30 November 2021



Early sounds from the Stow, Ohio tree of rock (if you know, then you know - if you don't know, then I'm lumping all SOCKEYE-related musical projects into same category) on a split that was first released in 1988. It might be just the approach that sets both of these outfits apart from the voluminous nonsensical anti-punk Wheelchair Full Of Old Men catalog, but it might also be the result.  Remember that the US underground was just a few years removed from Confusion Is Sex, and experimentation was rife in the face of the same four hardcore riffs that had been blasted on repeat for the preceding eight years in the American Midwest. In this case, that experimentation is a decidedly non-musical split that falls somewhere in the chasm formed by the separation of NY No Wave and 1970s Kraut Rock and raises a drunken, defiant middle finger to both while jamming some dub records on the way down. But it's....good. Casually chaotic and gloriously monotonous, GAY FLORISTS and WIGGLY WIGGLY AND OFF WITH MY FACE share an approach (and if we're being honest, probably more than one or two members) that might have been a blueprint for further experimentation. It might have also been some dudes drunkenly fucking around with a tape recorder. 

29 November 2021


Fist banging Monday morning with the 2016 tape from Malaysia's BOMBRÄD. It sounds like it looks, and it looks punk as fuuuukkkkk, five deathly blasts of blown out DBeat with a blatant Swedish influence. Hold on during the start/stops that overpower the eponymous track sandwiched in the middle of the tape, then get sawn in half by an army of high end guitars while the relentless bludgeoning bashes your senses. The formula might be simple, but it fukkn works. 


28 November 2021



I got a searing package from a friend in Jakarta some time ago, a box so hot it took me a couple of months to fully digest everything. While I was expecting (and received) dose after dose of ripping crossover and crust, it was bands like GODPLANT and OCTOPUS that were a real punch in the gut. Resession takes me back to the late '90s, when the basement punks still repped Scattered, Smothered & Covered and the DIY scene was fucking with stoner rock before the two worlds fully diverged. Throaty grooves delivered with formidable tonnage and a B-side that's super fukkd up but I enjoy how it sounds as if it's being played through water speakers in the next room....you get what you get with these little plastic boxes full of magnetic tape. 

27 November 2021


Completely fucking unhinged Japanese hardcore circa 1988.  "Happenstance" is on the Enjoy Your Youth.. comp (which I just sold - why did I do that?) and everything else here either appears on the FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS split or the Have Fun More Fun demo. This copy is from the Pat Wright archives, so it may have been a dub from someone, or a promo sent into Gilman or KALX. No matter really, the point here is wild ass hardcore (think IDORA or IDOL PUNCH, not your typical fare) and Pat writing "hardcore - 18 year olds" on the label. Because the band were 18 year olds? Because hardcore 18 year olds would eat tracks like "Fuck You Arch Girl" like it was cereal? Either answer is acceptable. 

26 November 2021


If you really take the time to digest this comp, it will move you to fucking tears. As a People, we are so unbelievably bad at looking out for Us. And let's be clear: We are ALL Us. There's no Them when it comes to taking care of Us, because we could all so easily be any of them. We don't have a ceiling here, especially in the country where I live, if you get dealt the right hand and the sky is quite literally not even the limit. The problem is...we also don't have a floor, and countless human lives keep slipping through the cracks. Is a cassette compiling 20+ musical artists going to change that? Nah, not even close. But visibility matters. People matter...and what if someone notices who wouldn't have noticed otherwise? Because that fucking matters. And throwing your weight behind people who are standing up for the most marginalized....that is important. Because WE HAVE NO FLOOR, and those people who are clinging to the cracks might not have anything to reach for except some idealistic weirdo who found social activism through a random collection of freak sounds. So all praise to Volar Records for this comp (which is, for the record and without exception, outstanding). 

Choicest cuts: IGNONOIR, COBY BLANCHARD, TULLIVER, NO NO BABY, COED, BLUE ZERO, UNO LADY, PUBLIC INTEREST. But there seriously is not one bad moment.

25 November 2021



The weird thing about things called Region Rock is that they are certainly not region specific, and also that sometimes I like them. The second thing is definitely the weirder thing, but really the folks over at Remote Outposts are better equipped to discuss the nuances of the subgenre (even though the blog exists primarily as an archive at this point), so I'll just casually and confidently say that "Y'all Might Consider Stepping To This" is a brilliant example of a band conceiving something that is over their collective head and going for it anyway (a lot of the WITCH HUNT shows as a trio were like this - the look on Rob's face when he missed a fill and knew how is was supposed to have sounded was one of my favorite things in mid-'00s DIY punk...but I digress). That song is all over the place and this tape is just great heartfelt gritty melodic punk. You like THIS IS MY FIST? Yeah, friend...me too. And that's not just OK - it's great. 


24 November 2021


Record stores, as a concept, are cool. We can all just agree on that, right? And the cool record stores are a whole different level of special. For those of us (I'm talking to you, if you're reading this) who like to dig, there's nothing quite like a good shop, out of the way, with a worker/owner/proprietor kinda lurking behind the counter pretending to do something important while they watch you dig...wondering if you're one of them. And when (if) you can break that seal, the distance evaporates and conversation immediately turns into "if you like this then you gotta check out THIS" and "have you heard that?" and then you're just talking to an old friend because you get each other, you know? That happened to me a few months back at LongHair Records in Albuquerque. Extremely cool small shop that focuses on the fringes of metal and experimental sounds without making your regular ass rock shopper feel alienated. I brought the dude a stack of records (good stuff - not "valuable" in the monetary sense, but also not dollar bin fodder) and left with a stack of excellent tapes. More importantly, I left knowing that this was the store I need to visit every time I'm in Duke City, because everything felt right. Regular ass store in a strip  mall, next to a smoke shop and a bunch of empty store fronts. In the non-Covid reality they host gigs inside and/or in the parking lot. Heavy emphasis on freak VHS tapes and new age tapes (ask me for the story he told me - it's genius and you will be amazed) and this brutally raw black metal tape from PROFANE GRACE. I basically said all that other shit just to tell you that I got this PROFANE GRACE tape there - but the other shit was probably more important. I also snagged the Artspace Quarterly tape, and a bunch of Krshna chants. I just needed an excuse to blab, apparently. It was a really good visit. 

23 November 2021



Un(der)known punk. Kinda melodic, would have fit in nicely on a bill with J CHURCH and/or GOMEZ and/or TINA, AGE 13. There must (still) be thousands of these bands filling up the cracks in time. Waiting for the future to find them. The final track here is the reward for your (minimal) effort. 

22 November 2021


The sheer quantity of sonic documents that the Oklahoma City DIY scene produced in the 2010s is impressive. The overwhelmingly high quality of those documents is astounding. I guess when you don't have anything to do except be pissed....well, it gets the juices flowing. Enter: V.A.P.E. and their two minute legacy. Imagine if this dropped as a vinyl 45 and the band had played just one or two high visibility shows on one coast or the other? But they didn't. You just get this tape, but oh my what a motherfukkr. 

21 November 2021



For those simply not equipped for this world, there is noise. And for those who have mastered navigation on another plane entirely, this is music. THE RITA has spent more than two decades mastering the harsh noise wall, a full sonic immersion that is experienced more than simply listened to. Womankind 2 is a 2012 offering; calculated, debilitating, brutality. 

20 November 2021


Late '90s raw, discordant sounds that form a nice sonic bridge between fervent mid decade basement punk and the more realized hooks of the new millennium, with approaches borrowing liberally from the classics. "Dull Knives" has roots in manic late '80s SST, "Hallmark" could be the precursor to OBSERVERS and the like. Just a solid ass punk tape by a band from Portland, released for a 1997 tour in California. 

19 November 2021


Another KALX (Berkeley, CA) broadcast from the cassette archives left by Pat Wright. An unbelievably killer mix of tunes from THE CLEAN, SUBWAY SECT, URBAN GUERRILLAS, POTENTIAL THREAT, THE BRISTLES, BOB VIDONE, FINNICUM, ANTIETAM and loads loads more, hosted by DJ Mad Max. Even if the magic and excitement of radio (particularly experimental college radio) might be lost on a generation that can quite literally click a link or access a stream and hear virtually (or...virtually hear) anything they can imagine, it's impossible to overstate how important these stations and these DJs were. Obviously the Bay Area was already well versed in punk and underground sounds by 1985 or so (when this broadcast was taped), but you were still juiced when you learned about a new band from Oklahoma before hearing SUBTERFUGE blaze into THE HYPNOTICS. Old Man Escape over here is gonna put his foot down and declare that you just can't get that experience from a digital file. Not even this one, which I encourage you to download. 

An editing snafu vanished tracks by PRIMAL SCREAM, ED GEIN'S CAR and THE THINGIES. So maybe some of the magic of the unknown is manifesting in the files after all.,,,

18 November 2021


Anyone want to help me figure out what is happening here? It's like KRAFTWERK decided to play OBLIVIANS tunes or some shit. The energy is wild, the energy is through the roof, and it sounds like space invaders (the game) just invaded a sweaty basement with some NDW freak in a turtleneck marching around with a bullhorn telling everyone to remain calm while demanding SUICIDE hand over their keyboards to their new overlords. They comply...the people and SUICIDE. They all comply. And it sounds like SCHWUND. It sounds crazy. It sounds beautiful. You love it. Everyone loves it. 

There you go. I painted the picture. Now look at it. You're welcome. 

17 November 2021


Thrashers - REJOICE!!! If you don't already know how fucking huge crossover thrash is in Brasil, then you might as well start here before making your way over to VIOLATOR, DAMN YOUTH, MACE, and...well, you should pack yourself a snack because you're going to be thrashing for a while. Long running veterans D.F.C. lay down a full throttle Bonded By Blood style madness, while NUNCHAKU MASTERS are a little more deliberate and lean more on the crossover/hardcore end of the spectrum (as opposed to the metal/thrash end...). I've used too many words already, just get to work. 

16 November 2021



I miss the Loathed Sound fuckers. Every couple of months I would look at their new offerings, shrug my shoulders and say "well, I don't know shit about most of it, but they haven't let me down yet, so fuck it." And I would send them my money, and I never regretted it. Music That Is In is an absolute beast - listens like an Arkestra led second line on acid, with Delta Blues lines belted out by trombones with zydeco accordions sitting casually on the porch escorting the parade through the neighborhood. Listen to "I Love To Hear You Say Un Huh" roll into "Jazz Is IN" and you'll understand that I kept buying those tapes blindly...because those Loathed Sound tapes helped me see. 

15 November 2021


How can you not love COSME? It's basically perfect. Synth drenched space punk that lands somewhere between THE SPITS, '80s Brat Pack movie soundtracks and BALZAC. There are only four songs here but....come on. This is basically perfect. 

14 November 2021


This one came from the YOUR MOTHER folks after their 1997 (or was it 1998?) tour of Israel. There are some videos floating around of HALL OF SHAME in a Haifa warehouse melting adolescent faces and...well, it rips. Kids just going for it; looks of wonderment from the audience and the band. I want to believe it was truly as pure and honest as it seems, as it sounds. Because if that were the case then humanity wouldn't be quite as shit as we all know humanity is.... so dream and thrash. Thrash and dream. 

13 November 2021


This one is a schmaltz bucket full of puke. But some of us still reach for those 'private press' would-be gems in hopes that there might actually be a diamond in that rough. Or, in this case, a little cocaine left in the shag carpet. Some easy listening jams here, with subtle boogie country undertones, just one of Penny and Slim's many collaborative efforts over the decades (they're still at it, apparently). Full disclosure, I kinda like "I Found Out" and "Whisperin'" - don't judge. 

12 November 2021


The Senza Tregua comp from 1984 is one of the most searing examples of Italian hardcore dominance -  ninety minutes from bands that changed the face of hardcore punk when they hit the international stage and bands who stayed (mostly) under the radar...labels like BCT reissued this (and other) masterpiece.  and distributed it for $4ppd. That shit changed kids' lives. A few bucks would get you CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS and WARDOGS and STATO DI POLIZIA and poof! that stale by-the-numbers punk band your buddy is in...? Well that shit just didn't matter anymore. Enterruption and Schizophrenic put this on wax in the early 2000s, taking the choicest cuts and condensing to a single LP, but even though you can score that one on the cheap (and you should), the whole tomato is a thing of beauty. Even if it's (still) a motherfucker to edit. 

I posted this back in 2011 - that DL link is long dead, but this source tape was in way nicer shape for anyone who fancies an upgrade. Also, I need a copy of the self titled JUGGERNAUT LP. 



11 November 2021



Folks from VOIGHT KAMPFF sent me this slammer when it came out. A few days ago I pulled out the VOIGHT KAMPF 12" and found the note inside, so I figured I'd rip out the LIFE LIKE tape when I re-shelved. It had been a while and, to no one's surprise, it's still a slammer. The 2010s really were an excellent period of "back to basics" US Hardcore and/or Punk, and damn if this isn't a perfect example. Total mutant freak hardcore - loved it then, love it now.

10 November 2021


Life is noise. Seriously. Just listen to it. Stop and....listen. It's fucking chaos. It makes no sense. And you definitely cannot understand it. You can try - I embrace your futility. But no. It's meaningless. Listen to TORTURING NURSE. They are from China. You have a good life...? Congratulations, this is what it sounds like. You have a "miserable" life.....? No need to fret, this is also what it sounds like. Listen at maximum volume to make everything else go away. It works. And then you're really living. You'll thank me when you die. Which will hopefully be a long time from now. A long life means more noise. More chaos. More meaninglessness. And all that we have keeps meaning less and less. See what I did there....? Do you? Listen to TORTURING NURSE. Volume, my friends. You're welcome. 

09 November 2021


This band is so....weird. Maybe they came ten years too late, because by the mid 1990s Oakland was all about wearing black and walls of amps (which, for the record, I am fine with) and here were these straight freaks playing disjointed and pissed punk with horns and a banjo and shit sounded like something between TRAGIC MULATTO and WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY (though I didn't even hear of the latter for another ten years). But there's not just place in the world for CYPHER IN THE SNOW, they are their own world. Whether or not you are invited is totally up to you. 

08 November 2021


Come on, Canada. Just....stop. And Atlantic Provinces, you folks are seriously the worst. Tape after tape, record after record, project after project leaves me scraping my jaw off the floor and wiping the drool off my shirt. Mentally Chained leaves me speechless and dumbfounded. Six minutes of INFEST level brutality filtered through complete fucking chaos; you can hear the influences (and there are many) but BRAIN POLLUTION SYNDROME lay waste to all of them. It's as if they put all of the classics on a mix tape and then decided "this shit's a good start....let's finish it." 

07 November 2021


I swear that the only reason these rockers aren't (more) revered is that they're from Denver. Don't get me wrong - Denver is a great town and I've played lots of excellent shows there with lots of excellent bands. It's just....far away. If you're touring, it's that part of the country where you're looking at 8-10 hour drives day after day after day in the modern world of destination fests and local shows that pay about the same as they did when I was 22 years old and gas was $1.20/gallon...well, you can see why folks choose to skirt the places that are a little harder to get to - math is a motherfucker. Their loss, because if you went to Denver in the 2010s, you probably played with NEGATIVE DEGREE, and damn that band ruled. Shit, maybe they still rule? I wouldn't know - haven't been to Denver in years. 

06 November 2021


Another mid-2010s band that seemed to come and go in a fukkn flash, Barcelona's XM2 left us with this one tape...but it's enough. Brash, abrasive, choppy hardcore punk sometimes reminiscent of São Paulo's CANKRO and always spitting pure fire. The songs are over before you want them to be over - "Violencia Indebia" sounds like the introduction to the best song that you will never hear - and hearing layers of noise fall in to wage sonic war with the piercing guitars EQed to Mould '82 only adds to the chaos and/or confusion. Can't heap enough praise on this tape and then.....it's over.