So TIFY fest was a fucking blast. Saw a bunch of bands I like, and saw a bunch more that I normally wouldn't check out. That's the cool things about fests like this, it's so diverse and you can see bands that normally wouldn't play shows together. The posters I made went over extremely. I printed up 270 (despite being numbered out of 250, but oh well...), and only had like 25 left. I guess it helped that I had a hot merch girl to help me sell them (Thanks Annie). I traded a lot of them for band's merch, which definitely curbed my spending. I also traded with basically anybody who wanted, so I got a lot of stuff I probably wouldn't normally pick up. I would up with a huge stack of records, and enough shirts to last a week. There's some pictures on my website, but obviously I couldn't take pics of every band...
Skate Korpse- s/t (discography)
Skate Korpse was a band from upstate NY, who put out a 7" during their existence and some limited singles after their demise. It kind of seemed that as people got wind of them, they broke up. I'm glad I got to see them at the fest, and that this discography was made. They remind me a lot of Agent Orange, with the surfy guitars, but also have a skate punk vibe, like JFA. The covers are screen printed, and the labels are stamped so it looks real cool. Definitely some great stuff, even if you never got into them when they were around.
the Vicious- Alienated + s/t
The Vicious came out of nowhere with the Obsessive 7" over the summer. It turns out they have a 7" and a 12" EP before that, which were only released in Europe. Their singer is the bass player for Regulations, and they have a similar old punk approach. The Vicious specialize in the jangley guitar punk sound. I was lucky to find their s/t 12" in a shitty local record store, and it totally rules, super catchy. The brand new 12"- Alienated just came out in December, and is a great follow up to everything they've released so far. Probably the best LP you'll buy, there's a pressing on Feral Ward, so it should be easy to find.
I Accuse/ Hummingbird of Death
It's good to see I Accuse back after what seems like a long break since that awesome 7" they put out 2 years ago. The songs are a little bit more structured, but still fast and angry as hell. Great looking cover illustration. Don't know much about Hummingbird of Death, but they're really fast. I guess they could be classified as thrashcore, but with some heavier power violence guitar tones. Well balanced split, thrashaholics take note.
Black SS- Foreign Object
I liked Black SS' 7" that came out a while back, but wasn't incredibly motivated to check out any of the splits and the LP. That was until I finally saw them at the fest. Real energetic fast hardcore, the singer's voice reminds me of Choke (Slapshot/ Last Rights/ Negative FX). This LP is the same as that CD from almost a year ago. It's got some cover songs at the end, which I'm not sure was on the CD version. Great gate fold cover and highly recommended for fans of more aggressive old school hardcore.
First of all, this record looks beautiful. Cover art aside, this has a laser etched B-side and clear vinyl. Musically, you get 3 ragers of dark and brooding heavy stoner hardcore. Not generally my bag, but they do it well.
Radical Attack- Priority
Radical Attack seem to straddle the line of fastcore and moshcore. Sonically they always reminded me of XfilesX, by being sXe and playing fast hardcore with mosh parts. Pretty good angry Canadian hardcore, there's a bunch of songs too, eh?
Lion of Judah- Universal Peace
While normally this type of stuff doesn't appeal to me, they really impressed me live. They remind me of Bad Brains, mixed with Underdog and Burn. They'd probably be lumped in with your average mosh friendly band, but they've got some great weird parts to keep it interesting.
Pulling Teeth- Vicious Skin
This is the new project by members of the Spark and the Slumlords. I got their demo last year, and liked it, it was kinda heavy, but didn't really cross too far into the metal realm. This 10" on the other hand does cross into the metal realm. but at the same time keeps it in the hardcore world. The main thing is that the vocals aren't deep and growling, Mike still sounds the same as on the Spark's recording, he just yells more. To some that may be their downfall, to me it's their saving grace. It fits into the small niche of "good metal hardcore."
Tristess- Vad Sak Vi Bli?
Picking up where the 7" left off, scroll down to see the review of that. This Swedish rock and roll machine crank out more catchy rock influenced punk. It's almost got a Chuck Berry/ Buddy Holly sound but mixed with the Ramones or something. I think the only thing that'd make this better is if it were in English. Still rock though...
Harpoon Guns- 12" EP
Woah, where did this come from? Some really awesome AOD sounding old school thrash hardcore. Seriously, I was totally surprised on this one. I got it in a trade w/ Rabies, since they ran out of their 12"s. Not sure if it has any shared members, or just local friends. I know they put out a 7" a while back, I may need to find it, cuz this is real good.
Pedestrians- Ideal Divide
I enjoyed Pedestrians previous releases, their mid tempo early 80's California sound was a welcome change. I think the slower pace of their songs is what sets them apart from the pack, but on this record it just seems like all the songs have the same pace, and I found it pretty boring. I'll give it a few more spins, but nothing jumped out and grabbed me.
Requiem- Storm Heaven
First of all, this album looks great. the cover is in 2 panels, and has a die-cut of the album title, which shows through to red paper on the insert. Requiem features a few members of Catharsis, an anarchist metallic hardcore band. Requiem picks up where Catharsis left off, and incorporate more diverse sounds into the mix. There's violin on more than a few tracks, which is pretty cool. If you were into Catharsis, definitely give this a try. I think this would also appeal to young crusty hardcore kids, who are into Tragedy and political heavy hardcore punk.
Poison Idea- Latest Will and Testament
Poison Idea has a new album out? yea! Is it good? yea! After Pig Champion's death last year, I heard a rumor that they recorded a new LP before he died. I didn't really think much of it, until I saw this. It's more in line with the "Feel the Darkness" era of Poison Idea, so it's got some great guitar parts, but is still pretty punk sounding. A really great come back, I hear they're going to tour this year. RIP PIG.
About to Snap- s/t (demo) + Already Dead
One of my favorite new bands from the fest was Canada's About To Snap. Their sound is similar to bands like Negative Approach, Voorhees and 97a. Fast/ angry raging hardcore. The s/t is their demo, pressed onto a 1 sided 7". The songs are listed as numbers, and it seems like they only had 2 members on this, so maybe the band started as a project of sorts. The Already Dead 7" takes that sound and refines it to it's best form.
Set to Explode- s/t
This is the new band with the singer from Striking Distance. I think there are some similarities, but I think STE have more of an early hardcore punk sound. Still sounds pissed, maybe a hybrid of SSD and Minor Threat. What's not to like?
Warkrime- Give War a Chance
No Way Records blasts out another rager. CA's Warkrime drop off some raging fast thrash, similar to Verbal Abuse and Deadfall, with a little bit of Adolescents snottiness. The music is real snotty as a matter of fact. The artwork has a real cut and paste look, as opposed to the fake photoshoppy cut and paste look on some modern records. The insert is almost impossible to read, but it kinda fits the sloppy I don't give a fuck attitude on the whole record.
How We Are- s/t + Black SS split
How we are seems to straddle a genre, where they could be a hardcore band like Have Heart or Verse, or just be a good screamo band. Not too bad, not something I'd check out on my own, but pretty cool. On the surface I guess the split w/ Black SS is weird, both bands straddle sub-genres and meet at a hardcore center. It's cool that bands like this can come together on a piece on vinyl, and expose people to different interpretations of the same form of music.
I Accuse/ Life Set Struggle
What's this, a new Life Set Struggle 7", but they broke up 2 years ago? Yea, so either this was unreleased stuff, or they're back together. Either way it's cool. I wouldn't have thought to match these 2 bands, but they both fit will. LSS play fast hardcore with cues from some skate core. I Accuse plays fast hardcore with cues from some power violence. This is a tour pressing that I have, hopefully the real version will come w/ lyrics and explain more as to the status of the LSS songs.
Brody's Militia- Tribute Through Butchery
This is a record consisting of cover songs. I guess something like this would be a bad introduction to this band. From the cover selection, I can assume they're probably influenced by heavy power violence era hardcore. Their Circle Jerks cover falls a little flat, but I'd be interested in hearing some of their own material.
Pretty good female fronted thrashy hardcore. I was a fan of some of the members previous bands, so I figured I'd check it out. Plus I have a huge soft spot for female fronted hardcore/punk bands. It's got a lot of cool start and stop parts, but nothing stuck out too memorably. Good first release, with a lot of potential to do something great.
Police & Thieves- s/t
A lot of times bands will try to tell yu they sound like Dag Nasty, and they never do. This band really does remind me of bands like Dag Nasty and Swiz, they're even from DC. Melodic hardcore, with some slow parts and youth crew-esque backups. This record is really great.
Pretty cool stuff here. Imagine if for stripped out all the annoying crappy parts of American Nightmare and Outbreak, and mixed them with some mordern day thrash, and you'll get Blackbirds. Definitely will appeal to fans of more modern hardcore, but want it FAST.
These guys are apparently from NJ, so I thought it was weird that the first time I saw them was in FL. Pretty good hardcore, similar to bands like Ruiner, but with more poppy background. Good sing along and mosh parts; I'm surprised this band isn't playing locally as much as they seem to be touring. Not really my thing, but they're pretty cool.
Sick of Talk-
Whether they're named after the Negative Approach song or the Infest some doesn't matter, since they sound like both. There's a strong NYHC influence here also. Not a bad first record, but I'd rather hear less of the NYHC mosh, and more punk. The art is screen printed on the backs of leftover Horror record covers,
Ratbyte- + Concrete Facelift split
Ratbyte play stripped down speedy skate core. The songs are fairly short and simple, not bad, just not really ground breaking. I can see potential for this band to be really awesome live, but the recordings kind of fall flat. Concrete Facelift are similar in their skating influence. They seem to have more of a Suicidal Tendencies sound to them, which is kinda cool. Both bands are ok, if you're into the whole skate thrash thing.
Cross Examination- the Hung Jury
Crossover metal influenced hardcore. Very similar to Municipal Waste, with the songs about partying and other weird stuff. Pretty fun, especially if you're into goofy thrash and partying.
ANS- Heinous + My Revenge split
Heinous is a 1 sided 7", with a screened B side and 1 long song on the A side. The song's ok, it looks like ANS is adding a little more metal, like the Bones Brigade did. Nothing too mind blowing, but not bad either. Aside from My Revenge being possibly one of the worst bands, the split is ok. More metal riffage here too, I heard they got a new guitar player recently. I don't mind them going in more crossover direction, but the skate punk stuff I liked better.
Static Radio (NJ)- One For The Good Guys
From my home state of NJ, this is Static Radio's Chunksahh debut. They play fast melodic HC punk, similar to Kid Dynamite and Paint It Black (and similar associated bands). Their approach is a lot faster, and they were able to cram 5 songs on this 1 sided 7". They're on tour now, check em out.
Despite having some Japanese lettering on the cover, this band is from Germany. They play a style of hardcore similar to Tragedy and the Holy Mountain. Real good, this is a reissue of their first 7", but check out their LP and newer 7". It's all good, but this 7" is a little weak compared to the more recent stuff.
Tristess- Bara Rock n Roll
I really knew nothing about this ban before buying this. It has a member of Regulations, and is on Kick n Punch so I figured it has to be pretty decent. The lyrics are all in Swedish (?) but catchy as hell. It has a real old rock vibe to it, mixed with some stripped down punk sensibilities.
Severed Head of State- Charge Ahead
SHOS charge us with 3 more anthems. This came out a little while ago, but is a perfect companion to the Fucking Butchery 7". If those 2 recent 7"s are any indication of how the new Severed Head of State LP is going to be, then we're in for another classic. If you've only heard SHOS' early stuff and wasn't into it (like me), pick up some of the more recent EPs and you'll be convinced.
Apparently this has ex-members of With Honor, which means nothing to me. It reminds me of bands like Saves the Day (1st CD), Gorilla Biscuits/CIV, and maybe a little Fastbreak. Melodic youth crew hardcore, pretty enjoyable if you're into that sort of thing.
Cross Examination/ Spring Break!- Super Party Brothers
I got a CDr of this at the fest, but this isn't out yet. The Cross Examination tracks are reminiscent of Crucial Unit and Municipal Waste. Pretty humorous (not serious) crossover metal, with "party" themed hardcore. Spring Break's stuff is a little less on the crossover, and more on the metal. Pretty ridiculous, but definitely fun. The ending of the Cross Exam side is too ridiculous to describe.
Sick Fix (cassette)
I really liked these guys at the fest, and their demo is really good too. I would recommend it to people who like Infest, Look Back and Laugh, and I Object. Really fast chaotic sXe hardcore with a female singer. Looking forward to more from them.
This is one of my favorite recent demos. Some speedy old sounding hardcore, there's even a sweet White Cross cover at the end. The bass player from Wasted Time sings in this, but I think it has a more raw punk sound than WT. Real good recording quality, I want more.
This demo came packaged in a cool cardboard cover, w/ stenciled art on the front. Looks cool, sound reminds me of maybe Bracewar(?). I'm not a huge fan, but I'm sure people will be way into this.
Sick of Talk (CDr)
3 new songs recorded before they left for the fest, but they were unfortunately unable to play. The sound is a lot brighter than the 7", and the songs are a lot tighter. Not a fan of their NYHC leanings, but if you liked the 7", you'll love this.
Wild and Crazy Kids (CDr)
With a name like that, I wasn't expecting too much. The demo starts off with a Tear It Up sounding intro. The rest of the songs however just scream generic thrash. Granted, I'd rather hear generic thrash than generic metal core. It's really nothign special, but keep it fast, and keep it punk.
*I wanted to make an amendment to the Best of 2006 post, but I want to replace the Sleeper Cell LP with the SU/DC split LP. That Sleeper Cell LP was super delayed, and wound up coming out long after the band broke up, but it's fucking incredible. There's a few ex-Sleeper Cell bands kicking around now like Poison Control, Social Circkle and the Conversions.*