Thursday, February 15, 2007

more reviews

Looks like this block of reviews has a nice chunk of Clevo hardcore represented. I recently saw the Inmates and the Darvocets somewhere in Brooklyn, as well as the Homostupids somewhere else in Brooklyn. For some reason the Clevo scene seems to not only produce great bands, but all the bands seem to stay around for a while, and resurface occasionally. I also got to see the Formaldehyde Junkies last week, which was great since I really liked their records but it didn't seem like they'd ever play locally. They were really good and tight, even with a "scab" lineup (consisting of 1/2 of the Retainers).
My main focus in doing reviews is to maybe hilight good stuff for people, but at the same time it's a good representation of what I'm currently listening to. I don't get any of these for free from the labels, I've paid for all of these (except the FTW records), which is why the majoriy of the reviews are positive. Here's some poorly written reviews...


Moderat Likvidation- Marionett I Kedjor
I forgot to review this in the last reviews block. Recently Havoc repressed 3 7"s and a discography of this band, Moderat Likvidation. In the world of crusty raw Swedish punk, I guess this is a pretty big deal. I'd never heard of them, but Mr. Havoc recommended this one. It's pretty good, kind of like Discharge mixed with Blitz, and maybe Crucifix. However, this band is for the early 80's, so they were contemporaries of those bands. Pretty cool, I'd be interested in hearing more. I did find out that there was some error on the labels, so maybe the stuff I'm listening to isn't what it is. Hard to tell, since it's not in English...

Retainers- Teenage Regrets
Saw these guys last week in Philly, and they were really good. Some pretty rockin fuzzed out garage rock/punk. I wish I had something to compare it to, but the production is real rugged, like some early classic HC. The music, however is a little more like some stripped down rock. Pretty good... I'm into it.

Step Forward- 10 Song EP
Some serious member cred (Mental, Mind Eraser, Stop And Think, Have Heart, Cold World, Down But Not Out, etc...), which in no way appeals to me, but they crank out some awesome straight edge jams. It seems like most modern day edge bands lost the speed and ferocious nature that bands like SSD and Youth of Today had. This band breaks that mold, and kicks out 10 fast and pissed off straight edge songs. I have a huge soft spot for sXe bands that don't suck, and this definitely fits in that category.

Scapegoat- s/t
Boston's Scapegoat has a similar hardcore sound to fell Boston band, Mind Eraser. They remind me of Dropdead and Crossed Out, pretty fast heavy power violence hardcore. The guitar tone has a real metal tone to it, which I'm not that into, but this shows a lot of potential.

Homostupids- Brutal Birthday
I saw these guys a few weeks ago, and they were really good. Live it sounded kinda like some late 70's garage punk. This record is pretty weird, it's one sided, and there's like 8 short songs. The music's got a lot of overdubs and just weird noises, I don't know. I liked them a lot live, and I hear their other 7" is good. Maybe this was something experimental, but I'd be willing to give them another try. People who like Clock Cleaner or Pissed Jeans will be into this. Oh yea, and the bass player used to sing in 9 Shocks Terror (RIP).

The Freeze- Guilty Face
Another classic reissue. I really loved the Freeze's contribution on the classic "This is Boston Not L.A." compilation, but only really listened to random other stuff. This seems to be part of a series of Freeze reissues on Schizophrenic Records (I Hate Tourists 7" and a Live record are out too). This record was recorded after the comp tracks I believe and have that same feel to them. The Freeze stood out from the other bands, and seemed to have a more British influenced sound. Still sounds great, and will probably disappear as fast as the original pressing.


Inmates- Assholes Unanimous
Now THIS is what hardcore should be more like. Fast, pissed, degenerate assholes playing hardcore the right way. Musically it's got an early Agnostic Front feel, plus they're from Cleveland, so they have members of about 40 bands in there. The singer's got a quasi-British accent, but it adds to the great weirdness of it all. This record came out in like 1999 or something, and got repressed by the wonderful folks at Painkiller Records (but is now out of print on vinyl, so get the CD). "Cement Shoes" is quite possibly one of the best HC songs ever...fuck!

Cider- They Are The Enemy
This was a 7" that just got repressed as a 12" with some extras. The music is real distorted punk rock, which isn't super fast but stil rages. Something like Negative Approach mixed with the H-100's sound. Another Clevo all-star lineup, which fits well with the Inmates LP, possibly the same singer.

Rabies- Test Your Might
I really loved their 7" that came out last year, so I jumped when this was finally available. Rabies play some fast skate punk with lots of mid paced beats, and noodly guitar leads. The noodly weird parts are cool in short supply, but on an LP I want to hear more of a balance between weird and just old skate-core. Maybe with the 7" being shorter it seemed fresher, but this is still a great LP from these young go-getters. If you're into current shit like ANS or earlier Bones Brigade, or the classic old Nardcore stuff, check it out.

Propaghandi- Today's Empires, Tomorrow's Ashes
I know this is old, but I just got it and it's still in print. I found it in a Hot Topic 1/2 off clearance section for $2. Say what you want about Hot Topic, but you can get some serious scores in the clearance, especially when they have the 1/2 off the already 1/2 off prices. Anyway, I wrote this band off as a more politically inclined NOFX sounding band based off some of their early releases and songs on the Fat Wreck Chords comps. I was recommended this recently, and it sounds pretty good. They still have a NOFX/D4 sound to them, but there's some fast thrashier components added in. The political angle is a lot more prevalent, and there is a giant book of political essays. Maybe if you were on the fence about this band, and see this for $2 you should take a chance.

Forward- Burn Down the Corrupted Justice
This also came out a few years ago, but I recently got it on vinyl and figure this is a good opportunity to talk about how cool Forward is. If you're remotely into Japanese hardcore, you should know who they are, they've been around forever. Some of the members were in the legendary band, Death Side. It combines all the best elements of Japanese thrash: fast, distorted, completely insane, broken english lyrics. I got the CD version when they came through on tour in 2004, and the LP (US pressing) has a different cover, and a weird collage insert, but the same tracks. Mine also came on this colored vinyl that looks like a funfetti cupcake. It literally doesn't get any better.


Darvocets- Have Landed...
This is a discography of some sort for the Darvocets, who are from Clevo err... the planet Darvon. Their singer reminds me a lot of the Crucifucks singer, and all their songs have the theme of aliens and stuff like that. The music's some good old school styled KBD hardcore, that's real catchy. Their 7" came out in 1996, and they released a 1 sided LP a little while back; both are out of print. I hear they're breaking up, but who knows... Check this out, it's also got some live tracks.

YDI- Out For Blood
YDI were probably the most notable classic HC band from Philly, DC had Minor Threat, the Midwest had Negative Approach, Philly had YDI. This compiles their demo, the Place in the Sun 7", and the Black Dust LP. The LP is kinda weird, it's like they tried going a little more metal, but it's honestly not as bad as most early 80's bands that tried going for that sound. This discography rules, it's some classic hardcore that more people need to be familiar with. They sill occasionally play shows too!

For The Worse- The Chaos Continues + Blood Guts, Going Nuts
I recently got the 7" and the CD version of the Chaos Continues, which for some reason has different songs. For the Worse has the classic Boston sound, like SSD and Slapshot, and I even get some Last in Line sounds there. I can imagine this band straddling the lines between more old school hardcore, and the more tough sounding stuff. The songs are short, fast, and totally rage. Some weird songs in the mix on both records, but there's 18 on Chaos, and 23 on Blood Guts, which is how every CD should be. I hate getting CDs and there's only like 12 songs, you can fit a ton on there. Anyway, For the Worse rule, and I'm siked to get to see them on Sunday. I can imagine their live shows being insane.

I'm always getting new stuff, but I try to review stuff that are possibly to buy still. I did however recently acquire Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons- "King Tut" single last week. Some classic KBD there... ha ha.

oh yea, while I have you attention, my band the Wormeaters put a song from a practice session online. Check it out at:
I think it sounds like the singer of Gism w/ the music of Negative Approach (see also: Mental Abuse, Agnostic Front, Gauze, Lip Cram, YDI)

Friday, February 02, 2007

the State tribute

No this post isn't about the classic hardcore band, the The State (who by the way ruled). It's about the old classic comedy series, from back in the 90's on Mtv. It seemed that back in the mid-late 90's there was a resurgance in sketch comedy troupes. Comedy Central was in its infancy, and had a bunch of new sketch comedy shows, mixed in with old SNL episodes. At the same time, Mtv had a little show called the State. There were maybe like 10 people in the cast (only one was female), and they played all the characters, as well as writing and directing. The comedy style was a mix of classic Monty Python style men in drag comedy, but with a lot of edgy off the wall sick humor. It did 3 seasons on Mtv before it was cancelled. CBS picked it up briefly, but never made it past the pilot episode. The members went on to movies and tv shows. Most notable Wet Hot American Summer, one of the best movies in recent years.

It seems like the State has faded into history, due to a lack of a DVD collection maybe. I'd been hearing about a DVD for years, I think some of the cast members were even selling bootlegs at some point. The problem was that the shows used a lot of popular songs from the era. At the time Mtv was able to use any songs that had a video on Mtv as a part of any of their shows background music. Since it's been like 10 years, the license agreements had ended. This however left the state with a big chunk of sketches that couldn't be reproduced. Recently though, all the episodes have been re-cut with new music. Mtv put the episodes on iTunes a few months ago as well. Maybe they did this to test how well a potential DVD would sell, but I mean honestly who buys tv shows on iTunes? Why would I pay $2 poer episode to watch a 5" wide tv show? I know for a fact that I'd buy a boxed set in a heartbeat. Also a few members of the State star in the new Reno 911 movie, and apparently there will be guest appearances by other State alumni.