25 July 2021

EX LAX

 

I'm not sure what happened in South America in the 1990s, but in that pre-internet age in countries packed with rich and furious hardcore punk legacies....there were like hundreds of middle of the road "melodic hardcore" bands. And I know that this was a style of punk that dominated (or infected) virtually every corner of the earth in that decade, but RATOS DE PORÃO released Feijoada Acidente? in '95 and that shit rips (even if it was covers)...so what's up with all the fucking pop punk? I'm not really complaining I guess, I probably would have jammed the fuck out of this in 1995 - shit has a nice 'arm hanging out the window on a summer afternoon' vibe, but it's just weird, you know? Because there were a LOT of these bands down there. I'd say it was ALL YOU CAN EAT's fault, but they're the folks who brought so many of these tapes back to the states, so clearly the virus had started to spread long before AYCE toured there. I'm getting off track - six studio cuts here (one with really cringeworthy lyrics) and then live versions of five of them. No live version of "I'm Cumming." And "I'm Cumming" isn't the one with the cringeworthy lyrics, so now you've definitely decided whether you will investigate further or whether you will definitely not investigate further, so I can slowly back away from the keyboard.

24 July 2021

CAULIFLOWER ASS AND BOB

 
=========================
THE WORLD IS A TERRIBLE PLACE
AND YOUR DAD IS A TERRIBLE MAN
SITS AND FUCKING COMPLAINS ABOUT
SHIT HE DON'T UNDERSTAND

==========================

Sometimes I hear a song and I feel like it was written just for me. Suspend belief and expectation, and just let CAULIFLOWER ASS AND BOB sing to you. Just to you. Because, I'll Tell You What, it'll change your outlook on the rest of your day. 
==========================
I HATE BEING SOBER
IT'S DUMB TO BE SOBER
IT'S WAY BETTER BETTER TO DRINK UNTIL YOU PASS OUT

23 July 2021

SCHADENFREUDE



Light years more advanced than their debut Destruction Workers, Waukesha's SCHADENFREUDE combine teenage punk experimentation and adolescent isolation to create something that exists in a void between time capsule and accidental masterpiece with Death Hawks, Killing. Primitive and rudimentary but time appropriate (late '80s - early '90s) industrial/electronic (mostly) dance punk, but with vocals ripped from early BOY IN LOVE material. It's as if they are thumbing their noses at future music - Grill T. Cardinal and Grimlock combine forces (presumably/hopefully in a suburban bedroom) for tracks like "Evil Doing Evil" and "Eighteen Random Stabbings" over the course of a tape that requires constant attention. I'm not saying these kids were brilliant...but I know that I wish there were more than these two tapes. The journey through Wisconsin's odd past continues. Someone want to send me a CRUSTIES demo? DISDAIN? MALIGNANCE? Anyone?

look into my eyes, what do you see?
the end of what was, and what will be...

22 July 2021

SHADOWED VEIL



Why not stay in Wisconsin for a dose of true freak shit? My thoughts exactly. The Oshkosh duo of Pus and Skabb made up SHADOWED VEIL, who released just this one cassette as far as I can tell...if there's more, then I fucking need it. I posted half of Resist The Punisher back in 2015, but the half hour of untitled sonic experiments on the flip side was too good to not revisit (and plus - Wisconsin), so here we are. Primitive industrial bursts, audio collages and general aural torture awaits you...
 
RESIST THE PUNISHER


21 July 2021

MODERN MACHINES

 

Not only is the Riverwest 24 scheduled to start in roughly 60 hours, but there was a sporting event last night that ended favorably for residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Maybe I should have held off on the America's Dairyland comp and just spent the entire week celebrating the 414 area code, but instead here's the 2002 tape from MODERN MACHINES. Those dudes live(d) in Riverwest and they surely enjoy sports, so it feels like the right move. Also, their shows were really fun.


20 July 2021

MANNEQUIN

Came across these tacks tacked onto the end of a tape after a KILLING JOKE set someone I have never known made for someone else I don't know sometime in the 1980s, and they hit me hard and fast. San Antonio's MANNEQUIN existed for a blip, self releasing two elusive EPs filled with gloriously airy radio ready, freak friendly synth-pop. Perhaps they were just ahead of their time - lyrically, conceptually - perhaps late 1970s Texas wasn't meant for MANNEQUIN. But these songs....take Paul Weller and Johnny Marr, THE GIRLS (Boston), throw in some Roger Waters and remember that this was recorded in 1981. Fuck. Indescribably brilliant, instantly familiar, and an undeniable conceptual innovation that cannot be understated. I'm almost sad that I wasn't familiar with the band before I played that tape all the way through, but...better late than never. 

MANNEQUIN
...well it often makes me wonder what corporations mean to us...
...when i breathe in that factory air....
...is this the so-called american dream? is convenience worth that much to you?

19 July 2021

ADJETIVE NOUN

 

I can think of few examples of a joke being taken to such an extreme. ADJETIVE NOUN is the kind of band (project? concept?) that come up eight beers into a twelve beer evening rehearsal....but it doesn't make it out of the practice space. Well, they made it out of the space...onto a stage (more than once)....into a studio....and immortalized their idiocy on magnetic tape. Good luck.


18 July 2021

KNIFEMAN

 

The term "modern hardcore" can naturally be used to describe....well, hardcore created in the modern era. Sometimes it means "current," sometimes it means "not NEGATIVE APPROACH," sometimes it means "kinda like CONVERGE" and sometimes it doesn't actually mean anything at all. But Özmein is...modern hardcore, and I don't know how else to describe it. An absolutely massive blast of metallic DBeats and erratic structures that lurch and rage, led by a devastating guitar tone ripped from Left Hand Path. The tape is fast and demanding, and it just feels like the logical destination for so many of the well-traveled roads punks (and met'lers) have been traveling. It's fully realized, it hits hard and heavy, and there's a pile of bonus tracks the didn't put online...including a DIRE STRAITS cover. 


17 July 2021

DIDGERIDOO



A nice dose of late '80s Scottish shits that kinda teeters on a weird knife edge between punk and glam metal....but it's not power pop even though it's got the hooks. The guitar tone is what really makes the recording, even though (or especially because) it dominates the mix. "Shanks For The Memory" reminds me of ALL YOU CAN EAT, "Do The Spock Bop" would have found a nice home with some of the post Killed By Death-era HASKELS material, and the title track is just a solid four on the floor dirty punk stomp that highlights the band's deficiency in the vocal department. The completists will add it to their want list, the curious will "check it out," and the casual listeners will probably just keep walking. And maybe that's the right move...but what about your humble host?  "Phantom Whipper" and "The Brucie Bonus" back-to-back is mare than enough to keep me around.

 ROBOTS IN DISGUISE


16 July 2021

AMERICA'S DAIRYLAND

 

The cover is so simple, right? Upper Midwest farmland. Quaint. Peaceful. Winters are cold but oh let's talk about the unbridled joy of spring, and think of the warm summer nights after the mosquitoes have abated. How do you justify that illustration with the completely damaged hell guitar in G.F.O.'s "Police Raid," or the 74 seconds of pure rage that is "Anti-Christ" by Mishicot, Wisconsin's NO. This 1983 compilation from Last Rights is classic for a reason....it's also untouchable. Simply one of the best and most essential regional collections of USHC ever, even (especially) as it approaches its 40th birthday. Part of what makes America's Dairyland hold up so well is that mixed in with the bands who "made it" out of the state or later became immortalized by collectors and taste makers (DIE KREUZEN, MECHT MENSCH, CLITBOYS - and to a lesser degree SUBURBAN MUTILATION, SACRED ORDER and IMMINENT ATTACK) are bands never "made it" beyond this tape - and some of those bands stand out just as much as, if not more than, the legends. Of course you've heard DIE KREUZEN's "Enemies," but what about "Frozen Popsicle" from Sturgeon Bay's MALIGNANCE? The tracks from the aforementioned NO are straight stunners across the board, buried underneath the raw noise of a live recording are three pure burners from Madison's N.F.O.D., and Wauwatosa's DISDAIN are off the rails and unhinged, especially on "School." Sure, CLITBOYS shine (not surprising that, even in 1983, they knew to offer their three finest cuts to this would-be classic comp) , but the manic blob of BACKSTAB's "No Rules" sounds less dangerous than they probably were (and it sounds fucking dangerous). Of course BLOODY MATTRESSES (pre-TAR BABIES) sound good on "Red White And Blues" (that drum beat, seriously), but there's a reason why THE CRUSTIES are quietly legendary in Milwaukee...even if few folks outside of the region ever paid attention. And maybe that's what makes America's Dairyland (still) hit so damn hard, because these bands (and songs) were a product of the myth of that simple illustration, a product of the Rust Belt collapse of the '70s and '80s, when the shroud slowly and cruelly fell off of the American Dream for so many people who had fallen for the lie. The reality, and the reality of the failure, hit different in the Midwest...and maybe their brand of hardcore was a result. Listen to IMMINENT ATTACK's "We Are Not Alone," perhaps the most accessibly punk song on the comp, at least twice today. Please.

15 July 2021

SOLITUDES

 

So...this is why people fuck with that shit we all dismissed as crap when we were young punks. And honestly, this is why we should have been fucking with it all along. Environmental Sound Experiences Volume 1 is the hour that you need in your day, whether it's the one that you want or not. SOLITUDES is the world of Dan Gibson, and it is within your grasp is within your grasp...it's probably soothing souls in a thrift store near you. Right now. 


14 July 2021

BARBED WIRE

 

Anyone else miss out on these NYC screamers when they popped up in the mid-teens? A few years late to the party (as usual), I'm digging the shit out of some BARBED WIRE at TEHQ lately. Greasy rock 'n roll from a what seems (sounds) bunch of genuine dirtbags - the same way LOST GOAT and DRUNK HORSE kicked our asses 25 years ago by showing us what real rock 'n roll was might sound like in the confines of our warehouse punk bubble. BARBED WIRE are the east coast version - there's a lot of Hatchet and Skynyrd in these tunes, the organ often takes the lead....and the leads themselves are freaking deadly. This boy ain't complaining one bit. Hear the falsetto at the end of "The Thunderhead" (and "Chrome Lust"), the early AC/DC stomp of "Hellhounds On The Motorway," the shameless Van Zant (no "D" - if you know what I mean then you know what I mean) strut of "Livin' And Bleedin'" - it's all here. You might have to suspend a few of your regular requirements, but living requires sacrifice sometimes....at least good livin' does.

BARBED WIRE

13 July 2021

DAN



You can't really go wrong with DAN. Their somewhat second tier status is likely a product of a few years and scene fluctuations more than a reflection on their recordings - image these tracks had come out in 1983 with a slightly less metal guitar tone, and I think you'd have an entirely different legacy. DAN were serious, but DAN seems fun. Like you imagine their shows were smart and sharp and intense, but you can also picture everyone smiling and singing along to "Into The Field" and leaving all sweaty and full of hope. The instrumental "The Cull" and "Once Upon A Time," presented back to back, are indescribably powerful, and then they launch into the demo of "Loophole" which sounds so totally fucking weird - an all out thrasher, but recorded quietly so to not wake up the parents? The seeds of MANKIND? are here, the bridge between early '80s UK anarcho and the metallic anarcho thrash that dominated the end of the decade is here, but Here's The Story....The Furthur Adventures Of DAN is also packed with demo recordings, live cuts, outtakes, which is what makes is such a great listen (even still) because everything is here. If "anarcho twee thrash" was a genre....

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF DAN! 

12 July 2021

WAR TRAUMA

 

Power, violence and filth from Australia's WAR TRAUMA. Six songs in five minutes - all raw, neanderthal stomps that will have your knuckles dragging that ground and punching holes in walls. Likely both. This one is extremely lo-fi and everything is pegged, so it'll probably take until the end of the first listen to really let the aural experience settle in....GODSTOMPER fans rejoice. 


11 July 2021

SELF-IMMOLATION MUSIC



Take yesterday's WEST JERSEY AIRPORT post to its logical conclusion. Make everything work, fully explore every avenue and close off the dead ends while widening the paths that point towards success, and you'll find something like Leeds act SELF-IMMOLATION MUSIC. This four song opus appeared on my doorstep last year and it's been on regular rotation ever since - a fully realized debut that feels like church. Sounds like praise. Feels like SPACEMEN 3 by way of WOODEN SHJIPS. Four pieces of casually massive psychedelic rock 'n roll music to worship by. That is, assuming you made it out of that corner last night...it's OK, you needed the trip down to the bottom to allow full view of the heavens.


 

10 July 2021

WEST JERSEY AIRPORT

 

For the times when you feel like going to your friends studio at 11:30 on a Saturday night and nurse a bottle while they just....jam. You're in the corner, pathetic, and they go deep enough into their stoned, sweaty improvisations that they forget you're even there. The howls of "Raised Truck" bury you deeper into the corner until eventually, you sink into the sound and disappear completely.  You are just....the room. You are an integral part of the process. The creation. And before the sounds have names, you're flying away. The nine minute one riff one off opus "Wings Of Love" carries you into the night mist before the creators even know that they've drawn the wings with their raw, no-fi drones. And the tape is over. And you wake up at home, but you don't remember how you got there. 

WEST JERSEY AIRPORT

09 July 2021

THE TAPE



I'm not gonna lie - with a title like The Tape, you had better not be fucking around. And this compilation from the folks at New Music Seminar from 1986? Well, it fucks around a little bit, but ultimately it works. This is basically what you wish you had heard on the radio in the 1980s (if you were a small town teenager who didn't really have the whole punk thing dialed in yet) instead of what you actually heard on the radio. A full hour of should-have-been-more-popular-than-they-were bands like CRANKCALL LOVEAFFAIR, NEW PARTS FROM OLD, ALGEBRA SUICIDE, M-1 ALTERNATIVE and several others walking that line between commercial pre-alt and post punk (as in "after they were punk," not like the sub genre) college rock hooks. The ALTER BOYS right into the almost twee-pop THREE HITS on the second side is where this comp really completes the sale for me, enough to make me revisit the whole damn thing when I was done. Fans of bands like FOR AGAINST and the Independent Records mid-decade catalog will easily find something here...and the rest of you? Well, it's definitely work a look. 









08 July 2021

TRADEMARK



Second offering from suburban Milwaukee's TRADEMARK, following up Walking The Dogma with Woking The Dogman like a bunch of geniuses. Early '90s USDIY that bridges some unknown chasm between the (slightly) less hardcore end of early SST (I'm talking MINUTEMEN, not FLAG) and emotive Midwestern basement punk. It works folks...it works really well. Featuring future members of I GIVE UP, MACHINE THAT FLASHES, HINGE, BURIED and many many more, for those keeping track. 

07 July 2021

GRG

 

John hooked me up with a copy of their tour tape a decade ago, and then Ross slipped this one into my collection a few months back. Kinda made me want to revisit the 2011 tape, if only because it has more songs on it - no shade on I Just Fucking Lost It of course. I dropped a Cap Cas comparison last time and I still think that holds; just full energy hardcore punk played with a ferocity that puts it over the top. Nasty, churning Plains Violence...I'm not sure if that (was) a thing, but it is now. 

====================
Only geographically related, but check out this monster gig looming over Freak City later this month....

06 July 2021

DECAYED YOUTH

 

Diehards only for this one....but diehards fucking rejoice. DECAYED YOUTH existed for a few months in 1982 and played just two gigs in that time and released no proper recordings. This tape is from an early rehearsal, 58 minutes of some kids bashing out marginally competent punk in a Welsh mining town because...because that's what you did in Ebbw Vale in 1982, apparently. The punks you hear on this tape would later go on to play in bands like UK SUBS, COWBOY KILLERS, and MAGGOT SLAYER OVERDRIVE. For fans of THE DECAY and shit-fi punk in general. 




05 July 2021

THE BLACK EGG

 
I don't know where the hell I am...
I wanna die!
I think I'm losing control of my mind...
I wanna die!

The folks from Terrorist Rock Organization shroud their project/s in (an inadvertent?) mystery, and it just makes me want (to know) more. Mind Control Losers hits like THE SPITS playing a private desert bash for a Ken Lane book release. Under a full moon. On Halloween. Raw and primitive stomps ripped from arms desperately clutching Las Vegas Grind comps so the Travelers can take the sounds to Other Realms in their Silver Ships to teach The Others. I can't get enough. 


04 July 2021

STRESS RELIEF



State of Jefferson monsters STRESS RELIEF released the devastating Losing / Failing EP back in 2018, but sneaked out two of the tracks a few months earlier to get people stoked. Or maybe to have something to sell at shows...I don't actually have any idea why they did it, I just know they did. Because here it is. "Pig" and "Power" sound utterly disgusting in their pre-EP incarnation, harnessing all of the energy of the vinyl incarnation and cramming it into 81 seconds of lo-fi distorted madness. The primitive brutality of the recording (and replication) sets a stage filled with angst and anxiety - it's so fucking nasty and it feels incomplete in an indescribable way...it's like STRESS RELIEF knew exactly what I wanted. 


03 July 2021

MAXIMUM ERNST

 

I feel like the music of MAXIMUM ERNST is going to be with me for a long time - like I'm going to pop one of their tapes in twenty years from now and I'm going to discover something new, then start sifting through their (already extensive) discography (again) to see (hear) what else I can find. The patience and deliberation required to create something as (theoretically) simple as "Signal Thru Flames," the 18+ minute exercise that starts Time Delay Safe, is worthy of accolades, but listening to them disintegrate that piece and just sink into a distorted minimal techno background cut is listening to a true artist at work. Three movements on this cassette, and I feel like I went to a basement noise gig and then walked out of the symphony an hour later. 

02 July 2021

THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT AHEAD

 

If this Posh Boy/SST collaboration was your soundtrack in 1981, then I guess there was ample reason to feel positive about the future - if your reality included MINUTEMEN, BLACK FLAG, SHATTERED FAITH, TSOL, CH3 , SACCHARINE TRUST, DESCENDANTS (sic), SOCIAL DISTORTION and STAINS...well, I guess you'd feel pretty positive too. Previously released tracks, assembled and repackaged for world domination in the spirit of K-Tel comps, this is the mix tape that no one made for me. 

01 July 2021

EXTERNS



EXTERNS existed for but a brief moment, but oh my what a (five song) legacy. This is about as close to a perfect recording as I can imagine - forceful, smart, catchy, intense, biting....a full collection of sounds. The sharp delivery straddles a line that connects UK anarcho and a harsher melodic wall of sound, something like FLUX >> WEDDING PRESENT perhaps. Eli's vocal barks are determined, a nod to early '90s USDIY perhaps, but combined with the oppressive high end clean guitar wail they create an anxiety (not actually a play on the title of the first track - "Anxiety" - though it works both ways) that only drop into power chords for the last bridge of "Total Enlightenment" just before the tape is complete. Everything here fires right, everything here feels right. As is the case with many bands who don't leave much in their wake: If this is all, then I'll take it all. 



30 June 2021

ZYFILIS



The first release from Malmö's ZYFILIS is a complete ripper. Every release from Malmö's ZYFILIS is a complete ripper, but the way the riffs just keep coming (and coming) and you know that is was the first shit? Like...what the fuck is gonna come next?!? (hint: it was more riffs). Beyond the riffs (seriously, they're worth even more attention than I'm giving them), ZYFILIS is all about Johanna's vocals; complete fucking ferocious intensity as they spit fire and fire and more fucking fire. The only respite on their self titled demo comes during the last track "Blodets Hav" - but it's a respite in the form of a midpaced squirmy one bass riff mosh part that draws out the inevitable with huge open guitar chords until it just fucking blows up. Like you know it would. And you can feel the room completely explode with it, even though you aren't in the room. This shit is real real good - and the records that followed might be even better. 
 


29 June 2021

GIL SCOTT-HERON with BRIAN JACKSON AND THE MIDNIGHT BAND

 


The endless trove of treasures left by the defunct Loathed Sound Department project keeps giving - every time I reach into their box of wonder, I unclench to find a handful of gold. Perhaps you only know "Whitey On The Moon" (and to be clear: you should know "Whitey On The Moon"), but I beg you to dig very deep into the world of Gil Scott-Heron if you haven't already. There's more to hear and know and learn in that world than you can imagine...so you can start today with this 1976 performance before you pull out Pieces Of A Man and Small Talk at 125th & Lennox (which you definitely need to do). 


28 June 2021

xATMx

 



There might be a guitar in there somewhere, the kick drum drops out when the blasts kick in, check the singer gurgle "LET'S GO!" before the stomp that closes "Hit The Trash" - I'll take these five minutes of raw straight edge power violence all day long over mindless bullshit destruction presented as rage. 

ALL THIS MURDER

==============
I'm fine with ignorant hardcore.
Ignorance in hardcore is a different matter. 
If you know better, do better. 
If you don't know better...then that's separate issue entirely. 
Keep the ignorance in the riffs, and out of the scene. 
=================




27 June 2021

GORDY

 
Another reminder that there were few (no) rules in the DIY 1990s - proficiency was optional and strict adherence to still developing subgenres was rare. While the more visible (audible) scenes in some of the trend setting regions (I'm talking NY and Oakland, really), those influences that would define a band's sound today, might just subtly steer a band's sound in one direction or another. The kids in GORDY likely shared a few East Bay punk tapes, but I'm guessing they were just as enamored with the DIY punk scene in Wisconsin, where they were from. Just some kids, taking a little of this and a little of that from whatever they could get their hands on, and banging out their own kind of punk...because they could. Is "Cute 'lil Fuckheads" a good song? Nah, it sucks. What about "Beautiful Conscience" or the instrumental ripper "3 Ninjas" or the other tracks where GORDY pulls it off? Yeah, those tracks rule. Imagine DAMITOL (Milwaukee) with a less technically proficient SCHLONG...if nothing else, GORDY feels familiar, like you already know them, even though you don't quite know what they're going to do. 



26 June 2021

DESPERATOR



A healthy dose of ripping Swedish grind/metal/crust to start your weekend, because....who doesn't wan't a healthy dose of ripping Swedish grind/metal/crust to start their weekend? Thirteen cuts, ranging from '90s hardcore influenced smashers like "I Am Failing" and "Jennie Tolls" to pure fucking grinders like "There Is No Place In Hell." Check the song titles and you can see that there are tongues firmly in cheek here (I'm thinking "Anyone Want A Dildo?" and "Jurassic Dork," as examples), but the chops are real, the high/low vocals are brutal, and it's all gone in less than a quarter hour. And besides, who doesn't like to have a little fun on the weekend?
 

GREATEST HUMILIATIONS