30 April 2021


Straight up: I miss shows. I miss playing, and I miss watching my friends play. I miss volume. I miss seeing Mae stomp around like a teenager in their bedroom. I miss watching Ktrü jump like he's showing off every time he hits an open chord just because he's in better shape than me. I miss Giacomo laying waste to a DBeat with casual precision, and I really fucking miss having my face melted by Jasmine, without a doubt my favorite bass player of the last decade. I miss shows...but I can wait.

The TØRSÖ demo dropped around 2014, and records seemed to follow immediately in its wake. The only bad thing about TØRSÖ is that, selfishly, they were never ours. They were never a "local" band even when they all lived here. There's something special about getting to experience a juggernaut before you have to share it, and that never happened with TØRSÖ...but when a band is this damn good right out of the gate, that's gonna happen. 

29 April 2021



I played in Kalamazoo, Michigan on my second tour in 1993. I remember very little about the show itself, but I remember and hanging out with the organizer, a fellow named Joel Wick, and I remember having a place to stay after the show. Places to stay were rare on that tour, lots of "camping" in rest stops and a few motels (in an era when you could still score a shitty room for $20), but we didn't have the option of staying with people very often and, as a result, we missed out on many of the personal interactions that are the foundation of DIY punk in general, and of DIY touring specifically. But while that night was probably nothing exemplary for Joel - a place to crash, hanging out until late at night talking about bands we had never heard of and checking out his then awe-inspiring collection of set lists, maybe some food in the morning - it was a standout night for us because it felt normal, and normal didn't seem to happen very often on those first few adventures (sometime, kids, I'll tell you about the show Grandpa Wiz played in Asheville, NC on that tour....a night that involved hot tubs, intense fog, FOGHAT, a red sports car and BUTTHOLE SURFERS...1993 was weird). I got a copy of this SPORK tape that night, lost it through attrition and/or carelessness over the years, then my buddy was doing some spring cleaning last year and asked if I wanted his copy (I said that I did, surprising exactly no one). It holds up extremely well - a relic from that period of USDIY when SubPop and AmRep would be filed alongside Dischord and Touch & Go because it was all part of a progression, and the scene/s just hadn't quite decided where to land yet. So you've got HELMET and you've got NAVIO FORGE crammed into the same box. You've got Revolution Summer ripped from the clutches of '80s hardcore, and you've got kids trying to blaze their own path in Midwestern basements. It's discordant, passionate, clunky, crunchy, intense...it just sounds real. That was a good night...and the collection of set lists really was pretty damn cool. I hope he kept accumulating. 

28 April 2021



The Water Towers listens like the come down from the most demented high. An ambient chill zone exercise with faint hints of Hi-NRG dance synths and an undercurrent of minimal synth beats sometimes only audible if you take the time to listen through the primary sounds. Italy's RAZGRAAD skirt the edges of what is more of less standard downtempo fare, but they (he) do (does) so by merely dipping their (his) feet in the water to let you know that its comfortable and relaxing before taking your hand and pulling you into the mist. Calmly disorienting...elements of heavier synths and industrial sounds treated and compressed and repurposed (or reimagined) for presentation as a part of an altogether new (or at least different) creation. The entire tape exists as a thing outside of itself, and listening intently offers you the same experience....it's not a bad place to visit. 

27 April 2021



1982 Welsh youth punks from the mining town of Ebbw Vale, THE SECLUDED unfortunately left us with this demo...and that's it. I posted a different version back in the (very) early days of TE - the same three studio burners appear here, with the addition of a rough (live?) version of "Police State" to replace "The More They Have" on the other tape. Not going to try to regurgitate the history of the members or their post-SECLUDED lives (there don't appear to be any other bands of note in that history - key phrase is "of note," because there is that DECAYED YOUTH tape...), but I'll say that while "Steal Cheat & Victimise" seems to be the cut from THE SECLUDED that folks are most familiar with (and it’s a smasher), the other cuts hit way harder. "Royal Blood" and "Mindless Violence" are absolute burners, and if you drop this band in London and add just one 45 to their legacy, I have no doubt that it would be a revered and sought after slab. You've slept on THE SECLUDED for 39 years since We Despise Society was birthed to the world...isn't it past time for you to wake up to it?

There's a fifth track titled "Marshall Law" listed on the cover. If anyone's holding....don't be a stranger. 

26 April 2021



The 2002 demo from Chicago's INFESTATION OF ASS explodes in your speakers before the sound even comes out, and then it explodes again in your earholes. Such a fierce example of early century DIY fastcore, dabbling in melodic/metallic EuroCrust ("Focus") and not quite sure if they want to just blast - though it often feels like they might be more comfortable if they were just blasting ("No Name"). The mosh parts are deadly ("No Name" [again] and "Let's Fucking Go!" most notably) but they're back to blasting before you can get out of your chair...so best to just not sit.  I fucking love revisiting this shit.

25 April 2021


Midwestern suburbia in the late 1980s was a motherfucker for punks, and probably even worse for hardcores who were in touch with the progressive politics of punk's perceived heyday that was a half decade in the rearview mirror. But some of them persevered. SOCIETY'S PUPPETS were punching way above their weight in 1990s when they recorded Time To Care, and it's that earnest attack that makes it so good 31 years later. Let the rough recording settle in and tracks like "Your Country Kills You" hit even harder, shades of late '80s UK anarcho/thrash filtered through a blatant affinity for NYHC. Positive, honest hardcore with a raw guitar chug ripped straight from the clutches of Sgt. D - anti-violence, anti-nuke, pro-animal rights, straight edge suburban hardcore from the conservative lily white streets of Waukesha, Wisconsin. Members went on to do stuff like TEN BOY SUMMER (the band) and/or normal life and/or moving into VIOLENT FEMMES house. 

In case you're wondering (and I was): 
WAHC = Waukesha Area Hard Core. 

24 April 2021



And to follow that comp with a sounds that could easily worm their way onto a future P.O.B.D. collection - introducing Minneapolis freaks TYPEWRITER. 2016's Songs From Space Station H is a four song injection of spasmodic space punk, teleported from the past and also timeless. Shrill guitars and robot dork vocals are along for the ride while the erratic snappy drums kick everything along in fits and starts. They clearly have the chops to drop into smooth and sultry pop (as on "Battery Life") which makes it all the better that they consciously choose not to...the listening experience is both confident and awkward (just how I like it). The synths aren't the focus - those guitars, they do the trick - but then they move in and dominate "Cutting Board" just to let you know what they are capable of. And speaking of capable, turning "Burning For You" into a jerk track stripped from the grooves of a never-was NY No Wave record to close things out is...well, it's a pro move. 

23 April 2021



As great as the first two comps are, the third installment in the P.O.B.D. series sees the full realization of the mission. Like a Killed By Death series dedicated to synth-punk and freak wave, the folks at Tape Appeal free themselves from time and era constraints to weave some of the best acts in recent memory into the fabric of their story, BLACK BUG and AMERICAN NUDISM sharing space with GRAUZONE, THE SCIENCE PROJECT, TARA CROSS and a host of others. Complete unknowns and stone cold classics, these compilations are pure gold. It's been a few years, and I'm probably foolish, but I'm still holding out for Vol. 4, because there's always more. 


22 April 2021



Just pure insanity - adolescent desperation and unabated plains fury (like the amber waves of grains kind of plains).  A split with SUBSANITY and one posthumous single are all the diggers have to sink their teeth into, but those of you who (still) deal in digital sonic currency have the totality of their recorded output at your disposal. Over a few different sessions, you can hear them getting gnarlier (Ross said the drummer was kinda obsessed with CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER for a while, and the last 4-track session, while admittedly pretty rough, demonstrates that obsession clearly), becoming the aural animal that would eventually morph into BURNPILE...but its that first session that really grabs me. The version of "Sit Down" that highlights the nasty East Bay shit they were probably listening to in between the third generation GASTUNK and KURO tapes, "Life Of Puke" that predates the Y2K fastcore explosion by half a decade but would have taken the fucking roof off at ChicagoFest, the clean and intense (pre)DS13 guitar chasing the drums....that session is simply beyond words (though I'm clearly trying). RAT PISS may not have known what they were doing, but these 21 songs might sound even better in hindsight than anyone fully realized at the time.

21 April 2021



While I only really discovered this mid-teens Oakland band a few weeks ago, I've devoured this cassette front to back more times than I can count. PENNY MACHINE sometimes sound like a relic of a lost decade (and continent) - blatant early UK post punk and twee influences creep into the sound but rarely stick around, giving way to modern day urban warehouse dwellers and damp basement hooks. Guitars do a modern dance together; in sync but in opposition, distortion free rhythm in the shadows while a damaged lead takes the melody...or the inverse. Because there are no rules. "Roses" is the single (if there is a single), a sharp and snappy burner with a wash of cymbals and high end that dominate the chorus and a screaming lick that owns the bridge while a chorus of lead and backing vocals fill every remaining crevice. I guess what I'm really trying to say (and failing) is: This is brilliant pop music. Or at least it should be what pop music is (or vice versa), and it is definitely brilliant. 


20 April 2021


You have to listen to this with the right ears. Malaysia's B.C.K.S. (and yes, I'm aware that the letters in the acronym doesn't match the band's full name) were a late century melodic punk act, and while they sound dated now, I would fucking love to see then in KL circa 1998. These cuts are appropriately loose, earnest as anything, and if you listen with the right ears.....now let's talk about that guitar solo that takes up the second half of "Bombs N' Guns." Because...wow. 

19 April 2021



Another under the radar ripper to add to the (endless) list of bands who predated the "official" start of the fastcore/thrashcore revival that marked the turn of the century. This ten song blast from U-YAKE NO OKA dropped in 1998, an exhausting collection of blasts and breakdowns and signature high end vocals backed by a disorienting chorus of gang backups...and moments of pure, unrelenting speed. It's called Demo 2, but I've never seen a Demo 1....suffice to say I'm in the market if anyone's holding. 


18 April 2021


Brown's name pops up occasionally in the margins when reading about Bay Area outsider composers and artists. A spirit that floats effortlessly between borderless realms of improvisation, New Age, future jazz and almost scientific experimentation, Brown's creations present a sonic body that can be contained by none of those descriptors. As with most presentations of early (or earlier) experimental and/or ambient sounds, proper contextualization and academic discussion are not things I am qualified to provide or facilitate, but I can say that these two pieces from David Brown are gorgeous and haunting aural assemblages - the other worldly ambient jazz of "Fever Dream" gives way to an almost CRASS-like disorienting aural collage, while "Sonic Vista" is, as much as it is anything, exactly what the title suggests. And as always, there is so much more out there....you will never find it all. That's why it's so hard to stop. 


17 April 2021



Harsh noise, samples pulled from your favorite era of power violence, shitfi grind and all consuming irreverence combine forces on this split - the result is a complete filthscapade from the murky swaps of New Orleans. Two solo noise core acts, seemingly born out of 'rona related boredom and frustration, combine efforts for nineteen doses of colossal madness. 

16 April 2021



The first show I saw in San Francisco was in 1994, before I had fully moved here from LA. It was in the Western Addition, some bar I never went to or heard of again. BRAIN TRANSPLANTS played - they were brilliant and they were freaks - and Dulcinea and Beth from THE LOUDMOUTHS were at the bar. I know it might seem weird to remember something that random; I had never heard of the band and certainly didn't know the members, but these women and their crew owned that fukkn show. To my small town, small time ass they were fierce and wild and punk as shit - not like the spikes and studs punk, but the don't give a FUCK punks, the kind that is way more punk than the spikes and studs kind. I saw them I don't even know how many times after I moved here, and I always thought that if "garage rock" actually meant this, then I would be a garage rocker for life, because the shows were sweaty and off the damn rails every time. And as good as the shows were, I was pleased to (re)learn that this 25+ year old demo tape swings hard and rocks even harder. 

I ran into Beth at a packed noise show in the Mojave a couple of years ago. I was sitting at the bar between bands and she was buying drinks for her crew. I dunno, I think it's kinda weird but also kinda awesome to say to someone who you know only very peripherally "I remember the first time I saw you. It was a super long time ago and I thought you were a total fucking bad ass." We shot the shit for a bit about SF and about the desert and that was that. 

15 April 2021



A short and sweet disaster from some South Bay mutants. For most folks, just seeing METH SORES involved should be enough motivation, and gives the listener a pretty good idea of what's in store. Six noisy outsider hardcore stomps from five acts - SOPORS, LOADED WORDS, ADROGYNOUS ELK and FANTASY BAG joining forces with Life Sucker's most notorious export. The sleeper here is "Gary & Me" from ANDROGYNOUS ELK, even though it cuts off at the end of the first side - a powerful '80s Midwest by way of BIG BOYS vibe that stands in stark contrast to the dark and hypnotic one riff monotony of the FANTASYBAG cut that starts the flip side. The whole thing is less than twelve minutes...in/out. 

14 April 2021



Y'all remember this shit...right? Revisiting Denver's SCOTT BAIO ARMY some 20 years after we first encountered them on our way to ChicagoFest, I swear these dudes got faster while sitting on the shelf. But the thing that really hit me is how fukkn good the riffs are, mingling anxiously with tinny rapid fire drums, shrill vocals and a sharp, raw recording....like so many of the (best) Y2K fastcore relics. They were a chaotic force to see live, and I was pleased that they hit even harder on tape than I remembered. 

Their run was relatively short - they left a couple of splits in their wake (with THE LUMPS and LINE OF DESCENT), a ripping radio set (from the New Year's Day show at Stanford with CRUCIAL SECTION and WHN?...damn that shit was fun) and an EP collecting the tracks from these two cassettes. That slab bites the cover of the best SUICIDAL record (unpopular opinion), even though the "Possessed To Skate" cover really just sounds like another SBA track by the time they are done with it. 

13 April 2021



Chicago's I LOVE RICH are, apparently and bizarrely, still an active band in 2021. Considering their roots as an insipid melodic punk power trio, it's genuinely difficult to imagine the experiment continuing (and evolving) for nearly thirty years...and yet here we are. Remember when grunge and punk bros started listening to Neil Young when he was on MTV with Pearl Jam? The guitarist here sounds like he was one of those bros, and it's a good ass sounding guitar. Picture a family tree that includes MUSCLE BITCHES and LUNKHEAD....I LOVE RICH is the lost cousin who moved to Skokie or some shit and you kinda forget about them until you talk to your aunt and she tells you what they're up to and you're like "oh shit - we have a cousin?!" Anyway, this came out in 1993. 

12 April 2021


A couple of veterans of the Finnish black/doom/thrash scene apparently set their sights on raw mötorpunk and the result is absolutely disgusting. Leads hastily dropped in where they don't belong then the high end guitar rushes to fall back into the riff, cracking and breaking like a 14 year old kid pushing themself to the absolute limit trying to conjure Araya vocals. Steel Freak is piercing, forceful, pissed black metalpunk - a future world punk's warped copies of Black Metal and City Weapons pulled back through the portal

Eyes on the line
Eyes on the line
Eyes on the fucking line. 

11 April 2021


Looking back at the explosion of DIY punk bands from South Central/East LA in around the turn of the (last) decade, it still amazes me how dangerously on point these ponx were, and it all holds up. Like...all of it. I still get "Radiation Nights" from the MANIA demo stuck in my head, RAYOS X still make me want to bounce off the walls, and the ferocity of TUBERCULOSIS is still hard to describe. But this one.....punk ain't a contest, but I think DRAPETOMNIA might be the top of that glorious fukkn heap - at least it is at this moment. Gruff, pissed, Oi! tinged hardcore punk, and every damn song is just grit your teeth awesome. Some powerfully raw studio cuts that sound like they were yanked out of some lost '80s Latin American punk comp, some rough home recordings from The Lynwood house, a devastating ANARKIA cover and a track called "K.K.Killer" that is just straight up untouchable. 

10 April 2021



Decidedly more stripped down than their 2018 effort, the first release from London's FEX URBIS acts as a roadmap to their path of future destruction. Like a sonic beast emerging from a placenta of E. Smith influenced outsider punk, these five tracks hit the wall hard and slowly slide down into a puddle. Cuts like "Sewer" will grab the dark punk set, while the whole tape nods to the noisy guitar driven nihilism that dominates the aforementioned sophomore effort. Fans of acts like BAD BREEDING, TRUE RADICAL MIRACLE and/or SUBDUED might want to pay attention here...to another act that ticks all the right boxes but still finds a way to avoid fitting into any of them. 

09 April 2021



Ross loaded me up with Oklahoma history a few weeks back, so you might want to prepare yourself for...well, just prepare yourself. BOXCAR CHILDREN were from Oklahoma City, and this copy is from a demo bought from the band in '95 or so. No cover. Maybe there was one or maybe someone got wasted and thought they made one or maybe someone else got wasted and forgot to make copies. So Ross made his own cover because...well, because he's Ross. There are nineteen bursts of fire on this tape - raw hardcore punk, recorded kinda like shit (but that settles in after the first 60 seconds or so) but with a blown out buzzsaw guitar and sharp 'n snotty dual vocals. Imagine a crew of degenerates whose interests evolved from Starter Punk to NOTA to ferocious Bay Area political hardcore...you get something like this crew of mutants who recorded "Never Again" in 1995. And it sounds fukkd up and beautiful.

08 April 2021



Going through the treasure trove of recordings from Pat's archive, we came across a radio set from 1991 that featured a saucy, gritty, soul-filled Spanish language number that grabbed both of us. Something about it just felt real, nothing like the oceans of irrelevant schmaltz from the 60s/70s...even though it might appeal to fans of the same. In the DJ break, Pat mentioned the artist's name, Odilio González, and made an appeal to listeners to help find more material from the Puerto Rican singer. Pat's counterpart in the studio seemed to casually dismiss the plea, "We have tons of Puerto Rican music here in the studio." Pat blew past that short sighted comment immediately and efficiently: "Not like him...not like this. This is raw." And that was it; that was what had sucked both of us in when we first heard the warbling croon from González, who started recording in New York in the 1950s. It would seem that Pat was successful in his quest, as at least a half dozen different Odilio González tapes and a stack of CDs found their way into his collection. I haven't come close to working my way through them, or contextualizing the singer's career, but listen to him hold it down while the big studio pop production creeps into "Los Hombres No Deben Llorar" and you'll hear what we heard and what Pat already knew....motherfucker is raw. More to come. 

07 April 2021



When 924 Gilman v.1 closed its doors and a small group of determined people were discussing how to reincarnate the club's vision, security was a huge issue. Neonazis were more than a casual nuisance in the Bay Area at the time, and would frequently target Gilman thinking they could find pacifist punching bags, and the shows themselves were often the casualty. The solution, it seemed, was to make sure that there was a presence at the club who was able to translate the club's message and vision into the only language the boneheads seemed to be able to speak...and so that's what they did. INTREPID AGAINST ALL FASCISTS didn't start until years later (this tape is from 1999) but these were the punks who were there nearly every weekend...these are the people who helped translate with their fists when necessary. These punks are the reason 924 Gilman was there for me when I moved here in 1995, even though I didn't go with any regularity until a few years later. So thanks. Four song here, three of which are on their only vinyl release. Snappy, anti-fascist Oi!. 

06 April 2021



I guess this is from 2006, but all hail to the folks who made it available (again?) for consumption a few years back. Just a nasty dose of USHC. Filthy. Intense. You've got your '90s (upstate) NY hardcore, you've got you Midwest basement energy, you've got early '90s California hardcore (I'm talking about the CAPITALIST CASUALTIES kind), and you've got the kind of riffing (and attack) that makes me think that at least one of these dudes is in a death metal band now, and TANK don't sound like any of the things I just mentioned. And what the fuck is happening in the middle of "Necronomicon"? Because that shit is weird and awesome. So yeah, thanks Black Dots.

05 April 2021



I'm getting to be rather obsessed with this 1987 Delaware artifact. Absolutely brilliant SPITS-by-way-of-THE FALL sharing space with a few dreary and out of tune college rock tracks and raw, snotty US DIY punk. And a mini-comp on the flip with two burners from JONES PURCELL and contributions from DARK REALITY, PRISONERS OF WAR ("Kitty Kat" might be the best single cut on the tape), GUILTY BYSTANDERS, LOCAL COLOR and two singer songwriters to ensure that listeners will be thoroughly perplexed upon completion. Obsessed might be a stretch, of course...but I want to know more and I want to hear more, so consider me "interested."