From the '90s, when "melodic punk" didn't make you feel dirty inside. Good tracks - fast, catchy, addictive...what's not to like?
30 March 2016
The cassette detritus from my visit to Everything Is Not OK2 a couple of weeks back will likely be clogging your RSS feeds for months to come. Punk, contrary to the way too many people treat it, isn't a contest, and the whole weekend was top notch - but of course there were a few sets that really knocked me on my ass. Watching this Minneapolis outfit casually shred the sidewalk in from of a clothing boutique at three in the afternoon...well, that was one of those sets. Fast and furious and wholly unpretentious shit that swings the way few bands can these days, and when the singer took the time to talk to the gathered throngs - the difference between her delivery and the delivery of someone talking at an audience was palpable - you remembered why this punk stuff is so good, so powerful, and so important to so many people. I lost my shit.
29 March 2016
28 March 2016
Truly filthy and chaotic sound from Russia to start your week. FAST FUCKERS hail from Краснодар (Krasnodar), near the Black Sea on a little Russian horn surrounded by Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey and Kazakhstan (translation: really far from my house), and they crank out brutally fast and fukkd sounding hardcore with (accidental?) discordant metal tinges when they blast. AF and GAG covers have appears on previous releases...these kids know what's up and they are doing it right. Their buddies from ШАРМ СС (CHARM SS) come from Yakutsk, and in case you ever feel isolated, that charming little hamlet lies just FOUR DAYS' DRIVE to the east and north of Moscow...alternately, it's just a little further from Yakutsk to the North Fucking Pole than to head straight south to Beijing. Even in The Internet Age, I think that the most remote punk scene on earth has created, not surprisingly, some of the most demented sounds on earth. These five tracks are chaotic, disturbing, frustrating/frustrated, and so so good. This is the torment that North American bands so often try to manufacture. Seven digital and physical releases before this split and the death of their bassist in 2015...eternal hails for keeping things fucked up.
Lost Cause Records: here
ШАРМ СС: here
FAST FUCKERS: here
27 March 2016
I've been sitting on this pile of crap for a while now (a couple of years, actually), so I figured I would dump it all on you at once so that true shitcore fans can spend the rest of the day cleaning their panties, and adult visitors can move along, free to return tomorrow for some grown up music without fear of being assaulted by tracks like FRANK GOSHIT's "Fuck The Keyboard."
Two now defunct labels, clearly run by the same (or similar) casts of characters, EXISTENTIAL DREAD and NEVERMIND tapes. Both cranked out a handful of appropriately limited (I'm talking 10-20 copies each) releases in the early '10s, releases lacking in anything approaching artistic merit. Garbage. Shit. Unlistenable nonsense. Included in today's post are the entire EXISTENTIAL DREAD catalog and five of the seven NEVERMIND TAPES releases...NVM-05 is a killer cassingle from DJ DICKWALLS, shared here back in 2012, but NVM-01 D//CEREGHINI's I Went Back To College has somehow escaped my clutches. NVM catalog numbers 08 & 09 are CDrs, so even though I want you to hear RAGING DICKBRAIN as much as you want to hear RAGING DICKBRAIN, that will have to be left to another site...but this will hold you over until then.
The contents....? Total noise. A few of the "artists" flirt with sounds that are actually engaging (CHIEF THUNDERCLOUD, PANTIES) while others are just nonsense (the 114 second two track I Don't Need You cassingle from TURKEY TITS comes to mind). You want one-man-vocal-only noisecore? FRANK GOSHIT has got you covered. Or maybe you want to listen to BOBBY and JAMES go to war on the Elephant Man Behind The Sun: (ultra) Fecal Frenzy Noise Core Battle split? You have options here, you freak.
I'm not saying you need this....but you need this. If only as a sociological study. Pure mutant sounds, nothing more. I have no idea why someone would bother making them, much less reproducing them (even in laughably small quantities). But as you're shaking your head and acknowledging your superiority....listen to BLEEDING IN THE MOONLIGHT's version of "Lean On Me" and ask yourself if it's not damn near the most brilliant thing you've ever heard. OK...maybe "brilliant" is a bit of a stretch.
26 March 2016
My pal Ross told me that before he saw Atlanta's NURSE for the first time, his pal told HIM, "This is your new favorite band." That was all the warning I needed...and his pal was right, this band is deadly. Precise, lightning fast hardcore with piercing guitars that remind be of DIE KREUZEN, ferocious vocals that fall somewhere between '80s Midwest and '80s Japan...and riffs? These riffs are good. Like "Jesus rising from the dead in a bunny suit with his dick in one hand and spraying easter eggs all over Mussolini's grave" good. This tape they were selling in Oklahoma City two weeks ago has five demo tracks from 2014 and an as-yet-unreleased EP...like my pal's pal said: "This is your new favorite band."
25 March 2016
1999 compilation of four Russian bands with varying degrees of association with the then-new straight edge scene. Extensive liner notes (in English and Russian, all included of course) address which members are (and were) edge, and give a little background on the bands and their scenes...all of which compliments what is already a pretty strong collection of tracks. The opening eight bangers from ОТКАЭ ОТ НАСИЛЯ are probably my favorite on the comp - unhinged hardcore punk with overbearing gruff vocals and a perfectly tinny fuzzed out guitar...the tape is easily worth holding onto for these tracks alone. ПОСАДИЛ ДЕРЕВО play more straight up metallic hardcore, chug riffs, guitar wanks, all presented in moderate fidelity (can I start calling things mod-fi?) and passion. Another eight from CITA ATTIEKSME, the most basic punk outfit of the bunch, flirting with earnest DC hardcore. The tape closes with an ominous offering from SKYGRAIN - fast, heavy, inadvertently distorted hardcore made more bombastic than it actually is simply by the presentation. A compilation that's good for the tunes, but surely made better by the context.
24 March 2016
Pure Finnish cream. Previously released tracks from two of Finland's most killerest fastcore rippers, combined for your ease and convenience. Both bands are lightning fast, and both manage to cram hooks and grooves into their distinctly Finnish takes on a style of breakneck that you might have thought went the way of the wall of noise guitar or delay-laden vocals...none of that here, young punks, just burner after burner after burner until it's over and you do it all again. Top tracks: "Tyhjaí Staí Vituts" from PAHAA VERTA (that double snare crack in the intro? soooo good) and "Jaíaí Kiekkoilija Jumalan Armosta" from YDINPERHE (probably the most "Finnish" sounding blast on their side, and when they go fast on this one? watch the fukk out). Well worth tracking down the wax too...but that's for someone else's blog.
23 March 2016
It took a few listens for Denmark's DEIQUISITOR to hook me, but reeling me in was easy once they did. Manic, chaotic and brutally fast grind/death metal shits...not for the faint. None of the slow slogs that can bog down death metal, this four track banger is pure bloodfucking evil from start to finish. Recent full length is worth your attention as well, in case four tracks isn't enough....
22 March 2016
In 1996, on what I remember to be the day after the (in)famous Baywatch show in North Carolina, FUCKFACE and HICKEY played a basement in Richmond, VA. Karoline was HICKEY's roadie and my (then extremely new) lady friend, but she was also very well known and well loved in RVA as both a frequent visitor and merchandise boss for AVAIL, so she sorted out the show. We were booked in a tiny basement with ALABAMA THUNDER PUSSY, the new project featuring AVAIL drummer Erik on guitar (and, for one show only, Adrienne from SPITBOY on vocals), but more than excited for the show, I was nervous about meeting my new lady's extended touring family. A steady but discreet stream of people checking me out, wondering if I was suitable...the way that scene looked over her and out for her is something that will always stick with me. One gentleman walked up to the entrance where I was standing next to Karoline and asked if I was Robert. "Yeah," I replied. "You'd better be good to her," he said, then he lifted his shirt to show the pistol in his waistband, dropped $20 in the donation jar, and left. You know, just regular punk stuff.
ALABAMA THUNDER PUSSY (they lost the space between "thunder" and "pussy" at some point) would release several records on Man's Ruin and Relapse and tour relentlessly through the mid '00s. The KYUSS tinged swamp sludge from this demo gradually and organically gave way to hard rock influences (see 2007's "Words Of The Dying Man" video here, and check the LIFES HALT shirt and GWAR cameo).
21 March 2016
With a resounding "OOOOFFFF" this Florida outfit will drop you to your knees. Hollow, thundering hardcore power with riffs upon riffs upon riffs and a ferocious pace that doesn't let you catch your breath until 13 minutes into the demo (that's when the sound is finished, natch). Sometimes they switch to weird disjointed parts that are hard to rage to, but they start blasting before confusion really sets in...and then they slow down to a painful, fist clenching slog...and I'm only talking about the 90 seconds of "Close Circle" here, the other songs are just as nuts. Raise your glass and show respect, this is the shit.
20 March 2016
One of the fiercest sets from Everything Is Not OK last weekend was from Austin's BODY PRESSURE. Short, no bullshit blasts of ugly hardcore that assail sexism, patriarchy, sexual predators, and racism with a shameless and personal determination. You can act as mean as you want on stage, but a simple explanation to a track like "Man Meat" packs way more intensity than the collective efforts of a bunch of little boys trying to shock a crowd. Presentation is important, but substance wins every time...and this tape is pure power.
19 March 2016
A hypnotic collection of minimal dub and synth/electronics recorded and mixed live during two sessions last year. Simple enough to fade into the background if you let it, but these sounds are like quicksand if you are paying attention. The five minute molasses dirge (simply labeled here as "03") was the turning point for this listener...
18 March 2016
Collection of eight hard hitting hardcore bands from 1990s Argentina. Personal faves are DIVERSÍON SUBURBANA, XAUTOCONTROLX, OPCION CRUCIAL, and PODER NEUTRAL, probably because these seem to fit more into traditional DIY hardcore confines. TOTUS TOSS sound like a metalcore PANTERA but way unhinged, CONFORT SUPREMO are full on 90s HC chug and harmonics, PENSAR O MORIR almost come off like commercial alternative music before they launch into knuckle dragging metalcore, and they need to lay off the slap bass (sadly, they are not the only offender on this tape, just the most egregious one), FUERZA INTERNA sound like later INFECTIOUS GROOVES-era SUICIDAL but with hardcore vocals - and a warning that several of the tracks on this comp venture into proto-nü metal territory. But it's a time and a place thing...so you take the good with the bad. And if you like deep hardcore cuts that make you want to put your head through a wall, then you're welcome.
17 March 2016
Quintessential early '00s SXE hardcore. Melodic guitar leads, earnest lyrics, circle pit parts and dogpile parts...shit is all here, kids. FIGHTINGxCHANCE was a short lived project made up of Detroit and Toronto punks...captures the era perfectly. Members went on to play in NO WARNING and, if the internet is to be believed, this.
I've never fucking done it, never fuckin will
drink a fucking substance, I know can fuckin kill
social status, do it because it's cool
do it to be accepted, you're plain [sic] the fucking fool
you say he made you do it, you try to shift the blame
but who drank the liquid? you're all the fucking same
too weak to take control, too weak to quit the game
drinking's not a "disease," it's just fuckin lame!
16 March 2016
This one struck me immediately - a crew of Polish punks living in Dublin and bringing Eastern European punk sounds along with them. Take the jangling guitars of NEON PISS and the stiff approach of INNOXIA CORPORA and the like, and present both with an energy that somehow seems reserved for bands from the Eastern Bloc. Gruff, desperate vocals and impossibly excellent songs, this is a tape that needs to be shared repeatedly, and hopefully there's more to come...
15 March 2016
Sometimes you're at work and a dude from another Union hands you a couple of tapes and says "I think you might like these." And sometimes that dude is correct. Distorted and bombastic HC from New York and Rhode Island, respectively; remorseless and relentless power from both.
Physical copies from: Serenity Now Tapes
14 March 2016
You probably think you know what this is, but it's better. "Unhealthy" doesn't even begin to describe these trax: pure hyper speed noise pogo mania from Los Angeles. Folks responsible for this brought you CONDITION, ASPEX, THE HELPLESS and many others...and yeah, I know that sets you expectations high.
13 March 2016
The best country artists are the storytellers, and there are few in league with TOM T. HALL. As many other heavyweights, he first achieved notoriety as a songwriter (ever heard "Harper Valley, PTA"?) but soon made a name by picking and singing the tales himself. These are the sounds of my youth, and 1975's I Wrote A Song About It received countless plays around the Collins household in the second, divorce-ridden half of that beleaguered decade, and even though I didn't have a sip of The Devil's Elixir for another 15 years, The Young Wizard knew every word to "I Like Beer" as a five-year-old.
12 March 2016
I picture a crew of teenage boys with ripped pants and army surplus boots. I picture tattered pawn shop combo amps and a singer who froths as much as he screams. I picture quintessential US hardcore punk. I picture five boys, two who will go on to become skinheads (probably already flirting with the fashion), two who will drop completely out of punk before they can legally drink, and one who will go on to play in other influential bands. The story of CONVICT is one that I have fabricated, but one that could apply to countless American hardcore bands....but very few American hardcore bands drop an initial demo this fierce.