Friday, June 23, 2006

grr record player issues...

So for some reason my record player doesn't like to work in the summer. Maybe it's the heat, but it seems pretty ridiculous. I will sometimes play once, then when the arm goes back automatically, it won't stay down, or won't go onto a new record. So needless to say, it's very frustrating. I'll review these 2 records I got last week based on what I could get to hear.

Look Back and Laugh- Street Terrorism
A new 7" by one of the best current bands these days. I picked this up when I saw them last week, and boy is it great. Their sound is pretty fast harsh energetic hardcore punk. Pretty much picks up where the last LP left off. This one even has a sick intro, and maybe a little more (dare I say) melodic. Vocals are still harsh as ever, and I'm still surprised a female singer can sound that fierce. It's great, I want more.

Siege- s/t
This LP has the classic 7", which is pretty much the foundation for grindcore. What can I say about siege, it's essential stuff and influenced a lot of heavy fast hardcore bands. It's waaaay faster than anything else that came out in 1983, and is awesome.

Poison Control- demo (cassette tape)
Luckily I don't need a record player (or a cd player) for this one. First off, the demo came on a cassette with a photocopied cover. May not seem like a big deal, but it's been too long since I've gotten one of these. I caught this band last week with LBAL, and they were awesome. Really cool old sounding hardcore punk that kinda reminds me of the Freeze. Lyrically, they touch on politics and conspiracy, as well as growing old in the scene. It's really good, and adds to the long line of great bands currently blossoming from the Boston area.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Someone Start a Band With Me!

I'd like to meet a guitarist and drummer who can dedicate themselves to practicing at least once a week for a few hours. Sound-wise, I'd like to do something along the lines of early 80's hardcore/punk meets a more raw distorted sound. I'd like to have political minded lyrics as well, but I'm more concerned with writing music and getting it tight before recruiting a singer.

bands like: deathreat, talk is poison, crispus attucks, brother inferior, copout, articles of faith, poison idea, discharge, filth, early DC area bands (minor threat, SOA, void, GI, faith, etc), and KBD type stuff.

I also like modern bands like: direct control, career suicide, caustic christ, government warning, strung up, deadfall, i object, etc...

If you or someone you might know would be interested, please get in touch. I've had 4 bands fall through in the past year, and just want someone who can dedicate themselves to something for more than a month. I work normal hours M-F, and am not really planning anything huge. If touring's an issue for you based on work, I'm probably in the same boat. I'm located by New Brunswick, but have driven an hour for practice in the past. Practice space would depend on locations of everyone. Get in touch:


New policy on junk mail

So if you're like me, I'm sure you get at least 3 credit card applications per week in the mail. I saw this on 60 Minutes (yea, why was I watching that?), that since they always send you postage paid envelopes, just send it back. I used to just tear it in half, then throw it in the recycling basket. It's so much more satisfying to fold it back into the envelope they gave, and have them foot the bill to get their own junk back. I even fold up the envelope they sent the original letter in. Make sure to tear off any info to avoid revenge from the credit card company, and have fun.

"Why? Cuz Fuck 'em"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Musical Monkey

I decided to do a little spring cleaning, and brought in about 50 records in to Curmudgeon Music, my favorite record shop. Here's what I got with my credit:

Brother Inferior- Six More Reasons
Brother Inferior- Anthem For Greater Salvation
I had a split 7" of theirs with NOTA, which I remembered liking. These 2 records were a dollar each, so I figured I'd check out more of their stuff. WOW, am I glad I did... The 7" is good, but the LP totally kills. Musically it reminds me of Crispus Attucks, fast old hardcore with lyrics about america, religion, women's rights, and various other social/political issues. I don't know much about this band really, but I want to know more.

What Happens Next?- the First Year
Had this stuff on vinyl for years, minus the comp tracks. Probably wouldn't normally have picked it up if I didn't have the credit. Figured I could lisen to it at work, and put it on my iPod this way. The CD just reminds me of how good WHN? was. I never got to see them live, which is a total bummer.

the Profits- USAtrocity
I was supposed to see them a few years ago, but their van broke down and they never made it until the show was over. The 7" is ok, not something I'd want to hold onto, or listen to over and over again. Crusty political punk with male/femal vocals, it's been done better before.

Bury the Living- s/t
Someone had recommended this band to me based on my post about Copout on, since it has ex-members. Damn, this band's real real good. I'm gonna have to find more by them, it sounds like fast raw distorted old hardcore. Real real good shit here.

I don't know much about these guys either, but this 7" is like heavy southern rock. Not really into it

Pissed Jeans- Don't Need Smoke To Make Myself Disappear
This is their first record on Sub Pop Records, and it looks like all the other sub pop singles (even comes on piss yellow vinyl). I got into this band based on the members' previous bands (Ultimate Warriors, Gate Crashers, etc...), but this is a lot different. There's heavy parts, that are I guess kinda stoner rock-esque. I'd probably have to do drugs to fully appreciate this band, but I still think they're cool. All their previous releases took a while to grow on me, so I assume this will too, but right now it's just ok.

the Meatmen- Crippled Children Suck
The Meatmen is one of those bands you hear a lot about in terms of old school punk. I hadn't really heard much by them, but what I heard was ok. Picked this up and was kind of let down, the songs weren't too catchy and there was nothing that really grabbed me. I'll give it another chance, but as of now, I'm not too into it.

A.N.S.- the Pool LP
Picked this up when I saw them the other week. Visually the record looks great, with a senciled grip tape cover (which I assume is limited), and it sounds great too. There's a lot of bands doing the whole skate punk worship thing, but these guys do it probably the best. Sounds like bands like JFA and the Faction who were more surf guitar influenced, rather than DRI's metal guitar. There's some instrumental parts that are really cool, and there's lots of samples of skateboarding sounds. If you like skating and old skate punk, give em a whirl. They just got back from europe and are doing a full US tour next month.

Tonite I'm going to see Look Back and Laugh, who I'm really excited to see. I caught them last year and Pointless Fest and was blown away. Had the split with Dropdead previously, but after seeing them I ran to their merch table and got their 2 LPs and a shirt.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I should be getting these bad boys within the next 2 weeks:

still have a few of the old ones which look like this:

If you want one, I'll probably give you a bunch...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Punk's not Dead!?

For as long as I've been going to shows (about 10 years or so) I've heard the phrase "punk's not dead" about as much as "punk's dead." It seems no matter how old or how young you are, people will always complain that "shows aren't like they used to be." I'm kind of in the middle age group, too old for the young new kids and too young for the old dudes. I've watched people come and go, luckily it's the good and sincere people who stick around for the most part.

I guess my own definition of what punk is and its relation to hardcore. Punk rose up from bands who were sick of disco and arena rock, and were more influenced by tripped down rock and roll than what was occupying the airwaves at the time. However, in a few short years the fashion and lifestyle seemed to take a front seat, and punk wasn't something hidden away. Around 1979 is when punk was more or less considered officially "dead." A lot of bands who were punk decided to add crappy keyboards and go new wave. However at the same time there were people who saw what punk was, and what it could have been. Bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat took to releasing their own records, and booking their own tours which essentially kick-started the DIY hardcore scene. A lot of people will try to tell you that "hardcore" is and always has been about being tough and "hard," not so. Hardcore merely referred that they were more passionate, passionate about their music and their community. This phase of hardcore punk was considered "dead" around 1986, when all the founding bands had either broken up or started to sound like bad metal bands.

So if punk died in 1979, and hardcore died in 1986, then why re there still punk and hardcore shows now? Simply put, hardcore punk didn't die... The people who were into it at the time lost interest and wrote it off. Rather than see that things changed, and make an effort to do something about it, people choose to move on with life. There are currently tons of people in DIY hardcore bands who tour all over the world, release their own records and book their own shows. The music can be just as raw as ever, these bands still exist but you have to put forth the effort.

Nowadays the garbage on the radio, while it may certainly be punk-influenced, it has nothing to do with punk. Operation Ivy said "music [is]somehow more than just sound," which I think explains punk perfectly. While these bands can get a fashion makeover and look punk, the fact of the matter is that a real punk wouldn't care about looking good for a photo shoot or making a music video. People view this as what modern punk is all about, and I can see where people would definitively say punk had died long ago. These new bands all over MTV2, regardless of where some of them were they have long forgotten their punk roots by catering to the corporate rock machine. Bands like Green Day and AFI at one time used the DIY touring network to tour the country and get their name out there. These bands then turned to the type of bands who play major label showcases and radio station festivals. Bands like this do not represent people who are passionate about keeping out scene away from those who want to exploit it. I'd say that the punk bands on the surface are so far removed from the ethics and values we have that it's not even punk anymore. There are still people who care, there are still bands that care, you just have to care enough to find them.

"If Punk is Dead, Then What The Hell Is This?"- taken from the back cover of the "Not So Quiet on the Western Front" compilation LP (1982)

Monday, June 05, 2006

I hate music... I love noise

Deep Sleep- You're Screwed
Wow, a great new band from the MD/DC area. I know a couple of guys were in Never Enough, but this sounds nothing like that band. It's got an echoy surfy guitar, with an early 80's California punk sound to it. I really like this, It sounds and looks like an old 80's hardcore punk record. The thin paper sleeve and one color high contrast art match the sound perfectly. Fans of the Adolescents, Agent Orange, and maybe even a little Descendents should check it out.

the Observers- Where I Stay
I just missed the boat on this band, after hearing good things about them, I picked up there CD and loved it. Then I found out they had already broken up, I was bummed but luckily they had recorded this record before calling it quits. Sound wise, it sounds like the stuff on the "So What's Left Now" CD. Melodic poppy punk,

the Ergs- Art of the Underground vol. 8
What more can I say about the Ergs, they play some great pop punk and make NJ proud. Here's 2 new songs, one I think is a cover. Side A is "jazz is the new coke," which can interpreted as "jazz is like the New CocaCola (ie: not good)," or "jazz is the new cocaine (ie: new addictive trend)." Regardless of the Ergs opinions on jazz, it's a swell little record. The thing is limited to only 250 copies, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's gone already. Art of the Underground does a limited singles series, and also released that Skate Korpse limited 7" that I could never track down.

Suicide Party- You're All Invited
Man, when I threw this on I felt like such an idiot for not buying this sooner. I had the split with the Scarlet Letter, and maybe listened to it once. Buy yea, you'd think "ex-talk is poison, full speed ahead and copout" would make me go get it in a second. Basically it's the best combination of all those bands, raw distorted and catchy. I think they may have another 7" out there that I'll need to track down. It's really great, don't sleep on it like I did.

Magrudergrind- Owned!!
I'd been hearing a lot about these guys, they're from DC I believe. It's an OK record, maybe just too fast for me (I never thought I'd say that). I run hot and cold with grindcore, usually I prefer stuff that would lead more to the "powerviolence" side of things than the Napalm Death/Anal Cunt side of things. It's not bad, just not my thing.

Infest- Slave
I was pretty siked to find this in the used bin, no only because it was on green vinyl, but it's a pretty awesome LP. My Infest collection was made up of a few records, but I only had Slave for the longest time in only mp3 format. If you don't know who Infest is, I suggest looking into it if you like fast angry hardcore. A lot of powerviolence bands owe this band, for basically inventing that sound. Rumors had been circulating for the past few years of a reunion, but I've never been one for reunions really.