31 January 2022



First off, SKEMÄTA did it backwards on Sanctioned Genocide - they started the thing with the obligatory midtempo DBeat stomp they typically comes somewhere near the end of the first side (take Neverendinglasting, for example) and then they shred expectations on the B side (or, in the case of the cassette, on the final two songs). So it's kinda like getting beaten up before you get scared...but still getting scared after you get beaten up. It's very confusing. What's not confusing is the pure power that this band had - just the right amount of metallic discordance (check the last 20 seconds of "Hierarchy" in particular, just before the pummeling returns to close out the song) and no shortage of unhinged shred. You hear ghosts of their collective pasts (and futures) all over the recording (DRUGCHARGE, DOUBLE NEGATIVE, FATAL, STRPIMINES, LOGIC PROBLEM, PUBLIC ACID, SCARECROW...there are more); the title track has a DIE KREUZEN vs. Technocracy vibe that is just so fukkn sick and it still sounds like SKEMÄTA. Every record is essential (especially in retrospect) and these three burners just make me wish I'd seen them more than once.  Good luck. 

EDIT: I've seen them three times. San Francisco, Oakland and North Carolina. Age is a motherfukker. 

30 January 2022



Kinda makes me wonder what it would have sounded like if DOWN IN FLAMES (NJ) had stayed together longer and started drinking and moved to North Carolina and gradually transitioned to meat 'n taters hardcore punk with more hooks but still sounded kinda desperate and adolescent. Actually it doesn't make me wonder "what if" DOWN IN FLAMES (NJ) had stayed together longer and started drinking and moved to North Carolina and gradually transitioned to meat 'n taters hardcore punk with more hooks but still sounded kinda desperate and adolescent, because Virginia's ADJUSTMENT CENTER kinda sound like if DOWN IN FLAMES (NJ) had stayed together longer and started drinking and moved to North Carolina and gradually transitioned to meat 'n taters hardcore punk with more hooks...but still sounded kinda desperate and adolescent.

29 January 2022



Pretty sure this is the last recording from Alameda's REBELS AND INFIDELS, released a year or so after the Corporate Picnic album on Fowl. I'm also pretty sure that this tape is the only recording with Heather on vocals and without Terry O'Shit on guitar, and I'm absolutely certain that it rules. Easy to throw around terms like "underrated" and "under the radar" when referring to these punks, but instead I suggest cranking thirteen bursts of explosive Bay Area punk broken up by creepy dirges and the kind of approach that maybe you can only get away with when you don't fucking know any better. And really...isn't that when the best stuff happens?

Yesterday went too far. Today came too slow
I think I'll just take a walk to the package store
buy some beer and some cigarettes and go home. 
Open a beer and light up a smoke,
think to myself this is the life for me.
It's the truth.

Shirts were only $6/ppd - pretty killer design too. If anyone is holding, hit me up.
I'd happily pay $10 because...you know, inflation. 

28 January 2022


Pat's writing on this tape claims 'circa 83,' but the SECOND WIND record came out in '84 (I think), as did Welcome To 1984 (duh), so maybe he was off by a touch. However, Pat's writing on the tape also claims 'HOT! Raging Punk!' and he couldn't be more on point. Join DJ Max Hechter aka Mad Max for 90 minutes of Isotope Radio that runs from RESISTANCE 77 to NOMADS and from ARTICLES OF FAITH to THE HOLLIES. Screaming '80s hardcore sets from the Midwest and Western Europe peppered with wild garage punk slammers.  I love Max's sets - no bullshit, no jokes, just the facts and straight to business...and the business is always punk. 

27 January 2022



I wonder what happened to the scene in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I got my first peek into their world at the fest in Oklahoma City some time in the twenty-teens, where the Mississippi punks rolled up about 30 deep - they all went off of each other's bands and their energy was enviable. BIG BLEACH, EYE JAMMY, JUDY AND THE JERKS, PLEATHER...these were bands that felt like they were born out of a collective need for community that grew organically into a camaraderie that transcended the bands themselves or even individual relationships - they just seemed tight as shit and it was awesome. The bands though, they were also tight as shit, and it was if they were trying to escape their own skin every time I saw one of them play. I'm talking specifically about JUDY AND THE JERKS here, but the same observation applies to the other bands mentioned (hell, it applies to their friends watching those bands too, it was like community catharsis). For a few years, I would see bands passing through the Bay Area on tour and ask them how things were going; if they had been to Hattiesburg then it was probably the only show they even mentioned because these kids were that fukkn good. It was like Minot (or even Starkville, MS for a hot minute) in the '90s, just this thing that exploded in a small out of the way town where 'cool' things weren't supposed to happen. I tried Minot in the '90s and it was a bust (so it goes with the small flash-in-the-pan scenes), and I really wish I had been able to conquer logistics and adulthood to be surrounded by these Mississippi freaks in their time and in their element. Not trying to sound like some social anthropologist - I mean that I wanted to get sweaty as fuck and watch the bands and wild out and shoot the shit until 4am and sleep uncomfortably on a floor wake up groggy and hungover and eat breakfast and then drive somewhere else with new friends and a great night in the rearview mirror. Friends that you might not see again because that's how punk works, but friends that you shared a night with nonetheless - an important night, just a couple of hours from where my papaw grew up near Lorman, MS. But that never happened, and honestly probably won't, but I hope these kids are still raging. I know Earth Girl is still cranking out tapes, and I know JUDY AND THE JERKS were playing shows just before the 'Rona cast its shadow in 2020, but Hattiesburg? I kinda want it to feel like I painted it in my mind, but really I want it to be whatever they want...so I can soak it up. 

26 January 2022



Surely STIKKY needs no introduction. Right? Gravity Is Convenience is a 91 minute collection of live recordings and general shenanigans released in 1988 by the future guitarist of DROPDEAD. I don't think that 2022 could handle a STIKKY, much less welcome a STIKKY into hardcore, but that's more an observation about 2022 than a critique of STIKKY. Because really, 2022 (and beyond) needs a STIKKY.

25 January 2022



Strictly by the book. Searing. Intense. Do you like things that are intense?


24 January 2022



True mindmelt from American Tapes empresario Johnny R. Spykes. Like a deconstruction of an unearthed free jazz session - tracks isolated and manipulated individually and then each one reinterpreted by a seven year old savant on acid. Or distant field recording of a sick rhinoceros. 

23 January 2022


This tape is everything that yesterday's ABORTION REELS is not. Snappy, high energy garage punk - syrupy sweet and catchy as all hell. Like MOTT THE HOOPLE on a SOVIETTES bender, this Detroit outfit is shamelessly infectious - like top down with the wind in your hair and no one around for miles so you can sing along at volume kind of infectious. 

22 January 2022



What a fukkn disaster. ABORTION REELS just sound like a drug addled train wreck, and of course you'll love it. Fans of the METH SIRES school of chaotic bombast will eat this shit up - the songs and delivery are destroyed, and the presentation is even worse (read: better). Three minutes and twelve seconds of total madness. 

21 January 2022


Simply put, this is one of the coolest mix tapes I've ever heard. Folks looking for a ripping collection of face melting hardcore can move right along, but readers who understand the beauty of the diamonds hidden in the rough commercial landscape are about to unearth gem after gem. Blatant pop hits mingle with Korean folk/psych and classic soul stompers fall in line with drug addled outsider garage punk. JACKI WILSON's "Lonely Teardrops" is worth the price of admission on its own...but on a tape with "Pills 'n Potions," GUIDED BY VOICES and SZA? Game over.  

20 January 2022



Four harsh doses of mid-decade Midwestern bl(e)ak metal from PILLARS OF ASH. This instantly hits me like the early days of Crepusculo Negro with a tinge of punk/grind influenced '90s USBM...minus the melody and nuance. Sixteen minutes of unbridled sonic hatred and ferocity. "Koost Amojan" hits just fucking right this morning, especially when the vocalist sounds like he's trying to scream through a throat filled with bile around the 1:52 mark. 

19 January 2022



I picked up a box of mostly Welsh tapes from my mate Tim a while back. I resisted the urge to devour all of them at once, instead opting to ration them out over time....and I still get butterflies each time I reach inside to grab a new one. Like many (most) of the bands in the box, PSEUDO SADISTS were from Wales (Swansea) and like most (all) of the bands in the box, their lone demo is an absolute scorcher. Primitive and fiery UK punk - just four kids who had done time in PAY DAY and THE NOISE before joining forces in 1981. According to Tim's source, they played just a handful of gigs, their singer may or may not have been missing his two front teeth and was "mad as fuck," and had called it quits by '82. All of these songs have been comped either then - Oppose Or Decompose, Bullshit DetectorA Country Fit For Heroes - or later on the (essential) Bullsheep Detector comp/s. And that....that paragraph and this eight song demo is all you get. 

18 January 2022


If yesterday's post is what other people did when they were kids, then KALOU is what they grew into. Perfectly crafted '80s dream pop presented with a vision that brings the last three decades into focus. I hear THE OCEAN BLUE, ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN and MERCURY REV, but this is absolutely a band that would be playing to a packed house at Make Out Room or some other bar that I don't go to. But I'd walk by and hear the sounds and think 'damn, I would eat this shit up and those kids look like they're having a fucking blast.' "The Thin Line" is perhaps the most perfectly crafted example on The Sculpture Garden, but the entire recording is full of pop sensibilities that span a lifetime. I hear THE VANISHING, HOLE, AIRFIX KITS, THE LA's and MOTHERCOUNTRY MOTHERFUCKERS...and maybe KALOU just kinda sound like being hugged by all of the sounds that you already love, because they're the sounds that truly know you. 

17 January 2022



I can't relate to this music. Like...not at all. It's so happy. It's sweet. It exudes a sheer innocence that I don't think I ever experienced, which is maybe why I pull it out every now and then. I don't find myself bopping around the house like a nerdy and solitary (but still totally cool and interesting) teenager, instead I wonder 'what would it be like?' to make music like this. Or to have been the kind of kid who felt compelled to make music like this. It's qual parts pop punk and awkward jangly indie with a little dash of SoCal surf sprinkled on top. And maybe it was just a mask for THE CLARENDON HILLS anyway, because we're all kinda fukkd up and I think they were from Orange County. 

16 January 2022



GRIMPLE's influence on small(er) scene punk bands in the '90s cannot be understated. Some might hear THE TAKERS and assume the band fed themselves a steady diet of F.Y.P., but I never liked that band (still don't) so I'm gonna stick with the GRIMPLE thought. Full of the kind of hooks that that get stuck under your skin, but you can't call it pop punk because it's pop punk. It's not snotty or whiny - it's fucking pissed. And if you lived in Edmond in 1996 then you'd have probably been pissed too. Thanks for this one, Ross. 

15 January 2022



These mutants were like ass shaking freak punk in a high speed head-on collision with Hi-NRG non-music. It's infectious, you want to dance, and it relates to no music you've ever heard...aside from the beat/s. TEENAGE WAISTBAND don't play and scream, they jerk and bleat. This tape and I Saw What I Wanted To See appear to make up the band's entire discography, but damn...you'll be exhausted after listening to either one of them, if you are doing it right. 

14 January 2022



Rescued this one from a collection of tapes a friend was going to part with (all I ask is this: "if you're going to put them in the trash or take them to a thrift store, just let them pass through my hands before they go"), and I was instantly glad that I did. As the title suggests, these are Vancouver bands; circa early 1990s (when said friend more or less stopped giving a shit about punk) with heavy emphasis on the riot grrl bands of the era. Some killer under the radar (or at least under my radar) bands that I would have loved had I heard them then....and I love them no less hearing them for the first time now. You just can't describe the excitement of discovering music like this. Of course, someone was meant to press play on a tape curated specifically for them instead of a tape that they essentially pulled out of the trash - but it's no less exciting. It's like downloading a file and the computer chirps when that bar hits 100%. Pretty much exactly like that. 

13 January 2022



Absolutely colossal split from Indonesia that would have slipped by me (as it likely did you) if not for a care package I received a few years ago. ALICE are devastating, chaotic and heavy beyond words, a slow motion bulldozer that erupts into frantic blasting hardcore - it's wild to blast a recording that's a more than ten years old and feel like you're getting punched in the face for the first time. And if ALICE is a punch in the face, then WICKED SUFFER on the flip is like a rusty knife in the gut first thing in the morning. A slow creep mosh fighting through a filthy recording, and then when they get you....? That's where the knife comes - in the form of raw, churning hardcore repetition. Right in the gut. Both bands are pure and fierce, and four tracks each you feel like they've left it all out there. The recording itself sounds exhausted, which is exactly how I feel. 

12 January 2022


A bonus post of sorts because I don't know where to put it. Three tracks from DUCKS DELUXE as broadcast on BBC, with intros form John Peel. These are on a tape with live (and studio) shit from WIRE, KILLING JOKE and AU PAIRS - so it doesn't belong on Escape is Terminal but three measly cuts from a pub rock band probably don't warrants regular ass daily post over here. So...for the thirty six of you who download this shit - enjoy an example of what "classic rock" should be, or "should have been," or whatever. For the curious - imagine THIN LIZZY meeting VU on stage in Nebraska in 1974 and then decided that they wanted to form EDDIE & THE HOTRODS. You're welcome, and let us all return to the filth tomorrow. 



A cassette that begs the question: What if I just listened to noise all the time? Is it the person on another plane who wants (or needs) to fill their life with these chaotic and oppressive sounds? Or does a life voluntarily filled with these sounds create, over time, a different person? Foreboding and calculated power electronics from BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER, an ominous sonic journey that feels like a constant crash. Rumbling low end harsh noise from SLATES, a disorientation through sound - the aural equivalent of being buried by an avalanche while your family watches you disappear. So I ask again...what if these were the only sounds?

11 January 2022



It's like that stripped down dupa-dupa '10s punk stomp, but raised on a steady diet of SNFU and SMUT and more...mature. Vancouver's ALIEN BOYS sound like a band playing their guts out, instead of a band calculating their moves and trying to sound "like this" or "like that." Seven blasts of anthemic and fiery Vancouver punk from on this tape from 2016...and while you're looking, may I recommend the Night Danger LP? Because while this tape lays the groundwork, that shit is fully realized. 

10 January 2022



Can't put my finger on it, but this SOPORS tape just sticks with me. Perfectly crafted pop songs, but recorded kinda like shit, sometimes kinda inept, indescribably 'sweet' (but in the way that Dory Tourette was 'sweet,' which is to say: 'sketchy'). Eight songs, and "Read To Me" is such a gloriously addictive piece of trash. I love it. Can't defend it, but I do. 

09 January 2022


Second (and last?) demo from LA's ATRAKO came a couple of years after No Hay Futuro... (which came out a couple of years after Irvin hooked me up with a copy of the recording), but no matter really because everything is on this tape. That first demo is raw and pissed, while the five tracks on Contaminados harnesses some of that rage and reigns in some of the wild edges. Some of them, because it's still a kick in the face. Six live songs (in less than seven minutes) close out the tape and leave me wondering who more people didn't talk about this band during the exceptionally fertile 2010s explosion. But fuck it, because here they are now. 

08 January 2022


Another nail of insanity into the lid of the coffin that was The Before. And we move into The After filled with uncertainty and chaos and lies, serenaded by SHITLOAD. One quarter hour of mania recorded on the heels of a third vaccination dose - 5G microchip noizecore. 


07 January 2022



Every time I pop this one in, it completely changes my outlook on the day. The energy flies in the face of every aspect of this grim fucking reality, and I find a certain pep in my step...even if I'm not walking. Just the right amount of snot, just the right amount of hook, just hit after hit after hit. It's like an early '00s SOVIETEES / OBSERVERS fireball manifested as a battering ram trying to break down the wall to the new century. The jerky proto-robotic chorus of "Eat The Static." The simple stomp of "Ain't Gonna Make It." The addictive punk of "Pills" (pun intended). You've been warned, this fucker just won't quit. 

06 January 2022


Fourteen songs from one of the most overlooked Texas exports of the 2000s. While the DIY hardcore world was obsessing over sonic tonnage and relentless Scandinavian DBeats or 'who can play faster' and relentless blasts, these fellows were delivering indescribably powerful and energetic punk led by a guitar that confidently took Mould's proven formula into the new century. Chris was well known for his prowess behind the drum kit (SEVERED HEAD OF STATE, J CHURCH SIGNAL LOST, CRIATURAS and many many more), and I think that STORM THE TOWER was all too frequently described as his "other band" by people who didn't really take the time to dive into the songs. Their loss. All of the fury of the era is there (jam "Ice Age" at volume and tell me I'm wrong), but these songs stick with you for days, and Chris's guitar truly stands out. Two recording sessions on this tape, the 2003 recording that would become the J CHRUCH split (plus a killer INSTIGATORS cover) and the 2002 recording that would become the  Song For FM EP and four more songs that I don't think were released elsewhere....pretty much everything before the 2006 EP on Little Deputy (which is, not surprisingly, also very awesome). I used to fucking love this band. I still love them, but I used to too.