30 April 2024



File Under: Things I'm Not Trying To Describe. MUCH BAND are equal parts free form jazz and jam band and hippie prog and indie/alt and....look, punk: MUCH BAND sound like whatthefuckever they want to sound like, and if you can't at least appreciate that then you are on the wrong fucking team. It's not as if you need to like it, but you must recognize it. 

29 April 2024



People and pundits have used the word blistering to describe hardcore punk recordings for as long as there have been people and pundits and hardcore punk recordings. One listen to ACAUSTIX and you will realize that all of those people and all of those pundits were premature....this is blistering. Relentless clenched fist punishment with a touch of Swede influence and infectious swing that the Texans seem to know how to inject better than just about anyone else. Howling '90s crust vocals remind you that you're listening to something different, especially on "Die Here Now," the catchiest (and slowest) number on the tape. This thing is just......it's literally swoon-worthy punk. It's what I want. It's what I need. Motherfukkrs at RoachLeg did us all a favor.

28 April 2024



Gonna pretend I leaned a lesson and use fewer words today. 
These sounds are what you make of them. 


27 April 2024



This music hasn't been acceptable in more than thirty years....which is exactly why this music is timeless. Rough, discordant almost indie almost grunge almost college alt - like BREEDERS and NOMEANSNO and '90s Midwest basement emo all high and riffing off of each other. It shouldn't work, but the execution is so damn good and when "Bitter Parts" drunkenly weaves into the mix you won't want anything more than more PLUNGER in your life. 

26 April 2024



This is the shit, okay? Like...this is literally what it's all about. You have the people you love and the people you you hate and the choices you choose and the decisions you make...and you have collections of essential hardcore punk music made by people you don't know. Those collections somehow help you navigate all of the other shit - it doesn't make any sense, but that's literally what it's all about. Not sure who first came to this realization (hint: it wasn't me), but that shit resonates. I'm not going to blow a lot of words talking about this tape - it fukkn rules from start to finish and you should listen to this shit and study this shit. I will spend a few words mentioning the essential (QUOD MASSACRE, R.I.P., SUBTERRANEAN KIDS, WRETCHED) and the necessary (RADIKAL HC, TRANSGRESSOR, DEBAUCHERY, L'ODI SOCIAL and basically everything else on the damn tape), and I will once again mention how crucial mix tapes are. How crucial mix tapes have been. How crucial mix tapes will always be. The first version was probably from the late '80s, then the Social Napalm kids reissued it in the 2000s - which means the reissue is basically as old now as the original was when it was reissued. That shit is a trip...and this is the shit. Okay?

25 April 2024



The Wet Cassettes juggernaut is unstoppable. I diverted my eyes for what seems like just a few months and apparently I am more than thirty releases behind. Instead of beating myself up over missing out, I have been listening to the self titled ORAL HEX tape repeatedly over the last few days. Techno-tinged sex noise created by unknown animals, this release from 2021 is both a diversion from the noisy chaos the label used to grab my attention and a perfect addition to it....because there's nothing like something that doesn't sound like anything you've ever heard. Now...I have some catching up to do.

24 April 2024

Гражданская Оборона


Look, I'm not going to pretend to be an expert and I'm not going to regurgitate data from wikipedia. Legendary things are hard to write about, and have no interest in pretending that I have any actual or learned knowledge that can bring you closer to Гражданская оборона. They were formed in Omsk (that's southern Siberia) in the early '80s and are a thing of legend, but I only know this because I looked. What I definitely know, however, is that this tape changed me. This collection of Hits From Tapes/Records made me hungry. Undefinable and indescribably punk of the  highest order - primitive and intense, dark and determined. There are almost fifty tracks on this tape, and I could listen on repeat for fucking days and still keep finding new bits to wonder over. Punk, hardcore, reggae, raw drum machine punk....this is just the sound of being against and you can feel it as much as you can hear it. Гражданская оборона (CIVIL DEFENSE) are truly special, and even the uninitiated (read: me) can recognize this instantly. Even two hours in, I know I have only scratched the surface - and that in itself is important. 

23 April 2024



HIEROGLYPHIC BEING presented a solid ninety minutes of deranged acid house damage to start Reel Torque's series of focused mixes that has been kicking for over a decade. A dark and debaucherous journey through new beat, funk and industrial-tinged EDM that would have sucked me into the series from the start had I only been focused in that direction. As it is, the rest of the 30+ tapes in the series appear pretty hard to come by, but I'm in the market if anyone's holding. 

22 April 2024



So you're shithoused on a Tuesday morning around 3am, stuck at some random house with a bunch of fools you don't really know, but they've got the drugs and you've got to work in a few hours so sleep is pointless anyway....fuck it, right? Someone pops in the 2008 HIGHLIFE Greatest Hits Demo 2008 tape and you're like "fukk yeah - I got this" and then the boom box fries the damn tape and it warbles to a stop. You rewind and fast forward to try to tease the machine into working again. Fail. Take the tape out and thwack it against your head a few times and still nothing. Shit. Maybe it's the tape, maybe the player....hell, maybe you're just wasted. So you go bum some drugs off some kids you don't know (you're already a decade older than they are so it's not like you're worried about coming off weird - that ship has sailed hours ago) and you try to get yourself psyched up for acting normal when you roll into work wearing yesterday's clothes. Damn tape still won't work and you're trying to fukkn rage for a minute before you bail though, so that sucks because you were digging HIGHLIGE while you were getting high. Casually you make your way towards the door, lift the tape on your way out (they won't even know) and hit the road (read: sidewalk). Work sucks, because of course it does. You don't even stick out though, because humanity is fukkn zombies anyway and your boss is doing lines and trying to cook the books to steal enough money for a nose job so he wouldn't care about your state even if he were paying attention. But at the end of your shift you still got that tape in your pocket, so you bum some drugs off nose job boss before you clock out and you head home to give it a blast. The deck at that party kinda wrecked the first couple of songs, but the blasts and that piercing guitar are all you need to remind you what really matters (hint: it's nothing), and by the time you get to "Brainfried" you couldn't give a fukk because you feel seen. You text a buddy and ask if he's trying to rage tonight. He says "sure, I'll be right over - some kid I skate with is having a party....they're probably barely old enough to drink but I know they'll have drugs." "Cool," you reply, "let's grab some beers on the way."

21 April 2024



A killer dose of ripping Texas punk to wrap up your week. I remember when I first heard of THE MEATMEN and I thought they sounded so cool and "edgy" (I was a kid) - well...when I heard them I thought they were boring and sucky. If THE MEATMEN had sounded like fucking TRASH MAGZ then I would have been the most stoked teenager in all of Oklahoma...instead I'm a regular-level stoked middle aged dude in California who has to wake up at 5am tomorrow to go to work and is really digging on this shit. Not sure what's up with the fucking organ, and honestly I don't care. 

20 April 2024



What if Mark E. Smith lived in Missouri in The New Century? What if he listened to GAG and squirmy shit like that? And what if no one wanted to play music with Mark E. Smith and he just decided to make all of the music hisownself? What do you think that might sound like.....?

19 April 2024



Another installment in the killer international DIY punk mix tape series from the punks at Bulgaria's Kontingent Records. It was a Covid-era "let's do something because we aren't doing anything" idea that grew wings and left us with a slew of tapes that are essential snapshots of early '20s DIY punk and hardcore. The third installment features G.A.Z.E. (the best track on the tape, methinks), KOMBAT SPORTS, LHUMA, E EMASCULATA, RADIUM GIRLS, DENY, CLUITERATI, PILLARS and several more. Not gonna try to link all of them or describe them, but if you like hardcore punk then you like this fukkn tape. You don't like hardcore punk? Listen to LASSO, you dipshit. Geez.

18 April 2024



I could make comparisons (it's tempting) but they are too easy (and too obvious) so I'm just gonna revel in how intent (intense) and urgent this Melbourne trio sound more than a decade after they came and went. The epitome of punk realized by three femme maniacs who deliver maximum intensity even (pr especially?) on the slow plodding numbers like "Cane Toads" and "Rocks In My Fists" before unleashing unbridled ramshackle mania on basically every other track on the tape. "Period Pain" and "Blood Duster Suxxx" are the highlights, but everything here is delivered in ultimate lo-fi glory...they way it should be. This recording and a live set might be all we ever get, so I suggest taking the time to really let this shit sink in. 

17 April 2024



Nothing sounds like KIVIRANTA. No one sounds like KIVIRANTA. Hell, even KIVIRANTA doesn't sound like KIVIRANTA, because they clearly do what the fuck ever they want. I shared 2018's Dolce Vita a few years ago and yammered about the modern-indie-by-way-of-primitive-post-punk vibes and now I'm trying to wrap my head around this masterpiece from 2020. Antipsykootti is a master class in confidence - the was KIVIRANTA execute dark and minimal synths and then casually morph into tracks that land somewhere between ESPLENDOR GEOMÉTRICO and Russian rap after flirting with techno for a couple of tracks. "Kipa Ja Nautinto" is the star, a hard, drum machine driven dance floor punk smasher that stares straight in the face of most of the more subdued material on Antipsykootti, but it makes the whole release feel more cohesive at the same time....until the title track closes things down and reminds you that KIVIRANTA doesn not, in fact, sound like KIVIRANTA. 

16 April 2024



For readers who do not want to have a good day, GREENLING and JUNKYARD BURIAL alternate tracks, creating a north--south noise loop for the duration of the Ebb & Flow. Dizzying and disorienting tracks from the GREENLING and completely maxed out distortion worship from JUNKYARD BURIAL...there's nothing about this release that approaches calm or normal. Just maximum punishment. 

15 April 2024



Do you remember when this happened? The noisy, chaotic shit was already a thing and other bands had started pushing the envelope to be sure but NERVESKADE was different. And after NERVESKADE...? Everything was different. 

14 April 2024



Appropriately dreary desert psych from Leeds. Serious '90s REV + SPIRITUALIZED + LIPS vibes, even more so than on their debut in 2020 (Psychedelic Unknowns was released the following year), and the way SELF-IMMOLATION MUSIC deftly annihilate the simplest riffs is.....something special. There's something truly special about a band who sets their sights on a goal and then surpasses it, and that when these chaps (continue to) do. 

13 April 2024



There's no way that a description using words can do TROPICAL DRIPPS justice. Hell, if I described them to myself I probably wouldn't even be interested - but this is why we listen. Simple and stripped down Canadian indie with a little sprinkle of lo-fi glam and....and some surf guitars? Yeah, I know. It doesn't make much sense but oh my stars does it work. "Sludge City" should be (or should have been) a smash hit somewhere, especially with the chorus that deftly lands the 95 second song, and then the close out a three song cassingle with a surf instrumental? Like it was a whole ass record? I can't explain it folks, I'm just here to speak truth and tyhe truth is that I love these TROPICAL DRIPPS. 

and bonus points for taping an alternate cover onto the outside of the case...

12 April 2024


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



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



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. 



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



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



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



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



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



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


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.