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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
21 March 2020
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.
20 March 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
12 March 2020
Not quite sure how a release can simultaneously dated and timeless, but Russia's THE RATCATCHER manage exactly that on their sole release from 2014. Urgent and casually emotive hardcore with more finger pointing moments than a MODERN LIFE IS WAR show, but there's this irreverent, nasally tone to the singer's voice that is like if Sakevi were singing for some '90s east coast SXE band. Now, I am well aware that this doesn't make sense (at all), but I'm still sticking by it, even (especially) when the band drops into CAVE IN style meanderings on "Медуза," a sub-60 second interlude that could serve as an introduction to the following track, the midtempo "Обезьяний народ" that is probably the highlight of the entire demo. THE RATCATCHER are an odd one to put a finger on, which is naturally a significant part of their overall appeal.
11 March 2020
Rough and determined Brasilian hardcore, circa 1999. There's a healthy dose of NYHC imposing its will at times, but if you listen to how those parts are tempered by out of tune guitars and general sonic adolescence (specifically in "MMM"), it takes some of the sting out.
And while I'm selling you on turn of the century DIY hardcore from Brasil, I should mention that I re-ripped the RIDE 4 A FALL demo a while ago, replacing the butchered files that I initially shared. Killer late '90s Per Koro meets North American DIY anarcho mosh metal (yes, i just made that up, but I'm guessing you know exactly what I mean). Mr. Gatewood would approve....
10 March 2020
Another dose of madness and intensity from Massachusetts assault team LIMBS BIN. Seven minutes of grindcore bursts reinterpreted as electronically manipulated machine gun blasts separated by episodes of oppressive sonic torture, followed by one 14+ minute noisescape as a closer to really fuck up your day. Tokyo's non-music juggernaut SETE STAR SEPT fill the flip with a 20 minute rehearsal jam that combines feedback, erratic drums that often challenge the concept of a beat and sporadic vocal anguish to create a track titled "Peace Preservation Law." File under: challenging.
09 March 2020
Four doses of bleak nihilism from two Southern California mystery makers. Discordant, anxiety inducing hardcore stomps from both bands, with more than a couple of battered BATHORY records in their respective collections. Rarely has a band made guitars sound worse than BEHAVIOR, and rarely has a band turned the destruction of a riff into a thing of beauty as DRY INSIDES do on "I Rot Inside." This one was conjured by the short lived (but excellent) Building label in 2013.
08 March 2020
Don't know what this is, can't remember where it came from, don't know when it was recorded, just know that if you like squirmy garage hardcore then you are about to live your dream. Riffs ripped straight out of the 1-2-1-2 punk-by-numbers handbook, drums that never stray from a knuckle dragging stomp, and a solo in "I'm A Dog" that will make you meet your god. Dirty, filthy, gorgeous...punk.