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.