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.