30 September 2020


I need to be transparent about the rough recording/replication quality here, but an '80s punk/Oi! relic from '80s Bulgaria deserves a pretty wide berth in my (humble) opinion. Таран (approximate translation: Battering Ram) offer only five songs on this 1988, four high energy pogo smokers and one slow bar bluesy rock number to leave you scratching your head as your scour the internet looking for more. And if you find more, please let me know. 


29 September 2020


 Three little breadcrumbs left on the ass end of relics from the traders who came before me - the ones who actually put in the work, and were always on the hunt. Two 1983 rehearsal cuts from Pennsylvania's SADISTIC EXPLOITS (the Anarchy For Freedom EP is one record that I want every time I see it, not like a "dude, I desperately need that" want, but more like a "oh yeah, I totally want that" want) and 1977 Peel Sessions from SUBWAY SECT and WASPS. The latter recordings are definitely a few generations removed, but the shrill "Jenny" is worth cranking in any fidelity and "Teenage Treats" is still one of my favorite songs of the era...and this version is a wee bit faster than the EP recording. SUBWAY SECT combine plodding pre-anarcho, pre-goth first wave punk with mid-60s Townsend open chord guitars. It's like anarcho/mod, and I fucking love it. 


28 September 2020



Criminally short lived Bay Area hardcore that dropped and then immediately bounced back in 2019. Members of NEON, HUNTING PARTY, FUGITIVE KIND, STERILE MIND and a long list of others make a howling millennial hardcore racket. There are only seven songs, but it's safe to assume that CROOKED MASS stepped back and took in their body of work and (rightly) decided "nah, we're all done here." The drummer moving to Missouri could have been a factor too, of course. 

27 September 2020



I remember some folks going all googoo gaga over this VEIL demo when it came out a few years ago. It's not that I wasn't a fan, I was just struck by how so many of my initial thoughts and potential comparisons references somewhat polarizing bands...bands who were often the subject of scorn and/or dismissal. So I'll keep those comparisons, even the ones that leap off the tape, to myself and leave these five songs to speak for themselves. And they don't just speak - they shout. Melodic, aggressive, steady, determined, forceful Midwest punk, fronted by formidable set of pipes and steered by a guitar borrowed from a different century. "Stay In Line" is the choice cut, so instantly familiar that you feel like you've just discovered a hidden outtake from a band that has been with you forever. 

26 September 2020



A very nice Bay Area hardcore relic from the early '00s. Recorded at Burnt Ramen at a show with BORN/DEAD and PHALANX (which provides a time/place), and there are plenty of blatant nods to their local forebears (very specifically ECONOCHRIST). Wild melodic bass lines, blown out desperation from the vocals, metallic guitar breaks that lead into standard, four on the floor, hard charging hardcore punk. This was recorded right around the time I was moving to the Midwest, and the band wasn't on my radar at the time. Just this one (admittedly rough) recording that I'm aware of, and it's a recording that will quickly (nay, immediately) take you back to that place...if you were ever there. 

25 September 2020



One of the earlier offerings from Loathed Sound, a sixty minute collection of proto-New Age and ambient sounds from the likes of PABLO'S EYE, SYLVIA MEYER, DANIEL SCHMIDT, INOYAMA LAND, AKIRA ITO and several others, mixed and presented by Ian Kim Judd. Suitable for reflection, relaxation, introspection or pure escape - all of which are more necessary now than at any time in recent memory. 


24 September 2020


Somewhere between ominous improvisation, oppressive ambiance and objective manipulation lies Finland's CATALEPSY RIDERS, dragging the listener through an hour long mindfuck. The Paska Alttari label has amassed a small but formidable mound of freak sounds, but the 6+ minute slog of "Ensimmäinen Tuomio" might sit alone atop the heap.

23 September 2020



MLS is the sound of true freaks. Spastic thrash fanatics ripping blast beats and bong hits before either were in vogue, dropping funky break downs and Zappa song construction into face melting Bay Area thrash. OK, weed was never out of vogue. "Prostitution," the opening track on their self titled 1988 demo, has more riffs and changes than most entire records...you exhale when the song ends and only then do you realize that you've been holding your breath for more than three minutes. There's the self titled demo from 1991 too (with the same cover art and two of the same tracks), a brighter session that helps them fall more in sonic line with the West Bay Coalition crew they are often associated with - an association solidified when 625 Productions slapped the '91 demo on wax later in the decade. The instrumental "The Pot Song" (which appears on both demos) probably captures MORBID LIFE SOCIETY best - a prog/funk/thrash instrumental that has no business on a normal punk or metal record until they break loose with an insane dose of blast for the last 30 seconds. Maybe MLS fit in everywhere because they didn't fit in anywhere, but listening to these kids bash the shit out of their very existence and just let it all loose is like filling your lungs with history. 

There are (confirmed) reports that 625 is planning to drop both of these demos onto a cassette for modern consumption, maybe the other 1988 demo too, so those of us who (justifiably) feel like there is nothing to look forward to...there's hope. 

22 September 2020



My long distance love for Canada just keeps getting deeper. More passionate. Prince Edward Island's ABRAXAS borrow members from previous subjects of adoration like ANTIBODIES, WARSH and WROTH and only need two songs to make me fall head over heels. One textbook raw DBeat ripper and one hyper charged pogo slammer that opens with the sickest fucking riff ever. Like, the best riff. Play louder. Love harder. Break more stuff. Canada. 

Seriously, there are only like 150K people on this damn island...how do they fukkn do it?!

21 September 2020



This 2016 blast comes off like a crew of dirtbag hoods making some gruff and shitty punk music just to show the wimps how it's done. Clenched fist UK influenced head smashing pogo punk. "Fight Till We Die." "Concrete Block." "No Escape." "Never Change Me." I mean...you get it, and so did NOSE RING.

20 September 2020



As a small town kid fiending for new sounds, discovering "industrial" music was like cracking open the dark arts - and it seemed like the two were often interconnected anyway. But making the move from the more commercial, danceable sounds of the then-current records market under the alluring subgenre header to the harsh and primitive origins of the genre was....a challenge. The militant yet accessible stomp of Trudge was easy to get into, which led me to pick up the Tides Of Heaven single (as an exotic import, no less!) on a trip to Denver to visit family. And it hurt me when I listened to it, because I didn't understand. I listened to Towards Thee Infinite Beat, it was trippy and weird and I liked it so I researched...and I was excited when I scored The Second Annual Report on a school trip to Tulsa and listened to "Slug Bait" in the dark...on a school night. As a small town kid, these are formative events. Sonic landmarks. Hearing SLEƎP CHAMBER as a virgin. These things stick with you. I knew the name TEST DEPT. for years before I was able to spend any time with their output, and even though access is virtually unlimited in the New Era, they are a band that has remained on my mental back burner. Recently, our friend Scott hooked me up with a few tapes when I helped him move, and I was able to sit down with this recording from their 1985 European tour. Back burner no more, I am fucking hungry for this. Feed yourself. 

Everything about this release is superb. The presentation and the experience. Calculated and primal brutality presented with the highest recommendation. I'm shaming myself for waiting this long, but it might have made it that much sweeter...

19 September 2020



Please understand this very simple statement, as it is a statement of fact: If you like hardcore punk music, then you like ROBOTRIP. Supreme damage, honest intensity, complete irreverence. And they fukkn smoke. Recording sounds equal parts shit and awesome. Pure fire. Raw live action on one side and a rerun of their 2018 demo on the flip for those (like me) who missed the original. 

18 September 2020



Only four songs here, probably as a (then) advance for PRESIDENT FETCH's 1987 cassette debut. Ripping European hardcore that somehow owes equally to HEIBEL and Fresh Fruit-era DKs, this band flies well under the radar, and the first recordings capture them while they were still raw. The first LP is great, and I love the Mould tinge on the guitars on the later recordings, but the piercing chorus on "Bestial" here is a thing of pure beauty. 


edit: These tracks were used on the Pass The Elixer compilation, which was recently shared by (and fucking co-curated by) the folks at the excellent Freedom Has No Bounds blog. 

17 September 2020


Bleak and apocalyptic black metal. Minor guitars melting into synths as the excruciating introduction comes to a close after more than four minutes, the slow motion punishment of the opening title track might as well represent our current reality of being dragged down. Four pieces on 2012's Reawakened Cultic Practise...primitive, raw, rudimentary. 

16 September 2020


It's not until about halfway through the opening title track to acclimate to the murky replication, but once you get used to the presentation of this 1982 Welsh slammer, CORRUPTION fukkn shines. Eight doses of stellar UK82 in the vein of THE INƧANE or DISRUPTORS, with a touch more ooomph on the guitar leads than either (particularly on the haunting "Out Of The Shelter"). Choice cut is the closer "False Security," falling almost completely at the drum accents in the verse nearly every time they roll through it. Forgive the sound quality and pogo your ass off, I reckon you might sound a little murky 38 years after your peak too.  

Edit: Apparently I fucked up this morning, but the file is now complete and corrected. Shit get's murky sometimes...I cannot apologize for the truth. 

15 September 2020


The Era Of Covid is perfect for one person musical projects. My daily doom scrolls are often interrupted by THE LOVE SONGS' Song Of The Month or a new SHRINKWRAP KILLERS video, so I wasn't surprised to see a collaboration between SCIENCE MAN and Buffalo's NERVOUS TICK AND THE ZIPPER LIPS pop up last week (there's one with Ricky Hell also). As a result, I was inspired to bust out the self titled Nervous Tick tape from a few years back, and remind myself how fukkn brilliant it is. So I guess the lesson here is that friends and social interaction only really serve to stunt artistic development, so let's all stay inside forever and not talk to each other and just make stuff. This tape rules. 

14 September 2020


Deadly Winnipeg, MB hardcore, circa 1983. Everything is here - blatant SoCal influence with a guitar in line with D. Boon and Joe Jack with a brilliant Dez rasp on the vocals that shines on blunt adolescent brilliance like "I don't care what you say // I'm gonna live my own way." Blast the popcorn bass as it rips into "Anti-Police Squad" and you'll realize that this is an unsung, N.O.T.A. by way of Group Sex caliber (North) American classic. Twelve slammers in eighteen minutes, "Prisoners Of The Suburbs" lays it back just a notch and is my personal go-to cut....until the hook drops in "Asylum" and I think maybe it's a tie (fortunately I don't have to decide). If anyone's holding, I need a copy of the insert. 

13 September 2020


I feel like I'm constantly behind. Beyond the things that I haven't even set my sights on yet, or are still completely outside of my field of vision, there is the backlog of things in my "possession" that are waiting to be discovered.  The search is constant, the reward is consistent, and I am completely content being a seeker. It still excites me. And when I spend time with a tape from 2016 for the first time in 2020 (to be fair - I listened to this tape upon receipt, but there's a distinct difference between listening to and spending time with) it may only intensify the experience. The excitement. The, I'll admit it, anxiety that comes with wondering "how much more is there?!" In the case of FLASHER, there is quite a bit and I inhaled it. Bits of DASHER, bits of JOY DIVISION, bits of IS/IS and assorted dream pop....it's pure and honest fuzzed out bliss. Catching up is an excellent past time. 

12 September 2020


Denmark's DOGMATIST hit like a chain whip, and the beatings continue for every single one of this tape's 34 minutes. Inhumanely fast kång clashing with hyper intensity EuroCrust and face melting leads. I can't wipe the smile off my face while I'm blasting this...2014 LP issued on cassette by Cactus with a two song single from the same year tacked onto the end. Your welcome is not worn out here. 
You're Welcome.

11 September 2020


It's not just a good mix tape, it's a celebration. Copies of this tape were distributed by Tracey and Jim at their wedding in Oakland in 2013 - lots of laughter, a few tears, a room packed with friends....and some jams in my pocket as we left...a pretty good way to spend an evening. Both humans involved in its creation and curation are stellar, both have encyclopedic music knowledge and varied musical taste, and the tape captures all of that. If you know 'em, wish them a good day. If you have no idea who I'm talking about then just enjoy the sounds and pretend everything is fine in your world. Even for just 60 minutes. Even if (especially if) everything is definitely not fine. 


10 September 2020


For some reason, the last BLOODY GEARS recording only seems to have surfaced on cassette. Obviously I'm fine with the format, it just seems like a final offering that is this good warrants documentation on wax. They go out as they came in, with hard hitting and intensely melodic punk drawing equally from WIPERS and MOVING TARGETS. Bass line/s in "The Stain" are worth the entire tape on their own, as are guitars in "Burial Hymn," and both seem torn between the incessant drive of Ryan's drums and the desperate raspy drag of the vocals. An absolutely killer band who went out just as good as they came in.