30 November 2020

PLAIN WRAP

 

I don't know who put this one together, but I would like to thank them...and I'm guessing you will too. I first thought this could be the '83 demo, but a quick scan of some bootleg comps proved me wrong. A couple of these tracks are on the Original Music For A Generic World LP, (a sneaky ripper that maybe remains under the radar because it's on Enigma?), a few made it onto a GTA boot in the '90s, but ultimately I don't know shit about the recording. Source notwithstanding, this collection of cuts from Huntington Beach hardcore PLAIN WRAP...? Well, it fukkn rips. And ultimately, that should be enough. 

Should go without saying, but they lose a ton of points for the cringe worthy "She's Ugly," but I'm gonna write it off to the 1980s and Orange County. Not an excuse, but likely an explanation....



29 November 2020

EMPTY CITIES


These fellows wasted no time once San Francisco imposed shelter-in-place guidelines this past spring, and the physical tape was in hand in just a few months. Completely conceived, written and recorded in the respective members homes, Vomit And Oblivion is seven tracks of Bay Area thrash - actual crossover in the truest sense. EMPTY CITIES take hc/pv grunts and blasts, ripping hardcore, and erratic fretboard gymnastics ("Extermintae" anyone?) and make it all belong inside sub-90 second doses of fist banging mosh. The brainchild of Alex (THESE BASTARDS, MORBID LIFE SOCIETY, CFD) and Dave (THESE BASTARDS, VENKMAN), who recruited an old head named Adam (THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW) to bash the can....I kinda wonder if this is the (d)evolution of new bands for the foreseeable future? On the one hand, I hope not, because I miss volume and I miss sweat. Then again, if Covid-era hardcore sounds like EMPTY CITIES, then I can probably be convinced. 







28 November 2020

COPROFILIA

Thirteen tracks of wild and absolutely out of control Mexican hardcore, circa 1991. Honestly, that pretty much sums up Sin Estilo, and that should be more than enough information to reel you in, my friend. 

SIN ESTILO


27 November 2020

SPLASHIN' SAFARI

 

And speaking of future pasts, greetings from 2077. The future brings us a time when irreverent snotty fukkn hardcore punk rules the world, so here's to hoping that I make it to 105 so I can get in the worm pit to feel the power from these mutants in the flesh. In my flesh. 


2077 DEMO

also: I guess the future is in Ohio?

26 November 2020

CLOAMA



CLOAMA's dizzying, oppressive masterpiece from 2006. Blood Illumination listens like a soundtrack, and though the sounds come from the past, it could easily be the soundtrack for all of the dismal chaos of the current reality. Meat grinder drones and synths trudging through a dense mental fog...as if that moment the world ended happened a long time ago and we are just here. Somewhere. 

BLOOD ILLUMINATION 


25 November 2020

SHRAPNEL

 

SHRAPNEL made a few appearances in these pages years ago, but this 1984 live tape is a recent acquisition. Total screamer of a set, with almost comically "aw, shucks" between song banter. Board recording, and the guitar come up in the mix until around the 60-second mark....but when it does? The quintessential primitive punk buzzsaw sound is fukkn perfect. Eleven tracks spanning a touch over one half hour, and if you can't sing along to the chorus of "Let There Be Anarchy," then I don't really know if there's any hope for you. 

24 November 2020

REACTIONARY 3

 

Gainesville, Florida. Early 2000s. Discordant DIY emotional hardcore. Recording is all fucked up, the guitar is sloppy and cranked way too high in the mix. Vocals have that anguished/gruff quality but could transfer seamlessly to a non-emo hardcore band, so they never totally fit. The bass walks the careful line between blurts and noodles and the drums are doing some shit but they are totally buried so you can't really tell what it is for the most part. But you see, none of these observations are complaints or even critiques, because they are what make REACTIONARY 3 sound interesting some two decades later. Just some kids, punching above their collective weight and going real hard - that's what I want. Now listen to that guitar dominate "Since I Quit My Job" like '84 Mould just showed up to a '04 FUGAZI rehearsal and brought all of his amps. Like...all of them. 



23 November 2020

SHITTY ROOMMATE

 

For the times that it's not your thing but it still kinda hits you just right. Like, it's too "melodic," but it's just messy enough. Maybe it's better to just enjoy than to try to explain, but if that's the case....then one could easily argue that I've been wasting some serious time. 



22 November 2020

ETA



Spencer let me hold onto some of his fire for a while, and as much as I like the dude, I simply don't know if I'm going to be able to let this classic go. After the adaptation of "Bloodstains" reinvented as the band's theme song  (just a couple of years after its US release, which is somewhat mind blowing when you really think about it), Budapest's ETA smash their way through 20+ blasts of rumbling ramshackle hardcore punk. ETA are so gloriously primitive, the recording is sketchy, the tape is even kinda fukkd in a few places, it's just a wonderful smash to the face from 1982 Hungary. Choice cuts: "Prostituált Vegyok," "Munkát, Kenyeret" and "A Nemzetközi Helyzet," and be sure to make it through to the last ten track on the B side - the (presumably live) recording has a bit less fidelity, but a lot more fire. 



 

21 November 2020

THE JERKY BEATS



The band's chosen moniker pretty much sums them up. Short, choppy bursts of fuzzed out bass and robotically precise drums provide a platform for Mild Phil Chokeword to blurt bursts of adult adolescence.
Get it. Get fucked. 



20 November 2020

NOTHING

 

Tell me this is not what now sounds like. 
Tell me this is not what now feels like.
Tell me that this is not disorientation realized. 
Tell me that this is not real. 
Volume
This is now, and this is very fucking real. 

DECSCENSION DIGESTION


19 November 2020

STRANGERS


You know it's coming when the bass starts. It's not a rumble, it's not aggressive...it's chill. It's confident. The bass is just like "we about to do this," and then they do it. LA's STRANGERS have never disappointed me recorded or in the flesh - they sound simultaneously timeless and from another time. And they fukkn swing. "The Mad" is such a beautifully simple punk song, STRANGERS are such a beautifully perfect punk band. 
 


18 November 2020

TOWARDS AN END


Steel yourself before this one, kids. 1990s suburbia was a motherfucker for punk and hardcore - subgenres and subcultures that had once been a thing of mystery were plastered all over popular culture. The sounds of rebellion that had fueled a generation's rage had become the very establishment, and now the floodgates were open. Enter TOWARDS AN END. From the Tri-Valley (40ish miles inland from San Francisco), they came from ashes of RELY, a pretty damn good teenage SXEHC band, and delivered some of the harmless emotional hardcore that was seemingly everywhere for a solid decade. These kids did one better by throwing in a bunch of pro-establishment, anti-abortion, anti-sex lyrics because....fukk man, I don't know, church or something? Full admission though: It makes it pretty fun to listen to. There's something entertaining about how earnest (and ridiculous) some of these cuts are, and it's ramped up a notch because you know they are serious. I mean, I still back DALTONIC's Radio On*, and I guess I put this in the same department. Plus, when Broken Heart & Shooting Stars opens with the line "Daddy I miss you, I'm sorry I pushed you away..." I am inexplicably reminded of THE GIRLS' "Jeffrey I Hear You," and that's one of the greatest songs ever so maybe it just puts me in the right mindset. Demos from 1997 and 1998 included in the link (because as much as I don't think you're going to check it out once, I'm fucking certain you aren't going to check it out twice), and I have no clue what these fellows did after TOWARDS AN END, if anything. "Family life" is a probably pretty decent guess. 

* - Anyone who has closely watched Bob Kasitz (LACK OF INTEREST, etc) play drums, will know that he props up his battered hi hat stand with a stack of trashed CDs. Many years ago I was watching him set up for the stage potato position and noticed a copy of "Radio On" with a completely thrashed and cracked jewel case at the top of the stack. I mean, here I was in two thousand and whatever, watching a reformed INFEST, and this legendary dude is packing around a CD from a band I played with (twice) in Iowa in 1994.  It wasn't really that big of a deal, and I'm sure there were (are) hundreds of copies of that disc languishing in distros so it shouldn't really be weird to see one repurposed and given new life as a hi hat shim, but it was still a mental moment that made me smile. 

17 November 2020

SPLURT POUCH


The Covid Era has forced countless bands into dormancy, but has given an opportunity for many artists to complete long shelved projects, to find spaces for concepts and ideas to live, even thrive, in the new (temporary?) reality. And for some, the frustration and helplessness has given rise to new and brutal forms of expression. SPLURT POUCH is suffocating. Like screaming until your lungs are shreds, screaming into an absent void that doesn't know you exist...much less whether you live or die. Screaming at stars ten lifetimes away while your head is wrapped in plastic, and then trying to draw a breath. SLURT POUCH is 2020. SPLURT POUCH is the new reality, and perhaps it isn't temporary. 



16 November 2020

P.E.A.R.L.



Four doses of bombastic brutality from California's Inland Empire. Completely blown to shit hardcore rippers clocking in around three minutes. Total. The intro to "Fight Us" should be enough, but I swear that "Token" is a quintessentially perfect US hardcore track. There's another tape that came after this one. I want it. It's OK to want things. 

 


15 November 2020

DEAD BEAT POET SOCIETY

 

When bands sound like they are trying to sound like they are from a different, but specific, time and/or place, sometimes it's good, but there's also a higher bar because the bands are doomed to be compared to the best artifacts from that time and/or place. And even then, who really needs another version of the exact same thing that they already like (DIS bands and squirm stomps excluded, of course)? And this is exactly how bands like DEAT BEAT POET SOCIETY stand out - by standing alone. Pop at their core, to be sure, but this band is like a puppeteer pulling strings that tug on the remnants of my heart left in, cold wave distorted through '60s Nuggets, in dream pop, in '90s college/alt, in sharp robotic punk, in STOOGES and TELEVISION...and the puppeteer laughs because DBPS are none of these things, and owe nothing to any of them. They've tricked you, and they've got you, and as they pull you down deeper you forget the moment that you found yourself hooked. Because this band is from their place and their time...and you want to be there. So....you go. "Social Anatomy" on repeat all day. 

STAIRWAY TO COMMUNITY


14 November 2020

ATTITUDE PROBLEM



Sometime in the middle 2000s in a place called Philadelphia, some true freaks converged and raised a middle finger to conventional sonic wisdom. The result of that "fuck you" was ATTITUDE PROBLEM. Too weird to be hessian, to punk to be outsiders, but way too outside to be anything that anyone knew. I mean, Jason Wade joined the band later so anyone who was paying attention likely clued in, but these four mutant stoner psych jams are where it's at - a no rules manic moog assault from FACEOWNINSHIT and WINDHAND personnel that answers the question: "What if ASBESTOS DETH had stuck to psilocybin?"
 
Listen to "Meathead" on repeat. 


13 November 2020

PRIMAL BRAIN


I guess I'll just keep saying it: Oklahoma punk rules. Out of frustration comes power. 





12 November 2020

BASIC DICKS

 

Sharp, swinging raucous English punk. You're going to be drawn to the vocals, but Im telling you that the damaged guitars are totally where this shit is at. Early '80s UK anarcho crashing awkwardly into early '90 Oakland, with deadly hooks in tow. Slow squirm start of "Slap" is where this shit is at. 

11 November 2020

CHRISTOPHER ALAN DURHAM

 

Sometimes, this listens like lost raga monotony, heard from a distance. Sometimes, this listens like a tortured P-Orridge missive. Always, Bread & Wine listens like an artifact from a different place.
Support physical media

BREAD & WINE

10 November 2020

DUDMAN

 

Forever one of the most under appreciated Japanese extremities, DUDMAN's output is stunning. Twelve doses of raw fastcore/PV on this 1998 release, a collection of tracks from various comps, check the start/stop madness on (the poorly edited) "Whisper (In My Head)" at full volume and you'll feel like you just got some bad drugs. Some good bad drugs, of course. 



09 November 2020

ATTAKTIX



Contra Order doesn't start - it detonates. And you hold your breath, and you clench, and you exhale twenty minutes later and everything around you is in ruins. A massive blast of Scan-DBeat destruction - early WOLFPACK hooks in "Land Of Pain," the brief hiccup after the first chorus in "Lost And Wasted," classic Tompa harsh snarls throughout, the leads that close "Demons Of The Past," the blasts in "Wound Wide Open," I could go on, but you get the idea. Five years after their first release, Lithuania's ATTAKTIX have unleashed an absolute monster, appropriate for the times, I suppose. 


 

08 November 2020

ANIMAL PLANET



I mean, the breakdown in "Runts" should be enough. The whole thing is only like six minutes long, so I suppose it's good to just get straight to business....but ANIMAL PLANET take that ethos to the next level on their 2014 slammer. Fierce, snappy hardcore fucking punk - this is the good shit. Someone hook me up with that tour tape please. 


ANIMAL PLANET