31 January 2023



Based on analytical analysis, most of you have missed out on the recent vinyl slab from Reno, Nevada's ROTARY CLUB (all hail digital technology - the folks at Iron Lung HQ have a digital version for your ear holes). Two doses of precision punk that learn from the lessons of the masters without plagiarizing, it's a truly perfect punk single and I cannot recommend it enough....but this blog is (still) about tapes, and ROTARY CLUB crammed some of their magic into a little red plastic shell last year and I just can not get enough of this shit. You're going to hear folks throw around the KBD tag a lot and I'm certainly not going to disagree even though it doesn't tell the whole story. This shit is thick and sassy and it swings like nothing I've heard in forever, but it also hits hard and the songs are a master class in punk song craft. Like....what if KARP did a record on DANGERHOUSE in 1979? Think for a minute about how that might feel, because ROTARY CLUB do it like that. Then consider that all of the lyrics are land line telephone themed and you have something (a band? a project? ...a movement?) that's only scratching the surface of something great. 

30 January 2023



I suppose you have to be in the right mental state - or perhaps in a permanently wrong mental state - for these sounds to make sense, but some people live and breathe this shit every day. ALBATROS has a song titled "RawMinceGrind Forever." DISEMBOWELER uses Simpsons samples and has a tracked called "Itchy And Scratchy." HAGGUS open the tape with "Mincecoe Warfare." And what about MEATUS...? They spend four minutes churning through tracks like "Preparation Of Digestive Fluids" and "Odour Characteristic Of Fats." But if your head is in the right place...then there's no place you'd rather be.

29 January 2023



If you can't get behind the first song then you likely don't need to listen to the rest. But if you can get with the heavy rap/hardcore that opens INVECTIVA's only (?) release from 1999, then a half hour of political DIY hardcore with tinny guitars and gruff yo-core vocals awaits you. They branch out eventually but never stray too far from their mission - casual Word As Law vibes on "To Somebody Fucked Up The States" drag you right back into "Enema" which is probably the groove heaviest track on the tape. This shit is a product of the time...I was there for it and I'm honestly surprised that I'm here for it now (and I most definitely am).

28 January 2023



I find the sound/s of EARTH JERKS positive. Like movement after moment of that scene where the sun crests over the earth's horizon as the subject floats into nothingness to their certain end. The sounds are dark, expansive, patient...hopeful - as if that aforementioned end is the beginning of a new/er world. 

27 January 2023



As much as regional DIY punk and hardcore are a driving force in my quest for sound, regional DIY metal has always felt a bit more elusive. It's rarely my primary focus when I'm on the hunt so there's no real mystery there, but metal bands are (were?) more likely focused on hooking up with a label or some other commercial construct and artifacts from the DIY world are somewhat more elusive. At first glance, ADVERSARY's 1990 debut Side Effects as a "pro" release - the whole tiny inset cover art, lots of copyrights and all rights reserved and everything, but I was in Albuquerque and I'm not going to leave a slab of New Mexico death metal sitting in a store if I can help it, so Side Effects came home with me. It was the right choice. Look at that art...and know that ADVERSARY sounds like that crude drawing in the best possible way. Raw, thrashing, primitive old school death/thrash. Shit is blown out like a rehearsal demo (or a NWN reissue) and the sound is like a hybrid of Florida DM and '80s Colombian ultra metal - settling into the recording is like reacquainting yourself with an old friend. No non-bangers, no filler, but the choice cut is absolutely "Process Of Deterioration." The hunt continues.

26 January 2023



After several listens I'm still not sure what is happening, but I want someone to take me to this place.
This shit is spiritual. 


25 January 2023



Today is Karoline's birthday, so you should tell her she's pretty cool if you know her. If you don't know her, well...you probably should. Your world would be better for it if you did. You might be asking yourself what Karoline and CATAPULT have in common, and I admit that it probably seems like a bit of a stretch. Karoline is from Wisconsin, CATAPULT were from Las Vegas. Karoline is a person, CATAPULT were a band. BUT (and hear me out here): CATAPULT sound like they should have been on a Very Small Records comp (hell, they might have even been on one - there were so many bands on those comps, who can keep track?!), and Karoline had a lot of Very Small Records comps. CATAPULT sound kinda quirky and weird, and Karoline is pretty quirky and...well, you know what I mean. Did they ever know each other? I have no clue. But CATAPULT released this tape in 1997 and that's the year Karoline married me. I'm glad she did, and I hope she has a lot more birthdays. Also, I only remember this band from the LEAP FROM SOCIETY split, but this shit really holds up and I think I need to track down their records. So many things came out of the '90s that are addictive, totally unique and generally (also genuinely) amazing. Yeah...you know what I'm gonna say next, so I'll spare you. 

24 January 2023

24 JANUARY 1985

On this date, thirty seven years ago, KALX disc jockey Pat Wright whipped out a stunning set of music that included NEGAZIONE, THE NEW ROOSTERS, ROBERT JOHNSON, SUICIDE, SHIT S.A., AVENGERS, ROLLING STONES, MINUTEMEN and more. Forty five minutes of his afternoon shift are captured on this cassette (you can download the audio using the link highlighted below this text) and...fuck man, that dude was an absolute treasure with impeccable taste.

23 January 2023



The first time I went to Europe was for two consecutive tours. almost five months in total. If I could do it over again...more shows in the former Eastern Bloc countries. We played Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, all of which were (and are) very much on the "circuit" for bands touring the EU, but further off that circuit there were ferocious scenes. Young scenes. Passionate scenes. Wild and dangerous shows. I don't mean to romanticize the "other" or to make something seem exotic just because it's far removed from my reality, but there's a wild difference between an organized matinee gig in Groningen (which was awesome) and an illegal gig promoted by word of mouth and held in defiance of local cops and nazis. It's just a different experience altogether, and I think the intensity of the latter translated into the recordings of bands from the era. Enter SCUM OUT - early century dual vocal anarcho/activist fastcore/crust from Minsk, Belarus. I think they were finished by 2003 so I wouldn't have seen them anyway, but one of the vocalists went on to JIHEART and the CD that Refuse put out in the mid '00s is (still) a killer...I digress. 

22 January 2023

A couple of years ago a coworker said he was going to throw out a bunch of records a friend had left at his house - I said I'd take them just in case because, well..it's probably all crap but you just never know, and I'm happy to chuck it all after a little dig if it is, in fact, garbage. A small crate of Jamaican press reggae and dancehall 45s later my record shelves were a little more rounded and my coworker netted a few bucks even though most of it was, in fact, garbage. A couple of weeks ago a different coworker said he was going to purge a bunch of cassettes - I said I'd take them just in case because, well...it's probably all crap but you just never know, and I'm happy to chuck it all after a little dig if it is, in fact, garbage. Let the 2005 demo from NØ be the first (of many) reasons why you should always ask your friends (and coworkers) to let you dig through their tapes before they head to the garbage (or the thrift store). 

21 January 2023



The best tapes are the ones that you pop in and instantly feel transported to a different place and/or time, which is exactly what happened when I cranked the Basement Demo for the first time in ages. Lynwood circa 2010 or so, I was either down with CONDENADA or N//N and POLISKITZO delivered their set through a hallucinogenic haze so thick that I felt like I was tripping too. And for just under seven minutes this morning I was back there, feeling wide eyed and out of place while an actual moment surrounded me. It was cool. You can't go back, but you can hit play and close your eyes.  

20 January 2023



Pretty much everything that rules about tape comps is right here. No two artists sound the same - it flows between dark post punk, jerky angular freak outs, fist bashing hardcore punk and synth driven dancefloor bangers - and every track is an absolute killer. Every. Single. Track. It's cold and dark (I mean, it is German), and I was only familiar with one of the bands on Achtung ADK before I popped the fukkr in. Now I have a few favorites...because tape comps rule. 

- Also my first introduction to the Billo tape label, with which I am not low-key obsessed. -

19 January 2023



Every time I check in on the folks at Wet Cassettes it seems like there's something new and disgusting waiting for me. You know what I like? New and disgusting things. Unbound pairs two exceptionally raw black metal acts, fans of fidelity and/or professional sonic presentation will want to look elsewhere while the rest of us revel in the filth. BOBAK (whose The First Key tape pushed the boundaries of lo-fi USBM) offer three doses of lumbering fury - a collection of dissonant riffs trying to not stumble over manically flailing drums. Two more traditional black metal blasts from DEADYELLOW on the flip - still raw but polished by comparison. "Aporia" is a 6+ minute dirge in the classic warmarch tradition and is worth the entire cassette on its own...but you should already be covered in evil before you even get to it. 

18 January 2023


From a kid who started the century in SHARP KNIFE and QUEST FOR QUINTANA ROO and then moved into the new decade with YI before hooking up with the short lived Tony Molina related CAGED ANIMAL and MOZART (a stint in COLD BEAT too I think?). Busy bloke, to be sure, but the last several years appear to have been consumed by MAGNETIZER, and I dig listening to the sounds branch out as that grown ass kid keeps feeling around in a self made world of bleeps and bloops. I started with Post-Body in 2016 and I keep poking around periodically to see what (if anything) is new and when I heard Town Morpheus it just...stuck. Primitive synths and would-be soundtrack schemes, treat this as a sonic montage that will float you from one realm of your day to the next until the scene fades....with no dialogue. Still hanging onto my SHARP KNIFE record though...those kids were special. 

17 January 2023



I posted this tape (well, a different version of this tape) a decade ago, but that link is long dead and the whole thing deserves a revisit. DEPRESSOR dominated the shadows of Bay Area sludge/crust in the late '90s, you'd hear about them in passing or in whispers (or not at all) and their shows were few and far between. But the tapes kept coming (the perks of an operation primarily driven by one force), from this early industrial-tinged monstrosity to the metallic crust monolith they would become later in the decade. I don't think I saw them more than once (Mission Records, of course), but these recordings...almost 30 years old and (still) devastating. 

16 January 2023



"Steady Hands" kicks in and I feel like I just discovered some unknown Chiswick nugget. 
But it's not London '78...it's Tucson '22. 
And it's not a rehash...CLASS are students. 
CLASS are students...and "Pills On A Dish" gets straight fukkn As.



15 January 2023


The tape simply reads Decca Demos '78/'79, and rarely have two exterior words done such a lackluster job of describing the awesomeness of the interior. I realize that ADAM + THE ANTS aren't exactly an underground phenomenon, but the early material is next fukkn level. "Bathroom Function" is a saucy churn. "Xerox" hits like HAWKWIND doing a Rough Trade in-store. "Rubber People" should be a KBD burner with that weird ass slightly off time rhythm guitar. "Red Scab" bleeds Bowie whle "Friends" drips Dury. Way ahead of their time and/or on an entirely different plane - as much as the "Strip" video blew me away when I was eleven (it was the first music video I ever saw) this is what alternative rock should have been.... 

14 January 2023



I feel like I encountered COUNTY Z at exactly the wrong time (for me). All I wanted then was faster and louder - and I definitely didn't want violins. In 1996 I would have eaten this up. Today I listen with intent curiosity. But in 2001...? Nah motherfucker, I wanted blistering drums and sonic tonnage...thankfully these sounds were patient and they waited for me to come around. I'd file them alongside KREAMY 'LECTIC SANTA, THE EX and SUBMISSION HOLD for fans of outsider experimentation within the loose confines of DIY punk will be at least intrigued (if not enthralled). I still like sonic tonnage though. 

13 January 2023



Abrasive early century hardcore pumped through a raw black metal filter...the chords, the distant, thundering drums, the piercing walls of guitars. Hell, maybe it's dissonant black metal delivered by punks and drenched in noise and frustration. Never mind the descriptors, HEDGEFUND existed for but a short blip near the start of the last decade, but left a few cassettes in their wake that deserve to not be forgotten by the tastes of time. "Portrait Of A Ruined Country" on repeat. 

12 January 2023



If you try to fake this shit, you'll be spotted (and outed) immediately, but this is the real deal. I'm finding 1996's Politica Industrial harder to describe than I should - the roots are ferocious and unhinged hardcore punk with over the top gruff vocals. But it's more. I think it was the bass break in "Infeliz" that stopped me in my tracks, and after I honed in on that shit I was just done....I used to think that slap bass simply didn't belong in hardcore. I was wrong, and the break into "Vivir En La Calle" seals the deal.  Wildly catchy punk and brutally intense Mexican hardcore at the same time. Not a "this mixed with that" scenario, because B.A.S. are everything at all times. 

11 January 2023



So I'm in Albuquerque, New Mexico a few weeks ago, digging for tapes in this record store. I grab a few I'm stoked about, a couple I'm curious about, and a $2 cassette that looked like it might have some weird religious chants or some shit. As the store owner is adding everything up, he picks up a copy of Results Oriented and says "Some guy brings these tapes in occasionally - plastic bags with little slips of paper inside. You interested?" And I replied, "Interested? Of course I am. Thank you." I settled up and thought as I was leaving "I feel at home here. They know me."

10 January 2023



If you know these pages, then you know I like a nice time warp. Not holding hopelessly to the past, not refusing growth or eschewing the present, but acknowledging the things that make you feel like you felt...then. Which is what ESCAPISM does for me. Chaotic, intense, passionate, erratic sounds that borrow from (and build upon) foundations laid by '90s screamo and early '00s Euro hardcore, Krakow's ESCAPISM use those influences to create a thing that is theirs. Instantly familiar to be sure, like the MOHINDER and ENVY records (that should be) on your shelves, but Equivocation was made for now...not then. 

09 January 2023



I told you yesterday that there was grindcore tomorrow and now that tomorrow is this today and it's time to grind. Relentless and exhausting Dallas grindcore from Trucido...and I fukkn swear you can feel the difference between punks grinding and shitty metal dudes grinding. Fifteen minutes of manic riffing that will make PSUDOKU fans weak, like Japanese hardcore tweaked the to most unintelligible extremes with throat melting vocals...and blast beats. Oh yes, there are blast beats. I crank "Convenience>Humanity." I scrape my jaw off the floor after "Tokyo Grind." And then I blink and "Super Spreader" just ended and I'm just glad that I made it all the way through. I don't even know how people make these sounds, but I'm so very glad that they do. A Collection Of Self-Destruction indeed. 

08 January 2023



If you are of a certain age and grew up in a certain kind of household, then Hee-Haw was an integral part of your youth whether your family listened to country music or not. So I grabbed this tape for a cool quarter last year, thinking the twenty five cents was a good price for a trip down memory lane. Fucking thing is full of gospel and bluegrass standards though, no Grandpa Jones in sight. So ignore the cover art (or be confused like I was) and move right along if you're not interested. "Give Me My Flowers While I'm Living" is a winner and there will be grindcore tomorrow. 

07 January 2023



Would INNUMERABLE FORMS have ever appeared on my radar if not for the connections to DIY punk and hardcore? Unlikely. I also don't give a shit how or why I started listening to the band...I'm just glad that I did. Arguably the finest, purest, fiercest example of doom laden death metal that graces my shelves. Two tracks here, a teaser for the Philosophical Collapse full length that got trapped in a "tour promo for a tour that was booked and then Covid happened and who even knows when the record is going to come out" cycle. No matter, the title track will make you forget that time even exists. 

06 January 2023



Mostly this is a collection of INVAZIJA recordings spanning from their time as ANARCHIJOS INVAZIJA (including tracks from the Protestas and Vogti Veida demos) into the late 1990s when they ditched the 'Anarchijos' in the name and focused on a heavier, almost stoner/crust sound. Vocals are still the focal point, stark shouts that are undeniably "Eastern" and give even the gnarliest riffs a cold, distant feeling. They made the progression by adding new elements to an already distinct sound and without turning away from their punk roots, leaving sonic archaeologists with a trove of tapes and records that feel like they came from another time and another world. I say "mostly" a collection of INVAZIJA recordings, because some nice punk in the past filled up the rest of the tape with Ukrainian and Latvian punk so the Lithuanians wouldn't get lonely. Ukraine's PICISMO taken from 1997/98 demos - discordant and damaged hardcore tonnage that related to, but sounds completely different from their neighbors on the first side. Gruff vocals and churning riffs a la UNSANE but with a propensity for tearing loose in a DBeat fury. Yet another example of what can happen when bands develop their sound organically (hint: it's almost always better). Then three more bonus cuts from Latvia's KURU KSIETRA fill up the end of the tape; rapid fire proto-fastcore delivered with adolescent honesty. More compilations, more collections, more underground and under-appreciated DIY hardcore punk. Please and thank you.