17 August 2019


How many bands are there (and have there been) called BLEACH? Punk bands, hardcore bands, indie bands, electro bands, metal bands...there must literally be dozens, if not hundreds, who have slayed or disgraced stages and floors for decades. There's no way we can know how many bands called BLEACH are even worth mentioning much less revisiting, but I can say that there's a band called BLEACH from Edmonton who are straight fukkn fire. 

16 August 2019


I shared my contribution last week. And when I returned home from a month traversing some of the lesser visited corners of the Great North American West with Karoline, my reward was waiting for me. I think I told the moderator that I liked "blackened crust" or something like that, but whatever I said totally worked because the tape I received is a perfect combination of filthy bangers that I already know (or own) and stuff that was new to me. If I were being overly critical, I would say that you don't really need to put HHIG on a tape curated for a group of nerds who are clearly already fans of the genre, but my mix tape style runs a little more off the beaten path, and cranking "Internally Bleeding" will always remind me of the first time I heard the track at volume just after passing the westbound toll gate on the Bay Bridge into SF 20something years ago. ATRAMENT, TEMPEST, HEXIS, SKITSYSYSTYEM, AGRIMONIA, NEGATIVE STANDARDS, MISANTHROPIC make up most of the first side, SYMPTOM, WORMWOOM, VORDE, UNRU, BÖLZER, BOTANIST, BUIOINGOLA on the flip. Listening highlights were remembering how much I like UNRU, the stupid fast eurocrust BÜTRON, and the ALUK TODOLO material that wraps up the first side. Signups for the August edition of the exchange open up today...rest assured I will participate. 

15 August 2019


A collection of killer live recordings released by ROIR in 1983 (related: check the ROIR mailorder catalog included in the insert, yowza!). It's funny how discordant funk gets classified as "no wave," and while that's often the case on Wild Things, it's the combination of sounds that truly makes BUSH TETRAS stand out - even/especially 35 years in the future. Repetitive drum and bass lay the foundation and the guitar just freaks the fuck out for essentially the entire set. Like a contemporary Roland S. Howard channelling spirits of a future past avant garde, guitarist Pat Place (ex-THE CONTORTIONS) seems to blast in and out of songs at will while the vocals land somewhere between Lydia Lunch and Siouxsie, intensity only slightly tempered with soul and honesty. Pretty much everything here is faster (and "punker") than the studio versions, most notably "Too Many Creeps," resulting in an infectiously spasmodic journey through an hour long no wave/post punk clinic. Rules aren't necessary...BUSH TETRAS make it clear that you just need to break them with confidence. 

14 August 2019


A repost from September of 2009, when The Escape was just a fledgling little blog...back when blogs were a thing that (some) people (foolishly) thought were important. But in case you missed it, this dose of UK anarcho from 1984 is absolutely essential - innocent and determined political punk delivered with an honest ferocity. Listen to "We Don't Want A War" and apply it to the reality that is 2019 and these tracks scream relevance...worth noting that much of their millennial output is equally compelling. 

13 August 2019


You already have this right? The FAITH 1981 demo presented as it should be, in all of the glory that a blown out 35 year old, third generation tape sitting in a box in some middle aged former trader's closet can muster. It doesn't sound perfect, but it's not supposed to - and that flange near the end of "Don't Tell Me" still pops every time. Live set from the Wilson Center in '82 is here if you want more.

12 August 2019


Blown out DBeat madness from Seoul. More or less a product of the usual suspects here (members from ARRYAM, SCUMRAID, SLANT, CRAWLER, others) - but I'm fine with overlap if the new bands continue to be this damn good (see Halifax as an example). Five deadly tracks offered by the venerable MYDY label. 

Listen closely to the drums on "안빈낙도" and know that thins is how hardcore should be played. OK, there are a lot of ways, but this is definitely one of them.  

11 August 2019


New Age hippie and/or Phoenix multi-instrumentalist Ed Van Fleet's SYNCHESTRA dropped eight cassettes on the venerable Elfin Music label before Van Fleet concentrated on releasing work under his own name, and this was his first. Peaceful synths soar and dominate 1981's Mother Earth's Lullaby as Van Fleet carries the listener on a journey of spiritual growth rooted in earth Herself. "We cannot achieve paradise in another dimension until we can create one in this dimension," writes Van Fleet on the J-card, "To this end and in the interest of our destiny, we offer this music." I accept your offer.
"Electronic and Acoustic Instruments at their sensitive best."

10 August 2019


Likely the final posthumous release from LIFE DRAG, Unidentify You is an excruciating dirge. Thirty minutes of darkness and frustration, manifested through bass, vocal, drum and sound. The  assemblage here is interesting. The opener "Worker" is a disorganized cacophony, followed by "Farmer," which is an intentionally sloppy piece of brutality - awkward to listen to but also the least realized track on the tape. The trilogy that follows - "Polishing Hammers," "A New Trade" and "Unidentify You" - combine to make the most compelling twenty minutes of sound I have heard in a very very long time. It's a ferocious exercise in monotony and deliberation, a calculated assault on all senses and psyche, and it will leave you breathless. I'm not saying that the first two cuts aren't worth your time, but be aware that even when Schmidt and Benjamin shout bury you // one by one in "Farmer," they are just getting started. 

09 August 2019


Cultures and subcultures that exist solely within various social media seem weird to me. Then again, I'm a couple of decades older than most punks, so it makes sense that my psyche would be stuck in some antiquated face-to-face perception of how interaction/s "should" occur and connections "should" be maintained. Plus, I of course participate in social media, so it's not like I'm complaining about "the scene" passing me by, I'm just acknowledging (and, to be fully transparent, lamenting) the pending expiration of actual human social interaction without technology. I'm not a luddite, though anyone publishing a daily music blog in 2019 is clearly not cutting edge....but I digress. I joined an existing instagram based mix tape exchange last month, and finished my first offering before I left town with Karoline (we are in Seattle as this is posted). The exchange is like a moderated white elephant - everyone answers the same simple questionnaire and the moderator matches participants based on common interests. My partner lives in Columbia, Missouri and likes "classic heavy metal and grindcore." Asked what three bands s/he would kill to see? '99-'01 era SLIPKNOT, early '90s JANE'S ADDICTION, and PANTERA. Based on these parameters, I compiled Brain Concussion. I initially planned to make one side "classic heavy metal" and one side "grindcore," but clearly I got sidetracked along the way....which is the whole point of making a mix tape. So I guess the internet ain't all bad, because making this thing was a blast...and when I get home I'm going to have someone else's creation waiting for me. Stay tuned.

08 August 2019


Weirdo nerd punk with guitars straight out of 2015 NW Indiana (you know the scene I mean, right?) and an attitude lifted shamelessly from 1983. I'm guessing these kids are at home playing in basements and kitchens and perhaps weird coffee shops where one freak works and convinces their boss to have a gig. They just sound like outcasts, and their tracks are deadly good - like SF's SYNTHETIC ID but faster and with hardcore yowls. Check "Let Me Go" in particular, just don't let that crawly intro stomp fool you...(hint: it's not an intro).

07 August 2019


A contribution from a Friend Of The Escape in Edmonton: five tracks tracks of howling intensity. DBeat tinge to a cacophonous display of power fronted by gruff vocals that take their space by pure force. Lurches like the start to "Diseased Generation" are good resets before the band puts their collective foot on your neck...and I'm not even going to talk about the mid tempo bit that closes out the same track, because it's terrifying. CREEPING CHILL urgent, they sound pissed, and they sound fukkn real. I love getting tapes in the mail. 

06 August 2019


I'm just going to say that literally every time I listen to reggae and enjoy it, I feel like I owe an apology to Peter Hirseland of SUNDAY MORNING EINSTEINS, whose knowledge and love of the genre goes extremely deep, and who was on the receiving end of an unfortunately relentless barrage of disparaging comments about reggae (in general) from me on our three tours together. I understand his reluctance to move to educate me...I mean, I was a shit talking little kid (OK - young adult, but the point is still essentially the same) so I understand his reluctance. But it's important to develop an appreciation for this shit - it's the root of all of it. And even though the title says Original Twelve, I can assure you that DELROY WILSON offered many more than a dozen tracks that are worth your time. 

05 August 2019


"Darkness Of Traitor" opens the tape with a guitar sound that will make you wonder if you really do value noise over music...and then they get noisy. Seven tracks from three sessions spanning 2011-15, under the radar blown out Japanese noise/crust consolidated by the heroes from Black Konflik. Heavy UK stench influence, though it's really the presentation and recording that puts them over the top. This is why Mondays are celebrated at TEHQ. 

04 August 2019


Charm City hardcore punk - fast, churning, loose when they need to be, BLOOD RUST are to the point and in your face. Ten songs, Twelve minutes, zero bullshit. 

03 August 2019


It's like the sound that's happening all around you as you live your life....if your life is a complete fucking nightmare. This 2018 offering from ANDREW NOLAN is a meditation on reality, a brooding realization that develops before your ears and inside your psyche over 29 excruciating minutes. It's at once peaceful and dreadful...but that's our existence if we're doing it right. Escaping the reality just long enough to be shocked by it. Heavy electronics meld with found sounds on Background Music - it should come as no surprise to the attentive amongst us that Nolan's offering delivers (INTENSIVE CARE, COLUMN OF HEAVEN, EBOLA, THE ENDLESS BLOCKADE, SHANK, WINDSCALE, SAWN OFF, DEATH AGONIES are among the skeletons in his closet), though I was impressed nonetheless with this release. Not for nothing, it also led me to the world of Absurd Exposition, which is a very dangerous world to visit...if these sounds suit you. 

02 August 2019


You wanna make the argument that punk in 1982 had more swagger and more attitude than it does today? Or than it ever could again? Play Annoy Your Neighbor With This Tape! and the argument pretty much makes itself. Also more sketchy lyrics and subject matter (thanks, ROACH MOTEL, I always did think you were overrated and irrelevant), but that's a different discussion. Hardcore punk, general sonic weirdness, demented noise punk, minimal synth, no rules whatsoever, and all top absolute top quality. Was quite pleased to finally come across a copy of this comp (started looking based on the RUSSIAN MEATSQUATS connection), and was even more pleased to find that it's way better than I even hoped. The whole thing slams, but notable freaks include: ATTRITION, CRACKED ACTOR, ANGRY SAMOANS (bonus for the factory obscenity bleeps), SENSELESS HATE, SUBURBAN MENACE and SPIKE HAYTRED. Now I need to cop the OmiGod, Hardcore! tape, apparently the only other release from Chainsaw Tapes. 

01 August 2019


Nothing fancy to report today, just a crucial four song Peel Sessions recording from London's 999. "Soldier" and "Let's Face It" were new, unreleased tracks when this was broadcast in early 1978. This guy's only complaint is that whomever recorded this shit off the radio (or transferred the recording to fellow tape traders somewhere down the line) cut off Sir Peel's voice between songs. 999 has always seemed like a second tier UK punk band to me, but their output condensed down to just the best stuff is formidable - and some of the best stuff is right here.

For more 999, there's a burner live set from 1977 over at Escape Is Terminal.  

31 July 2019


Ripping and raw late '90s US hardcore punk. Basement energy - unhinged, chaotic and passionate. Plus a few parts that aren't "ok" anymore...but maybe they should be. 

30 July 2019


SIOBHAN has stopped by The Escape a few times already, but I think that 2014's Southgate is perhaps the best example of their murky psychedelic approach to primitive techno. It just sounds like you're high on all of the things, and it's SIOBHAN taking you on that trip. A trying document at times, as amateurish as it is brilliant, Southgate will be most rewarding half hour of your day. 

29 July 2019


Relentless metallic DISCHARGE worship from Brasil's MASSACRE DIVINE - featuring Fofåo of BESTHOVEN fame on drums. In eight short minutes they make it clear that nothing short of strict adherence to the form will suffice...and they deliver as expected. 

28 July 2019


Saw them in the flesh in Oklahoma City last year and they were good. Don't get me wrong, they were good. But there were just a lot of bands and a lot of amazing bands and HUMANOIDS got a bit lost in my mental shuffle. But that's fine, because time forgives tapes are forever and I'll be fukkd if I didn't remember HUMANOIDS being this good. So here I am, 16 months later, jamming to that double snare tap near then end of "Imitation of Life" and bouncing off the damn walls. Because for better or worse, time does forgive. And punk still rules. 

27 July 2019


Where the fukk did this come from? I mean, it's been sitting unassumingly on my shelf for a while (ok, a long while) waiting patiently for me to pay attention, and now it's laughing while I push my face through a wall on the third straight listen. Ferocity and destruction and unabashed disgust. Once again, I am reminded of what I want from a hardcore band - that target moves around with time, but New York's LONG CAT are absolutely on point. Four studio tracks and a live recording, all apparently from 2011. Don't snooze like I did. 

26 July 2019


Repost from 2010, Death Pays All Debts is a crucial collection that deserves revisiting. Read the original post here is you're so inclined, but mostly just start consuming these late '80s New Zealand bands: CASUALTY, STENCH OF THE WOUNDED, COMPOS MENTIS, WORLD WAR 3, BONER and ARMATRAK. 

25 July 2019


I was talking with Rafael a few years ago, and he devilishly threatened a project like this one. And then a few weeks ago this arrived in the mail. One man in the bowels of Cuidad de México, lurking the shadows of the federal district in search of chaos, and then returning to his apartment and capturing all of the absurdity of the real world onto tape. The result? Pop y Basura, a collection of electronic insanity like nothing the world has ever seen. Beat heavy primitive new wave created while living life through a chaos punk filter....this might be the greatest thing ever. 

For Rafael's earlier contributions to the world of audio destruction, try: HERE and HERE

24 July 2019


The '90s were a heyday for snotty and snarky garage and/or pop punk that had actual attitude. BORIS THE SPRINKLER and FYP weren't bad words, and shared bills with black clad political crust bands...and it wasn't weird. Not saying that it was a better time, or that any of those bands are good, just noting the difference - and opening the doors for THE NARDS. Tons of fun and tons of attitude, ass shaking punk rock isn't really a bad thing, regardless of subgenre. At their best they remind me of DEAD MILKMEN, at their fastest they conjure up the aforementioned FYP, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with enjoying yourself every now and then.

"Hey Kev, you OK?"