28 February 2022



Sure, I posted this tape ten years ago. But that link is long dead (no apologies), and SNÄGGLETTOTH still fukkn rrrrriiippp. Three ruthless doses of fist banging mötorpunk from Singapore, and it hits even harder after a decade long deluge of dupa-dupa shit punk. I love dupa-dupa shit punk, don't get me wrong, but goddamn these kids were on fire and sometimes I just want to pound my fists into shit. 

27 February 2022



We first met KAREN (aka K^REN) a few years ago on their split with APOGEE SOUND CLUB, before The Karen had become its own distinct entity collectively referred to as...well, Karens. This Oakland outfit ain't gonna call the cops though, but this K^REN is going to pop an art school punk bubble and spray freak mist all over your face and then giggle. This K^REN released a 60min tape of audio madness for a tour in 2015 and called it Twenty-Five Karen Gold. This K^REN is like STILLSUIT and MINUTEMEN collaborating for a Fag Tapes compilation. This K^REN is the real deal. 

26 February 2022



Five brutal minutes of frustration from 2013 North Carolina. The responsible parties went on to RED DEATH, PROTESTER, INNUMERABLE FORMS, PURE DISGUST and a host of other heavyweights, and MACHT NICHTS makes it clear that they knew exactly what they were doing from the start. Raw, smart hardcore with obvious PV/fastcore influence - sub-30 second bursts of pure energy. And then they close with "Mental Mirror," a track that takes up almost half of the recording time and gives just a little glimpse of what these kids were (and would be) capable of. Ugly...like us. 

25 February 2022



The first (of many) compilations from the Delirium Tremens label, this 1985 cassette is a thing of legend. A solid hour of primitive and raw Swedish hardcore (plus Poland's MOSKWA) and under the radar bangers from PEDANT STÄDTANT, NISSES NÖTTER, INJEKTION, SÖTLIMPA, GODS OF MASTURBATION, BRAINLESS FORCE and several others. I'm not going to dissect the tape, but I will mention (again) that comps like this were the absolute life blood of international DIY punk and hardcore in the 1980s....also the LIBRESSE tracks are absolutely stunning. 

24 February 2022

23 February 2022


Nothing reinforces my affinity for face melting grind/crust like spending a few days away and then returning to the genre, fully caffeinated. And I can't think of a return than Prague's CONTROLLED EXISTENCE - throaty anarcho/crust femme barks lead a relentless churning assault that barely leaves time for breath between songs. There's a guitar break near the end of "Krkavčia Matka" that is so perfectly executed, so fucking deadly...I swear I relistened to those few seconds ten times in rapid succession before finishing their side. Not to be outdone, Slovak grinders MINDFUCK live up to their name with harsh, raw, erratic bursts - the kind of shit that just puts you on edge. This is what I wanted, this is how I hoped to start my day. And one ten year old cassette packed with brutality took care of me. 

22 February 2022



Erratic and oppressive drones from SWAMP HORSE on 2007's Crippled Witch. A supremely damaged sonic excursion that listens like a doom recording deconstructed and reassembled by a sound engineer on LSD. Doom, synth, noisecore, horror soundtrack and drugs in a blender and poured slowly into your ears, filling the canal with muffled mania. 

21 February 2022



There is a really catchy freak punk outfit trapped inside of these songs. Like trying to cram WHITE LUNG's first couple of slabs into the grooves of a WOLF EYES record, Massachusetts maniacs MEAT DREAMS jerk and twist their way through a dozen sleazy slogs. Sometimes it sounds like a punk that you know, but often it sounds like a band trying to make it through their set while dancing around a stage filled with dirty needles and dodging beer bottles. It's snarky, whip smart, chaotic as fuck...it's the kind of good that makes you feel really anxious. The way you feel in that moment of clarity when you realize that all of your efforts to be normal have....failed. 

20 February 2022



Yet another dose of pure ferocity that went largely unnoticed outside of their immediate bubble. Or at least outside of my immediate bubble, which is absolutely more of a critique of me than of them. Because as far as they (HOARDER) are concerned, I've got nothing but praise for 2018's Destroyed. Vocals sound like they are trying to demagnetize just so they can cut your throat (you probably deserve it), the songs are ruthless modern incarnations of the straight forward all-go-no-slow USHC that dominated the turn of the century....and riffs for fucking days. Sometimes I think I'll be caught up with the all of the shit I kinda 2010s sometime around 2030, because the good stuff (like HOARDER) requires more than a casual coupla listens; when a band lays it all out like this, when a band clearly fukkn lives it, I feel like the listener owes them the same. Get inside it. Get pissed. 

Choice cuts:
"Weak" // "Worthless" // "Dead Last" // "Shut Up" // "Destroyed"
...you get the idea. 


19 February 2022



As even the most casual visitor has likely learned, I love a tape that listens like a journey. A collection of killer tunes is great, of course, and the track is the obviously the foundation for great hardcore records....but sometimes nothing can touch popping in (or dropping into) a recording and losing yourself, emerging 15 or 45 minutes later feeling like you've just been somewhere. Sometimes hardcore can do that (and those ore the great one, naturally), but I feel like you'll find the real masters making this happen in other realms. DIVINE INTERVENTION are perhaps both. A black metal ZOLAR-X reinterpreting Levitation, mayhaps. It's a mind melter, it's drawn out noise/psych jams with buzzsaw guitar, it's CHROME for a new reality, it's five supremely damaged and unrecognizable pop songs broken up by casual interludes to give you time to breathe. It's....it's just really fukkn good. 

18 February 2022



Grant gifted me this capsule of (mostly) Milwaukee 1990s DIY hardcore near the end of 2021, and I got a little giddy just holding it...and that was before I realized that the ANIMAL FARM doesn't appear to be released anywhere else. That was before I heard the 'where is the god?!' chorus in HINGE's "Psalm." That was before I heard the anguished metallic screamo of REHASH or the experimental mindfuckery of EAR for the first time. Rest assured that the smile on my face and the wonder in me eyes (ears) only grew as I listened, hearing GORDY (two tracks from their demo), MORAL DISGUST and one cut from Ohio's NIMRODS thrown in the mix just to keep you on your toes. Yeah, after all that I was walking on fucking clouds. 

17 February 2022



THE PESSIMISTS were a short lived project, and I believe that the seventeen minutes of music on this tape makes up their entire catalog....but be thankful for what you have folks, because it's perfect. With just one song approaching the two minute mark, THE PESSIMISTS deftly place pop sensibilities and stark, driving post punk hooks into these tiny little bursts. The vocalists trade stoic barks and adolescent melodies, the rhythm section is rock solid in their repetition while the guitar lingers lingers in the fog, occasionally sweeping in to blow over the rest of the sound. Every song is a hit (in the world that we all wish we lived in), and their ability to take casual ownership of well traveled sonic territory is uncanny. There are pretty obvious references all over this self titled cassette (which combines tracks from 2015's In The Beginning There Was.... and the Six Songs EP on Nada Nada) - yet all of the sounds belong to these two recordings as if they were reincarnated in their intended form. I'm happy to have seen them once, even once was magic. As you start your day, know that "Daily Suicide" and "Doomed Forever" are the two songs that will guide you. 

16 February 2022



I initially posted this cassette back in 2009, and in that post I casually compared MAD ARE SANE to a theoretical melding of SUBHUMANS and PINK FLOYD. I was pretty damn spot on - though you could make the case that such a combination really just creates a bastard HAWKWIND with anarcho tinged vocal barks. Every time I try to write another blurb about Look Further Than Vengeance, I find myself spacing out on the sounds and getting lost in a thought about how fucking advanced and brilliant the band is (was), so I think it best to just leave the post there and continue listening. 

15 February 2022



More lost DIY '10s North American punk, this time from Niagara Falls, New York. Nine abrasive garage hardcore screamers, sweaty like 1990s Columbus (if you know...then you know) and smart like 1970s SF, blasted through a filter steeped in first wave 1960s proto punk. And then there's "Why Try?," a garbled awkward track that sounds like an escapee from a mid-'80s Dischord institution, and "Bed Bugs," which is like an orphan EDDY CURRENT demo that raised itself on the streets in the rough and tumble 2000s. I think I've covered all of the relevant decades now, so I'll leave you to this JUMP THE BLINDS recording.

14 February 2022



In retrospect, GRIMACE were far more deadly than when I saw them law waste to a taqueria in San Francisco ten years ago. That show was wild, and they were filthy - I mean like actual dirt - and wild eyed. GRIMACE were dangerous, and they were real. The kind of kids that you want on your side even though you feel like they should still be at arms' length...just in case. They rolled with HYSTERICS and they both rolled deep (like the kids from Mississippi I talked about a while back), so it seemed like the entire room knew every word to every song when they played, even though most of us had never seen them (or heard of them before). The music was violent. The band wasn't violent, but you got the feeling that the music itself was the only thing between the people making it and the violence itself.  I revisited the demo last week and oooofffff does it ever hold up. Primitive, marble mouthed, bare knuckle North American hardcore punk. Not contrived, maybe not even intentional, GRIMACE just happened because they needed it to happen. 

13 February 2022



Gorgeous, spacey, numbing presentations on the first of a few collaborations between Montreal's BABYSITTER and Jane Kasowicz. Like a drug addled gospel conjuring, these three tracks meander and reach, and of course you can make early VELVETs comparisons if you are so inclined, but I feel like you'll be selling your listening experience short if you do. On "Don't Drop It," it's as if the guitar and the bass and the other sounds spend almost the entire seven minutes searching for each other, and then they journey out together for the mind melting "Wanderings" to close. Much of this tape feels slightly off, like an involuntary twitch that you finally submit to - at once disorienting and peaceful. 

There's more (lots more), but today just these three....the rest you should find on your own (links please)...and praise to Dub Ditch Picnic (again) for the work.

12 February 2022



Brace yourself before you start listening to CRAZY BUGS - the scream that starts "Dexedrine" will make you feel like you're at the tail end of a four day slide and you're ready to give up entirely. Give up everything. Bug-Out Bag is a sub-seven minute desperate disaster by a band who sound like they've been told that if they can just finish this one riff then they'll be allowed to stop...but there's another riff and another song and another scream waiting for them and they just get more and more frustrated as the tape continues. "Murder In The Cathedral" is the most coherent, and "Castration Fantasy" is the most deadly...appropriate that these are the final two tracks, because I don't know how much more I could have taken. 

11 February 2022



A time capsule of unknowns, 1991's Dead But Still Kicking crams a dozen of your new favorite bands into one hour of beer soaked punk and hardcore. Detroit's SCRUFFY TEARAWAYS open the comp with two sinister crossover rippers and THE VACANT follow up with shrill UK influenced punk, good enough that you stick around for TATTOOED CORPSE and VOODOO LOVE GODS dropping by with their distinct brands of sleazy bar punk. Primitive crossover from BLINDED DESTINY, roughshod melodic punk from THIRSTY, then GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE, ZOMBIE TERRORISTS, X WOOLHEAD, COMMONWEALTH and A.D. plow through the second side before SHARK FETISH bash out a harmonica drenched garage hardcore stomp to close the tape. Bands are from Portland, Germany, Maryland, Michigan and parts unknown - I might have been familiar with two of the twelve before I popped this plastic wonder in the deck....and comps still rule. 

10 February 2022



Greg passed this to me a while back, and I kinda like that I don't really know anything about it. It seems that the world just opens up a bit more when there are no bandmates and no conflicting opinions involved - and likely that's what's going on with MESSAGE TO THE RAT KING. Greg plays drums on a track, and there are a few other guests who stop by, but this Rat King messenger lives in one brain and it's kinda brilliant. "Lagos" conjures '80s college/indie in the form of a W/IFS demo outtake. Roy Wood's WIZZARD and Jay Reatard and SPACEMEN 3 and Sandinista all make make historical sonic visits, which really just reinforces that MESSAGE TO THE RAT KING is operating unfettered. If this weren't a one-off (and I'm just assuming that it is), then we would all be analyzing a genuinely advanced approach to punk creativity as the experiment continued and gained momentum. But what's more likely is that this one will go mostly unnoticed by all but a select (chosen?) few who recognize the brilliance and extoll the virtues to the uninterested masses. Because that's how low key genius typically works. 

09 February 2022



Listening to YOUR PEST BAND is like walking aimlessly through the nowhere and finding yourself staring into a deep gorge. You scramble down one side to get to the rich black stream at the bottom, making your way down one side of a steep shale wall...and you've ended up inside the grooves of a lost Nuggets recording. And that's not a freight train coming around the bend - some shit wasted lovelorn 22 year old is playing that record at full volume and the needle is coming straight for you. 

This is the cassette version of the 2014 Let It Go LP, sold on their US tour with HOLY SHIT!
Listen to "Don't Leave Me Alone" with special focus, because it's great. 

08 February 2022


Someone wrote me about this one a few days back, and their message reminded me that I hadn't pulled MALICE out in far too long. I initially posted this demo in 2009, when The Escape was just a few weeks old, and I swear it sounds even more special years later. The band lands somewhere between more standard hard driving UK82 fare and the brainier Bluurg and/or small town Welsh punk of the time. Making their own rules and just being fucking punk....very happy that I came back to MALICE. But now I'm really after the other tape, if it actually exists. 

07 February 2022


They dropped this demo off and then disintegrated in a flash, and unless you were in Portland in the very early 2000s, you probably missed them entirely. Much like MIDNIGHT, their past and future projects probably over shadow them (the rhythm section would spend the following two decades forming the foundation of WARCRY), but there's something about the rock solid hardcore fronted by completely unhinged vocals that sets BACTERIA apart. Ten songs in less than a quarter hour. 

06 February 2022


You think you know what to expect....but it's better.
The wailing sitar of Ashwin Batish set to the dated back beats of the 1980s. 
It's what you want it to be, and it's also more that you hope it will be. 

05 February 2022


I like this tape. SPOKENEST are shrill, piercing treble rebel two piece punk. They're probably hooked in closer to indie and/or garage scenes, but these songs are just so anxious - they demand attention but don't require too terribly much of it, which is a rather nice combination when you're diving into an artist for the first time. They're going for it and going hard, which is another nice combination. Once again, I'm late to the game (this tape is from 2013), but once again I'm totally OK with that.