31 December 2020

STORM FACTION

I've got a tape of roughs from the unreleased Here In Our Hearts session from INTERNAL AUTONOMY, and there are more rough mixes from a band listed as STORM FACTION tacked onto the end. Never heard of 'em, and can't find any information about them, but they surely sound like a bare knuckled pisstake of an ignorant UK Oi! band, and I kinda love it. Railing against PC punks with a half drunk exaggerated accent, all while the band decks out full throated ragers like "Runnin' Outta Time" and "Weak Link" (I ain't into politics!). A freaked out "Anarchoi Dub Stylee" (later followed up by the slightly longer "More Anarchoi! Dub Stylee," naturally) and even rougher reference mixes of two cuts that appear to be veering in a more UKHC (say Scrap Metal, perhaps) direction - just drum machine and vocals on these but that's no reason to not share a screamer like "Come Uppance Of The Macho Male," right? My thoughts exactly.  So at the end of a year full of frustration and loss and questions and distrust, I'll tack on a little mystery. 

STORM FACTION

30 December 2020

WŁOCHATY

 

2000's Zmowa is possibly my favorite release from WŁOCHATY, though it's not the one I most often turn to (and admittedly there are a few more I haven't spent time with). This record is just....realized. The way they layer guitars, they way they drop melodies into their bitter and stark hardcore and/or anarcho punk, the way it almost feels like you're listening to a full concept piece instead of a mere collection of tracks. Poland's WŁOCHATY contributed more than a bunch of tunes during their twenty=plus year run...it feels different. They feel different. They feel important, always have. 





29 December 2020

RATTEX PRIEST

 

Kinda makes you wonder what would have happened if BUTTHOLES and KILLDOZER had been exposed to raw Colombian noisecore like HERPES or CONFUSION, but recruited an inept Scandinavian black metal guitarist from 1988. People (including myself) say things rhetorically (too) often, but this is what actual destruction sounds like. There are only five cuts on this tape, but ask yourself how much more you think you can you swallow....because there's another recording after this one. But first...

28 December 2020

WITHOUT SYSTEM

 

Absolutely devastating under the radar Japanese hardcore from WITHOUT SYSTEM. There's a disc on HG Fact from the early '00s that I think gets overlooked far too often - maybe it's the decidedly non-punk looking cover, maybe it's because it's CD-only...but it smokes - but these five tracks are unbridled and raw fury. Walls of backing vocals, searing metallic leads, one clenched fist anthem after another in the classic Burning Spirits tradition...the fact that a band this powerful can fly under the radar blows my mind. 

27 December 2020

CONVICT

 

Clench up real time and unwind with force. The 2015 slammer from Olympia's CONVICT is just a complete monster - just honest, fierce hardcore of the highest order. There's something that is (still) magic about hearing pure hardcore, it sounds like teeth ripping flesh...and it feels like the flesh is yours. That is what CONVICT did on Barred Life

BARRED LIFE

26 December 2020

GARETH HARDWICK

 

Twenty minutes of drone. 
Twenty minutes of peace. 
Twenty minutes of immersion. 
Twenty minutes of reflection. 
If we are doing our job, then we have earned far more than twenty minutes...
...but twenty minutes is what's on the table. 
Take it. 
The offer expires. 

25 December 2020

A GIFT

You are welcome to choose between two stone cold classics. You are also welcome to choose both. 

 

A dub, likely many generations removed from the original, that includes the searing and essential (and much circulated) 1983 demo and the live in Pisa set from the same year that was tacked onto the more common BCT#5 reissue. Track listing from the live set appears to be a bit different, likely a few things just omitted by the limitations of the generational cassette format, and there are three burners from You Are The Victim tacked onto the end. I often feel that if RAW POWER had just called it after Screams From The Gutter, they would be revered as one of the most important and intense hardcore bands in the world...but when you spend years (decades) touring on records that are basically just "pretty good," it might serve to fog up the view in the mirror when folks are looking back. Regardless, these recordings are simply fucking insane. 

BCT-05



Was in the kitchen last night with Karoline and we were listening to a digital radio station dubiously classified as "new wave." Billy Idol was interviewing Miley Cyrus about their favorite holiday songs and playing pandering insipid drivel from RAMONES, DAMNED and BLINK 182. They did play that POGUES song with Kirsty MacColl, but Idol's "Run Rudolph Run" was more than enough to kill any shred of enjoyment, and that was before BAD RELIGION's embarrassingly straight cover of "Little Town Of Bethlehem" nailed the fun coffin shut. Gratuitous holiday recordings are fucking insulting. This one set me back a quarter, and is easily my least favorite WILLIE NELSON recording. Fortunately, after distorting the hell out of "O Come All Ye Faithful," the tape mercifully gives out a few seconds into "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Moral of the story is that we should have been bumping punk tapes instead of listening to the radio. Lesson learned (again).

24 December 2020

BUZZCOCKS

Nothing groundbreaking here. I mean...totally ground breaking of course; BUZZCOCKS are a starter punk band for good fucking reason. I just think that most people who want to jam BUZZCOCKS have already gone pretty deep into the catalog, and one doesn't have to dig very deep to unearth the Razor Cuts collection. And if these sounds are new to you, then you're going to want to start digging. Just the cuts from the B side, because that's what someone slapped onto the front end of a slamming mix that also featured DRONES, ADVERTS and some other greats. So yeah, nothing groundbreaking maybe, but I'm just helping you cover your bases here.  

RAZOR CUTS

23 December 2020

УИКЕДА

 

An impulse acquisition from earlier in Thee Time Of Covid, a piece of chud that was too close to something I "needed" when my digital dollar hoover was (apparently) switched to "MAX INHALE" and besides...who doesn't want to fuck with Bulgarian ska anarchy? Exactly. Everyone. Everyone wants to fuck with Bulgarian ska anarchy. And, as is often the case, I won. So you win. Traditional pick-it-up, pick-it-up ska with multiple vocals dominate, maybe there are two hype men, there's a casual undercurrent of traditional Romani sounds colored by commercial rock...and then they drop the primitive but radio ready HELMET-meets-RAGE stomper "Just Another Victim" towards the end of the set. Start searching the internets if you want to know more about the band, because I can't tell you anything I didn't google myself, but I chalk УИКЕДА up as another hearty endorsement of blind bargains...because there's so much more out there, and there's just no way that all the good stuff is expensive. Hell, some of the good stuff is probably still unknown, and that's why we keep digging (even if from our keyboards - thanks, 2020). 

22 December 2020

S. OLBRICHT



Abstract and disorienting sounds from Budapest's Stephan Olbricht. Deutsch Amerikanische Tragödie practically drags the listener through a forty-plus minute journey filled with dark dancefloor damage and planetary electronic ambiance....subtle and deliberate, the cuts are at once engaging and distant. I listen to this and I want to get into the why and the how, but it feels impossible. And perhaps that's why it grabs me now. "Foragrafia" grab you and, with just four notes, will bring you to your knees. 

If you don't already know (and you should), there's a lot more where this came from...



21 December 2020

DEPROGRAM

 

Motherfukkr how did I miss this one in real time? A completely insane burst of DBeat power from Washington (state) that appeared (and vanished, apparently) in the middle of the '10s, DEPROGRAM draw from the best in the game - Swedish kång, raw Japanese dis-worship, a throaty Davis/Harris vocal attack that eschews distortion or manipulation, all while employing a strict adherence to The Formula. There are nine tracks here; a timeless, modern DBeat assault...there's even an instrumental interlude called "Distortion." How can you fuck with that? You can't. 

DEPROGRAM


20 December 2020

DOGMA MUNDISTA


I heard the name for years before I heard the band - I heard the band and I wondered what had taken me so long. And as good as Destiny Of Greed is (it's good), I wasn't quite prepared for the fury on this 1991 tape. Southern California political hardcore with roots in Tijuana, DOGMA MUNDISTA combine raw Mexican punk ferocity with classic anthemic UK punk ("Talk About A Statement," anyone?), and still sound distinctly like an early '90s political DIY hardcore band. Gonna listen to "Capitalist Greed" at least five times today, progressively louder each time. So...what's taking you so long?




19 December 2020

ASSORTED OZ

Someone slapped a few slammers onto the ass end of a mixtape that featured CHELSEA Peel Sessions and BBC recordings from 1979, the DRONES '77 Peel Session, BUZZCOCKS Razor Cuts outtakes from '79, ADVERTS surprisingly smoking Raw Energy recording (which is a ripping mess, by the way), some cuts that will especially appeal to the folks who dug the (highly recommended) History Of Michigan Rock series and the connection between Motor City and the world's greatest Nation Continent. A handful of live recordings and outtakes from HITMEN ("Pop's All (Gone)" is the absolute star of this little mini-mix), NEW CHRISTS, NEW RACE and RADIO BIRDMEN, the latter dropping a hyped up bare knuckle cranked up bar fight version of "Search & Destroy" to close out the collection. For purists and the curious perhaps, but would you be here otherwise? I reach out to the people who curated and traded these recordings...I reach out to them in their boring offices or their sweaty garage practice spaces or their suburban homes or their graves, and I thank them. 

ASSORTED OZ

18 December 2020

BOX OF NOISES

 

Q: "How much art can you take?"
A: "How much have you got?"
Me: "BOX OF NOISES."


Four tapes. Two hours. Eight artists...only one stupid button pusher.
Good Luck. 

17 December 2020

VERTIGO

 

The thing I like about this tape is the unlikely collision of adolescent carelessness and mature song construction. The recording is typical medium fidelity '90s DIY - you can hear everything but it takes a couple of tracks to really settle into the rawness - and the vocals practically squeak with an awkward juvenile confidence. But the way everything is put together presents a band of musicians far more advanced than this primitive recording can express, they are writing songs instead of just banging out riffs. Young suburban punk energy mingles here with would-be indie and/or stoner rock darlings on cuts like "Hotel Sarah Bella," and you aren't really sure where they are going to land when they grow up but it's clear they are going somewhere, you know? Actually, they appear to have gone nowhere, but that just shows you how much I know. I'm just a dude who likes to fuck with tapes. But jam "Auf Wiendersehen" for a while and then I'll remind you that the bass player was in FU MANCHU and we will both wonder if that connection is relevant at all and then we'll go back to fucking with tapes. Like this one. 

ETERNAL


16 December 2020

TERMINUS

 

Like an old friend, TERMINUS stopped by yesterday with four doses of strong, proud, heavy fucking metal. I let them in, I let them share, and I became one with their offering. You could do the same, and let TERMINUS take you to a fantastical time when simply being was the first step. And being metal was the only thing in your sights? Oh...you've never been in that time? I recommend it. 


15 December 2020

SMUT

 

Y'all already know...right? SMUT is the fiercest Los Angeles export in recent memory, and First Kiss is easily one of the most essential slabs of 2020. This tape is for the few among you who have let them slip by - the first demo, the East Cost tour tape and the West Coast tour tape all crammed inside one little plastic shell. And turned into a soulless digital file for your consumption. Fuck this band rules. 

14 December 2020

ANTI MILITARY DEMONSTRATION


More sounds from 1980s Budapest (on loan from a pal in the neighborhood), AMD were getting a little funky by the time they released 1991's Ne Vonulj Be! but that piercing flanged guitar and the fury of the approach more than makes up for it. Imagine an evolution beyond BGK's late '80s split - erratic light speed riffing on tracks like "A Félelem Bére" demand the kind of attention that a band that raging behind the Curtain had to fight far harder receive (from the West). 
 


Choice cut here is "Még Nincs Késo" ("It's Never Too Late") - listen at volume and try to imagine late '80s NYHC through this filter, and it's pretty easy to imagine how much more deadly NYHC could (have) be(en). I'm going to go ahead and stand by that statement....

13 December 2020

NO LABEL

 

Short lived Swansea (Wales) punks NO LABEL left after this one demo sometime between 1981-83 (depending on which knowledgeable historian you ask or which reliable resource you refer to). Smart second wave UK punk that doesn't really get going until after the anthemic opener "We Gotta Get Together." But when it really does get rolling (on the burner "Let's Get It Right"), NO LABEL deliver a snappy UK82 pogo frenzy with a healthy nod to SUBHUMANS (talking about the bass runs) and a sharp nasty ska tinge on the guitar (talking about "So What's The Fighting For?") - idealistic, primitive and determined in the best senses of all descriptors. As near as I can tell, the tracks from this demo are all that we've got - "Let's Get It Right" made one of the Bullshit Detector comps, and assorted other cuts appeared on a few DIY tape compilations before the rest of the demo was presented on the killer Bullsheep Detector series on AntiSociety in the early 2010s - so I guess punks will be listening to these seven tracks for the next 40ish years. 

7-TRACK CASSETTE

12 December 2020

MANIPULATION



I swear this 2009 demo hits even harder now than it did when it came out. Only saw the band once, during their stint with NEEDLES, and they were just an absolute force. Full throttle, maximum energy hardcore punk - the first 30 seconds of "Choking Man" rival any overhyped nonsense that has come sense. 


11 December 2020

UNTITLED CASSETTE WITH TRIPPY FULL COLOR ARTWORK



Anyone know what the hell this is? Neither do I, but fuck it because it sounds cool.



Like I said to Daniel this morning: "Keep it on in the background, pop in (and back out) as desired."
I was talking about a completely different recording, but the logic applies here as well. 

Good luck. 






10 December 2020

LIGHTNING YIN YANG

 

Morgan slipped me a copy of the last BLACK RAINBOW 12" a few weeks back, and I cranked it last night (it's good, in case you're curious). Then this morning I listened to this little jammer and I thought...damn: different band, different folks, same vibes. LYY are a little rougher sonically, and the vocals bypass Ivy's trademark melodic gravel - it's not like I'm saying that one sounds (or sounded) like the other, I'm just saying that both bands hit me that same way. Pretty sure they were from Ohio, and I'm pretty sure that this 2012 cassette is their only release. That's all I've got. 


09 December 2020

AURORA

 

Another blast from 1980s Budapest, this time the 1987 cassette from AURORA. A touch more nuanced than their jackhammer hardcore releases that came earlier, this tapes seems to marks a turn towards catchier punk - still raw of course, and still with plenty of dirt under the nails ("Nyugalom" "Gyilkos Robotok" are near perfect dupa-dupa hardcore punk numbers, to be clear).  I'm not going to try to write intelligently about a band I was only vaguely familiar with until a few weeks ago (aside from the 1989 Viszlát Iván LP, that is), but they are still active in 2020 and it's clear that I have a lot more learning to do because this shit is brilliant...one side here is almost hopelessly damaged, but the tracks are included in their murky glory nonetheless. 


08 December 2020

TONER

 



Shameless pop brilliance from Oakland. That meandering affected Marr guitar laking the melodies and sitting just a wee bit too high in the mix, the almost monotone vocals that are just a wee bit too close to baritone to be ethereal. There more...a lot more actually. Killing Pace is where I started, but I feel like i've been here since I was in junior high school. 


07 December 2020

MALIMPLIKI

 

When UNARM played Oakland a few years ago (they were amazing, and there were fire trucks), I tried to convinve vocalist Nanae to get her other band MALIMPLIKI to the USA. I conspired with Saira, it seemed like the plan was going to work....and ultimately it did. Kinda. They toured...the East Coast. And I'm sure they melted faces. So instead of seeing that trio in the flesh, I find myself blasting the shit out of their discography regularly, some of which is compiled on this monstrous cassette. Manic, distorted, noisy Japanese distrash, MALIMPLIKI just attack as if they don't know what else to do. It feels honest, and it sounds right. If your week starts on a Monday, blast the shit out of this and consider it over. 





06 December 2020

AMERICAN NUDISM

 

From unearthed tripped out 1980s Dutch bedroom synth dub to millennial bedroom synth stompers. The keybass as rhythm in "Future Shock" is one of the few (modern) things I've heard that actually nails THE NORMAL vibe, and AMERICAN NUDISM take that and fucking run like a present day KRAFTWERK on a dark/cyber/punk mission. The beats are dark and forceful, five tracks that truly drag you to a different place. 

DREAMING
SCHEMING
UNAWARE
...
unaware