05 April 2020

KLAZO


Totally fukkn destroyed garage hardcore, snotty punk hooks just blown to complete shit. There might be fidelity buried somewhere in their dark dark past, but KLAZO kick those bodies aside like empty cheese puff bags and dig deeper into the mud with every track....using fuzzed out guitar solos as an auger of course (and to continue to inane metaphor).  It screams, it slams, and the drums are brutally simple kick/snare punches, repetitious a battering that sweet spot on your chin for the duration. This one's from 2015, just an introduction to the full length and shorter slabs waiting for you when you feel like dropping in....but you've been warned.  You may not be able to leave your house, but you can sure as shit get wild and break stuff. 


04 April 2020

BRYAN LOTHIAN


What is PARLAMENTARISK SODOMI was obsessed with Japanese hardcore? It's the same relentless vibe, but where our Norwegian friends would start to blast, BRYAN LOTHIAN instead drops in the wildest fukkn hooks and I kinda can't stand it. They both project an astral psychedelia (PINS OF LIGHT playing HC rippers?) and I can't help but think they are split from the same cloth and/or perhaps separated at birth. Nine killer cuts spread out over two digital releases later combined onto one cassette EP, a non-stop hardcore bedroom party filled with more than enough riffs to take you through the isolation. This project is the brainchild of a dude from A GLOBAL THREAT, and is responsible for almost seventy (mostly digital) releases over the last five years. It's a staggering output, and it doesn't take much digging to understand how outmatched you are. Check "Cold Shoulders" and "War Porn," then start from the beginning. 


02 April 2020

EAST SIDE STIORY vol.11


Almost finished running through this essential oldies collection, and the folks at East Side Records really honed in their attack for the last two volumes. LITTLE ANTHONY makes a return visit, as do  East Side veterans THE CHANTELS and the "Duke Of Earl" guy GENE CHANDLER with a slow slammer entitled "Rainbow." Overall, this one is a little fuller and funkier (check the drums around the 1:30 mark of opening cut "The Bells" from THE ORIGINALS), but there's still plenty of the sweet swoon that keeps people coming back to these under-the-radar cruising comps - take BARBARA LEWIS, THE DELLS' "Oh What A Night" and JERRY BUTLER's would-be classic "Never Gonna Give You Up" as examples, and then sink your ears into THE METALLICS and THE JIVE HIVE just because you can. This one's about love, about warm nights, about being young and optimistic even in the face of a painful reality.  They're talking about love, but the fear, the hope, the despair...it all transfers to the real world. 


RENCOR


Disgusting and damaged Spanish grind, delivering fierce and guttural sounds with a well produced lo-fi ramshackle that is disconcerting to listen to. On the one hand RENCOR are massive, full throated power, but they tweak the sound just enough with single guitar tracks, a tinny snare and a delivery that's a few steps short of perfect so that it feels like you're listening to a band running through the set just "one more time" at rehearsal...but one of them is half drunk and wants to go home so he's playing the songs pissed and under duress. I'm sure that counts as an accurate description of sound.



01 April 2020

WEEPING INIQUITY


Thirty minutes of dark mania from Illinois (and/or Space). Heavy on the dirty synths, heavy on the primitive, heavy on the early Industrial Records influence, heavy on the manipulation of reality. Also, I submit the strangest SABBATH cover that I can ever recall hearing. 


As compelling as the sounds are, the packaging of these Space Noise Eternal releases are a thing to behold. It helps to be able to get lost while you are....getting lost in the sounds. 
----



31 March 2020

THE THRILL


Damn, it's like they just took all of the the things that they like and said "fukk it, lets make out band sound like all of them...." and then they made it work. How do people do that? All I can say for sure is that these songs make me feel good, these songs grab me and don't let go, these songs make me want to do shit. And I have a lot of shit to do, so that's a definite positive. 

30 March 2020

PROGRAM


Killer hardcore from the Rio Grande Valley, featuring the single chillest DBeat guitarist I have seen in my entire life. His annihilation of these riffs was so very casual, like he was having a dance party in his own damn mind, and it was an amazing thing to watch. Two releases here, both from 2016 - cassette version of the Obliteration of Self EP (with two cuts not on the wax) and a four song banger that rages even harder. "Blood Profiteer" makes me want to break things, but I'm not allowed to leave my house so that would be pretty counter productive.  


29 March 2020

MACHINE GUN ETIQUETTE


This band has always flown pretty far under the radar, but I am always pleased when they blip onto my screen. Six blasts of rumbling Scottish '90s crust/punk - file along the likes of OI POLLOI, AUS ROTTEN, BRUTALLY FAMILIAR...you get the drill, and it's a drill that I miss. You get the little melodies in "Political Cheat," you get the full on bulldozing of "Joe Public," you get the tongue in cheek yet earnest "Jesus Smokes Crack" to wrap things up...and when it was done I pulled out the JUGGLING JUGULARS split 10" and that shit held up too. 

 If this is any indication, would've been a gas to see them in the flesh....

28 March 2020

CRUSH CRUSHER


Wild Oklahoma punk with a definite and shameless affinity for hi-energy jangly NWI shits from the last decade. The guitar is the giveaway, and the guitar dominates sound and impact, leaving the listener (in this case: you) to let the manic vocals sink in at your convenience. Frantic stomps, kinda like a pet rat jumping on a stove coil - the bass drop close out of "Nowhere To Run" is pretty much all you need to get through the day. Well, that and the "Democracy Spawns Bad Taste" cover.


27 March 2020

FREQUENCY OF THE TRUEWAVE


Mandatory compilation curated and released a few years ago by some excellent Bay Area folks (who I was supposed to be playing a show with tonight, but #covidisreal). Heavy on the locals, but several bands that the creators have crossed paths with are included as well - TROIKA (Madrid), CROOKED BANGS (Austin), STEEL CHAINS (Portland), LIÉ (Vancouver) to name a few. Local heavyweights like RAGANA, MOZART, STREET EATERS, VIOLENCE CREEPS lay the foundation for a brilliant compilation filled with dark punk, urgent freaks and melody presented with depth. Hard to explain, but I find listening to this tape rather comforting...and theres a Volume I too.


26 March 2020

SMUT


Surely you've crammed First Kiss into your earholes by now (if you haven't, then doing so has just become the most important thing on your "to-do" list), but let us crawl back in time to 2017. A cloudier, less refined, (dare I say nastier?) SMUT turning everything they touched into a hot, sticky, mess. They were on so many of the drugs the first time I saw them that I don't even think they knew what was happening, and every time since has been an adventure....what SMUT are you going to get?That SMUT has grown into a machine, fine tuned and intent on (self) destruction. When they implode they are going to leave a very large hole in California punk, but I hope that I get a lot more on me before that happens. 

 SMUT
This one comes from 2017, and the first half of the demo is borderline unlistenable...unless you are as fukkd up as they were when they were recording it. But hold tight until you get to Izzy's panting moans coming out of the mess as "Foreplay" starts and everything fades into focus and oh balls is it beautiful. Yes, it is beautiful. 

25 March 2020

DEEP TISSUE


I've said it many times, but if you're going to do a damn thing, then it's in everyone's collective best interest if you take the time to do it right. Philadelphia's DEEP TISSUE kick all of the '80s dark wave influences in the ass with current (read: relevant) punk energy, and the result is just about everything that I could want. File alongside early '10s Portland acts like FUNERAL PARADE and MORAL HEX with their ability to make "old" sounds feel completely timeless...every track is a killer. Every track is essential. 


24 March 2020

FRANCO & ROCHEREAU


Enjoy the paths that this one will take you down, enjoy getting sidetracked and distracted as a world of Congolese rumba opens before your ears. Franco Luambo and Tabu Ley Rochereau are both monsters in the landscape of African music in general (the former for his effortless mastery of the guitar, the latter for an inimitable tenor), and their contribution to the sonic legacy of the DRC (and Zaire before that, colonial exploitation and civil war before that, going back to Franco's beginnings with TP OK Jazz during Belgian colonial rule) is invaluable. 1985's Omona Wapi is one of several collaborations between the two artists - rich vocal arrangements, guitars driven to dance by the steady driving swing, omnipresent horns that erupt in celebration when the music moves them, and an overwhelming feeling of positivity. I wish you fruitful digital digging. 


23 March 2020

SLEEPERS


I should make it clear that self titled SLEEPERS disc is genuinely one of the greatest unheralded Japanese punk releases, and that "テントセン" is on a very short list of my favorite songs of all time, so anything I say about this 1999 demo is transparently biased. SLEEPERS was a combination of THE GAIA guitarist and HELLCHILD's rhythm section (technically it was their original drummer and their final bass player, but their respective tenures did overlap, and I'm splitting hairs...), which helps explain the collision of sounds even though it would be impossible to predict that it would work this well. Three of the four songs here appear on the aforementioned full length disc in a much more polished form ("No Weep," the cut exclusive to this demo, is unsurprisingly brilliant) so there's a "completist only" argument to be made here - you would lose that argument but you could surely make it. This is an indispensable blast of metallic hardcore fury and addictive melodies, Yumirin's guitar solos are wild and unhinged (hell, not just the solos), and the double bass bursts in "Endless Fall" should be legendary and not relegated to bargain bins and nerds-only discussions.  All praise the internet for uncovering a copy of this tape for me, it was well worth the postage. 


22 March 2020

NOT ON YOUR LIFE


Consider this an antonym to yesterday's chill session. Punk is loud, NOT ON YOUR LIFE are loud. Punk is pissed, NOT ON YOUR LIFE are pissed. This Arkansas outfit are all of the things - urgent, honest, they mask the fear we all fear with determination and use it to blow a hole through the fukkn wall. Not going to dwell on the pedigree, but members of NOT ON YOUR LIFE have been responsible for records that have been in my collection for well over twenty years. I guess when it's in you, you don't just stop because you get old. 

There's more where this came from. Not a lot more....but still more

21 March 2020

ANDERS ILAR


Look, I'm not going to tell you how to feel. For me? In my world? Things feel pretty damn weird. And almost completely out of my control. So perhaps I hold onto that helplessness, and take comfort where I can find it. Sometimes that comfort comes in the form of screaming riffs and maniacal drums struggling to keep it together, and sometimes it just helps to chill. 


Further is a collection of recordings spanning 2000-2010, one hour of minimal ambient techno from Swedish composer Anders Ilar. Extremely chill. Just.....very very chill. More chill and less techno than some of his material, and more chill in general terms than the world at large. 

20 March 2020

SCARECROW


Essential hyper speed DBeat mania from North Carolin'a SCARECROW. Members of DRUG CHARGE, SKEMATA and others....riffs for days and ugh the fukkn power of this motherfucker is unreal. The drums are unreal. The tracks are unreal. The rolls in "Ouroboros" are unreal. Just listen over and over again and make it louder each time - I haven't heard anything this crucial in a long long time. 

And to make things a little sweeter, this tape came on a Sony HF-60, which ordinarily would be a tad excessive for a 4-minute demo, so Usman filled the rest of the space with hardcore EPs from 1985. VELLOCET, STENGTE DØRER, CRIME and a few more - all mandatory listening, and all introduced by our hardcore host for the day. Get amongst it. 

19 March 2020

PIRESIAN BEACH


This one leaves me absolutely breathless. Overt shades of early '90s dream pop awash in guitars, Hungary's PIRESIAN BEACH were nice enough to include tracks from several vinyl and digital releases on one cassette for our convenience. Channel PRIMITIVES, MAZZY STAR, JESUS & MARY CHAIN, VASELINES, blips of PJ HARVEY, TSUNAMI, MBV, all tempered with a brilliant Nuggets filter. I could get lost dissecting the construction and the presentation of tracks, the nuances that differentiate the recordings, but ultimately this band just nails everything they try to do, and I support it completely. If "Cry" doesn't get you, then you might not have a soul. 


18 March 2020

NONPLUS


Hardcore rippers from Malmö/København, NONPLUS deliver exactly what I hoped they would. Fiery, desperate, hard driving, clenched fist hardcore punk. Check the riff that opens "Conspiracy?," check the vocals that close out "Unleashing Violence," listen to the frenetic simplicity of "Finite." And I urge to to adjust your volume appropriately, as volume here is the pathway to power. Members of URO, HÅRDA TIDER, NUCLEAR DEATH TERROR and others, in case you need a referential nudge. Apocalypse on repeat, all damn day.

Another fine offering from our friends at Pissed Off! Records.

17 March 2020

INVOLUNTARY TRANSPORT


Outside/r electronics from another time and dimension. This self titled twenty-two minute release from INVOLUNTARY TRANSPORT was the sole offering under this moniker, filled with darkness and calculated mystery masked as misery. The experimentations are 15 years old now, but the transmissions of terror are as real as the reality is today. 

 As full immersion into the Fag Tapes discography continues, every door opens to new hallways, passthroughs and tunnels...I will keep exploring even though I will never complete the journey. 
This is FT007.

16 March 2020

CRETINS


You ever feel like you're spending your entire life just playing catch-up? Taking a break from looking out the window to look in the mirror and reach backwards to grab the things that you missed as you were too busy just getting by? Well maybe the bright side of getting buried in missed opportunities is the joy of digging yourself out...and if Virginia's CRETINS are in that pile of loss then I advise adjusting the volume knob on your metaphorical shovel while you dig. This wax-ready 2013 slammer came before EPs on Vinyl Conflict and Deranged before silence fell over the band. Six tracks, nine minutes, pure rage. 


15 March 2020

LIFE LIKE


Nasty and honest Middle America hardcore punk with an unmistakable Tele Twang and a punchy rhythm section. This is the shit of garages, of rented halls, of determination. This is the shit of the effort justifying the result...not the other way around. This was the end, but there is more where this came from.



14 March 2020

KULDIP MANAK


Not going to pretend that this was anything more than a $1 cassette that promised some impermanent entertainment when I picked it up. Also not going to pretend that I can speak (or type) with any kind of authority on Punjabi music. However, this 1998 compilation led me down a rabbit hole and left me curious and intrigued instead of mindlessly entertained....Manak was a fixture through the '90s, and if you search for video of his funeral procession then you'll likely be as floored as I was. Check the trance-like expression on all three percussionists at the 7:50 mark of this birthday party performance then use that as your starting point, and whether curious or adventurous, I expect you will enjoy your journey. 
The ads at the end of each side for other Hi-Tech Music releases are a nice touch as well, - I'm talking SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK level crass commercialism here. 

13 March 2020

DG-50


Wondering why there should be any rules at all. Techindustrial assault, garage freekouts, college radio hooks, quirky art punk slammers....and hardcore punk. Is there any reason that a compilation should not include all of these things and more? There is no reason. Especially when your label is called Digital Hotdogs

Listen to "Meat Sweats" by LECHE