Punk is good, and X45 are punk. '70s Midwest sweat mixed with CRIMINAL DAMAGE and Ideal For Living, it's just dirty, raw....punk. This is the first of three cassette EPs released in 2016/17.
22 January 2019
Some sounds are borderless, and sometimes you need a low end neanderthal mosh. And no matter where you are (or were) after 1997 or so, there were bands like CONFRONTO. Take their contemporary countrymen POINT OF NO RETURN as a stylistic comparison, this Rio de Janeiro powerhouse drop metallic brutality with gratuitous chug chugs and jud juds, and only break loose a few times on their '99 debut. Brooding, burly metalcore in its infancy (they have evolved over 20 years into a thrash/metalcore behemoth), CONFRONTO are at once timeless and shamelessly dated - which is to say that this demo doesn't take me back to a place, rather it puts me in a place. And also the mosh....the mosh.
21 January 2019
Anyone know anything about this fool? I mean aside from the flawless hair and that shirt and the icy almond. You might know "See The Funny Little Clown," but you probably don't know that this is the dude responsible. Well....that smash single ain't even the banger here. Even though a thrift store in Sierra Vista, AZ stored the damn thing in the sun and half of the tape is warped to shit, the uppercut to body blow combo of "If You've Got A Heart" into the heavy "Broomstick Cowboy" makes me want to dig way deep into BOBBY GOLDSBORO's '70s AM radio glory days. Suspend preconceptions and let Bobby take you back.
Dream on little Broomstick Cowboy, dream while you can
For soon you'll be a dreadful thing - my son, you'll be a man...
20 January 2019
An anthemic epic for the rockers and the nostalgic set, Truman Zone harkens back to the '00s before neocrust was called neocrust - when it was just the music that everyone seemed to be making and everyone seemed to listening to. High/low vocals on top of a relentless mid-DBeat gallop...it's In Darkness-era WOLFBRIGADE, and it's executed perfectly. A couple of rock 'n roll burners (a la DISFEAR, keeping with the melodic Swedish hardcore theme) and when they unleash, LOS REVOLUCIONARIOS really get after it. For every kid that had a ragged TRAGEDY patch in 2004, and still can't bring themselves to get rid of the jacket even though it's threadbare and hasn't fit for ten years.
As always, this is presented to you as the cassette was presented to me. Glitches and fast edits that sound like mp3 compressions on a couple of tracks (like the absolute banger "Creative Forms Of Fears") are manufacturing defects on the cassette itself, and part of the frustration/charm of the format - even if the result of the inclusion of digital reproduction at some point in the chain. This recording is also available directly from the band.
19 January 2019
Brutal, raw, relentless and disorienting, this Maine outfit just lays waste to all musical convention. You may start to feel dizzy during the anxious stops/starts in "The Subject Terrain," as BAKKARA just attack and attack with the subtlety of an earth mover. Ultra distorted (by design and by accident) bombastic chaos for the noise not music set.
18 January 2019
Yeah, more of this....but y'all know the drill by now, right? Because you should - it's a good ass drill. The motherfukkrs who compiled this series are legit genius.es, with THE HEARTBEATS rolling into BRENDA & THE TABULATIONS' "The Touch Of You" (serious candidate for sleeper Track Of Eternity consideration). THE SAPPHIRES' "Who Do You Love" into the JACKIE ROSS floor slammer "Selfish Love," a track that deserves a place alongside THE SUPREMES. And then these fools drop an (abridged) AARON NEVILLE slow jam right in the middle of this motherfukkr and if there was ever any doubt that the East Side Story crew was fucking around....well then be assured that this is the real shit. Twelve more tracks...twelve more essential tracks - because if you don't have your roots then you don't have a fucking thing.
17 January 2019
A dizzying collection of beats and sounds and manipulations makes Tim Cosner's Dead Tech/Modern Homes at once challenging, painful and brilliant. From tracks like "F Real" that sound like your older brother's Intellivision glitching out to NITZER EBB styled repetitive pummeling filtered through modern retro primitive electronica, it's all engaging....and maybe that's it, maybe Cosner is an actual sonic future primitive, inflicting intentionally lo-fi tweaks on sounds that are dying to be massive floorshakers. The construction/s are disorienting and can distract the listener even inside themselves....yeah, I'm gonna have to listen to this one some more. I'll get back to you.
16 January 2019
1. I Want It.
2. I Feel Sick.
3. I Don't Care.
I think first three titles presented without comment should probably be enough to sell even the most apprehensive punk. BONDAGE sweeten the pot with a barrage of 60-90 second four on the floor bursts that land between '77 UK, '17 Midwest and '83 California, with Faiza's reverbed wailings constantly hovering over the top. Austin's BONDAGE are, if nothing else, a perfect example of a band making something new out of all of the old things.
15 January 2019
Yesterday was a total mindfuck. There's no need to go into details or mince words, but it was traumatic and awful and life affirming and powerful and all in the kind of way that you are glad it's over...and you are glad it happened. And then I came home and I listened to this total facemelting accumulation of sounds and electronics and beats and it was like a complete departure, a complete escape - like stepping into absence itself. A half hour of self indulgent psychedelic shoegaze techno does a lot to reset the heart, and sometimes what you really need is a reset.
14 January 2019
13 January 2019
This time it's the presentation more than the tracks themselves, because I don't think you can try to sound like this. The snare drum is like a damp dish rag and the guitars are tinny, marginally in tune and always slightly off time, all of which stands in contract to fiercely snarled and always out of breath vocals and a vicious approach to sharp, bare bones hardcore punk.The breakdown in "Holy War" is where it all really clicked for me - even though the demo was nearly over by that point....but that's where the phrase "turn it over" comes in.
12 January 2019
I bought this, along with a dozen or more other previously unknown-to-me cassettes, a few months back from a mail order distro that was having a pretty massive sale. My pal John was like "you heard of any of this shit?" and I was like "no, but it's all like $3 and the fool writes compelling descriptions and my PayPal account is flush" so I bit. I bit hard. And the aural juices flowed into my mouth when that package arrived and I I am still savoring the taste. ILYAS AHMED is probably the furthest thing from my typical wheelhouse that I welcomed into my collection and my life, but it also is having the most staying power. A (possibly accidental) combination of minimal psych that lands somewhere between FLOYD/SPACEMEN 3 and bedroom folk that harkens back to Wm. Ackerman's early Windham Hill, AHMED sets the tone with his nonchalantly ethereal guitars, fills in the cracks with other worldy other sounds and then just lays the vocals gently over the top....when the mood is right, I dare say that there are few things more fitting. Studded jackets and CIMEX patches will still be there when you wake up.
11 January 2019
I can assure you that it sounds every bit as stark as it looks, and those guitars are the very embodiment of damaged. Like, you kinda feel sorry for them (the guitars) because some cruel person spent almost 20 minutes just hurting them back in January of 2018. Hurting them badly. I hear FLAG and Land Speed-era DÜ buried in this recording, but THE WOUND are too fukkn nasty to settle for a "reminds me of" this or that, THE WOUND are aural punishment in it's purest form.
10 January 2019
Devastating solo project from one of the dudes from Oakland's NOPES, this release was well and deservedly hyped by relevant independent music press/es last year....but here, we are irrelevant. Fault is a brilliant bedroom mix of '80s UK post punk (I'm talking heavyweights here - THE FALL and JOY DIVISION don't get dropped lightly), JJ BURNEL, and early Chicago industrial, even if that combination is a total accident. Hopelessly hip, even if by accident, STUNTED could live as comfortably on the AmRep roster as in an intimate West Oakland kitchen gig that no one made flyers for and you didn't find out about until the next week....it's good y'all. it's really good.
09 January 2019
You have probably figured by now that I don't really do the dirty pop punk thing, or Region Rock or whatever...I typically take my hooks straight up, no dumpster. But as with all things, there are exceptions. Like TWAT SAUCE. I've been sitting on these monsters for literally years, so long that they've kinda become staples instead of casual plays. Sweaty, shameless, drunk, infectious, southeast US basement punk....and there's a recording of the band shotgunning beers on the demo. Vocals land dangerously close to BLATZ level supremity, you get the impression they've heard HICKEY more than twice, and there's just something about the way TWAT SAUCE put it all together. Two demos in today's link, from 2010 and 2011 - I snagged them both when they came out, so you know I been blasting "Can't Keep It Up" for a while now.
08 January 2019
Let's not mince words here, Fused is pure fukkn candy. You might not recognize the face, you might not know the name at first....but if you grew up in North America and are under the age of 65, then you've heard this motherfukkr. You might have even grown up with him. LA Law. Hill Street Blues. The A-Team. Law & Order (all of them). Motherfukkn Rockford Files. But he didn't just write the theme songs to all of those shows (and way more, *cough* Magnum P.I. *cough*), fool worked with DOLLY PARTON. Produced past prime-VAN HALEN. THE WHO wrote a song about him. And buried beneath the schlock (I mean, come on....television theme songs as a fukkn career), there are some legitimately sick orchestral/psychedelic arrangements on his lone studio release from 1975. Not surprisingly, it's like taking a guy who writes sick and catchy instrumental tracks (see: Rockford Files) and telling him to turn that into an epic full length release. Well....Mike Post did that shit.
1) Thanks to the 5/$1 cassette box at the city center thrift store in Ajo, Arizona for this one.
2) Tape warbles during "Overground Fusion" courtesy of life and offered here free of charge.
3) Apparently "Afternoon Of The Rhino" was, at one time, a dancefloor burner. I can see it.
4) It's my mother's birthday.
07 January 2019
Why not keep it killer, right? No sense wrapping up the first week of 2019 with some clunker, so here's a ripper from 2016. MYAKKA sound anxious the whole damn time, with a constant surge and some of the weirdest sounding punk guitars I've come across in a long long time. And not "what the fukk?!?" weird, more like "I've been listening for ten minutes and it turns out these guitars are weird" weird. Which is really a much more effective (and honestly? ...weirder) weird. All the gut punch you would expect from a modern south Florida hardcore act, and this one sticks with you something fierce. I recommend not dismissing the flip side - they did they whole "here's our demo backwards on the back side" thing, and it works really really well.
06 January 2019
Someone want to tell me where these bands come from? Because it's as if you fukkn blink and then there's this killer thing in your lap and you're all like "where did this come from?" so that's kinda why I'm asking. I mean, NOPE come from 2017 (and beyond), and they come from Winnipeg, but somehow that just confuses me more. It's like early DeutschPunk with '80s SoCal snarl and sneer, it's got those double snare taps that seem to automatically inject extra energy into all punk things. And the keyboards in "Couch Gag" - where did those come from? There's also a penchant for hooks that lands somewhere between CARBONAS and LUMPY and LA FRACTION....and it's all happening at the same time and still I'm like "where did this come from?" but mostly I just keep listening. More than most things I have posted here, this cassette is truly for fans of punk.
05 January 2019
Complete attention is an absolute imperative today - casual listeners will be distracted, confused and disappointed. FAANGFACE offer a mind melting adaptation of hypnotic and psychedelic folk, like a series of ragas and incantations treated with a subtle dusting of modern abrasive noise. If you're doing it right, then around eleven minutes into "Invocation (Seven Lungs)" you will begin to meet your new god. It will be a challenging, but rewarding, introduction, and an overwhelmingly positive experience.
04 January 2019
Another reminder of the generational shift in underground music, especially in North America. NYC's WORSE plunge into a pool of razor blades that cut into accepted norms, carving their own sonic path into their own collective skin and creating something that just sounds wholly new. Fresh. Raw. This is the kind of thing that a more astute and/or relevant pundit will label as groundbreaking or even gamechanging, because WORSE blaze a new trail through well charted territories....but this guy? I'm all like "shit, this is like JESUS LIZARD and SPACEMEN 3 through a TORCHE filter" - and maybe we are both right.
03 January 2019
The things you find, man....I don't even know where to begin. Well, start with the outside - someone in a band thought that was a good cover for their demo...and the other band members agreed. Or acquiesced, but still. But if it's any consolation, the outside is a pretty good indication of the cerebral profanity that greets you when you press play. Like AGOROPHOBIC NOSEBLEED and ASS (link is dead, your loss), and then there's the epic misanthropic doom of "Pinch My Beef." I mean, it kinda makes sense when you look closer and see that Bloated Beyond Blasphemy was recording in Apple Valley, Minnesota in 1993. I'm not exactly sure why that gives PLOW BARREL the appropriate context, but somehow it does. Ripping drum machine driven death/thrash metal in the CARCASS, CANNIBAL CORPSE vein, treated with adolescent isolation and copious amounts of weed.
02 January 2019
Get some knuckle protectors kids, those shits about to be dragging all over the damn floor for the next eight minutes. Let the Lowest Common Denonimator Rule rule you, and dig into the Blood, Sweat and No Tears-era NYHC dropped by Pittsburgh's ASHKENAZI a few years back. Bizarrely sprinkled with THIN LIZZY sensibilities, Nature Of The Beast goes from infectious to addictive before the first breakdown (which comes at the 0:59 mark, assuming we aren't counting the mosh heavy intro). Why can't it all be this easy?
01 January 2019
Let the discussions over hidden meanings and subliminal messages commence, and continue throughout the year. SEE//GET: Dream Vacation//Harsh Conclusion. May you be greeted with brutal realities and insurmountable challenges....and may you conquer.