31 March 2024



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



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



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. 

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



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


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



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



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


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


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



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?


21 March 2024



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 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



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



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



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



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.

15 March 2024



Not sure there's an appropriate way to write words about this comp without just blurting "Look at the bands, dummy" but I'm gonna try. A Euro boot from the early '90s (when these tracks were practically contemporary but already legendary), Make War Not Love compiles a handful of Japan's most legendary first wave hardcores in one place. It's been re-booted several times by and for generations of new fans - COMES, GISM, KURO, CRIME sharing space with lesser knowns HEADLESS and ANTISEPTIC, this is as close to essential Japanese hardcore as you can get without any GAUZE tracks. 

14 March 2024



To create. To be driven to create. To feel compelled to document....everything. 
To see the importance of creating sound and capturing sound.
CRAZY DOBERMAN are undefinable.
Experimentation and sonic freedom, folks...that's what it's all about. 

13 March 2024



More Bay Area...more 2010s...more off kilter quasi angular urgent punk dirges - listen to this shit and picture yourself in a '90s basement and it all fukkn makes sense. I only saw them once (maybe OPT//OUT played with them?) and it was not the feeling i get from listening to this tape with today's ears. With today's heart. Listen to the walking bass on "Danny's Song" and check the constantly lurching drums...then listen to the vocals that just drip with rock 'n roll attitude filtered through millennial disgust. You give me one word for BUTANNA? Piercing. Would love to go back and see that set at Thee Knockout again...but life doesn't work like that. 


12 March 2024



The visitors who have paid attention might remember THE MANUAL AND THE MACHINE, though I realize that it has been a solid decade since I have posted any of their material here. I can't describe the sounds except to say that this is what I imagine punk sounded like when there weren't any rules - actual outsider music. A mix of desert dirge, urban desolation and modern misanthropy, Criminal Justice / Population Bottleneck lands like a collction of fervent sounds that should have been (but never were). I Never saw them in the flesh....but I wish that I had. Think Ecstatic Peace, GRINDERMAN, Bargeld....sonic damage and complete intent. Think: Success.  

11 March 2024



I swear I barely had time to blink before Alex and Bruno from THESE BASTARDS were cooking again. V.V.M. hit the ground running (fast) with six minutes of start/stop mania driven by Bruno's fuzzed out rumble and Alex's unmistakably outsider riffs (and delivery). Check their recent show in Sacramento and you'll understand why I am eager to see these maniacs in the flesh....

10 March 2024



From the SOLLID DECLINE split you knew that Austria's RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA were the real deal, but I went back and blasted that shit after IRA dropped a couple of years ago and...I swear it's even better than I remember. And this record...? These Austrians didn't just maintain over time, they have gotten better (and better) - this is essential hardcore punk, and they deliver with an energy rarely equalled. An energy that's simply hard to find in a lot of the squirmy post-mysterious guy stomps of the modern era. I like those stomps, but this record (presented here in cassette for, naturally) just fukkn rages. And sometimes that's actually what I need. I need to rage, because I have a lot of it. 

09 March 2024



The beauty in the first (?) NEGATIVE GEMINI release is that it's distant and....not just untouchable, but unattainable. Because it's not for you. These four songs sound wonderful this morning, there are moments that might even make you feel good (at least in a moment) and these sounds are there for you to appreciate. But you can never have them - and you can feel that distance when you listen. I could discuss the ominous dance floor sensuality of "Ghost World" and the repetitive "All I Ever Wanted Was To Feel Again..." plea that swims through the beats, but those beats have been analyzed since they appeared on Forget Your Future in 2013 (with versions of the other three songs contained here) so I'll just let you...listen. And maybe that line in “Ghost World” is actually “All I Ever Wanted Was To Feel OK” or maybe it’s both. It sounds wonderful, even if you are not. 

08 March 2024



The folks from Noise Addiction (and Noise Addiction II) put this together in 1987 - just some kids from Pennsylvania trading punk tapes and making a zine who decided to make a compilation to accompany their ninth issue. But Pass The Elixer is different...because it's a flawless document of a (or at least their) time and place. DISORDER mingling with QUOD MASSACRE and MISANTHROPIC CHARITY? Lehigh Valley's FOLLOW FASHION MONKEYS, ANTHROPHOBIA and BENTONITES sharing space with MISANTHROPIC CHARITY and PRESIDENT FETCH from Copenhagen and P.K.G. from Torrance, California. Some of my favorite QUOD MASSACRE tracks, a few rippers from PATARENI...you get the idea. This is what it was all about, and these kids did it right. 

07 March 2024



Another dose of mid-teens USHC that slipped by me in the moment...amazing what you miss out on when you're focused on not falling the fuck apart. Philadelphia 2016, nice and squirmy the way the kids liked it back then, but it's the way that ENAMEL surge forward that really grabs me. It's as if they settle into a tempo and then...the drummer holds them back just enough to feel them try to catch up when he kicks it back up. The bands are completely different, but it's the same way I sometimes feel about Markley's drumming in ECONOCHRIST - a rock steady four on the floor with a looseness around the pace instead of within it. Most of you are going to notice the vocals, and that's okay because they are in your face and full of fire. Some of you are going to pay attention to the guitars instead and that's okay too because they are a swarming duo of no bullshit North American hardcore riffs and they are exactly what I need today. But I'm still gonna hone in on that rhythm section because they're giving me pause, they're making me think and they're making me listen. I guess I should have paid more attention in those twenty teens.

06 March 2024



On the 1994 MULTIPLE CHOICE and the 1995 FUCKFACE tours (same band, different drummers, different band names - it made sense at the time) we listened to basically the same tapes over and over. I'm sure there were others, but the three that I remember are (in order): 
1. A homemade mix that with a full ECONOCHRIST album and BORN AGAINST's Nine Patriotic Hymns
2. A promo copy of BUZZOV•EN's Sore
3. MILK CULT's 1992 opus Love God
I'm sure there were other tapes, but these are the ones that will stick with me forever. I can talk to you about MILK CULT from a position of ignorance if you prefer, but basically it was a side project from two of the STEEL POLE BATHTUB dudes heavy on beats and samples. And I still love this shit - not (just) because it's good (and it's really good), but because it reminds me of a then. Reminds me of a time when sometimes we did stupid shit and didn't even know it was stupid, and sometimes we did stupid shit because we fucking did what the fuck we wanted to do. Dip into MILK CULT if you like, and take a trip back into (a different) time with me. It's nice there. There are jerks and assholes and bad people still - but they are more abstract and distant. They are other (even though we still hate them), but they just don't fucking matter, you dig? 

05 March 2024



Dreary and hopeful jangle pop for a day when you might need something to calm you down. LIP READERS sound like they have been transported from a different time and place to remind you to have a few a deep breaths, maybe a puff of this reefer and just take it easy on yourself. It's cool. 

I was not familiar with Refry Records before I stumbled across this tape. 
Late once again, I guess. 

04 March 2024



In their promotional blurb, Szégyen Kazetták make the distinction between intentional noise and weaponized noise....ÇAYÎR are both. I could just say something like 'completely damaged new century hardcore punk from Budapest' and I would be accurate, but what this outfit does on their debut recording is something different within those admittedly limited boundaries. From full blown noise assaults to outsider repetition masked in distortion, all fronted (or barked at) by gruff desperation. Feeling hopeless today? Again? Listen to "What Will You Concent" on repeat please....it will help. 

03 March 2024



You know the feeling you get when you hear something for the first time and you just know that you've heard it before? That's UCHITEL TRUDA in a nutshell...gruff, catchy and timeless Moscow street punk that sounds like a band you've listened to a thousand times. But you haven't...but you will. You know?