31 October 2021



Yesterday, Karoline and I had a spirited two hour long conversation with a gentleman writing a(nother) book on the heyday of 1980s UK punk. We briefly touched on cassette labels and how seemingly any band with a four song recording could start one. The regional compilations that were little more than mix tapes made by friends with crude hand-drawn covers. And the small towns that became flash pots of honest, earnest, pure and determined punk. Take a one hour minute bus ride and maybe you'd be in another small mining village with another youth center with another crew of a dozen kids making up another four bands and if they didn't all know each other then they all wanted to know each other and support each other with gigs and create an actually community out of a world that seemed overwhelmingly inhospitable in so many ways. Sure, most of those idealistic young adults have grown up or moved on or died, but that doesn't mean that the desperation of "Self Defence" or the pure idealism of "Monarchy Needs Anarchy" will knock you on your ass in 2021 even more than it probably did in 1984....because these kids from Nantyglo (that's in South Wales, population something less than 5,000) were just doing the damn thing. They were a part of something bigger than themselves. And that's what I (still) want to hear.


30 October 2021


The folks at Deluxe Bias made some serious waves when they popped up a couple of years ago. Short, feisty bursts of raw hardcore seemed to filled the magnetic space on each one of their tapes and it was all a fucking mystery. Wyoming? The fuck? The releases have gotten dirtier, a little more GAG and a little more rock 'n roll (check the MOTOR CORP banger - total mindfuck), but this is DB#3, motherfukkrs. Loud, fast, snotty, raw USHC. Let's GO!


29 October 2021

06 APRIL 1991

Another Pat Wright (aka: Insect Boy) broadcast - this one from the 6th of April, 1991. (Short version? Just download this, and listen to all of it. And pay attention.) Long/er version? Such a brilliant collection of recordings curated (and broadcast) by Pat - Lalo Schifrin into Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Avant piano recordings from Steven Scott into a spirited discussion about the condition and/or position of the Kurds in the immediate post-"Iraqi Freedom" era. Afro-Pop from Zazou Bikaye. Henry Kaiser. And a list of regular ass people looking for rides up and down the west coast. Just stop your day and transport yourself someplace else, because Pat is taking us somewhere real nice today. I miss that fukkn guy. 

27 October 2021


I saw AGONISTA once pre-Rona and then fukkn leveled the joint. Three old ass dudes just wailing in front of a room of kids waiting patiently to watch some other old ass dudes. There were people who were just...waiting, people who were just on their phones or having in-person conversations and ignoring the band, some who were kinda watching but not really paying attention (these people would probably be joining the "on their phone" group sooner or later). But scattered around around the place you'd see someone staring at the band, mouth ajar. A couple of people just grinning ear to ear with their eyes wide. An older fellow moshing in place and pounding a clenched fist on his thigh. People who were....getting it. Way to pay attention, punks, because this shit is straight fire.  Hard charging, fist banging, motörpunk from Tijuana and/or San Diego. Motherfukker sometimes this is exactly what I need. 



The thing about the relics of 1990s USDIY punk and hardcore is that otherwise devastating bands come out on the wrong side of historical street fights with fidelity and proficiency. Take Michigan's DULL, for example - this 1995 demo is an absolute motherfucker of grinding crust brutality with dual (dueling) vocals and a breathtaking, primal, approach to North American crust. It also sounds like total shit and it's super fucking sloppy. For listeners with my ears, you'll hear LOGICAL NONSENSE, DROPDEAD, SIEGE and BUZZOV•EN and filthy, damp basements and sketchy scenarios. If you're looking for the coolest modern hardcore band with all the right moves....then you definitely need to look elsewhere. This shit is real. And awful, to be clear...but more importantly: real

26 October 2021



VOMIT LAUNCH was a name that, for obvious reasons, stuck out. But I never thought they were gonna sound like this. I had been hoping for something more suited to their name by the time I first heard the band and I quickly moved on (ahhhh, youth), but I revisited the band recently with adult ears and flipped my shit. The history and context of the band is pretty well documented if you poke around (I'd probably start with the source, where you can also snag loads for outtakes and unreleased recordings), so that just leaves this space to talk about the sounds. Maybe the '80s weren't ready for VOMIT LAUNCH, and maybe they were too "light" for 1992, but in worlds where CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN played with DEAD KENNEDYS and BUTTHOLE SURFERS and then NIRVANA cranked out VASELINES covers and somehow the stuff that might be called twee (like "Hallways") was still punk because we hadn't subdivided everything yet was still punk just because it was different (hint: it was punk then - still is). There's FLESH WORLD in here. THE PRIMITIVES are in here. There are dark sounds in here, and there is a wisp of innocent hope in here. And since it's always better to start at the beginning, you will find 1987's Not Even Pretty in here. 

25 October 2021



Let's go back to Argentina. Please. Actually, I've never been...but I would like to go. And I wold like to see AUTOAGRESION when I visit. Please and thank you. Hopefully their set will be longer than this five minute detonation of harsh hyper charged light speed hardcore...but I feel like even just the five minutes would be worth the trip. 

24 October 2021



For the last two decades (!!!), the various members of TAIFUN have been cranking out consistently killer records from consistently killer bands - THE NOW-DENIAL, DOOMTOWN, BURIAL and loads more - but this one....this motherfucker might be the best yet. German mastery of the Japanese discipline, an absolute facemelter with notable nods to '00s Euro hardcore (see above lineage) and buzzsaw INEPSY production. It's just an absolute killer, and I really hope that there's more to come. 

* - Physical copies from the fine folks at Sabotage
** - Listening to the second side...well, I like this continuing trend. 

23 October 2021



Maybe you listen to Great American Cowboy and you think that the shit sounds like a passable 1990s remake of a 1950s Roy Rogers movie soundtrack. And I reply to you....is that really so bad? The history and legacy of the "American Cowboy" is surely rife with conflict and misinformation and convenient revisions and omissions, this is undeniable. But there are good people and good things mixed in with all those other things, and I'm certainly guilty of trying to sneak more enjoyment than I should out of things that maybe should be vilified more than they are. I'm not sure where SONS OF THE SAN JOAQUIN fall on that spectrum, but I'm definitely sure about how hearing "The Everlasting Hills Of Oklahoma" and "Along The Santa Fe Trail" makes me feel, so I'm just gonna cross my fingers on the rest of the shit. Because finding something pure is really rare, so you take the pleasure where you can get it. 

22 October 2021


Prepare for abomination. Some of the Rust Belt's most severe noise mongers of the (last) decade come together for a solid hour of aural torture on 2005's Street Freaks. Live recordings from TAPE DECK, WOLF EYES, THE HAUNTING, SICK LLAMA and (new to me) PENGO who deliver a staggeringly disjointed twenty-plus minute performance and/or improvisation. This tape is fucking ugly, to be clear, but the pieces by WOLF EYES and particularly THE HAUNTING serve to place the filth in proper context....because, you see: filth can be beautiful.  

21 October 2021



This mysterious gem from Pat's collection is full of gritty, early '90s hard driving college alt that would have fit nicely alongside SOUL ASYLUM, early GOO GOO DOLLS, FLUID...even a taste of NIRVANA here and there. Check the chorus on the third track on the demo - "you're making fun of me again...I can tell" - it's gloriously innocent and just begs for anthem status, but it never feels slick. The harmonies on the following cut are more nods to GOO GOO DOLLS - "I'm drinking....I'm drinking way too much" could have been ripped from the grooves of Jed (which is still a near perfect record sans the CCR cover, fight me) and by the time the crunchy Cobain riff carries the post-chorus of the fifth track to the end of the tape I am completely hooked. The GOO GOO DOLLS observation isn't completely accidental, since the bassist recorded the sole full length from THE WRENCH, released in 1992 ('93?). That full length is way poppier than these five tunes, way cleaner, way...well, let's just say I like this one better. 

Update: Four of these tracks appeared on the self released "Cop Krueller" EP in 1994. 
Another record that I want now. Great. 

20 October 2021



It's easy to breeze past KEEP LAUGHING when you're talking about Boston hardcore in the 2000s. This demo landed in 2003 - SLEEPER CELL were going strong, MIND ERASER was just starting up and the scene was right on the front end of a slew of formidable records by BLANK STARE, SOCIAL CIRKLE and a host of other bands, so it's easy to understand how a band who dropped two raw tapes and then fizzled might slip under the radar. Easy to understand....but your loss. This is a sonic line between INFEST and LIFES HALT - wild, chaotic, very rough around the edges and uncompromisingly punk. 


19 October 2021


My friends....this one is real good. If you like your sounds hollow and demented, then you're going to want to get on the LIDÉRC bandwagon. An avalanche of primitive churning metal delivered with the intensity (and fidelity) of modern era raw punk. Like BONE AWL and HATE PREACHERS collaborating on a Kill 'Em All Halloween cover set, and recording the whole experiment in a cave. On a shitty 4-track. There are a scant few physical copies of this tape in the world, but there are still a few available from Szégyen Kazetták - you know, the folks also responsible for the ELECTRIC DRUG FUCK UP tape. You're welcome....now go wreck everything. Not limited to, but definitely including, yourself. 

18 October 2021



More unknown and filthy Oklahoma hardcore courtesy of our homie Ross. THE VIGILANTES were but a blip in late '90s Oklahoma City (suburbs), but with these seven songs of out of fucking control raw hardcore as a legacy, I can only imagine how unhinged the live shows were. Shit is honest, intense, and I listen to "Land Mines" and I hear what LIFES HALT would have been if they had been Middle America dirt crusters - if you know me even a little bit, then you know that's high praise. Flyover Hardcore is a tough thing to nail down, but fuck is it fun to keep trying.

17 October 2021

17 OCTOBER 1984


On this day in 1984, our friend Pat Wright pulled an overnight shift at KALX in Berkeley, a set that kicked in after a stunning 10+ minute live version of LEATHER NUN's "Slow Death" from 1980 that closed out Eric Siegel's 10pm-2am shift. This post contains about half of Pat's shift, moving deftly from EDDIE KENDRICKS and CLIFTON CHENIER to POP-O-PIES and TELEVISION PERSONALITIES. Moving through Pat's (extensive) archive of cassettes has been a near-constant activity around TEHQ since his death last year, and sonic snapshots like this one help to contextualize how he could be simultaneously so all over the place and so totally on point (I'm not just talking about musical tastes here, obviously). There's some stuff everyone will surely know in this post, but I suspect that no single listener will be familiar with everything Pat throws at you. It's humbling. 

KALX - 17 OCTOBER 1984
Worth noting that there was a ripping and demented set from CRUCIFUCKS also captured on this day in 1984. Shared a couple of years back on Escape Is Terminal...but you should probably blast that shit if you missed it the first time. 

16 October 2021


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



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



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



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



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



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



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


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



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



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



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


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


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. 


03 October 2021


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. 


02 October 2021



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


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.