31 May 2018


Small town isolation is a motherfukkr, y'all. Springfield, Illinois brings us GUTTERPRIEST, a filthy collection of maniacal shit-fi noisecore dropped into two awkward ten minute minimal electronic improvisations and/or loops. It literally makes no sense at all, and it hurts to listen to. 

The rough life continues, and I will be accepting all cassette donations at The Garage in Ventura, California tonight. 

30 May 2018


Everyone (ok, a lot of peoples) says that DFMK is basically the sickest band in Tijuana, and I'm not going to argue. It's a good thing punk isn't a contest, since CALIFIA PUTA and GUADALUPE are both exceptionally sick, but daaaaamn this demo is a straight banger. LOS MONJO swagger kicked up several notches, and all I want to do when it's over is listen to it again. The power of digital eliminates frustrating rewind time....

29 May 2018


Another Oakland band? Why not? SYNDICATE make brooding dark-ish punk sound more important than it should, thanks in no small part to Lena's drumming. I saw their first show in 2014, around the time this demo was recorded (I think?), and it was her first show playing drums...nerves and determination clashing throughout the set made a collection of already solid tracks damn near indispensable. Truth be told I've only seen them a few times since, and the band definitely settled into their sound...but there's something about a punk band trying to do a thing that they aren't quite able to do, you know? But beyond that, the songs here are instantly catchy and what kind of weirdo doesn't like a handful of good punk songs? Exactly. See you tomorrow. 

What's that? You said you live in or near Orange County and you have tapes that you don't want anymore? Don't fret, I can help. Observatory tonight with RATS IN THE WALL, FINAL CONFLICT and SUBHUMANS. Will trade guest list spots for old demos. 

28 May 2018


More new Bay Area shits, this time from Oakland. KHIIS came out of the gate strong less than a year ago, and they've only gotten better. Hardcore with urgency and sincerity...and this magnetic tape doesn't even come close to capturing them live. Maybe the high rent is worth it after all....
Also: San Diego tonight at Casbah with KARBÖNITE, FINAL CONFLICT. and SUBHUMANS. Bring me your tapes and I'll put you on the guest list. Seriously. 

27 May 2018


I am well aware that my advancing age and increasing adult-like behavior sometimes means that I miss out on things. It's ok, I have experienced a lot of things, perhaps even more than my fair share, so I consider this a slightly less adventurous chapter and I'm comfortable with that. So I miss shows from time to time (like last weekend when I really would have enjoyed that SCREAMING FIST show out by the ocean but I had "stuff to do"), and often new bands kinda pop up and become established bands before I knew they were new. But seriously.....DEIMOS CULT is a thing that is NOT supposed to happen in my city (it's definitely not "my" city, but it's the city in which i [barely] reside) without so much as a blip on my radar. Holy SHIT this demo is a freak rock burner and I cannot get enough. The way DEIMOS CULT combine tortured noise rock and electronic affectations with a clear penchant for relentless (and fast) hardcore is just deadly. An absolutely demented aural exorcism that I offer to you with highest recommendations. 

Phoenix tonight at Rebel Lounge....bring me your tapes. I would prefer the old ones, but I'm not picky. Clearly....have you seen my blog?

26 May 2018


Look at the cover....this could go so many different directions. Good luck. Comments welcomed. 

25 May 2018


Right from the first burst, FAITHLESS are unrestrained and fierce. Nasty and proficient hardcore that gallops and blasts effortlessly with vocals straight out of late '90s political DIY hardcore. Also, the guitars on "Test Of My Will" are beyond sick. This one will breeze right by the crews looking for the next bandwagon, and I get the feeling that suits FAITHLESS just fukkn fine. 

24 May 2018


I'm leaving for a few weeks. The Escape will continue feeding you daily, but I will be away. Hopefully I will listen to these sounds more than once while driving, the phases of the moon following me in the mirror and over my shoulder. And this minimal and primitive dose of synthesized sound will manage carry me across long stretches and bring me back to grounded after evenings filled with chaos. Then, staring at the underbelly of a waning reality, I will return....and I'll probably post some lo-fi grindcore or some shit. Y'all like grindcore, right?

Also: one of the people from A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW is responsible for this Moonphases. That doesn't really mean anything to me, but maybe it does to you? Regardless, I legitimately think it sounds pretty cool and I will actually listen to it on tour when none of the punks in the van are paying attention...because you know how that over 50 crowd crushes social media, and I have a reputation to keep up. Vegas Saturday....then beyond. 

23 May 2018


You know how sometimes things that start out as "projects" end up being way more popular than the responsible "artists" intended, or could have predicted? I recall the time I was in Aquarius (RIP) talking to Andee shortly after the release of the first WHN? single (ok - this is just weird, who does this?) and he casually commented that WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? would have more of a lasting impact than any of our previous or (then) current projects. And a year after that when I was buying the WEAKLING record, I told Andee that I thought it would likely be the most sought after record that tUMULt would release. I mean...that BLACK BUG record is sick and very weird, but you get my point - and neither of us were wrong. Why am I telling you this? Because PERFUME-V is apparently a side project; an outlet for someone more recognizable (for now) for other things....but this thing is going to be the thing. PERFUME-V is also perfectly executed melancholic alt/pop of the highest and most endearing order. I'll mention TEENAGE FANCLUB and SUPERCHUNK in an effort to not just compare them to JAWBREAKER, even though this collection really does present as a perfect combination of that brand of '90s melodic punk and late '80s alt/indie college radio stuffs. And then there are the vocals...they are never right. I can't even imagine being this close for this long (27 minutes in this case, give or take) and never nailing it, but he never does. And that's why Bless Bless Bless Bless is so good. Because it's real. 

22 May 2018


Sometimes a new thing sounds instantly familiar....not because it's derivative or because you've heard it before, but because it's all of the things that you've heard before presented as you've always wanted to hear them. This 200 second car crash is a gloriously chaotic mess (and the last 42 seconds are just noise) - infectious hardcore stomps bludgeoned by noise and distortion until nothing is left but the feeling...and it feels real fukkd up, y'all. "Stigmata" on repeat all damn day, until you finally get it. 

And in case you are still curious, there's another six minutes of madness available for consumption here (though the madness is slightly less tortured the second time around, which works for and against them at the same time). I remember sometime around 1995 I felt like I wanted to move to Toronto...maybe I fukkd up. 

21 May 2018


A slice of essential blurr that some helpful thrasher put together some 30 years ago, these two demos back-to-back are a superb taste of what life as a DIY hessian was like in the late '80s. Portland's SPAZZTIC BLURR are easily dismissed as a joke band, but fuuuuukkkkk they were fast (I presume that they still are). The humor of STIKKY and YOUR MOTHER...but way faster and played with the proficiency of actual thrashers (the band started in the shadow of WEHRMACHT).  But perhaps tongue in cheek isn't your thing....maybe you don't seek high energy Flintstones theme songs? If you need your reprobate thrash delivered with windmills and guttural early-Araya yeowls, then look no further than this primal dose from REGURGITATION. As with many tapes I come across that are relics from the trading days, this one may not contain the Bathrooms Rule or Organic Backwash demos in their entirety...but it contains seven absolutely steaming doses of breakneck death thrash. When I think of hungry, pimply faced 15 year olds getting shit like this in the mail it still blows my damn mind. 

20 May 2018


The early '00s were a pretty fukkn special time for Bay Area punk and hardcore. The divisions between East and West Bay that permeated most of the '90s has partially dissolved, and you had freaks from the Tri-Valley jamming in bands with West Bay Coalition OGs. Shows in Santa Cruz and San Rafael were not an anomaly, and were often packed with hungry kids while San Jose shows seemed like they were damn near always banging. The Peninsula was still weird, as a crew of emo kids started to come into their own in the shadow of NO LESS and PLUTOCRACY...we would see UNDER A DYING SUN and DEADBODIESEVERYWHERE in the same weekend. TIME IN MALTA played with TRAGEDY in San Francisco because it made sense - hell, ICE 9 had played with HIS HERO IS GONE just a few years earlier in Indiana, so why not? And at the center of it all? Mission Records in SF and 924 Gilman in Berkeley. The Bay had finally gotten (back) to point where people just came to shows....not that it didn't matter who the bands were, but there were just so many good fukkn shows that you knew it was worth gambling. And there were kids everywhere...high school kids screaming the words, high school kids starting their own bands. It was awesome. I know that hardcore now is every bit as vibrant as it was then and I'm not some "living in the past" relic, but perhaps with advancing age comes the distance...and of course it feels more intense and more relevant when you're always in the mix, right? So sometimes when I attend (or play) a show and I find myself somewhat reserved and/or reflective, I come home and I blast something like this. 

Y'all know Tony Molina, right? A decade or so after this 5+ minute collection of relentless blasting teenage rage, the singer for DYSTROPHY was featured on some NPR "must hear" new artists or some shit. And as much as I confess that Dissed and Dismissed is worth the hype, watching the trainwreck that was Tony's current power violence project HEALER try to set up and tune their instruments was waaaaay sicker. DYSTROPHY live set from Mission Records at the end of 2001 has been up on Escape Is Terminal for a couple of years...link is still live and worth your time. 

19 May 2018


This is why Midwest hardcore rules. Milwaukee's FAILED MUTATION harness the energy of '80s desperation instead of just aping their ancestors moves...and it works. The sound is weird, the double snare taps are on point, the riffs are super squirmy and awkward and the start/stops in "Give Into Sleep" make me want to scream. This was a part of a superb cassingle series Not Normal did a few years back, so you only get two tracks...and if these two tracks were lifted off of a sinfully short big hole 45 from '83 then everyone would shit their pants. Instead everyone looked at their phones. Their loss. 

18 May 2018


While DBeat based melodic crust has fallen out of favor with Flavor of the Month Punks, hoards of filthy animals and black clad scholars continue to eat the shit up like candy. And there are reasons why they do this....reasons like HYENA. A record (also released on cassette) that you can fully sink into. A legitimately emotive and powerful collection of songs from a Spanish band that seems dedicated to the purpose of sonic power. It's an impressive offering....and one that makes me yawn at the mindless 1-2-1-2 stomps seemingly regurgitated out of thin air at every turn. I guess sometimes you need it to mean something...and it means even more if it feels like it means everything to someone. That's what HYENA feels like. 

 I am tired of broken hearts // I am tired of being the worst for me // my worst enemy

17 May 2018


On a layover in Mexico City a few months back, I asked Rafael to hook me up with his favorite new DF bands. We met for a brief afternoon meal at Gold Taco (because I'm a tourist, and that's where vegan gringos go) and he gave me this tape. Rafael is punk, and has excellent taste...so that should be all I need to say. So that is all I will say. 

16 May 2018


Is it ok if I claim that Ascetic House house (get it?) the most compelling collection of Creators in North America? I don't know if I fully make that statement....but I will repeatedly make that statement and I won't argue with myself. How BOYS OV PARADISE and FLORIDA MAN and JOCK CLUB are on the same "label" is not something to be analyzed, but rather something to be celebrated. And speaking of celebration...get amongst it, we will celebrate together later. 

15 May 2018


Time and place hold equal importance in discussion of context. I never saw JANITORS AGAINST APARTHEID, but I could have seen them at that show in Temecula in '94. We also could have crossed paths in Cornwall in '96 or Indianapolis in 1993 (man, that "teen center" was super weird and the guy was a dick and we stole weird shit from him to try to sell because he wouldn't pay us and my wife still makes fun of me for that to this day - even though she didn't know me in those days....it's a good story, I'll tell you some time). But JANITORS AGAINST APARTHEID were from San Jose and I never saw them live even though I knew the name. They were a killer ska/punk ensemble who rip off CITIZEN FISH (or the other way around) in "Oh...OK!" and whose use of horn and weird time signatures floats easily in a sea of contemporary copycats. How many Escape visitors will listen.....? My guess is less than 30, but the ones who do will not be disappointed. This is arguably as dated as anything I have shared here....but I'll be damned if it isn't also excellent. 

14 May 2018


Sonically, this one doesn't fall too far from yesterday's post; the distortion is all on point, the mix of fast and not quite as fast keeps you guessing, and both bands manage to make hardcore sound fukkn real and important. So I guess Budapest Area hardcore still rules too. Highly recommended, if only for the disgusting intro on the BEROSSZULÁS side. Seriously - even if you you think you don't like punk you should download this turd just to listen to the first 63 seconds of their side (at which point it "only" turns into the sickest neanderthal stomp you'll hear all month)...because not only is it the ugliest thing ever, but I can (almost) assure you that you'll stick around for the rest of the tape. Att nine minutes of it. What are you scared of...? Exactly. You're welcome. 

13 May 2018


Don't let that introspective and artistic cover fool you....this is just pure brutality. Knuckle dragging hardcore/fastcore hybrid that only lets off the gas for one strangely beautiful midpaced track ("The Total Perspective Vortex") - and what DIORETIX do while the foot is on the gas for the rest of the demo is simply devastating. You hear me talk about the difference between contrived angst and pure hardcore all the time, and clearly I lean on the purity at all times - simply put: DIORETIX aren't faking it. It sounds so gloriously fukkd up and to totally real, and Bay Area hardcore (somehow?) still rules. Seriously...it does. Listen to "Abolition" and try to tell me I'm wrong. 

12 May 2018


This shit is severely damage and sounds like the very recording might disintegrate at any moment. In other words: This shit is great. Check the guitar break near the start of "Death Goes On' and if you're like me you might find yourself rewinding repeatedly to try to figure out if you actually just heard what you think you just heard. Trust me though....you heard it. And it sounded super fukkd. And you fukkn loved it. It's not like the rest of this thing sounds any nicer (it doesn't), it's just that that moment really captures their vibe; the vibe is weird and the vibe is dark and the vibe is tortured. It's pure and primitive hardcore and it just feels wrong and it totally feels right. 

11 May 2018


In the summer of 1994, my band MULTIPLE CHOICE embarked on a ridiculous nine week North American tour during which we lost all of our money and most of our dignity....and during which we made friends that I still cherish today. One of the last shows of that tour was in San Jose with ALL YOU CAN EAT (who were at that point, at least to newcomers like us, already stalwarts of the Bay Area Scene - they had toured overseas and members worked for Maximum Rocknroll for fukks sake!) and Boise, Idaho band HAGGIS (who had something cool written on the side of their van, even though I can't remember what it was). It was classic early DIY touring - the dude who "set up the show" showed up late and all the bands just hung out on the sidewalk with some local punks in front of the venue in downtown San Jose until he got there...and we told him the venue was locked. Turns out he hadn't exactly asked anyone if he could do the show there, he was just kinda hoping they would be open or some shit, so we convinced him (or guilt tripped him) to find a house where we could have the show. Wait....did I say house? I meant apartment - like in an apartment complex. So even though it seemed we were gonna play mostly for each other (you want to romanticize touring, young punks? because playing for the other bands at the show because no one knows who you are and no one bothered to stop watching tv to come see you play....? that's what touring is really about) but we double parked and were all working like a team to load shit in to this apartment and set up in the living room. And then a cop drove by as we were pulling the bass cabinet out of the van and he stopped and he looked at us as if to say "what the actual fukk do you think you are doing?" and we all kinda assessed the situation and thought "yeah, this shit ain't never gonna fly" and so we loaded the gear back in the van/s. So yeah...that's how I met HAGGIS, and that's how I became friends with ALL YOU CAN EAT. 

But if you want to listen to this 1996 demo, and you should, then you are in for a fukkn treat. I mean, if you like melodic 1990s punk. But the good kind....not the mindless generic bullshit. Guitars that bridge a gap between Flip Your Wig and early '90s Bay Area (note: original HAGGIS guitarist was ex-SEPTIC DEATH...according to The Internet), and the kind of gravel drenched vocals that make the era so easy to apologize for. I asked Karoline for comparisons and she mentioned CRIMPSHRINE and SCHLONG and JAWBREAKER and Hayes-era Lookout! and I don't disagree with her at all even though I have completely different reference points (like: DEAD MILKMEN playing high energy pop punk through 1985 HÜSKER DÜ's gear without changing the settings). The main thing though, is that SL9 holds up extremely well in the face of an overly judgmental and/or compartmentalized internet. These songs are absolute burners - and if you can sing along and there's a story to go with them....? Well then that's even better. 

10 May 2018


Distance Unknown is one of the rare releases that came into my home on repeat and has stayed in regular rotation ever since. Typically even the really good ones kick you in the ass right out of gate and then fade away...because there's another really good one right around the corner. It's not like when we were kids, when you sought out The New Thing and it stayed the new thing for days or weeks or months and you drilled it into your head because it was new and exciting (and you probably only had like 25 records to listen to anyway). But now...? Everything is quite literally at your fingertips, so music needs to be special to have that kind of staying power. The resurgence of synths and pseudo electronic experimentalists has resulted in countless artists who have learned to toy with sound without remembering how to focus their scope, much less construct a song. Some, however, are looking intently at paths forged by the pioneers...and they are paying attention. Enter BROTMAN & SHORT, a dark/minimal wave duo who created one of those aforementioned rare releases six years ago - and I still listen on the regular. 

09 May 2018


If the masses had heard this in 2003......? I don't even want to think about how huge this band would have been. ALICE drop ten minutes of unbelievably epic metallic sludge on this three song banger (vinyl version also available if you feel like hunting) that brings to mind UNSANE, DAMAD, (early) BARONESS. The painfully restrained tempo creates a constant tension, guitars battle with mesmerizing fretboard gymnastics that would kill a lesser band...and then they open it up with "Memberangus di Kaki Langit" and the power is so totally real. My first exposure to ALICE  was this 2014 cassette, even though they have been active for nearly a decade now. Yet another reminder that the more you seek and the more you learn....the more there is that you don't know anything about. 

08 May 2018


I spent this afternoon reviewing and revisiting the legacy of a Midwestern DIY hardcore band that recently released a record in honor of two full decades of existence. It's a great record, and the legacy is noteworthy (to say the least), and it made me think of Chicago's CANADIAN RIFLE, who recently kissed that same milestone with a casual confidence. They predate the gruff approach to melodic hardcore from the FUCKED UP angle be several years, they were too late and too fast for JAWBREAKER comparisons, and somehow their catchy punk songs don't seem even remotely connected to the sounds of their contemporaries (then or now). "If I Get Too Loud, Turn Me Down" is undeniably infectious, and it kinda sets the stage for the rest of this early '00s four song cassette....a stage upon which yet another under-appreciated punk band will play hard and sweat their hearts out receive nothing even close to the recognition and/or accolades that their efforts warrant. And still they will keep playing, and that's why punk rules.