the cassettes and chatting up the store clerk about what's hip with the cool kids these days because I like to stay on top of the latest trends. I snagged a few tapes that will inevitably make their way onto TE for your ears in the coming weeks (current faves: S. MOODY and ALEXADRA ATNIF) while we discussed metal, punk, noise and the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack that he tried to give me for free (I passed - does anyone actually need circa 1989 ROLLINS and BAD BRAINS brutalizing "Kick Out The Jams" in their life? No. No one does. Ever.). At some point we started talking about NSBM creeping into good wholesome underground metal and he told me a story about a one man (boy) band from LA, they're called Satanic something or other, and the tape was pretty good (kinda funny) and he said how off-putting it was when the kid's dad came into the store and expressed pride that his 15 year old son was in a NSBM band. OK dude, that's just weird. So anyhoo, dude casually plopped the case for this TRIUMPHANT tape on the counter after I was ready to pay my money and take my tapes and leave $100 poorer (and happier), and I was all like, "yo buddy, what is THIS?!" And he was all like "damn that shit is grea.....wait a minute, I think they might be bad people." DAMMIT! Why does the meaningless racist ideology of some sweatpants wearing hillbilly who happens to be able to shred the shit out of a guitar have to keep fukking up my distant and unattached appreciation of knuckle dragging heavy metal music?!? BUT WAIT: after some internetting, Record Store Clerk Dude determined that TRIUMPHANT were NOT in fact bad people and so we plopped that shit right into the deck, both realizing that we were two (plus) hours late to meet our respective women, but nonetheless reveling in the random connection based on little more than a mutual love for getting weird and getting down. And he pressed play and those jams banged HARD so we kept listening, both pleased that bedroom nazis hadn't soiled all of the good metal. Blackened thrash soaked into our earholes, a band that seamlessly and effortlessly moved from melodic black metal to ripping speed metal to inverted claw in the air pure power heavy motherfuckkn metal with ease and grace. And they sounded evil as shit and I loved it. So I bought it, along with a bunch of noise/synth tapes and some punk shits...and I left the store two and a half hours after they "closed." What's the point? well, there are two of them:
1) This TRIUMPHANT tape is a certified banger.
2) I like telling stories.
3) Good record stores are a thing to be cherished.
4) I can't count.
These dudes like to party.
12 January 2016
This driving garage hardcore sound like it comes from another time as much as from another continent. Brasil's VITIMA slap clean, aggressive guitars on top of a sturdy low end and driving drums that nail the requisite early hardcore double snare tap. Two vocalists that are similar enough to avoid distractions but maintain distinctions, and they trade off with effortless precision. "Vida Vazia" is absolutely the track here (the guitar break at the 0:38 mark seals the deal on the whole damn demo), but I there's not a moment on this tape that I would ask them to change in any way. Members of FUTURO, RAKTA and loads more, in case that's the thing that gets you excited...today VITIMA is the thing that gets me excited. Because I like punk.
Another outstanding presentation from the stellar OutPrint imprint. If you like art AND punk, then this collective needs to be on your list imediatamente...
11 January 2016
I think I can honestly say that the only thing I don't like about this tape is that it is apparently a "joke." A cruel joke, a deceitful joke...a joke that has relegated my favorite demo of 2016 that is actually from 2015 to the status of a piss take. This is legitimately brilliant fukk punk, and I want to believe that there will be more....and in the meantime I will just hope that I can have more. And If I can't have more then I will just listen to "Punk House" on repeat until I'm fifty. That's not really too far away, but still, you get the idea. The thing, as I understand the shit from Greg, is that there was a real comp called Destroy Poserton that was made up completely of fake bands. Then a faker band called BAZZ was invented just to be excluded from the comp...thusly scorned, they ran to the basement to record this Destroy Destroy Poserton cassette. Get it? Whatever. But the thing is that I don't care about the story. The thing is that I want to listen to "Boner Punks" all of the time. SO I WILL. Joke's on you, jokers.
These blasts from the handwritten(scrawled) lyrics are included to make sure you realize how important this cassette is to your life...
"Piss on your toothbrush, shit in your bed."
10 January 2016
Like most of the internet, I heard yesterday that SEE YOU IN HELL guitarist Filip Fuchs died. I was stunned, numb...a friend lost a battle to cancer that I didn't even know he was fighting. The last time we exchanged messages SEE YOU IN HELL were preparing for a SE Asian tour, something he and I had talked about several times...and a tour the band had to cancel. Better words will be written by closer friends, but Filip was a huge force, and one of the most uncompromisingly punk people I have ever met. Eternally enthusiastic, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Eastern European punk and hardcore (check Kytary A Rev, his book about '80s Czechoslovakian punk, well worth your time even if you are limited to the English notes), he was as constructively critical as we was enthusiastic and inquisitive. My heart aches for his family, his bandmates and his friends, because as hard as this is for me to digest half a world away, I know that there is a massive void in Brno today. Rest in Power, Filip....and with any luck, we will all See You In Hell.
3) Filip's band MRTVÁ BUDOUCNOST live in 2000 here.
4) Tell your friends you love them. Reach out to the people you respect...they might just become your friends....