Thursday, December 23, 2010

Natural Law - Slump

Brooklyn's Natural Law is surging back to the forefront with a spankin' new EP, Slump. Following a ripping demo chock full of gritty, old school influence, Slump delves even further into bleakness and despair, unearthing waves of deafening, straight up hardcore. A split release between Katorga Works and Hesitation Wound, this one is already flying off internet shelves and distros around the country.

With five songs clocking in at about five and a half minutes, Natural Law's latest work picks up where the demo left off, but with even better sound quality and tighter playing. Like pulling the ripcord on a chainsaw, Slump immediately ignites into fast paced hardcore fury and blazes through the entire EP from front to back. Stripped down and in your face, the band leaves cutesy guitar diddlys and sluggish breakdowns in the dust, pouring all their effort into a positively crushing slab of wax.

Slump is already sold out from Katorga Works, but copies are still available from Hesitation Wound, so act fast if you haven't grabbed one of these already. The download link comes straight from the label, so support these guys if you can.

Hesitation Wound
Natural Law

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wiccans - Teenage Cults

Fresh in, we have a slab of sweet black wax from Pass Judgement Records, containing four filthy songs from Denton, Texas' Wiccans. An intoxicating blend of old school punk rock and Midwestern hardcore, Teenage Cults delivers a nice injection of mid-tempo aggression. Hand stamped labels and black vinyl, housed in a thin inner sleeve completes the packaging on this baby.

Stripped down and relatively simple, Wiccans play a brand of hardcore which isn't afraid to ink songs longer than 45 seconds long, and use a speed other than "blurring" while playing their instruments. Something about them reminds me of UK82 era punk rock bands, a la Special Duties or The Partisans, with a more modern hardcore edge added to similarly dirty, power chord laden riffs. Adam Cahoon's vocals are gruff and abrasive, shouting the lyrics in a manner which is tough to follow even with the lyric sheet, but I'm sure you'll be able to make out enough to understand their general theme.

The best song on the record might be the opener, "Repetition," which utilizes familiar punk rock progressions accentuated by simple, yet catchy lead lines. Wiccans chugs along swiftly through the three minute song, with momentary mid-tempo breaks and plenty of tormented howling from the vocals. Each track maintains it's own memorable characteristics, but remains true to the band's desired style, rendering Teenage Cults a slight cut above some other similar records out there.

There's just something deliciously snotty and nasty about this band, which makes it an entertaining listen from top to bottom. Wiccans can squeeze in with the hordes of other hardcore acts out there, but they tend to hang around the No Class or Male Nurses end of the spectrum rather than Raw Nerve or Natural Law. Copies of the first press out of 300 are still available from Pass Judgement for $4.50, so SUPPORT THE BAND AND LABEL if you like the download.

Wiccans MySpace
Wiccans Blog
Pass Judgement Records

Friday, December 3, 2010

Localized Noise Volume 1 Out Now

Localized Noise Volume 1 has finally arrived. This is a production of the blog, and thanks to a number of generous people, the 20 page zine is printed and ready to go. Included in the first issue are interviews with Raw Nerve, Weekend Nachos, Iron Rain, and Poison Planet, as well as reviews of various releases and photos from Futurebreed and others.

The main focus of the zine is on one particular city, and we begin with Chicago. The initial run is limited to 100 hand numbered copies, and available for $2.50 ppd. Paypal as a gift to (please include your shipping address), and for wholesale rates please email me first. Thanks for the support and I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mammoth Grinder - Obsessed with Death

Now that this is completely sold out, I figured it was time to post a rip for those who missed out on the one time pressing of 300 copies. Featuring one fresh blast of death metal laced intense hardcore, and a classic cover from one of the more well known metal bands of all time, Obsessed with Death is another welcome installment in the Mammoth Grinder catalog. A bleak, two color silkscreened cover and a sweet slab of black wax round out the packaging from Hell Massacre Records.

It's all there in a touch over two minutes, everything we've come to know, enjoy, and bang out heads to from Mammoth Grinder. "Obsessed with Death" grinds out a lovely jagged d-beat assault, as Ulsh's echoing, demonic vocals roar above the equally harsh music. Flip this sucker over, and you'll be treated to a well executed cover of Venom's "Welcome to Hell." Recorded in all of its raw, offensive glory, Mammoth Grinder recreates the song pretty well, accentuated with black metal flairs and stripped down distortion.

Check out the download below to ensure your ears are properly deafened, and pick up one of this Texas three piece's records if your into it. Their latest full length, Extinction of Humanity is sold out from the label as well, but you should be able to locate a copy in distros still. Have fun, kids.

Mammoth Grinder

Friday, November 5, 2010

Punch - Push Pull

It's been quite a while since I was legitimately excited about a female fronted hardcore band, especially one which maintains the particularly vicious edge which Punch portrays. It almost reminds me of a buzzsaw rehash of Ceremony (demo era), which in turn reminds me of early 80s Southern California powerviolence and grind. Perhaps I'm drawing some crazy conclusions here, but either way, Punch is smashing face-first into the genre.

Each of their records seems to build upon the last, while honing a razor sharp edge with plenty of abrasive vocals and thrilling guitar riffs. Skipping past repetitive breakdowns and delivering straightforward fast, sludging hardcore, Punch is putting an axe right through the pop-punkcore segment of the musical scene. Check out the download for their now sold out LP, Push Pull, which features 13 songs of aggressive, pissed off fury. If you're feeling it as much as I am, hit up the webstore and SUPPORT the band. 

Punch Webstore

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/5 - Cro-Mags in Philly

No introduction needed. Be there.

Friday November 5, 2010 - 7:30 p.m. - $13
Broad Street Ministry
315 S. Broad St. (Broad and Pine)
Philadelphia, PA

Hands Tied
Cast Aside

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vaccine - Human Hatred

Yes, this has already been posted in a handful of other blogs, but I purposely decided to hold off for a while since I figured this record would sell out pretty fast. Painkiller Records is down to their final copies, so without further ado, this is the most recent shot of edgeviolence from Massachusetts' Vaccine. Fold out cover art, slick transparent blood red vinyl, and a digital download card are all included.

Similar to their demo, Vaccine blasts through their songs like a buzzsaw through warm butter, emitting crushingly abrasive riffs in quick 20 to 30 second blasts. Ten songs in about four minutes goes by like a blur, as the group delivers punch after devastating punch of lightning fast powerviolence inspired tunes. Of the crop, only a couple of the songs including "Limited Edition" and "Enlistment" even attempt to slow down a bit, with "slow down" being a highly relative term here.

Despite the almost endless, and undoubtedly unwanted hype which surrounded this band for a while, they produce some seriously vicious music which delivers on each and every track. Completely unapologetic lyrics are delivered in a beastly roaring fashion as the band takes aim at a number of topics such as drug use, religion, self-loathing, and record flipping. "Rotting Away" might be my favorite of the group, which includes a particularly infectious riff towards the end which should have the room moving side to side with enough force to bring the building down.

Copies on black vinyl are still available from Painkiller Records, so if you don't already own this ripper, buy one soon before they're all gone. Vaccine has rips of their demo material on their blog as well, so check that out too if you haven't heard it before.

Painkiller Records

Long Pigs - Tape

So it's been a little while since the last update, but I'm happy to serve up a tape from New York's Toxic State Records. This five piece unit of snotty hardcore punk, appropriately dubbed Long Pigs, presents their latest tape with seven doses of noisy, crashing tunes. White unlabeled tapes, fold out insert, and a lyric sheet are the presentation on this one.

First off, there isn't much information on this whatsoever (at least that I could track down). The tape was sent in by the label along with a few other items which should hopefully be on here soon as well. While the recording quality is clearly a little bit on the more scruffy, low-fi end of the spectrum, it pairs pretty well with the disdainful, negative outpouring of angst which flows like water from Long Pigs.

Fast paced with blaring distortion and relentlessly pounding percussion, Long Pigs stumble their way through their seven tracks in about nine minutes like a drunken brown out. A wall of sound fires out from the speakers, which is more caused by the searing feedback and ragged recording levels, rather than something created by a razor sharp powerviolence band played at max volume. However, this particular brand of near sloppiness coupled with unmitigated anger and roaring riffs seems to work pretty well. Besides, there are tons of other demos or tapes which have sounded worse, with far messier recording and playing.

Check out Toxic State for more NYC hardcore punk and support what these guys are doing, this is the real deal. All of the bands affiliated with the label are worth a spin or three, so hit them up on the blog link below if you're into the download.

Toxic State Records

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Log Cabin Show - 10/15

For everyone's sweaty enjoyment we have another show lined up for The Log Cabin in Toms River, NJ. The last one this summer went unexpectedly well, so be sure to head out on Friday, 10/15 to support all the bands.

Doors @ 5 p.m. - $10 - show will be over by 10 p.m. (seriously.)
8th Ave and Morningside St in Toms River, NJ

Dead End Path (Wilkes-Barre, Triple B Records)
Born Low (Albany, Reaper Records)
Doubledealer (Delaware, Harvcore Records)
Line of Scrimmage (Brooklyn)
Rock Bottom (Doylestown, Harvcore Records)
Good Times (Cape May, NJ)

Please respect the venue, and stop sitting on the stupid fence outside because it's going to break and people will have to spend money they don't have to fix it. Thanks Ian!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad American - EP

Bethlehem, PA's Bad American serves up a split release between two budding record labels, Bad Recordings and Discontent Records. Gritty hardcore punk with scorching vocals and a venomous delivery, this four piece pumps out eight songs on their debut EP. Glued cardstock sleeves with sweet artwork, mixed vinyl, a sticker, and lyric insert are all part of the presentation.

Right off the bat, these dudes remind me of the first Outbreak EP mixed in with some more abrasive, older punk rock qualities. The heat pounding speed is right on point, as the raging guitar riffs work in complete cohesion with the rest of the group. On occasion, the vocals become slightly blown out, but everything pairs pretty nicely considering their non-stop, no frills approach. Forget the cutesy guitar diddlys and pseudo-indie vibe; Bad American is pumping out fast paced hardcore with a scintillating punk edge.

While their musical formula is pretty standard, there's still a few pretty memorable moments scattered throughout the record. The thumping bass 'n drum intro to "Rodent" is a perfect fire-starter, building in anticipation before exploding into an all out attack. "Snake Doctor" puts an insanely catchy riff to work, ripping into a 50 second barn burner as the record works its way to the final ear shredding scream in "Combat."

Give the download a spin or two (I listened to it about seven times), and snatch one of these up before everything's sold out. The limited covers (/100) and their demo (/50) are already sold out, but the band still has copies of the mixed lavenderish color in the picture above. Support the newer guys who are doing something positive. Thanks again to the band for sending this one in.

Buy It
Bad American

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vile Gash in Philly

There's not a plentiful amount of information on this one but here's what's out there right now:

Teri's - 1126 S. 9th St. Philly
9/30/10 - 9 p.m. - Free - 18+ (don't be an idiot)
Vile Gash
No Coffins
DJ Recordmoney

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rotting Out @ Brick Moose Lodge

The Jersey Shore hardcore resurgence continues. West coasters Rotting Out headline the joint with plenty of regional bands rounding out the line up for this banger in Brick. Get out there early and support all the local dudes on the bill. Check out the Facebook invite if you're into that.

10/1/10 - 5 p.m. - $5
Rotting Out
Soul Search
Ramming Speed
Filthy Habits
Country Drop

Mother of Mercy and Nails @ Sellersville VFW

Joe Hardcore is officially at it again. While this next jaunt isn't in Philly, the Sellersville VFW hall is set up for an explosive night on September 28th. Make sure you get there early for this one.

9/28/10 - 7 p.m. $10
Mother of Mercy
Black Feathers

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

9/23 in New Brunswick, NJ

Quick heads up for people in the area about another HCHC show in New Brunswick, NJ. There isn't a flyer yet so just details for now:

9/23 @ 7 p.m. - $5
Bear Trap
Dethroned Emperor
Sick Fuck

This will wrap up at 10 p.m., please do NOT show up without any money for the touring band. The address can't be posted online so "askapunk."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sacred Love - Demo

Back in March I posted a review on some of Sacred Love's debut material, but without any downloads. They put out 75 copies of their demo with a live set as the B side recently, which sold pretty swiftly as word is beginning to spread further about these hard hitting Baltimore newcomers.

Drawing from classic influences such as Cro-Mags and Bad Brains, Sacred Love tap into an old school, straight up hardcore style while adding in their own musical flair. The combination of textbook and unusual rhythms keep the listener fresh, without droning on much in any particular direction. Each of the four songs serves up some classic hardcore tendencies layered with driving, mid-tempo beats, and aggressive vocals while clocking in around eight minutes long. "Weighed Down" takes the cake for me as the favorite, with a floor rumbling breakdown and barking vocals about midway through.

These are already sold out, but check out their blog for further updates on shows and releases. Sacred Love was signed to the stellar Youngblood Records, and an official release is already recorded and slated for release during the upcoming Youngblood Showcase event. Check it out.

Sacred Love
Youngblood Records

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Walls - Tour EP

Feast your eyes on the most recent release from Seattle's Walls. Comprised of members from Cold Sweat and Iron Lung, their latest EP was sold during a stint throughout the West coast back in May (which I wanted to upload about two months ago but this was unfortunately lost in the fray for a bit). Aggressive, unsettling, but surprisingly satisfying, this reveals itself in the form of sleek black vinyl with unmarked black labels and a silkscreened cover with the lyrics on the back.

This is a quick burst for sure, containing two new tracks and a rip roaring cover of Die Kreuzen's "Live Wire."  Clocking in at just under six minutes in length, you've been left behind before any true sense of the band's crushingly diabolical formula completely sets in, which is probably my only complaint.

"Stare at the Walls" begins the musical terror with rolling percussion and a building rhythm section which threatens to completely explode before winding down during the final few seconds. Everything is pleasantly fuzzy and abrasive, fitting perfectly with the unsettling, harsh vocal tones. "Healthy Communication" features a repetitious, grinding, distorted bass line, which gives way to an avalanche of shrieking guitars, feedback, and crash cymbals before moving seamlessly into the Die Kreuzen cover.

Definitely snatch this up and throw it on repeat for a few times to establish as much as a feel for Walls as you possibly can. I'd love more, but then again it seems like that with plenty of releases lately, but I suppose we can all just hope there's a new LP at some point. I'd yell at everyone to buy it, but these were almost all sold on tour, and any copies which surfaced in webstores disappeared instantly. Sink your teeth in.

Iron Lung Records

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Impalers - Demo

I picked up this beast at a recent Mammoth Grinder show over the summer; a spankin' new demo from a Texas duo. Featuring an obvious member from MG and another recruit from Hatred Surge (YES), they deliver five thumping, precisely chaotic tracks which almost sound too good to be a demo. Green pro tapes, color printed j-cards, limited to 100, sold out. You know it.

Start off with some intense d-beat influences ranging everywhere from Discharge to Disclose, and add in some old school metal from across Europe like Motorhead, and you've brought The Impalers' foundation into focus. Crashing percussion, rip roaring guitars, and devilish vocals set up a complete sonic assault on the senses, leaving everyone pleasantly weary.

Each song builds a steely wall of sound, brick by brick, cementing The Impalers' aggressive sound and raw tendencies. Some are laced with searing solos, such as "Rabid Transgressors," while "Turn Me Loose" is near perfect d-beat worship banged out at max volume. However, one of the aspects which allows this demo to be great is their ability to refrain from the complete redundancy which seems to ruin somewhat similar bands while boring people to death. Unfortunately, the tape doesn't come with lyrics, but it's Ulsh, so that should give a pretty easy clue where this might be headed.

The initial run sold out on tour, but there should be another press available soon from Nuclear Solution. Check out the blog below for further updates, and if you're in the Texas, check out their debut show on 9/25 at Beerland during the Vaaska record release. Trust me, this is absolutely worth your while.

Nuclear Solutions Records

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mind Eraser/Slang - Split

I've been having some weird technical problems with my turntable setup lately, causing records to inexplicably play through one channel only, which has caused the delay in posting a nice crop of new EPs I bought recently. It seems to be resolved, allowing me to toss up this delicious little nugget from 540 Records. Two new blasts from Boston's crushing Mind Eraser, and one searing hot track from Japan's hardcore punk masters, Slang. Sweet cover art and thick black wax are the housing for this quick, yet deliciously brutal split EP.

Mind Eraser pump out two songs in recognizable fashion, with roaring vocals and devastatingly low, gritty music serving as the backdrop for DFJ's insatiable howls. "Prime" kicks things off at breakneck speed, before collapsing into a familiarly evil breakdown with CC's thumping guitar rhythms carrying out the track's bleak fate. Wrapping up with the whirlwind of noise and chaos that is "Crushing in My Dreams," the side ends almost as abruptly as it began, leaving me pining for more.

Slang's side is riddled with lovely d-beat worship, surrounded by pounding guitars and percussion, paired with simplistic, yet harshly truthful lyrics. Barely over one minute in length, "Drug Society" races its way through, closing in one final gasp of power chords and crashing cymbals. By the time you flip the EP, close the turntable lid, and sit back down, the side is over.

Three great songs here from two heavy duty bands, but this thing is just way too short. Especially with Slang only contributing one song, it's almost ridiculously quick, resulting in a drummed up appetite for more, with nothing else to be found. However, the cover art is pretty wild, and the songs are a great glimpse into each band's particular style, which makes this an easy choice to pick up. Check out the download and buy it from Painkiller Records, along with one of their amazing new releases. You can't miss.

Buy from Painkiller Records
Mind Eraser

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Brink! - Demo

Michigan hardcore submitted by the band right here. Think early Lockin' Out bands mixed with straight up old school New York bands and you're in the right ballpark. It's not quite Righteous Jams or Mental, but you can easily tell these guys have probably worn deep grooves into their copies of the albums. Even better, they titled their opening track "Brinktro," which I'm a total sucker for.

7 songs in 11:30 minutes completes this Flint, Michigan four piece's demo, dishing up a nice sample size to achieve an accurate feel for the band. Fast beats, power chords, and unpolished shouting vocals are all in the mix, but the overall quality is on the upper crust as far as demos usually go. Brink! isn't flashy, complicated, or technical, which allows them to concentrate on the simple items capable of generating catchy, fun hardcore songs.

Songs like "Shut Up!" pleasantly smack of the first Get Real record, which is a complete bullseye for me. Grooving, infectious riffs with mid tempo breaks and solid drumming really polish the job off nicely at certain points. While they aren't fantastically original or innovative, this is a pretty solid demo with some entertaining moments dotted throughout each of the 7 songs. Check out their MySpace for some sample songs or just download the whole deal right below. Enjoy!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jersey Shore Showtime

No, not the TV show, dummy. For the first time in years, the Log Cabin in Toms River, NJ is up for a show, which is more than exciting for the locals. It's been a long time since I've been to anything decent in this area, so I'm interested to see how everything goes down. Check it out and support this gig if at all possible.

August 21st - The Log Cabin, Toms River, NJ
8th Ave. and Morningside St.
Doors: 4:30
First band: 5:00
SHOW MUST END AT 10:00 due to local noise ordinance.

Wrong Answer

Fire and Ice was supposed to be on the bill too, but they recently dropped off due to health issues, so another band is possible. Respect the venue and the nearby residents. Head on out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Assorted Thoughts on This is Hardcore 5

So another weekend festival in Philadelphia came to a close on Sunday night, much to my body's delight. The varied lineup seemed to do everything from exhume New York and Philly bands long since deceased, to invoke some of most obnoxious moshing I've seen in a while. TIHC5 brought together a plethora of hardcore facets, offering up a little something for nearly everybody over a three day span with a 50 band roster.

Instead of writing up some gigantic review on the hours upon hours of music, the great people, awesome food, and other random experiences, here are some casual/candid/random observations and thoughts on the weekend. I'm not about to bash on bands I found awful, because no one cares anyway, and since I only missed about 4 or 5 bands all weekend, there's more than enough positive things to talk about.

- Early check-in was a great idea. Last year I missed a bunch of bands on Friday trying to get my wristband, so while I still was standing in lines for over an hour and a half, I was just happy not to lose out on anything I wanted to see.
- The relatively more temperate weather was a massive relief, especially compared to 2009 when it was something like 95+ degrees everyday.
- Wilkes-Barre and surrounding towns really showed up huge for this fest on every single night. Agitator, Stick Together, Mother of Mercy, and other bands pulled off some serious high octane performances.
- Burritos Y Tacos is the deal.
- August in a city in the Northeast apparently still isn't a deterrent enough to keep people from wearing longsleeves, crewnecks, wool beanies, sweatpants, stockings, and jackets.
- I still love Bane, and probably always will; they put on a pretty trademark set loaded with plenty of my favorites, huge singalongs, and crazy stagedives.
- Bands like Expire and Creatures deserve some more credit, check these guys out now if you haven't already.
- Horror Show, while it wasn't the tightest set in the world, was still amazing. I love and miss this band.
- Ceremony's set was surprisingly entertaining, as I wasn't really sure what to expect after their latest album was released.
- Foundation, Backtrack, Mindset, and Mother of Mercy all delivered sets pretty worthy of the hype they receive lately.
- Nails, Vaccine, Ringworm, and Pulling Teeth all killed it.
- Trying to buy The Rival Mob shirts was hilarious.
- Eddie Leeway's new band Truth and Rights is pretty good. Their cover of "Rise and Fall" was even better.
- Nearly all of the older bands which came back were really impressive. Sheer Terror will probably be playing more occasional shows (no touring) and possibly even record more music. Hands Tied is not a reunion, they are officially a band again. Ink and Dagger was weird and unsettling, but exciting to watch. Cro-Mags...well, it's the Cro-Mags, I don't need to elaborate.
- It was awesome to see so many people donating to help benefit the family of the child cancer patient (I forget the name, sorry).
- Eating a cheese steak at 330 a.m. is almost always a poor choice.

Thanks to Joe, R5 Productions, all the bands, and everyone involved with making this another great year. I'll be back again in 2011.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This is Hardcore 5

Yes, it sold out insanely fast. Yes, some people are bashing this fest and dropping all sorts of random criticism about organization, tickets, and band choices. Who cares? The current scene is awesome enough to give us Sound and Fury, TIH, Chaos in Tejas, and all the other great fests out there, ensuring nearly everyone can find the right one for their personal tastes. My only reservation about this year's TIH (after going every year) is so many people missing out on tickets, but The Starlight Ballroom is an ideal venue which hopefully won't ever change as long as this event exists. 

We already know about the major acts, including Sheer Terror, Ink & Dagger, Kid Dynamite, Cro-Mags, Horror Show, and Merauder, but there's plenty of smaller groups, as well as some visitors from the West coast who bear watching as well. Vaccine was a late addition after New Lows was supposedly cut, taking the stage earlier on Sunday; I'm pretty interested to see the reaction, DO NOT miss them. 

West coast bands include Creatures, Nails, The Love Below, Xibalba, Touche Amore, Ceremony, and more. The Midwest is represented by bands such as Expire, The Killer, and the mighty Ringworm. Wilkes-Barre is in the house with everyone from Agitator to Title Fight. TIH, once again, boasts a huge roster with bands from all over the country, representing their particular brands of hardcore from each unique corner of the country. 

My personal picks: Horror Show, Vaccine, The Rival Mob, Mindset, Nails, Stick Together, Expire, and Hands Tied. 

Club Polaris (The Starlight Ballroom)
460 N. 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Friday - Check in at 3:30 to avoid lines and get your wristband. Doors @ 5:30 - First band at 6

Saturday - Doors @ 11:30 - First band at Noon

Sunday - Doors @ 11:30 - First band at Noon

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sorry Excuse - Listen with Prejudice

Kansas City hardcore in your face! After a pretty successful, sold out(?) demo in 2008, they dropped a new EP while on tour with RazorXFade and Kicked In, available on black wax or cassette tape. Being the fan of outdated, nearly obsolete technology that I am, I opted for the tape. Black shells, copied, numbered inserts, and lyric sheets wrap up the packaging here.

Sorry Excuse fit snugly into the trend of Midwestern hardcore which is sprouting up like dandelions in a garden. This KC four piece isn't quite as ambiguous as Raw Nerve, or as chaotic as Picked Clean, and fall somewhere smack in the middle of the current swarm of Midwest bands. Some clear cut SSD and Negative Approach influences kick everything off, with blazing fast riffs separated by intermittent mid-tempo breaks, and side to side basement show jams.

Eight songs in less than five minutes. Beginning with the nine second anthem "MWP," and culminating with the 22 second "Grow Up," Sorry Excuse only allow a couple moments of piercing feedback in between songs, ripping through Listen with Prejudice as fast as possible. At times, it's nearly impossible to follow along with the lyrics, as Antonio seems to slash through the verses at superhuman speeds.

At 66 seconds, "Divide" is the longest track of them all, containing a mini sample size of nearly everything Sorry Excuse has to offer. Smashing fast riffs slowly grind into a stomping chorus (a chorus in hardcore, what?) and gang vocals chanting "Divide!!" before screeching to a halt. Textbook style on this one.

The Midwest continues to pump out quality groups, and Sorry Excuse is yet another to add to the ever growing list of bands you might be forgetting to check out. Some of the borderline reactionary straightedge lyrics were a slight turnoff for me, but that's up for everyone to decide for themselves. If you're into the download BUY THIS. They somehow still have copies of the 7" version for $4 and the tape for $2, which is amazingly cheap. Both are limited to 100 so don't miss out. 

Sorry Excuse
Third Party Records

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Divorce Money - EP

Enter the third release from the Southern California label, Video Disease. Picking up where the band left off, the label remains standing after the band dispersed to release further chaotic noise and grating riffs onto the unsuspecting public's ears. Well, if you're ordering an EP from the same label that pressed the last Pigeon Religion record, maybe you'll know exactly what to suspect, but that's besides the point. Black wax, large 45 holes, hand stamped labels and dust sleeves, along with a sleeve which contains literally no information whatsoever about the band are all contained in Divorce Money's presentation.

Hailing from New York, Divorce Money produce two songs of apocalyptic, abrasive music, completely dripping with torment and anger. The guitars shriek with fuzzed out distortion which is nearly akin to playing the instrument with a piece of broken glass and a guitar amp that's been thrown down a flight of stairs in a fit of rage one too many times. Both songs clock in at over three and a half minutes, with moments of grungy riffs as well as torture chamber-esque vocals which wail alongside the music.

While "Names B/W" and "Use Your Imagination" are both noticeably unique from each other, each song seems to build upon itself until culminating with a final gasp of crunchy, sloppy riffs and squealing feedback. The A side is more of a slow, deliberate garage punk rock Frankenstein monster, while the B side doubles up the pace, book-ending a brooding, disturbing interlude complete with almost unnecessarily harsh feedback and "Please die" echoing repeatedly through the microphone.

Over seven minutes of unapologetic and creepy pain ooze from this record, which is then filtered some sort of liquid painkiller haze, resulting in a remarkably fuzzy and pleasantly weird EP. Divorce Money might be pushing things slightly past their own limitations at points, but I sincerely doubt something like that concerns them. Rather, I wouldn't be surprised if they were doing it purposefully in the first place. The record was limited to a one time pressing of 200, which is of course sold out, but try checking some distros and see if you have any luck. More releases are in the works from Video Disease, so be sure to check out the blog and join the mailing list if this piques your interest.

Video Disease Records

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last Laugh - Disarray

Oh Canada! Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Last Laugh recently released a cassette on No Control Records. Aaron from the label was awesome enough to send me a copy for review, so I've been jamming to this one for the past couple days. Black pro tapes with black and white sticker labels, and a black and white screened insert in a plastic case are the eye candy on this baby.

Eight songs in less than seven minutes. When I say this five piece powerhouse isn't wasting any time, I really mean it. While for many bands this means playing blurring grind songs or powerviolence worship, Last Laugh mix in some different ingredients to keep themselves from sounding like a complete Infest rip off. Of course, there's still some strong influences coming from that era, but they aren't afraid to toss in some stomping breakdowns in between dizzyingly quick chord changes.

Super heavy distortion reminiscent of Dropdead reaches near fuzz-like levels during the songs, giving them a slightly metally edge throughout the tape. While songs like "No Idols" and "Hickkk" are complete blistering ragers, other tracks such as "Nowhere Near" or "Stranglehold" contain surprisingly infectious mid-tempo breaks. The vocals are pretty clear as well, making it somewhat easy to follow along with the angst-ridden lyrics. Even though Disarray is only about seven minutes long in the first place, the variations keep people guessing about as much as possible for their chosen style, resulting in a super short listen.

While they might write a pretty common style, Last Laugh pull this off better than some of their contemporaries, mixing in just enough attributes of hardcore, thrash, and punk to keep things interesting. The download link is directly from the label with lyrics and art included, so if you enjoy it as much as I did, please pick up a copy. Four bucks, limited to 100, you know the deal.

Last Laugh
No Control Records and Distro

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Natrual Law - Spring Trash Demo

So wait, this was recorded in what year? This year, seriously? Hailing from the New Jersey and New York areas, Natural Law cultivate a gritty, rough, superbly 1980s sound on their Spring Trash demo. Four songs which vary from frantic hardcore lunacy to floorboard rattling pounders usher in this tape for its rumbling six minute existence. Clear pro tapes with white print and fold out black and white inserts finish this baby off.

"Cheap Blood" lights the fuse on this pipe bomb of a demo, roaring at ideal speeds and culminating with a bone crunching breakdown. The tape seems to alternate between fast and mid tempos, as both of the lighting quick rippers are followed by a thumping, grooving track. "Spring Trash" almost approaches a level of infectiousness, as I felt compelled to air guitar with ferocity, even though there isn't a ton of variation in the riffage.

The crystal clear nods to hardcore elders drive this demo to its last gasp, which for some reason is something I usually can't seem to get enough of lately. Of course, there are some other queues taken here, as well as some contemporary flair, but it's pretty minimal. Natural Law is by no means complicated, but this is an excellent starting point, especially for a demo tape. Unfortunately this is sold out, although there could be some copies popping up at the Parts Unknown site (per the band's blogspot), so maybe check back with them every so often. Also be on the look out for a new release this fall. Play this one loud and often.

Natural Law

Friday, July 16, 2010

Deathbeds - No Funeral

I saw these guys open up the Mammoth Grinder show this week in Philly and felt compelled to pick up their tape. Even though there was only about 20 people in the room at that point, they delivered with some high octane energy and completely roaring vocals throughout each of their head banging songs. This is the cassette version of their already released 7" EP on Young Lungs Ltd., featuring three ripping tracks of doom-type metal with some hardcore influences. Pro white shell tapes, fold out insert, and high quality digital download are all included.

Combining slower tempo riffs with solid percussion and pleasantly demonic vocals, Deathbeds generate a sound that sludge/doom metal dudes can get down on (whatever that means), but still allow more prominent influences such as Entombed or Integrity to shine through. Part of me also gets a touch of old Life of Agony from a couple of the quicker moments, but only slightly (and definitely not in the vocals). Even better, the tape doesn't sound like it was recorded underwater with a Radio Shack overhead mic in someone's basement, so you can really attain a nice feeling for their thumping sound.

There are more than enough catchy riffs littered throughout the EP, especially during the title track, "No Funeral," which had my head bouncing before I even knew what was happening. They continue a particularly grooving, catchy vibe in "Tyranny of Will," as the percussion rhythms seem to pair almost perfectly with the chugging guitar riffs. This is probably the peak of the tape, as Deathbeds' occasional infectious sensibilities strike a slick balance with their deliberate heaviness, resulting in a crushing, yet somehow pleasant track.

This is definitely a little off the beaten track from what I've been posting lately, which I'm happy to say is a great thing. Break up the frantic 40 song, 30 minute long powerviolence listening marathons, or two hour diatribes on various electro-indie groups with this three track behemoth. I found their live performance slightly more impressive, but this captures everything pretty nicely, especially for a cassette. The rip featured below is the official digital download, so there's no weird pops or blown out levels. Check out the label's link to pick up a copy, or grab one at an upcoming show.

Be at Peace Records

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Pile of Wax from React! Records

Finally! An exciting delivery of inspired, positive, energetic hardcore arrived at my door the other day after a preorder I placed a while back. Colored wax, stickers, screened patches, digital downloads, and even a screened cardboard mailer were included with these three records:

Get the Most - Together
Praise - Growing.Changing.Healing.
Damages - Unrequited

While each band establishes their own particular flair and affinity for hardcore, they remain within the distinct realm of React! Records' roster, which isn't always a negative point. Fast paced, heartfelt, and aggressive, all three of these groups blaze through their records with intense ferocity and pounding rhythms.

Get the Most rides the infectious wave of newer youth crew influenced bands, playing with wild speed which threatens to derail nearly every song. After a demo and three EPs, they finally drop their LP onto anxious fans, which continues in similar fashion to the material everyone has grown to know, whether they dig it or not. 10 songs in 20 minutes, you know the deal. These breakdowns will have you jumping around like an eight year old who found their way into a case of Pixy Stix. 

Praise tap into plenty of obvious hardcore elders, playing a particular brand of straightedge hardcore which mixes everything from Chain of Strength to Champion to Bad Brains all at once. The result is a captivating four track record (its not religious, despite the band's name, so relax) which rings true to React's impeccable roster.

Damages departs from the typical fast-slow-fast formula of their contemporaries, exploring further into the depths of rock whilst generating a darker, more ominous aura. Even though their EP only contains two songs, both are over three minutes long, ensuring listeners receive enough of their stripped down sound to effectively catch the vibe. 

If the descriptions alone aren't enough to drag your mouse over to the React! webstore to buy something, then the plentiful images should do the trick. Colored vinyl, stickers, patches, digital downloads, quality sleeves and packaging round out each of these records to ensure even the most obnoxious record collector freak is satisfied. New wax is always dropping and fresh bands are always joining up with this label, so stay alert. Sorry, no downloads on this one.

React! Records

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stick Together - Demo

This is a pretty new Wilkes-Barre band, joining forces with the recent wave of quality hardcore coming from this region in Pennsylvania. Five piece, straightedge (duh), straight up core, with no frills or filler crap. Three songs are presented here on a clear red pro tape with fold out, orange copied inserts including the lyrics.

I recently saw these dudes at a show in Philadelphia and picked this one up after checking out the preview tracks on their MySpace page. There's some classic youth crew influences strewn about, as with most xxx bands, but what catches my ears is their ability to blend this with some more contemporary bands. Taking cues from everyone including Turning Point and Outspoken, as well as Get the Most and Mindset, Stick Together strikes a nice balance between rehashing the old and over-emulating the new.

Their lyrics are overwhelmingly edge related, but I'm always stoked to see bands who avoid preaching and trying to force their personal choices on everyone else, especially through their music. "You're different from me, that's okay/Just don't get in my way," rings true during "X Treatment," as Hoodrack clearly explains the band's central theme, but uses a pretty simple, clear method. Don't expect any clever metaphors or weird imagery here, this is about as straightforward as it gets.

Definitely check this one out, as these guys are flexing some awesome potential which quickly excites me to hear more. Back to Back Records pressed 500 of the tapes, so I wouldn't expect these to run out super quick, but definitely pick one up at a show or from the webstore if you're jamming to this as much as I am. DO IT.

Stick Together
Back to Back Records

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Unlikely Source

So the Stone Pony hasn't had many hardcore shows since the debacle that was the Gorilla Biscuits reunion show, and part of me can't really blame them. While that was an amazing night, the venue suffered the brunt of all the completely unchecked enthusiasm, and I wouldn't of had it any other way. I'm undeniably skeptical of this show but all of me really wants to believe this is going to be a completely blockbuster, wildly entertaining evening. Either way, Underdog is playing, so whatever I've said is pretty much irrelevant. Go to this show.

7/31/10 @ The Stony Pony in Asbury Park, NJ
Underdog - OG 1980's NYHC
Cold World - Wilkes Barre HC
OS101 - NJ old school hc punk
Darouge - NJ dudes playing something
Night Birds - surf punk and hc blend from NJ

Friday, July 9, 2010

Seasick Weekend

Bid farewell to the mighty Seasick on their LP release weekend with two ridiculous shows. One, of course in New Brunswick, and the other at the burgeoning Warren American Legion Hall for RTFest. Boatloads of great NJ bands on these, so be sure to check it out.

7/23/10 - 5 p.m. @ Ask-a-punk in New Brunswick - $5

I Object!
Zhenia Golov
Long Pigs
Sick Fuck

7/24/10 5 p.m. @ Warren American Legion Hall (RTFest) - $7 before 5 p.m., $10 after

The Banner - you already know
Seasick - last show before hiatus
Pellinore - loud, fast hardcore
Zhenia Golov - last show ever
Black Kites - LP release

Fleshtemple - Registered Sex Offender tape release
Incendiary - long island
Troublemaker - new LP soon on RTF
GDP - hip hop

Sick Fuck - new tape soon
Big Eyes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Picked Clean - Tape EP

So it would appear my recent obsession with the Midwest is continuing. Although, if bands keep dropping tapes like these I'm going to continue buying them and consequently annoying my neighbors. Another quality release here from Not Normal Tapes by Indianapolis' Picked Clean. Fast, crunchy hardcore with gritty recording and some sweet old school flavor. Black pro tapes, stickered labels, blue case, and a j-card with lyrics complete the packaging.

Oddly enough, the vocals are some of the cleanest I've heard on a tape recording lately, despite the less than stellar quality. The bass drum approaches the blown out level at points, although everything seems to meld together during the wild 60 second songs, creating a chaotic, rough vibe. People are flying side to side during this rager for sure.

Somewhat similar to other Midwest bands, there's a boatload of 80s hardcore influence, as Picked Clean blast through their six songs in a shade under 7 minutes. Borderline uncontrollable feedback squeals in between the tracks while the music almost never ceases its assault on your ears. Expect plenty of distortion, thumping percussion, as well as some socially and politically conscious lyrical content.

Not Normal Tapes continues its reign of hardcore dominance, churning out more quality tunes with each blistering cassette. I wish the quality was a touch better, but that's my only real complaint about this release. Pick it up for $3 today or regret it later, as this is a one time pressing limited to 100.

Picked Clean
Not Normal Tapes

Friday, July 2, 2010

Weekend Nachos - Bleed EP and Interview w/ Snyder

Welcome in with open arms the latest crushing release from Chicago's Weekend Nachos. A two song devastator of mammoth proportions, served up on a platter of black wax capable of making your turntable spontaneously combust. The brutal four piece stray from their oft-utilized blazing fast, super short song formula, penning two tracks which clock in at over thirteen minutes total.

Igniting with the title track "Bleed," Weekend Nachos ominously grinds their way into a slow, brooding riff before Snyder's vocals burst from the speakers, dripping with grit and rage. The methodical heaviness of the song is so epic it almost reaches a level of ridiculousness, but I'd be lying if I tried to deny how much head banging I did the first ten times through. After about two and a half minutes, they pick up the pace a little, chugging along with fuzzy distortion, super thick bass lines, and thumping percussion. While the walls in your house begin to shake as if a space shuttle is about to land in your backyard, they explode into another sludgy, destructive riff just before the five minute mark, which carries out the song to its final gasp.

Flip this monster over, and the B side continues the madness with "Observer." A seven minute opus which consistently returns to the opening pounding, lumbering riff, causing you to think the record might be skipping. If it's even possible, the vocals sound as harsh and vicious as they've ever been, possibly one upping the venomous style used in "Bleed." An ideal soundtrack for smashing your worst enemies' car with a sledgehammer, Weekend Nachos establish themselves as one of their heavier bands in Chicago with the Bleed EP.

This record might disappoint some people searching for more lightning fast forty second songs, but it's exciting to see bands try something different once in a while. It's even more impressive when they pull it off as well as Weekend Nachos did with Bleed. The title track is a little more listenable than "Observer," but I sincerely doubt the band cares about something like that. Snyder was nice enough to answer a few questions about the new record, so check it out, and if you like the download, please BUY THE RECORD. It's $8, people.

Play it Loud: How was the experience recording the new EP, Bleed?

Snyder: It was great, I love recording with W.N. because our guitar player, Andy, has his own studio and he's really good at what he does. There's a specific sound that we always get that I'm not sure we could get anywhere else. Recording is always a good time cuz we always order food and just chill in between the serious stuff. It's a comfortable and fun environment. As for the actual recording, that's awesome too because we get new and heavier sounds every time we go back in to the studio. It's pretty fun coming up with new ideas on the spot, too.

PIL: What inspired the band to write such lengthy songs?

S: When we got asked to do an EP for Relapse, the idea of doing another 7" with a bunch of our regular length songs on it just didn't appeal to me, I wanted to do something different. Not different as in no one's ever done it before, but different as in WE had never done it before. So writing a long song for side A, and a long song for side B seemed like a great idea to us and I knew that we'd come up with some heavy, epic sounding shit. The actual song "Bleed" is a total masterpiece of heaviness, in my opinion.

PIL: Is there a central theme or idea behind the record?

S: Our themes don't really ever change because all I ever want to express is negativity and hatred for everything, because that's how I feel most of the time. It's a good way to get it out through this band. We have songs about other stuff, obviously, but this EP is definitely what anyone would expect from us. Lyrically, at least.

PIL: What is going on with that insert photo?

S: Brian likes to be abused, sexually. He always said his dream would be to get it from his bandmates. We figured we'd strip him down and torture him as a belated birthday present, since 2 out of 3 of us completely forgot to wish him a happy birthday a few months ago. He was so fucking stoked! That picture captures the 4 of us just after it happened.

PIL: Should people expect more of this type of material from Weekend Nachos in the future?

S: Musically, no one should expect anything except more heaviness in different ways. The next full-length we're working on will be different than Bleed, Unforgivable, Punish & Destroy, Torture, etc. but it will have the same elements that make us Weekend Nachos.

Relapse Records
Weekend Nachos

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Smutlife Columns

I've been doing some reviews and columns on recent shows and records for this site Smutlife, based out of NYC. Take a minute and check it out if you'd like, all links are below. The site is somewhat NSFW though, just in case the name didn't tip you off. Music, interviews, tattoos, movies, unusual news, and some adult content as well. A little bit of everything, if you will. There's plenty more coming as well, including a write up on the recent Floorpunch show. Thanks.

Piece by Piece - LP review and interview with Nick Jett
Bitter End - Guilty as Charged review
Rock Bottom - Born II Hate review
Skin Like Iron - Descent into Light review
Nails - Unsilent Death review

Monday, June 28, 2010

Failures - EP

So Failures is playing a few live shows in July, so I figured why not toss this one up? A four song exercise in beating instruments to death, Failures delivers this deliciously noisy EP through the unstoppable Painkiller Records. This is presented on clean black vinyl with textured outer and inner sleeves, along with art and lyrics. Very slick.

For those familiar with their LP, this pretty much takes the baton from the last record, emitting a brutal sonic assault capable of derailing a freight train. Uncontrollably fast, undeniably harsh, and amazingly enjoyable, Failures finish about as quickly as they start, bowing out after an abrasive four minute EP. McCoy's vocals will undoubtedly annoy some people, as his higher pitched yelps grate upon the ears, but if you ever listened to Charles Bronson or any of his other projects, you already know what to expect.

The chord changes occur at almost blurring speed, utilizing higher notes while avoiding delving too deep for too long, which aids in the uneasiness that sets in while listening to Failures. I can imagine the drummer's arms practically falling off after recording this, as the fanatical fashion used in the guitar playing translates right into the percussion. Lighting fast fills bridge the gaps between even faster beats, as they maniacally sail right off a cliff when the band finally ceases their attack with "Dovetail."

If you haven't heard or picked  this one up yet, definitely give it a shot. While the complete frantic craziness of their playing style might turn some people off, this is still a well done, incredibly fast hardcore record. Be on the look out for upcoming appearances in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Indianapolis, and NYC from July 8-11. Copies on black vinyl are still available from Painkiller Records, so sell one of those crappy cassette tapes you never listen to and buy one today.

Painkiller Records

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Upcoming Barbary Noise

Yet anther great time for the whole family at The Barbary in Philly. It might be on a Wednesday night in July, but for 10 bucks, it's tough to track down a better line up in the area. This one kicks off at 7 PM and each band rips it, so don't show up 2 hours late because you "only like" Mammoth Grinder.

Mammoth Grinder - Austin, Texas. Bang your head.
Magrudergrind - Blazing fast DC mayhem.
Lewd Acts - West coast hardcore punk on DWI.
Coke Bust - Rip roaring DC straightedge.
Deathbeds - Crushing Philly locals.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Merchandise - EP

This was originally released a while ago, but considering there's a new LP in the works from these guys, it seems appropriate to post it now. From the ever elusive Cult Maternal group, and released by Drugged Conscience Records, Merchandise's tape EP is a versatile, experimental, adventurous take on indie rock and post punk. You could probably toss in a few other subjective genre names in there too if you'd like, just as long as you understand this isn't a Cult Ritual rehash. Fuzzy, distorted, and nerve-wracking at times, this has the potential to soothe and disturb listeners simultaneously.

Blue pro tapes with double sided silkscreen covers make this a visually appealing release, with quirky puke green and blue artwork that matches the cassette almost perfectly. Merchandise churn out 22 minutes worth of music here in five songs (there's six tracks but the first one is just 15 seconds of noise), which dials in at assorted frequencies all across the musical spectrum. Beginning with "I'm Still Right," the band lumbers on for around three minutes at a slow, deliberate pace, before unexpectedly exploding into fast, distorted riffs which completely take you by surprise. 

There's plenty of interesting things happening throughout this tape, which are far better explained by the musical experience than my random statements regurgitated through the medium of a keyboard. Moments of fuzzed out rock blur right into post-hardcore which disintegrates into something possibly less intelligent. Does that even make sense? I hope not. If you aren't already blissfully aware of this tape, please go buy it from Drugged Conscience. Or wait until it's on eBay. Someone wins either way.

Drugged Conscience Records
Cult Maternal

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flyer of the Year?

Amazing. I seriously hope there's silkscreen prints or at least some sort of photocopy to grab so I can plaster this sucker right onto my wall. If you don't get it, grab your glasses, or turn on a television. Legendary hardcore rages through the New Jersey Shore at the Asbury Lanes on June 18 for a cool $18. Coincidence? Well, no, and actually I wish it was a bit cheaper but I can't really complain.

No introductions or internet chatter needed on this one. However, be sure to check out Staring Problem. Your Friday night is settled.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Floorpunch - Discography

I've been patiently waiting on this one for what feels like forever. Not because Six Feet Under Records takes too long to mail orders out, but because I literally couldn't wait to see how they pulled this one off. Yet again, another lavishly presented release from one of my favorite labels in contemporary hardcore.

Two sexy LPs in brilliant orange color with black and gray splatter and striping, containing timeless New Jersey classics which I've held near and dear for years. A gatefold sleeve with flyers and photos, along with interesting thoughts from some well-known hardcore lifers. The insert embellishes the point further with lyrics and even more writings from everyone including Robby Redcheeks to DFJ.

The discography takes you on a wild chronological ride of Floorpunch's recordings, starting with the influential demo, and wrapping up nicely with Fast Times at the Jersey Shore. While they weren't without controversy at times, this was one of the first bands to spark my interest in hardcore, so each and everyone of these songs remains relevant to me (and so many others) to this day. Blazing fast riffs, unmistakable vocals, thick bass lines, and classic drum beats created a sound which blew away nearly everyone who had the pleasure of hearing them.

Copies are still available from Six Feet Under on clear and gold vinyl for $20 each, so pick up a copy as soon as possible. I considered snapping some more photos, but it truly wouldn't do this the justice it deserves. You know them, you love them. Do it.

Six Feet Under Records

Also, if you live anywhere near the Northeast, missing this would be downright outrageous. Tickets are still available, and I'd be surprised if it didn't sell out. BUST!


Mother of Mercy - You already know. New LP coming on B9.
The Mongoloids - New Jersey.
The Rival Mob - MOB RULES ALL. New EP on SFU soon.
Bitter End - San Antonio, Texas hardcore. Upcoming LP on Deathwish Inc.
Alert - Western Mass straightedge.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bloodtype - Bringin' More Stuff Down

Raw style? Check. 80's straightedge hardcore influences? Check. Judge reference? Check. If you're not getting the picture here, Bloodtype is here to rage from your stereo with their latest tape, Bringin' More Stuff Down. A preview release of sorts; this includes two songs from their upcoming EP on Cowabunga Records, one from a split with INJ/SYS (Injustice System), and a Black Flag cover which is sure to disappoint My War B-side worshipers. Red pro tapes, fold out copied j-cards with lyrics, a sticker, and a button round out the package from Bleeding Edges.

Instead of trying to emulate the latest Have Heart or Champion project (thank god), Bloodtype pay assorted homage to the everlasting and important bands of the 80's, fusing fast hardcore with a raspy vocal style that reminds me a little of older Redemption 87. Fast paced, short lived 60 second bursts of furious hardcore lay waste to your stolen 1992 Walkman while Jeff screams in surprisingly audible fashion.

"Dropout" gets things rolling with blurring speed and rapid fire chord changes. Followed by "Not Here to Make Friends," Bloodtype keeps chugging along, treating your ears to a heavy, grooving breakdown to finish the song. An attack on the trivialities of organized religion concludes the original material, as the appropriately dubbed "Saved" blasts at an ideal mid-paced, head banging tempo. If you're as mind numbingly sick of hearing "Rise Above" covered by groups of wide-eyed 14-year-olds as I am, you'll be pleasantly refreshed by the cover of "Drinking and Driving." Although this "went over like a lead balloon" at their last show according to Jeff, so what do I know anyway?

If you were into the demo, Bringin' More Stuff Down is an easy follow up, giving a nice tease of the new material, and with substantially better recording quality. Look for the upcoming 7" from Cowabunga records, and check these dudes out at an undisclosed, dingy New Brunswick, NJ basement soon. There's also a cinder block hurling tour scheduled for the end of July with Tampa, FL ragers, INJ/SYS, so keep your eyes peeled. This is already sold out from Bleeding Edges, but copies should filter through some distros shortly to satisfy the low-fi cassette collecting enthusiasts. 

Bloodtype MySpace
Bleeding Edges

Friday, June 11, 2010

Mandatory Attendance

YES. One of my favorite straightedge bands of all time, One Up is reuniting as a birthday gift to Jeff Lasich. Another fantastic Sunday matinee at The Barbary for some good old fashioned hardcore fun. Toss in NJ's youth crew inspired Outlast, and Wilkes Barre's latest band, Stick Together, and you've got everything you could ask for. All those in town for the Floorpunch show on Saturday, June 26 better stick around for this one, it's gonna be a rager. Check out the band's MySpace pages for some tunes if you're unfortunately unfamiliar.

One Up
Word for Word
Stick Together

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Shadow of a Doubt - Demo

Well, Derrick doesn't want to "toot [his] own horn" so I'll pump this one up a bit. Frantic, raging Western Mass hardcore from some dudes who seem to be doing it right. Five songs worth of distorted, crazy music which rampages its way through the cassette while threatening to spin right off the spool.

It's difficult to pin down the assorted influences here, as A Shadow of a Doubt crazily works their way though a particularly noisy brand of hardcore in a shade under 9 minutes. Plenty of squealing guitars, piercing feedback, and violent drumming spew from your stereo during each song, which is interrupted by surprising gaps of calmness in tracks like "What a Virtue, Forgiveness."

They're definitely not trying to be the latest wierdo artsy pseudo-hardcore emulation, which excites me for further possible releases. As far as demos go, this is definitely worth a few minutes of your precious time. Picture, download, and pretty much everything all taken from his Well Fed blog so please check it out. Demos are available for $3, so if you're into it, shoot an email over and pick up a copy. These are limited to 100, so I doubt it'll last. SUPPORT.

A Shadow of a Doubt 
Well Fed Blog

Silkscreened Hardcore

Jealousy of Western Massachusetts? Well, maybe a little bit. Either way, these delicious screen prints from Clean Plate are enough to make even the most obnoxious mysterious hardcore fan wince. Brilliant colors on different mediums detail the devastating performances from bands such as California Love, Mind Eraser, Cult Ritual, Aerosols, Waste Management, Failures, Nazi Dust, Slave Scene, and many others.

Check out the webstore to pick these up for near ridiculously cheap prices. Seriously, at $3 each, the posters are cheaper than the shipping. Feel free to decorate your mom's basement whilst spinning the Slave Scene demo at speeds it wasn't meant to be played at. Cassettes not included. Rage.

Clean Plate Records

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Capitalist Casualties/Lack of Interest Split

50th post, exciting! Well, sort of. Up next is a white knuckled split EP from two powerviolence favorites, Capitalist Casualties and Lack of Interest. Seven songs worth of roaring music, continuing in the fashion which we've come to love and know from these two. This is released by Six Weeks Records, included with the latest issue of Short, Fast and Loud, which is an absolute must have. I picked this up at their show in Philly, which came with reversed labels, limited to 100. Some sort of limited tour press to excite collectors like myself.

Blasting off at jet fueled speeds, Capitalist Casualties begin their portion of the split with painfully fast drumming, raging guitars, and Shawn's ever so familiar vocals. The first track, "Tontine" is probably my favorite, sounding almost as if they haven't missed a beat from their last recordings. "Copper Green" is almost uncomfortably slow at points, which seems to drone on a bit with repetitious riffs. The final song, "Indelible Marks" teases you, pretending to be another lumbering track, but furiously explodes into another 90 second hardcore burst. There's plenty of politically motivated lyrics, but what else would we expect from these hardcore lifers?

Lack of Interest play an abrasive, jerking form of music, topped off with incredibly gruff vocals which resemble a pitbull's bark. Each song is around 30 seconds long, wasting no time whatsoever as each one abruptly cuts out just as swiftly as it began, threatening to give you whiplash before their side is finished. Songs about war, society and other semi-"run of the mill" topics are covered in their lyrics, but that's really nothing new. "Immoral" is my choice pick, with an especially viscous breakdown riff during the last 10 seconds.

As if you needed another reason to pick this up, the 23rd issue of Short, Fast and Loud is worth the $7 alone. Interviews, reviews, top ten lists, columns, pictures, and nearly anything else you can think of is included. Obviously this isn't as memorable or powerful as Subdivisions in Ruin but it's better than most efforts from older bands who release albums after 20 years or so in existence. Seriously, BUY THIS.

Buy from Six Weeks Records
Buy from Tank Crimes
Capitalist Casualties MySpace
Lack of Interest MySpace

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homestretch - Comatose EP

Another fine cassette release from Drugged Conscience Records out of Naples, Florida. Homestretch demonstrate a well tuned brand of dark, heavy hardcore with some flairs of metallic influences weaved throughout their songs. Comatose features four songs for your listening displeasure, laden with socio-poli-awareness inspired lyrics. White pro tapes, lyric sheet with song explanations and a hand numbered, silkscreened obi strip are all included for upper echelon music collector nerdery (which I love.)

It's nearly impossible for me to select a favorite on Comatose, as each song seems to attempt to one up the previous one, raging forward with unstoppable intensity. Brooding riffage tuned dangerously low with high distortion effectively numbs your ears, while the vocals spit furious, yet inspired lyrics. This isn't another "mysterious" hardcore band, nor is it another NYHC or straightedge revival project. Homestretch is more on the Converge, Rise and Fall, or The Carrier end of the spectrum, with a little Ringworm driven straight through the heart for good measure.

Perhaps most impressive is the intelligent, creative lyrics, as each song tackles a completely different topic. "Sleight of Hand" details the miserable state of American pop culture, mindless television programming, and the diluted reality which pollutes each and every day. "Visiting Hours" seems to be a highly personal song about the corrupted, money thirsty medical injury, which treats insurance policies, rather than the people who struggle against disease and infection. Homestretch gives us another track on the pitfalls of organized religion during "Eye of the Needle." Comatose meets its demise during "How the Other Half Dies," which speaks to the overblown, obsessive compulsive fascination with money and finances which forces people to work jobs they despise, so they can create a lifestyle which looks like some faux reality out of a magazine.

Blasting guitars, clean recording, and great lyrical content easily makes Comatose a decent listen. The somewhat obvious Converge influences might annoy some people, while exciting others (such as myself). There's only a few copies left from Drugged Conscience, so if you like the download BUY THE CASSETTE.

Homestretch MySpace
Drugged Conscience Records

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Capitalist Casualties/Verbal Abuse @ Kung Fu Necktie 5/21

So when I first heard about this tour I nearly fell out of my chair. Yes, really. This band brings me back to high school, when I really started delving deep into punk, crust, and all sorts of heavier music. I remember blasting Disassemble Line at obnoxious volumes, while struggling to decode the vocals and somehow manage to keep up while reading the lyrics. Absolutely essential, classic aggressive west coast music. One of the older powerviolence bands that even the most pretentious fans of the genre won't argue over.

Kung Fu Necktie is a pretty decent spot, small and tight, but enough room to hang out, along with a full bar. Lots of dudes with dreads and patched up clothes, swilling Pabst, Schlitz, or some other cheapo motor oil type beer. The lovely aroma of old beer mixing with dude sweat really opens the nostrils. You get the picture. The sound system is quality too, so my ears were effectively shred before the night's end by the thundering, relentless sound of the Capitalist Casualties.
I was slightly apprehensive about the show, especially since reunion tours with bands comprised of 40-year-old members can sometimes be inconsistent. The west coast four piece silenced the naysayers with a blistering set, packed with classics and 30 second ragers. Before each song, the bass player would inaudibly say the song title, immediately followed by deafening powerviolence fury. Easily an absolutely stellar performance by a band I never had the privilege of experiencing when I was younger.

Ah, Verbal Abuse. San Francisco hardcore punk from the 80's which has somehow managed to reform and continually play shows over the past few years. These guys definitely looked like they'd seen better days, but the sound they created was still fairly impressive. Although not without some mistakes and hiccups, they put together a nice set, but definitely not as tight as CC.

Philadelphia has attracted some pretty amazing shows this spring and summer seasons, and this was certainly no exception. I left weary, buzzed, and elated after seeing an iconic group I never expected to experience, and even more satisfied by their well honed manic, grinding sound. I also snagged their new split 7" which came with the newest issue of Short, Fast, and Loud; a highly worthwhile read. Check it. Maybe a rip coming soon?

Capitalist Casualties
Verbal Abuse
Kung Fu Necktie