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

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