With the possible exception of HIDE, I can't think of a modern band who captures '80s industrial/dance as perfectly as SBSM....the difference is that once SBSM wrap their hands around the sound, they destroy it. Ominous synths and live drums set the room while vocals shout desperately to break out. Never do I feel like I'm listening to a rehash - I feel like I know where they started, but this Oakland band has moved far far beyond that starting point.
28 February 2020
This is just....really wild and really good. They don't sound like anyone, and I'm not going to embarrass myself by trying to accurately describe this London outfit (though the last decade of blithering should have me well cured of keyboard insecurities by now). Shit is chaotic, sharp, jerky, weird, packed with energy...and it jams. "Negative Man" is legit one of the coolest songs I have heard in forever, and the whole thing just demands attention. So pay attention.
27 February 2020
Haunting monotony that goes seemingly nowhere....because SMOKEY EMERY starts in the right place and just hovers over and around sonic bliss for a full 40+ minutes on 2019's Endtimes Forever. The second track, "Glistening," is perhaps the most perfect of them all - taking repetition to new heights by repeating one four note cycle on a massive and distant organ, desperation reaching out from the fog. There are lighter moments (notably "If I Should Die Today" and "Silver Heat," the one track with a beat) that brush ever so slightly up against happiness before disappearing into reality, but the totality of SMOKEY EMERY is honest and ominous, politely asking to live in the background while slowly (but completely) enveloping you.
26 February 2020
Another dose of lost '90s melodic DIY punk, this time from Santa Fe, New Mexico. While I'm almost certain that there was a copy of Chesterfield King in each member's collection, FACEDOWN venture off on their own path often enough to make these 1995 studio recordings (and four faster, rougher practice space tracks) sound like their own. It's all here: the "heartfelt" and gruff "emotive" vocals, the spots where the guitar drops out and the bass/drums take you into a refrain, the phrasing (and phrases) that stick in your head all day....."it's our last time - there won't be another one."
25 February 2020
A disjointed art school freak out from Virginia - so mysterious that they couldn't even dub the last three tracks onto my copy of the demo...so I listen to the first two over and over....and over again. What are they doing? I don't know. Surely they've heard MINUTEMEN before, but they just use that as an embarkation port, and on "Jeff In June" they use it to launch themselves to fukkn Space. Use the internet to hear the rest of the tracks (and the other demo), but start here - like I did. I'm guessing that COG will suck you in like they did me.
24 February 2020
I'm just going to assume that BONE AWL doesn't need an introduction for most visitors. For the uninitiated....prepare yourself. Primitive, cold, harsh bleak metal reduced to the ashes of its own destruction. These people changed the rules completely when black metal was still struggling in adolescence, and they still do so by adhering to no rules whatsoever.
23 February 2020
Another snippet of a weird past that is more than just 43 years old....it's worlds and lifetimes removed from anything that we call or consider punk in 2020. And I don't say this to try to initiate a conversation about what is or what isn't, more like an acknowledgement of relevance. Johnny Rotten, interviewed on Radio KNOTTS in 1977, sounds more honest and personal here than on perhaps any clip/s I've heard or seen. His guard is up to be sure and he's still the consummate showman putting on a show, but when the conversation turns briefly to money and business and his personal finances and when the interviewer compares his songwriting to Captain Beefhart...it's interesting, that's all.
"There are a lot of bands that are really worth their weight in gold, but they're the bands that, like, the press don't want to know about...they're the ones they run away from."
Q: "Let's mention a few names then, of the punk bands that we know - do you have any respect for any of them?
A: "THE SLITS. I've got respect for THE SLITS. BUZZCOCKS and....PENETRATION."
Q: "What about the other bands that have made it in terms of record sales? THE DAMNED, THE CLASH, THE STRANGLERS..."
A: "They can all go to hell. They're rubbish. They're nonsense. I don't know what they're on about, and they never knew themselves and that was the most disgusting part about it."
"The more people try and put you down...the higher you go. You can't keep a good dog down, 'cause he bites back"
22 February 2020
I first posted this ten years ago today, and it was just the dose I needed this morning. THE SIX AND VIOLENCE were from Queens (not New Jersey, as I stated back in 2010) and left us a criminally small number of recordings after their twenty year run came to an end, but maybe that's for the best? Sure "Fascist Ice Cream" is a winner (and a banger), and when these (former) kids want to turn it up the results are formidable, but if there's an argument the hardcore falls short when it systemically trades intensity for irreverence then I think that argument has some validity. Then again, THE SIX AND VIOLENCE didn't intend to be analyzed when they were writing "Commando Raid On Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" 35 years ago, and they shouldn't be. So crank those hollow box drums on "Fuck This" and reminisce about Reagan.
21 February 2020
Who knew that squirmy garage punk existed in other spacial realms? Like, specifically not the Earthen realm. The internet says they are from Buffalo, and they are surely weird enough to be from Buffalo, but these jams are like a NWI pod bound for desert galaxies, and even though the ship left in 2013, somehow you are still able to beam up through the self titled THAALS cassette. Whether you decide to go or not...? Well, that's up to you.
When I see your face...I wanna peel it from your skull
You can wear it as a shirt, or I can wear it as a bra
20 February 2020
A curious little late '90s document from the mercurial Southern California one man project ON MY OWN BUT NOT ALONE. This cassette listens like a lost anarcho gem - drum/vocal political rants assailing the artificial female hormone industry, poetic presentations addressing inequity and death backed by nothing more than the sound of rain, minimal synth, and a slew of angular punk tracks that may be a bastard descendant of night of passion between Bullshit Detector and Punk And Disorderly - all created and assembled by Shannon St. Ryan, an exceptionally nice (and, quite honestly, interesting) fellow who has been involved bands and recordings as varied as PHOBIA, STRUNG OUT, IN CONTROL and NAKED AGGRESSION. The fifteen tracks here take up just over half an hour and run the spectrum, filling genre defying holes as they veer in and out of compartmentalized punk and making this a wholly listenable and engaging cassette in the process. I can only imagine that there are (or could have been?) countless more hours of this creative manifestation, but it appears that this untitled (unreleased?) demo and a split EP with PUS are the only physical documents available for public consumption. It's rare that you get to think this much....
19 February 2020
Surely after 20 years in the game most of you know what's up with this Tacoma, Washington outfit. 2017's Impediment delivers 15 songs in just over two minutes - no noise grind, no chaos, no nonsense "songs," just determined bursts of short, fierce hardcore punk. Traditional structure be damned, SIDETRACKED offer full releases that deliver the same impact as some bands' individual songs - compressed, compact, concise.
18 February 2020
I was hooked the second the UK tinged guitar lead pulled me into the first track. It was a ruse, of course, because this French act only flirts with those early '80s hooks enough lure in those among us who are scare of hooks....I didn't need to be tricked into falling head over heels for this tape, but I understand the motivation. Over the course of six tracks, PINKU SAIDO manifest as a brilliantly melodic punk band, taking a determined path through a forest that has seen the footsteps of THIS IS A FIST, SLEEPERS and LA FRACTION leave footprints slowly obscured by time and trend. As the comparisons suggest, this is hard driving and forceful, with powerful femme vocals delivered in Japanese....and these bands don't come around very often.
17 February 2020
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.