HOLY SHIT, Hardcore still rules. We're only barely 3 months into the new year, and there's already a hand full of amazing releases. Here's what I've been wasting my money on lately...
Acid Reflux- Secret Power
The follow up to their awesome demo 7" seems a bit short in comparison. There's only 4 songs and a hidden dub song at the end, which I would've gladly traded for another song. The songs are still quirky and simplistic in the best possible way. The opening song, "Paid to Ruin Fun" is a real ripper. I like it, but I want more.
Social Circkle- I've Got Afflictions
Social Circkle's 2nd 7" follows the trend of their previous releases, despite a member change. I like their style of real mid paced punk. It has a real late 70's UK style to it. The new stuff may be a little bit faster though, but the hooks are just as catchy.
Repercussions- No Peace
After the crushing LP that Repercussions unleashed on us last year, I was really looking forward to this new 7". This record has everything I loved about the LP. The songs are fast, heavy and raw. The songs may be a little shorter, but if you liked the 12" (and I don't know why you wouldn't), get this.
Sacred Shock- Demo
I missed out on the demo tape version of this, but luckily someone was smart enough to re-press this on vinyl. Sacred Shock is basically 3/4 of Army of Jesus, and picks up where that band left off. I like Sacred Shock a lot more though, and the vocalist has a real cool style. The singing is almost melodic at times, but the music is raw and fast. This one's an import, but really worth your time to track down. Looking forward to a new record soon.
Bad Antics- s/t
Bad Antics play a style of hardcore punk similar to bands from the 80's like Adolescents and JFA. This record reminds me a lot of the Rabies 7"- Pretty good stuff.
FUCK! I had read about these guys in MRR recently, and the ex-Talk is Poison/Los Crudos members caught my eye. When I heard they had a 7" out already, I tried to track it down. A local shitty over-priced record store by me actually had a copy. So last Friday I went out in the snow to get my copy. Fuck, was it ever worth it. Martin's voice sounds more harsh than it ever has, and the music is real fast and powerful. Sounds real similar to Look Back and Laugh (no surprise there), and rages from start to finish. Hands down one of my favorite records this year so far.
Civic Progress- Disposable
Civic Progress is back already with a new record. The recording is a lot more raw than the last record (which is a good thing), they even re-record some of the demo tracks that were left off the Petroleum Man 7". The cover art is real minimal, and is just a stamped dust sleeve with an insert. This really captures their sound a lot better I think. Smart lyrics with fast hardcore punk to back it up.
Anti You- Making Your Life Miserable
My chief complaint with their 1 sided 7" was that it was only 1 sided. This record reprints their first CD on vinyl, and it's killer. I was luckily enough to see them twice on their recent US tour, and they definitely didn't disappoint. If you liked the other record, you'll obviously like this too.
Criminal Intent- s/t
Pretty good debut from this Canadian band. They remind me a lot of Urban Waste, and the cover art kinda reminds me of the Abused. The paper the cover is printed on is slightly off white, so it looks like aged paper. Fans of the early 80's NYHC scene and fast dirty old styled HC will be into this.
Under Pressure- Black Bile
The latest release by this Canadian powerhouse. They play a brand of hardcore that is dark and heavy, but fast. Similar in a way to Poison Idea's fast/heavy riffage. Real good rock leads with a heavy rhythm.
BGK- A Dutch Feast
This is a double LP discography release of BGK's releases from the 80's. This Dutch band knew how to fucking play. Imagine MDC, but faster. Unlike a lot of foreign bands that too a lot of cues from Discharge, these guys took more cues from the stripped down American style.
Brain Handle- s/t
I liked Brain Handle's previous 7"s, they had a Black Flag quality to them (both early and later sounds). This new LP seems to take more cues from the later heavier Black Flag sound though. I like the way this band balances the fast parts along with their heavier parts. There's a lot of real good guitar work going on here also. Would probably appeal to fans of the No Way catalog as well as fans of Annihilation Time type stuff.
the State- All Wrong
I know this came out a while back, but I just got it, suck it. Damn, didn't think you'd see a new LP by the State. I knew they had started playing again, and were a real band again (not just a series of lame reunions). It's cool that they're a functional band again, but this LP come nowhere near as close to the magnitude of their 80's 7".
V/A- Battle For the Worst Bands
This LP compiles the first Cider 7", the Darvocets 7", the Ruiners 7" and the Brainwashed Youth demo. All 4 bands released records at various points in the 90's and shared members. The Brainwashed Youth demo is great, "Piss Them Off is a classic. I think this is the Darvocets' best material, "Do the Crop Circle" and their Authorities cover ruled. I kind of like Cider's second EP better, but this stuff is great. Ruiners stuff I wasn't too familiar with, but was a welcome surprise. If you're into any of these bands, or their current projects, you need to check this out. It's like Dischord's 4 7"s on a 12", but for the 90's Cleveland scene.
Religious SS Disorder- Demo #2
I like RSSD's 2nd demo better than their first. They play the songs a lot tighter, and the guitar tone is a lot better. Their style is similar to bands like Crass and Blatz, so it's kinda mid paced and weird. A lot of the songs are about pills and medicine, which is kinda odd. I personally never really listen to Crass or Blatz, but if you're into that sort of thing, you'll like it.
*I know I've stated this before, but I do reviews of stuff I buy, which would account for the lack of diversity in some people's eyes. Get me on a free promo release list if you want diversity. This is what I buy because it's what I like, fuck off.