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

BLACK KITES- http://www.myspace.com/weareblackkites
Metallicly heavy but not heavily metallic

WORMEATERS- http://www.myspace.com/wormeaters
"100% absolutely rough and ready northeastern USA hardcore!"-BR
record release show for the "Cattle Cannot Choose" E.P.

GOD FODDER- http://www.myspace.com/fodgodder
on tour from St. Louis, MO- early Dischord style hardcore punk

PLAGUE BEARERS- http://www.myspace.com/plaguebearers
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- bleedingXedges@gmail.com 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.