31 October 2020

INCARCERATED

 

Impulse internet buy paid off big time here. INCARCERATED blast out of 1996 playing nasty death influenced thrash at a time when both were out of vogue. Demented and fierce as fuck, an actual crossover combining hardcore and death/thrash metal. Your knuckles are going to hurt after this one - you just get to choose whether its because if the ground or a nazis face. 


You're no messiah, you're a...you're a movie of the week.
 You're a fucking T-shirt. 
At best. 


30 October 2020

ENCHANTED SURF



Another slammer in the series of classic compilations from the folks at Contact Records in Oakland. The description is real simple - thirty nine '60s surf instrumentals. I think about Jim playing the Ventures In Japan record when we were rolling back home from the last SHIT COFFINS trip (which seems like it was forever ago), and I feel like we all would have been well chuffed to put the mix on immediately afterwards. A few familiar names (as with any good mix), but lots of super deeps cuts from the likes of , THE VELVETONES, New Jersey's THE TOADS, Kansas act THE TORQUAYS, and pre-RARE EARTH outfit THE SUNLINERS. Oh yeah....a couple of cuts from THE VENTURES too. As with Astral Maps and Pop Magic that followed, this comp is at once an amazing introduction for the uninitiated and a brilliantly comprehensive mix that will delights the obsessive. Let us all hope that the Ack Ack Ack series continues...

 

29 October 2020

PROVOKE

 

One of the local bands that I miss seeing the most. PROVOKE are so ridiculously intense, and manage to completely harness the determined energy of early Y2K hardcore and make it sound so completely urgent. Relevant. Only three songs here - in and out - fuck I love this band. 

FRAGMENTS


28 October 2020

ACRYLICS



When they would play "Shame" live, it was one of the tracks that made it very fucking clear that ACRYLICS were something different. The East Bay Ray bent on the guitar and the stops and stutters that made it all but impossible to really get into the song (especially live, when the set is moving you...you dig?). There were several cassette release in the mid-'10s, and I think that this self titled slammer from 2016 might be the best (Fuck Freek though...) - guitars are damaged, "He Wants A Baby" comes in like a bullet from another time, everything is just completely dialed on this one, and I firmly believe that it should be heralded as a modern classic. I said it. 


27 October 2020

DISAFFECT



If you're like me, you knew the band's name long before you ever heard the band. I started with the An Injury Yo One Is An Injury To All EP sometime around 1994, and after that I was all in. MANKIND? is probably the best North American comparison (and yes, those singles still hold up) - Scotland's answer are pure dual f/m clenched fist political crust of the highest order. This demo from 1991 is a tad rougher than the records (as it should be), and there's something about the way the guitar threads a needle between speed picking and hyped up metallic chugs while the drums sound like they are constantly off their axis. Ten tracks, all killer, and there's a live set tacked onto this copy that Tim sent my way this past summer...that set will be on Escape Is Terminal shortly for completists. 



26 October 2020

CRUTCH // PAVEL CHEKOV



Garett sent me this one a few weeks back (because I asked nicely) and holy fuck am I glad I was lucky enough to see CRUTCH while they were still in action. They are completely stripped down until there's nothing left but skin and attack - I hear them coming like a bullet out of decades lost. "Misanthrope" with its weird overdub and the jerky not-quite-right blast pretty much sums up their side of the tape, a simple and complicated collection of unbridled rage, and I love it. PAVEL CHEKOV drop six minutes of tangible tonnage on the flip - total grinding insanity with no nuance anywhere in sight (reminds me of Chicago's WORN//OUT in the best way). Just devastation, kinda like waking up in the morning. I think I might like this even more because I wish that I had been in either of (or both of) these bands. 


25 October 2020

CROQUE MADAME

An interesting and alluring 2010 release from Peasant Majik. Swarming guitars replace fidelity with feeling and simplicity on four deliberate pieces totally a little over twenty minutes. Hear the hesitation when shifting chords in "Junkyard Dog," the extraneous distortion on "Espresso Maker" that becomes a natural component of the song, and feel your brain searching for soft vocals during "This Is Not My Keyboard." I put this in somewhat casually when it came to me a few years back, but absent listening of  I Love To Laugh proved impossible then....and still does. 



24 October 2020

FATIGUE

 

Not going to go down the hole and talk about all the heads that made this project happen, but I share this here for those among you who let it slip through your brain fingers in the monthly deluge of must-have slammers. Four tracks, tough as nails street hardcore stomps. Full stop. 

23 October 2020

DISTRICT OF COLOMBIA

 

Not much information on other Fucksafe Tapes releases, but if this compilation is any indication then it's definitely worth digging into. Ninety minutes of late '80s hardcore punk - one of those tapes that kinda like a mix tape of your favorite bands' demos but you whip up a cover and make a few copies and Voila! you're a label. All North American bangers - DEAD SILENCE, MAGGOT SANDWICH, JESUS CHRYSLER, P.T.L. KLUB, DESPERATE MINDS, ECO-GUERILLAS, SHAVED PIGS, SLOPPY SECONDS, NUNFUCKERS and like so many tapes like this, the band who created the comp and the label (FLOURESCENT CONDOMS) wrap things up. I enjoy listening to hardcore punk music...like, a lot. 

22 October 2020

LANDFILL

 

LANDFILL are a bigger deal (to me) in retrospect than I felt at the time. As I've mentioned plenty of times, all of the bands played with all of the bands in Early 1990s Norman, Oklahoma. We didn't have a hardcore scene or a punk scene or a freak scene or a metal scene...we were all more or less freaks trying to find our way in a college town and half of the bands were just garbage indie/alt vehicles for normal dudes to get laid. But there were two death metal bands, SUBSANITY (technically and/or originally from Pauls Valley) and LANDFILL, who were based in Norman and who we played with a lot. I had no context for the genre, probably couldn't even tell you what a blast beat was, but anyone could tell that LANDFILL were a fukkn monster. RIGOR MORTIS caliber speed picking, massive vocals, and a keyboard filling the low end register normal occupied by a bass....my pea brain was blown every time I saw them. I've only come across the band (in physical form or in conversation) a few times since then, and snagged this crusher on the internet a couple of weeks back for a (very) reasonable price. Imagine my joy when I listened with context and the ears of an old man and realized that LANDFILL were even more devastating than I remembered. Only four tracks, an absolute behemoth that should have been huge, but....Oklahoma. 

Now....who wants to sell me the EP?

20 October 2020

TORTURE BY ROSES

 


This one slipped by me but Spencer came to the rescue a few weeks back with a loaner. Hypnotic monotony from the VEXX vocalist set to a robotic a primitive futuristic soundscape. "Growing Into Nothing" is the only upbeat moment, even amidst it's crushing frustration, these are synthesized sonic dirges provide a soundtrack for the future that we will never live through, and the past that we have missed.


19 October 2020

ANTIBODIES



Yeah, I know...even more from Canada's Atlantic Provinces. They don't stop, so why should we stop listening? A dozen minutes of raw garage hardcore cranked up unbelievably high, ANTIBODIES are so wound up it just sounds like the are about to snap. All the time. Guitar is fukkn destroyed ATTACK SS style (check the Rat City, Baby" intro) and the vocals are manic garbled bursts that sound like they are coming from down the hall. The last cassette-titled-LP was good, this one is better, and I pray to The Gods that there's going to be an LP 2020 before we turn the page on this shit calendar. 

18 October 2020

BASTARDS

 



There is a reason that this 1982 recording has kept resurfacing as subsequent punk generations dig deeper. The 23 studio tracks are pure high tension destruction. Relentless. "Turvallista Huomista" is one of my favorite hardcore songs ever - any era, any region. The live recording on the flip is just insane. 

17 October 2020

CROSS CLASS

 

Oh, I'm sorry...did you miss this one? You'd be forgiven if you did, it was a blip in 2015 and they hardly (if ever?) played shows outside of Sacramento. But here you go. And don't snooze on the posthumous split 12" with RAD, because both bands make my jaw hurt. 

CROSS CLASS


16 October 2020

ESTA SUCIA CIUDAD

 

By 2008 we all knew. Barcelona wasn't on the map, Barcelona was the sun that the rest of the raw punk world was orbiting. But this comp....this comp turned everything upside down for me. INVASIÓN, CRIMEN DE ESTADO, E•150, OTAN? No sweat. Got it. I'm in. Throw in absolute freak shit from EL ATAQUE DE LA BASURA RADIOACTIVA. Hook drenched K-Town rehash from ESCROTO DE RATA, raw slammers from PRIMARY ATTACK, NO CAOS and EPIDEMIA, ramshackle brilliance from FIRMEZA 10 and PATATAS FRITAS POR EL CULO...this is a snapshot of a scene so casual in its confidence and brutal in its brilliance. I'm sure it wasn't utopia...but it sure as fuck sounds like it. 


15 October 2020

CLASSIFIED PROTEST


The thing that makes this one stand out is the nagging SoCal snotty punk comparisons. Even if accidental (and they likely are), these Welsh kids delivered UK punk with adolescent Agnew-level hooks and this 1984 recording is shockingly mature. Responsible parties formed RECTIFY a few years after this tape. 
 
MUSIC FOR THE STREETS


14 October 2020

SOCKEYE

 

If you know, then you know. And if you don't know, then you need to. "Dear God, I Hate Christmas." "Lay Off, Dick." "Cut Off Your Arm." "Jello Biafra." "Fuck." There are no losers on The Loony Misadventures Of Your Dick, one of half a dozen (or so) releases from SOCKEYE in 1989. Serious question: What were you doing in 1989? In order to properly (and completely) contextualize North American DIY punk and hardcore, I think that knowing SOCKEYE is essential. You don't have to like SOCKEYE, some might even argue that you shouldn't like SOCKEYE....but you need to know them. 

THE LOONY MISADVENTURES OF YOUR DICK

13 October 2020

SIAMESE TWINS

 


There's an alternate reality, a just reality, where I find myself in a public setting surrounded by civilians and I hear the opening vocal melodies to "Listless." And the normal people don't think it's out of place, just like no one notices when that CAMOUFLAGE song comes on the radio - no one knows who it is, but it's supposed to be there. It belongs. Because it's great. SIAMESE TWINS shouldn't be a secret, but I'm glad they are our secret. And last year's two song teaser single was a work of simple brilliance - the synths hold court with layers of vocals and flanged guitar melodies while the tracks are carried by a bass walking carefully, but with purpose, through the sand of sound. It's a brilliant thing...it's a beautiful thing. 


12 October 2020

HATE PREACHERS


Got a devastating package in the mail from Suck Blood a few weeks ago. In various incarnations, this crew has been pumping out consistently incredible sounds for nearly twenty years now, existing in shadows and making their own environments in the process - HATE PREACHERS are no exception. Bombastic hardcore punk, rotted in the classics but breathing anxiously like an adolescent. Five tracks here from 2018...and there's more where this came from. 

5 TRACK DEMO 


11 October 2020

BENICIA


Look at the two images, and you'll know everything that I knew when I popped this one in. It sounds like (far) East Bay punk from the '90s, and there's a really good chance that's exactly what it is. Twenty two cuts, including some on-air radio shenanigans... but I'll warn you in advance: the last one is the best.  

1) Benicia is a town in the East Bay.
2) On subsequent listen, I think the second song is the best.
3) I think the band name is misspelled in the file - you'll have to fix that yourself. 

10 October 2020

BLACK MAGNET

 

Ruthless industrial metal from Oklahoma City....this tape hits me like Pretty Hate Machine with mosh parts like it escaped from the late '80s and just now found its way back to civilization. Remember when SKINNY PUPPY toured with GODFLESH? Yeah, it's like that.

BLACK MAGNET

09 October 2020

POP MAGIC


Most of my comments (and posts) here are time and environment neutral. I miss shows, but I think that most of us do, so why the fuck do you need me to remind you? That said, I miss the fuck out of record stores. Hanging out in them, rapping with the employees or other diggers. Shit is fun, even if I don't leave with any nuggets. There's a store in Oakland called Contact....I like it there. Folks there hipped me to LES FILLES DE ILLIGHAHAD, bought a killer KEIJI HAINO record for cheap once, it's outside of my regular routine, but that just made it a little treat when I stopped by. Contact curated the Astral Maps mix I posted a few years ago, so I was understandably juiced when Spencer let me hold onto this Pop Magic tape put together by the same team. The title is the descriptor, and its accurate. There's an unsurprising emphasis on folk nuggets that bridge generational and genre gaps (AIRBUS, DWIGHT TWILLEY, CHRISTIE, FARGO), with some bonafide slammers from established winners like SHIVVERS, AUTOMATICS, POPPEES, 2 TIMERS). If the radio was like this, we'd never listen to records (unless we needed a hot grindcore injection, of course), and extra hails for the GERRY RAFFERTY cut chosen as the closer. Now, I need Ack Ack Ack #1 if anyone's holding. 
 

POP MAGIC

07 October 2020

MODURETIK


It's hard to put a finger no exactly what makes MODURETIK resonate, but this 2013 release fell into my lap a few weeks ago and I can't seem to shake it. The Prague artist captured the darkness of '80s dark synth and primitive industrial/dance perfectly, and sounds completely relevant - robotic blips cast judgement on our present escapes rather than paying a trite homage to a different, familiar, past. Voice Of America-era CABARET VOLTAIRE, but with modern dreary goth dirges like "Realm Of Francies" maintaining a firm, though reluctant, footing in the now. From Jizvy Minulosti, it's a backwards reach for more sounds...feels appropriate, and is encouraged.
 
JIZVY MINULOSTI


06 October 2020

HASSLER


Punishment reaching up from the past to fucking batter you. Seven minutes from 2012 to make sure you remember the power of simplicity. "Nothing For Nothing" from the break at around 0:22 is like 1983 DOA hyped way the fuck up. So sick. It's almost like they knew exactly what they were doing
 


05 October 2020

HICKEY

18 years ago today, we got a call that Matty had died. We had just moved to Milwaukee, and it was truly isolating to be that far away from our friends who were all feeling the same loss that we were. Of course, the sounds he helped make and the legend he helped create was in fact still in its infancy, but....I'll trade a legacy and a few records (even really good ones) to hear that snarky ass laugh. I posted the untreated 4-track version of this tape a few years back - it just has Miss Cloud Master sharpied on the side and sounds like gibberish and I clearly demonstrated how little I know by not realizing that it was meant to be played back on a 4-track. Or, in this case, a 3-track (Matty's machine was 75% functional, which must cosmically imply something...I'm just not sure what). Greg mixed it down for me (you). There was the ghost of an ILLEGITIMATE SONS OF JACKIE O record lurking in the mix, which makes sense because Dan was in and out of the house at the time - it took up all but the bass for the first 8ish minutes of what is presented here as "(bass only 3-track)." There are 36 minutes of instrumental rehearsal recordings here. Nothing you will recognize, just three fellows settling in and making sounds. There's the drum accents around 20:15, a few distinctively loose Dusty Hill notes peering through the bevy of bass runs...and sometimes I wonder if it's even them (edit: Aesop says it isn't, but I'm having a moment regardless). The general feeling of nonchalance is what I miss. And I miss it terribly - a statement and a sentiment that reaches far further than the memory of one person can.

HICKEY


04 October 2020

SURREALIST DREAM

 


I don't know much about this one, but once you crank these five lo-fi punk burners you'll be in a sweaty pile and not fussed about the history. When you come to your senses and start asking questions.....Tradegar, South Wales, early '80s. Comes to you via COWBOY KILLERS through YOFC. If there were justice, this would be on every "best of the unknown" list. Fuck. Louder. Punk.