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.