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.
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?"
23 July 2019
Nice and fuzzy grunged out snotty punk, like if the kids from Hattiesburgh got real wasted and went played an outside show when it was real foggy and you couldn't really hear things very well so they just turned the volume up, maybe with a young CYNDI LAUPER singing. Also, for what it's worth, Sydney's CONCRETE LAWN sound really old, which is a plus. Repeated listens bring more illogical comparisons to the surface, but I'll leave it here.
22 July 2019
Mind melting and contemplative spiritual jazz from South African born NDIKHO XABA. The sole release using this moniker, 1971's NDIKHO XABA AND THE NATIVES is a journey in the truest sense, bridging sonic exploration with political and social consciousness. I heard these recordings years ago - well before I had the ears to appreciate, but re-discovered recently via the folks at Loathed Sound. There was a proper re-issue a few years ago....as there should have been.
Xaba passed away last month at age 85. As eulogies go, this one does the job with grace.
21 July 2019
Yep....this kills. Walls of blown to shit guitars, everything to eleven, deadly rasped vocals, piercing distorted one note leads, all set to a terrifyingly pace driven by relentless thuds. It's full on noise not music delivered with a decidedly non-chaotic precision. Fukkn fierce, and utterly devastating.
20 July 2019
I admit that I hear the INFECTIOUS GROOVES track with the OZZY cameo almost every time this band is mentioned. And then of course there was the band THERAPY? who were relevant around the same time (and whose "Screamager" video was, in hindsight, pretty much the blueprint for every modern day short hair death metal and/or amazing core band video)...but these are the pre-judgements that get us punks into trouble, because something as simple as pressing 'play' can erase all of this sonic images and replace them with the pure fire that is San Diego's THERAPY. Last year's five song offering is a bulldozer of power and intensity, eschewing en vogue stylings and opting instead to go very fukkn hard. Full throttle hardcore with DBeat tendencies always lurking in the shadows of the mix...and Chris's vocals are just holy shit caliber jaw dropping. These tracks and four more are available on a 12" that I highly recommend.
19 July 2019
When WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? toured with LIFES HALT in 2001, I met some people and made some friends and made some connections that still hold strong today. It was essentially a bunch of dudes driving around telling fart jokes and throwing food at each other, but it was an incredibly important five weeks for most of us. In Connecticut, we stayed with a fellow named Chris and it was weird but he was a cool cat and we all talked about records a LOT (full disclosure: I had never heard of most of the records he talked about and this might have been the first time I heard the term "killed by death" used as a genre descriptor and not just a series of compilations), then in Providence at our July 4th afternoon show there was a group of dorks there who referred to themselves as the New Bedford Mosh Crew (they had shirts), who went super hard in the basement but then chilled awkwardly on the sidelines at the show in Western Mass when older (rawer) hardcore kids were going harder (full disclosure: we all kinda hated the Western Mass gig, but that shit in Rhode Island was a blast). Anyway, Chris was in SELF DEFENSE, who I crossed paths with a few more times in the '00s. And those New Bedford Mosh Crew kids were part of the scene that gave us XFILESX. So you see, it was a very important time...and this tape that Mick (Room 101 Records, Connecticut, DIALLO, also met on that tour, also haven't seen in years) release is a straight rager - even (especially) released for their tour in 2002 is an essential document of a time that has long since passed. Also, if you like really fast hardcore then I strongly recommend this cassette.
18 July 2019
Fuuuuuuukkkkkkk this one just doesn't get out of my head. Ultra catchy Montreal punk - forceful femme vocals and hook forever laid on top of a ridiculously solid rhythm section. The most obvious comparison is from France, though I think it sells MALOKIO somewhat short. There are only four song on this tape (five on their 2014 recording, that might actually be better), but these Québécois have set a seriously high bar for future efforts. Highest Escape recommendation.
17 July 2019
In the relatively early days of The Escape, I posted some New Jersey freak show noise rock and my pal John sent me additional recordings from the same band...and a casual obsession with TRIGGERVISION began. I feel like they embody what SONIC YOUTH was going for years earlier, but that they did so with the artistic perspective that only time can really provide. That doesn't mean the second wave is better than the first, but using experience and knowledge as tools can't really be a bad thing. Then a few months ago I got an email from Daniel asking if I wanted to hear some unreleased TRIGGERVISION recordings....I did, and Daniel delivered. Almost an hour of studio and live recordings (including their first from 1987) that will absolutely melt your mind. Psychedelic freakout prog/no wave/punk, they simply don't make them like this anymore, and I strongly suggest that you dig real deep into what TRIGGERVISION had to offer. Seriously and endless gratitude to Daniel for sharing...there recordings make my brain hurt. And these recordings make my brain work, which is even more important.
16 July 2019
These bands were like weeds in the mid-'00s. Bulldozer crust with gruff vocals and Scandi-lite guitar leads that kinda sounded like '90s pop punk if you dropped them onto a STRUNG OUT record. There were often little hints of black metal too, but that was before people openly acknowledged that the Burzum dude was a fucking nazi (full disclosure: I wore a Burzum shirt for most of my first Japanese tour 1996 - it's not a thing I feel awesome about). Some of these recordings make me cringe when I hear them, and some of them strike a nerve...the right nerve, and they make me nostalgic. Check the TERROR LEVEL RED 12" for example - it was maybe a little late to the picnic in 2007 (an unavoidable timeline perhaps, as they were really young), but holy SHIT does that thing hold up today. See also Southern California anarcho-crusters PROBLEM REACTION SOLUTION....the metal tinges are more on the melodic and anthemic end (MAIDEN, HAMMERFALL), but none of that detracts from the guttural dual vocal churn that makes up most of this 2005 release. Pretty sure this was all they ever offered, and a fifteen year old $1 bin demo probably isn't going to make of a blip on most radars since, you know...it's not "cool," but I'll take the guitar break at 2:42 in "Drug Addicted Population" any fucking day. Also, "Mass Murder" shamelessly rips "Eye Of The Tiger" in the best possible way.
15 July 2019
A chaotic performance from Australia's THE NUCLEAR FAMILY captured in Sapporo in 2016. Think early punk, when there were no rules and when you could just kill one hook for four minutes and call it a song. Think saxophone. Think STOOGES meets GERMS. Think MUTANTS. Think fucking punk then think free jazz and then ask yourself is technical ability is really the only true barrier. I typically house the live bangs over at Escape Is Terminal, but I feel like it would be criminal for this document to get lost in the less-visited shuffle. Take your time here, THE NUCLEAR FAMILY is neither an easy nor pleasant ride. But they take you where you need to go.
14 July 2019
Pay Attention. Because if you're going to harness decades old sounds and regurgitate them as your own, then you need to put in the work required to make them your own. That's what THE MOLDS have done. Airy '80s indie/alt as a base, and then they...well, they make it theirs. Beats are weird, guitars feel like they are descending from all directions at the same, and moments like the chorus in "Bad One" sound like lost nuggets from the 120 Minutes era of primitive late night cable TV alt discovery. Like, even though it's on the internet for anyone to see and hear and have, THE MOLDS make themselves belong to you as you listen to them - it's a rare feat, and not an easy one.
13 July 2019
Further evidence that it doesn't have to be fancy to be good. Like, really good. Buffalo is only a couple of hours from Pittsburgh, and I hear CAUSTIC CHRIST and SUBMACHINE is in this demo (bridging generations, y'all) - meat and potatoes hardcore punk, lyrics full of vinegar and frustration. "Audio Masturbation" is far and away the choice cut, and off the rails burner that never seems to let up, even when it slows down...the REALLY RED cover is a strong move too, of course. This one dropped in 2012 and the band appears to have gone silent, but I'll take what I can get.
12 July 2019
11 July 2019
Simplicity can be a very powerful tool. Controlled beats, the subtler side of power electronics, a gentle blanket of manufactured tape hiss to curl up with. MARATHON listens like an ambient space synth excursion, but eschews traditional synths and sounds in almost every way ("III" as the primary exception). It's a curious excursion, and MARATHON truly does seem they are trying to lure you in instead of merely entertain you. I recommend reaching out....meet them halfway.
10 July 2019
You got two yesterday because I figured one was so standard that you should already have it anyway.
There's another world where fukkn everyone knows this band, and the underground metal world swoons over Indonesia's POISON NOVA. In this world, however, they may be lost to most rippers outside of Indonesia. There are only two songs on this cassette, but.....just, wow. I think that this is what power is supposed to sound like. You can tell me they are too polished if you like, you can even tell me that this is like my HECATE ENTHRONED to your GORGOROTH demo. And I'll tell you that these kids from Cirebon fukkn slay.
09 July 2019
Surely you've already done this, right? The first two demos from (the superior) YOUTH BRIGADE (the one from DC), from 1981 and 1982 respectively. This is what hardcore punk is supposed to sound like, and note the UK82 meets neanderthal vibe of "Full Speed Ahead" if you're wondering exactly what I'm talking about. These recordings have been passed around and officially issued booted and reissued, but I kinda think that tracks like "Moral Majority" need to be blasted on (and from) third generation cassettes that manic teenagers copied in their bedrooms late at night and mailed across the country to eager ears. That's the story behind this copy, and I feel like it helps.
I was hooked on this London band pretty much instantly. Damaged, filthy jangling guitars and vocals drenched in intellectual nihilism, sexual pretense and self harm - it's like PHANTOM LIMBS reborn in 1987 as DREAM DECAY. And also THE COWS. It's a caustic and brutal sonic display throughout, but don't let the subtleties pass you by...it's like your very existence, right? It hurts, and it's disgusting, and buried in the filth you find joy and purpose. If you're lucky. Blood & Guts sounds like the purpose. FEX URBIS go hard, kids, and they wanna take you with them. I can only urge you to listen, and to pay close attention when you do.
I don't need to keep my life
Out of sight, it's a simple plan
Out of mind, living in tombland