Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Peace out NJ

I'm leaving on a jet (blue) plane in a few hours to spend the next week in Daytona, FL w/ my favorite Floridian, Annie. I'm real excited to see her, and wear shorts again! While I'm there, I'll be at This Is For You Fest. My bands have played the fest in previous years, and it's always really diverse and fun. I made up some posters to sell for some extra cash, and to trade for band merch.

Last night one of my new bands, SPG played our first show @ Rancho Relaxo. It was a show I booked, and we shared equipment with the Kanamits. We sounded ok, definitely need some more work before doing another show. My stupid A string went out of tune real early in the set, but otherwise it went well. The show ended up ok, but started a little rough, since not many people came and the bands were super late. I wasn't sure if Blank Stare was going to show up, but they got stuck in traffic and got there at 9.

I uploaded crappy quality video clips of SPG's set on the infamous youtube:
1st song
2nd song
3rd song

Friday, December 22, 2006

Top 5 Records of 2006

I figured since a good part of this blog (and my life) is taken up by talk about records. Most music publications do these top records of the year. I can proudly say that I have neither heard or own any of Rolling Stone's top 50 albums.

Best LPs of 2006:

1. Government Warning- No Moderation
2. Career Suicide- Attempted Suicide
3. Tragedy- Nerve Damage
4. Strung Up / Direct Control- split LP
5. Criminal Damage- s/t

It may be a bold statement, but "No Moderation" may be the best HC/punk LP I've heard in the 10+ years I've been listening to hardcore/punk. It's seriously flawless. The new Career Suicide is pretty great, though I know a lot of people said it was too fast for them. Still raw and catchy as hell, I think the real version is remixed so it may sound different than the version I have (summer tour pressing). Tragedy continues where "Vengeance" left off, and take their sound to another level. The SU/DC split has some of Direct Control's best stuff, but the Strung Up side is just ok. Criminal Damage was a nice little surprise, which snuck in some British sounding punk.

Best EPs of 2006:

1. Deep Sleep- "You're Screwed"
2. the Vicious- "Obsessive"
3. Positive Reinforcement- s/t (1 sided LP)
4. Rabies- "Disease-Core"
5. Blank Stare- both s/t 7"s

Damn, it was a real toss up for the #1 slot. The Vicious are ridiculously good, but there's only 4 songs, compared to Deep Sleep's 9 songs. The Deep Sleep 7" is really great and listens like an LP. I talked to the singer recently and they're going to start playing shows again. What can I say about the Vicious, fucking great old twangy punk. The PosiForce 1 sided LP I'm counting as an EP, because it's like 6 songs and could've probably fit on a 7". I'm also combining Blank Stare's two self titled 3 song 7"s as one giant 6 song 7". Rabies are some young kids, who know what they're doing when it comes to playing skate-core.

Best Comps:
EP: No Bullshit Vol. 1 / 2
LP: Public Safety

At first I just listed No Bullshit Vol. 1, but fuck it these comps are great. I hear version 3's lineup is already set, and I'm looking forward to a ton of great comps on great current hardcore bands. Speaking of great current hardcore bands, Public Safety gives a great sampling of current US and world hardcore/punk. Best thing about both of this is that the songs on here are exclusive to the comp release. A lot of comps these days are basically label samplers with songs off the albums the label puts out. These comps aren't trying to sell anything, just get good music into people ears.

Looking forward to: new Ergs LP- "Upstairs/Downstairs," new Ruiner LP, new Vicious LP (it's already out, but I don't have it yet) and US tour, my band(s) recording demos, seeing foreign bands come to America to play basements, more old school hardcore influenced bands, the Cro Mags worship trend turning into the Infest worship trend.

There were a shitload of great records that came out this year, as well as awesome shows an tours. If you're still trying to complain that there's no good shows and there's no good records, you're not making the effort. Or by the same sentiment, start a band that's better, or book some shows. I did both...

Now stop reading, you've got some records to buy.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Blank Stare- fast and furious sXe hardcore from Boston (2 new 7"s out now)

Static Radio- fast melodic hardcore (new 7" out now)

the Kanamits
- fast old school hardcore punk, with a chick singer

SPG -first show: vinyl nerds playing old hardcore meets Japanese thrash
(my new band, splitting a set w/ the Kanamits)

Ashtray Dirt -EDGE sludgy doom crap

Rancho Relaxo
Lakewood, NJ 08701

$5 / 6pm

park in the back


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

records > people

So this will be the last round of record reviews until the new year. I still plan a "Best of 2006" post though... Most of these were obtained at Circle Pit Fest, and recent shows.


Blank Stare- s/t (refuse)
Blank Stare is a band from Boston, who doesn't like naming their 7"s. You may have noticed in recent months that MRR reviewed their 2 newest 7"s (both self titled) like 5 times. Much like the one on Third Party records, this has 3 songs of political/social conscious lyrics fast hardcore. It's nice to see edge bands tackle social topics, and not the standard topics about their crew or being stabbed in the back. They're also great live.

No Comply/ XbrainiaX
A split rager of power violence goodness, which is literally split between 6 record labels. Both bands are definitely a part of the power violence revival that is coming/here. No Comply is actually from the mid-90's and either reformed or maybe this is unreleased stuff. Either way, their side isn't all that great. A spelling error on the front along w/ a Septic Deth parody that's been done a million times before. Musically, it just feels like it's missing something (guitar maybe?). It's ok, but just doesn't do much for me. XbrainiaX, on the other hand sounds pretty awesome, and cram like 11 songs on their half (which by the way has some rad art). If you're familiar with XbX's 7" with 31 songs, you won't be let down by this. Fast raging hardcore that's over before you even think about starting to circle pit. I think the power violence resurgence recently is pretty awesome, but really lacks something w/o the wacky samples between songs.

No Bullshit vol. 2
It's really awesome that there's a compilation series to look forward to. Volume 1 was incredible, and Volume 2 is no slouch either. This time you get Social Circkle, Rabies, Warkrime, Wasted Time, Cardiac Arrest, and Brian Handle. Social Circkle and Wasted Time both re-record songs from their demo, and the other ones are new to me. All the bands really do well at paying homage to the great early 80's hardcore scene. Best song is the Rabies one, but there's really no losers here. Also, the first pressing sold out in 2 days, I was lucky enough to get one at the fest the other week. Can't wait for Vol. 3!

Social Circkle- Static Eyes
Social Circkle are from Boston, and play old punk that sounds like it's from the early 80's Cali scene. Bands like the Germs and Angry Samoans come to mind. There's only 4 songs, and 2 of them were on the demo. It's ok, because that demo ruled. The demo, however, had like 8 songs which is kind of a let down to only get 2 new ones on this. I mean either way they're great songs, but I just want more.

Fastbreak- Don't Stop Trying
This record is old, 10 years old really. I'm not sure if this repress is in honor of that, but maybe it should have. It's basically just a straight repress of the old version done by the same label. I mean, the songs are great, but maybe a little story on the insert about how many were pressed alltogether, where the band/ members went. It's a great record, which I just never got around to picking up before, so I'm glad it's available again.

Dustheads- Tall Tales I
I've seen the Dustheads a few times, sometimes I like them and sometimes I don't. Musically they're somewhere between Annihilation Time and the better stuff by the Suicide File. Basically heavy fast hardcore, with a big stoner rock n roll influence. For me, I only really enjoy that type of stuff if I'm in the mood for it (since I'm not a "stoner"). There's only 3 songs on here, but I'll be looking forward to Tall Tales II.

La Piovra- s/t (one sided LP) + Risacca b/w Danni Collaterali
La Piovra came around here on tour recently, and I picked up these 2 records. Their sound is similar to bands like the Young Wasteners or Positive Reinforcement, with an old school hc/punk sound. The vocals are a little more aggressive, and the guitars have a slight rock edge to them. I saw them 3 times on their tour, and they were better and better each time. Visually both records look great, the LP has an awesome screen printing of octopus tentacles, and the cover a big heavy paper with more octopus. The 7" I believe is somewhat limited for the tour, but if you've seen them, this one has the song with the sweet "Turning Japanese" rip-off intro. I'm really glad I got to see them, because prior to going to the shows, I didn't really know what I was in for. One of the things that makes the DIY touring network so great is that you get exposed to rad bands, like this.


Maximum Rock N Roll presents: Public Safety
Ok, so this compilation is basically a perfect representation of the great international current hardcore/punk scene. This is also the first MRR compilation in a while, and the first international comp since "Welcome to 1984." I even comes with a booklet insert, with one page dedicated to each band. I really hope this becomes a series, because this is really awesome. Perfect for people who love the current hardcore scene, or people who are jaded and complain that there's no good bands anymore. Standout tracks are by: Direct Control, Sleeper Cell, Career Suicide, Regulations, Observers, Limp wrist, but they're all seriously real good.

SS Decontrol- Get It Away
Yea, this is old, it's a classic, we all know It's great. This is a recent bootlegging, and a damn good one at that. Pretty much damn near perfect reproduction of the original. The sound quality is great too, much better than the crappy mp3s I've had of this. Unfortunately for some reason, a legit repress has never happened for SSD which has opened the flood gates for tons of bootlegs. The only legit SSD is that "power" CD on Taang, and it leaves much to be desired. I'm curious if the same person did the boot of the This Is Boston, Not LA a few years ago, because that was also really well done. I guess now with mp3s, and music editing software easy to obtain, maybe there will be a rise in good quality boots.

For Science- Revenge For Hire
For Science (formerly known as Skynet) is from my home area of New Brunswick, NJ. I've seen them numerous times, and was never really into them. They always played really sloppy/ drunk live, but on this CD they sound awesome. The songs are similar to good pop-punk, like Screeching Weasel, the Queers, or any stuff from lookout's hey day. Recommended for fans of NJ favorites, the Ergs, or just good catchy punk songs. They just recorded a new album, which I hear is great, and are now on their 3rd (maybe more) lineup.

Acid Reflux (cassette)
WOW, saw these guys a few weeks ago in a basement, and damn were they awesome. They've got a whole F.U.'s / This Is Boston Not LA / Verbal Abuse sound, and it's super fast. The lyrics are really pretty juvenile in the best kind of way: "I just want to be a punk, I just wanna have some fun." I just heard that No Way Records is pressing this demo on a 7", so you may want to wait until that comes out since it'd be easier to obtain. Oh yea, their drummer is/was in Limp Wrist.

Paper Dragons (CDr)
Baltimore's Paper Dragons features 1/2 of the Spark, and members from Never Enough and Bad Business. Musically I get some poppy hooks, maybe like the Adolescents. I also get a slight Fugazi vibe, but the sound is more along the likes of poppy early 80's punk. Pretty catchy stuff, I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Circle Pit Fest (day 2) in Baltimore

The other week I attended day 2 of Circle pit Fest (I was at a show in Philly during day 1). It was totally worth the 3 hour drive for a pretty action packed Saturday.

Got there during Cloak/Dagger, due to a necessary Waffle House stop. Missed Chainsaw to the Face (sorry dudes), but caught the majority of Cloak/Dagger's set. I like this band a lot more live than recorded. If you're not familiar, they have a early 80's California punk sound, but recorded it just sounds too slick for me. I guess their LP coming out on Jade Tree will be pretty polished sounding as well. The place the show was at is a bike collective. I have no idea what that means, but it looked like a warehouse with a bunch of bikes in it. It was a decent size, kinda narrow though. It seemed like there was a ton of room in the back, which was filled with bikes. There was alos no bathroom at the place, which kinda sucked that I had to walk around the corner to the movie theater to pee.

Fighting Dogs, who I saw the day before in Philly, were next. I've seen them a lot, since they kind of local. Their sound is sorta crusty metal, but is a lot more interesting than most of that stuff. Played mostly the songs off the cd they released in the little envelope.

I had already see La Piovra twice on their US tour in NJ and Philly, and they kept getting better every time I saw them. It was moreso by chance that I saw them 3 times, but I'm glad I did. They're from Italy, and do the old hardcore sound similar to stuff like Regulations or the Young Wasteners. If they're playing anywhere near you, go see them. It's probably hard for an unknown HC band from Italy to draw people, but it's totally worth your time.

Up next is what some people referred to as the "superset," which consisted of Build your Weapons, Warzone Womyn, Magrudergrind, and XbrainiaX. During this chunk of time, the people I was with went and checked out a movie. I decided to stick it out, plus I had wanted to see Xbrainiax, and had heard good things about the others. They all have an extremely similar sound, paying homage to the heyday of powerviolence.

XbrainiaX was definately my favorite of the bunch, and played over 30 songs in maybe 20-25 minutes. Really short, really fast thrashy hardcore. With bands like that, I like them better in smaller doses. None of the "superset" was bad, just extremely similar to me, but I'm sure someone w/ a more trained ear for that sort of think could tell the difference.

I was really excited to see Positive Reinforcement, since getting their 1 sided LP over the summer. Their sound definately slowed down, to a more midpaced punk band. Their earlier stuff had some catchy parts, but was mainly fast thrashcore. They played everything off that LP, and a few other ones from their 7". People seemed into it, but it looked like a lot of the room left unfortunately.

Blank Stare has 1/2 the members of PosiForce, but has a more agressive sxe sound. Last time I saw Blank Stare, the singer was jumping off everything, and running around like a maniacac, and today's show was no exception. They played mostly the songs from their 2 new 7"s (which I highly recommend), and did a Last Rights cover ("chunks") and a Judge cover ("fed up"). At one point, the singer was standing on top of a cabinet, which didn't look too sturdy. They were definately great, and I think they should be one of the more talked about hardcore bands.

I was really excited to see Government Warning, they were amazing at Pointless Fest, plus by this point I've had their LP for over 3 months. That LP may be the best hardcore record I've heard in the +/- 10 years I've been into hardcore. It seemed like a lot of the crowd re-apeared at this point, and people were going nuts circle pitting and diving from pipes during their set. They played a new song that was awesome, and did a block of 4 covers (minor threat, descendents, adolescents, vile). Covers are pretty fun, but I would've preferred to hear more of their own songs. Either way, if you don't think Government Warning is the best current hardcore band, you're kidding yourself or have bad taste.

86 Mentality and Mind Eraser were next, but a bunch of us went to the Ottobar to catch the Ergs play. I saw the first five 86 Mentaliy songs, which were all off their first 7". It was really good, and I'm glad I finally got to see them, since somethign always happens when I'm supposed to go see them.

Got to the Ottobar during the last Paper Dragons song, which kinda sucked because I liked their demo and wanted to see them. The Ergs were great as always, and it was surreal to see them on a stage with lights and mics. Played a lot of new songs, which the NJ attendants all knew. They even did their Gin Blossoms cover, which is always a hit. Saw a little bit of the Parasites (Para-Ergs), but left since we had a long trip home. Finally got to sleep at 4am, and was totally wiped out.

I got a bunch of new records there, and in general. I'm going to post more reviews, and do a best of 2006 post also. You can check out more pictures from the fest at

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

record collectors are pretentious assholes

I suppose I would call myself a "record collector," I mean I have a ridiculous amount of records, and am constantly on the search for more and more. However, with the internet, it seems like it doesn't take much effort to accumulate an "impressive" collection. I mean if I'm willing to pay infinite amounts, I can get the entire Dischord collection, or whatever extremely scarce KBD record is hyped up right now. You can easily acquire these record if you have the means, it's not a matter of trading and hunting anymore. With so many record stores closing down, it will soon be a thing of the past to go to a shop, and browse through tons of used vinyl, hoping to find that great score. Another byproduct of the record collecting culture is that now when people get that rare find, they run straight to ebay and triple their profit. It's also nice to just find a cheap record, and even though you don't know what it sounds like, you give it a chance. If all music shopping is done online, you'd have to know exactly what you want, and it kills the fun of browsing.

here's a pic of some of my favorite old records. none are too valueable, but all are cool

Another trend in record collecting seems to be collecting everything by one specific band. It seems like record labels are aware of this, and use it to their advantage so that people will buy 3 different versions of one record when it comes out. I mean I'd rather see a record label get money for their release than some lucky jerk on eBay. I just think that it's not necessary to press 10 different versions of a record just for collector value. I mean honestly I'd like to have a colored version than a black pressing, but if I don't get one, I'm fine with the other. I listen to all my records, and it just seems pointless to me for people to buy a record they already have, and never listen to it. The records they take off the market could be going to someone who's never heard the band before. I'd rather spend $200 on many records than on one really rare one I'll never listen to.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ok, I lied.. More reviews

In the last record reviews post, I said I wouldn't do any more because I was going to work on a zine. I'm shooting for a December release of that, but shit happens...

the Fix- At the Speed of Twisted Thought
Finally, the fix get the discography treatment, which will hopefully give them more recognition and maybe bands will start o cover them. If you haven't heard the Fix yet; and like early 80's mid-west hardcore, like Negative Approach or the Necros, then check this out! Their recorded output includes the Vengeance 7", the Jan's Room 7", and a track on the Process of Elimination comp 7". The sound quality is a lot better than the mp3s online or the Touch and Go records bootleg discography. The Fix is up there with the classic grandfathers of hardcore punk, and it's about time they were properly reissued. Now maybe someone will do a Necros discography...

the Spark- Nobody's Laughing
Picked up this LP at the Spark's last show a few weeks ago. The Spark were a fast thrash core band, who were around for a little over 3 years. I've seen them many times, and have all their other records, so naturally I'd be psyched on this. For most fast hardcore bands, the fast/short song delivery falls flat on a full length. This however has enough to keep my interest the whole way through, and manages not to slow down. Great cover at as well, they really went out with a bang and will be missed.

Splitting Headache- Night Terrors
NJ's own all-star band with members of Tear It Up, Dead Nation, Full Speed Ahead, Forward to Death, etc... They released a 7" which was recorded after only being a band for 3-4 months and was ok. By this point, however, the band added a second guitar player, and has been playing most of the better shows around here. The sound a hell of a lot tighter than the 7". If you liked the 7", you'll love this, if you hated the 7", give this a shot. Fast hardcore with influence from some skate-core classics.

Sleeper Cell- s/t
After being delays for a year, and the band's unfortunate breakup, this LP is finally out. I absolutely loved the 2 7"s they had out 2 years ago, and have been looking forward to this record. If you're not familiar with them, they were from Boston, and played fast heavy hardcore in the vein of Deathreat, No Parade, and Balance of Terror. Hopefully there will be some sweet new bands with these guys, but this band was probably one of the most underrated bands of recent years, and I'm bummed I never got to see them. Dude, stop reading this page and fucking buy this record!

Koro- Speed Kills
Koro's always been one of my favorite obscure 80's hardcore bands, their 7" released back in the early 80 was a real scorcher. This LP is taken from a recording session following their 7", and has a bunch of those songs re-recorded along with some new ones. The quality is a little bit rugged, but it says in the liner notes that it was taken from a few cassette tapes. These tapes were probably not kept in good condition. I mean who thinks that the band they were in when they were in high school will be come underground legends, and someone would want to reissue unreleased material. The quality doesn't really bother me, I'm just glad it exists, however if you haven't heard Koro, get the 7" which the same label reissued first. There's a nice interview on the insert, and the layout is pretty slick.

Sunday Morning Einsteins- Sanningen Om
Saw these guys on their recent US tour, and picked up their newest LP, which I don't think is officially out yet. SME are from Sweden and play some fast d-beat crust core. The songs aren't in English, so I have no idea what they're talking about, but the music's cool. They talked trash on Swedish hardcore, but I gotta say I'd rather listen to DS-13 than this.

Cloak/Dagger- Pinata
This is an all-star band of sorts with members of Count me Out and Striking distance, both of which I was never too fond of. This band however, is more influenced by early 80's California punk. Saw them a few weeks ago, and liked them a lot live. The 7" however I think may be recorded too well, and the band could benefit from some more echo, and distortion in the recording quality to give it a more authentic 80's sound. I'm glad that they didn't take the music directions from some of their peers, and do some shitty indie rock emo band. They just got signed to Jade Tree, so keep an eye out, because I'm sure they'll be doing a lot real soon.

Mindless Mutant- s/t
I'm kind of glad there's a resurgence in bands that sound like Infest/ "power violence." This band however, does it best. It doesn't hurt to have members of Spazz and Look Back and Laugh in the lineup. If you're into modern stuff like Mind Eraser, or old stuff like No Comment; you'll love this. I hear the first press sold out lightning fast, so happy hunting.

GO!- Reactive
GO! is another reunited NYHC band, however as opposed to some of their peers, they didn't just do exploitive tours in shitty rock clubs. They actually wrote and recorded a new record, which they put out themselves. Also unlike their peers who recorded new stuff, this most definitely doesn't suck. I guess unlike other NYHC bands, they always had a real social/ political message. They tackled issues of gay rights way before Limp Wrist was around. Hopefully they'll do some more reunion shows soon. The stuff on this record has that classic GO! sound, but the vocal sound a lot better than before; less deep and monotone. Check it out.

Chronic Seizure- s/t
Their second 7", which only has 4 songs; luckily they're all great. I liked their previous "Brainsick" EP, but I like this a lot more. Maybe it's got a faster rough sounding recording quality, but it totally works for them. Highly recommended for fans of Formaldehyde Junkies, Career Suicide, of fans of old early 80's mid-west hardcore.

Hjerte Stop- s/t
Denmark's Kick N Punch records has a stellar reputation for releasing some of the best old school sounding hardcore in Europe. This is no exception, it's definitely got an old early 80's melodic California style sound to it. Sounds similar to the Young Wasteners LP, or early ("80-85") Bad Religion. Probably going to be a little tricky to get a hold of, like all the other KNP stuff, but worth your effort. Some songs in English, some not.

Hardcore rules! I went to Maryland the other weekend to see the Spark's last show, and hit up Celebrated Summers Records. It's a small little room in the back of a comic shop, but it specializes in Hardcore and Punk records. I got a bunch of good stuff at good prices, most notably the Bandana Thrash flexi 7" for $2! If you're ever in Towson, MD go check it out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

more crap to grow out of...

Strung Up / Direct Control
I was lucky to catch a show on these dudes recent tour together. Strung Up are from California, and Direct Control are from Virginia. More on Strung Up below, but the Direct Control tracks are some of their best. DC has found a way to be fast and angry, yet at the same time extremely catchy. Basically, old school hardcore punk rock done right. Some future classics on here, especially "Plea for Peace." I'd say the DC side is best, but you're not losing out with either side. Absolutely essential for fans of old hardcore, and fans of new hardcore played old. Great limited vinyl too!

Strung Up- Society Rot In Hell
After loving their "Warfucked" 7" and a bunch of random mp3s, I picked up their full length recently. Musically, I'd compare Strung Up to the same sound as Caustic Christ. Fast, short, heavy, pissed off songs. Good catchy sing alongs, and fist pumping anthems make for a great west coast punk record.

Witch Hunt- Blood Red States
Witch Hunt's latest offering, after a move to Philly and reorganizing the linup a bit (the drummer moved to 2nd guitar). There's a lot more female/male/female alternating vocals on thsi than before, which is always awesome to hear. If you were on the fence about Witch Hunt's previous albums, this should convince you. I mentioned it in my Pointless Fest review, but the song "Twenty Five" is awesome.

Victims- Divide and Conquer
I enjoyed all the other albums by Sweden's Victims that I've got, and this is more of the same. They sound like heavy fast punk, there's some guitar noodling but it's far from metal. I like the artwork on this too, it's not the typical black dominant layout. The album itself is good, but not really much different than their previous releases (that can be good or bad).

Caustic Christ- Lycanthropy
I was really excited to hear this, since I loved everythign prior to this. I was a little let down, the first song is a pretty slow droning song, and the vocals sound very different. The second and third songs are re-recorded versions of the songs from their limited tour 7" from last year. The production doesn't seem as dirty as their other records, which I think works against them. After 2 listens, there didn't seem to be any new anthems. Don't get me wrong, it's still good but I wouldn't recommend it as a good introduction to the band.

Dead Nation- Passing Phase
This collects the "Face the Nation" and "Cenk EP" 7"s onto a 12" record. Both records have been out of print for a long time now, and were released by the band when they were still together. Obviously you know 4/5 of the later lineup went on to become Tear It Up, so it made the early DN 7" even more scarce once the TIU hype machine got rollin. I wonder why a full discography wasn't done instead, but I guess it's cool that it's music is available at all. A discography CD should come out at some point, since that "Dead End" LP is a killer, and the "Painless" 7" ain't no slouch either. Unfortunately I never got too into them when they were together, because I was an idiot. I did catch that reunion 2 years ago, and it was awesome.

Dirty BS- s/t
Awesome debut 7" from these Canadian rockers. Sounds a hell of a lot like some of my favorite TN bands, like Deathreat or No Parade. Has enough crust and enough old punk influences that it sounds fresh. I'm sure this has cool ex-member status, but this stands by itself as some good shit.

Brain Handle- 2nd s/t 7"
I think I read somewhere that this was recorded at the same time as their first self-released 7". Sounds like heavy old hardcore mixed with some stoner-ish parts. Pretty good and different, like the first 7". I think I'd like it more if I did drugs though... But there's a good balance of old punk to stonery parts, that it doesn't get over powered.

Havoc Records- the first 15 years sampler CD
I got this for free in my Havoc Records order, so I'm not sure how you'd normally get one of thses. Basically it's 38 tracks hilighting Havoc Records' lengthy discography. If for some reason you haven't clued into Havoc's consistantly good records, this would be a great introductions. Sort of like a "punk-o-rama' for real punk.

I decided to only review the new stuff I got recently. While reviewing old stuff may hilight it to someone who had never heard it before, I'd rather just review stuff that people can possibly track down. This will probably be the last reviews for a little while. I'm going to begin working on a zine, which will contain reviews, rants, interviews and pictures from my website.

Friday, August 25, 2006

newest vinyl aquisitions

the majority of these were picked up at Pointless Fest and other recent shows...

Government Warning- No Moderation
If you read my review of Pointless Fest, you'll remember me saying how great these guys were. This LP blows away that amazing 7" they put out last year. There's been some member shuffling, and it seems to have one the trick, because this is one of the best HC records I've heard in the past few years. It's agressive, and at the same time catchy and melodic. Anybody who says there's no more good hardcore bands is a douchebag, because this is evidence that we're in some good times.

Verbal Abuse- Just An American Band (reissue)
I've had mp3s of this record for a little while now, and just got the vinyl reissue from NO Way Records, who has yet to release anythign not worth picking up. Classic hardcore in the vein of bands like Poison Idea and the Offenders. Slayer even covered a couple of their songs. Sounds great, and I feel like an ass for not seeing them when they came here on tour last year.

No Parade- Ceaseless Fire LP + s/t 7"
I checked out this band based on their Memphis, TN connection, which has somewhat of a reputation for churning out some awesome bands. I beieve this band has members of From Ashes Rise and Bury the Living, who I enjoy. I was lucky enough to find both of their releases at Pointless Fest, and neither disappoint. Don't know much about this band in general, but I'm really into this stuff.

Positive Reinforcement- s/t 12"
I did a show for Posi Force and Blank Stare in NJ and picked up these next 2. I liked their s/t 7", and their split with Outraged a lot, but these songs sound pretty different. Not as fast, and a little more melodic but still intense. Has almost more of a Germs sound mixed with good thrash core. The record itself is a clear (no labels too) 1 Sided LP in a silkscreened cover, which apparently glows in the dark. Looks and sound awesome.

Blank Stare- s/t (ThirdxParty) 7"
This record only has 3 songs, which is kind of a bumout, but they're all really good. They all have the word "white" in the title, so there's the theme right there. Blank Stare's sound has changed a bit since the last 7", it's a lot faster and a lot more intense. The vocals even sound a bit more harsh; it's really awesome when bands like these break out of the standard mold of straight edge bands.

Severed Head of State- Fucking Butchery
This is their most recent 7" I believe, which for some reason I just haven't picked up before. They played all three of these anthemic songs when they played at the Mill Creek. I normally wouldn't think of crust punk bands as catchy, but these songs will stick in you head and make you pump your fist. Great supliment to your Tragedy/ World Burns to Death collection.

Imperial Leather- Antibodies
I don't know much about this band other than that they have a member of DS-13, and are from Sweden. Definately different from the DS-13/ETA sound, and a lot more rock and roll influenced. There's a almost Turbonegro sound to it, or rocked out punk. Pretty cool stuff, I may have to hunt down their other releases.

Vicious- Obsessive
Kind of hard to describe this one, I like it. It's kind of like old late 70's punk rock, the kind that was teetering on the new wave bandwagon. It's got some echoey vocals, and an undistroted rawness to it. Gonna need a few more spins, but I'm into it. I think they're from Sweden.

Cardiac Arrest- the old 7" and the new 7"
The first 7" came out early last year, and the new 7" isn't officially out yet. This band is from the growing St. Louis scene, which also produced the Breaks. The sound is somewhat similar to modern bands like the Breaks and Black SS, and has a definate early Boston HC sound. The vocals actually remind me of the Impact Unit 7". Good fast hardcore punk.

Graven Image- Kicked Out of the Scene
Graven Image was a band from the early 80's VA scene, they released this 7" and a split tape with Honor Role (which No Way Records reissued). This record was picked up at the Gov't Warning table at Pointless Fest. Apparently one of them got in contact with the band and found out that there was a small box of unplayed 7"s at one of the guys' house. It's a pretty great record, and fits in with a lot of old DC bands, and has a sound similar to Corrupted Morals. check it out here.

Rabies- Disease Core
Wow, a pleasant surprise. Sounds a lot like California skate rock stuff, mixed with early Black Flag. I like this a lot, very lo-fi recording which matches the music well. If you like skateboarding and early 80's hardcore (and why wouldn't you?), then you should check this out.

Assembly of God 7"
Members of Brother Inferior are in this band, who may or may not be together still. It's got the same political vibe as BI, but a lot more stripped down. A great continuation, and highly recommended for Brother Inferior fans.

ANS- Romancing the Phone + Deadpoint split
ANS does the often overlooked Nardcore/ JFA skaterock sound really really well. Sometimes fast, sometimes surfy. The Romancing the Phone 7" is kind of older, and not as tight sounding, but the Deadpoint 7" is some of thier best stuff. "Sakte Zombies Must Shred" is quite possibly their best song. They've been touring all over the place, so hopefully they played by you this summer, and you got to check them out.

Face Down 7"
This record is from 1993, and has the bass player of Tragedy. They did a split with Copout, so I assumed this band would be as fast and furious as them. I was a little disappointed to be honest, it sounds like a lot of the 90's hardcore and doesn't really stand out as a buried classic. Not terrible, but the Copout 7" is much more noteworthy.

Beneath the Street- Class Struggle
BTS have been one of my favorite locals for a while now. They've gone through some member changed over the past year, and even added a second guitar player on this new 7". There sound is somewhere close to the Suicide File/ Dragnet/ AN but with the raw intensity of Filth. There's some screamed political/social based lyrics over somewhat complex fast punk parts. They just got back from a tour in support of this new record, and I hear it went well.

Seasick/ Don't Wake Up
Two local favorites come together on one recor to accompany their recent tour. Unfortunately there was a falling out with DWU and their singer, so they went on tour as a 3 piece and did a lot of covers then broke up when they got back. They also apparently didn't get the records until they got back from tour, which totally sucks. Both bands have a similar approach, fast political thrashcore. Seasick is still together, and gets better every time I see them. Hopefully they'll keep it together, because the more fast political hardcore bands the better. A great representation of some newer great NJ hardcore.
Fun Fact: I designed the back cover!

I just won a copy of the Clitboys- We Don't play the Game 7" off ebay. I'm really excited, since that 7" is an unappreciated classic early 80's of mid-west hardcore punk.