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