12 April 2024

PUNK AND HARDCORE MIX TAPE

Sometimes you just need to pop it in and crank it up, and sometimes I'm here to help. Here's an absolute banger from start to finish, packed with some straight up classics. SHATTERED FAITH and the only US BOMBS recording that matters mingle with the HITLER SS split with TAMPX and a few choice cuts from PERMANENT GREEN LIGHT and HUMPERS, all backed with an entire side of VKTMS. Whether you're just getting started or you feel like letting someone else take the wheel, this tape rescued from a would-be throw away box of unmarked cassettes is going to be the soundtrack for your day.

Also I kinda feel like I just wrote the copy for a mix tape infomercial and I wish that had been a thing in the '80s because I for sure would have bought one...probably the whole set. 

11 April 2024

WET SPECIMENS

 



Sometimes I'm (slightly) torn with proper live releases. Like, they should probably go on Escape Is Terminal but really that blog is more for live recordings and not live releases, but also I am more or less the boss around here really I can put whatever I want wherever I want it....so WET SPECIMENS are here (also they are here). Two bleak hardcore slammers and a dark WIRE cover - seven minutes of howling upstate New York mania for your earholes on a Thursday morning. Worth noting that the Johnny Moped set I posted on that other blog earlier this week is a total face melter. 






10 April 2024

BLANK BODIES

 



Folks are gonna be sifting through the under the radar remnants left behind by the mid-teens for years to come. Like beach explorers with metal detectors, confident that if they just keep their eyes open they will uncover a forgotten (or passed over) gem. And herre I am, completing the metaphor while blasting some 2015 Denver hardcore before work on a Wednesday in 2024. BLANK BODIES has a disorienting lower register that makes me queasy and a raw, open throttle assault that is enviable in any era. Five songs in six minutes. Get in, get it down, get out...and never stop searching. 


SATURN AND THE SUN

 



Before I listened to this tape I tripped out on the cover and the title for a while. Something about the title specifically made me think of BASTARD NOISE - an easy through line when you say "skull tones" - and CASIO TONES FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, which honestly makes a lot less sense but you can't always control where your thoughts go, right? But the trip is....this 2015 recording kinda lands like a weird amalgamation of those two disparate entities and I am so totally here for it. Brooding and monotonous electronics, delivered with patience and purposes...as if we didn't need any more harsh realities and/or skull tones in our lives (hint: we do...we all do)




09 April 2024

QUATTRO STAGIONI

 



I'm going to guess that most North American DIY thrashcore/grindcore/fastcore freaks were introduced to this German outfit the same way I was - either the EP on 625 and/or the immaculately packaged split 5" with IRON LUNG. All of the tracks from those records are here rubbing elbows with their demo, a healthy batch of live recordings and a 12" that I never knew existed until this tape landed in my lap. Relentless start/stop mania with face numbing blast beats and throat shredding vocals, not sure what more you could ask for, really. The uninitiated might want to take a deep breath before diving in (57 tracks is a lot of fukkn tracks when you're talking about sixty second blasts), but just let those blast beats wash over you and feel the joy of New Century Euro-Grind fill your old, jaded veins. 


08 April 2024

SLUGGA

 



I'm in Arkansas today, trying to sneak a peak at a mind melting astronomical event. You're at work, cranking some maniacal glue sniffing hardcore punk squirms from deep in the heart of Georgia. The way I see it, we're both winning. 


07 April 2024

MULTA NOX

 



The doors that open when you hear a thing for the first time, when a sound comes to you at the right time and in the right place. You can't explain these doors or the paths that they expose, but you can look beyond and walk down those paths....sometimes it's a sonic journey and sometimes a spiritual one. But the best journeys are both, and the self titled 2016 cassette from MULTA NOX is absolutely both. Treat this recording like a half hour meditation instead of a sound sculpture or anything approaching "music" and you'll be rewarded. Multa Nox is not easy listening, particularly not when experienced properly. Multa Nox is for deep listening....let the sound wash over you, and bathe yourself in regret and retrospection and hope. And walk through the doors. All of them.






06 April 2024

NERVOUS TICK AND THE ZIPPER LIPS

 



Okay - a little about me. I produce a shocking amount of earwax. I't kinda gross but I'm used to it. I've tried the oils and the candles and the doctors and the drops and every homeopathic thing, but it's just...a lot. So I get my ears professionally flushed every year or two and these wild black plugs come out and without fail the medical person performing the flush gasps or exclaims in some discrete manner and then I walk away feeling like I'm on some alien planet (and/or drugs) because I can hear every footstep and every paper crinkle and it's like this wild world of sound that takes a couple of days to get used to. Why does this matter? Well, I ripped and edited Something's Gotta Bleed last week, and I had my ears flushed this morning and motherfukkr this thing sounded good last week but THIS?! The fuck?! Today is an entirely new listening experience and maybe y'all should all clean yourselves before you listen to this masterpiece. NERVOUS TICK is to Buffalo what SHRINKWRAP KILLERS is to California, you're welcome. 


05 April 2024

VARIOUS DEATHS

 




Disorienting noise. More noise. Six pieces of aural mania from the fine folks at Audible Mastication to grind your earholes to a pulp. GREENLING and GNAWING TEETH have visited these pages previously, and SHRIKE appeared on the Grunge To All comp I shared last summer - these three are joined by ARMENIA (Ecuador), WHITE UNDERWEAR (Australia) and 886VG (Chile). Clocking in at 90 minutes, Various Deaths is a commitment to be sure (unless you foolishly decide to try to make this background music) but full immersion is highly recommended as the line between the two 'tations' (rehabili- and debili-) blurs to the point of meaninglessness. Noise as meditation...I knew there was a third. 




04 April 2024

WRETCHED OF THE EARTH



I can't tell you how hard this tape hit when I listened to it earlier this week. This tape (fukk - this band) is precisely why formulaic mid-'00s political DBeat crust is timeless and essential - the power is real, and this shit will take you back (if you were there). There are riffs, to be sure....but you can hear the desperation and the determination. You can hear the hope, misguided and disillusioned as it may be (or may have been), and you can hear the honesty. You aren't listening for the riffs, even though there are riff for days...you're listening for the hope. 





03 April 2024

02 April 2024

PHOENIX BODIES

 



If it hadn't been for the split with SHIKARI I might have missed PHOENIX BODIES completely...but thankfully I didn't. Even so, I barely scratched the surface, and I'm grateful for the folks at Bullwhip for compiling some of the early essentials in one convenient format (hint: it's a cassette) because this is a shit I (still) need in my life. Kinda can't believe that HIGH ON CRIME never crossed paths with them because this kind of technical screamo/violence is exactly the shit that permeated that era and region (this is where Dave is probably going to tell me that we played with them....such is my life) - chaotic ultra-intensity that channels early century metallic emo but is still close enough to BORN AGAINST to stay honest. As the title suggests, this tape captures the first two years of PHONIX BODIES....a half hour of what I needed, what I missed, what I would have loved. A half hour of what I want. 






01 April 2024

ANOTHER SOCIAL DISEASE

 



Recorded in 2011 like a throwback to 1994 New England political crust, ANOTHER SOCIAL DISEASE are a band I would have loved to have seen in the early '00s when that era was still fresh on my mind. Hell - I would have loved to see them in any era, but I feel like 2002 was probably the sweet spot for these tracks getting under my skin. Churning metal-tinged ferocity with perfect guitar tone/s, and there's something about the way this dude barks that really makes me want to crank some MANKIND? this morning. Then again...isn't there a part of me that wants to crank some MANKIND? every morning? We got this tape (likely available in your local bargain bin in 12" vinyl format) and a two song slammer a few years later and then....poof. That's all, so appreciate what you've got. 


31 March 2024

TRENCHES

 



Look, you'd be forgiven if you missed TRENCHES. Their run was a scant couple of years in an early 'teens era that was packed with notable heavyweights and scene darlings. They popped up in Oakland around 2013 and maybe only ventured out of the Bay a couple of times. Their pedigree made people perk up (REPLICA, HUNTING PARTY, NO BABIES) and with good reason, but fukk there were so many fukkn popping up and popping in and popping out and just poppin' that it was easy to skip one unintentionally here and there. But this is why we immortalize things, and this is why we revisit. TRENCHES left the world with just two demonstration cassettes that demonstrate what they could have done had they stayed the course or just simply stayed around. Six songs in just under five minutes here (plus another four released the year before)....ten songs is all you need to remember or to make you wish you had paid better attention. Or to make you wish you had been there. 


30 March 2024

PRESENT ELECTRIC

 



Brilliant Bay Area dream pop from the hand of Kevin Linn of SAD EYED BEATNIKS. The reference is important, as PRESENT ELECTRIC kinda lands like a deconstructed version of Kevin's primary project. Psychedelic missives and carefully crafted songs that remind me of ROGER MANNING and GLUE (the Oklahoma GLUE...the only GLUE that matters), The Continuous Monument almost sounds like interlude-as-album. Another should-be smash hit from the folks at Paisley Shirt....I have yet to be disappointed. 


29 March 2024

DECEMBER 1984

 



Thirty-nine years and eight months ago, some motherfucker was absolutely owning the DJ booth at KALX and I'm eternally grateful to Pat for documenting and holding onto the set. You know the deal by now - some punk, some schmatlz, some rock 'n roll, some blues. A time warp. A snapshot. A window into another past. A piece of another life. 

KALX - DECEMBER 1984
•••
For those interested, there are limited volumes of the curated Copy Wright series available from my little cassette label Escape Cassettes. Volumes 15 & 16 are currently in the works.  



28 March 2024

HAROLD TURGIS

 



There are few joys as pure as the feeling of hearing a new and wonderful thing for the first time. Not knowing what you're going to get or what you're about to experience and just letting the sound wash over you. Sometimes it energizes, sometimes it soothes - the best ones do both of course. It's even better when there's a bit of mystery beyond the average unknown, when you listen for the first time without expectation or context, and this was the case when I opened a box from London a couple of months ago. I knew it was from a fellow from HYGIENE and I like the HYGIENE records I have, but all the note said was that these were "...three tapes I released." HAROLD TURGIS went on first and I couldn't have been more engrossed - gloriously minimal and painfully deliberate electronics that border on ambient but are too consistently interesting to fade into the background. If the entire tape were the nine plus minute "Bewitched" with it's stilted fade out ending? I would have been chuffed. Instead The Sentinels is a solid half hour (plus) of glorious modern adaptations of primitive electronic sound. It's mesmerizing and it's beautiful and "Zeethra" (which tapes up the entire second side) will make you weep if you listen deeply. And now my only complaint is that I'm going to listen to Satellite (the other HAROLD TURGIS tape in that box) with expectations. Very high expectations. 



27 March 2024

KILLJOYS

Same four tunes were released as a Studio Demos 18/10/77 EP around the turn of the century, so maybe this is the same recording but my tape is labeled Peel Session 1977 so I'm gonna guess that John Peel's BBC studio was the studio in question (or my tape was mislabeled by some drunk motherfucker slinging recordings in the mail in the '90s). Absolute screamers from KILLJOYS - four on the floor English pub punk that is going to be kicking my ass all day. Bassist went on to GIRLSCHOOL and the singer was in DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS, so that's pretty cool. 

26 March 2024

ADAM VOID

 



Everything yesterday's post was not, today's post is. Every door opened by yesterday's post remains closed today, as ADAM VOID takes your hand and guides you to a completely different place. It's weird here, slightly off in a myriad of indescribable manners...but it's nice here. Simple. Things are okay here even when they are hard, you know? Simple sounds, casually constructed and presented without pretense because things aren't really that important. We aren't really that important either, and it's good to be reminded how rudimentary everything can be. We are just vessels, and these are just sounds created by other vessels...other folks who seem to be having a pretty good time just being okay. Not bad, ADAM VOID, not bad at all.







25 March 2024

POTEMKIN

 

You ever wake up feeling....ugly? I'm not talking about "not feeling yourself" ugly, I'm thinking something more like "willing to destroy yourself" ugly. You refuse to look in the mirror - not because you're scared of what you might see, but because you know what's going to be staring at you. And it's disgusting. You ever wake up feeling....hopeless? I'm not talking about "should have slept in today" hopeless, I'm thinking something more like "hopeless" hopeless. You refuse to see the light - not because you're stubborn, but because you know it's not there. You ever wish those feelings had a soundtrack? You ever wish those days had a soundtrack? Enter: POTEMKIN. Terrifyingly misanthropic sludge that understands your desperation and sees you for the ugly piece of shit you know you are. And sometimes...it feels good to feel seen. 


24 March 2024

GUN SHY



Wonderfully sweet shoegaze / indie-pop with a deadly '90s guitar crunch and hard driving drums that sound borrowed from a local hardcore outfit (ahem....they kinda were). If I had heard this in 1991 I would have lost my shit...Connecticut's GUN SHY are the intersection of college alt and grunge and shoegaze before the guitar effects took over, and that's where I live before a while before DIY punk completely took over. Seems this 2017 blast was everything, but maybe fifty copies of one self titled cassette is all they needed to say. So, "Life Of A Useless Man" it is, I suppose.

 


23 March 2024

LAVENDER

Gloriously minimal proto-space age techno from an SF artist who quietly dropped three quiet tapes in the mid-teens that left me...wanting. Early VOLTAIRE vibes mingling with modern interpretations of primitive house...LAVENDER are (were) a journey inward in the best possible way. 


22 March 2024

SAVAGEHEADS

 



Y'all remember this shit, right? Hardcore punks have flirted with street punk and Oi! since forever, and there have surely been some notable wave and notable successes, but ......this fukkn SAVAGEHEADS demo cleaned house when it dropped. Game changer. "Prisoner Of The CIA" sounds like fukkn BAD BRAINS and LA FRACTION at the same time - how does that even happen?

SAVAGEHEADS


21 March 2024

GREENLING

 



An extremely dark adaptation of the harsh noise model, one that comes off more like an intentional beating that sensory overload. Ten tracks culled from various Covid-era recordings on one side with a forty-five minute audio collision using the all of sounds from the one side taking up residence on the other side. Brutal fuckery to destroy the next ninety minutes of your day. 



20 March 2024

FEMALE SNAKE

 



FEMALE SNAKE was a short and fierce smash in the face when they came (and went) in 2008. Two tapes and a split EP (with songs from the other tape), maybe ten minutes of music all in....and they didn't fuck around. Savagely misanthropic power violence with all of the requisite stop/start/blast, a bass rumble to be feared and vocals that land like repeated stabs. Song titles read like chapters in a damaged love story...or perhaps an Incel Manifesto. No lyrics, so draw your own conclusion....this music isn't supposed to be pretty. 



19 March 2024

KUSF

 



The hand written label should tell you all you need to know....except that this is a tape of a KUSF broadcast. An hour-long anti-cop, reggae heavy snapshot of life in the Bay Area captured just before the end of 1984. Pretty sure that was the year the shit was supposed to end...but it didn't. Shit is still spinning.


18 March 2024

SUNSHINE WARD

 



I dunno - maybe I should still post this shit on the Live Blog (because it's live) but....this shit needs to be blasted. Twenty plus minutes of sweaty, studded, raw Boston hardcore released for their summer tour in 2016. Readers looking for pretty things should just come back later, because SUNSHINE WARD are anything but. 


 

17 March 2024

UTAH JAZZ

 



I posted In Retrograde a little over a years ago, and it was likely the introduction to UTAH JAZZ for many folks. For those folks - here's more freaked out acid punk from Buffalo. For the readers who missed that post - here's some freaked out acid punk from Buffalo. Everyone wins today. 




16 March 2024

PESADILLA DISTOPIKA

 



You know when you hear something that sounds so punk that you kinda feel more punk just by listening to it? ELECTRIC CHAIR fits that bill currently, but that's how this PESADILLA DISTOPIKA demo hit me when I first heard it ten years ago. And this morning? I straight up feel guilty for taking a shower before I cranked this motherfukkr - it's that punk. Even the cover and insert are cut all fucked up and jagged. Maximum energy open throttle hardcore punk with no surprises....these kids did it right, and I am grateful.