It's about that time again... I've started working again, so I've had more money to spend of records! A good chunk of these all come from the Sorry State Records web store and Celebrated Summer Records in Towson, MD.
Civic Progress- Petroleum Man
I loved their demo, and they ruled at No Way Fest, so I was stoked to help them out with an NJ show. This record is most of their demo songs just re-recorded. The playing is a little tighter, and the production isn't as muffled. The band shares members with Cardiac Arrest, and have a similar early 80's raw hardcore punk approach. The lyrics are more political though, but not in a preachy kinda way- more in a Dead Kennedys kinda way. It rules, and should hold you over until the new 7" comes out.
86 Mentality- Final Exit
I guess this is supposed to be 86 Mentality's last record(?), and it's a great way to go out. It starts with an Outro that's slow and brooding, then kicks into their raw fast sound. They always reminded me a lot of SOA and Negative Approach since the songs have a real monotone rawness to them. No real evolution here, just more of the same great stuff they've been doing all along. Pay your final respects, and get this.
Cross Laws- Behind the Curve
Cross Laws- Ancient Rites
Cross Laws released 3 7"s (one of those being a demo) within a short amount of time before breaking up recently. "Behind the Curve" seemed to sell out immediately, maybe since it was limited to 300- maybe because it rules. By the time I heard it was out, it was already gone, luckily I happened to find one at a shitty record store by me. This record picks up where the demo left off with real stripped down early 80's style HC in the style of mid-west bands like the Fix and Negative Approach. Ancient Rites, which was their final release has that same raw sound, but with a lot more melodic parts that are similar to early Articles of Faith. By no means is it any less raging, just a little different. This band broke up way too quickly, but hopefully we'll see some new noise from these guys soon.
Bored To Death- s/t
Bored to Death are a new band from Japan who play a more American style of early 80's hardcore (DC), almost like Total Fury. The recording sounds like it was run through an old boom box, and sounds real gritty (which is a good thing). The songs are real good and catchy, and naming your band after a Government Issue song helps too.
Crossed Eyes- Rattled
This is a little different than the average Sorry State Records release, and is a lot more pop-punk sounding. Luckily it's the kind of pop-punk that I like (not the border line emo or alternative sounding stuff). Similar to bands like the Observers, but with a more blown out recording sound. There's a lot of sing along parts, and I could totally see these guys going over well at a New Brunswick basement show.
Christian Club- Final Confession
I know this band shares a member with life Crisis, and share some of their blistering fast thrash influences. Sounding similar to early Poison Idea and maybe even Citizen's Arrest, and not pulling any punches on their stance against religion. Another band that broke up too soon.
This 7" seems to be surrounded with mystery, but they're apparently from TN. It comes in a printed dust sleeve with the insert stuck inside and hard to get out. It seriously sounds like Systematic Death and other Japanese classic, and I wouldn't joke around about that. All the songs sound different, but all fucking RAGE! Seriously, when was the last time you heard a band from America pull off Japanese Hardcore style well? This record will most likely disappear quickly, and is hard to come by even now, so find it now. I seriously can't recommend this any more.
Bad Dirty Hate- s/t
Bad Dirty Hate was the sleeper hit from "No Bullshit Vol. 1," and finally have something out. I had downloaded some of these songs as their demo, so I'm assuming that it was based on 2 recording sessions. If you read this blog enough, you know I have a huge soft spot for Japanese Hardcore. This stuff is just real fast and insane thrash like Systematic Deth or something like that.
Time to Escape- s/t
I guess this was recorded a while ago, and is just now seeing the light of day. The band had been broken up, but with the release of this 7" seems to have begun playing shows again. There's a big picture of the Capitol Building in Washing DC on the cover, and that's a pretty good way to describe how this sounds. They sound a lot like the Faith and other DC pre-Revolution Summer bands. Maybe we'll see another record from them in the future.
Regulations- Different Needs
I was kinda on the fence about this since the "Electric Guitar" LP was mediocre. This new 7" really didn't change that unfortunately. There's a few decent songs on here, but aren't nearly as good as the stuff on their s/t LP. It's not terrible, but I'd recommend their earlier releases more.
Let Down- Sacrifice Me
Let Down's back w/ another 4 song 7" of pissed off straight edge hardcore. Their sound leans more toward bands like Shark Attack, No Justice and Panic. Similar to their last record, but maybe a little more emphasis on the mosh parts. In a time when most edge bands are jocking shit like Biohazard, it's good to see a more stripped down sounding band in the mix.
The Ergs!/ Lemuria
Yet another new Ergs record, I think that makes 5 so far this year... I prefer the faster Ergs stuff, but this is a bit more like the mid-paced songs on the new LP. They cap off their side w/ a cover of "Hey Jealousy," which has been a staple live song for a little while now. They do the song somewhat faithfully, but add their own spin without sounding like Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies. Lemuria I've seen before in New Brunswick. They play some mid-paced female fronted pop-punk somewhat similar to Discount mixed w/ some late 80's/ early 90's power-pop. No too bad, and a perfect split to commemorate their US tour this summer.
Nightstick Justice- s/t
I'm not sure if they're named after the Negative Fx song or the N.O.T.A. song, but either are great bands to be associated with. I'd say it closer resembles NFX though. This is just NJ's demo repressed on vinyl, but damn is it killer. Aggressive pissed off raw early 80's inspired hardcore punk for CA. Should have a new record coming soon.
Upstab- W/ Report
Upstab's back w/ their 2nd and last(?) record of ripping Clevo style hardcore punk. Fans of bands like Cider, the Inmates and GSMF probably already love this. The singer also used to be in H-100's, who were great. That's all I can say, that scene is a genre all to itself.
Killin It!- s/t
NJ's Killin It unleash their first record of party thrash. Musically, I'd say they have a lot in common w/ Tear It Up, What Happens Next and Life's Halt, but pull it of a lot better than a lot of crappy boring thrash bands who fail at that style. Lyrically however, they're more in tune w/ bands like Municipal Wast, and have (multiple) songs about partying and pizza. It's a little goofy, but too many bands take themselves too serious these days anyway. As a long time edgeman, I'm not one for partying, but even I can get down with this.
V/A- Four Old Seven Inches
This is also referred to on CD as "1981: A Year in Seven Inches," but has 2 extra Minor Threat 7"s. This was recently just repressed on clear vinyl, so I figured it was time to get the vinyl version. I wasn't sure if it would be remastered, but it's not. There is a little bit different art on the insert. If you're not familiar w/ this release (and you should be), it features the CLASSIC 7"s from Teen Idles, S.O.A., Government Issue, and Youth Brigade. Without going into a history lesson, these band were all peers to Minor Threat, so if they're one of the few bands you know of that scene, there would make a perfect companion. I'd also like to add that the S.O.A. 7" is probably my favorite HC record.
Talk Is Poison- Condensed Humanity
I'm still kicking myself for not getting into this band when they toured around here, but I've since fallen in love with all of their records (and related bands). This LP compiles all of their releases (2 7"s and a split 7" w/ Deathreat). I was hoping that I was missing out on a comp song or some demo stuff, but nope. Either way, all their releases have been out of print for a while, so maybe this will get some more people to check them out. Members went on to various other bands, but Look Back and Laugh sounds most similar to the TIP sound. They just did 2 shows on the west coast, and I hear they're starting to play more shows!
Deep Wound- Discography
Fucking Deep Wound! Yes, that classic hardcore band from MA. This is a discography LP which contains their awesome 7", demo stuff and some comp tracks. Members of this band went on to be big in bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, but those bands sucked. Obviously I loved that 7", but hadn't heard the other stuff until now, and it's all great. I was a little hesitant based on the import price on this, but I had some record store credit to blow. These guys were more like Siege, and weren't in with the Boston HC scene, but made some loud noise that made people take notice. The cover art's kinda weird (mine is different from the one above).
The Blinds- On Our Own
I like this a lot more than that 7" that came out recently. This is more tuned into the same Angry Samoans / Circle Jerks sound of their demo, they even re-record some of the tracks from that. I hear these guys are all around the age of 15, which makes this rule even more. They're from Sweden, and fit in with bands like Regulations and the Vicious from there. May be a little tricky to get since it was pressed on a European label, but worth the hunt.
I found this used, and all I really knew was that they're from Japan, and toured around here a year or so ago. The music reminds me a bit of Forward, but the vocals are a lot more distorted. Heavy on the D-beat, but more interesting than most crust bands.
Jay Reatard- Blood Visions
Not something I would normally check out, but the songs I heard were real catchy, so I gave it a try. It's got a cool mix of Buzzcocks styled punk mixed with garage punk and some catchy indie type rock. The production on here is real rough, which adds some rawness to these catchy pop tunes. I'm not familiar w/ his stuff in the Reatards, but I can see this straddling the lines between punk and indie rock crowds.
Ringers- Detention Halls
This is Ringers' second release. I don't have the first one, but had heard a lot of good things about them, so I snagged this from a used bin. It's poppy, but it also has a real mid paced British punk sound to it as well. It's kinda like Dillinger 4 mixed with the Clash (minus the reggae crap). It's really catchy, and I like the singer's gritty voice. There's some hand claps, catchy sing along parts and I'm sure people into the more recent pop punk scene will be way into this.
the Shemps- Spazz Out with...
I've seen the Shemps a few times, but finally got their CD, and it's pretty cool. Despite having Artie (Millhouse/ Celebrity Murders) on vocals, they sound a lot more like a garage punk band. There's some catchy sing along parts, and some good guitar riffage. Real dirty old Rock N Roll quality to the recording too.
About To Snap (cassette)
About to Snap aren't new, but this tape is a discography which was made for their last show. It contains their new songs, an unused demo, their "Already Dead" 7", their demo 7" and a live set. Unfortunately they couldn't hold it together, because those new songs are real good. They always reminded me of bands like Voorhees and 97a who took angry early 80's HC, and put a more modern spin on it. Great band- R.I.P.
I Hate This (CDr)
I Hate This is a 3 person thrash/ power-violence band from PA/NJ. They sound real similar to Sick Fix (female singer), and are heavily influenced by bands like Infest. The recording quality is good, but the guitar needs some work to compensate for their lack of a bass player. This fits in well with the recent resurgence of bands playing in the old Slap A Ham records style.
Dead Tired (CDr)
Dead Tired is a new band from the NJ shore with a sound that seems to be a mix of Kill Your Idols with some Faction style skate rock guitar parts. There's some sorta fast parts, but then there's also some real slow parts. There's a mix of styles in there, but they don't melt well together yet. Shows potential though.
This was just handed to me at a show, so I don't know much about them. The members all seriously look like Guns N Roses circa 1988, and their sound is very 80's crossover sounding. I mean hell, I grew up on shit like Anthrax and Exodus type stuff, so I'm surprisingly into this. They also have a song about the movie Street Trash, which is pretty cool in my book.