Wednesday, March 26, 2008

V/A-I Thrash, Therefore I Am (Schizophrenic) review

Finally, parts of the legendary Borderless Countries Tapes are seeing a proper vinyl release. I Thrash, Therefore I Am was volume 18 in the series, and arguably the most famous and best. To my knowledge, this isn't the collection in it's entirety, but just the best that could fit onto on LP, so it will suffice. I wish every one of the tapes would be remastered and reissued in this format, but they would probably be waaaay too expensive for anyone to actually put together.

Mob 47 provide a perfect introductions to this record for old and new hardcore fans alike. They belt out 9 tracks of top-notch Swedish hardcore that set the standad for all to follow. Product Assar offer up two tracks of lo-fi, relentless punk rock. All pretty straight forward and doesn't break any barriers. Sounds like standard 80s style thrashcore. Honestly, I could take or leave these two songs, as they aren't bad, but are definitely the worst on here. The next set is Moderat Likvidation. The quality on their songs are actually pretty good. It's low budget, but the mix is done well. The guitar playing is surprisingly good (actually all the playing on these tracks are way ahead of a lot of low-budget 80s punk, with some awesome bass soloing!). The vocals are super pissed. I have no idea what this dude is yelling on about, but he sure does fucking hate it. The intro on "Dodeus Barn" reminds me of "Last Rockers" by Vice Squad (which actually isn't a bad over-all comparison, though these dudes have a definite metal influence). These tracks are fucking awesome, maybe even better than the Mob 47 contributions.

Side B kicks off with Existenz, who play tight, fast, punk rock and their tracks are GREAT quality. The vocals are short bursts of syllables, and the English parts I can pick are pro-active (song titles like "Burning Bones of War" and "Fight for Freedom" speak for themselves). Their songs are well put together in a really awkward fashion, the guitars and bass change up rhythm while the drums keep playing pretty much the same straight ahead punk rock beat the whole time. They actually make this sound interesting, which is really cool. They also do some cool breakdowns, though. "Fight For Freedom" breaks into a slow part with a little shuffle to the drums for about five seconds before blasting back full speed for the end. These dudes are fast as hell, but still sound punk as opposed to some of the heavier hardcore on this record. Their last track, "Anger Burning in My Head" sounds like late 70s/early 80s UK punk with a lot more bite to it. Akutt Innleggelse start their set with "De Dode Vakner", and the main riff on that one is pretty much "Bloodstains" by Agent Orange, but all trebly and obviously recorded in some dude's basement on a crappy old tape deck, so it sounds raw as all hell. The guitars are feeding back pretty much any time they let up for an instant during both of their tracks, and the vocals are a tortured mess. This is beautiful. Anti-Cimex are the only other band besides Mob 47 I'd actually listened to before this. The vocals are loud and angry as hell, but unfortunately they're pushed too far back in the mix to really jump out at you. Other than that, these songs are spectacular, and should be standard listening for any 80s hardcore punk newcomer. This is pretty gloomy stuff, with song titles like "Dead Struggle in a Burning Hell". The album closes out with Enola Gay, who sort of remind me of an old crust band called ATV. They're hardcore, but they rock out, too. Their songs are slower than the other bands and some have a little more character, but they can still play fast. Hell, listen to the drums on "Syndebuk"! And then the fucking atomic bomb feedback that goes into insanely fast hardcore on the song "Enola Gay"! Fuck!

The insert in this record is a good interview with the guy who put together all the original BCT comps, who is pretty verbose. The interview is great, with some good history on the series, but the best part is the end, where he's talking about being 53 years old still being as punk as he was in his 20s. It's great, anyone who ever talked about burning out needs to read this. You grow up, but you don't grow out. The color vinyl is pretty sweet as well. Now that this record is available to the masses, I expect to hear these songs actually covered and/or blatantly ripped off at shows on a regular basis.

Buy It On Interpunk! (30 songs for 10 bucks!)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tom Lehrer-That Was the Year That Was LP Download

In the never-ending quest to educate (or piss off) the "punk rock" crowd that regularly reads this blog, I now give you this. Tom Lehrer's That Was the Year That Was is a brilliantly crafted work of satire originally released in 1965 (re-released on CD? Possibly, I don't know, and don't care, this is just fine). His songwriting style is well honed, as he can still sound like himself no matter what style he's copping at the time.

Part of this remind me a lot of Phil Ochs, not only in his voice and playing, but in his sarcasm and his sense of humor towards his subjects, but his sincerity towards the topics he addresses. Lehrer is not a revolutionary, and wasn't trying to change society, or any one's opinions at all, and apparently wrote music because he just couldn't sit still.

Some of these songs could have been written yesterday and they'd still be relevant. "National Brotherhood Week" is still spot-on, even for today, and other's, like "Who's Next?" are on topics (nuclear arms becoming widespread) that, while specific to their time period, are still heavy today. Obviously, since this material is 43 years old, some of the songs are dated, but that doesn't make them any less good, it just means you might have to brush up on some history to fully appreciate it. The liner notes on the back sleeve are possibly even funnier than the songs, and contain the disclaimer: "Any ideas expressed on this record should not be taken as representing Mr. Lehrer's true convictions, for indeed he has none. 'If anyone objects to any statement I make,' he has said, 'I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it.'"

This was his last album before he went on hiatus for a long time. There's a very good Wikipedia article on him.

Download That Was the Year That Was

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Alternate Action/Marching Orders

I got two awesome records in this week that I decided not to separate into two posts.

Alternate Action are from Canada and play Oi!. Not hardcore, not "street" punk, it's Oi!. I haven't heard a band nail UK Oi! like this since...well, since the first time I heard old UK Oi!. It's incredible. To all the people who hold bands in this genre to the impossibly high standard of Shock Troops, this is your new favorite band. There are four songs on this 7" that are all varying degrees of awesome. Extra points for being on the coolest looking slab of color vinyl I've seen in a looooong time.

Buy it on Interpunk

I also got a split with Alternate Action, which is a little bit more hardcore tinged than the 7", but still good. The band on the B side, Marching Orders, may actually be better. The sound like Oxblood, but more melodic. And still menacing. Like...Menace, remember them? Or Major Accident. Holy shit, this record fucking rules.

Buy it on Interpunk

Alternate Action on MySpace
Marching Orders on MySpace

Saturday, March 15, 2008

An Albatross-Freedom Summer Live download

Holy shit, this recording is perfect. Everything is clear, but it sounds live and raw as hell, it's a live recording that actually warrants being bootlegged and listened to over and over again. The songs are all pretty clear and the groove sections play out well. The recording is good, but the set is what really makes it. These guys are really a great live act.

Even if you never really listened to An Albatross (I was never really familiar with their whole catalog or anything), this is a good listen. It actually works as an introduction to the band instead of just being something only die hard fans would ever appreciate. It was recorded April 20th 20065 in New York City. One again, I decided to rip this as two files, side a and side b. There are actually visible groove gaps to distinguish the songs, but there are no gaps in the audio and I didn't feel like there was a point in taking the time to try and separate the tracks.

Picture is courtesy of My copy is black ink screen printed on a black sleeve and does NOT show up in a picture, and I don't have a way to scan LPs. My version is on grey vinyl and is hand numbered "11/136".

Set list:
Triumph Intro
Let's Get On With It
Trust the Sun
Manifesto of the Divine Children
Triumph of the Lazer Viking
Profane Illumination 1/2/3
Ch. 96
Vitally Important Pelvic Thrust
I Will Swim Into the Lazer Eye

I Am the Lazer Viking
Ballad of the Electric Coyote
Unkle Funky Pants
Man Eating Pig of Madidi
Get Faster Cry for Happy
Pa Inferno
Mothers' Day
Electric Suits and Cowboy Boots
Revolutionary Politics Of Dance
Triumph Outro

Download Freedom Summer Live

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Godstomper/Gorgonized Dorks split 10" (Agromosh) review

I got this a few weeks ago because Godstomper was on it; I had never heard of Gorgonized Dorks even though they apparantly have a million releases. I didn't really got a chance to sit down and listen to it until last night, and I'm glad I waited.

The Gorgonized Dorks side of this record is spectacular. I haven't had this much fun sitting down with a hardcore record and reading through all the lyrics as the songs play in a really, really long time. Actually, this record is a fitting introduction to the band for me personally because this is same feeling I got while listening to some of the first records I heard by Godstomper. The music isn't groundbreaking, it's the same short bursts of grind you can hear on tons of records nowadays (26 songs on one side of the 10"!!!). The recording quality is kind of on the low side of things, and the vocals are all one level, just sort loud talking with a bit of screech and the high end turned all the way up. There's no way to really explain how cool it is. A lot of what I love are is the lyrics. They have that great "cut-and-paste" style of writing that is so to-the-point and no-bullshit you can tell the songs are fucking punk without even listening to the music. For example, "Rip Off":

I sent your records, did you recieve them?
I never got your parcel
I sent you e-mails, did you recieve them?
I never got your reply
Why not follow your word, you agreed to trade
Why not follow your word, to promises made

Godstomper deliver 8 songs of the bass heavy, heavily distorted grind they're famous for. Top notch as always, a great record for old and new fans alike. I got bummed out when I found out their side was recorded live on a radio broadcast because I figured the quality would be shit, but it's surprisingly well balanced, and the fact that it's a full set adds a good level of continuity to the recording. This is one of my favorite records right now.

There are 1,000 of these, I think. 100 on black with a cover variation and 900 on marbled pink.

Gorgonized Dorks on MySpace
Godstomper on MySpace

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Podcast 3/11/08

Sorry this is late. Still busy, no post. Enjoi!

Imperial Leather-Busting My Seams
Straight Faced-Course for Destruction

Positive Reinforcement-Get What You Want
God and the State-Art for Spastics
Unseen Force-Push Back
3-D Invisibles-Beach Party Massacre

Murderer's Row-Broken Bones
Mischief Brew-All About the Class War
Patriots-The Guilty Walk Free
Kakka-Hatta 77-Sirpa Ja Make

Youth of Today-I Have Faith
The Trouble-Self Destruct

Download the Podcast!
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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Slumlords-Involuntary Skinhead 7" download

This is one of my records that turned up while I was cleaning out our spare room, and I'm really happy about it because it's out of print and, like most of the Slumlords singles, almost impossible to find.

Everything the Slumlords did was top notch. I seriously can't think of one bad song on anything they did. They put out a whole lot of singles that I wish I could get my hands on and two solid LPs before they broke up about a year ago. I love how they were able to move between really serious observations on hardcore and life in general and funny joke songs without any sort of hiccups. Their first demo has recently been pressed onto a 7", but I haven't heard it yet. The A side of this is record available on their second LP, On the Stremph!, same recording, same everything (so it will sound better than my rip from vinyl). The real gem here is the B side, which is a cover of the Scorpions' "Wind of Change". It's a horrible introduction to the band, so if you've never heard them, go get their LPs, which are both still readily available (and I don't seem them going out of print anytime soon) before you listen to this. If you're already into the band, this is a hilarious addition to the rest of their catalog. The cover is not tongue-in-cheek, but the Scorpions they are not, so it makes for a pretty strange rendition of the song.

It's probably also a good idea to include the lyrics for "Involuntary Skinhead" for those of you that don't know anything about these guys.

"Everyday I lost more hair
Down the drain to I don't know where
It's growing thin, you can see some skin
I guess I gotta' take it on the chin

Everyday-I lose more hair
Down the drain to I don't know where

Don't know how I got in this funkle
All the hot chicks are calling me their uncle
I can't really solve this enigma
I've got less hair than Vinnie Stigma

Bought some Rogaine with the last of my cash
Me scalp got red and broke out in a rash"

Involuntary Skinhead
Wind of Change

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Some stuff

So I'm cleaning out my computer/record room. I've finally got my records organized and together instead of strewn around the room, and it feels so great. I also found all the records I'd misplaced, which will result in a couple of awesome downloads later this week.

ALSO, if you haven't heard (I hadn't until just the other day, how did I miss this?!?!?), Combat Rock Industry have released the LAMA live LP! Lama put out some of the really early, super influential, Finnish hardcore. I've ordered mine from Koi Records and can't wait for it!

Buy it on Interpunk

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