31 December 2022



You might wonder what would make a band call themselves CB RADIO GORGEOUS, and you'd be right to wonder. When "Summer Skies" is over though, the only thing you'll be wondering is how a band who decided to call themselves CB RADIO GORGEOUS. Top tier (and top speed) feisty Midwest punk driven (hard) by clean 'n damaged guitars and a floppy walking bass - think LIQUIDS or CCTV with NUCLEAR FAMILY vocals. From Not Normal of course, because that's where Midwest freak punks live. Choice cut: "Shelly."

30 December 2022



Like many other folks focused primarily on the hardcore and punk adjacent realms, LUKE SICK first popped on my radar through his collaborations with Andrew Nolan (SHANK, COLUMN OF HEAVEN, INTENSIVE CARE) and Dan Bolleri (FUNERAL SHOCK, SPAZZ, TORTURE UNIT), both released by the IRON LUNG folks. But after the seal was broken...shit was over. I spent a fair bit of 2022 devouring the MegaKut catalog and uncovering innumerable links and connections...there's no rational reason that I should give half a shit about the DOUBLE LIFE Revolutions 12" from 1997, but this is what happened and I'm more than OK with it. CREEP PLAYER is Sick with DJ RAW B (of the aforementioned DOUBLE LIFE), Rival Dealer is as undeniably Bay Area as it is undefinably Bay Area - even a novice (and a transplant) like me recognizes the sound and the swagger though I would never try to own or describe either. As this year wraps, I feel like the sounds of CREEP PLAYER are like an invitation to a transition; a visitor from another plane offering you dark passage to a future destination. 

28 December 2022



You'll hear a lot of respectable heads laud OUT COLD as one of North America's unheralded greats. Their discography is formidable to say the least, but the fact that they were leaning this heavily on rock 'n roll on their elusive first demo is more than a little noteworthy. This shit dropped when punk was confused, and it sounds more like a hardcore band that would snuggle with ANTISEEN instead of a group who would (justifiably) grow into a thing of Boston legend. Bonus points for using a live recording as your first demo....blast "Can't Win" and gratitude to Mark for all of the sounds. 

27 December 2022



Two Russian artists collaborate to create six ambient drones. I wish it were as simple as that, so I'll refrain from further comment and let the sound conjure my wishes. 


26 December 2022



While it's sad that CRUSH CRUSHER left us with with just two tapes, we should take the time to celebrate those two tapes, and celebrate one of Oklahoma City's truest freak offerings. I Wish Punk Was Dead just sounds like a mess. I Wish Punk Was Dead sounds like wishing punk was dead but knowing you don't want to live in a world without punk. Absolute outsiders of the highest order - even (or especially) is this passed you by the first time, I'm giving you a second chance. This is what it sounds like when you try to fill up emptiness. 

25 December 2022



Three short pieces of bumper music for your consideration.
Which one do you like?

And lest you think this is weird, remember that on this date in 2009 I posted an audio recording of my father-in-law discussing rectal thermometers on public radio. Download link is dead (you're welcome).

24 December 2022



Variations on a theme - infectious Turkish street punk circa late 2010s. Heavy and blatant UK punk influence, and these kids do something with the guitar melodies and that slight vocal warble that I can't put my finger on...but I feel like I don't ever want to stop hearing it. Something so instantly recognizable, so instantly familiar, so undeniably punk and instantly identifiable as such. And still, PROJECT YOUTH sound fresh, urgent, mandatory...indeed, so undeniably punk and instantly identifiable as such. Read that last sentence again - if it makes sense to you, then you might need PROJECT YOUTH even more than you think you do. 

23 December 2022



Weird that a promotional Oi! sampler was one of my favorite releases of the year, but once you blast this fukkr you'll understand. Nine essential punk cuts from Basque Country, Spain, Mexico, Virginia, and England that will make your fukkn knuckles bleed. Shit, if this were a one song cassette with the opening track from BRUX on repeat it would make the essential list, so the rest is just gravy. So listen to SELF-INFLICT and ZIKIN and spend a few minutes thinking about what punk and the fine people responsible for Mendeku Diskak have given to you...now think about what you have to offer to punk.

22 December 2022



Welcome to your favorite band of 2014, or perhaps just another example of punk's demise. Twelve mutant missives, fourteen manic minutes, a leaking palmful of braincells that you will never find amongst the empty crack vials and shredded guitars strings that litter your floor. SLENDER pushed the boundaries of acceptable sound, the only thing that would make it better is if they didn't know better. Intentional idiocy, iterated irritants. If you're really brave, there's an LP (spoiler alert: it's far more musical)...

21 December 2022



A friend from New York told me the other day that he "could never hear a new black metal song in my life" and have no complaints. I figure there are just two acceptable justifications for that statement - either he's listening to too much black metal (he isn't) or he's listening to the wrong black metal. And if he's trying to use the first excuse, then I'm just going to direct him to the second excuse. Of course, an advantage to not delving too terribly deep into a particular subgenre is that you avoid being jaded by the sometimes derivative trappings that are endemic in anything that could even be classified as a "subgenre." I remember someone scoffing when I was blasting KVIST because they were supposedly generic. When I was 18, a coworker noted that I shouldn't dig on CANNONBALL ADDERLEY until I studied up on JAZZ MESSENGERS and COLTRANE. What about the crust youth who discovered TRAGEDY through FALL OF EFRAFA? Or discovered WOLFPACK through TRAGEDY? My point (poorly made) is...if it's good, then who gives a fuck? And if you like it, then really who gives a fuck?! Enter LAMENTATION OF THE ASHEN. New Mexico bl/e/ak metal filtered through atmospheric doomcrust, possibly derivative but absolutely unique...and definitely awesome. I suppose my friend from New York might not be bothered - I also suppose that's his loss. 

20 December 2022


By the late '80s, you had folks who felt like punk (and specifically hardcore) was just completely dead and you had folks who had just moved on and you had folks who were being introduced to new punk-adjacent (or punk influenced) bands without even knowing about the sonic roots. You also had punk and hardcore bands cranking out killer records. GOD cranked out three full lengths around the turn of the decade - way more on the rock and or grunge tip (sign of the times, you know?), but this 1987 recording leans heavier on NYHC and SUICIDAL influences. The transfer is admittedly not the best (tapes, motherfukkr!), but there are some nice rougher versions of some cuts that would appear on the Sweet Life LP, plus "Survival Of The Meek" is a total slammer and doesn't seem to pop up anywhere else. 

19 December 2022



I received an email a few months ago from the folks at Brain Slash Records. They had an ECFU discography cassette in the works and "heard you were the only person who would care" and would I like a copy. I responded  that while I doubted I was the only person who would care, I was one person who would care. And then this burner appeared on my porch a few days later. I first posted the demo in 2009, just a few of months after Terminal Escape started, and now this reissue includes the band's last show,  captured in 2005. I was gonna say "snotty hardcore punk has never sounded this good" or something stupid like that, but obviously it has sounded this good before (even better, to be honest)...there's just something about this shit that clicks with me. Of course they weren't the best, but that was never the fukkn point. 

18 December 2022

17 December 2022



Did y'all fuck with this when it came out a few years ago? I grabbed it immediately and blasted it until the wheels came off (metaphorically), but I confess that it fell victim to a barrage of obligations and excessive sonic stimuli. But last week I popped it back in and....what a fukkn beast. Ruthless hardcore punk, nothing more and nothing less.  Absolutely devastating. Not going back on the shelf for a while. 

16 December 2022



I was driving home from work earlier this week listening to the radio. A call in program about holiday baked goods was on, so I changed stations and randomly hit KFJC, which is typically just out of range for me. Some drawn out epic crust track ended, an awkward DJ talked for a minute or so and then dropped the needle on a blistering black metal track and I thought "right here, in the bowels of tech fueled affluence and desperation, some kid in Los Altos is fukkn holding it down and (hopefully) confusing early evening commuters who are bored with their commercial streaming playlists" and damn that shit sounded good. In that spirit...a nod to community radio today, this time in the form of three upstate New York monstrosities performing live in the WRPI studios in 1994. Two Troy bands (DEAD BABIES and REDNECK BASTARDS) close out the side one with a joint interview, but not before laying waste to the first twenty minutes of the tape with fierce, blown out sludge assaults. Then you flip the fucker over...GREYLAND. Their 1997 demo made an appearance last year, and they (predictably) sound even more terrifying in a live setting - would be great if some New York veteran suddenly unearthed more recordings (hint hint?). A short interview wraps up their side and then POOF just like that it's 2022 again. Almost 2023. 

15 December 2022



With a voice (and a presence) like his, Fats Waller could have been a band leader of legend playing emcee and leading groups of revelers through the 1920s. With improvisational piano chops like his, Fats could have written his own history as an absolute giant of smooth swing, giving the instrument a voice of its own that made his instrumentals sing. Waller left a legacy of hundreds of credited compositions before his death on this day in 1943, several of which are included on this tape of two sets from the famous Yacht Club in 1938. No "Ain't Misbehavin'" here - but "Honeysuckle Rose" always does the trick. 

14 December 2022



All I've got is these kids on the flyer for a stacked new year's eve hardcore gig at Che Cafe (OUTSPOKEN, UNBROKEN, STRIFE, MOUTHPIECE...) and this five song tape. It's hardcore - but it's hardcore punk (and yes there's a difference). Even while "Never Withstand" is kicking my ass with a by-the-books breakdown I still feel like I'm listening to a band who avoid the "typical" trappings of generic testosterone fueled 'core. Intentionally or not, this comes off as a sonic bridge joining '90s DIY melodic punk ("For A Moment"), hard moshing hardcore ("Mistaken Identity") and late '80s Southern California SXE ("Have No Part"), and they do it all with a rough 'n loose approach that truly helps this tape feel fresh. Like, I hear hints of LIFES HALT in the opening track and that's gonna perk me up every time. 

13 December 2022



It's an absolute crime that the five songs on Maqueta are all we get from LAS TIMIDAS. Bass, drums and keyboards with voices in constant harmony. They sound like the most brilliant ghost from an art punk after party that never was. They sound like the special "punk" guest group on an episode of Sesame Street. They sound...in a word: perfect. So I'll just keep listening to the same five songs for another ten years and I won't complain. 

12 December 2022



Filthy, blown out knuckle dragging pandemic hardcore from Michigan. The breakdown in "Bombo" is particularly disgusting, which is saying something when you consider the intro to "Cowboy," the riff that starts "Jackie" and really just the whole damn demo. Four songs, and the fact that I've pointed to pieces of three of them as especially noteworthy is...well, noteworthy. AMMONIIA hint at the existence of a second recording - my ear holes are available. 

11 December 2022



I like when just listening to a tape exhausts me. Just sitting in a chair and blasting Heretical Anatomy takes effort, and at the close of "When Death Mates With Life" I just feel drained. I don't know if I can think of a finer example of grinding punkdeathcrust, and I've mentioned before that there's just something different when punks shift gears. ABYSS are undeniably a metal band, but you can absolutely hear where they came from...especially on their early releases (this is the second, I believe?). If the full length on 20 Buck Spin (also titled Heretical Anatomy) is a clinic, then this tape is a fucking detonation. ABYSS never fukkn stop, and I want to listen to "Atavistic Decay" ten times in a row before I go to work. I'll be exhausted, of course...but it'll be worth it. 

10 December 2022


Raging punk. Freak sounds. Garage psychos. Infectious power pop. Jerky post-punk. Hardcore.
There's a reason why The Olds speak so nostalgically about '80s college radio and the thrill of hearing something you'd never heard before and never knowing what's coming next.
And Mad Max did it as well as anyone. 

05 AUGUST 1985

09 December 2022



Maybe it's just my perception, but it seems that German punk and hardcore are often relegated to second (or third) tier status by the punk taste makers. The first time I was there Weird System was aggressively repressing much of their back catalog, but I was stunned to find SLIME, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES and RAZZIA records from the '80s priced basically the same as new releases, and was pumped to discover heaps of new bands in the bargain bins (EA80, anyone?!). You have to look past (or submit to) the bierhäuz vibe that runs through many of the bands, but we've been giving Oi! a pass for four decades now so I don't really see how that should be an issue. German hardcore doesn't rage like the Swedish greats, German hardcore isn't unhinged like the Italians, German hardcore isn't as cold as the Polish...but I can blast this shit all day long. 

Extra tip of the hat to whomever curated this tape back in the '80s. Scratched out MAU MAUS, SUBHUMANS, DOSORDER, DISCHARGE DIRT and VARUKERS to deliver a slammer with NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, STROMSPERRE, BOSKOPS, BLUTTAT, SICK PLEASURE and several cuts from the essential Waterkant-Hits comp. You can question that move if you want, but DISCHARGE is easy....and you gotta be sure your mix tape buddies hear SS ULTRABRUTAL and E-605, you know?

08 December 2022



Five minutes of harsh mind melting noise from APOSTATE, followed by five minutes of AM radio drenched shit-fi noisecore from GUTTERPRIEST. Disorientation is the key though, so maybe it's the other way around. If you ever wanted to prove to your coworkers that you're not actually like them in any way, play this music while you're on the clock and near others. 

07 December 2022



I posted DEMANDS' 2012 Piss On Your Wounds back in 2013 (roughly two punk generations ago), and true to my better-late-than-never b/w there-are-just-so-many-tapes form, this is the 2013 follow up, Self Inductance. Not much to say that I didn't say nine years ago, just furiously fast and incredibly furious hardcore punk. "No Lifeboats" and "Fate" could have been anthems for the isolation age that kicked off this portentous decade dominated by fear and frustration, while "I Wish I Could Help You" closes the tape with a positively dreadful (and positively negative) dose of loss. I know it's 'hardcore' and hardcore can be a somewhat limited medium, but DEMANDS sound like they are manifesting pain. There are only two tapes - a scant twenty minutes of music - but the shit is just furious. And recommended. 

06 December 2022



I suppose this is quintessential death rock in a way....specifically in the way that emphasizes the rock part of that oft misused descriptor. Much like LOST GOAT (don't get me started - again), New Jersey's SWATH OF... inject darkness into smoky hard rock, and are also fronted by a set of formidable femme pipes. From the full throttle power rock of "His Demise" to the blatant ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN vibes on "The Changeling," from the strained Iommi riffing on "Threads" to the brooding acoustic BUDGIE cover, SWATH OF... are clearly pulling from wherever their interests take them, and it works. I hope this (apparent) Covid project continues into the new world, because DIY '70s goth doom needs to be a thing. 

05 December 2022



Raw, ramshackle and punk as fukk, Militancia Punk combines two fierce '90s Mexican political hardcore bands that I might have never known if Lalo hadn't decided to clean out his closet earlier this year. RABIA PROLETARIA whip out five gruff ska/hardcore numbers, the live recording buries the guitar (it's well worth the effort to listen to the leads on "Afirmando Principios," because that hooks is deadly good) but you can feel the energy leaping off of the tape. LUCHA AUTONOMA trudge through a couple of rough midtempo numbers with field and protest recordings breaking up the pace, but then they ramp up and turn into a completely different animal. "Desgracia Divina" is pure, raw power - unhinged like early '80s Italian HC beaten and dragged through a swamp, while "Tecnocratas" is an absolute scorcher ripped from the rich legacy of ferocious Mexican punk - the whole tape is a great document, but that one song absolutely knocked me on my ass. Fidelity queens will want to steer clear...real punks recognize real punk. 

04 December 2022



This one is a lot for my ears. I don't understand the words, I don't know the band, but ЯМА grabbed me instantly and did not let go. Abrasive, intense, emotive, chaotic and controlled hardcore, this band from Tambov, Russia are deliberate and fierce - I imagine dropping them into a room full of brooding mysterious pretentious hardcore squirmers and watching those squirmers...squirm. ЯМА are not easy on the ears, but a close listen to songs like "Область Абсолютной Тьмы" reveals a band with a lot more to discover and uncover. The band is good, their trip is dark (like reality). 

03 December 2022



No important observations today. No great context. Nothing important...just punk.
Punk is important. 


02 December 2022



Loathed Sound Department forever - every time I listed to one of their tapes I feel just a little more precious about the time I've spent with their releases and just a little more bummed that there (might not) be any more. Lunatic Sound Display is another killer (of course): ANTHONY RED ROSE, SUN RA, FRANCIS THE GREAT, GIRLI GIRL, MATCHEZ, BGM, SPACE INVADERS and more. Primitive hip hop, space funk, jazz, dripped out reggae, kraut soul....shit, even if you download this and only listen to the SPONTANEOUS OVERFLOW track once you are still a winner. Every tape opened more doors, and I'm grateful.