16 October 2021

MUDWIMIN



Perhaps this post is only for the (few) MUDWIMIN purists, but it might also make a convert of the more inquisitive visitor. To a kid living far far away, the name MUDWIMIN stuck out in musings about the post-heyday San Francisco Bay Area punk scene/s. The name grabbed you, an all female band was still a notable thing, and they had better songs than L7 (who they always seemed to be compared to for only one reason). I had the "For A Good Time" 45 and I think I dug it, but other than that record they were always a band who existed somewhere outside my orbit - I knew who they were and got their general context.....but not much more than that. Their last LP came out right when I moved here, but I think that I would have blown it off at the time (not hard enough, not fast enough, not punk enough, etc etc etc). This session however....fucking fire. Awkward, powerful, and very fucking real sounds that act as a sonic bridge between '80s anarcho experimentation and SPITBOY. Music that never really catches a groove, sounds that are stepping over rock 'n roll (and later grunge) to get to where they want to be. Erratic and very fucking weird music dominated by completely damaged guitars...MUDWIMIN have aged extremely well. Three songs on this tape were recorded in a basement on Steiner Street 1987, and a there's version of "Jizm Skiz #1" that was recorded "in Bambi's basement at our 1st or 2nd practice..." in April 1986. Happy to have found these, and I now have the urge to dig deeper into all of the records that I've overlooked...better late than never, I suppose. 



 

15 October 2021

TH' GUNK STUNK

 

Absolutely killer collection of psych and doom and noise and electronics from a cadre of artists primarily from and around New Jersey. This is a chilly fall night when things (in the night and in your life) are slowing down and maybe getting a little weird. Almost creepy enough (WASP, TRIGAL) for proto-Halloween celebrations, definitely twisted enough (FILTH GARDEN, BONELIST, SPECK, TOADS) for sloppy drunken punk slogs around a fire, and other worldly enough (BROWN CHRISTMAS, MAXIMUM ERNST, IVOR BLAHA) to make you really glad that everything kicked in when it did. It's going to be a good night...just wait until it gets dark.


14 October 2021

JOY CLEANER

 

A complete divergence, because there's just something about this tape that I can't escape. Three tracks of sweet and sappy indie/college alt with a dash of Alex Chilton. It's a blissfully simple formula, really, and as much as the description should make me puke......? Well, I like it. 


13 October 2021

DRIED UP CORPSE // DROUGHTER

 

A haunting collection from 2009, DRIED UP CORPSE and DROUGHTER fill one small plastic with manipulated sounds that are so chaotic that they begin to sound organic. The DRIED UP CORPSE side is perhaps a sonic abomination electronically recreating the cacophony of nature, while DROUGHTER is the aural adaptation of modern industrial chaos, recreated and intentionally damaged. Exceptionally harsh on both sides, much like the realities that they lived within and represented. 


12 October 2021

YO MAN, GO!

 

If you toured the Northeast in the 2000s, then you probably rolled through Allentown, Pennsylvania. You may have trucked out there to see a warm up show before a Pointless Fest, or to see a hot shit hardcore band play a small(er) show to a room packed with enthusiastic starved kids instead of a dark bar casually populated with jaded twenty-somethings in New York City. You may have played a show there because the "out of the way" places were more willing to book your band than the "more desirable" big towns. You may have stopped by Double Decker and bought too many records and you may have, in one of those moments, thought that Lehigh Valley might just be a place that you could see yourself living. I know I did. The basement where you may have seen one of those wild and sweaty shows was called The Pirate's Cove - the toilet sometimes leaked into the basement (sometimes onto the head of a relatively famous '80s UK punk rocker), there were a couple of support beams smack in the middle of the audience that partially blocked your view...and fuck were the shows great. The vibe was great, the kids were real, it just felt honest and sincere. If you had one of these experiences, then you might have seen YO MAN, GO! play at The Pirate's Cove, and I'm telling you there's no better environment for a band like this. Without the above context, this 2006 tape is filled with anthemic, high energy melodic punk. Full stop. But there's something about the vocal break "I just want you to put your hand in mine!" and picturing yourself in that fucking basement and...well, DIY punk just fukkn rules. Those who are averse to feeling good and maybe singing along, or who have not experienced any of the memories in the previous sentences, might want to proceed with caution. For the rest of you: Welcome To Allentown. It was great there. 


11 October 2021

MØRE SMØKE!

 

Strap yourselves in, motherfuckers. 90+ tracks of relentless nosiecore, recorded over the course of 2020 by a group of Argentinian freaks who call themselves MØRE SMØKE!. There's a line in noisecore, much like in free jazz and experimental electronics, where the chaos itself becomes an instrument. Where the oppressive brutality becomes a comfort. This is really an unrealized piece of commentary on the state of our Humanity, where utter disarray is a thing that brings us peace...but here we are. In this experiment, inner peace can be achieved in less than twenty two minutes. I present: Una Sonrisa a la Musica Ruidosa.


10 October 2021

BRAINBLEED

 

These Southern California must have come and gone in a flash, because this 2014 slammer is all I've got and I feel like I was reaching into the past before I even put the damn thing in the deck. Five pieces of primal hardcore that are over and done well before the eight minute mark. It's gruff, urgent - like garage punks but stuck in a cold warehouse for way too long. Sometimes the 'one and done' approach works...

09 October 2021

RUPTURED SYSTEM // BLACK DAHLIA



A disgustingly dark collection of stench from 1990s Oklahoma, BLACK DAHLIA released but one EP in their short existence, while RUPTURED SYSTEM's tracks never had any kind of public exposure at all (until now). Pretty sure that these kids had a few EL DOPA records between them, and the desperate nihilism translated well to the sometimes bleak reality in the middle of the country. I talked to Ross a fair bit about this tape and these bands yesterday - it was a fucking magic time when everything was possible perhaps because nothing was possible. He told me that Zach and Ron (who each played in both bands on this tape) died together in a brutal car accident in 2000...losing friends is never easy, but it's so much harder when your scene is this small and interconnected. So listen at maximum volume and appreciate what you've got. 
 

08 October 2021

MUSIC IS MY OCCUPATION

 

The cover should really have all of the information you need to proceed - 1960s ska instrumentals recorded by some of the most legendary names in the game. This compilation was put together by Trojan in the late '80s...and it's as great as you think it might be. 

 

 

07 October 2021

SIERPIEN

 

Another brooding dose from SIERPIEN - I feel like I could sprinkle their entire discography over these pages and never hear a complaint.  2016's Смердит До Самых Звёзд (Stench Up To Heaven) is among their most fully realized releases...eight pieces of introspective and moody (and danceable) goth led by a hesitant guitar that is balanced by a shockingly confident booming baritone coming out of the sonic shadows. You put it on and it just removes you completely, and I love a recording that can do that.  


06 October 2021

ATAVISTIC

 

The two EPs that came in 1987 (the year after this demo was recorded) are under the radar rippers and well worth tracking down (as is the much more thrashing Vanishing Point LP from 1990) - much like the ten tracks on From Within, they are a bombastic blasting assault. It's hard to place ATAVISTIC in the context of the UK anarcho/punk/hardcore/thrash scenes - CIVILISED SOCIETY and HERESY were rolling strong, but also DEVIATED INSTINCT and the tail end of ANTISECT. This demo is a whirlwind - intensity definitely valued over proficiency with blast beats that don't even make sense until you realize that it's just a way to play faster. Then listen to the lead drop in on "Timshel" and that blown out bass intro to "Your Time's Up." Fucking monstrous. 


05 October 2021

FUCKFACE

This the FUCKFACE recording that would have been the Don't Hate Us Because We're.... EP, but we recorded these tracks again with Aaron Nudelman at Big Rehab a few weeks later and those came out a little better.  Matty Luv engineered this session at Ton-Up, a motorcycle repair shop and/or meth den just off of Potrero, and we wrapped tracking sometime in the middle of night three or four. My memory is that Matty and Matt were going to take care of the mix that night (well, day), but did a bunch of speed to get them amped up and then passed out. The eventual result is chaotic (I clearly don't even know the words to my part of the chorus in "♀=♂"), with a sound that is every bit as dark and murky as the moldy, oily back rooms of that motorcycle shop. In retrospect, sometimes it seems like we were all just a bunch of different messes piled up on the same floor while Life Itself was picking through, trying to find a clean pair of socks. I'm forever grateful for the (limited) time I spent with and around Matty while he was alive...hard to believe it's been 19 years. 

04 October 2021

CONGENITAL DEATH



Totaly fucking fire from Philly's CONGENITAL DEATH, who filled up the middle of the last decade with slab after slab of start/stop hardcore punctuated by furious blasts and more riffs than any band should be allowed to come up with on their own. A touch more subdued (accessible?) than bands like PARLAMENTARISK SODOMI, but we're talking about the same kind of erratic fury....but with mandatory moshers like "Disapproval" thrown in the mix. This 2013 tape has the entire Heavy Hands EP plus two untitled bonus bangers on the flip. 

HEAVY HANDS +2 

03 October 2021

M.O.A.T.



In case you missed this fierce London juggernaut when it (not so) quietly dropped in the decade, I present M.O.A.T. for your sonic (dis)pleasure. Ugly, furious, discordant hardcore rooted in the DIY metallic hardcore of the 1990s - passionate and intense instead of "emotional," M.O.A.T. just sound fucking pissed on these four tracks. Think about DYSTOPIA interpreting the first TIME IN MALTA recordings....and if you're like me, then that little feat of journalistic gymnastics is going to perk up your ears. 

M.O.A.T. 

02 October 2021

MILTON NASCIMENTO

 

This record was a dollar bin score several years ago, and this cassette version only set me back twice that much a few weeks back. On its face, Sentinela is just a really *nice* collection of peaceful sounds, and that vibe remains as you delve deeper into the layers of sound. But more than the general feeling of calm that the record (tape) presents, Nascimento presents a stunning collection of influences as one cohesive statement, making the saccharine '80s schmaltz of "Tudo" sound completely natural mingling with the film noir strings of "Cantigo (Caicó)" and the infectious pulsations of "Bicho Homem." Much of the record (tape) falls into a vaguely new age and/or easy listening crevasse, which is why listening closer, listening deeper, pays such dividends. The sweeping commercial orchestration of the seven plus minute title track gives way to an ethereal Afrofuturist close while "Peixinhos Do Mar" sends you to the dark corner, because it sounds like maybe you just stumbled upon something you need, but sometihing that simply wasn't meant for you at all. It's not so much that it all works, it's that it all works together.  And maybe it's not until you finish, and you take stock of your surroundings (literal and meta), that you realize what Nascimento has done. 


01 October 2021

COMPLETE DISORDER



I shared a couple of recordings from this San Rafael, California band in The Escape's infancy, including a 1985 session that features earlier versions of these five tracks. COMPLETE DISORDER's self titled 1986 tape is the realization of the vision displayed in those two posts - earnest, bare bones mid-'80s USHC. Healthy 7 SECONDS/YOUTH BRIGADE influence, midpaced parts that are begging for a down low creeping circle pit that then explode into a frenzy of adolescent hardcore punk. Sometimes that's all you need. 



30 September 2021

DATA UNKNOWN

 

You know this one is right before it even really gets going. "Vibin' On A Hearse" opens up with some truly deranged synths creeping over a distorted tom beat with no cymbals, and then vocals kinda meander drunkenly through the outer edges of the mix until the whole outfit gives way to a mental episode with "Feathers n Eyes." True freak punk from Indiana, each track is an outburst and some are directed inward in the most damaged (and damaging) way. More than an experiment, DATA UNKNOWN sound like a plea for attention...or possibly help. 

29 September 2021

CHARLIE'S FAMILY CRISIS

 

What grabs me about CHARLIE'S FAMILY CRISIS is the way it hits like so many late '80s under the radar USHC acts (NEANDERTHAL SPONGE, BIG DEAL, NAKED HIPPY and the like). It nods to the early part of the decade but the sound is infected by crossover and metal and the early stages of melodic punk in the 1990s. Vocals remind me of CONCEPT OF NONSENSE, some of the more disjointed parts remind me of BURIED or DEMISE, though mostly I think that Family Life sounds familiar, as if it comes from a place that I would have been...if I had been there. Perhaps that's why my reference lines all originate from somewhere close to home, but I've never been to Wales, so maybe punk is universal after all. 

28 September 2021

POKING A DEAD FISH WITH A NOT DEAD FISH

 

Once again, Food Fortunata and/or Friends are testing the limits of musical reasonability...this time with the unearthed project POKING A DEAD FISH WITH A NOT DEAD FISH. Nineteen songs about bowel movements, math, pickles, manual labor and whatever other stream-of-consciousness came out when the guys pressed <record>. Ponder wise quips like "construction was not created by a ghost, it was the dream of all large mammals" while you're trying to figure out if the music is a (failed) attempt to succeed or whether you're just the target of a cruel audio prank. No one does it better, fine visitors...no one. 

27 September 2021

SHITLOAD

 

Long time visitors will remember Mondays. Week after week of blown to shit distorted, noisy non-music. Week after week of sonic abominations. I've gotten (a lot) less strict on my scheduling, but I don't think there's a band more perfect for the Monday slot that New Orleans based Covid project SHITLOAD. Complete noisecore. Nothing else. Bass and drum (machine) destruction that makes GODSTOMPER sound like pop punk. With 40+ releases in less than two years, it's impossible to keep up...but please believe that I'm going to try, because this is either what the world sounds like or this is what the world needs. Probably both. 



26 September 2021

ANTIMOB

 

Greece's ANTIMOB are one of the most under-appreciated current hardcore bands I can think of. Every single release has flawless sonic and aesthetic presentation, and they've spent the last decade improving on their own sound instead of trying to recreate (or reinvent) themselves. Passionate, epic, powerful hardcore punk...not sure what else a fellow like me could ask for. 


25 September 2021

READY Z

 

The opening sample "first they take your land and then they take your mind" sets the stage for a gripping presentation of conscious rap from Southern California. The sounds are dated, in a good way (think PE, DISPOSABLE HEROES and it seems there's a KRS-One appearance on "Stomp") tracks like "Capitalism And Slavery Go Hand In Hand!" and "Imperialism Is A Beast" hit me like time warps), and the reliance on (nay, utilization of) samples by READY Z (aka READY 4 REVOLUTION) is sometimes gloriously overwhelming. What I'm most struck by when listening to Guerrilla Kit 2 is that I keep listening - I want to hear the sample that I missed, I want to take all of the references in and I want to hear every rhyme because it feels important now. And it feels important because it (still) is important - even (especially) if the group faded into a distant past and everyone missed it the first time around - every word is poignant and every blow lands harder than ever on these present day ears.  

23 September 2021

SONDRA RAY // RAFAEL & LAARAJI



On the one hand, this hour long presentation is a calming and meditative exercise in relaxation and perspective. I'm not gonna lie...I found myself digging on the Divine Mother, because who isn't into knowledge flowing from the embodiment of the highest self to all the world like nectar? Shit sounds cool. I'm down. Collectively, some knowledge flow would probably be a good thing - so let's bow to that mother, you dig? On the other hand, Sondra Ray teaches for profit spiritual intimacy and "rebirthing" quests where you can "make contact with the Divine Mother" and she kinda sounds like your aunt from Gary, Indiana who annoys everyone at family gatherings. But I guess someone has got to sing the praises of the Divine Mother, because we sure as fuck aren't. 


22 September 2021

MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY

 

If you aren't already familiar with MEXICAN POWER AUTHORITY then this post is going to make your head spin. I would have a hard time identifying a DIY punk band who were more all over the map than this Canadian outfit - there's classic '90s DIY hardcore, wild experimental Fripp freakouts, and there are darker MISSION OF BURMA-esque tracks like "Myomiverse" that should belong in the catalog of a band far more revered than MPA. You'll find comedic grindcore, you'll find irreverence along the lines of SCHLONG and mathy post-hardcore that makes you want to pull out the PLAID RETINA 12". Free jazz. Noisecore. PARTISANS and LED ZEPPELIN covers. COLTRANE's Om condensed to 70 seconds. There are 117 tracks on this tape....don't say I didn't warn you, but if you aren't amazed by the end then I don't know if I can help you. 





21 September 2021

REINA AVEJA

 

The REINA AVEJA trip from Florida to California blew a lot of minds in 1998. They just casually laid waste to every band they played with...heaviness that came from another world delivered by women who came from the other side of this one. The approach to sludge-laden slogs was punk, which brought justifiable BUZZOV•EN comparisons, but the approach to punk was fierce and femme in the face of those comparisons. They recorded an album with Billy Anderson while they were out here, an album that has (unfortunately) never seen the light of day, and the band spread out shortly afterwards. The bassist spent has been in several bands since, and is currently in a freak punk outfit called GRP.TXT. I spent a couple of years in LAUDANUM with the drummer and her partner before I moved to Wisconsin...making noise with them was really fukkn fun. Anyway...someone should release that record Billy recorded. 






20 September 2021

MAX NORDILE

 



More musings (and/or ramblings) from West Coast sonic savant Max Nordile. 2020's Little Kicks is a quarter hour of wind improvisations, stringed jangles and incomprehensible murmurs punctuated by clangs and bangs and the mutterings of a creator not meant for our world. I have this frequent revelation that Nordile is quietly breaking down all of the barriers (real or imagined) between The People and What Is Music....consecutive movements in a demonstration that all sound is, or can be, Music For The People. The fact that that it's so "weird" or "random" is exactly what makes it so accessible. 


19 September 2021

BE-JIN

 

Good luck with this one. Equal parts J-Pop, video game soundtrack and '80s teen movie montage music, the 1988 cassette from BE-JIN still has me wondering if they were punk adjacent. There's a song called "Skinheads." Some of the solos are just not quite mainstream...just enough to make you wonder if they're played by an imposter. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm wrong a lot. It looks cool as hell though. Good luck. 





18 September 2021

WEIRDOS

1977 rehearsal recording from first wave Los Angeles punks WEIRDOS. The recording itself is a little rough, and this comes from a relic copy that is a few generations removed from the original, BUT....the WEIRDOS fukkn rule, and this session is a killer. Their ferocity shines through the (or is enhanced by) the presentation, and the 1-2 punch of "Why Do You Exist" into "Do The Dance" is pretty much untouchable. Way more TOMBS/STOOGES/PAGANS vibes than the studio versions of these tracks...which is (of course) a positive. 


REHEARSAL 1977 

17 September 2021

A MUSICAL NEWSPAPER

 

Before you think that A Musical Newspaper is some schlock/joke comp meant to trick you into wasting your time, just hear me out. We may be a long way from the world where ELSE POPPING AND HER PIXIELAND BAND receives legitimate accolades, even from outsider music devotees, but that might be part of what makes their inclusion here (and WESTERN ELECTRIC PIANO STYLE "X," and THE PIPE ORCHESTRATION FROM THE PRAGUE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MECHANICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, and ANTON WEBERN...you get the idea) work so well. There's no moment on this tape where you think, "oh, I get it....this is the weird song" because everything here is fucking weird. Spaghetti Western schmaltz mingling with MARTIN DENNY, experimental solo vocalists, and non-music torture from NOGGIN while shit-fi acoustic croons by AMBERGRIS make periodic interruptions just to keep things honest. A true outsider comp for true outsiders; a comp clearly put together by the folks at with reverence rather than irony.