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.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Burritos: the perfect food

I'm lucky enough to work a few blocks away from a great authentic Mexican restaurant, which means I get to eat a burrito at least once a week. I never claimed to be the most health conscious person, but I'm pretty sure burritos are good for you. It more or less represents the entire food pyramid:

bread- tortilla shell, rice
vegetables- lettuce, tomatoes, salsa
meat/protein- beans, beef/ chicken/ pork/ etc... (depending what kind you get)
milk- cheese, sour cream
fruit- guacamole (avocados)
Plus depending how hot you get it, I'm sure you'll go through at least 2 glasses of water.

So that settles it, goodbye atkins diet, hello burrito diet!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pointless Fest review AKA: I Hate the Kids

I had originally planned to do a full review of all the bands I caught, and recount the events of the past weekend. However, if you've been reading various messageboards lately, you may have heard about a riot at this year's Pointless Fest. I'm not going to spread rumors, just stick to an account of what I saw.

Ray, Katy, and me got there a little late, and totally missed Carpenter Ant. The only thing I have by them is their first 7", which kinda sucks, but I hear they got a lot better. Got there in the middle of Witch Hunt. I unfortunately wasn't able to get any pictures of them, since I couldn't stalk out a good spot. Witch Hunt recently added a new drummer, and their old drummer moved to second guitar. Their new stuff is really really good, I didn't get a chance to pick up their new LP though due to the fest ending early. They ended with the song, "Twenty Five" which reminds me a lot of the Degenerics' "Send in the Clones."

Fighting Dogs were next. I had seen them a bunch of times, and they've always been really good. Since recording their LP they've added a new guitar player and bass player. I guess I should mention that the second guitar player is female and handles half of the vocal duty. Pretty awesome stuff, I picked up the CD of their newer demo.

No Hope For the Kids was the main reason I was willing to venture to Philly on a Thursday. Musically, NHFTK is very melodic punk, from Denmark, that's extremely catchy. They flew out just to play this fest, so I knew that if I didn't go I may never get to see them. Aside for a little argument between members at the beginning, I thought they were awesome. I had a pretty good spot for pictures also. Played all the songs I wanted to hear, and a lot of people knew the songs.

After that, Hellshock played. I never really heard them before, but gave them a shot. The sounds was almost more metal sounding than anything really punk. The vocals were screamed, with double bass drums. Maybe it was just such an extreme difference from NHFTK, but we left early since we had work in the morning.

Since we got there late yesterday and missed the first band and part of the second band, we decided to leave early. We wound up catching the last 2 Violation songs. Doors were at 7, and we got there at 7:30 so they must've been running pretty early. I've seen Violation like 3 times before, and they're not bad. They're from Philly, so I'm sure I'll get to see them again soon.

Pissed Jeans was next, and I've seen them about 3 or 4 times, and knew what to expect, but wasn't sure what the Pointless Fest crowd would think. Their sound is a heavy stoner punk, and their singer is a maniac. Couldn't get close enough to take pictures, but enjoyed just watching them. They closed with a song off their new single, "I Don't Need Smoke To Make Myself Disappear," which is a slow droning long song. There were a few heckles from the crowd, but people seemed to be into it for the most part.

I was also unsure of what people would think of Government Warning. When Career Suicide played the fest 2 years ago, it seemed like maybe 10 people were really into it, but those 10 people loved it. I made sure to get a spot right against the stage so I could take pictures, which was great, but I got pushed pretty hard into the stage and the speaker a few times. Government Warning has 2/3 of Direct Control, and have a similar old hardcore punk sound, but more melodic. They played a bunch of new songs off their "No Moderation" LP, which was available for the first time at the fest. Thanks to the internet though, it seemed pretty much everyone in the front already downloaded the LP and knew the new songs. They also covered the Descendents, Vile and the Adolescents. I would say they were hands down the best band on this fest.

World/Inferno was next, and I really wasn't interested. I took this free time to go to the record room, and go shopping. I wound up dropping around 50 bucks on records, mostly from the Government Warning table's distro boxes. I had planned on picking up the rest of the items on my shopping list the next day, so I didn't bring all the money I took out. This moderation proved to be a bad decision.

Around 10:30, someone came into the record room and made an announcement that the show was over, and the cops were there. This meant that Severed Head of State wouldn't get to play. When I left the show, I saw a paddy wagon in the middle of the street to the left, and lots of cops with clubs running down the street on the right. There were also news cameras; that would be my cue to exit. When I got to the car, I saw a helicopter hovering over the church so I knew something really bad must've went down.

When I got home, I saw a lot of messageboard posts about how the squatter punks had a riot with the cops. Let me explain, people travel to this show to not see bands, but hang out in the alley on the side of the church and get wasted. These people are a cross between homeless people and hippies and sometimes have dogs with them. They smell and look terrible, from not showering or eating well. Apparently they'd been harassing people in the neighborhood, which got the police in the area. From what I hear, there was an altercation where a group of these "punks" surrounded and attempted to overpower a cop, which was when backup was called and a riot of sorts broke out. None of this would have happened, however, if they were inside watching the bands. So the actions of a few idiots who decided it was cool to be an asshole and travel to Philly to hang out outside the show ruined everyone's weekend.

After reading that the show was cancelled, I conceded and showered. However around 1pm it was announced that at one of the after party shows that was already scheduled, that Kylesa, No Hope For the Kids and the other out of state/country bands would get to play at the Mill Creek Tavern at 9pm. After destroying some burritos, Ray and me got there, and it was already almost packed. This show was 21+, since it is a bar which in theory should keep the riff raff out. However, the trouble-makers from the night before were probably my age and older.

I haven't seen Kylesa in a few years, and to my surprise they've upped the ante with 2 drummers! I've always loved Kylesa a lot more live than recorded, but I'm still really excited to hear any new stuff with this 2 drummer line-up. They sound a lot heavier than before, and it works really well for them. For some reason I have no interest in metal sounding stuff in the summer, but in the winter I listen to metal a lot. Must have something to do with the weather.

Dismal were supposed to play the after party show anyway, but were also on the fest. I wasn't really too into it, sounded like heavy metallic crusty hardcore. Not generally a bad thing, just didn't really stick out as anything too different. People seemed to like them...

Thought Crime was next, and were laughable terrible. If you were to make the most generic punk band ever, it would sound like Thought Crime. Despite the awesome name, it just sounded like generic "smash the state" punk, complete with a British accent.

It was really awesome to get to see No Hope for The Kids two times, since they were supposed to play Sunday's show and I didn't plan to go to that. I think they played a lot better here than at the church on Thursday. They also played a new song, which was awesome. I had a different side of the stage for pictures this time, so I got some of the other guitar player, despite some chump who kept standing on the stage pretending to know the words.

Severed Head of State apparently played the after party show the night before, and were taking World Burns to Death's place on the show due to their drummer apparently having a seizure the night before. I have a bunch of SHOS records, but haven't listened to them in a few years. I wish I was more familiar with the majority of their songs, because they were fucking incredible. I had a spot on the left side of the stage for picture taking.

After that was the West Philly All-Star Oi! Tribute, however it was getting really late at that point and we made the trek back to NJ, getting home around 3am. Overall, it was a really good time, I just wished it went more according to plan. It just sucks that the actions of a few assholes had to ruin a lot of people's weekend, and ruin future Pointless Fests.

"If you contribute nothing, you deserve nothing; if you contribute something, you deserve everything"- Jack Control (SHOS)