Thursday, August 30, 2007

V/A-"Free For All" Download

If no one else checked the comments on yesterday's entry, Brandon posted a download for a sweet record called Free For All, a four way split featuring Token Entry, Wrecking Crew, Rest in Pieces, and No For an Answer, all from sets recorded at CBGB. I'd never even heard of this before, and didn't really find much about it online, but it's pretty fucking sweet. The sound quality is fucking great. I haven't listened to the whole thing yet, but I think I actually like the Token Entry tracks better than the studio versions!

Download it!.

Speaking of Token Entry, their classic LPs Jaybird and Weight of the World have been reissued as a double LP by Durty Mick Records. They're selling it for ridiculously cheap ($14 for a double LP on gold vinyl). Check it the fuck out!

Thanks Brandon!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Holly Kristal 1931-2007

"Hilly Kristal, founder of famous New York venue CBGB, died at the age of 75 this past Tuesday of complications from lung cancer. Kristal ran the club from 1973 to 2006, giving vital early support to the scene that brought the world the Ramones, Patti Smith, Television, Blondie, the Talking Heads and many others. The club was recently closed following a prolonged battle with the venue's landlords, with the ensuing tributes and send-off shows solidifying the venue's status as a punk rock mecca and possibly the genre's greatest landmark.

Kristal is survived by his daughter, Lisa Kristal Burgman, son, Mark Dana Kristal, son-in-law Ger Burgman, grandchildren Jenny and Adam Burgman. A private memorial service is planned with a public memorial to be scheduled at a later date. Contributions in Hilly's honor may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society or the Hilly Kristal Foundation for Musicians and Artists"


It doesn't mention the later contributions to punk. Even after punk broke, CBGBs hosted all the greats that never got in the mainstream like Reagan Youth, False Prophets, and of course all the skinhead bands from the late 80s. Not bad for a bar was started to promote bluegrass, eh?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Replacements

I'm not sure how much actual airplay this got, but it was on MTV in the early 90s. I've heard it described before as the best example of the "anti video", this is to say a video made by a band who abhorred the MTV aesthetic but understood the medium as a promotional tool. On Let It Be, they had a song called "Seen Your Video" that referred to popular music as "phony rock n' roll" (which it was), and years later when they were faced with the decision to buy in or sell out, they gave it away with their fingers behind their backs. What a great band.

I'd heard the Replacements were getting back together last year to support their greatest hits record (that they recorded a new track for). I was super stoked as it was right when I moving to the Chicago area and I figured that if they happened to play any dates outside Minneapolis, this would be it. Sadly, nothing materialised, but I've still got my hopes up. For the hell of it, here's a live version of a song on their first record, "Johnny's Gonna' Die" (about Johnny's a very bad introduction the band, but it's great if you're already into them) dated 1981:

Here's another one from the same show (the internet is great!):

Monday, August 27, 2007

Razzapparte-"Il Drago E Il Leone" (Anfibio)

With all the great releases coming from Italy recently I'm thinking of moving there. Razzapparte aren't like most of the thrashy Italian bands I'm hearing of getting a lot of press in the States right now. They're more along the lines of older, more melodic, UK style Oi (think the 4Skins).

This record's got all the elements. Great, thick guitars playing good melodies on top of the rhythm, and interesting songs in different styles. Ska parts in Oi/streetpunk have gotten kind of old, but these guys mix it up by throwing in more of an Upsetters dub style between the more straight ahead Oi stuff. It's great. I just wish I could understand the words.

Anfibio Records put this one out. I don't know how many of these are being distroed in the States, but if you're into GMM Records/I Scream bands or bands that should be GMM/I Scream (Discipline, Deadline, Anti Heros, APA, etcetc), it is definately worth your time to seek this one out.

Razzapparte on MySpace
Anfibio Records

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Anti-Matter Anthology

On November 6th, The Anti-Matter Anthology: A 1990s Post-Punk & Hardcore Reader, the first book that I know of that tells the story of 90s post-punk/hardcore, will hit shelves. The press release describes my feelings about it pretty well:

"While much ink has been spilled over 1980s punk and hardcore mythology — eventually culminating with a Sony Pictures feature film, American Hardcore, released in 2006 — very little has been revealed about the era that followed. Indeed, it’s a glaring omission. In the 1990s, punk rock entered its adolescent stage and began reevaluating its own music, politics, and traditions. And before long, the result of this collective soul-searching became clear: If hardcore wanted to remain relevant in the new decade, it was going to have to rebel against itself. The Anti-Matter Anthology is perhaps the first published book dedicated to this transition."

The author is Norman Brannon (aka Norman Arena), who did time in 108, Shelter, Texas is the Reason, and others. Brannon has also written for several music magazines and web sites, and I assume he can give a pretty good, accurate depiction of the 90s punk scene. While I'm sure there will be omissions (you'll never be able to tell everything in one book), I've got my hopes up for this one.

V/A-"Four Old Seven Inches on a Twelve Inch" (Dischord)

It's pretty much impossible to actually review this record. Everyone's heard all this before, whether they're totally old school and have the original 7"s, they got the pressing of this LP from 1984, or they got the Year In 7"s CD reissue, it's all pretty common stuff.

This record collects four of the first six records released by Dischord; Teen Idles-Minor Disturbance, SOA-No Policy, Government Issue-Legless Bull, and Youth Brigade-Welcome. The gaps in the catalog account for the Minor Threat 7"s, which are unnecessary as they're collected on CD in Complete Discography, and on vinyl as the Minor Threat 12".

Honestly, really, really honestly, I would have gotten this for the SOA and Government Issue tracks alone. Those are such great, timeless hardcore records that pretty much anyone that's into the whole punk/hardcore thing needs to own. The Teen Idles record is good from a historical perspective, but I never really got into them. It's toneless, they didn't have time to really develop as a band. Youth Brigade I could take or leave. They're alright. As with the Teen Idles record, you have to look at it from a historical perspective.

The street date for the repress is August 29th, but it's already out a few places. Check your local shop. It's been repressed on clear vinyl, but I don't know if that's limited or they're all on clear. I know this is going to make me sound like a total geek, but I love the feeling of taking a record out of the shrinkwrap and finding out it's on something other than black vinyl. I donno' why. I read an interview the other day where the guy said it was like "opening up the wrapper and looking for the golden ticket", and that makes sense to me, as I was stoked on this record when I got, anyway (even though I've already got it all on CD), but just something about taking it out and seeing it on clear was really cool. Total nerd points, right?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Hardcore Is a Festering Sea of Bullshit, Part 1

A few days ago I was reading a post about punk rock documentaries on Discoparlante, and felt the need to vent about the "cultural status" of the American Hardcore movie. I feel it's a good thing to bring up here now, as it will probably be something I return to from time to time. It's a valid subject. Below are embellishments on quotes from my comment on the page.

"...maybe because I’m pretentious, I always feel the need to interject my disdain with the way American Hardcore turned out. The book was really great, but would have been much better if we’d been spared Steven Blush’s pompous (and ignorant) opinion on skinheads, homosexuals, and how No Trend was “more innovative” than Minor Threat. The main problem with both is that it completely cuts off the scene in 1986, and the last 10 minutes of the movie are old bands telling new kids to fuck off. Hell, even the Circle Jerks, who fucking suck nowadays and totally rely on 14 year old kids who don’t know any better to go see them and pay their bills, were talking shit about the current scene. My bet is that the Circle Jerks couldn’t name one hardcore record from the past 20 years. They’re all outsiders now, trying to make money on our scene that they removed themselves from, and Blush is no exception."

If you haven't seen the movie, Keith Morris ends it with his fair share of talking about how the current hardcore "scene" is just copping shit that happened in LA back in the 80s and we need to get our own culture. What Morris fails to see is that he's not even a part of hardcore. The Circle Jerks put out a couple of really great, timeless records, but they are so inconsequential to me, and most people involved in the actual undergound. They tour nowadays and play places like the House of Blues, have corporate sponsorship*, and play songs they wrote 20 years ago (so who's living in the old days, huh?). They've become part of the machine they were supposed to be fighting so hard against.

"In 1986, Age of Quarrel had just come out. Warzone, Gorilla Biscuits, Operation Ivy, and Agnostic Front were all brand new bands. Belching Penguin’s Draft Beer, Not Me! came out, and the Borderless Countries Tapes series was in full effect. 1986 was the year when things branched off and hardcore turned into something completely different. The fact that 20 years later a lot of the people from the second generation of hardcore are still at least somewhat supportive of the scene now speaks volume about the people from the first generation who turned their backs on it as soon as something better came along."

The second generation of hardcore, to me, defined it so much more than the first. The second generation is the one that legitimized it as a lasting music style, but more than that, as a movement. Where the old guys saw a burned out gap where nothing could grow, the new kids saw fertile ground where they could build their own ideas, and that's still apparant. Sure, there's bullshit. Sure, there are tons of really mediocre bands that get a lot of hype, there's a ton of drama, and there are millions of kids who "just don't get it", but I'd be willing to bet any amount of money that if you could build a time machine and go back to 1982 and ask any LA skinhead at a Fear show, they'd say the exact same thing.

*This is not to say that corporate sponsorship is always necessarily a bad thing. However, that's a different post.

Yes, the title of this is the name of a Positive Reinforcement song. Good for you for paying attention.

Ramones, Eminem (Scribble Jam Battle)

Don't know how much anyone that reads this is into hip-hop, but this is worth checking out if you are. 10 years ago, at the world famous Scribble Jam competition, a little known rapper who called himself Eminem made it to the finals and had to go up against MC JUice, who, at the time, was a pretty big player in the underground hip-hop scene. Eminem loses.

This battle isn't really worth all the hype. I still hear people refer to this (as they do in the intro to this video) as the "greatest battle of all time". Totally untrue. It's more of just an interesting look at what was really the first appearance on a national scale of someone who went on to be famous. It's a little bit of a chore of a watch (at over 15 minutes long), but you can skip most of the intro and hype. The shot of Eminem crying over his loss in the intro is worth the whole thing, though!

And while we're on the subject of old ones, here's an ancient video of the Ramones. It's dated 1977 and is supposedly at CBGBs, but I don't think that's the case. I've never been to the place, but I've seen other videos from there, and this place looks way too big (I remember seeing a video of H20 at CBGBs playing a packed show and it looking tiny!). I don't like that they overdubbed the sound, but whatever.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Population Reduction-”At the Throats of Man Forever” 7" (Tankcrimes)

Population Reduction is the product of two metal geeks from San Francisco recording their own stuff and apparently not taking anything seriously, which is great. I think the downfall of the entire thrash metal genre is how bad it’s gotten lyrically. I can’t take epic poems about Vikings or necrophilia seriously. I question the sanity of people that can. I don’t like the whole space-age Viking with the fucking KISS face paint and arguing/killing each other over who’s “more evil”.

This shit is heavy, but they manage not to sacrifice speed, or pretty cool riffs instead of just chug-a-chug shit (man, I am really jaded today, aren‘t I?). The song “Plague of the Artists” is the perfect way to start off this record, and a good example of the tone of the whole thing. It’s written in the aforementioned style of some ancient epic poem glorifying the pillaging of a village, but it‘s a tongue-in-cheek statement about the current “emo“/“indie rock“ fad taking over mainstream media. “Wielding fucking metal we wage holy war!”

There was more I was going to say about this, but I don’t even think I have to continue. I’ve listened to this record three times in a row and am about to listen to it again.

Population Reduction on MySpace
Buy it on Interpunk (also includes a CD version with a TON of extra tracks)

Imperial Leather-”Antibodies” 7” (Profane Existence)

Imperial Leather are a great street punk band from Stockholm, Sweden. They put out an LP on Profane Existence called “Something Out of Nothing” that completely blew me away, and this 7” is no different. They remind me a lot of Banner of Hope, except Banner of Hope only had like two good songs. Imperial Leather seem to be writing one great song after another, and put effort into making shit come out right and coming up with interesting song structures and ideas while somehow maintaining a pretty straightforward streetpunk sound. I have a lot of gripes with whole street punk scene and these guys somehow defy just about all of them. This shit rules.

The lyrics on this record, as on the LP, are pretty standard. There aren’t any points that I have to stop and say “Wow, that is so cheesy and stupid!”, but it‘s mostly nothing new, except in a few brief instances when they throw in something really cool that immediately catches your attention. The song “We Will Never Die” sticks out as a pretty standard example of the defiant punk rock pride song, but stumbles into the best line of the record; “We do not dream, we just meet our own demands,” which is such a perfect embodiment of DIY and punk rock I can’t help but have to point it out. This is one of my favorite 7”s right now.

Imperial Leather MySpace
Buy it on Interpunk

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ex-Members of the Holy Trinity-"Demo" Download

Ex-Members of the Holy Trinity are a newer hardcore band from Birmingham. They remind me a lot of From Ashes Rise, and some elements of Fucked Up. I hate using the Fucked Up comparison, because I think Fucked Up are one of the most over-rated punk/hardcore bands out right now. Maybe since there isn't the huge hype-show behind Ex-Members of... I can just appreciate it for what it is.

The guitar player in this band plays drums in Now I Have a Machine Gun, and has played in several other Birmingham hardcore bands over the years, a few of which might spark some recognition with you if I felt like listing them. The singer in this band surprised me a lot. You see, he used to sing in this band called Burned Over Time, who were a really horrible Throwdown style mosh band. The guitarist now plays in Die Young, the drummer is a cop and I don't think plays in any bands right now (correct me if I'm wrong). The three of them somehow convinced a whole slew of bassists to fill in for them, one of which went on to sing in Your Loss, who also featured the guitarist if BOT/Die Young, and the OTHER guitarist in that band now plays in the world famous Hollywood, and a lot of these same guys are now involved with that band Legion. TWO of the people who played bass in Burned Over Time also played in Korova, one of which has a blog with a lot of links.

I don't really know why all that was relevant except to show how incestuous the hardcore scene can get, and to embarrass Alan and myself about a band we were in. Anyway, the vocals on this demo don't sound anything like the vocals on Burned Over Time, which is definitely a good thing.

For fucks sake, just download it already. It's a zipped file, and, once again, you'll have to type in a code given in an image on the download page. If you like it, e-mail and tell him you want a copy if they still have any. They come in really nice screen printed sleeves and everything (see photo above).

The Side of Dr. Seuss You Never Saw

I think we all know Dr. Seuss as the sort of off-beat genius of children's literature (I know that since my son was born and I've been reading his books again, but from an adult point-of-view, I certainly see it that way), but his actual art wasn't ever completely public. I stumbled on this site selling originals of Dr. Suess art and found some really weird stuff I wouldn't have expected.

Dr. Suess' work in surrealism is a pretty obvious deviation from his drawings in his books. (See above for a good example of one of his drawings). But I didn't know he sculpted. Not only did he sculpt, but he actually taxidermied animals salvaged from the Forest Park Zoo, where his father was employed, and used pieces of them to "create sculptures based on what he thought these animals would want to be reincarnated as. He called this his 'Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy'"

Looking at the sculptures, it makes complete sense. They look like something from a Dr. Suess book, I guess. I think, really, they look more like something that would be a Tim Burton adaptation of a Dr. Seuss story.

This isn't what I normally write about on this blog, but it's mine, I'll do what I want!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hard Skin

This one's so fresh it's still got that "new car" smell (sweet cheesy catch phrases, yeah!). Hard Skin playing "Beer and Fags" just over a week ago at Rebellion Fest. I always figured they'd be good live, even for fat, old, bald dudes. I wish I'd been there to see 'em.

Monday, August 20, 2007

HeWhoCorrupts-”The Discographer” 2x12” (Forge Again, FudgeSickKill, Calls and Correspondence, Plastic Airlines, Level Plane, Scenester Credentials...)

I’m not usually into power violence/grind LPs. I like the style a lot, but there really aren’t too many bands doing it that can keep my attention for more than about 12 minutes. But these guys….well, they’re simply the best at what they do. I don’t care who wants to argue, it’s the truth. I can listen to both LPs back to back and then go right back to the first side again. They’re so ------- fast, but the songs are all unique and have their own qualities about them. Whether it’s the crazy lyrics, totally off-the-wall riffs, or the sheer intensity and speed of what they’re doing, they just keep pummeling you for the entire thing. This record is a collection of unreleased live material, rare EPs, and some comp. tracks. The only thing you need to know about this is that it’s one of the few records you’ll hear a ton about and will totally live up to all the hype.

Ten (count 'em, TEN, there wasn't even enough room on my subject line!) labels got together to release this monstrosity on vinyl. I believe Six Weeks put out the CD versions, but I could be wrong. There were 600 pressed, 500 on half/half vinyl and 100 on splatter wax that is long gone and you probably won't find very cheap.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gogol Bordello

Gogol Bordello was one of the craziest bands I've ever seen live. I saw them in a cramped bar in Birmingham called the Nick and they just went nuts with this huge instense live show. I don't know what it be like to see them now because they're getting much bigger and I don't know how well their set translates into a bigger venue, but I'd still advise you to point yourself in their direction if they come near you on tour.

They call themselves "gypsy punk" (also the name of the album the song in the video comes from), and as far as I know, are all first generation immigrants from Eastern Europe, but the band is based out of NYC. They remind me a lot of the Pogues, but that's more of the deep cultural influence on their music rather than their actual aesthetic.

I like this video because they cut to other footage of the tour and crowd, so it's like a music video, but they keep the live audio instead of overdubbing the album version. The song is "60 Revolutions".

Gun Crazy/Teen Cool split 7” (Cutthroat)

This record is such a great surprise; one of those rare times when you get something on a label you’ve never heard of with bands you’ve never heard of that just fucking rules all the way through and makes you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something great. Both these bands play really lo-fi punk n roll style stuff. If I didn’t know any better and somebody told me both these bands were from the Killed By Death era, I wouldn’t question it for a second. They both set themselves apart from the standard fair by making the songs melodic and catchy rather than reverting to snotty atonal whines, which is overdone and gets old fast. I liked the Gun Crazy side a lot and for some reason was expecting to get let down on the Teen Cool side (I guess I figured it couldn’t get much better). Thankfully Teen Cool, while a little less rough around the edges than Gun Crazy, are much more anthemic in their songwriting and suck you right in. This records definitely a surprisingly good piece of wax.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bad Religion-Into the Unknown Download

The story on this one involves a lot of the drugs Bad Religion were taking in the early 80s, and a need to progress outside of their melodic hardcore style. They came up with Into the Unknown, a prog-rock-esque new wave record that was a complete flop. Years later, I think a lot of people that downed it (the shallow So-Cal youth-crew types) grew into liking it, but the band is still so dissapointed with it they refuse to reissue it, and it continues to be the only Bad Religion record never officially repressed. There was a bootleg pressing about 10 years ago, and originals go for well over a hundred nowadays. Here it is, yours, for free!

I stole this download from Suburban Terror, who posted a complete Bad Religion discography that you can download from their blog. When you unpack the MP3s, you'll get a message about password protection; the password for all the files is "". Enjoy!

Download Bad Religion-Into the Unknown

Friday, August 17, 2007

Slumlords, Colds, and Plutocrats

I've got a cold and my wife is at work, so I'm home alone with my 11 month old son. Not a fun night, as you can imagine.

I thought some of you might be interested in checking out a blog I found that's got some really cool downloads of obscure Japanese hardcore. Sadly, the main blogger for the page died early this month. It's definately worth looking around, but I don't know if it will be updated any longer. Go Fight Against the Plutocrats!.

Also, here's a pretty ridiculous music video I found for the Slumlord's "Involuntary Skinhead". Such a great band that broke up earlier this year and I never got to see live.

Speaking of their breakup, here's a clip from their last show. The sound quality is shit, but like I said, I'm sick and I'm really not into digging a lot. If you've got something better, share it!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Cramps-"Ohio Demos" Download

This is a new feature to the blog and I'm still working the kinks out. Bear with me if it doesn't work right away. Also, it should be noted that the files are under an hourly bandwidth limit.

In 1979, the Cramps recorded a series of demos that were never officially released, but bootlegged later on as a 7" box set. There are some discrepancies as to the tracklisting (the order is obviously irrelevent, but there are certain tracks that are rumored to have been added on later by a compiler, and others some say are missing). Either way, it's a good listen.

Download The Cramps="Ohio Demos" here

You'll be brought to a new page that's protected by CAPTCHA, so at the bottom, you'll be prompted to type in a code given in a graphic. Hit "submit" and you're there.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

FEAR on SNL 1981

The internet has given us access to lots of great music and videos that would have otherwise been completely lost. If you don't know the story on this one, Saturday Night Live asked to have John Belushi back on for a cameo one night. He agreed with one stipulation; that the producers allow his favorite band, FEAR, to be the musical guest one the same show. Those same producers made a few phone calls to people like Ian MacKaye and Harley Flanagen to "get their skinhead friends out to see them", and the end result on Holloween Night was thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage and broken equipment and the only episode of Saturday Night Live NBC still refuses to replay. Thankfully, some people already owned VCRs.

Dogs of Ire/Marc Antony split 7” (Ethospine Noise)

First off, this record looks great. The sleeve is a really nice screen printing job on card stock that someone dropped a lot of time/effort on. The vinyl itself if coke bottle clear which has always been a favorite of mine.

Now, into the depths…the Dogs of Ire songs get a little lost in the mix. They put out a really good split 10” with Death to Tyrants that got my hopes up a lot for this one, and I’ll have to admit I didn’t like it as much. Their attitude hasn’t let up one bit, though. “Fuck Your Booking Agent and Your Spineless Band” has to be one of the best song titles ever, and sums up a lot of the bullshit “next level” attitude a lot of "hardcore" bands have nowadays. Reason enough to get into this record, even though the style isn’t really something I’m into.

Marc Antony remind me a lot of Anodyne. It’s noisy, heavy, and crazy enough to make you keep listening when you aren’t 100% sure what’s really going on. This one’s not for the hardcore purist. This falls into the new sort of artsy genre that kind of walks some line between hardcore, metal, and emo. I’m not really sure how I feel about most of the bands that are doing this sort of thing, and these guys are no exception. It's like, at times, I really want to be into it, but I just can't, because you can't really get into a groove with it. But, I guess that's what they're going for.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Skate Korpse-”Discography” 12” (Feral Kid, Punks Before Profits)

Skate Korpse was one of my favorite bands to come out this decade, and it’s a shame they were so short lived. Surf style punk bands are too rare nowadays, and most of the time they really aren’t that impressive. Skate Korpse managed to sound more like a hardcore version of Dick Dale than an East Coast version of Agent Orange, and that alone is enough to separate them from the pack.

The whole first side of this record is previously released material. The Punks Before Profits 7”, the Art of the Underground Single Series 7”, and the rare DSK Records ”Down” 7” are all on here. After seeing the PBP 7” go on eBay for over $30 and the “Down” 7” for $75(!) when neither were even a year old, I thought it was a pretty good idea that someone put them all out together for an affordable price. The B side material is demo stuff and is honestly pretty iffy, but it has it’s moments. I’d call this a must-have if you missed these guys the first time around or if you’ve got their records on your want list.

Tragedy, English Beat

I heard a rumor today that Tragedy from Portland has broken up. I don't know how valid that is, but if it's true, it's a little sad. Very few bands are able to press their own records, stay out of the big market promotional game, and succeed. They aren't as good as their earlier incarnation His Hero Is Gone, but are great nonetheless. If it's not true...well, fuck internet rumors.

And this...what the hell? After yesterdays post of the Desmond Dekker TV appearance and now finally seeing the English Beat's (aka "The Beat" and "International Beat", depending on where you live/buy records) video for "Save It For Later", I'm starting to question my appreciation for the whole genre. I guess any era of ska is going to be victimized by whatever popular culture is going on at the time. I'm warning you,'re probably better off not watching this next one.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Desmond Dekker, False Prophets

Well, this is a weird one. Desmond Dekker on some American Bandstand style show, lip-syncing "Isrealites" in what has to be the late 60s. If anybody has any info on the when/where/what of this video, I want to know.

I didn't know there were videos from the now legendary Rock Against Racism show in Central Park, but I guess I was wrong. Here's a video of one of the most under-rated New York hardcore punk bands (years before breakdown and straight edge hit the scene), the False Prophets, from that show. I wish the cameraman was better, but the sound must be straight off the board because it's perfect.

Geriatric Unit-”Nuclear Accidents EP” 12” (Violent Change, Plastic Bomb)

Sure, this band is really tight, and they’re really fast. That’s what you expect when you get UK hardcore vets from bands like HERESY putting out new records, and members of DOOM engineering the thing. The problem? It’s just not that interesting. I figured guys who had been playing fast hardcore for so long would have come up with some really cool ideas to throw in by now, but this just sounds like a really polished version of what most 17 year old kids in fastcore bands are doing these days. It’s a good listen, and it’s pleasant to have on in the background, but it’s really nothing to get excited about. The only song that really caught my attention was “Can’t Sleep”, which also happens to be the last song on the record (to be noted: the songs did get noticeably better as the record went along, maybe the track listing reflected the order in which they were written?). Maybe that’s a sign of better things to come, but for now, I'm not into this.

Aesop Rock-”The Next Best Thing” 7” (Upper Playground)

Let’s get one thing straight. If you’re buying this record, you’re NOT buying it because it’s an Aesop Rock 7” (who has been in a downward spiral ever since the phenomenal “Float” LP), you’re buying it because the artwork was all done by Jeremy Fish. Some of you might remember Jeremy Fish from his work at Think Skateboards a few years ago. He’s got a really unique, politically aware, yet cartoony and accessible style. This record is a collaberation between Aesop Rock and Jeremy Fish that takes the form of a children’s book/phonograph picture disc combo like you can still find in thrift stores from the 60s. The main idea is that it follows a story about the creative process from the minds of these two semi-schizophrenic geniuses.

The liner notes are the actual book that Jeremy Fish illustrated, and the A side of the record is the audio track that follows it. The song isn’t so hot on it’s own, but it’s no supposed to be, it’s supposed to follow the story, which it does. The B side of the record is a newer Aesop Rock track that was only released as part of a video fro Element Skateboards, and is surprisingly good.

This thing, as far as I know, is not being distroed in record shops or through the usual channels, and you can only get it from art dealers.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nothing New

I haven't posted anything in a few days as I've been in Birmingham for my friends wedding. It's been good so far, and last night I got to see a newer local hardcore band called NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN at Cave9. If you're into the whole "ex-members" thing, this band is the singer from No Price Paid/Everyman, the guitarist and bassist from Steel City Crime, and the drummer of Blue Eyed Boy Mister Death/The Cleansing Power of Fire/about a million over bands. They played a killer set and I hope they get their shit together to record and maybe tour soon.

I'm still short on time, so that's all this week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Negative Approach, Man...Or Astroman?

This is rarity. A really well done video of a hardcore band from the early 80s with decent sound to boot! I could do without the fadeouts between songs, but I shouldn't complain, this is great. What a classic fucking band.

This is clip of their first reunion gig, at the Touch and Go 25th Anniversary Fest last year in Chicago. I was there and was totally blown away at how powerful they still are. They were so no bullshit, which I loved. I didn't find any videos that gave it justice, I think Touch and Go has some stuff they taped that night they're still holding onto.

Here's a clip from the Man...Or Astroman? set the same night as the Negative Approach reunion. These guys were the best band that played all day (the Big Black set left much to be desired). Amazing band.

Fear City-”Our Way of Life” (Nail Wall)

Let’s face it, the American Oi Scene has been pretty shitty for a long time. US bands were, once upon a time, the best in the genre, but that sound has been lost over the years. Gone are the days of bands like Stars and Stripes and the Bruisers. Hell, the Templars aren’t even really playing Oi anymore. It seems like there hasn’t been a really good Oi LP to come from this side of the Atlantic in a really long time, and that’s pretty disappointing. Sure, there have been a few scattered 7”s that stand out (Outsiders-Don’t Tread On Me definitely comes to mind as a really great record even 5 or 6 years after it’s release), and tons of bands that were great live but never even had substantial documentation (American Outlaws), but nothing has been followed through by a full length that had much replay value. Try comparing the US of Oi! or Oi! American Style compilations to last years American Skinheads: Armed With the Truth compilation and you’ll have a pretty good picture of how far the genre has fallen in the past 20 years. Most US bands that are any good are either going for more of a hardcore sound or an older British feel. Sometimes it works out really well, but it’s just not the same.

Fear City is the first true American Oi band to come out in a while that I feel gives a good, accurate depiction of the scene, and holds true to the real old school American Oi sound. Listening to this CD is like listening to Stars and Stripes or Best Defense, it’s raw and angry without all the bullshit tough guy posturing. They’re anti racist, but patriotic, and they aren’t afraid you tell you so. There’s no mask of PC bullshit, but they sure as hell aren’t walking any fences here. This record is made by young, angry, working class guys from Southside Chicago who are doing this for no reason other than to give themselves, and their scene, a voice. That’s what this music is all about. They write good, honest songs and Nail Wall dropped a good chunk of change making sure the production came out clean and complimented the sound. Hopefully reviving the glory days of US Oi won’t be the job of just one band. Of course, a lot of the problem is that the genre is sort of inherently regional, so we're just not hearing some of them. That's a whole different story. Maybe Nail Wall will step up to the plate in that respect?

Endrophobia-”S/T” 12” (Communichaos Media)

I cannot stop listening to this record. I’ll admit, I got pretty high expectations of thing before I even took the record out of the sleeve because they got some awesome cover artwork for it. These guys are from Stuttgart, Germany and have ex-members of Lost World. I haven’t heard the 7” they put out before this, so I don’t have that to compare it to, but this is pretty heavy, fast hardcore that‘s able to maintain some really catchy melodies. The singer has a crazy high voice which might get on your nerves, and if she wasn’t so good at forming such good melodies around the music I wouldn’t be so into it. They also cover the classic Kraut band SLIME on this record. If you really wanna' know what this sounds like, throw some old Motorhead on your turntable and run it at 45 RPM.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mad Sin, Demented Are Go Videos

Here's something to mix it up a bit. I'd always heard (and expected) great things from Mad Sin's live sets. Most of the videos I've seen have absolutely horrible sound quality, so it's hard to judge. Donno', they seem pretty showy, and I was never into that. Either way, they can play better than almost anybody any any genre right now and it must be great to watch them do their thing. Here's "Communication Breakdown" from a show in 2005. This is in Stuttgart, if I'm not mistaken.

And damn, this is an old one. Demented Are Go (the best psychobilly band ever, FUCK YOU METEORS!) from what must be the very late 80s or early 90s doing "Pervy In the Park" from their classic "In Sickness and in Health". This video seems incredibly low-key compared to their typical live show. Hell, when I saw them they were ten times crazier than this and it was at least 15 years after this was taped!

Here's a much more recent video. "Daddy's Makin' Monsters" was on "Hellucifernation", which came out back in '99, but I'd guess this is from the past two years.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Murder City Devils Reunion in Texas

I don't know how many people have heard that the Murder City Devils will be playing another show in Austin at the Fun Fun Fest in November. I have mixed feelings about it. The Murder City Devils are one of my favorite bands of all time and I would love to be able to see them since I never got the chance when they were together, but I just question how they'll be. I heard great reviews of their Seattle gigs last year (all in one weekend, that was supposed to be a one-off deal). I've had so many great bands ruined in my eyes by getting together in half-assed fashions to cash in on the old days (Naked Raygun comes to mind), and I don't want them to be just another one. I know there's a huge difference between reuniting five years after breaking up and doing it 20 years after breaking up, maybe I'm just jaded. Either way, if they come through Chicago I'll be there with my hopes as high as possible. Maybe they'll even be coaxed into putting out a new record?

Here are a couple of videos from the reunion last year. The sound quality is shit, but from the other videos I've seen, this seems to be classic Murder City Devils. Spencer Moody is characteristically drunk.

Bear Away

I Drank the Wine

Kursk/Defeatist-”Sanctimonious Mechanisms of Filth” 7” (Level Plane, Enucleation)

Split 7”s are a hard thing to pull off nowadays as it’s pretty rare to find two bands that are in the same style that you can actually tell apart and are pretty even musically. Usually you walk away from things like this saying “Man, I wish they’d just put out a record for Band A and left Band B off altogether.”. This record does really well in this respect. Kursk and Defeatist both play fast, intense grind style hardcore, but don’t really sound alike. Defeatist are a lot heavier with a more straightforward sound than Kursk, but mix it up enough to be surprising, which is hard in grind. Kursk are more into off beat, riff based speedcore as opposed to just tuned down power chords. Kind of like Slayer covering Koro. Definitely recommended. My only complaint is that it’s too short.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Review Materials/Submissions

Send me an e-mail at to get an address to send records for review. Please only send stuff on its original format, and DO NOT send me hate mail if I give you a bad review. If you put out music and expect someone to review it, you have to be willing to accept it when someone doesn't like it. If you read the blog, you know what I like and what my review style is, so keep that in mind.

THERE WILL BE NO MORE PODCASTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. A ton of things have come up in my personal life and I do not have the set up or the time to put the podcast together anymore. I WILL start it back up, but I have no idea how long it will be until that happens. I will still be doing reviews.

If there is a record posted here and you are in a band/label and want it taken down, e-mail me and I will take care of it. I'm careful now to only post things that are out of print and I still do my best to link to the band and/or label in the post so that people who get the record can then go check out what releases are still available that they can buy. It is very important to me that people support DIY hardcore and I would not do anything that I feel would be detrimental to bands or labels that I care about. This blog is here for the purpose of exposing music, not exploiting it. If you e-mail me and try to be a huge dick about it, If you e-mail me and try to be a huge dick about it, I don't really feel much of an obligation to you. If you feel like opening a dialogue, then fine, we'll talk. We got into all this stuff because we're supposed to be better than corporate assholes, right?

I Object!, Legion

The sound quality on this isn't so great, but it's a good video. I Object! from Rochester, NY playing in what looks like a parking lot in Mexico (I assume?). The set is great, but outside just a few people, the crowd doesn't seem into it.

And this one's Legion, a heavy as hell metalcore style band from Birmingham, Alabama. Ex members of a ton of other locals. The sound quality's alright, but the person holding the camera is trying to stay out of the way of flailing arms and legs so some of the shots are hard to follow. Great video, though.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hard Times

I had the good fortune of finally catching a Pressure Point gig a few weeks ago and was totally blown away. They're even better live than on their records. Not much of their stuff on YouTube, but here's a live video of a Cro-Mags cover (the only other video of them is 9 years old and doesn't really do 'em justice):

and while we're at it, here's the Cro-Mags version:

Hated Youth/Roach Motel-"Split" 12" (Burrito Records)

This is the 19 song album that Hated Youth recorded right before they broke up that wasn’t released until a couple of years ago. If you’ve heard the 7” or even just the two tracks from the legendary “We Can’t Help It We’re From Florida!” comp. you should be into this, it sounds exactly the same, fast snotty Southeastern hardcore. It's really good, but if you've heard the "Hardcore Rules" 7" it's really nothing new to you at this point. The Roach Motel stuff is actually a live set. Sounds kinda’ like Fear, and I wasn't totally impressed by it at all. I'm pretty content to spin just the Hated Youth side of this.

Skinhead Documentary From an NYC News Show

I found this a couple of weeks ago on YouTube. It's definitely better than the old BBC Docs on skinheads as it gives a pretty unbiased portrayal of anti racist skins.

B Movie Rats/Hellbenders-”Distilled” 12" (Dead Beat Records)

Both these bands would have fit in really well on the “Fistful of Rock n Roll” comps. Both play pretty fast, straightforward punk n roll, think Electric Frankenstein or Reverend Horton Heat without the upright bass or silly clothes. B Movie Rats are great and definately start off the record well, but Hellbenders are definitely the reason to buy this. I'm not really too into this whole straightforward garage rock scene (I tend to stick more with the 60s punk/mod sound), but these guys do this with so much intensity it's hard not to enjoy.

The Fixtures-”Screw The World” 7" (Know Records)

This record came out back in 1994, I don’t know if the copy I got recently is original or a re-press. Sounds a lot like older Random Conflict, and it also sounds like maybe the Boils were listening to this band when they wrote “World Poison”. I get the impression that these guys were older when they recorded this, and they’d grown up listening to and going to see a lot of the Alternative Tentacles bands from the Mid-80s. I didn’t like this the first time I listened to it, but like AT bands from the 80s, it grows on you fast.

Boiling Man-"Roadkill Museum" 7" (Six Weeks Records)

Pretty sweet record. It’s not life changing and the vocals (two singers) aren’t amazing, but the music is awesome. The bassist fucking rips, and honestly I don't think this record would be anywhere near as good as it is without the bass lines. Think of older From Ashes Rise with a heavy dose of the first Kakistocracy 7” and you're pretty close to this band. Great pissed off hardcore.

Steel City Crime

It's low budget, but it's good. All the footage from this was taken from Steel City Crime's last show, at Cave9 in Birmingham, Alabama


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