30 June 2016


Sometimes when people dive into '80s dark indie tunes, it just sounds like a poor attempt at a recreation of a thing that was really cool. But sometimes modern beings dive in headfirst....and it works. I could have heard KLAM in 1987, and it would have been awesome....just like it is in 2016. Melancholic down tempo ethereal magic, that's what this shit is. Elizabeth Fraser caliber vocals, deconstructed Robert Smith guitars...I know it's lazy to make comparisons like this, but I could easily file KLAM alongside artists of that caliber, and these sounds would have been worthy of mainstream independent recognition in those years (Maybe they are now, too? I dunno, I mostly listen to mindless DBeat, atonal grindcore and country. Seriously). A feeling, a genre, and a moment in time, all perfectly captured on tape....good job. 

This cassette includes The Concrete Vagina and Canciones de Otras Bandas, a covers collection with tracks by RAMONES, WILL OLDHAM, RIDE, VANDALS and BOB DYLAND given the treatment. Well played, my Italian friends....

29 June 2016


My pal John asked me how to describe this brand of punk the other day, and I was at a bit of a loss. Someone wanna tell me what this currently exploding subsubgenre is called...? Because these Texas mutants are doing it right as fukk. A perfect 1-2-1-2 stomp, but it's almost UK Oi! sometimes and I heard REAGAN YOUTH references at least twice....and you can fukkn dance your ass off to it. DYE straight kill this shit, and I included whatever the weird shit was on the flipside of the tape because I like you. 

28 June 2016


On the ninth (of ten) self/un/titled release, the RHINOCERVS label once again leaves you breathless. Haunting and ethereal black metal, this time tempered with atonal ambient/goth and soundtracks to nonexistent films that most would never be able to watch all the way through without crying or screaming. RHINOCERVS is all encompassing, and each release managed to do something different...this one will likely appeal to listeners from well outside of the metal realm, and though I was not struck as immediately as with other tapes (numbers 02, 07 and 12, specifically), with time it has become one of my favorites. Released in 2013, not long before the collective seems to have put this project to bed. Hopefully it's just a nap. 

27 June 2016


OUGGHH!! South Valley Texans fukkn cream through insane Japanese influenced hardcore with screaming leads. I don't know what you thought you needed today, but I can assure you that FÖRFALL is all you will need. Relentless. Excellent. 

My demo has three tracks...so that's all you get from me. There are eight on the internet...and I can assure you that the other five are worth your time and effort. 

26 June 2016


Dirty and sweaty garage punk. Sounds like it was recorded in a garage, sounds deranged. Sounds good. Only seven minutes long, so it's a pretty small investment with a very generous return. Get into it, then get on with your day. You're Welcome. 

25 June 2016


What would you do if I said "mid '90s metallic French emotional hardcore"? What would you do? Time to decide...
...because I just said it.

24 June 2016


I posted this in the early days of The Escape....just a really (no really, a really) good demo from a new band with my pal Greg playing drums. After this demo, NEON PISS would go on to drop the best record of whatever year it came out in. I am fortunate enough to call each member pals, and I have always been genuinely pleased when I see any of them in the flesh. Last time I saw Barker, I was leaving the Fairmont Hotel in SF...walking away from a mundane day at work and seeing that head of fluffy head snoozing in his van waiting to move some rich ass motherfukkr from and/or to one place or another. We talked, and laughed...and I enjoyed his company before I went home. Trying to compartmentalize Barker's passing has been a tough one...great dude, open, gregarious, talented beyond words...just made you glad to know him every time you crossed paths - even if you just knew him casually (as I did). One of my favorite records will now and forever bring me tears...

We pull our hoods up so that all the world won't see the fear that drags our feet right back to the liquor store...
They say there's no there here, but I know IT is in the basement spilling onto the sidewalk - IT is in the children as they scream for your blood...

23 June 2016


Ralph said this shit was good, so I gave him $5 and took the tape home with me. I just wanna say that I don't think Ralph is a liar. I don't know him all that well, but I find him to be a generally upstanding fellow. But this time.....? Come on, Ralph. This shit is not simply "good" - CRUDE HUMOR are from another fukkn planet. Irreverent, snappy and on fukkn point punk that owes as much to BAD BRAINS and ADOLESCENTS as to early NIRVANA ad MUDHONEY. Yeah...I went there. It's not my fault. Blame Ralph.

22 June 2016


"Nihilist Queer Revolt Musik" - Hard to express what a mindfuck the DREAMCRUSHER set in New York was. Noise. Blinding noise in a pitch black room with a piercing strobe pointed directly at the (small) audience. Everything was in slow motion, and I was disoriented before the beats started....and then it started. That shrill daemon that had punctuated our show with insane outbursts and generally bizarre behavior all night....now it had a microphone, and now it had control. First there was the spectacle, and then it was enteractive....and I spell that with an "e" because The Entity I Will Call: DRMCRSHR was in your fukkn shit before you knew what was happening. One minute there was screaming in your face, then the lights went off and before you could see again there were two men rolling on the floor in a passionate embrace. I have, perhaps, never been that fukkd by a live performance. Reality and imagination were interchangeable, and it was as if, in between the rapid fire blinks of those lights, anything was possible. The sounds are relentless hi NRG techno/acid house distorted beyond anything approaching reasonable, and even out of the context of the live experience I highly recommend DRMCRSHR. But.....in the flesh. So much flesh. Listening to this tape as I type, I'm reminded how off balance I was when things returned to normal...the lights came up and sense of surroundings slowly returned - but those of us in that room went somewhere. If you're reading this, DRMCRSHR: you fukkn did it. Don't stop. 

Oh yeah...OF COURSE the motherfukkr is originally from Kansas...

21 June 2016


It's the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and there's a heat wave taking over one third of these United States. Political turmoil abounds, food riots in Venezuela, BRExit looms, refugees in the so-called third world take minds off of throngs of homeless in the world we call our own...and yet the thought of sitting in the shade with a cocktail seems like it might just solve everything. And with the right soundtrack, it just might...at least for a little while. Equal parts VELVET UNDERGROUND, JOY DIVISION and MERCURY REV, if you mind is ready, then Ohio's FIZZED are going to suit you perfectly. 

20 June 2016


Costa Rica's EXACERBACÍON blipped onto my radar a few years ago, and I just took an extended tour of their discography and was reminded how appealing the world of guttural shit-fi grindcore can be. No nuance, just brutality and blasting and fukkn filth. Muerte Imminente is from 2010, but there are at least 15 more releases you should get into after to choke this one down. 

19 June 2016


Perfect for a lazy, hot afternoon that gradually morphs into a sweaty, intoxicated evening surrounded by friends. Unpretentious Dixieland jazz played by a long running crew of Bay Area aficionados who graced Prince Of Wales Pub in San Mateo every Tuesday for more than twenty years. It's fun music...innocent music. It's good music. For those in doubt....check the 6:16 mark of "Milenburg Joys" and if you aren't converted then you just don't know how to swing. And locals, you'll want to party with these maniacs, still active since band leader Joe Bithell's passing in 2005. 

18 June 2016


Two Ohio two pieces join forces on this collosal split. I mean, like, a really really huge sounding release. MOLLUSK is imposing and desperate, slow motion intimidation so massive and so peaked that you'd never miss the bass. STORMBREWER are on a sludgier trip - a little more groove, and little more swing, and a throat baring intensity from the vocals - use FLOOR as a comparison and you'll be in the right neighborhood. My first taste of either band...dreadful stuff.

17 June 2016


Four bursts of Midwest freak punk. You can listen TWELVE times in less than one hour, and I suggest that you do. Because the eighth time "Tracate La Leche" rips through your speakers you will start to feel the change. Inside. And near the end of your hour, on the eleventh "En Celo" listen, everything will become clear. And those last five minutes? The dozenth time these four creamers bang their way into your soul, wild ass keys and mutoid vocals just going nuts? THAT is when you will start to break shit. You will be very efficient. 

16 June 2016


2002 Mexican crust punk...with the emphasis on punk. Samples, long ass intros, bare bones riffs, massive production, and when the drums kick in at the 1:37 mark of "Los Días del Casos" I am fukkn sold. And then less than 30 seconds later comes the guitar solo(s) from outer motherfukkn space....and I'm really sold. And that's just the first track. There are 14 more to go....

15 June 2016


More trance inducing electronic dirges from SIOBHAN. It's like you're hosting your own dance night in a dark, filthy alley half a block away from the techno club and find a way to amplify the distorted, distant sounds emanating from inside the brick walls and underneath the dumpsters. It's the dangerous, fascinating version of the music Other People listen to mindlessly...and it's wonderful. 

14 June 2016


Fourth full length from some of my favorite Polish anarcho punks. The guitars are inimitable in tone and presentation, and the combination of fierce political punk and hopelessly addictive pop tunes is one that has always worked well for WŁOCHATY. Fourteen songs, not a dud in the bunch, and still available from Nikt Nic Nie Wie - some things should always be in print. 

13 June 2016


Yes. Whirling guitars with just the right amount of SoCal punk twang, a relentless drum attack that's just a little too high in the mix but you don't mind because this is like Thrash2K but with swing...and zero cheat beats (if you know what I mean, then you know exactly what I mean - and if you aren't sure then you'll have to research on your own because that subject deserves its own post) and unhinged adolescent vocals that remind me more of Ernesto/LIFES HALT every time I listen (check "New Wasteland" in particular). The lineup alone should be enough to have you running for the DL icon on your screen (vocals from DEAD NATION, TEAR IT UP; drums from SEVERED HEAD OF STATE, SIGNAL LOST, countless others) but, 39 seconds in when you hear the guitar breakdown in "Cutthroat," you know that OBEDIENCE isn't just coasting on their pedigree. Again I say: Yes.

12 June 2016


They were good from the first show, and the few times I've seen them since indicate that they are going to keep getting better. Just fukkn bulldozer riffs with Lilly's vocals hovering anxiously over the whole thing, waiting to pounce...what? You want more than that? Stop being greedy, you fukk. Check the bass that starts "In Agony" and the devastating intro that you know is coming and still kicks you in the ass before the song launches. Who makes a creamer out of an intro riff and a few seconds of ripping hardcore and a breakdown outro? RHIZOME does. 

Physical copies available from Transylvanian Tapes.

11 June 2016


In the sixty short seconds that make up "Robotics In Service," São Paulo's THE PESSIMISTS effortlessly drop something as close to perfection as I've heard in ages. With no time or space for bullshit or filler, they bulldoze through a brooding intro that morphs into the verse, then a chorus with a ridiculously infectious guitar hook and lay multi gendered vocals into the mix with an adolescent enthusiasm that belies the years lurking under their respective hats. Every song is great, in my opinion...moody and serious punk that is fun to listen to in the same manner that shamelessly addictive pop tunes become inadvertent summer anthems. Unpretentious and casual, but still completely serious. When Farofa slips the leads in on guitar (take "Working," for example), it's like a jolt of electricity, and the way his vocals mingle with Mila's is just fucking right. The beats are simple, but listen to the way the booming intro to "Doomed Forever" switches gears and propels the band to the end of the tape. The shit is right, kids. Sometimes you don't need it to melt your face....sometimes you want it to sink into your pores, because then it becomes a part of you.

There's a recent EP on Nada Nada that successfully expands on the formula presented here....highly recommended. 

10 June 2016


I mean, it just sounds SO fukkd, you know? Those guitars are.....well sometimes I don't know what they are doing, but this bedroom-by-way-of-basement-or-vice-versa outfit from Tennessee spends just five short minutes reminding you that modern hardcore punk is weird, is interesting, is engaging, is alive....and is very very good. Noisy, chaotic, and infectious as hell, everything I said about the first two demos still applies. The guitar at the 0:13 mark of "Trespass," are you kidding me?!? Do this. 

This one was gifted to the world by your friends at Not Normal Tapes...

09 June 2016


Please enter the world of ACAVERNUS from São Paulo - the vocal/sound portion of the RAKTA equation isolated and exposed. When I heard about Paula's project and its mission, I assumed it was going to be good. But I didn't imagine it was going to be like this. ACAVERNUS is something else, my friends...something you need to experience.

Today is our birthday. I've been doing The Escape for seven years now...wild. Almost 2400 posts, and approaching two and a half million visits. Weird. I hope you've found some things here that you have enjoyed....there's more to come. 

08 June 2016


I wish I could describe the feeling of seeing THE DARK in Oakland a few weeks back. It was pure and exposed, like experiencing desperation in the flesh, and one quick look around the room made it clear that I wasn't the only person who felt it. Fortunately the power translates to this little plastic shell, and the four tracks you have at your fingertips right now are set to carry you away. For visitors who want something concrete to cling on to, THE DARK hit me like a perfect collision of AMEBIX and '80s Japanese punk (MASTURBATION, GHOUL, ADK Records stuff)...and I'm well aware of how high those comparisons set the bar. 

Members of CONDITION, TUBERCULOSIS and others, in case you are keeping track...

07 June 2016


When I initially came across this outfit (group? band? artist/s? collective?), I was entranced....and I've only grown to love them even more with each release and incarnation that I devour. Hypnotic missives that travel effortlessly between minimal neu:industrial and tribal rituals, and it all sounds as if it could have been constructed from field recordings. Without full attention, it's easy for these sounds to slip into the background and just provide a subtle soundtrack for your day...and that's fine. But with proper volume and attention, I dare say that you will emerge on the other side of these sixty two minutes a different person. Rubbing your eyes and squinting as if there was something physical, and not spiritual, that you could do to make sense of the journey you just completed. Sometimes the only thing to do is take the trip again, children. 

06 June 2016


Ooooohhh, punks, this one is dirty. Fiesty and raw metalpunk hoards from the depths of.....well, they're from Atlanta, but never mind that "depths of" thing, and just think of someplace sinister and evil. Someplace that would house a hoard. You want to go to this place. Trust me, have I ever steered you wrong ? (Let's not talk about yesterday) Welcome to a dozen minutes of fully charged bangers, just weird enough to ensure that your ears won't want to go anywhere but here. You'll be happy you stayed.