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.
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! 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.