Yeah, yeah, I know. Too many words yesterday. I hear you, punks. I hear you, and I am here for you. Weird. Raw. Primitive. Punk. No frills. No tuners. You're welcome.
30 August 2016
The importance of this band in my rock 'n roll upbringing is no secret to even the occasional Escape visitor. And as I've said before, in early '90s Norman, Oklahoma, there were two bands: the KITTENS and THE LIPS. That was it. And you probably loved 'em both. We all knew that one of them was gonna be huge. We knew it...not just because they were ours and we loved them, but because they were fukkn great. THE LIPS signed with Warner and did Hit To Death..., and then they got huge (that EP is still probably my favorite release of theirs, and yes I still pay attention, and yes I know that Wayne left Planet Earth many years ago). But you see, before that EP came out, CHAINSAW KITTENS had already dropped Violent Religion, which is as close to a perfect power pop/punk/alt rock record as I have ever had in my collection, and their live shows were straight fire. It's not a contest, and I know that THE LIPS had a decade long legacy before the turning point that I'm speaking of...but the point is that this was most of The Mainstream's introduction to both bands...and we were all paying attention. CHAINSAW KITTENS got swept up in the major label post-NIRVANA subculture mining when Mammoth made some arrangement with Atlantic...and the result was their second full length getting way more exposure than Violent Religion, including a closing spot on 120 Minutes for the debut of the video for "Connie, I've Found The Door" (will always remember the crew of people in my house watching that video premier...my roommate was older and had way cooler friends than me, I was blown away that all those people were in my living room). I don't remember if The Masses cared about this record, but I know that I was disappointed at the time - there are some tracks, to be sure, but it felt like there was too much filler. Maybe we had just seen and heard the tracks from Violent Religion too many times? Maybe the Butch Vig production was too slick? Who knows...but even though "Connie..." might be my overall favorite KITTENS' track, it opened the record (wisely) and I felt like things went downhill from there. "High In High School" was cheesy, "Shannon's Favorite Fellini Movie" seemed like an attempt to recreate the great ballads on the first record, plus they had snagged the bass player from FOR LOVE NOT LISA (wasn't he in BLEMISH too....? I might be wrong on this) and I had the probably irrational feeling that the dude was a butthole - irrational or not, he helped give the band a bro-ish vibe - a departure from Tyson's flamboyance that was a legitimate revela(u)tion in 1990s Oklahoma. In retrosepect, and I've listened hundreds of times over the years, Flipped Out In Singapore has some of the band's best material - "Hold," the burner "My Friend Delirium," the proto-grunge "She Gets" are all certified creamers...but a few years after their shot, CHAINSAW KITTENS seemed little more than a footnote to those outside of Oklahoma. Those of us who paid attention though, and especially those of us who were there...we got it. We still do. Now will someone reissue this thing on wax?!
29 August 2016
Who releases a tour tape with twenty two fucking songs? These Memphis freeks, that's who. By 1997, Memphis was already on the map - COP OUT and HIS HERO IS GONE will do that to a town. We saw little evidence of this scene when FUCKFACE passed through in '96 (for reasons obvious to most, including us at the time), and by the time WHN? played there in '01 the cream had been scraped off the top of the city and the dregs were left (the show was good, but you know what I mean). But this....this tape sounds like The Sweet Spot. Ferocious, blown out, crushingly heavy, frighteningly fast, and indescribably '90s hardcore. Clocking in at just under a half hour, these tracks have been played into the ground since I unearthed I Kill Cities! a couple of weeks ago. I miss this hardcore so damn bad - there was no pretense, they weren't trying to impress anyone because they were more focused on exorcising demons...and it shows.
28 August 2016
Late '90s melodic punk....sometimes I think that if you entered punk during a certain era then you will always have a soft spot for the bands that do (or did) the shit right....like these two. From Buenos Aires, both BUZZER and ANIMO seem reared on a diet of FUN PEOPLE (mostly BUZZER, and mostly the vocals) and mid-decade US basement melodies (mostly ANIMO, who have a bit more of an edge here, and are more overtly political). But comparisons notwithstanding, tapes like this are like a time machine, and sometimes it's nice to take a trip on a Sunday morning, you know?
27 August 2016
I don't know if you are ready for this. I wasn't. Yet, here I am...having a mental pogo party before I've even put my shoes on. Don't believe me? Just listen to to the organ as it fades in...and wait for the "EXORCISMO!!!!" that opens the first track. Yeah, you're partying. This shit is mandatory.
26 August 2016
Meaty late'80s Philadelphia hardcore, BRICK HOUSE sound exactly like you think they should. In a different world, this band is playing reunion shows at east coast HC festivals and the boys are going wild, singing What's it gonna take for you to wise up // Don't put down our city, 'cause we've had enough (from "Suburban And Scared"). Four tracks, meaty and determined. Some of the bits are warbled, but the shit is 27 years old and has been (appropriately) partied on. Get it.
25 August 2016
This one had me from play. Deep and entrancing minimal techno sounds with more than enough other worldly weirdness. Primitive techno melting into first wave ambient/industrial...I shouldn't try to describe it....I'll just hope that you enjoy it. Nostilevo never disappoints...
24 August 2016
You know this shit by now, right? I mean, you totally should. These freeks just level the joint with six tracks of killer, bombastic hardcore punk. It's what you want, it's what you need. Everyday everyday everyday everyday....
23 August 2016
Ripping fastcore from Japan - I never got to se these dudes in the flesh, but their brand of start/stop action has always appealed to me. Snagged the (rehearsal?) tape fromth e drummer when his other band was on the West Coast in 2001....and fifteen years later these tracks still burn hard. A dozen bangers in 14 minutes. Get with it, punk.
22 August 2016
21 August 2016
Smart and snappy modern day alt rock. That sounds like a slag off, but I mean to say that this is the '10s version of the infectious and underground sounds that ushered us not-in-the-know punks through the '80s. This is SUPERCHUNK, this is SQUIRREL BAIT, this is SST-era SCREAMING TREES for the new kids. DREAM JOURNAL are also really fukkn good.
20 August 2016
Way under the radar screamer from 2004, LAST PRIEST featured my pals Spencer (FIND HIM AND KILL HIM) and Matt (CRIME DESIRE), and the shit fukkn rrrrrips. Few tracks sound as resigned and hopeless and pissed as "It Just Gets Worse," the lead in to the breakdown alone is more devastating than most breakdowns. Just five burners here, and while covering one of my favorite '80s SoCal track could be dangerous, they do CHANNEL 3 proud. You probably missed this the first time around...I'm giving you the opportunity to not make the same mistake again.
19 August 2016
From the ashes of DEAD NATION came TEAR IT UP. We had seen and played with DEAD NATION already, and their Painless EP is as close to flawless as anything from the era....so I admit that I was skeptical. I shouldn't have been. Six songs, five minutes. Ripping new millennium US hardcore punk from fukkn Jersey. Shit holds up, y'all.
18 August 2016
FLOWER ZOMBIES are so gloriously simple and innocent sounding - crooning indie/garage that sneaks up on you, and before you know it you are joining them in off key choruses. Kinda reminds me of a less polished ORANGES, but there are maybe four people who will ever see that, so I'l;l move along to the other side. THE DEATH are another animal entirely (well, were, they have moved on to other projects)....truly bizarre lo-fi outsider garage sounds that have grown on me immensely since I got this tape from Naoki last year. Favorite tracks: "Ghost Of Dream" and "My Specs."
The timing of today's post is not accidental, as folks from EXTRA PLANTS (ex-THE DEATH) are currently hosting my pals RAKTA in Japan. Tokyo residents would be well advised to catch them while they are in your country - starting 19 August at Hatagaya Forest, then continuing with this absolute crusher at Antiknock on the 21st::::
17 August 2016
Eleven minutes of power electronics and punishment from LIMBS BIN. Eleven minutes of industrial shitcore and punishment from TWO MILLION TONS OF SHIT. You choose, you lose, you're welcome.
16 August 2016
The internet has (justly) covered this one at length, so I'll spare excess adulations. LEATHER GLOVE was born from the mind of Greg Wilkinson (Earhammer Studios, BRAINOIL), and it's a monolith of death metal sludge processed through a filter that I can only describe as his own. Aural oppression at it's finest, shown the light of day by the fine people at Sentient Ruin.
15 August 2016
A lot of people start their weeks on Monday. And for those people, I suggest that you start this week with England's SONIC ORDER. Opening with thunderous and destroyed tupa-tupa that listens more like Japanese bombast....and then they unleash. And when they unleash, SONIC ORDER are terrifying. If this is any indication, your week is going to be pretty fierce.
14 August 2016
I scooped this one on my first trip to Europe in '03, and every time it comes out it stays on repeat for several days. Last week was no different...doing a little quick reorganizing between a road trip and a short tour and I spied KARTON D VINO peeping out from the second layer of a banger box. "Are we gonna do this again?" the tape asked. "Yes," I replied, "we are." Fierce fist in the air Spanish ramshackle punk anthems from a band who only left us with two cassettes...this one is the second, from 2001, and I'm still searching for the first.
13 August 2016
When your demo starts with a track called "Punx Up Bros Down," then you've got my attention before I press play. Of course, I was pressing play the day after I saw these New York City monsters level the joint at last month's Aklasan Records Fest - on a night filled with highlights, DOG BREATH were a fukkn bulldozer. Pure and positive brutality with hints of classic NYHC buried in the tracks - tracks that are relentless. Listen to the bass that opens "Chow Mein" and the off kilter stomp that leads into the blasts, that in turn lead into the weirdest solo you'll hear all day....you might know the sounds, but you rarely hear them like this. More please.
12 August 2016
Nasty garage hardcore, noisy pogo punk, blown out distortion fests, angular no wave...what the fuck do you want that this compilation doesn't deliver? Sandwiches? Well those don't come in plastic shells (at least they shouldn't) so eat these tracks or no dessert. CUM, SPETSNAZ, FLEXIBLE AMMUNITION BELT, CHEMOS, THE OINTMENT, MPK, FRANKY...and some guy named Steve.
Link repaired...thanks to all who let me know I fukkd up. It happens sometimes....
11 August 2016
Minimum fidelity, maximum determination. Long periods of atmosphere punctuate extended bursts of raw and primitive black metal. Whatever MURROWIND may lack in proficiency (not much), they more than make up for with intensity. It's not pretty....and it's not supposed to be. Also, these fukks are from Kentucky, which leads me to believe that the desperation in these voices is, in fact, real.
10 August 2016
Leave it to the Germans to figure out how to make melodic punk sound dark and brooding, even while it's fast and energetic. This thing is executed flawlessly, and while those afeared of a solid hook will want to steer clear, the rest of us will be repeatedly rewarded with eight addictive anthems...time to brush up on your German, punks. "Zwölf" is the banger of choice - highlighting the possibilities held within simple construction, with gruff backing vocals accenting the forceful leads. Champion.
09 August 2016
One demo and they were gone, but Portland's WEIRD FEAR left a serious mark...if you can listen through the low fidelity haze. Spastic bursts of ferocious hardcore, as erratic as they are intense, this 2011 demo comes off like the second coming of MUKILTEO FAIRIES fed a steady diet of late '90s West Bay Coalition. The moniker is perfect, the tracks are awkward and panicked and...well, weird. "Everything Is Now" is the creamer, hearing it gradually turn into hardcore after a MINUTEMEN-on-blast introduction and then stumble to a close made me rewind several times before I would let myself continue to appropriately titled "High Time Anxiety." The only complaint is the recording quality, but any listener worth their mettle will be over that and raging in no time. That's what volume knobs are for.
08 August 2016
Oh, you snoozed? Sorry for you, punk. Terminal Escape faves YADOKAI disintegrated into SCALPED a couple of years ago (only change in membership was one guitarist) and then as soon as your knuckles hit the floor they were gone and PRIMAL RITE appeared (change in membership this time was the vocalist). SCALPED took YADOKAI's erratic lurches and yanked out enough of the Japanese hardcore to make it real confusing - a start/stop/breakdown riff-o-rama from the first burst of sound. There are only six minutes of mayhem on this demo, and it runs essentially as one track, one collection of riffs, one continuous bash to the face. I honestly prefer this practice space demo to any of the band's "studio" recordings - rawer, more teeth, more chaos....uglier. And this is a band that was, from its inception, decidedly ugly.
07 August 2016
Another savage offering from Russia's Reforestation Records. Seven bursts of filthy, raw death metal than just makes you clench your teeth...this label has yet to disappoint, and from the sounds of things, the recent vinyl release from MORBITAL is even more fierce. Get dirty.