I like this tape. DUMB VISION are going hard, the recording is murky and kinda fucked up so it sounds like you're in the basement with them. Classically catchy '90s DIY melodies clash with SPITS caliber irreverence and the casual way they drop in the weird bits ("Negative" as a perfect example) makes my hair stand up a bit. "Shadows" is the track though, the tracks that's gonna stick in your earholes like old, sticky wax. "Shadows" is a really good fukkn song.
30 September 2019
29 September 2019
This. Band. Fukkn. Screams.
Two tracks from the incredible 2018 EP on long sold out Bunker Punks plus three absolutely searing hardcore slammers recorded live in early 2018. This shit falls somewhere in between HEADCLEANERS and the first DIE KREUZEN record, with an originality in overall sound and presentation that makes my mouth water. Fast, ominous, dark, and supremely vicious.
28 September 2019
A perfectly timed time warp from Columbus, Ohio. This is all of the femme/college/alt reborn as Midwest basement kids, and I kinda love it. BELLY, BREEDERS, TSUNAMi, VERUCA SALT...you get the drift. Meandering single note guitar dancing with each other while vocals and vocal melodies just hang out casually, choosing various corners of the mix however they see fit. They just sound sweet, and I don't know another way to describe them. Who doesn't want a little sweetness every now and then?
27 September 2019
MEGA METAL MIXTAPE EXCHANGE
Another installment in the social media exchange, this time a fierce collection of whirling destruction that slid through my mail slot a couple of weeks ago. Raise The Dead, Volume V is a drunkenly assembled mix (and it's mixed with two turntables, a nice plus....but a motherfukkr to edit) that focuses on primal, lowest common denominator death/thrash. Which is exactly what I was hoping for. BASTARD, ABSU, WAR FARE, CHAINSAW, PERVERSION, WASTELANDER, SPITE and a SLAYER slammer for good measure...mostly cranked up real high in the red, so it sounds like you're in the back corner of a crowded party even when you're alone in your kitchen. Hypothetically. Title taken from the rawest recording on the tape, VENOM's "Raise The Dead," my creator outdid themselves in the realm of filth and aggression...and I'm grateful.
26 September 2019
MALEEM MAHMOUD GHANIA with PHAROAH SANDERS
Pharoah Sanders should need no introduction, and Maleem Mahmoud Ghania is a Moroccan Gnawa master. This collaboration was recorded in 1994, Sanders joining with Mahmoud's ensemble in Morocco. Simply put, this recording is incredible.
This recording was released on cassette by Bill Laswell's Axiom in 1994, re-issued digitally in 2016, booted in 2017 (pictured), and given proper vinyl treatment earlier this year by the German Zehra label.
25 September 2019
SORDO // SCAB ADDICT
Two tracks of complete mindfuckery from Oxnard/s SORDO - noisecore and powerviolence remixed and layered and just annihilated by an entity identified only as "Patrick." Well, Patrick, you fukkd me up. Good job. Equally prolific New York mutant's SCAB ADDICT offer up a 13 minute freak spawn of manipulated primitive electronics and general lack of concern for human well being. I feel like this is the sonic equivalent of involuntary incarceration.
24 September 2019
CARRION SUNFLOWER // VVLAD
The curiously prolific art/goth outfit CARRION SUNFLOWER left countless releases in their wake, and I keep coming across them. What seems like a dozen or more split cassettes, a few live recordings, small runs reproduced in questionable fidelity just to ensure that their wake will extend far further than their real time impact that ended a few years ago. Their side of this 2015 split features four pieces of dreary PTV-by-way-of-BAUHAUS and/or ULVER with droned/spoken vocals, leaning heavily on a manipulated acoustic guitar for ambiance. Self indulgent to be sure, but I highly recommend sinking into the murky recording and the hiss heavy duplication, CARRION SUNFLOWER make it worth the effort. On the flip, Norway's VVLAD offer one creepy ambient track, one piece of AM transistor radio quality dreary street corner insanity delivered with just a lonely guitar, and finish with a bizarre dose of awkward no-fi black metal that sounds almost as if someone pirated all of the elements from different sessions, different recordings...indeed even different bands, and placed them on top of one another to create a new being. It's a really weird listen, as with CARRION SUNFLOWER, but you need you let go, and let the bleak solitude envelop you....
23 September 2019
You've been warned - this one is really good. Jerky, quirky, aggressive New York shits that bring to mind mid '00s acts like SYNTHETIC ID as they morph late '80s outsider punk and art house drenched Alternative Tentacles fare into . Guitar/s are all over the damn place with single note leads and awkward atonal spurts, while the bass delivers effortless Dean Clean caliber runs that exhaust the neck and drive the entire mix. Only four songs here, though I admit that I have rarely been this spent from simply listening to a demo.
don't fuck with me
22 September 2019
Canadian instrumental space/psych kings with a 2014 cassette only offering for the Dub Ditch Picnic label. I came across their debut Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976 some years ago, and still take occasional dips into their swirling monotony from another time, but Street Rock reminded me just how much SHOOTING GUNS there was for me to sink into (including a recent foray into composing and perfoming film scores). If "Feelings (dub)" doesn't lure/lull you into submission, then edge the volume up for the raw bombast of "I Think I Can Taste It" as the closing statement of this masterpiece and feel yourself drift away. Taking cues from SLEEP, LOW, WOODEN SHJIPS, this band takes ownership of the sound and makes you simultaneously feel and forget everything.
21 September 2019
Fiery hi-energy Midwest punk, soaked in vinegar and steeped in the afterglow of the BLACK FORK GR'UPS. They followed their debut five song banger from 2015 with a five song banger in 2016 and then a third five song banger in 2017...it's almost like they figured out what worked and kept fukkn doing it. If you're getting sick of punk as in "look at me" and are in the market for more punk as in "fuck you," then PLASTIC HEAP is your shit. Choice cut: "Kids."
20 September 2019
MEGA METAL MIXTAPE EXCHANGE
My second offering to this social media based mixtape club. I enthusiastically admit that it's pretty fun to curate and create for a complete stranger, and adhering to imposed parameters (ok - "suggestions") adds an element of challenge. From LUDICRA to LUCIFER'S FRIEND, from FEAR OF GOD to IRON CHRIST, from LIFES to LIVING DEATH, Rituale clearly leans on the punk/crust end of the spectrum if only because its curator does but it's worth noting how well classics from PRIEST and RAINBOW fit into the collection. Volume is, as always, highly recommended, and I look forward to the next installment.
19 September 2019
ONE EYE OPEN
OK....this one is either an extremely harsh toke or pure brilliance. There can be no middle ground. ONE EYE OPEN were most notable for splits with SCHLONG and JANITORS AGAINST APARTHEID and being on what seemed at the time like every $1 bin CD comp (including at least one with one of my bands). They can play their asses off no doubt, and their LOVE SONGS meets GREEN DAY meets SCHLONG meets MUSCLE BITCHES is actually kinda refreshing in its proficient ridiculousness....and dude, it is totally ridiculous. I don't even know why a band would want to make music like this, so I spend half of my listening time just confused....but man, when they are good, ONE EYE OPEN are great. "James Brown" turning Jim Carroll on his fukkn ear, throwing that earworm metal song into the middle of "Fred Fight" and John Cougar into their eponymous number, country twang when it's not necessary, and the chops to melt faces as on tracks "Yor Pappy's Doin' T'NA." Also included on this 36 song collection is the Boobs: The Incomplete Set EP on Too Many Records, which is the embodiment of the idiocy contained herein - 13 television theme songs crammed onto a moronic seven inch. It's so over the top that I couldn't hate it if I wanted to. And believe me...I super want to.
18 September 2019
Perhaps you, like me, too often prioritize things like sleep or solitude or perceived obligations over leaving your place and your comfort for sonic experiences. Often the personal rebuilding and/or recharging is not optional, and even while looking into the mirror of regret to see what can never be you know that your decision was the right one. And sometimes you listen to Portland's OVER and wonder how you could have possible been so stupid as to not got see them at last weekend's Near Dark Fest in Oakland. Sometimes life itself gets in the way of living...and that's our struggle.
17 September 2019
Visceral, tactile and raw churns from Montreal. COP GUTS are thick and meaty, and the shit will get stuck in your teeth....it's almost like the band are struggling to shove their very sounds through a cheesecloth, making everything sound forced and compacted. And they are serious like a brain aneurysm, demanding that you pay attention....to yourself and your place and your thoughts and your actions. And an effect like that is way tougher than riffs. Choice cut: "Crisis Crisis."
16 September 2019
An absolute bulldozer of metallic DISCHARGE worship, raw and devastating. No breaks between songs, Shrapnel Lobotomy listens like one twenty two minute beating. If you like beatings and cannot transport yourself to 2013 British Columbia, then I recommend KAITEN.
15 September 2019
Right out of the gate, these Sydney punks do the 1-2-1-2 squirmy slam better than just about anyone I've heard. "Island Of Shame" (and especially that intro) is pretty much the sonic embodiment of modern punks taking "old" "hardcore" and making it their own....it unleashes with a DISORDER level fury but a razor sharp and precise attack. Brooke's anxious, affected shouts have a decidedly UK82 bent that puts the whole band's attack on edge. At their roots, QUICK FIX are the sound that the '10s will likely be known for - short burst of hardcore presented as straight beat stomps, with reverbed vocals and "wish we were in 1983" guitar effects - but instead of aping a trend, they are dominating the sound completely.
14 September 2019
Originally posted in 2011, I'm giving this one new life because the link is dead (and buried beneath a couple of thousand posts) and I've been listening to this demo a lot lately. Urgent and awkward UK punk from 1985 - nervous vocals and supremely damaged guitars, especially on the first demo. Unintentional damage, which is almost always the best kind of damage. Thirteen tracks here, and I still think that "Britain in '85" is an unheralded classic.
13 September 2019
Raw intensity from Virginia's KOMMUNION on what appears to be their lone release. 2015's self titled demo is a criminally short dose of Scandi-core riffs and a thin, blown out production dominated by guitar and demonic vocals. They stop and stutter without ever slowing down, and even the brief hiccups seem forced at times because this machine is engineered to go....and to go fast. Nice subtle slow warble in the tape adds to the overall knife edge feel of the production, especially on the intro to "Boy O Boy," the only not full throttle part of the whole demo.
12 September 2019
It's not just impressive that MELANIN pull these vocals off, it's bold that they even try. The result is a SAMHAIN sheen covering angular, dirty, guitar heavy mid paced shits. Repeated listens only drive Not Your Target home harder...this punk is sharp and smart, earning your attention instead of demanding it.
11 September 2019
A dark and introspective affair from Edwin Gorham's sole release. 2016's Delicate Mortality approaches ambience with a Deep Listening level of care in construction. Quiet, deliberate and measured sound that fill space with sonic reflection. followed by a repetitive and harsh distance on the flip. Everything about this tape feels calculated...intentional. And though you may start with the sounds around you, you will likely be inside them when you are finished.
10 September 2019
Intentionally primitive, painfully rough, howling black metal. CIRRHUS are relentless on this 2009 rehearsal tape, the kind of tape that makes you catch your breath when it's finished. So breathe deep before you start. It's raw...really raw.
09 September 2019
Three tracks of fast, damaged, heavily flanged hardcore from the depths. Two sub-70 second bangers and the epic five minute "No Provision" on the flip, an opus that is exhausting to listen to. Imagine ACRYLICS on all of the drugs - WAD squirms, WAD grooves, in no uncertain terms....WAD rocks.
08 September 2019
THE MARK SPARKLES
Sometimes it's like the '90s melodic punk that I hated, but then there's a tinge of SCREECHING WEASEL and I remember relentless Boogadaboogadaboogada! on tour when apparently that tape and a mix with ECONOCHRIST and BORN AGAINST were our only choices (you could do worse). There's the cover of "El Mozote" that appears just as my 21 year old tour nostalgia is kicking in, just in case I was confused about why I was thinking what I was thinking, and then I'm kinda sinking in to this 2008 demo from Seattle's THE MARK SPARKLES, and it feels comfortable, fun, and just right. A generous nod to Sacramento-styled irreverence (THE FOUR EYES, BANANAS, LIZARDS) helps this demo even more - it's not about whether or not I like it, it's about how I didn't know how much I needed it until I listened.
07 September 2019
Yesterday's JOHN DAVIS post is to peace and reflection and solitude what BLOATED is to complete shit-fi mind fuckery. Nonchalant drug addled psychosis converted to magnetic tape through the power of technology. They are nice enough to end with a three minute one riff cool down....you'll need it.
06 September 2019
Over the course of Open Ground, Davis conjures a meditative experience using deep synths and carefully balances on the knife edge between experimentation and manipulation, an edge that occasionally threatens to turn towards you, as in "Where Or When." This was my first exposure to his work, and the sounds led me down a path to a sea of sound and creation. Recommended.
05 September 2019
THE REAL ENEMY
I remember how stoked we all were when we heard this demo from Max, and its hard to believe it was twenty years ago. They were tough as fukk, they were genuine, their energy was through the roof, and these edge kids were fukkn punk. It showed in the music and in the delivery, and it especially came out in the live shows. A gallop reminiscent of Japanese bands like EARTHQUAKE and REPAIR, with a positive straight edge 'core fury urging everything even faster. Also - THE REAL ENEMY had riffs. Two demos, an EP on 625, and a split (and tour) with HOLDING ON that brought them to the Bay Area where we played a couple of killer shows. I said it's hard to believe it was twenty years ago....but at the same time, it feels like a different lifetime.
04 September 2019
Lightning fast and unspeakably raw thrashcore, circa 2003. These New Bedford, Massachusetts kids are just relentless in approach and fury, and the home recording only helps to put you on edge while you rage. Nine tracks, 14 minutes, rapid fire angst ridden hardcore - check "Lettin' The Hammers Blow" and hear the intensity that's missing from so many bands who set out to merely check all the boxes and recreate something that some other band already did. The New England breakdowns don't always "work," but that's kinda the charm....and the blasts are just fukkn nuts. The hollow distracting snare and clunky bass in the fasts of "Fructose Overdose" into the metallic slow mosh of "Not Dead Yet" is a perfect example of RAMPAGE setting their sights on whatever the fuck they want and just laying waste. Recording is extremely raw, so be warned....be warned that you're about to have your ass blown off.
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