31 May 2017


Ramshackle, distorted dupa-dupa from Brooklyn circa a few years ago. To be honest, I think that history will be unkind to this particular brand of raw hardcore punk, but good bands are still good bands, and I am sure that future ears will wisely acknowledge those that deserve acknowledgement. So, almost four years removed from the release of this creamer I am asking you to blast "Noose" and ask yourself where MEMBRANE fall in the historical judgement-o-meter......or perhaps we just need to get shithoused and keep listening for a few more years before we can really decide. 

30 May 2017


My introduction to LA FRACTION was in 2002. We played with AMDI PETERSENS ARMÉ and TRAGEDY at Gilman and Billy was wearing a bright fukkn red LA FRACTION shirt and it just stuck out, you know? It wasn't black, it didn't look "punk" in the generic sense of the descriptor, and it just stuck out. I knew all those dudes, it's not like we were tight or anything, so I didn't ask about the shirt and just kinda filed it away mentally....to be addressed later. And then five years later their third LP La Vie Rêvée dropped and I was driving that French band on their US/Canadian tour, a tour that included a boat in Texas and threats of violence in San Francisco and and drugs and botched border crossings at Niagra Falls and a crazy ass frontman in Pittsburgh and a show with WOLFBRIGADE and PISSCHRIST in Milwaukee (epic evening, seriously) and it was fukkn magic. Really, it was. I have toured with a lot of bands...good bands, and good people...and I have had a really good time with most of them. But the bands I have really connected with? I can count them on one hand. LA FRACTION lives on that hand. I could talk about the 450+ mile drive east from Missoula (no stops...my longest stretch to date) with Magali sitting shotgun. I could talk about Dédé showing up in Leipzig and making John and me snort soap (that happened). I could tell a lot of stories that are now a fucking decade old, but my point is that this band is special, and if you have yet to discover them...then today is going to be a very special day for you. Similar to the day I looked up at the Gilman stage and saw that bright red shirt and wondered what band would make a red shirt with an (even/already in 2002) outdated Photoshop 101 image plastered on the front. What band? LA FRACTION. They are from Paris.....and they are (still) fucking beautiful.  

This tape was released by Nikt Nic Nie Wie, and contains LA FRACTION's debut LP from 1998 and their EP from 1996. Twenty years cannot dull the power of these songs....

29 May 2017


Prepare to enter a mind filled with wonder and brilliance: The mind of August Alston. Almost two hours of improvisations, prose, ramblings, creations, noise, and constructs that will confuse most, annoy some and enthrall a few who appreciate the wavelength of The Other and the existence of The Different. Revolving (eventually) around the recurring track "Condo Woman," My Life aka Not A Lack Of Interest Cover is an actual journey to another place that lies dormant inside and rests just below the surface - a place that is more destiny than destination. Have a nice trip, and I'm not sorry if you never truly return. 

28 May 2017


It's rough around the edges like drunken garage punk. It's dark and brooding sometimes, but more like COMPLICATIONS than modern day pseudogoth. It's got catchy songs like early LA hardcore, but you don't notice them at first because it's kinda presented like some some kind if indescribably '00s Midwestern punk revival (I know what I mean so you don't have to). Also....it's really good. Let's call it NEGATIVE RAGE.

My brain hurts....does yours?

27 May 2017


A flaming hot staff thrust to the sky: STINGER is ruthless hardcore manifested as war metal.  There's a ripping split with MAULER that came out earlier this year, but I still think I prefer this 2014 cassette release (and not just because I'm trying to be contrary). I just listened to the last 45 seconds of "By The Fang" and my day is pretty much downhill from here. 

26 May 2017


I got this from Carla at the last North American RAKTA show earlier this year as they were sorting and packing their things to go to Colombia - it hadn't been for sale on the tour, and I was quite happy to help her make some extra space in her luggage for the rest of her journey. Listening to this tape is sublime....but describing it is decidedly more difficult. A (seemingly...or at least mostly?) improvisational two piece, POST wander casually between psychedelia and freeform space jams and dark ambience....but I cannot find a single moment of this tape that is not compelling. And the B-side in its entirety should be mandatory listening for fans of outsider sounds of all kinds.  Carla's Dama De Noite label does not disappoint, and I'm glad that her bags were full. 


25 May 2017


Freaked out weirdo synth slogs from a crew of Ohio mutants who seem to have dished out two demos a coupla years back and then just slurked of into the mist. TAPEWORM level outsider vibe on these four cuts, the longest of which clocks in around 1:12 (after the intro). Get it. 

24 May 2017


Seventeen blasts in just over twenty minutes, this is a premium dose of Austrian hc/grind. Guttural vocal (with howling backups), and a high speed metalcrust churn that makes this listener more than a little nostalgic. Check the bass when "Piledriver" starts....then listen to the entire song detonate. See what I mean? Exactly. Now listen to the awkward isolated blasts that stat "I Got My Coffe." See what I mean? Exactly. Now...continue.

23 May 2017


Wandering solo guitar missives that sometimes border on Americana (in the way Higgs does, but here with more drugs), the first SKY JUICE release in several years makes the return of Fag Tapes to TE even more pleasant than you might expect. There are a couple of short bursts of blown out hardcore to keep you on your toes, but for the most part the thirty minutes that make up The Black Tapes are calming and whimsical. Favorite track: the third one. 

22 May 2017


Excessive words can sometimes dissuade potential listeners, so I will keep it brief. SLAVEDRIVER are massive, filthy, intense, and relentless. That should be all you need....it's certainly all that I need. 

21 May 2017


The first song is called "Telecaster To The Head." That should be enough. You shouldn't need any more convincing. Discombobulated, erratic, weird, chaotic, discordant, deep. Mostly though...just weird. 

20 May 2017


The contents here conjure up more questions than the included information could ever answer. And by "included information," I mean the cover you see pictured above. That's all I have, so assistance is appreciated. Over 90 minutes of ramshackle UK punk (I'm guessing late '80s?) await you - some live, some rehearsals, some demos, some pure noise....and almost all of it is compelling, especially for those with shit-fi tendencies. So dig in. And dig.

19 May 2017


File under: "epic"

Five tracks filled with the kind of stadium crust that is so permanently identified with the mid/late '00s that it's almost impossible to believe that this project was recorded in 2014. While I do not miss the time when half assed versions of this music were seemingly represented at every show, I certainly miss the opportunity to see the good ones with devastating frequency. And ANOPHELI, dropping their cello drenched mid paced dual vocal action years after the cool kids started worshipping at the dupa-dupa altar. It's a nice altar - but come the fukk on.....sometimes you need power. Sometimes you need emotion. 

18 May 2017


Here's your demo of the month, punks. Sweden's FERAL BRAIN drop eleven minutes of searing hardcore punk in your lap with the most mandatory vocal listening in recent memory. Don't get me wrong, the tracks are great (and there are TRACKS, you dig - not just a collection of riffs) and the high moments ("No Way" specifically - it's the rippingest fast hardcore song I have heard in fukkn years, and that might not even be hyperbole) are more than enough to make this demo mandatory listening. If you like hardcore and you like to get your face melted, and you don't care about what new thing is cool because you just want to go harder....then FERAL BRAIN is basically your new favorite band. 

...also - the breakdown on "Judgement Day" is really REALLY sick...

17 May 2017


Y'all don't really need a lesson on this, do you? Washington state mutant hardcore kids, though they done growed up years ago. Blown to shit KEXP recording, I can only hope that some 30something who thought they were gonna jam some public radio on a Saturday evening got an earful and turned this shit off as soon as Joey urped up at the beginning of "Lot Lizards." This shit is ugly, my friends. (you're welcome)

16 May 2017


This shit. All day long....and hopefully all night. Primitive bedroom electronic/industrial brilliance, there must be legions of these acts releasing tapes in sub-dozen runs that will just languish until inevitable obscurity. There are so many of them. It's impossible to think one could find them all, so we enjoy what we can get our hands on. Fire In The Sky is a three part opus - a murky and relatively mellow wash shielding erratic beats and awkward sounds from direct engagement. Things really get rolling around the six minute mark of Part II, but by then (if you've been listening properly) you'll be in a haze anyway. Folks from Nostilevo, SIOBHAN, LFA (in case that stuff matters to you). Shit is real ill, enjoy.

15 May 2017


Maximum strength late '90s fastcore from Argentina. These kids would have destroyed audiences in North America, just enough of the melodic singing (I am not talking pop punk melodic singing...it's a '90s hardcore thing, you either get what I mean or I'm just going to keep confusing you) and blistering speed on the fast parts. The crew vox juxtaposed against the lead singer and the blistering delivery of riff after killer riff (if you need to pick one song to convince yourself, it's "Operacion"), these kids were doing shit right. <<***see below***>> PROPIA DECISION combine proto-fastcore, relentless contemporary Japanese hardcore (I'm talking the US influenced stuff like contemporaries NUNCHAKU or YELLOW MACHINE GUN) and the aforementioned impassioned vocals that really make this shit stand out. I'm rambling. Because I really like this tape and I want you (yes: YOU) to listen to it....and hopefully you will like it too. Punk is cool, I super like punk. Also hardcore. And if there are more recordings, then please drop me a line and get my address. 

*** <<...for context, this was released the year the WHN? and LIFES HALT first crossed paths...further reinforcing the hopefully-all-to-obvious fact that the world outside North America is continuously cranking out killer bands and records (and tapes) that get passed over simply because of geography....but I digress...>>

14 May 2017


Freaked out lo-fi Detroit synth punk with a horror punk bent, this 2013 cassette creams hard - and even harder once you get down with the washed out filter the whole thing is presented under. Fans of SPITS and REATARDS will rejoice, as there's as much garage punk (actual punk) crammed into these sounds as there is weirdness, but then tracks like "Cathedral Fever" and "Pink Clouds" drop and you wonder if these aren't just a coupla drugged out psych mutants who got lucky when they cranked up the speed. If it's luck, then I want some of this juju, but I'm pretty sure that SEX OBJEX are just really good. 

Worth noting that the included link contains six songs. For better or worse, I remain committed to sharing cassettes that I have my hands on, regardless of the intended condition or contents. This release is meant to have twelve tracks, but the A side on my copy is blank...so you get what you get. Of course, moments like this are what The Internet is for - the band's online presence is very helpful if you find yourself wanting more. 

13 May 2017


Sometimes I like things in private. There are records (and tapes) that I fucking adore and listen to with (alarming) frequency that I rarely talk about in the company of anyone outside of my most trusted friend circles. I'm not ashamed, per se, it's just that I don't think that most folks would get it, and discussing the brilliance of uncool things is sometimes a thankless task....so why bother. Power pop. It's a tough one for some people, it's a deal breaker for others, but when delivered properly it can be pure perfection. The vocals, slightly out of whack on "No Remorse" and straining for that '60s gravel and drive that made EDDIE & THE HOT RODS so damn good even though you knew they were punks. You know what I mean? There's that thing that you can't really nail down but it's fukkn there, and this is why I don't talk about shit like this too often. But seriously, this four song demo is soooooo sick. "No Remorse" is clearly the creamer du jour, but feel "Let's Ride" kick in and it's almost like you are listening to the ancient groups that M.O.T.O. modeled their existence after (for real thoguh, the start of that track could almost be a rip of "All Night Vivarin Jag," which is the second best M.O.T.O. track ever...."Gonna Get Drunk Tonight" is obviously the first). My point is simply that this four song cassette by THE SMARTHEARTS is really fukkn good, and whether or not you want to admit that to your cool punk friends is entirely up to you. 

12 May 2017


One of the early installments from the Building label was this sub-five minute explosion from DIFFERENCE. Filthy and raw California hc/pv with desperate vocals in league with (gasp) deliver songs structured more like forms of punishment than anything approaching music. "Again" is a magical piece of devastation, as close to perfect as you could ever expect to find. I would ask you to enjoy this tape, but enjoyment is not the point. 

11 May 2017


The cover should be enough for those of you who know. Greh Holger (HIVE MIND, PURE GROUND, CLEANSE, BLACK SAND DESERT, Chondritic Sound) and Pete Swanson (VIOLENT MAGIC ORCHESTRA, YELLOW SWANS) combine for 20 minutes of anxiety inducing analog electronic torture. And those of you who don't know.....? Time to go to school.

10 May 2017


This 2013 demo is the most glorious collision of early '00s fastcore, ugly '90s SoCal powerviolence and boys making dogpiles all over other boys in the spirit of East Coast hardcore. PUBLIC SUICIDE hit all of the buttons, they flip every switch. And they turn all of those switches to the "ON" position. Five tracks, 4 minutes and 14 seconds - and 64 of those seconds are the instrumental intro. It's so simple, there's no reason it should be this good.....and yet it is totally this good. 

09 May 2017


A relic form the collection that inspired the birth of this blog, 54 Songs About Sport is....well, it's kinda exactly what it says is. 54 mostly sub-minute UK punk/post punk missives all somehow related to sports (plus four instrumentals). Insert MINUTEMEN, healthy doses of circa '83 Rough Trade and a serious lack of pretense, and you're left holding a brilliant collection. 

I wrote my source because I was curious - these were demos from the SPORTCHESTRA 101 Songs About Sport double LP that came out in the late '80s (how did I not know this existed? it's kinda brilliant, and also really good). A CHUMBAWUMBA related project, they sent this (incomplete) version to Dick because they wanted him to sing on a few tracks. Which he did. And the "MCH 88" on the spine? That mysterious punk petroglyph that has confused me for ages....? It just means that the tape was dubbed in March of 1988. Mystery: Solved. 

08 May 2017


Remember when this is what Mondays were all about? Fists in the air, DBeating like maniacs to give ourselves the mental and physical energy needed to face the horrible world we live in? Noise and mangel at maximum, waiting for the guitar to ring out so we can hear the steady tupa-tupa of the toms before the riff kicks back in? Well....those Mondays aren't gone, my friends. You're living one right now and Mexico's MISERÄBLE are flying the DBeat flag at full mast with no pretense and no shame. Let the wind brush the stench of life off of you, and let your fists fly. 

07 May 2017


A few months ago there was a fast, heavy hardcore band coming through town and I was talking to my buddy Will about locals to team them up with. We quickly reached an unfortunate conclusion: our geographical region suffers from a severe lack of crust. It's too easy to take crust for granted, perhaps because poor-to-average crust bands are a dime a dozen, but there's never a bad time for a dirty downtuned DBeat churn with metallic guitars and fist in the air breakdowns...that's what we wanted. But fear not, "lack" does not mean "absence," and EXTRACTION are holding things down until proper equilibrium returns. Clenched fists, lots of hair, screaming (but short) leads, and tracks that get in make their presence known with force, then get out. Just seven tracks, Dead And Buried clocks in under eleven minutes and ends with a perfect chug in "Hidden." When Will and I were talking a few months ago, EXTRACTION exactly what we wanted...and wanted more of. 

06 May 2017


When I travel and take time away from The Escape, I frequently put out a very general request for people to give me tapes. I mean....of course I'm going to do that, right? Who doesn't like free shit? Well, every now and then my plan works, but sometimes it really works, like last month in Los Osos, California. The show was sold out, but a young woman came to the merch table, asked if I was Robert (I said that I was and braced myself), then told me that her friend was outside with some tapes for me. Obviously cassettes trump fire marshall capacity regulations, so within moments the young man was inside, and I had a grip of tapes in my hand. Some grindcore from Iowa, some PV from Florida, some schmaltzy '60s pop dude....and the beautiful voice that you will hear today. Sixteen year old Gigliola Cinquetti stole hearts across Europe when she won the 1964 Eurovision contest - just listen through the Mantovani styled strings and gratuitous overproduction on this hits collection and it's easy to see why. Her voice is like silk, and with this (well loved) tape as my introduction, I quickly got lost in a rabbit hole of soft beautiful words that I could not understand. But you don't need to be a linguist to translate the depth of tracks like "Do Come Ti Amo." For the record, this post is not meant to be tongue in cheek, and I highly recommend spending some time with this greatest hits collection, a tape which fate has inevitably destined for bargain bins even before it finds its final resting place at the bottom of a plastic tub on a shelf in a thrift store somewhere in Kansas....wondering if it will ever bring anyone joy. Well....this one has. 

05 May 2017


Blazing Japanese raw punk seemingly obsessed with Spanish language hardcore, specifically the band coming out of Southern California over the last decade or so. Five rippers sung in Spanish (of course) driven by a bass that walks over straight ahead riffs and allows the guitar to noodle at will - it's never overkill, but it's always right. Five tracks on this 4 Songs Demonstracion, which leads me to believe that I'm missing a cover somewhere in the mix? All of 'em are bangers, though, so who cares! Commence full body pogo in 3, 2, 1.....