Friday, December 28, 2007

The Last-She Don't Know Why I'm Here 7" Download

Here's a rare case where I'm nearly at a total loss for words as far as what to say about this record. The Last were an LA band who were a part of the whole punk thing back in the late 70s, but were more influenced by the Beach Boys and the Beatles than the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. Their LP, LA Explosion is a great melodic record, that features much less exciting versions of both of these songs. They could really nail some harmonies that were pretty atypical in early punk.

The version of "She Don't Know Why I'm Here" on this 7" is spectacular. One of the true gems that proves why the late 70s in LA are extremely under-rated in mainstream rock press. I always assumed it was recorded live, but the sleeve, as you can see, doesn't give any indication how it was actually done, but does credit a producer. The B side is also great, but not nearly as good.

She Don't Know Why I'm Here
Bombing of London

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Object!-Pink 7" Download (aka S/T bka Everyone Is Welcome

I have a long personal history with I Object! (with an exclamation point like Against Me!, but not as pretentious) that's too long to explain here as this post will probably be too long as it is(and honestly, I just don't have the energy for it after the holidays).

This 7" was sold as a pre-order on their first winter tour a few years ago. When you bought it, they gave you a CD of all the songs with a couple extra tracks, and you wrote down your address for them to send you a copy when it came out. When they played Birmingham that tour, they took a wrong turn on the interstate and ended up in Montgomery, about an hour South of the city. They finally made it into town and to the right place for the show, set up in about 2 minutes, and played something like 12 songs. I timed them, and they played for 9 minutes. The band they were on tour with (John Wayne's Severed Head) weren't near as good, and I don't know if they went on to do anything else.

This 7" is still the best thing the band has ever released. There was a good split with a Michigan band called Forever Youth, and one more 7" called America Today that came out on a German label, I think. Their stuff after that wasn't ever as interesting to, even though I still own it all. It's heavier and a little slower, it just didn't suck me in like this record. Live, this band is still one of the best bands you will ever go see. They also hold the distinction of being one of the first US bands to actively import records by hardcore bands from third world countries, and then try and tour those countries (I've read account by people in Eastern Europe who think of I Object! the same way a lot of American think of Black Flag). I hate to think of all the music I would have missed out on had I not gotten to know these guys and had the advantage of their activism towards a global punk movement.

I believe there were 1,000 of these pressed. 500 on this version, marbled red with a silk screened b side, and 500 on orange. The 7" is long out of print, but is compiled on The First Two Years CD, with the aforementioned Forever Youth 7" and extra demo tracks from the tour sampler, as well as other compilation tracks and demos. And yes, there are 8 songs on this record, on ONE SIDE.

Download Pink 7"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Weekend In Shows

As rarely as I'm able make it out to shows, it's even more rare that I'm able to see two in one weekend, so this weekend has ended up being pretty great for me. Friday afternoon I had a party at work with an open bar, so after downing way too many beers and meeting up with my wife to eat/sober up for a little while, I drove downtown for Macabre's Holiday of Horrors show. Apparently it's an annual event in Chicago that I didn't hear anything about last year, but puts me in a good place because I know I have something to look forward to next year as well.

All the bands were local, and the first band, the only one I'd never heard, was a sort of crusty metallic hardcore band from the Northside called Rager. Certain things about them made me judge them prematurely (firstly, I hate their name, and I always judge bands when I don't like their name), and I didn't think I'd like it, but they tore through a relentless set of fast, thrashy, heavy hardcore that didn't give you a lot of time to judge them after they started. There aren't very many locals I hear from Chicago that I get excited about, but I definitely want to keep my eyes on these guys. They nailed all their tempo changes, had split vocals that were both hectic and angry, and were punk enough to hang with the hardcore crowd, but definitely heavy enough to fit the metal atmosphere at the show.

HeWhoCorrupts played after Rager. I'd been looking forward to finally getting a chance to see them for a while, and they completely blew my expectations out the door. When you listen to a band a lot, but don't ever see pictures of them or anything, you build up this image of what they'd be like playing live, so I had this perfect image in my head of what they were going to be like, and they weren't it at all. First off, I guess I never realized how many people were in that band (6), and I also didn't think about exactly how far they'd bring out their corporate asshole stage personas. The singer opened their set with a story patting himself on the back with a recent three-way before they blasted into one of the most chaotic sets I've seen a long time. It was so refreshing. They played most of the songs I wanted to hear, and played them all even more intense than they are on record. Trying to quote the banter between songs would be pointless because I'd never get it right, and the perfect delivery of the speeches are what made it really special.

After HeWhoCorrupts were Dead to Fall. I heard them a few years ago on a Victory Records sampler and let that get in the way of admitting anything good about them. Because Rager reminded me of how quick I am to pass off bands for stupid reasons, I decided it was a good time to give Dead to Fall a second chance. They were tight and had a couple moments of cool dual-axing, but all of their songs dissolved into jock hardcore beatdown shit for kids to spin-kick to. It's obvious they know a lot more chords than just that low-D, but I guess they're doing really well for themselves. I wasn't into it at all, though.

After sort of a long set-up, Macabre finally took the stage. I heard Macabre for the first time when I was a freshman in high school and always loved them, but they were never a band I'd ever thought I'd get to see live, so this was a pretty cool moment for me. They were having a bit of an off night, mostly due to a sound man that must have been drinking the whole night and was getting pretty bad towards the end, but it was still great. There were a few rough moments on the songs I was really familiar with where it was obvious they couldn't hear each other and were trying to keep it all together, but on some of the older songs I don't know so well I couldn't even tell if there were any problems. They set an eerie mood that made you paranoid about getting killed by some psycho at the show, as they went through brief back stories on all their songs (if you aren't familiar with the band, all of their songs are about serial killers) before blasting into the songs. I had to cut out right after their set, so there may have been an encore I missed, but there's always next year and I definitely got my money's worth.

Last night my wife Toni and I went to the Beat Kitchen on the Northside to see the Koffin Kats. They've been a favorite of both of ours for a while now and we hadn't seen them in two years (I believe the last time they played Chicago they played like 15 minutes from our house but it was two days before Toni was due to give birth). I normally don't take any interest in American psychobilly bands because, as a general rule, they're awful. Anybody has to admit, psychobilly is a genre Americans have never done right, and the Europeans have us beat hands down. The Koffins Kats are a little different than most US bands right now because they aren't really trying to be a "psychobilly band". The bassist/main vocalist is a greaser, and the guitarist/secondary vocalist is a punk (they're the only two consistent members, I know they've been through at least three different drummers) and they each bring their own elements to the table along with a good bit classic rock n roll showmanship to arrive at a sound that's close to psychobilly, rather than just trying to cop European psycho bands. In that sense, the Koffin Kats are one the few bands that have managed to break out of the whole "quiff rock" mold and manage to come anywhere close to genius that bands like the Meteors and Demented Are Go created. Their set last night was great, much faster than I remember, and showed no signs of road weariness even though it was the last date of their tour before heading back to Detroit.

We showed up late and missed the first opening band, Johnny Murder and the 25 to Life, which I was disappointed with because I actually like the stuff I've heard by them, which is along the lines on the Guana Batz. We did catch the Massacres set, which I'd really not have because they're one of those bands that I'm convinced no one even likes, they just go see because they're friends and are convinced it's "cool", so those people convince other people it's "cool" to see them, and the cycle goes on until suddenly everyone claims they like this band that, in reality, no one likes at all. You know, the kind of band that sells a ton of t-shirts, but never any CDs.

Rager on MySpace
HeWhoCorrupts on MySpace
Dead to Fall on MySpace
Macabre on MySpace

Johnny Murder and the 25 to Life on MySpace
The Massacres on MySpace
Koffin Kats on MySpace

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Podcast 12/20/07-All American Oi!

I decided to put together an Oi! podcast a couple weeks ago. After pulling a bunch of records for the playlist, I realized 90% of it was American, so I just decided to go with an all American theme. American Oi! bands have always gotten a bad rep, even though most of them, in my opinion, blow away their British counterparts. Sure, there have been tons of horrible US Oi! bands, but there have also been tons of great ones.

There are obvious omissions here. I wasn't thinking about putting together something to educate anyone on the American Oi! scene, I was just putting together some stuff I liked and thought flowed well. The glaring absenses from bands like the Effigies and Iron Cross will be put into a future episode furthering the theme.

I enjoyed sitting down and throwing back a few beers while putting this together. You can hear me getting progressively more buzzed as the show goes on, until I start speaking in questions(?) like a girl from the valley(?). Is that really how I talk when I'm drinking? Someone should have told me sooner so I would've shut up. There is one correction I need to make. In the show, I mention that 86 Mentality borke up earlier this year, and apparantly that is a rumor and they're still together. Also, I might sound like I'm trying to "call out" Sons of Liberty about being racists, which I wasn't. The B side of the single from this Podcast is a cover of "Up on the Roof". I don't see how a band could be racist and cover that. I was just kinda' drunk and it came out wrong. And, thanks to Fred for hooking me up with the Lion's Pride demo their track on here comes from. Anyway, here you are.

Wretched Ones-Dead Man Working
Maddog Surrender-My Youth
Uprise-Around the World

The Trouble-Grasping at Straws
Fear City-One More Day
Adolf and the Piss Artists-Terminators

Lion's Pride-Terrorism
Barons-Bottom of My Glass
Stars and Stripes-American Oi!
86 Mentality-Fall In Line

Templars-Dawn's Early Light
Dropkick Murphy's-Never Alone
Slag-Blood on the Streets

US Chaos-Eye for an Eye
Sons of Liberty-Justice Denied

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Monday, December 17, 2007

NWA-Straight Outta Compton 20th Anniversary 2xLP (Priority, Ruthless)

I've always had a passing interest in rap music, though it wasn't ever even close to the focal point of my listening. I always liked more intelligent hip hop styled stuff like Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, or newer stuff like the Anticon Record stuff and, of course, Atmosphere and
Aesop Rock. But c'mon, NWA ruled. It's just hardcore punk from the really bad areas of SoCal. If the Adolescents had been from Compton and had actually taken the time to try and get an education past the 8th grade, they probably would have put out this record in '81.

Anything I would say trying to explain this band to someone that, for some reason, never heard of them, would all be included in the Wikipedia article about them. We all know that Dre was knocked for supposedly stealing beats and rhymes, and there are dozens of stories about tensions in the group that I don't think anyone except those members still living will ever really know about, but that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that the band deliberately recorded certain cuts on this record for the sole purpose of having a "single" that would push the album onto the charts ("Something 2 Dance 2"), or that there are still debates on how royalties were split. What matters is that this record, 20 years later, is still honest and pulls no punches. People complain about rap music nowadays like it's a brand new thing, but this record is more raw than pretty much anything coming out now, and it's 20 years old. There are traces of misogyny, it glorifies the gangster lifestyle to a degree, but it accomplishes it's goal of exposing street life and getting those living it to take a hard look at how they live their life. "I Ain't Tha 1", which is skewed (understandably) as a sexist response to "needy bitches", but in actuality the intention is to rally against women in the ghetto who latch onto drug dealers for their money and ignore/suck dry people playing it straight who can't afford to keep up with the Jones'. "Dopeman" is supposedly a glorification drug-dealers and users, but it was the only way they could communicate what they saw on the streets of Compton, how crack was ruining lives all around them

I got the vinyl edition of this, which is a remastered double LP on 180 gram vinyl. It sounds fucking sweet. The D side is a "tribute" side that features some adequate covers by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, and others, but seems more about having some bigger names on the record than making substantial contributions to the album. The record speaks for itself.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Skate Korpse-Down 7" Download

I know I've mentioned how great I think Skate Korpse was and how much the original 7"s sell for on eBay even though they're only a couple of years old. Luckily, the Discography LP is still in print for now, so you won't have fork over almost $100 to get them.

I think Down is the best of the three 7"s they put out. The record says that it's limited to 200 copies (and pressing info says that there were 100 on pink, implying 100 on black), but I have been told on good authority that the label intentionally lied about that to make it more "collectible", and there were actually 300 pressed total (100 on pink and 200 on black). I don't know if that information is wrong or the result of rumours being twisted (anyone who knows, please chime in).

POST EDIT: In my most retarded move yet, I typed this entry without even consulting the liner notes of the Discography LP. I was contaced by a member of the band who pointed out that the pressing info. for the singles is listed on the insert of the LP, and clearly states that the pink version of this was a second pressing, limited to 100 copies.

More Brainless
Front Page White Out
The Valley

There's a ten second outro after "The Valley" that I left out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dead Low Tide-Self Titled LP Download

I didn't start this blog as an MP3 blog. I actually started it just to write about music. I always enjoyed discussing music and figured that if I had an outlet that people might go out of their way to go read, it would keep me from talking about it all the time in my real life. It has worked to an extent, but for some reason, I got hooked on sharing so much great music with people, I'd forgotten all about how good it felt to just share my opinion about it. I just felt like I should let you know.

Dead Low Tide was the band that 3/5 of the Murder City Devils started after they broke up (inluding vocalist Spencer Moody). I don't like it as near as much as I do the Devils, and to be quite honest, if Moody wasn't involved, I don't think I'd be interested in it at all. The Murder City Devils were a near-perfect band, and 90% of their greatness came from Moody's vocals.

There are a couple of moments of greatness here. It's easy to see how the sound here is a progression on the last Devils record (Thelema), sans keyboards and the rock n roll edge. The songs are all basically written in extended metaphors that expand on Spencer Moody's love with the romantic life of the sailor. He never reaches the pure poetic bliss of the songs in the Devil's catalog on the subject like "18 Wheels" or the epic "Bear Away", from the Thelema record. The album is worth a listen, but it's a gamble for some.

Download Dead Low Tide

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hudson Falcons/Virus Nine split 7" (City Rat)

The Hudson Falcons have always put out good releases, but it always seemed to me that the band was always more about the live show and any recordings were just a little something to take home from that, or as promotion to get you to go see them (instead of the other way around). There's just something about the spot-and-ady of the band that will never, ever be captured on CD.

With that out of the way, the first Hudson Falcons' song on this 7" is pretty typical of the band. Positive lyrics about rock n roll with a rock n roll backbeat to carry it along. It makes you want to drink a lot and dance around with your friends. It won't change your life, but it'll make it a lot more fun, and that always seemed like the goal for bands like this. Their second contribution is a very, very styleised cover of Billy Bragg's "Power In the Union". It was always one of my least favorite Bragg songs because it always seemed a little uninspired to me, but their version adds a little "umph!" to the track.

I'd never actually heard Virus Nine before this record. I'd judged them because they put out a record on A-F Records, and, as a rule, A-F Records bands fucking suck. Surprisingly, the two songs they put on this slab of wax (both demos for an earlier LP) are way better than I expected. It's a little darker than most "streetpunk" stuff coming out of the US right, and much better put together, and "Urban Light" starts off with a nice shuffled beat before going into a pretty straightforward streetpunk sound. That actually kind of remind me of Kraut.

This is limited to 1,200 hand numbered copies. 500 are on blue.

Hudson Falcons on MySpace
Virus Nine on MySpace
Buy It On Interpunk

This Is England

I finally got to see This Is England a couple weeks ago and I've noticed that it's been all over the blogoshpere recently as well (the DVD was just released in the US, so I imagine a lot of people are just now picking it up as I did). I'd been looking forward to the movie for months and was stoked to finally get to see it.

This Is England is Shane Meadows' semi-autobiographical account of his vague associations with the skinhead cult in the early 1980s. It is the first time I've ever seen non-racist skins depicted in a movie (outside of the 10 second explanation given in the Troma classic Dog Years). The timeline of events happens to fall during the Thatcher period of political unrest in Britain, when people were reacting to inflating immigration issues and a failing economy (sounds familiar, right?), and skinheads, being mostly white, working class males, were reacting the most, and being suckered into far right-wing political movements like the National Front. In essence, it explains the roots of the "white power" element of skinhead.

The soundtrack is perfect, mostly older ska (the opening credits are set to "54-46 Was My Number") with a little 80s music to fit the time period. Amazon has it, but it's pretty pricey. The tracks worth having are definitely worth going out and buying the records by the original artists, though.

I wasn't around in the 80s, so I can't say it's spot on, but I can say that, for me, it's the most accurate depiction of the subculture I've seen in any sort of mass media. The obvious differences can be explained by looking at the fact that it was England in 1983, and so things in the US in 2007 are obviously going to have different connotations. But, the real scary thing was just how close some things are. The political state of the US is so close to what was happening in England at the time, and people are reacting in the same way. With immigration on the rise and racial tensions getting more heated every day in some areas, I'm seeing what were once considered legitimate aspects of the skinhead culture being warped by nationalism and blind patriotism. It can be explained away that there's a fine line between nationalism and racism, which there is, but it's a fine line we walk on every single day, and I've seen a lot of people straddle it. Can't we learn anything from the past?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Podcast 12/6/07

One day early, I know. It's my best so far, I think.

Link Wray-Rumble
Annihilation Time-Reality?
Panaceja-Jedi Govna (Croatia)

Anti You-Bail Out
Ray McCoy-I Need It
Poison Idea-Think Twice
Rabies-Gonna' Fuck You Up

Led Zeppelin-Dazed and Confused
Kriegs Kopf-Gun Power
The Freeze-Eating My Insides
The Stranger-Prison Called Life

"Napalm Death"-Don't Bother
Hank III-Dick in Dixie
Detention-Dead Rocker (AKA "Dead Rock n Rollers") (live)

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sideburns-All Skinhead Cons 7" Download

The Sideburns were Osaka's ruling Oi! superstars in the 90s. They had at least one other release, an LP called Golden Hits that's at least as good as this, if you ever track it down, let me know, I want a copy. I believe they also had an earlier 7".

The record isn't really straightforward Oi! (by American or British Oi! standards). It's bit more melodic, and the B side is a pretty dark song about...well, I don't really know what it's about (also, sorry about all the surface noise at the beginning of that track, there's a really long fade-in on the record). I think I should just share the lyrics inside:

"We can have a lot of thought
We can have any fun
But there need to stop
Mad chess play the fasten ghost"

Are they on drugs or does this just not translate too well into English?

Get Away
Mad Chess Play the Fasten Ghost

Sunday, December 2, 2007

V/A-Songs the Cramps Taught Us Vol.1 Download

A lot of people I know are aware that the bulk of the Cramp's material are actually covers, or butchered mergings of two covers, or ripped off music with new lyrics. I'm suprised at the number of people I meet, though, that haven't heard this series.

I've got a ooooooold bootleg 12" called Songs We Taught the Cramps that covers a lot of the early Cramp's stuff and throws in some samples from old horror movies. As far as I know, that's the earliest version of what turned into a huge deal among rock n roll comps. There have been several different comps. bootlegged under the name Songs the Cramps Taught Us, but as far as I can tell, this series of three CDs seems to be the best (though at least two different covers exists for each volume, and there are other versions that stole the artwork but are different tracklists). The liner notes are great, with bios on all the original performers and some thoughts on the different versions. I've honestly never really listened to the Born Bad series, though I understand they're supposed to be quite good as well.

This collection spans the 50s/60s underground gamit. You've got some rockabilly, fuzzed out psych, a little surf stylings, some demented jazz, and plenty of old school rock n roll. My personal favorites are The Sonics' "Strychnine", which is probably the best American garage rock song ever written, The Third Bardo with "Five Years Ahead of My Time", and the Frantics' sci-fi surf "Werewolf". On the subject of that, the CD credits the song "Werewolf" as the inspiration for the Cramps' song "Don't Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk", while the original Songs We Taught the Cramps points to the Ventures' classic "Twilight Zone". Both are very similar and either one could be the "real" inspiration, but we'll probably never know for sure (but my bet is that the band was well aware of both songs).

I had to split it into two downloads:
Part 1
Part 2
1.Sparkles-Hipsville 29 B.C.
2.Dwight Pullen-Sunglasses After Dark
3.Link Wray-Fatback
4.Sherrif & Ravels-Shombolar
5.Riptides-Machine Gun
6.Bo Diddley-Dancing Girl
7.Trashmen-Surfin Bird
8.Walter Brown-Jelly Roll Rock
11.Third Bardo-Five Years Ahead Of My Time
12.Busters-Bust Out
13.The Phantom-Love Me
14.Jett Powers-Go Girl Go
15.Ronnie Cook & Gaylads-Goo Goo Muck
16.Runabouts-Strangeness In Me
19.Elroy Dietzel-Rockin Bones
20.Dale Hawkins-Tornado
22.Keith Courvale-Trapped Love
23.Freddie & Hitchikers-Sinners
24.Charlie Feathers-Can't Hardly Stand It
25.Andy Starr-Give Me A Woman
26.R.Lewis Band-Get Off The Road
27.Hayden Thompson-Blues Blues Blues
28.Lee Dresser & Krazy Kats-Beat Out My Love
29.Andre Williams-Bacon Fat
30.Jack Scott-The Way I Walk
31.Elvis Presley-Do The Clam.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Laisse Tomber Les Filles


When I was a freshman in highschool, a senior girl gave me an awesome mixtape full of great old rock n roll, punk, some jazz, and a little soul. Buried on the second side was Link Wray's classic "Rumble". In the liner notes she typed up for me, she told me to study Link Wray, because listening to, and understanding, his music would allow me to "develop a cool strut of my own." It was a silly way of putting it, but true. Rock n roll has always been about that swagger we carry with us, you can see it in our walk. Like we're onto something so much cooler than you are. The entire Cramp's catalog has that swagger to it (just listen to Bad Music for Bad People right before you go into a new job and you'll see what I mean). "Laisse Tomber Les Filles", oddly enough, is another great example of this.

"Laisse Tomber Les Filles" was written by Serge Gainsbourg and recorded in 1964 by France Gall, who was 17 at the time. Though she's pretty obscure in the US, apparently in Europe she's an icon and is still releasing hit records in France. Most of her music of the 60s is poppy, sort of Nancy Sinatra style stuff (that might be a weird comparison, but you know, this isn't the core of my knowledge base here), but this song is probably the best. It insists, but it's still pretty insouciant. Only teenagers can make stuff like that, it's great.

In 1995, April March translated the song into English and recorded a version called "Chick Habit" that, while significantly modernized and punked up, is pretty true to the original. The song originally appeared on an EP that was all covers of French pop (or "ye-ye") songs, but it's recently been made famous by appearing on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof.

Anyway, enjoy, and try and develop a cool strut of your own.

France Gall-"Laisse Tomber Les Filles"
April March-"Chick Habit"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

V/A-Quagmire Volume 1: Sixties Punk Mysteries From the USA

Still on my 60s kick, I apologize to any of you with musical tastes so narrow you might not be into it. Every once in a while, I'll completely stop listening to the 70s punk, hardcore, Oi, or whatever else heavy sub-genres of punk I'm usually spinning, and get back into the old stuff. It's like a musical enema and we all need them from time to time.

As mentioned as a comment in the last post, there are dozens of compilations documenting 60s punk, garage, and psych. The world-famous Nuggets is easily the go-to for people getting into the rougher songs of the genres, and while it has some great songs, it includes quite a few misplaced duds, and barely scratches the surface of all the great singles that came out in the 60s. The 60s were a decade dominated by singles as opposed to LPs, both in the mainstream and the underground (and some damn good music charted on the Top 40 during those 10 years), and indies were starting to flex their muscle in regional scenes, exposing hundreds of raunchy and/or progressive teenage bands from all over the US to the world in the form of small-press 45s.

This comp. doesn't flaunt most of the snotty rockers that you can find on the Back From the Grave comps., and it's not as psychedelic as the Nuggets material. It's definitely harder than anything you would have heard on the radio at the time, but a lot of these bands were looking to make great music, not just feedback, and quite a few hit the nail right on the head. I can't think of a bad song on the CD.

Highlights are Chicago's Dalek/Engam: The Blackstones (yes, that's the name of ONE band) playing an ultra-pissed version of "The Bag I'm In", the Diplomats from Delaware playing a downtrodden, and aptly named, "I'm Sad" with a great melody, and the best track comes from a Pennsylvania band called Thee Avantees with "I Want to Understand", which is probably one of my favorite songs of all time (and there is NO information on them except the state they were from, ANY OTHER INFO OR SONGS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? THERE HAS TO HAVE BEEN A B SIDE TO THAT SINGLE, I WANT TO HEAR IT!!!!).

This CD has been out of print for a while (and was probably never "officially licensed" in the first place). There are at least four volumes in this series, but I sure as hell can't tell you where to find any of them.

Download Quagmire Vol. 1

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bunker Hill-"The Girl Can't Dance"

I've been on a 60s kick lately (it happens every few months), so I figured I should post one of my favorite 60s songs, which also happens to be one of the loudest, craziest, most out-of-control rockers of all time, regardless of the decade.

Rock guitar legend Link Wray did a couple of sessions with a former boxer going under the name "Bunker Hill" in the early 1960s. His real name was David Walker and has achieved minor success in gospel groups before he met up with Link Wray (supposedly the stage name was because he didn't want his friends from the gospel world knowing he was playing rock music).

A lot of the material Bunker Hill recorded with the Raymen is great, but nothing, nothing matches this recording. Anyone who tells you that rock was unexciting before punk came along obviously never heard this cut, it blows most punk right out of the water by sheer sonic force.

This song is available on CD onMissing Links Vol. 3, and as a 7" single with a version of "Friday Night Dance Party" on Norton Records.

Download Bunker Hill and Link Wray-"The Girl Can't Dance

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Circle Takes the Square-As the Roots Undo

This album came out in 2004 on Robotic Empire (CD) and Hyperrealist (vinyl). Where to even begin explaining how great this record is without just playing it for someone is almost impossible.

The band manages to balance slow, melodic parts with some of the fastest, heaviest, hardcore I've ever heard (and that's saying a lot). Comparisons to legions of the better late 90s screamo bands (and no, I'm not talking about Silverstein) would be too easy. They break out of the stigma behind any of the subcultural genres to create a unique concept album that could only ever be attributed to them. Yes, there are obvious nods to their influences on here (the last riff of "Crowquill" is ripped right off His Hero Is Gone, and "Interview at the Ruins" is easily comparable to Holywood era Manson with much more punk and metal aesthetic to balance it out).

This record is, at the end, a well orchestrated concept album about trying to force self-realization, and the futility of looking for answers. I think someone has to have been through a naive search for the meaning of things to understand where they're going with this. The record doesn't paint a bleak outlook on life, but instead just shows the confusion found in trying to understand things you probably never will, and in that, they manage to revel in the the pity party of that most of the bands trying to achieve this style ten years ago were throwing for themselves.

Of course, it's a little pretentious, and it's hard to write about without sounding pretentious, but who cares? It's one of those records you can lose yourself in for a little while, and those albums are hard to come by in hardcore nowadays.

Free track: Non Objective Portrait of Karma

The CD can be ordered directly from Robotic Empire. The vinyl is currently out of print, but there is supposed to be a repress early next year.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Going Through the Motions Podcast #3

Refused-Refused Party Program
Ciril-Wash of the Hand
TNT-Zuri Brant

Endrophobia-Who Cares
Belching Penguin-Dead People Can't Drive
Flesheaters-Twisted Road
Reagan SS-Primo

Krass Kepala-Bebaskan
Victims-En Galen Drom
Hated-Innocent People
Ex-Members of the Holy Trinity, Burn the Books
Die You Bastard-Wall

Confusione-Grip Tape
Carrion-Baptized By Fire
Flash Attacks-Revenge of the Fruitflys
Vatican Commandos-What Can You Do?

The RSS Feed for the Podcast (for subscribing!)
Download the Podcast

To the left is a an updating RSS feed of my eBay auctions. I'm selling a bunch of records to raise funds for future releases on Victimized Records. There 53 auctions up right now, and more to come.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thik Chicken-Hole Friars Download

Today begins the official holiday season. Which means in-laws. Which means that, to deal with in-laws, I will get drunk tomorrow morning around 9 and hopefully not meet back up with sobriety until January 1st.

Here's another great one from the 90s to hold you over on your holiday weekend. Thik Chicken were a Birmingham band, so I'm obligated to stick up for them. Maybe it's just the holidays and Chicago's too fucking cold so I'm thinking of home.

Thik Chicken were considered a "File 13" band ("File 13 is just a name for music from a certain group of bands from Birmingham, Alabama. We used it to put out our own tapes and records and what not. Since we never made any money to speak of, you wouldn't call it a business"), along with Lamenstra, the Dougs, and a few others. The most recent incarnation is Skeptic?, who were featured on the last podcast.

The band had a demo tape before this that I've heard but don't have, and this 7" was the last thing they recorded. Maximum Rock n Roll liked the A side, but the B side, a spoof on 90s "alternative" rock apparently went right over their heads and they slammed it. There used to be a site with a ton of info. on all the File 13 bands, but it shut down about a year ago. "Road Block" was on the Alabama punk/hardcore compilation We Did It Our Own Way I put out a few years ago.

There was talk of a CD coming out that featured all the 7" songs, the demo tape, and a live set, but it never materialized.

Media Circus
Road Block
Too Fucking Slow?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pressure Point-Resist and Riot (GMM, Six Feet Under)

Sacramento's Pressure Point have been kicking around the US and putting out pretty good records for a few years now. They've gone through a streetrock phase, a hardcore phase, but there was never really a "Pressure Point sound" if you know what I mean. I know I've mentioned how good their live show is, and I've always enjoyed their records, but there was always something missing.

Resist and Riot is the closest the band has come to really developing their own style. The first two songs are solid streetpunk, but they're pretty generic songs without much character. They remind me a lot of the Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards records; fast, kinda' heavy, and a little bit of melody thrown in. The record really takes off with the third track, "Rise Up", which throws in some ska influence but doesn't sound hokey like I would've expected. The rest of the A side keeps on mixing it up enough to make the record really interesting.

Flip over to the B side, and what have you got? Two more somewhat generic rockers, again along the lines of the Bastards or early Skrewdriver material until the disc picks up again on the third number, where they slow things down a little bit and show off some of their chops. "The Morning After" is another great streetpunk song that's got a heavy dose of ska in the background, it's a solid track.

This record definitely has it's flaws, but it's quickly becoming my favorite release by the band. The CD version was released by GMM and the vinyl by Six Feet Under Records. This review pertains to the vinyl version.

Download the free track: Rise Up (really quick vinyl rip, not perfect quality)

Pressure Point on MySpace
Buy It on Interpunk (links to both the vinyl and CD versions)

The degression of Henry Rollins

From the anti-punk era of Black Flag:

From 1995. Not as funny as the earlier last one, it's pretty typical 90s Rollins. He's really unhappy and introspective:

Interview with Ozzy from his show that I'm probably better off for not ever seeing.

I'm not talking shit, I'm just saying. Maybe I'll have a talk show when I'm his age.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Carrion-Baptized By Fire Download

I saw these guys a few years ago at the Boiler Room in Birmingham. I was completely blown away and bought both records they had at the time, which was this and an earlier, self-titled 7" that's not near as good (now that I'm thinking of it, I'll probably rip it and post it up sometime soon).

The music sort of reminds me Dinosaur Jr. with a way heavier edge to it. The guitar work is great and the vocals are angry as hell. You should just download this and then ride around blasting it through your neighborhood late at night.

These guys went on to be called The Wayward.

Baptized By Fire
Destroy the Imagination
Shining Bell
Into the Labyrinth

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Bruisers-Singles Collection Download

This is the band that Al Barr of Dropkick Murphys fame used to be in. My opinion on this whole thing (and, for once, seems to be the opinion of most people I know) is that I used to love the Dropkick Murphys. The Do or Die still rules after all these years. When Mike, the original singer, left the band, Al Barr made complete sense as a replacement. The Bruisers are essential 90s US Oi!. But, it seems like the merging of two classic bands yielded pretty boring results. I haven't bought a DKM record since Al joined the band, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on a thing.

But, sparing the rest of my jaded rants, here's the Bruisers Singles Collection. Personal favorites are "Intimidation", "Society's Fools", "Brown Paper Bag", and "Gates of Hell". My least favorite song in this is probably "Bloodshed", but Blood for Blood down an amazing cover it on Outlaw Anthems. Taang Records put this out. Support.

Download Singles Collection

Gein and the Graverobbers-The Passion of the Antichrist CD (Necro-Tone)

I've always thought the whole neo-surf thing was cool. Man...Or Astroman? have always been the best in my book (of course, they're from Alabama, I'm biased), as they put out top-notch records and were always great live (are their records even in print anymore? I've got to post some of their stuff sometime). However, the genre has it's shortcomings.

The first time I ever heard Gein and the Graverobbers was probably 3 or 4 years ago, right about the same time I heard the Ghastly Ones (who are the same thing but marginally better). They both play surf rock that is really sort of a take on what the Ventures would do with the Munsters theme. The Ghastly Ones put out a record called A-Haunting We Will Go that's a really cool, goofy surf record, and Gein and the Graverobbers had Songs in the Key of Evil. Both albums were great, but I assumed they were one-offs, like the bands would move on and explore new territory. But, it seems they haven't. Both bands are still doing the same thing.

It's sort of odd because I like this CD a lot, but at the same time, I'd like to hear them take it somewhere else. Man...Or Astroman? put out records you could tell apart, and I wish bands doing this stuff now would do that, too. Oh well.

Tracks w/a couple of downloads:
The Hungry Grave
The Phantom of Route 44
Black Sunday
Of Gods and Monsters
Brackish Soul
Nine Day Fall
The Creeping Unknown
House of Skulls
Into the Abbey of Thelema

Buy It On Interpunk
Gein and the Graverobbers on MySpace

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reagan SS-Hail the New Dawn 7" Download

This was one of my favorite records for a really long time. It's still great, but it's nothing compared to Reagan SS's more recent records. For what it is, it's great. Full-on, driving thrashcore that only knew one speed: as fast as possible.

As I've said in reviews about Reagan SS before, there's not a lot to say about them. They've also said this interviews, they want their records to speak for themselves. This record was originally put out by 625 Records, but the version I ripped it off is the re-press on Coalition/Way Back When Records, both labels based out of the Netherlands. It's pressed on thick ass seafoam green vinyl. Pretty awesome.

Download Hail the New Dawn

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Refused-The Shape of Punk to Come

This record will change your outlook on punk, and it's place in modern society, if you let it. When this record came out in 1998, the Refused touted it, as the name implies, as punk's saving grace. You see, they were saying that punk is still relevant, it's just not relevant to itself. There's a wonderful paradox buried inside the absolutely amazing music this record has to offer. The band also never comes across as pretentious, as a lot of innovative punk bands do (Converge...).

There is a brief essay in the liner notes that explains my point here. I'm tired and not doing a very good job at it, so I'll them do it for me:

"A large part of what makes some bands so great is not just rooted in the actual music, ideas, or the fact that they 'were the first to do it'. Rather it is that they were giving their best effort and playing on the edge of their abilities at all times. If a band ever finds that it is not doing both of those things, then they are not playing the kind of music that they should be playing."

The band broke up shortly after this album was released. I guess they didn't see the point in furthering something they realized they couldn't actually take any further. Members went on to be in The (International) Noise Conspiracy. This record is still in print, so I urge you to buy it. To stress this point, I've only included four songs for download.

Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull
Liberation Frequency
The Deadly Rythm (misspell intentional)
Summerholidy vs. Punkroutine
Bruitist Pome #5
New Noise
The Refused Party Program
Protest Song '68
Refused are Fuckin Dead
The Shape of Punk to Come
The Apollo Programme Was a Hoax

But it on Interpunk

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coliseum-No Salvation LP (Relapse, Auxiliary)

Coliseum put out some the most intense, balls out, supercharged rock n roll records right now. What sucks about this is that the punk crowd who would probably go nuts over this will probably ignore it because it came out on Relapse Records, a bigger metal label.

The record starts out with “No Benefit”, a no-holds-barred ripping punk song that mixes all the great things of 80s hardcore punk with a darker feel of the modern gloomy hardcore sound. The album doesn’t let up from there. The great thing about this record, and this band, is that there are so many references you could make to other bands to compare their sound, but they don’t really sound like anyone except themselves. You can’t mistake Ryan Patterson’s throaty yell for anyone else’s. You can’t match their guitar sound or rhythm changes with anyone else playing right now. This is a band that should be huge right now because they’re unique, but they’re still accessible.

Solid fucking classic.

This record is on Relapse (as I mentioned before), but the vinyl version is on Auxiliary, which I'm pretty sure is the band's own label. It comes on sweet looking silver and white splatter vinyl.

Coliseum on MySpace
Buy it on Interpunk

Monday, November 12, 2007

Minor Threat, Silverchair? Videos

For some reason there are a lot of Minor Threat videos with realyl great quality floating around. This one is special because it happens to be my favorite Minor Thread song. "In My Eyes" represents everything the band is about. The lyrics are rallying against a society, and those that mirror it (even in the underground) that they want no part in. The majority of the song is slow, which was so un-hardcore, before it explodes into the chorus. Fucking great stuff.

This is Silverchair covering Minor Threat. Apparantly these guys used to be really cool, but all I've heard is the shit they play on the radio, so this is fucking weird.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

His Hero is Gone Fool's Gold 7" Download

What surprises me about His Hero Is Gone is how they've never managed to spread outside of the world of record collecting nerds and a few people who were around to see them in the 90s. They released consistently great records, did several big tours, and have influenced a ton of bands indirectly. Even just looking at the bands members of HHIG went on to be after the break-up points to how big their influence on hardcore punk has been (Tragedy, Deathreat, Severed Head of State and From Ashes Rise to name a few), and yet, for the most part, I rarely hear much about them.

This record was recorded with the original line-up. To me, the first album with the second guitarist, Monuments to Thieves, is their essential record, though everything they did was pretty much spot on. The version I ripped this from is the Coalition Records version, which was distroed in Europe. The 7" is way out of print and I don't even know what it would sell for, but the tracks are available on a CD with other rare songs called The Plot Sickens (link to the CD on Interpunk), on Great American Steak Religion (now called Feral Ward) Records.

Download Fool's Gold

Friday, November 9, 2007

Going Through the Motions Podcast #2

I fixed the download link.

Here's the second podcast. I think it's lightyears ahead of my first one, which was really just me teaching myself how to use this stuff, but it's not amazing. Feedback is appreciated.

Los Peligrosos-Rock a la Billy Pulque
HeWhoCorrupts-Master of Profits
Caras De Hombre-Brutalidad Policia
Skeptic?-Against the Wall
Decry-Suburban Death Camp
Slapenhonden-Stay Off
Laranja Freak-Fluidos
Autistic Youth-Victim
Celibate Rifles-24 Hours
Tuppjukk-Jag Vill Ma Bra
Antikeho-Peace and Love
Wipers-Does it Hurt
Raised By Wolves-Burn it All Down

The RSS feed for the Podcast (for subscribing!)
Download the Podcast

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Society of Anarchists-For the Forgotten CD Review

NOSA remind me of all those bands I saw when I first started hearing newer "hardcore" in the 90s. Half of the bands were emo and half were just metalheads that got beaten up at metal shows and couldn't play for shit anyway, so they played "hardcore". They listened to all the Boston bands that were tough and could actually play (Blood for Blood), and a lot of the late 80s/early 90s NYHC bands (SOIA, Cro-Mags, Madball, Biohazard, etc) but they were playing the most watered down, bullshit versions of songs that other people already wrote and passing it off as "traditional" hardcore. They also developed some really silly dance routines. It was all basically metal made by people who weren't good enough to actually play metal, so they took out everything except the moshing.

I can't tell any songs off this record apart. Every song sounds like an early Throwdown demo. There's the fast metal riff part with some gruff vocals, then a bridge that makes you want to jump up and down and run into people with gruff vocals, and then a part that's really good for punching the floor and spin kicking your best friends girlfriend who's just trying to take a video of the band (with gruff vocals).

Sorry, dudes.

Download free track Weapons of Mind
New Society of Anarchists on MySpace

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Yo Gabba Gabba

I've been hearing a lot about the new Nickelodeon show Yo Gabba Gabba recently, but since I don't get Nickelodeon, I haven't had a chance to check it out. It seems like all my friends with kids are all over it, and any of my friends who don't have kids who have come across it for some reason are telling me to look into on account of my kids. If you haven't heard about it, the show is a children's developmental program that's produced by the Aquabats. I've been checking it out on YouTube, and it's about what I expected. Funny looking monsters (that look like those Japanese toys that Juxtapoz is always raving about), with a very 80s analog-nintendo-type aesthetic (if that description makes any sense at all.

A friend of mine with a two year old daughter described it to me as a show that shows children the "alternative" families that are becoming more and more common, without really forcing a viewpoint on them. Most of the parents I know are skinheads, punk rockers, or belong to some other variety of subcultural tribe. As a skinhead with a young child, who is married to a girl who dresses like it's 1956 and has lots of tattoos, I can understand the alienation that parents in our situation feel, and that my child will eventually feel since the roles in our family aren't really in tow with the "normal" American family values. I don't see this as a bad thing, and my child shouldn't either. That's why shows like this are important.

This is definitely aimed at a very young crowd, but that's good. It gets them started young. I love the programming. Biz Marky has a "Beat of the Day". The host is straight out of Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, and they have musical guests like the Aggrolites (see below). One clip my aforementioned friend told me about was a skinhead and a rude girl in a messy room, and a cartoon Laurel Aitken gets them to "pick it up!" Children's programming will never be the same (or, let's hope not!)

Here's a brief "behind the scenes" look at the show, via Nickelodeon:

Here's the Aggrolites on the show:

And the Laurel Aitken clip!:

Monday, November 5, 2007

V/A-Club Beatroot Pt 9 Download

I figured I might as well put this up as long as I was making a copy. I came across this years ago and kept it because of the Amphetameanies side, which is solid gold if you're into two tone style ska. The Vera Cruise side, to me, is boring. Some of you might go nuts over it, though. This isn't at all the stuff I normally post, but who cares? It's my blog!

The reason I thought about this record:
I was reading the (or one of the) recent issue(s) of Razorcake and noticed an interview with Lilly Allen, which I found very odd, but whatever. I was reading over it, they started talking about ska, and somehow this band was mentioned, and the interviewer said that the band featured members of Franz Ferdinand before they got famous. Now, I've never actually heard Franz Ferdinand, but I don't imagine they're very good. I also found it odd that band was brought up and Lilly Allen recognized the Amphetameanies right off (I've never known ANYONE who had ever heard of the band besides me, even die-hard ska fans), but she's British, so maybe they're big overseas and just haven't done anything in the US.

Anyway, here it is. The 45 was released as a part of a series raising funds/promote a DIY club in Glasgow.

Download Club Beatroot Pt. 9

Friday, November 2, 2007

Uniform Choice-Early Demos Download

I'd seen this around a few times as a 2x7" and was always curious as to how it sounded. Screaming for a Change is such a classic example of the style, and I wanted to hear the earlier versions of the songs that turned into the hits from the LP, but it seemed like whenever I came across the record, it was always a little out of my price-range when I was short on cash.

A few weeks ago I happened to find it on CD at a used record shop down the street for $4. I didn't even know there was a CD version, and it doesn't look like there was much thought given to it since the artwork still has the tracklist separated into Sides 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The demo was recorded July 19th, 1984, and was released in 1990. Honestly, I was a little let down. It's not like the versions are bad or anything, but they're really almost identical to the LP versions but some parts a little slower and sloppier. It's good from a historical standpoint but if you're into their later material it's not something you'll be listening to all the time.

Download Early Demos

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hardcore Is a Festering Sea of Bullshit Part II

This is sort of a knee-jerk reaction to a comment posted today on this post. There's going to be a lot I leave out, and it might not "flesh out" alright, but it's in one draft, save for links I'm posting within the blog to give some people who don't know some of the bands we're talking about more information. You should probably read the comment before reading this. I ask that anyone with thoughts on this (on any side) to please add them in a comment.

I don't think the ratio of good bands to bad bands is any worse today than it's ever been. There have always been a few great bands of any era and a thousand copy cats filling up the void. People talk so much about how great the 80s were, but looking at the literally thousands of bands on flyers that I've never heard of, or hearing all these random obscurities pop up that are usually awful, points to tell me that the ones who are famous are famous because, for the most part, they were just better. Sure, there are some really amazing bands from the 80s (and 70s and 60s and 50s) that have been lost to time due to a lack of legit releases/lack of touring/national disinterest/whatever, but there are millions of bands throughout the annals of rock history that are just plain awful.

Saying that older bands should headline big shows because bands today "suck", right after passing off the 90s as a stagnant era in heavy, underground, or rock music is absurd, ignorant, and lazy. Your example of Kurt Cobain is sensible to a degree, but Nirvana (even though I hate the band) recorded a lot more material than most of the "greats" from the 80s hardcore era and influenced countless bands to pick up where they left off, whether or not he offed himself before he reached his artistic pinnacle. The fact is that, with few exceptions, hardcore bands from the 80s only ever had one, maybe two LPs, and 7" that are worth listening to.
The example of Layne Staley, in the context you used it, is also irrelevant because he overdosed in 2002 (I remember it vividly), so he had the whole decade prior to work with.

But discounting the mainstream examples, I don't see how you, or anyone, can shrug off the 90s as being irrelevant in hardcore punk. Born Against blew open the door to the 90s with a completely new take on NYHC. Some East Coast bands mellowed out, some more found God (in various forms), and others abandoned all that had happened before, but that's what made it so interesting. You can't tell me that His Hero Is Gone ripped off anything that came out of the 1980s. Monuments to Thieves succeeds at showing the American lifestyle on a bleak plane of nihilism to a soundtrack heavier, more intricate, and less formulated than anything Black Flag or their contemporaries did. The Refused infused jazz onto an ancient punk aesthetic in a fashion that most of the people trying to "evolve" in the 80s never would have imagined. Los Crudos could outplay anybody trying to speed things up in '86. And none of those bands even survived to this decade, so now we've got younger kids picking up where that era left off and building their own sound. Listen to Circle Takes the Square, Anodyne, or even a straightforward band like the Boils and tell me they're just throwbacks that're bending over for the old guys they open for. You'd be lying through your teeth.

And that's not even to say that it's even the progressive bands that need to recognition. Fear City are selling out bars in the Southside consistently, and they definitely have a vintage sound. Skate Korpse put out three absolutely genius 7"s that were totally based off early 80s SoCal style with a heavy dose of 60s surf thrown in, and by the time they broke up, they were being talked about at every DIY show in the US.

The problem is the scene, sure. It's the uber punks who keep younger kids out of the real underground scene. But it's also the old bands who think they need to teach us something. Like we could learn from shit they did 20 years ago. Believe me, I read it in a book, and that was probably a lot more romantic and exciting that what really went on in NYC in the mid-80s. And honestly, I could give a fuck less. It's 2007, times are different. You can tell us that it was scary growing up under Reagan and you lived in fear all the time because you're a paranoid schizophrenic. Emosadboohoo. Like growing up in the 90s/00s was so fucking easy for working class kids and we've got nothing to be pissed off about.

There are some great 80s bands still recording good material (Demented Are Go and Mad Sin both recorded their best material in the past decade), and even some US bands (the Freeze seems to be the best example off the top of my head) but to most of us, the 80s hardcore scene is almost irrelevant now. The "reunion" shows are mostly just old men reliving their "glory days" in front of kids they would have made fun of in high school. Go see I Object! the next time they roll through your town and let me know how much better they are than whatever shitty 80s band is reuniting at the club across the street to five times as many people for twice as much money.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Violent Society/The Boils split 7" Download

This is from 1996 on Schuylkill Records. I don't know anything about Violent Society except what I've learned from the short Wikipedia article about them (which lists this record as having come out in 1998, though it came out in 1996). Apparently they were together for over a decade and toured with some big bands, but this is all I've got by them. I assume they're named after the Special Duties song, who they also happened to do a split with later on. Their tracks are solid examples of late-90s hardcore punk, but nothing compared to the Boils.

The Boils are one of those bands that make me hate punk rock. They've been around for a long time and put out tons of great records, but they still get outsold by all the fucking PunkCore Records or Bridge9 bands or whoever is hot at the moment. They had a couple other splits before this 7" I haven't tracked down, but the maturity of the band so early on is surprising. I'd suggest getting one of their more recent records The Ripping Waters EP. It's one of my favorite punk 7"s of all time. They've always had great lyrics, and this is no exception. The example I'll put out is their first song, "Dependent" (with their disclaimer: "this is not a straight edge song, this is the goddamn, fucking truth!":

Experiment expeditions made you lose all inhibitions
It went as far as anything you could get your hands upon
A blanket of security, windows of oppurtunity
Opened the doors you couldn't open up before
It became a necessity, physically and mentally
But you can't deny it and sat 'it can stop anyday'...

Side A
1. Violent Society-Times of Distraught
2. Violent Society-Another Casualty
3. Violent Society-Decide
Side B
4. The Boils-Dependent
5. The Boils-Paper Dolls
6. The Boils-Gone Dead and Buried (the MP3 cuts off the last half second of this, so it's an awkward outro, sorry, but I didn't want to spend mroe time ripping it again for such a small piece)

Download Violent Society/The Boils Split 7"

Monday, October 29, 2007

News You Should Know

Police in Lansing, MI are in training for any disaster, and conducting mock disasters to establish logistics. Included in their scenarios is apparently a zombie attack. They've decided upon chainsaws as their chief form of defense.

A hunter in Pennsylvania who set up a camera to photograph deer claims to have accidentally photographed a child Bigfoot.

OK, that's it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Joy Division, Billy Bragg

I always loved videos of Joy Division because they don't look anything like they sound, to me. Ian Curtis is so skinny and awkward and his voice just booms out of his tiny little voice box. There's also the fact that even when he makes an effort to dance and "put on a show" I guess, he still looks depressed and desperate as hell. I guess this video comes from a movie about Joy Division, but I never heard of it. I never was a very active Joy Division fan, so the fact that I've never heard of it doesn't mean it's really all that obscure.

And while we're on the subject of awkward British dudes, here's an absolutely ancient video of Billy Bragg doing "Between the Wars" on Top of the Pops. Apparently it's a big deal that he's playing live instead of lip-syncing, as that was what they usually did, I guess. I don't know, I never saw the show before.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The first Podcast

Ever since I was a little kid (like 8), I wanted to be a DJ. I listened to the Oldies station in the morning ride to school, when the Oldies were pre-1972, and I thought the morning DJs (Burt and Kurt, haha) were the coolest.

And in the age of podcasting, I'm able to do it. This isn't great. It's short, it's not too diverse, and I'm a little timid/boring when I talk, but I am, as the name of the show says, Learning to Crawl (10 punk points if you catch that not-very-punk reference).

Born Against-Half Mast
Anti Nowhere League-I Hate People
Slumlords-Our Own Worst Enemy
Sick Things-Committed to Suicide Australia 1981
Asphalt-What is Held
Droids-A Reminder to All Young Men
Banner of Hope-A Wrench in the Machine

I removed the embeded file because I didn't see a way to stop it from automatically starting.

You can download the file here, or I have a separate feed set-up for the podcast here. You can suscribe and all from there. I'll be integrating the feed with this blog soon, hopefully.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Profane Existence

I know I haven't been updating much lately. Not because of a lack of interest, I've just been ridiculously busy and haven't had to time to do much. I just wanted to draw attention to those of you into the whole thrashy hardcore side of things.

It appears that Profane Existence is in some money troubles. I know a lot of you are wondering why you should care since it seems that a lot of the people that read this regularly aren't into their politics (and neither am I), but they're an important label/community for DIY and need to be supported. Profane Existence will help just about any DIY band or label with distribution without asking any questions. They believe in autonomy and building a community outside the "industry" and have taken more steps to make that a reality than any other single entity I can think of. And if you're just in it for the music, think about the fact that Profane Existence is responsible for bringing the majority of the foreign hardcore releases to the US and distroing them here for affordable prices.

They mentioned money troubles when they initially unveiled their Vinyl Retentive Series. The idea was to release a special version of their LPs limited to 150 copies and with a little more expensive prices to raise some money for the label. I'm not happy with the way they did it (only because I can't afford it!) but it's a good idea for the collectors out there who want something a little special. The idea is cool, and I hope there are enough people into it that can afford it (the thing that sucks is that you have to subscribe to it instead of buying the individual releases, so you have to fork out $100 up front for a few records instead of just $15 at a time) to make a difference. The label has also raised the prices in their distro, and 7"s are now around $5 instead of $4.

The point was not to talk about how they've raised prices or come up with strategies. It's to tell you to check out their distro and buy stuff. They have the biggest DIY distro I've ever seen, and I'm sure you could empty your bank account on it if you want to. Whether you agree with their views on politics or not, supporting DIY underground hardcore punk labels is important because it lets the people who try to market to us know that we still fucking hate them. Up da punks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Droids-Ja Bede Bardzo Dobry 7" Download

This one is from 1994. Maybe some of the native Midwesterners who read this can shed some light on this band, but I doubt it. According to the insert, they were only a band for 3 months.

The Droids were from a Polish neighborhood in Green Bay, WI (and not actually from Poland). Three of the five songs on this record are actually sung in Polish. They've got sort of a melodic sound, but it's still edgy. I don't really have much to say about them because I don't really know anything about them. Any of the native Midwesterners who read this might be able to shed a little light, but I doubt it, this record seems pretty obscure.

I did Google this and found a couple mailorder catalogs that have ancient copies of this, as well a couple of copies floating around on eBay. I also found a page for Power Ground Records, who released this record, but with NO info other than a discography (which includes an earlier Droids split 7" with a band called Boris the Sprinkler) and a header that reads "WE'RE BACK" posted April 17, 2007. Who are you people!??

Download Ja Bede Bardzo Dobry

Sunday, October 21, 2007

V/A-Hardcore Amerika CD Download

Hardcore Amerkia collects selected tracks from the Eat Me compilation (1983) and I'm Buck Naked (1984), which were volumes #3 and #10 of the Borderless Countries Tapes series. The reissue was put out by Shizophrenic Records and Enterruption.

It seems like a lot of people nowadays think of the American harcore scene in the 80s and think there were only a handful of bands and they were all from LA, NYC, or DC. What was important about the BCT series was that they represented all the little scenes in between. This comp. features bands from Ohio, Wisconsin, Washingtion, New Jersey, and other smaller scenes outside of the Slash/SST/Dischord spectrum. The label was also one of the first to expose foreign hardcore bands to a US audience.

Some tracks are easy to overlook, but there are bands on here that are at least as good as some of the DC stuff. Trenton, NJ's Detention are incredible. The tracks here are live versions that smoke the 7". "Dead Rock n Rollers" (listed on this comp. as "Dead Rocker") appeared on Killed By Death Volume 2. The always superb KBD Records blog posted the original versions here.

This one's out of print, but some distros may still have it. You should pick it up if you come across it. You should know before you download this mammoth beast that it's an epic 57 songs.

Download Hardcore Amerika

Saturday, October 20, 2007

V/A-The Best of Oi! Records Download

(NOTE: I was drunk when I made this post).

This record was in my 'to-be-posted' pile, but HXCPunksn Skins beat me to it. The Best of Oi Records is a good representation of the late 80s Oi! scene, if a little biased. Roddy Moreno of the Oppressed started the label by putting out ads in all the punk zines that read "Oi! bands wanted, neither red nor racist". The result was a run of 16 records, mostly English material, and some great stuff from the late 80s. Obviously, the best stuff came out of the US bands the label decided to issue. I think that since the US scene remained pretty patriotic, Roddy wrote them off as nationalists (which is retarded). As a result, the US scene wrote anyone leaning left as commies and refused to support the "red" skinhead bands. Further proof that the skinhead scene is full of bullshit drama and I'm allowed to call it out because I'm a skinhead so FUCK YOU if you think I'm just hating on "your" fencewalking scene (I SAID IT!).

The download is available here, enjoy!

This record is out of print but still available. It's doesn't have a lot of cool shit inside, but if you like, you should buy it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Flash Attacks-Revenge of the Fruitflys 7" (Circle F)

Korova played with the Flash Attacks a few years ago at a skatepark in Birmingham. It was a pretty good bill. It was us when we were a three piece (between guitar players, lasted like two shows), Skeptic? with the original line-up, a Nashville band called Public Offence (who went on to do small tours with a bunch of PunkCore Records bands and then break up, which was followed by several very tragic events involving almost every person to have played with the band that I don't feel the need to go into), and the superstar line-up of APA with members of No Holds Barred, Anti Heros, Condemned 84, and the Templars filling in. Flash Attacks were pretty good. I was a little drunk, but I remember them as a four-piece and they had that scumfuck sort of swagger, and I'm positive about the "Bite It You Scum" cover they did that night. I also remember one of the more lasting impressions they made, which was introducing Birmingham to the "chainsaw" hardcore dance move, which is apparently a Jersey mainstay. The demo they were selling on the tour was pretty solid save for the track "Circle F", which is what they decided to name their label after. I was unaware of an LP they put out last year, so this is the first thing I've heard from them since.

The insert lists only three members, so I guess someone got cut. The sound is different then I remember from the demo, it's much less cluttered. The production is clean, but that's far from the only improvement. They rip through four tracks at a moderately fast pace (it's definitely fast but they aren't doing the speedfreak thing) and keep everything together well. They actually show off some really good musicianship. Poison Idea comes to mind as a good comparison, and there's a fucking awesome breakdown on the track "Ripped Apart" that reminds me of early MDC. The sound really sort of drifts around to different parts of the early 80s West Coast scene, which is cool. It's sort of a mix of a lot of stuff I was listening to early on, it's got a little In God We Trust, Inc. here and a little bit of The Blue Album there. They don't do a lot to break out of the "old school" norm, but they do it with a great flair and personality. Definitely one of the better "throwback" style hardcore records I've heard in a while.

Flash Attacks on MySpace
Buy It On Interpunk

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dead Kennedys 1978 Demos Download

I'm not 100% about this. I've got several different "versions" of this, but this has the most tracks (17), all of which appear in the other versions (most of the others that I've found have been 6-9 tracks. There are three versions of "Forward to Death" on this, though, and two sound identical. Everything else seems to be in order, though, so for the sake of digital completion I've included both, against my better judegement (maybe they just nailed it twice?).

I think this may actually be two seperate demos, "Cold Fish" and "Dreadlocks of the Suburbs", put together in one file. Who cares? It's awesome, and there are four songs here you've never even heard of before, so download it!

Download 1978 Demos

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Peacocks-Touch and Go LP (I Used to Fuck People Like You In Prison)

I don't even know why I'm bothering to attempt to review this because if you've ever heard the Peacocks from Zurich you already know that they're incapable of writing a bad record. They're the only band I can think of that's been around well over a decade (I think closer to two) and manage to make every album better than the last one. Honestly, I'm a little scared of new Peacocks records because it means I appreciate the former one a little less. See, the Peacocks are one of those bands you sort of grow up with. Their last LP, It's Time For... is about growing past punk rock and all the bullshit, but appreciating the outlet more than ever. "Older Than Punk" is the perfect jaded old schooler anthem. I will never forget their show in Chicago last year. It's one of just a couple of times I've seen a band and sang along to every word to every song and was still disappointed that they left certain songs out of their set.

Touch and Go is a lot less poppy than It's Time For.... It's a little more like Angel their second most recent LP, but it's more crafted and a tad more angry. There's a lot more of an American rockabilly edge to it, but they smoke most US rockabilly style bands. They can play so great, but they don't ever overplay or wank, everything is right in place where it should be. You get the slow songs, the fast songs, the rock songs, the sarcastic lyrics, it's all here. It's like a phone call from an old friend.

I feel bad for future generations that will stumble upon this band in hindsight by downloading their MP3s on Soulseek or whatever people will be using at the time. They'll probably love it, but they'll have none of the excitement of anticipating the next release, wondering what their favorite band will come up with next, where they'll go from here. They'll never understand the joy of having this band grow with them, and that's a shame. Long live the Peacocks.

This review pertains to the European version on I Used to Fuck People Like You In Prison Records. The vinyl version is only available through them and is limited to 500 copies on blue wax. There is an American CD version on Stomp Records that has a slightly different track listing (I HATE THAT BECAUSE I'LL HAVE TO BUY IT NOW!)

The Peacocks on MySpace
Buy LP on Interpunk

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