Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Overdue record reviews- pt.1: 12"/ CDs

Ok, so these are basically all the records / CDs / demos I've acquired over the past 2-3 months. There's a ton, so I apologise if I don't go as in depth as you'd like. I've decided to break it into 3 parts: LP/CDs, 7" EPs, and demos


Double Negative- The Wonderful and Frightening World of...
North Carolina's best kept secret emerges with by far one of the best LPs that I've heard in a while. I think the average age of these guys is in the late 30's, and they show no signs of slowing down. What you get is blisteringly fast heavy hardcore. It sounds like if you were to smash together the raw sound of the early Corrosion of Conformity, the intensity of Gauze and the driving beats of Discharge. There's really no current bands I can think of that are this intense. Seriously, stop what you're doing, and order this record right now!

Repercussions- 11 Song EP
After all my friends who went to Chaos in Texas fest came home raving about this band, I figured I should give it a chance. I'm glad I did, because it's some great raw heavy hardcore. With a resume that boasts bands like Deathreat, Balance of Terror, Cold Sweat, Pedestrians and Army of Jesus; you'd assume it'd be great. The sound leans heavily toward the Deathreat sound, with heavy guitars and quick time changes. I hear they may have broke up, or went on hiatus, but don't miss out on this.

Look Back and Laugh- State of Illusion
LBAL come back with a new 1 sided 4 song LP. The B side has a cool looking screen, but the cover art is kinda weird looking. I think I like last year's Street Terrorism 7" better, but this is pretty good. It's more of the same good fast hardcore you've come to expect from them, but nothing new. But hey, why change what works right?

Criminal Damage- No Solution
If you're like me, that first "Crim Dam" LP took you by surprise, and you fell in love. This new LP is certainly not going to disappoint. It's got the same Blitz inspired anthemic backup vocal, and mid-paced drumming. The recording quality is about the same as the other record, and picks up right where it left off. There's really no reason to not get this.

Warkrime- Get Loose
Warkrime are back with a followup to their "Give War a Chance" 7" that came out last year. I think I like this one a lot more, there's a lot more guitar work on here, and the songs just sound tighter. I think the vocals seemed a little low or distorted, but it works. They remind me of Verbal Abuse a lot, with some in your face antics like Sick Pleasure. When I saw them a few weeks ago the singer was shoving people and slapped me in the face. Hell, if I wanted hugs and handshakes, I would to see Lifetime or some shit.

Autistic Youth- Landmine Beach
Autistic Youth from Portland came through here on tour recently, and I picked up this little gem. It's really catchy and poppy in the same sense as the Observers and Pink Razors, but it seems to have some more early punk influence. It's really good stuff that more people should be stoked on.

Pisschrist- Nothing Has Changed
Australia's Pisschrist came to the US a few months ago, and I saw them in a basement (with Lifetime of all bands) in NJ. While they didn't fit on the bill, they played some awesome raging D-beat hardcore. Stuff like this I always like more live than recorded, but this is real good. Real fast and heavy with distorted vocals that the punx just love.

Broken Needle- s/t
I'd been hearing about Broken Needle for a while, since they have ex- members of Life's Halt. Finally a record surfaces with what looks like like a compilation of demos with some sweet cover art from Biscuit (RIP) of the Big Boys. It has pretty much all the good elements of the 2000's thrash explosion. Fast punk hardcore with some leads and no metal. Very catchy, very California sounding and very punk.

Zodiac Killers- Radiation Beach
I found their previous CD in a used bin, and picked it up because it looked cool. This is unfortunately their last album, but it's a good one! Some surfy Angry Samoans/ Ramones influenced punk. Real catchy and fast, it's a shame they're done. Give it a shot, you may be surprised...

V/A- Killed By Death vol. 1
I was surprised to see this in the store, I don't know if all the old KBD comps were reissued or just re-bootlegged. Either way, these compilations are great to get into stuff you probably wouldn't even know exists. This one has stuff like the Authorities, the Mad and Kraut. I'm sure a lot of these records are available on mp3 blogs now, but for the KBD novice this is a great intro. Compilations used to be pretty important to introduce people to new bands, or in this case old bands. I saw other volumes in the store as well, I hope I can still get my hands on more of these.


The Degenerics- Generic Record Collection
I supposed I should preface this with the fact that the Degenerics are one of my favorite bands of all time. They were one of the first local hardcore bands I heard, and left a lasting impression. This collects pretty much everything they recorded. There's the classic Generica LP, the s/t 7", the No Comply 7", the Final Chapter 7", and demo, comp, outtakes and part of a live set. They were one of those bands that if you saw them, you loved them. They didn't get out of NJ as much as they should have in their 8 year existence, so if you missed the boat here's your chance to catch up. All of the tracks were remastered ans sound great, except that all the samples were removed. I guess legal issues over the past few years with samples is why that happened. It's not a huge problem, it just sounds different. If I were to have to describe their sound, I guess mix Discharge with Bad Brains, Black Sabbath and Void. I don't think that comes close to doing them any justice, but I guess stuff like Aus Rotten or most good 90's crustish HC. Crappy descriptions aside, this rules and they started playing a few shows again.

Seasick- Awakenings
NJ's Seasick bring you their first solo record, after a few demos and a split 7". The sound is really polished with great recording quality. They still have the same thrashy anarchist sound, but this reminds me of the early American Nightmare 7"s. There's some re-recorded demo tracks, but they sound on par with the new stuff. They kind of straddle the line between the thrashy hardcore and the melodic hardcore scene.

V/A- Drunk and Alone (Don Giovanni Records sampler)
This is a comp of Don Giovanni's most recent roster of punk/ power-pop releases. The Dustheads open up the comp with a song from their new album which I believe isn't out yet. For Science has 2 different songs from 2 different albums with 2 different lineups. The Ergs also boast 2 songs, from their 2 DG releases. Most of the bands are more in the pop-punk/power pop vein. It's cool that bands are still out there playing this stuff, without at the same time trying to get a major label deal. I'd rather hear some good ol' hardcore, but that's just me...

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