As much as ODD CLOUDS are (were) a sum of their parts, the sonic manifestation comes off as...individual parts. Imagine a aural exquisite corpse with each improvisational element building on and/or complimenting another sequentially, and then imagine dropping everything on top of everything else and running them on concurrently. Pieces influenced and impacted by one another, but often presented without context, without order, without direction...presented as chaos. The first track on 2007's Shamblers is particularly numbing, and perhaps the goal was simply to dull the listeners senses and disorient the mind, a palate cleanser to prepare you for a deliberate journey. That journey is thirty-plus minutes of free jazz improvisation, vaguely Kraut influenced monotony and a casual collection of intentionally non-constructed sounds. Horns (which particularly shine on the minimalist mesmerizing third tack), electronics and found sounds all contribute to a trip created and led by a collaboration of Michigan stalwarts. High praise as I look forward to delving ever deeper into the Fag Tapes back catalog.
16 February 2020
New full length from Charlottetown, PEI powerhouse ANTIBODIES just dropped a couple of weeks ago, so here's their eleven minute "full length" from 2018. Fast and furious garage hardcore with hooks galore and freak show vocals treated with every effect these kids could scrounge at the pawn shop. There are nine cuts here, and every one is gold, but I'll take the powerful, straight forward guitar intro ton "Losing It All" on repeat all damn day - when the band kicks in and everything settles back into that forceful murky lurch it just makes me feel ugly inside. It makes me feel right. File somewhere between Midwest basement slammers and California's ACRYLICS.
15 February 2020
Hard to find the words for this one - Melbourne's EXECUTION just check every fukkn box, and this tape hits so unbelievably hard - manic, raging, thundering fucking chaos. Off the rails blasts and infectious pogos put through the ringer and battered by vocals and guitar that sound like they are in a fight for the same distorted madness frequency and an '80s Italian animalistic drum attack. And inside all of that anxious mania - the tracks are absolutely crucial. This tape from Pissed Off! compiles the demo and EP (both released by Hardcore Victim) for last year's Asian tour....listen to "Unstable World" at full volume. Please.
14 February 2020
We can probably thank fate for guiding me to this one today without even remembering that THE GLOBS were from Sacramento (SHIT COFFINS play The Colony in Sacramento with ASTRAL BUTCHER, RISE & STRIKE and COLD TRAP tonight), and fate has clearly done us all right. This could be Sac in 200? (THE FOUR EYES, BANANAS) delivering more irreverent and shamelessly catchy drugged out garage punk, but THE GLOBS also harness some real alien shit on their 2016 debut. Throw in a serious but seriously understated penchant for psychedelics and you're holding a dangerous thing in your hand. Like, the demo is titled Do You Feel Weird? and it seems like they are asking if you are truly aware of the spiritual effect the sounds had on you while you were listening....because they know damn well what they've done. WHITE TRASH SUPERMAN and/or TURN-UPS caliber addictiveness here, plus a mini '70s Sac drug rock sampler on the flip side (crucial banger 45s from TWINKEYZ, OZZIE, and one more I can't place) so you've been warned.
Anyone who brings a copy of the OZZIE "Android Love" 45 to The Colony tonight can have all the guest list spots they want...assuming the copy is for me to keep.
13 February 2020
No bullshit clenched fist DBeat three piece from Belgium. Absolutely nothing fancy here - just a relentless beating with a gorgeously peaked guitar. Six tracks, including an appropriate VARUKERS cover as a closer ("Innocence" is truly the shit smashing rager though). You don't have to be fancy...you just have to be good.
12 February 2020
I feel like everyone got left out of their joke, and I feel like that's kinda the point. Sometimes I think Damian is sitting in on a failed KING MISSILE reunion, some of the songs are sharp, smart simple garage hardcore bangers, some ore complete nonsense...but most are kinda both. Tracks seem to have a BEATLES and/or STONES theme (or both) either in lyrical content of riff stealing, and you'll finish "We're The Beatles" scratching your head and (I presume) wanting more than the 6 1/2 minutes you just investing in figuring out what the hell is happening. Or what just happened. So you'll go back to the beginning and start with "We Are The Beatles" and do more research.
11 February 2020
This demo dropped right after I moved back to California, and I remember getting super Midwest nostalgia as soon as I heard it. Never had any connection to the dudes involved, it just sounded like a thing I would have rubbed elbows with if I had still lived in the Great North American Middle Swath. Several tracks made it onto the 2010 Deranged LP with the same title and, while that session sounds decided more pro, I kinda still love the fukkd 4-track sound on this demo (take the horrifically mixed gang vocals on "You're Over" as a prime example). Brilliantly warbled guitar pretty much throughout, and a snarl reminiscent of CARDIAC ARRECT from the other side of Missouri. It's tough, nasty hardcore, and I'm still into it.
10 February 2020
Another JINX, but this time a JNX....and this time a complete ass rock trainwreck. Like FLIPPER and PIG DNA combining forces and trying to play straight UK punk stomps. Their utter failure is, of course, the key to their total success. There's an underlying anything-goes vibe that permeates, but no one seems to know where they are going...and then "White Russian" starts and I truly do not even know what the fukk I'm listening to.
09 February 2020
I shared another JINX release a couple of months ago, but I figured it would be better to get this shit off my chest sooner rather than later. It's fully commercially tuned, radio ready alt/indie/grunge with early emo/indie undertones - I dropped SUNNY DAY REAL ESTATE when I blabbed about the other tape, and that holds true on this self title 2015 release. These re not the sounds I turn to, but I'll be damned if they aren't so good at the thing - this is what I wanted in high school, even though it didn't exist yet. Guitars are appropriately fuzzed out and sound massive, vocals swoon in a way that you are only supposed to hear on the radio, and it's like they take everything that is so easy to make fun of and make it good. Mind you, I don't want to listen to JINX every day, but when they stop by....I'm not gonna say that I mind.
I'm getting used to feeling alone, especially on my way home....
08 February 2020
Tortured garage hardcore of the highest order. Reverbed guitars fighting to get out of a fish bowl, '70s heavy rock riffs raised from the wreckage and thrust unwillingly into a new realty with aliens and computer phones. It's weird, it's wild...it's from Cleveland.
07 February 2020
Don't really know where to start...or where to end: six cuts of Russian (and Belarusian?) hip hop on the flip side of an indie/punk demo. I used the internet to (possibly) identify a few of the artists, but I'm going in basically blind so I offer you the same experience. The weird thing is....I kinda like some of this. The general vibe is early '90s vaguely commercial rap, heavy on the samples with some MC trade offs, so if you want to get (a little) weird then we've got you all sorted out over here. The fifth cut is the funkiest by far, fans of 3RD BASS will want to pay attention here. Comments and critiques welcomed.
06 February 2020
You ever feel like following punk and hardcore is like constantly playing catch up? No matter how hard you might try to keep a finger on the pulse, you've got to keep one eye trained on your rear view mirror scanning for the nuggets that you missed on the first pass....and you're never going to scoop it all up. This 2013 demo from Boston hits me the same way Chicago's COLD LOVERS did the first time I heard them - raw, furious, honest power. BAD IDEA is decidedly more straight forward hardcore, but the general approach and impact are similar and these women go for the gut right out of the gate with the low end rumble of "Crook," especially as they roll out of the first chorus and prepare you for the first weird breakdown. I say "weird" because it should be a typical activate-the-pit moment, but instead of going four on the floor, the beat just disappears...and the effect sets the vibe for the rest of the demo. I want a band to not do what I want them to do, and that's what BAD IDEA (don't) do - the riffs are loose, the vocal delivery is intense but always just off the beat in a casually lazy way, and it just feels real. So don't take your eye off of the past, even (especially) the recent past, because you might have been so busy scanning for the last best thing you might have missed that you might have missed it when it was the next best thing the first time.
05 February 2020
The internet will never be comprehensive - there will always be artifacts from the physical realm that remain there forever. But thankfully, today there's one more piece to the never ending DIY hardcore puzzle reduced to soulless code for the purpose of consumption. This GUTTERCUT is a tale of two sides - both full of noise and fury - relentless, raging crust/hc on one, chaotic and damaged noisecore on the other. The noisecore tracks are incredibly fukkd up, warbling guitars and non-riffs punching their way through sub-60 second bursts of nearly unlistenable insanity. The hardcore is what really shines, six tracks of full fukkn throttle dual vocal '90s crust/core reduced to its purest form. Raw and furious, these tracks are enough to bring even a new generation slime punk over to the OG dark side of hardcore...the the very embodiment of chaotic rage. The thing is....I'm not sure which is GUTTERCUT, I'm not sure if both are GUTTERCUT, it's possible that neither are GUTTERCUT. According to the address on the back, this banger is from Denmark and was recorded in 1995, there are nine tracks listed (each side has seven, and one is a Hank, Sr. cut) but I'll be fukkd if I can tell you anything else. Historians encouraged, and I look forward to being told that one of these sides (I'm guessing that the hardcore) is actually a known entity and I just can't place them - I will happily correct the files and right the internet once we know more, but until then I will keep breaking things in my mind and listening to some brutal sounds.
04 February 2020
Several GRAHAM REPULSKI releases have passed over my keyboard over several years as a self imposed sonic pundit, and I'm consistently struck by his ability to make tortured bedroom pop sound so incredibly fukkd up. It's entirely possible that he's actually making tortured and drug addled depression sound like bedroom pop, but that gets into some cause/effect discussion that's better reserved for another venue. Released at the start of 2018, Negative Highlight Reel is among the more advanced of Repulski's 20+ releases - drum machine pop hides behind a shroud of experimental aural assemblages, a series of collages that blur the lines between presentations and/or actualities. The recording closes with a proto-raga that barely holds after the brief Ranaldo/Shields/Rev-esque wash of "Kimp Notch" fades away, and it leaves me with a yearning for more that I have rarely experienced - I was anxious that it was over because it was all gone too soon. And the anxiety of absence can describe much of the approach here, and overwhelming feeling of want that GRAHAM REPULSKI has been able to consistently deliver over almost a decade of (intense) productivity.
03 February 2020
A perfect and fierce collision of US street punk and downbeat heavy UK82. Sweaty, fist pounding, addictive pogo from Milwaukee with vocals somewhere between MIDNITE BRAIN and VIOLATORS, Doomsday... hit the streets last year and has gotten frequent spins since I caught them last summer. Let LAW/LESS sink in, and that rudimentary hook that makes up "Victims" will become a timeless mental classic.
02 February 2020
Atlantic Province Domination continues with this recording from Halifax quintet MOON. Subdued psych oozes through the gaps in their casually cool layers of bedroom indie sounds, three guitars and an organ sharing the spotlight with an array of multi gendered vocals that run the gamut between EDDY CURRENT and VASELINES. After opening with the innocence of "Stained Glass," "Card Crane Ha" conjures STEREOLAB, "Dented In The Bag" is a perfect guitar driven pop song (kudos on the blatant SMITHS rip - no criticism, just an observation), and "Bliss" closes like a damaged NEU! by way of PTARMIGAN....and it's all great. Only four cuts, and this cassette is now almost seven years old, but MOON have been active in the years since - and they've spent that time honing their craft and focusing their vision. Recommended listening for foggy environments.
01 February 2020
Loose, shitty slimy garage hardcore. Fingerless gloves (see above and below), manufactured nihilism and/or sinister motives shouted from inside the cavern with a fury that creates the cavern itself. It's complicated, I know, but you're going to have to trust me on this one. "Dissembled" is the one...that's the track that really makes the six minutes seem worth it, the track where everything clicks - and then all that's left is 76 seconds of "Lava Jakkin'" closing the demo with a demented future/past '80s SoCal hardcore (on PCP) vibe. If you want to check the 5+ minute long horror movie soundtrack on the flipside that's up to you, but I'm thinking that in 2014, WOLF LUV just didn't have any more cuts. Get evil, y'all...get weird.
31 January 2020
Summer is a few months away for Northern Hemisphere residents, and this tape is a couple of summers old, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying one of the sickest mixes that's ever fallen into my lap. Whether this was crafted by bike shop staff to be played in the café, or crafted by café staff to be blasted in the bike shop, there are no losers here (hint: the bike shop and the café are actually and/or essentially the same). TINA TURNER into HAWKWIND. Drop ANN PEEBLES in before an insane and timeless ESG jam. Close the thing out rolling SABBATH into a smooth reggae jam and wrap with SUICIDE's "Dream Baby Dream"....come on, this is perfect. Best tape, best people.
30 January 2020
Variations on a theme - and if the theme is killer than why change direction? More under the radar North American 'core - this time from 2013 and this time from Denver. It's nasty, blown out, blown up...and LOW TAX are just fukkn fierce. There are two demos (that I know of), and I promise that the other one will appear here before I lay this blog to rest...in the meantime, check the riffs on the first (intro) tracks - simplicity is god you motherfukkrs, and these riffs are sonic heaven.
29 January 2020
The second (of only two?) demo from these Florida mutants is nothing short of seven minutes of unadulterated brutality. Murky cro magnon hardcore, seeking retribution and validation through power. The result is terrifying and disorienting, and leaves you breathless and confused if consumed properly.
28 January 2020
A sonic challenge as much as a musical offering, The Truth Is Marching In spends 40 minutes calmly assaulting all sense from all fronts. Gorgeous abstractions buried in harsh noise, electronic manipulations and distorted ambiance create and brain melting cacophony that drowns out not just all other sounds, but brings into question all other existence. The closer (and louder) you listen, the harder it is to hear or to tear yourself away, as if McCann is creating a black hole on this 2009 release. It takes a lot to commit, and committing will take a lot out of you...if you do it right.
27 January 2020
Someone wanna tell me what the fukk is going on here?! How can these Hungarian mutants sound so tortured, demented, and supremely damaged, and still manage to crank out someone the swingingest, most danceable freak core I can imagine falling into my lap. It's as if someone injected a boogie bug into the slime punk paradigm, and I'm fukkn dying. Those guitars....