Friday, December 26, 2008

Zines Suck!

Not Really, but it really caught your attention I'm betting. I made these flyers to have on tour. My regular website is still not online, but the blog has been thriving lately, so I figured people might care about its content. The photo is a photo I took of Government Warning at Pointless Fest, and I did the rest in Photoshop (not cut and pasted).
I think zines in the past have been a viable part of hardcore punk, but there's been fewer and fewer good zines. A lot of the zine scene has been overrun with dumb poetry and diary writing zines. If I'm grabbing a zine I want photos, reviews, interviews that just talk about HARDCORE. A lot of people are flying the cut and paste only flag, and I mean it's all well and good, but when you're typing everything up on a computer anyway you may as well just design it on one. What my site lacks in punk look, I feel it makes up for in content. I haven't had any interviews yet, but that's only because I hate social interaction. I think a lot of fly by night zines just start because people try to get free records out of labels. 99% of the stuff I review I bought because it's what I like. Some may say it accounts for the lack of diversity... oh well.
In short, zines still rule, there just aren't enough good ones. The internet rules because it's easily accessible, and nowadays anyone can share their opinions for free. And hey, if you don't like it, there's an X at the top of your screen to make it go away.

*I should note that I have had a subscription to MRR for a while... what else am I gonna read on the toilet?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gorilla Biscuits Vinyl Toy review

There's been some buzz lately about the Gorilla Biscuits x Super 7 vinyl toy collaboration. Gorilla Biscuits were one of the first hardcore bands I got into, and it was really what sparked my interest to dig deeper. When I heard about the toy, I was kind of on the fence. I know a lot of people were put off by the $50 price tag, but being a fan of vinyl toys I knew that was about the going rate. Honestly I think they could have charged more since the quality is pretty good, and a bit more involved than some of their other toys. I made sure to order it as soon as I could since I knew it would sell out fast (It wound up selling out in like 5 hours).
A lot of the toy blogs were bashing the sculpt, and I somewhat agree. The gorilla looks similar to the classic record cover, but lacks some of the attitude in the pose. It looks like the knees should have a little bend to them in the original, and the feet should be a lot bigger. I had read somewhere that Civ worked with them on this, so if it's got Civ's blessing then it's ok with me. The blue paint job was made to reference the first pressing blue of the GB 7" cover. I'm not sure how I feel about a gray gorilla, since I imagined it being more tan colored from my old "Hold Your Ground" shirt. They also did a solid black and solid clear vinyl versions, both with no paint. I'm sure the banana yellow vinyl (2nd press) won't be far behind. The back of the header card has a background taken from the B-side label, proving this was a labor of love.
The minimalist packaging should appeal to environmentalists, as well as people who don't like saving packaging. I've got a box full of empty Dunny boxes in my room for some reason, so the bag and header card is much more simple. I should also note that I also ordered a Ghost Land figure and magazine w/ my order, and wound up getting 6 Ghost Land figures (they were apparently giving them away as promos w/ the GB figures), and 3 magazines. Super 7 gets a big thumbs up in my book. If they decide to do a Minor Threat toy or a Bad Religion (actually a "Suffer" boy toy would be fucking incredible) or any of my favorite punk rock heroes, I'd buy it!

*In case any record collector nerds were wondering, that GB 7" in the picture is from the 3rd pressing*

Monday, December 22, 2008

Best Records of 2008

"It's the end of a fucked up year," so here's some records that I really enjoyed that were released over the past 12 months. Obviously these are just my personal opinions, so most people would probably disagree. Like they say, opinions are like assholes...

Best 7"s of 2008

1. Reprobates- Stress
2. Inmates- Now We Talkin Hardcore
3. Needles- s/t
4. Sacred Shock- s/t
5. Violent Arrest- Criminal Record

It was a tough one. Inmates release their first new record in like 9 years, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. However, Reprobates debut release (and only release, since they're done now) is a fucking scorcher. Needles is another one that came out of nowhere and is amazing. It seemed to go out of print immediately, so hopefully it'll be re-pressed or you luck out and find one. Sacred Shock made good on the potential that their demo showed, and put out a damn good 7". Violent Arrest released an LP's worth of material on a 2x7" set that shows that the old dudes still know how to rock.

Best 12"s of 2008

1. Devour- s/t
2. Gauze -Binbou Yusuri No Rizumu Ni Notte
3. Blank Stare- s/t
4. Chronic Seizure- Ancient World
5. Straight Jacket Nation- Cheap Kicks

Devour is better than Gauze? Let me explain, you know Gauze's LP is gonna be good... IT'S FUCKING GAUZE! Devour on the other hand is a band nobody's heard of that went straight to LP. The surprise factor alone is why it's my #1. Blank Stare's LP squeaked in at the end of 08, despite being out in Europe since this summer. I'll have a more thorough review next time, but it's good, pretty much what you'd expect from Blank Stare. Chronic Seizure put out 2 pretty good 7"s, then really came into their own on this LP. I had the pleasure of seeing Straight Jacket Nation a few times on their US tour this summer, and they scorched each time. Total 9 Shocks worship from Australia of all places.

Honorable Mentions
Poison Planet- Normally I do a top 5 demos section, but there weren't too many that really grabbed me this year. Poison Planet's demo on the other hand is fucking fantastic; the 7" should be dropping in early 09, and it's good.
Libyans- they released 2 great records this year, and "Welcome to the Neighborhood" is probably one of the best songs this year. It was definitely stuck in my head for weeks.
Reissues: Systematic Death, Paintbox, Die Kreuzen, Mob 47, Unseen Force
Repercussions- their 7" that came out was a top contender for the 5, but I went w/ the new blood. Consider it 5.5 due to the fact that i knew it was gonna rule, and it did.
the Repos- broke up this year, but released an album where they cover Youth of Today's "We're Not In This Alone" LP. It's played much more raw than the original, but was limited to 300 and sold out at their last shows. I'd like to own a real copy, but I'm not paying eBay prices.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Post X-Mas show

Friday, December 26th

from Boston, Sorta like a crusty version of Left For Dead

from CT, Female fronted political thrash

Members of SPG, Female fronted/Man backed herbal thrash

members of I Hate This, raging hardcore- new song from E.P. online

@ the Bread Box
New Brunswick, NJ

7pm (show will end by 10) / $5-$6
e-mail- for more info

don't show up late/ bring money/ support the touring band/ respect the house
you know the drill...

IHT and SPG will be splitting a set, since we share members anyway...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Q: Reviews? A: Reviews!

Some really great releases this time around. The Devour LP is a top contender for LP of the year for sure. There's some great reissues from Mob 47, Paintbox and Die Kreuzen, and a bunch of new demos. Thanks to Josh from Barbarossa Records for hooking me up with the Culture Shock and Daggers Rule records. The next reviews post will most likely be the Best of 2008 post... get psyched!


Violent Arrest- Criminal Record
A double 7" release from these old dudes. At first I wondered why they didn't just make another LP, but the 7"s flow real well as 2 separate records. If you've been sleeping on VA as just another "old dudes trying to relive their glory days" band, you're an asshole because this record is fucking awesome. I like this way more than the LP they did. It's like buying an LP, but it's cheaper and you have to flip it more.

Mob 47- s/t
What can really be said about this classic record other than Havoc rules for reissuing it, and making it much more widely available. Seriously, anyone into raw full speed d-beat thrash needs this. Now you have no excuse.

Retainers- Lose It
In the realm of current bands doing garage punk, the Retainers are one of the best in my opinion. There's the right balance of rock and roll guitar, punk and shitty recording quality. I'm eagerly waiting for their LP to come out.

Libyans- Welcome to the Neighborhood
I guess I'll start off by saying "Welcome to the Neighborhood" is one damn catchy song that definitely got stuck in my head for a few days. This record is sorta like a single for that one song, which I'm totally fine with. It reminds me of Tilt, if Tilt was a halfway decent band. The B-side is 2 much faster songs that are also really good, but very different from the mid-paced punk of the A-side. Also you can apparently play "Welcome to the Neighborhood" in Rock Band 2, but I don't play video games.

Born Bad- s/t
I thought the second Born Bad EP was ok, so I picked up the first. I'd say the second is a bit better, but that makes sense. Still the same fast/pissed hardcore, kinda like a more stripped down Under Pressure. It's ok.

Middle America- s/t
After a solid demo, I was excited to finally get an EP from these boys. It's definitely a lot more raw (in a good way) and has some weird parts. Reminds me of Die Kreuzen a bit, though not nearly as tight. Pretty good debut EP.

No Peace?- Zombie Brains
I was expecting something a little more crazy seeing as it's coming from Cleveland. This sounds a lot like Disclose though, which is pretty cool at any rate. Ugly maniacal d-beat.

Sinks- Beat Out My Brains
Some more low-fi garage rock w/ members of the Retainers. Only 3 songs on this one, but a little better recording quality than their first 7". "Beat out my Brains" is pretty catchy. There's also 3 different covers for this, but I got mine from the label and got all 3 on 1 record.

Homostupids- the Edge
If you read this blog, I've reviewed all the other Homostupids records before, so you should know what you're getting into. Sounds like their other EPs: loud, poorly recorded, and awesome. You're not getting anything different with this one.

Black Mark- Wrecked
Solid debut 1 sided 7". They play some 80's style hardcore punk with a more brutal/ tough sound, similar to Life's Blood or Violent Minds. It's loud and angry, the way hardcore should be played. Hardware Records does it again...

Civil Victim- Mehr Krieg!
First of all the only place that says "Civil Victim" is the A-side label, which is kinda a dumb idea. Anyway, this record is pretty cool, reminds me of D.S.-13 a little. Real fast full speed thrashy hardcore.

Culture Shock-s/t
Don't know too much about Culture Shock other than they 're from upstate NY. There seems to be a heavy Infest/ Lack of Interest influence, but this definitely stays more on the hardcore side of things. I'm even hearing some early Born Against influence in there too. Pretty cool thrash with heavy parts that straddles the line between more traditional HC/punk, crust and powerviolence.

Daggers Rule- Gleaming the 'Cuse
Well they sold me with the name, since it's a reference to the best movie ever- THRASHIN'. What it looks like is that you get 2 recording sessions (1 on each side) by an now defunct band from Syracuse. The music reminds me of the earlier eras of Bones Brigade and Municipal Waste before they turned into shitty metal bands. The vocals however are a lot more brutal and NYHC influenced.

The No Jons
Found this in a used bin, and I had read that it was like Descendents/ Screeching Weasel styled pop-punk. I was real into that stuff in high school, so I figured I would give it a chance. It's more like Crimpshrine, but I'm not really into it. Maybe I've just gotten too old and grumpy to listen to pop-punk anymore... or maybe this just stinks.

Violent Arrest- s/t
Finally picked this up right before posting this (that's why it's so far down). Fucking great EP from these old dudes. Awesome Fix cover as well. Definitely get this one too.

For The Worse/ Kids of Carnage
For the Worse is back again with 2 new songs. The first one is standard FTW fare or Boston style hardcore with high pitched vocals. The second track however is almost Bouncing Souls sounding. Kinda weird, but cool. Kids of Carnage play a more riff heavy style of hardcore, that's I guess more NYHC influenced.
Fun Fact: I did the cover design/layout on this one!


Devour- s/t
HOL-E-SHIT! Going straight to LP without a demo is risky maneuver, but I'll be damned if Devour don't prove that theory wrong. This really reminds me of Animosity era Corrosion of conformity mixed with some Totalitar styled D-beat, and some Japanese hardcore rage. After listening to this it inspired me to listen to Judgement if that gives you any indication of where they're coming from. The packaging is also top notch, BIG fold out poster insert, and you get a CD of the whole LP (plus a 46 minute bonus track). GET THIS!

Libyans- s/t
The Libyans LP picks up where Side 2 of their 7" left off- fast early 80's style punk. I would imagine that a lot of people compare them to The Avengers. "Empty Mornings" is the only real mid paced song on here, but the rest of the record speeds by. The cover art is interesting, the sleeve is just a brick wall, and there's a piece of acetate w/ the artwork spray painted on it. Plus it comes with a wooden airplane!

Die Kreuzen- s/t
Another hardcore classic reissued. I don't think this record gets the respect it deserves. It's just as good as Cows and Beer, and there's even a few songs from that record re-recorded here. Touch and Go even gives you a coupon to download mp3s of the record when you buy it. This is a classic hardcore LP which I highly recommend.

Nightstick Justice- s/t
After 3 raging 7"s (one of them being their demo though), it's about time NJ released their 7". When playing fast early 80's styled hardcore punk, it's sometimes hard to make the leap from 7" to LP. Nightstick Justice pull it off, and I think the recording quality is a bit more raw than their last 7", Claustrophobic. That's a good thing. If it matters, I'm reviewing the European pressing. I hear the US pressing will be re-mixed/mastered or something.

Loser Life- I Have Ghosts and I Have Ghosts
A pretty interesting record here. I hadn't heard any other Loser Life releases before this one, and was pleasantly surprised. There's elements of Husker Du styled punk, or maybe you'd call that melodic hardcore. I even get a slight emo vibe, kinda like Boy Sets Fire's earlier material. It's way too fast to be considered emo, and it's too dirty to be pop-punk. I'm gonna stick with the Husker Du comparison, fast tempos with occasional screamed vocals.

Paintbox- Earth Ball Sports Tournament
The fine folks at Prank have reissued this spectacular LP by one of Japan's greats. I've had this in mp3 form for years, but it's great to see it get an awesome vinyl treatment. Gatefold cover, colored vinyl and English translated lyrics make this a great package. I had no Idea that the cover art even wrapped around. This LP is great because it combines the Burning Spirits Japanese styled hardcore with rock and roll elements. There's trumpets, recorders, harmonica and some other non-conventional punk instruments. Normally I'd think that would be a bad idea, but damnit if Paintbox don't make it work. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (RIP Chelsea)

Poison Planet (tape)
Maybe I'm just biased, but any non-jock meathead straight edge band always gets high marks in my book. Poison Planet definitely fits in with modern sXe bands such as Blank Stare and Coke Bust. Their sound is more influenced by Negative Approach, but with some slight youth crew influence. I even get a little bit of fellow Chicago dwellers, the Repos. The lyrics cover more interesting topics. Easily the best demo of 2008, even my non-edge friends like it.
Fun Fact: I play bass on their upcoming 7" and comp releases.

Video Disease (tape)
A pretty good demo, though real short it packs a punch. You get 3 songs and a sloppy DYS cover (if they're actually a straight edge band I'd be psyched). Really raw chaotic early 80s styled hardcore similar to Koro. I really hope they named their band after the Beaver song.

Black Kites- Advancement to Ruins (3 song sampler) (CDr)
Normally this isn't my bag, but I'm friends w/ some of these guys so I snagged their demo/sampler. This reminds me of some of the metal-core I heard in the late 90's, kinda like Converge and Cave In. The music doesn't have the things I hate about metal hardcore though- double bass drums and cookie monster vocals, so that's good. These 3 songs will be on their upcoming LP, which should be out in January I think.

Transitions (CDr)
While I normally hate CDs, this has a real interesting package of the lyric sheet folded to surround the CD with the band's name stamped on the outside. Transitions plays what I guess people would call "modern hardcore," similar to bands like MLIW and Ruiner or B9 bands. For that style, it's pretty good, though usually not my thing. The recording quality is really good for a demo too.

No Illusions (CDr)
Being named after a State song is a good way to get my attention. Musically I get a vibe similar to Career Suicide (but without the annoying vocals) and Government Warning mixed with the classic Boston HC style. Real solid demo, I'd like to hear more from these guys.

Bad Habit (CDr)
We played with these guys on tour. They sound like a more ballsy Kid Dynamite, but a lot faster. I don't know what any of the songs are called since this was just a CDr that said "Bad Habit" in a clear sleeve. One of the songs fades out though, which is a no-no. They have a split 7" coming out soon.

Four Fingers- 69 Dudes (tape)
It's kinda hard to pinpoint the sound on this one, it's like a mix between pop-punk and alternative I guess. Seems kinda like everyone's into something different in the band, so the sound's being thrown in all different directions. The best song on here is probably "Monster Headache," but they get bonus points for doing a cassette.


Also since I'm talkin music, my band WORMEATERS just released our second E.P. entitled Cattle Cannot Choose. You can get it from us or American Waste Records.
SPG is about 75% done recording our first 7", it's gonna be GOOD.
Video Nasty has been playing some shows lately. Hopefully recording a demo in early December.
I Hate This has been busy writing a new EP, and will be touring down to FL for TIFY fest at the end of the year.
I'm starting 2 more bands, but nothing solid to report yet. No job or girlfriend leaves me plenty of time for hardcore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wormeaters record release show

Tuesday, December 9th

Metallicly heavy but not heavily metallic

"100% absolutely rough and ready northeastern USA hardcore!"-BR
record release show for the "Cattle Cannot Choose" E.P.

on tour from St. Louis, MO- early Dischord style hardcore punk

Filth inspired fascist steamrollers
first show, ex-Crippler Crossface

@ the Bread Box
New Brunswick, NJ

7pm (show will end by 10) / $5-$6
e-mail- for more info

don't show up late/ bring money/ support the touring band/ respect the house
you know the drill...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Question I've always had...

After watching Back to School and Weekend and Bernie's today (life is hard), I had an important question:
Why was "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boing used in Back to School and not Weekend at Bernie's?
There was a party at a dead man's house in the fucking movie...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm a published writer!

I sent in a letter to MRR about Minneapolis band In Defence and their anti-pizza stance a few months ago, and it was actually published in issue #307.

Ball's in your court now Ben Defence!

Ain't I a stinker...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Classic Comps vol. 2- We Got Power: Party or Go Home

I could have gone a more obvious route with my Classic Comps posts, but I really think the We Got Power: Party or Go Home comp is great. Fortunately it's available from the We Got Power website in the mp3s section. This comp was put out on Mystic Records, which people seem to have some poor opinions of. However, you can't deny that they put out some really great records for a while. It was compiled by the people who did the We Got Power zine. It's great that this comp has bands from all over the USA, and not just a certain area.
Unfortunately I don't own an actual copy of this, so I apologize if any info is incorrect.

Couldn't have picked a better song to start a comp in my opinion. This song is catchy as hell, and who doesn't hate cops? I could probably do entire post about how much I love the Authorities, if you want I can send you their entire discography. Great california style hardcore punk, similar to the Adolescents.

Don't know much about the Nip Drivers, but this song is great. Probably considered offensive by today's standards, but a great song. This song makes me wanna pogo.

3. JFA "Middle America"
JFA rules, you know that. I wouldn't really say this is one of their best songs. It's got elements of the JFA sound, but overall not that interesting.

4. DR. KNOW "Savior"
Dr. Know was one of the more heavy Nardcore bands, and this is probably one of their faster songs. They later went on to add a little metal crossover sound, but this is real fast. More blasphemous hardcore punk.

5. WHITE FLAG "Celabate/ Hoppity Hooper"
Don't know much about White Cross, but Celibate is fucking great. Fast hardcore, chorus is the title of the song repeated over and over again. Fucking rules. Hoppity Hooper isn't as good.

6. WHITE CROSS "Nuke Attack"
White Cross deliver a song that's just as great as their 7"s songs. Probably my favorite band from VA; just good raw fast hardcore punk.

7. FUCK-UPS "Bacon and Eggs"
This song should be called "Short and Sweet," not only because it is, but they say it a bunch in the song. Pretty much perfect by the books short fast hardcore song.

8. PUTRID GIRLS "1 2 3 4"
Pretty catchy number from these ladies. I could do without the saxophone solo, but the chorus will get stuck in your head.

9. ILL REPUTE "Count the Odds"
FUCK, Ill Repute is so good. This is them at their peak, this song is fast as fuck and fucking rules. They repeat the phrase so many times...

10. STALAG 13 "Selfish"
Stalag 13 was always one of the weaker Nardcore bands, but still pretty decent. This song's ok, but not a real standout.

11. REBEL TRUTH "Monkey's Paw"
Rebel Truth is probably the most underrated band. This song was later re-recorded for their amazing 7", but with the words changed to "Child Holds a Parasite." I like this version better, but it could be since I heard this version first.

Great track here, fast fucking hardcore. "Eat My Shit & Die!"

13. TAR BABIES "Confused"
Tar Babies were an OK band, and this song is probably one of their better ones.

14. MECHT MENSCH "Might Makes Right"
Another extremely underrated band, who for some reason get written off as at Tar Babies side project, but are so much better. This song is just as good as the ones on their 7", which is amazing.

15. GRAVEN IMAGE "My World"
Another underrated band from the VA/DC scene. Again, just as good as the songs on their 7", which I would highly recommend.

16. THE VACANT "Caught by the Mafia"
I'll be damned if the Vacant ever recorded anything else, and if they didn't that's fine. When you write a song like this, it doesn't matter. This is probably my favorite song on this comp. The guitar seemingly has no tone at all, and it's way too fast to understand the verses. Perfect aw dirty hardcore punk.

17. ADRENALIN OD "World War 4"
From my home state of NJ, A.O.D. hold it down w/ their signature fast hc sound. There's even a little "Pop Goes the Weasel" instrumental at the end.

18. THE CLONES "Conform to the Norm"
A kinda weird DEVO-style song, but still pretty solid.

19. THE BIG BOYS "Brick Walls"
I was always kinda on the fence about the Big Boys since you can't listen to any of their albums all the way through w/o skipping some crummy funk songs. I feel the same way about the Bad Brains too. Either way, this is definitely NOT a song to skip. This is probably my favorite song by them.

20. SIN 34 "Not"
Sin 34 is probably my favorite 80's hc/punk band w/ a female vocalist (up there w/ No Thanks). This is a short one, but it's real good. Apparently their discography will finally be available, and I highly recommend it.

21. MINUTEMEN "Party With Me Punker"
I know the Minutemen did a lot, but this is really all I have by them. It's a pretty slow, but short catchy number. Not bad...

22. DAYGLO ABORTIONS "Scared of People"
God, the block clicks on this song are so weird/great. This song is awesome, it's your standard hardcore punk, but with a lot of weird percussion which makes it really stand out.

23. CAUSTIC CAUSE "Look to the Left"
Solid song here, short fast hardcore. I'm into it, don't know what else they did.

24. DON'T NO "Blind Ambition"
Starts off a little slow, but picks up, then gets slow again in the breakdown. Not great, but not bad.

25. S.V.D.B. "Flames of Hell"
With a song called "Flames of Hell," you'd probably expect some dumb metal. NOPE, it sounds like some classic CA style skate punk. Don't know if they're from CA, but this song sounds like they are. Awesome!

26. PATRIOTS "Cavity"
Real raw one here with lots of cool start/stop parts. It's a cool song, but would be better if the stops were tighter.

27. HATED PRINCIPLES "Survival At All Costs"
Hated Principles offer a mid paced punk rock song; not too great.

28. CRANKSHAFT "New Wave Homos"
Another seemingly offensive one here, not very interesting though.

29. URBAN ASSAULT (S.F.) "Night on the Town"
It's kinda interesting that they have 2 bands w/ the same name right after each other. Kinda interesting song that's very bass driven. Pretty good, but all the breaks kinda make me lose interest.

30. URBAN ASSAULT (Tahoe) "Rock'n'Roll Burnout"
This Urban Assault song is much more raw and fast. I'd say the better Urban Assault.

31. 7 SECONDS "Wasted Life Ain't No Crime"
Damn, 7 Seconds doing one of their future classics. It's more raw than the later versions of this song, but it's a great song from an awesome band.

32. JACK SHIT "Follow the Leader"
This is another awesome band who I don't know anything else about, but this is a great song! I like how his voice cracks, and there's an unnecessary saxophone solo in the end. Still rules.

33. 7 Seconds "Definite Choice"
Don't know why they broke up the 2 7 Seconds songs. Either way, this song rules, same as the other, just a more raw recording of a future classic.

34. ROMULANS "Judgement Day"
This song is boring.

35. NO LABELS "Ego"
Not bad, not great. Has slow verses and fast choruses. eh...

36. ARMED RESPONSE "Too Gross for Comfort"
Ok, this is a good one. A song about the actor Ted Knight (Caddyshack/ Too Close For Comfort), which is kinda cool I guess. I like it.

Starts off with the singer yelling something I can't understand in a real raspy voice. I really like the singer's voice since it matches the raw distorted music. I'd like to hear more from them.

Nobody seems to know what this song is called, unless it's like a theme song of some sort. An ok song.

39. MANIMALS "Things Under My Bed"
Pretty good mid-paced song with an odd structure. It does like 3 verses before getting to the chorus, then it ends. The chorus is pretty melodic, but I like it.

40. RED CROSS "Pseudo Intellectual"
This song kinda sucks. It's real slow and just kinda sounds like 70's style rock. Not very interesting though.

* I was listening to the comp as I typed this up in order to get some off the cuff opinions down. If anyone knows anything about the bands that I said I don't, please get in touch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Classic Comps vol. 1- This Is Boston Not L.A.

I've decided to do a new thing here with this blog. Compilations have been an important part of the Hardcore/ Punk scene since the early days before Myspace and internet blogs, when it was much harder to get your music out there. Compilations were generally focused on a certain scene, and when done right, highlighted that scene's best bands. So for your reading pleasure: This is Boston Not L.A.

The origin of the compilation stems from the old Boston Crew of bands like SSD and DYS. There were a bunch of bands who came from a slightly later time after both of those bands became douche bags and wrote shitty rock LPs. They wanted to prove that there were still good bands in Boston, and I believe the record label Modern Method was associated with Newberry Comics in some way as well. I like that this comp has multiple songs by each band for the most part, it's almost like a 7 way split LP. I should also note that this is is sort of a sequel to the Unsafe at Any Speed compilation 7", which featured many of these bands. There was a CD and recent vinyl bootleg that contained both records together.

Jerry's Kids
1. Straight Jacket
2. Uncontrollable
3. Wired
4. Desperate
5. Pressure
6. I Don't Wanna

Damnit if this record doesn't start off right. Straight Jacket is pretty much a textbook definition hardcore song. Short, angry, fast... perfect! The next song Uncontrollable is fucking great too. This definitely catches Jerry's Kids' best; they also went on to do a killer LP called "Is This My World."

7. Options
8. Religion Is the Opium of the Masses
9. Allegiance

This band I'm not too familiar with outside of this comp. I know they have 2 LPs, and Taang did a 2xCD discography for them a few years back. Their sound seems to be UK inspired, and the singer even seems to have an accent. Options is a great song with great lyrics. "Military service/ Factory employment/ Welfare assistance/ Tell me the options."

10. Angel

Aside from this song, I don't think much from them exists aside from a demo. I had read somewhere that some label was releasing the unheard sessions from this recording. It'll probably be awesome. Angel is a pretty good mid paced hardcore song. The lyrics are raw and screamed over somewhat monotone music. Their song Empty Skull on the Unsafe at any Speed comp is great too.

The F.U.'s
11. Preskool Dropout
12. Radio Unix USA
13. Green Beret
14. Time Is Money

The F.U.'s are a great band, but this isn't really their best material. They have the distinguished resume of releasing not one, but 2 great LPs. Kill for Christ is pretty awesome, but My America is definitely my favorite of the 2. This is definitely some early material, but don't write off this band based off these songs. Radio Unix USA is their best on here, and hints at their later speed.

Gang Green
15. Snob
16. Lie Lie
17. I Don't Know
18. Rabies
19. Narrow Mind
20. Kill a Commie
21. Have Fun

In my mind, this is basically Gang Green's discography. These songs are fucking great, but their later stuff was more in line w/ other Boston bands, going in a more rock/metal direction. The band definitely peaked early. Rabies is a classic hardcore song. Not much to it, but it's still awesome. "I have rabies, stay away from me." Kill a Commie was their attempt at a political song, and it rips too.

22. Slam

Fuck, I don't know if this band ever even wrote another song, but you don't need to when you write a ripper like this. It's not that fast, it's not complex, it's the same 3 chords throughout the whole song, and the lyrics aren't going to change the world. It's just a song about fucking slam dancing. Interesting fun fact: Mtv used this song in their classic "Santa Claus- the man, the myth, the slam dancer" commercials back in the day.

The Freeze
23. Broken Bones
24. Idiots at Happy Hour
25. Now or Never
26. Sacrifice Not Suicide
27. It's Only Alcohol
28. Trouble If You Hide
29. Time Bomb
30. This Is Boston, Not L.A.

Closing out the comp is the Freeze, who were actually from Cape Cod. The Freeze went on to do a lot of records, some of which are quite good too. There's a few kinda crappy songs in this bunch though like It's Only Alcohol, and Time Bomb. Broken Bones, Trouble if you Hide and Idiots at Happy Hour are all awesome raw punk songs. The comp ends perfectly with the title track, which is a 30 second long thrasher. "You dance the same / you dress the same/ it won’t be long til you are the same/ you look the same/ and act the same/ it’s nothing new and you’re to blame/ this is Boston, not L.A."

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Damn, between a large trip to Celebrated Summer Records, No Way Fest and going on tour I've accumulated a TON of new records over the past few months. Some killer shit this time around as well. Remember in the last post I said it'd be hard to top the Inmates 7"? Well the Reprobates have unleashed a top contender recently with their debut E.P. Again, I only review somewhat current releases, so about half of my huge stack is being reviewed.
Also, I should mention that my band Wormeaters' In God We Thrust EP is currently out, and we just recorded for another 7". Let's get this party started!!!


Reprobates- Stress
Well if you didn't like the Reprobates' demo, you're an idiot. This 7" picks up right where it left off, with the same recording sound quality. It starts off with a slower song, which fires like a shotgun into a full bore hardcore attack. The title track, "Stress" is probably one of the best hardcore songs of the past few years. I'll stick with my comparison from the demo review and say it's like Jerry's Kids meets Genetic Control, but the recording style is really raw. This is probably the best thing No Way has put out in a while, definitely pick this up!

Life Trap- Solitary Confinement
A much anticipated follow up to last year's "Bleak Reality" EP, and damnit does it deliver. Where I think a lot of bands who released good records last year have failed to match their previous efforts, I think Life Trap ups the ante on this bad boy. There's a lot more guitar shredding, and even some backup vocals. Another top contender for best of 08.

Citizens Patrol- Dead Children
Another record by these guys in a relatively short time to coincide with their recent US tour. I liked their first 7", and naturally this sounds pretty similar, so I'm into it. Some of the lyrics are a little weird ("Hamburger Man"?), but English isn't their native language, so maybe cut em a little slack.

Warkrime- Tighten Up
Love em or hate em, this is the last release from Warkrime. Their LP had some weird effects on the vocals, but this one is a lot more like their first 7". More of the same raw snotty Verbal Abuse sounding hardcore punk. R.I.P. or good riddance- you choose.

Dark Ages- s/t
These guys came out of nowhere (well, Kansas City, MO), and dropped off a killer demo which was repressed on vinyl. I had the pleasure of seeing them twice on their tour, and they were killer both times. I really like that the 4 songs are repeated on the B side, so that they're not broken up, and flow like the demo. I'm really looking forward to the next thing these guys do.

Sacred Shock- s/t
Well I was kicking myself for not getting the demo earlier when i got their demo 7", but I made sure to jump on this new record. As you would assume, this new record is fucking KILLER! I really really like this band. The music is similar to fellow Texans Repercussions, but the vocals are a lot less raw and border on the melodic side. This record is fucking great, and it'll be worth your effort to track it down.

Ripping Headache- s/t
Well, RIPPING is a pretty good start to describing this record. I had heard that this was put out by a new label from one of the guys who did Kick N Punch, and that label was always solid so I picked it up. Glad I did, because this definitely has that real raw early 80's feel that a lot of the KnP releases did. They kinda remind me of Cut The Shit, but more raw and chaotic. Solid debut for the band and the label.

Anti You- Johnny Baghdad
They're back again with their 3rd record within a year. This was supposed to come out for their US tour, but no dice. This definitely carries the torch from where their "Pig City Life" EP left off; fast 80's style hardcore with choruses that will drill into your brain. Good stuff, keep it up boys!

Logic Problem- s/t
After a pretty good demo, NC's Logic Problem drop their debut E.P. It's a lot faster than their demo, and I get a heavy Necros vibe here. With a former member of Cross Laws, they follow suit in their early 80's mid-west hardcore influences. Solid 4 song debut EP.

Smart Cops- s/t
Members of La Poivra make up this new band, and I would say they carry the torch well. Smart Cops continues with the rock and roll influenced thrash core style, but I think lacks in some of the guitar work. The lyrics are in Italian, so I don't know what they're saying, though I do like the layout.

Instangd- Mitt Svar Pa Ingenting
A new band from Sweden with members of Regulations/ the Vicious/ ETA/ etc... This band sounds like if Mob 47 was doing a set of The Kids covers. All the lyrics are in Swedish, so I don't know what they're talking about, but the music is good. I was kinda expecting something a little faster like the early ETA stuff, but this is good shit here.

Nightstick Justice- Mindless Violence
I loved their demo 7", and thought their newest 7" was real good too. Apparently this was recorded at the same time as their demo, and damnit if this isn't just as killer. I might be so bold as to say that this is their best record (though I haven't heard their LP yet). Nightstick Justice does it up right with raw recordings, and fast no BS hardcore.

Amoba- En Doende Varld
WOAH! This record is fucking awesome. Sounds like the bastard son of Mob 47 mixed with some Totalitar style rage. Perfect raw recording, and fast Euro-style hardcore. A ripper from start to finish.

Belching Penguin- Demos 1985/1988
Burrito Records continue to hold up their reputation of re-releasing quality obscure bands' material. Belching penguin on the A side (1985 demo) remind me of early DRI; real fast and raw. The B side however is a lot more metal influenced, maybe something like COC or later DRI, and fits in with some early crossover bands. Great band, and I'm glad it's available to the masses. Take a chance on this one.

Volendam Disease- s/t
Fuck, look at the cover-ridiculous. All I knew about this band is that they're from Japan before buying this. Sounds like classic European style hardcore, but played tight as hell, like only the Japanese can do. Don't let that weird cover art turn you off, this is great.

State- Sanctimony
A lot of reviews I've seen of this seem to suggest it's just as good as their classic "No Illusions" Ep from the 80's. Granted I have respect that the State got back together and plays DIY shows, and is releasing new material. However, this is fucking terrible, and is nowhere near as good as their No Illusions EP. Their LP at least had a few good songs, but this is way too slow and boring. I even put it on 45rpm to see if the speed would make a difference and it totally did.

Violent Minds- s/t
Man did I ever blow it by not getting into this band earlier, luckily Deranged Records was nice enough to re-press their first record for me. Thanks! The music is similar to Shark Attack (who they have members of) and Fit For Abuse. Mean angry raw fast simple stripped-down hardcore punk rock.

Threatener- ...And the Bending of Throats
A post-mordam release for these Michigan fastcore masters. I was lucky enough to catch Threatener on their tour back in 2003, and they blew me away (and I think annoyed everyone else). They play a ridiculously fast brand of hardcore much like Hellnation. The recording on here is a lot more blown out sounding than their previous releases, but I think it just adds to the chaos this band created. There's a CD discography out there now that I suggest picking up since the rest of their stuff is out of print.

Sinks- s/t
Members of the Retainers and Formaldehyde Junkies playing even more stripped down a raw garage rock. It boasts to being recorded on a 2 track, but damn it works for them. The music reminds me of Teengenerate, which is obviously a really good thing.

Homostupids- Cat Music
Another record by Ohio's own Homostupids. By now you know what you're getting, real raw messy sounding recordings, rock and roll guitar and probably something that will annoy your co-workers when you blast this on lunch break. Yea, pretty much all those things happen on this record, plus pictures of cats.

the Timebombs- Nuke Everything
I was pleasantly surprised by these guys at No Way Fest, and picked up their new 7". These young kids play some fast old style hardcore punk similar to Socialcide. Occasionally the speed even touches on bands like Koro. I don't know if it's just the pressing I have, but they've made the lyrics impossible to read, which is more annoying than anything.

Bad Antics- The Wave
I liked their first 7", which was California style skate thrash punk. Their new record is in that same style, but a lot faster. There's some cool guitar parts which are almost nardcore-esque, and I think overall they sound similar to Government Warning. If you like a lot of the other Flat Black Records bands, you'll be into this for sure.

Rational Animals- Perception Becomes Reality
I saw these guys a few months ago on their recent tour, and thought they were real good, but probably would like them more live than recorded. I was right, but this still rules. They really remind me of later era Black Flag, except unlike a lot of shitty bands that try to do that, they stick more to Loose Nut era Flag. It also helps that all the members are real good at their instruments. If you're like me and secretly spin Loose Nut and know all the words, this would be a good guilty pleasure.

Retard Strength/ Concrete Facelift
Retard Strength is one of my favorite local bands, and this is their vinyl debut. Unfortunately I think the recording quality is a bit rough, and may turn off some people. RS play a sloppy/raw style of KBD hardcore punk, so it works for them anyway. Concreter Facelift is party of the party thrash scene, which I normally try to stay away from. They do offer up a song about Gator and a cool Faction cover. Overall a solid split, though the cover art may be lacking.

XBrainiaX/ Dead Radical
This one's for the fastcore fans. I have been following XbrainiaX since their beginning since I was a fan of the members' previous bands (I Accuse, Threatener, Knee Deep In Shit). They deliver fast hardcore that sounds similar to bands like No Comment or L'arm. Dead Radical however I was not familiar with before this record, and I would say it's a fairly matched split. DR cram 17 songs on one side, so you can imagine short and fast songs a plenty. There's also some cool start/stop parts to keep in interesting. I love evenly matched splits.


Gauze -Binbou Yusuri No Rizumu Ni Notte
Gauze have a new record out... GET IT! I should end the review there, but seriously fucking Gauze. They've never released a bad record, and this is no different. The only thing I don't like is that there's no translations inside the record. I mean this is the US pressing, and I can't read Japanese. Great, Great record nonetheless.

Systematic Death- Systemania Vol. 2
Picking up Where Systemania Vol. 1 left off, this is their later material. It's all killer, so just get both volumes already.

Chronic Seizure- Ancient World
I was a fan of their previous 7"s, but I think this LP really takes it to another level. The production is a lot more solid, similar to the Repos records (whom they shared a member). The lyrics are overall real negative, which is a good thing. If you weren't really enamored with the 7"s, I seriously think this LP takes them to another level. It's really that good.

Bad Reaction- Symptoms of Youth
I was lucky enough the see/ play with these guys like 4 times on their recent tour. Their sound is like if Uniform Choice grew up in Oxnard. Pretty clean sounding recording, but played fast with a lot of sing alongs. I could see this crossing over to youth crew types and hardcores. This record's kinda old, and the new stuff sounds a little faster.

Violent Arrest- s/t
Been sleeping on this for a while, but decided to take a chance since I found it used and had store credit. Glad I did because this is much better than I thought it'd be. Boasting ex-members of Heresy and Ripcord, they have some big shoes to fill. Well, I'm really glad to say that you get what you hoped you would get! I wish all bands who boast impressive resumes lived up to expectations like this one did.

Gulag- Nadia Cambia
I had found this on a blog and didn't think I'd ever find it on vinyl since it came out in Spain, and there were less than 500 pressed. Luckily the Extreme Noise used bin came though! Raw and heavy fast hardcore similar to bands like Repercussions and Deathreat played by ex-members of E150 (who sounded a lot like Los Crudos). Raw and powerful stuff here. If you are lucky enough to find it, do yourself a favor and pick it up. All the lyrics are in Spanish, but my years of Spanish classes is finally coming in handy, and I can actually understand most of it.

Dissystema- The Silent Earth
This record finally comes out! Philly's Motor-Charge delivers their newest and I'd say best record. All the elements of a great D-Beat/Crust record are all here. Fist pumping gang vocals, distorted bass, lots of cymbals, solos to do spirit fingers to and the obligatory songs about war. The vocals alternate between 3 singers, which adds a lot of variety. Oh and I should mention in "Lust For War" they take the line from the movie 300, "Tonight We Dine in Hell" and make it punk. Fuck You Hollywood!

Male Nurses(cassette)
Male Nurses is a brand new band from MA who play a raw early 80's style of hardcore punk. They were probably one of the better bands we played with on tour. The recording a really raw, but they make it work. Similar to modern bands like the No Way crew (especially Life Trap). There's even a cover of "Dear Sirs" by Koro, though it's hard to top Deathreat's version of that song. Cassette demos always get high marks in my book.

Shit Fit(cdr)
Probably my favorite new bands from New Brunswick, NJ (where I'm from). There's some good alternating vocals between a more straightforward sounding singer and more horse strained singer. The music is pretty no frills thrash similar to Charles Bronson and Limp Wrist, but with some heavier parts like SSD. I look forward to seeing these guys more.

Stressed Out(cdr)
Another new local band, which is always nice to see. The music is pretty thrashy, but more in an Anthrax kinda way. It's not really metal at all, but there's definitely some crossover parts. The vocals are remind me of Life's Halt though, but the lyrics are a little on the goofy side.

BA Pariah(cdr)
Yet another new local band's demo to review. Woo Hoo! These guys play punk that sounds basically like the Minutemen on crack. Reminds me a lot of fellow NJ punks, the Bloodreds. Pretty good, and definitely different from most of the stuff around here.