Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Records of 2009

Best 7"s of 2009

1. Brain Killer- s/t
2. Quick Fix- 6 Song EP
3. Dark Ages- Vicious Lie
4. Slices- s/t #1
5. Boiling Over- Trash City

Brain Killer released an amazing demo and 7" this year, and I expect big things for them in 2010. They remind me of bands like Deathreat and No Parade, which for my money, not enough bands do. Quick Fix released a 1 sided 7" with little fanfare, but I probably recommended that record more than anything this year. Dark Ages followed up their demo from last year with a killer 7", which I think was criminally underrated. I caught Slices at a show in Pittsburgh on tour, and they blew me away with their unique sound. It's like they took the guitar/bass tone of power violence and applied it to the Black Flag blueprint. Boiling Over really brought it with their "Trash City" record, and I definitely gave this baby quite a few spins in 2009.

Best 12"s of 2009

1. Coke Bust- Lines In the Sand
2. Hjertestop- Vi Ses I Helvede
3. Urban Blight- More Reality
4. Sacred Shock- You're Not With Us
5. Paintbox- Trip Trance & Travelling

I always liked Coke Bust, but I definitely found myself saying "holy crap, when did Coke Bust get awesome?" This LP really destroys their previous records, and has all the elements of a great hardcore record. For some reason it seemed like a lot of people were hating on the Hjertestop LP, but I really loved it and thought it was just as good as their EP. They were great live on their summer tour as well. Urban Blight was another band that put out an OK record a while back, then really killed it on this LP. Sacred Shock had a great 7" last year, and followed it up with an equally great LP. I heard they broke up, which I hope is false. Paintbox released a ridiculous LP this year after not releasing anything since the Cry Of The Sheep 7" in 2004(?). It's pretty wild, but I'm into it.

Best demos of 2009
1. Duress
2. Omegas
3. Sick Fix
4. Nomos
5. Outlast

After getting the Duress demo from a friend at the end of last year, then losing it and having to get another I was in love. It's fast, angry and full of rage. I can't wait to see them live and get their 7", which will no doubt be making an appearance in the best of 2010 list. Omegas from Canada released a great demo (which got repressed as a 7"), which really has the 80's NJ Shore-core sound to it. Possibly due to a former NJ resident in the band; another band I'm expecting big things from next year. Sick Fix finally released a new recording as a demo before they went on tour this summer. I think it really captures where they're at now, as that 7" came out almost 2 years ago. When I first got the Nomos demo, I liked it, but I grew to like it more the more I listened to it. One of the best local (tri-state) bands. This was also re-presssed as a 7" on Deranged this year. Outlast is my favorite current NJ band, which bring be back to when I was 17, and the youth crew thing was big. It's cool to see a band like this now, where by 2000 the youth crew revival grew tiresome. This was also re-pressed as a 7" recently. I should also mention that all of these demos I own on cassette, which I love to see.

Honorable Mentions:
No Tolerance- their demo came out last year, and was awesome, then got pressed to vinyl this year. I felt weird listing it as a top 7", but it really was worthy of the nomination.
Free Spirit- their demo also came out last year, but was probably the best Straight Ahead worship I've heard in a long time. All 4 songs on the demo clocked in just over 2 minutes. They're doing a 7" on Lockin Out in '10, which will be the first Lockin Out release I've ever looked forward to.
Punx Don't Drink comp- I was really glad to be a part of this compilation of sXe bands who all played faster/early 80's inspired hardcore. The record release show was some of the most fun I've had at a show in a while. Not just because I got to sing "Straight Edge Revenge" with Sick Fix.

MK-Ultra (I didn't buy this since I have most of these records already, but it's good to see the band get their due)
The Insults (great forgotten mid-west HC)
Death (unreleased amazing LP by this mid 70's proto punk group)
Groinoids (finally had the rest of their tracks from the Boston, Not L.A. session released to vinyl)
Mouthpiece (one of the few 90's style HC bands I like found a permanent home @ REV)
Citizens Arrest (Colossus 2xLP which has the 7" and comp tracks/demo. Even thought it was already reissued like 8 years ago, this is essential shit that should never go out of print)

Predictions for 2010:
-Looks like the bands ripping off early 80's hardcore "trend" is done. I love early 80's HC obviously, but I've seen way too many third rate thrash bands cover Black Flag to be really too excited about a lot bands. Seems like the new thing coming is to do an 80's style HC band, but throw in weird parts ala the Youth Attack bands (which I mostly hate).
-Seems like there's another resurgence of youth crew/ Straight Edge bands. The last big boom was around 1997, when I was first getting into hardcore. Maybe it's a reaction to the party thrash/ Municipal Waste type scene that's growing strong. Personally I'd take sing a longs and mosh parts over neon shirts and boogie boards in the pit.
-The pop-punk revival will be much bigger. I seems like more and more of my HC peers have jumped ship for the pop-punk/alternative thing. No thanks, I did that in the 90's. I'm too old and bitter for pop music.
-More pointless reunions
-Crewneck Sweatshirts > Hooded Sweatshirts

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Record Review- early winter

Hey kids, this is going to be the last reviews post before the epic best of 2009 post. It's a quick one, but I wanted to clear the slate before the last post of the year. I should mention that I reviewed the new Nitad 7" on No Way a few months ago, and commented on the cover art looking like a black metal cover. Luckily the regular pressing has different cover art, which I really really like. It doesn't look like a typical HC cover, and is full cover and I'm real into it.


Government Warning- Executed
Recorded at the same time as Paranoid Mess, this 7" seems kind of like a few throw-away songs and a Battalion of Saints cover. "Executed" starts out slow, then gets fast, then goes back to slow, then speeds up right before the end with nothing all that interesting in between. It's not bad, but definitely not in the same league as their previous releases.

Deathrats- s/t
Deathrats are an awesome new band from DC who have a somewhat 90's vibe to them. Musically it reminds me somewhat of Severed head of State mixed with Los Crudos, and all of the covers are screen printed. The vocals remind me more like current bands Punch and Sick Fix, since they're more screamed than sung (and female). The music is very powerful d-beat influenced hardcore. It's a real great record, and I hope to hear from more from these guys and girls soon. I should also mention that it doesn't say Deathrats on the cover anywhere, so hopefully it doesn't get passed over because of that, because it's really worth your time.

Foreign Objects- s/t
Foreign Objects are a relatively new band from Boston with members from Conversions, Ampere, Positive Reinforcement, Libyans and I'm sure others. Their sound is a sort of mid-paced late 70's punk in a Dangerhouse kinda way (X comes to mind). The vocals alter between singing and shouting, which keep things flowing nicely. Pretty cool.


Government Warning- Paranoid Mess
For my money, Government Warning's "No Moderation" LP was one of the best HC LPs of the past 10 years, and set the bar extremely high for a follow up. The recording quality is a lot more blown out, lo-fi then their previous efforts. There's some raging fast songs, and some solid mid-paced songs. I think some of the songs lack the hooks that "No Moderaton" had, but it's still worthy of a few spins.

Wasted Time- Futility
After seeing Wasted Time at No Way Fest 2 as a 5 piece, I had high hopes for this record. The music is a lot heavier/fuller sounding. Kinda brings to mind "Feel the Darkness" era Poison Idea. I would say the songs aren't as fast as their previous releases, but still good. I could see this band going into a more Motorhead style in the future.

Pollution- Nasty.DNA
Pollution are a band from NYC that I've had the pleasure of seeing multiple times, and was blown away every time. It's almost impossible to describe their sound, which is a good thing. At times sounding like From Ashes Rise then like the Melvins. There's also some stoner and death metal influence int here as well. All I know is that it's loud as hell, it doesn't sound like anything you've ever heard before, and that it fucking rules. This is a vinyl pressing of a cassette release the band self-released. Expect big things from these guys if they ever escape from NY.

Social Circkle- City Shock
After 2 very short 7"s, a proper LP by Boston's Social Circkle is finally out. This release's line-up has yet another change, making the band 1/2 of Blank Stare (RIP). If you've never heard SC's other records, they play a pretty mid paced style of early 80's/late 70's punk. This record sounds pretty similar to their last record. They re-recorded "Drunk Cop" from their demo, though I think it lacks some of the punch of their demo. Pretty good, but I think I was expecting a little something faster.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Hellboy art show in Philly

Here is my piece for the Hellboy show. I did it on an old skateboard that I found in a thrift store. I wanted a real skate graphic influenced piece. I figured what says Hellboy like the right hand of doom and some random tentacles. I had some issues while painting it, I guess the cold and spray paint don't get along and there was some bubbling.
As a bonus to my blog readers, here's a rejected idea I had for the show. I thought of maybe making a print of this also, but I never was the most entrepreneurial artist.

Because nothing says Happy Holidays like the beast of the Apocalypse, The Autumn Society invites you to celebrate both the 15th anniversary of Mike Mignola's Hellboy and the December holiday season, with an exclusive Hellboy show only at Brave New Worlds Comics! So come out for a "Hell" of a time at our last show for 2009!

Check out sneak peeks of some of the work that will be featured at the show here: http://www.theautumnsociety.com/search/label/Hellboy

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Custom Yoka for D-con

Here's my finished YOKA custom for Designer Con. He needs a name, any ideas? The coloring pattern was based on my gf's Boston Terrier. The Yoka platform toy is great because it looks good standing, but even better sitting. I am extremely humbled to be a part of this show, from what i hear there will be 300 artists involved. Thanks to DKE Toys and Dylan Evans for giving me this opportunity.

*UPDATE: his name is "Mopey"*

Monday, November 02, 2009

Fall 09 record reviews

What we have here is a chunk of records I got at the end of summer/ early fall. I used to do a lot more reviews posts, but my budget for records has been a little tighter lately. That combined with maybe not as many good recent releases, and not as many good touring bands playing in Jersey. The next reviews post will be close to the end of the year, before the annual Best Of 2009 post.


Dark Ages- Vicious Lie E.P.
Whatever you're listening to, turn it off and go buy this record. If you're a fan of the No Way/ Grave Mistake/ Sorry State type of releases, this will blow you away. I was impressed by Dark ages demo 7", as well as seeing them live twice last summer. I really get an early Articles of Faith vibe from these songs, but filtered through the speed of the early 80's DC HC bands. It's got a slight melodic tint, but it's fast as shit. Seriously, I couldn't recommend any 7" I've gotten recently any higher.

V/A- The South Will Rise Again
Cowabunga brings you a compilation focusing on HC bands from the southern part of this great nation. My main gripe is that the back cover just lists the bands, but isn't in the right order. The insert is also inconsistent in terms of each band's art/layout. The standouts are Logic Problem, Socialcide and Cult Ritual bringing just what you'd already expect from those bands. Some new bands I found through this were High Life (guess I wrote them off as a party thrash band) and HRT (never heard of em, but they rip). It's really cool that a label from CA would highlight a scene so far away, so you know they're not playing favorites.

Video Disease- s/t
I liked Video Disease's demo, but I think they really improved vastly on this record. The recording quality is still really blown out, and the music is raw, ugly and fast hardcore. Cool layout w/ the info being on an obi strip. I just went to the band's Myspace page, and it seems they're breaking up; I still need their 2nd 7".

Dirty BS- Line of Fucking Fire
I really liked Dirty BS' first 7", so when I saw this in a distro I was surprised since I assumed the band broke up. Apparently this 7" is limited to only 300 and contained out takes from the 7" recording session. I hate to say it, but I'm not that impressed. The songs lack the same fury that the 7" had. It's out of print though, so my opinion doesn't matter since you can't get it anyway.

Migraine- s/t
Kinda similar to Ecoli, this CA band blasts out a ripper of a 7". There's some distorted vocals, (hell distorted everything) and some blazing fast parts. There's an overall heaviness to it, kinda similar to the Slices 7"s, but a lot more straight forward. This record is really good, give it a shot. They have a new record on deck which will be on Cowabunga.

Force Fed- 5-Song EP
Painkiller brings you the debut EP from PA's Force Fed. While it's not as hard hitting as PK's usual releases, it's similar to fellow PA band Let Down's earlier material. They play no frills hard and fast straight edge hardcore. It's got an early 80's meets modern fast HC sound. Pretty good, check it out.

Ecoli- Judas Cradle
Ecoli had a 7" that came out last year that totally came from nowhere and totally ripped. Their sound was similar to faster early 80's bands like Neon Christ, Koro and the Neos. After the first listen I wasn't as into it, but giving it another shot I really started to appreciate it. On this record there's a slight lineup change, but they don't lose any of the ferocity. At times the songs are more structured, at other times they're more frantic and loose. I'd maybe compare it to Die Kreuzen, but either way you need this in your life.

Libyans- Crash Course
This was apparently recorded at the same time as their LP, but is structured more like the Welcome to the Neighborhood 7". There's a longer song ("Crash Course") on the A side, and a shorter song ("Erased") on the B side. Crash Course is certainly not as good as Welcome to the Neighborhood, but it's still catchy. I would almost say Erased is the better song, since it's a bit more punchy. A good and short 7", but I want more fast songs.

Death Crisis- s/t
Out of the ashes of Life Crisis come Death Crisis, with 3/4 of the final lineup. They continue along the same lines with their Dr. Know sounding hc/punk with metal leads and solos. It's very early 80's California sounding, but a bit more ballsy. There's a few songs with Spanish lyrics, but my basic Spanish comprehension was able to get what they were talking about. The cover art is a bad Photoshop collage, which looks like a bad black metal cover, but don't let it deter you.

the Insults- Thrasher Go Home
Finally, a legit reissue of the classic Detroit band's 7" from the 80's. I hadn't listened to this in a while and forgot how good this 7" was. It's similar to Verbal Abuse in that it's fast HC/punk with metal tinges to it. Similar to their Michigan brothers in the State, this is some essential authentic early 80's HC. Good job Punks Before Profits for resurrecting this beast.

No Tolerance- Boston Straight Edge
I had downloaded No Tolerances demo a few months ago, and was psyched to finally get a real copy pressed to vinyl. From the same masterminds behind Mind Eraser, DFJ and CC this time bring you a late 80's straight edge sound. I hear a heavy Brotherhood influence, as I'm sure that's where they got their name from. I guess this started as a side project, but now they have a full band assembled and will be doing a 7" on Youngblood soon. The somewhat militant sXe lyrics will turn off some, but I think this is real good!

Judgement- Just Be...
This was repressed to celebrate Judgement getting back together to play Chaos in Tejas fest. I was lucky to find this in a distro, but I know they sold out fast. This was Judgement's last (and some might say worst) release, which only had a CD release previously. I would say it's not as strong as their earlier material, but seriously it's impossible to top that stuff. Follows the same Judgement formula of Burning Spirits styled HC with a heavier focus on guitars. It's fucking great, go find it.

Burial- Hungry Wolves
I had a couple of Burial's other releases, but this one had eluded me for a while. It's not new, but this 4 song 7" is perfect. This German band can emulate the Burning Spirits Japanese hardcore style of the greats like no other. Imagine Tragedy w/o the boring cello or piano interludes. This rips, and I just found out they have a new 12" out... gotta find that!

Obliteration- This Is Tomorrow
I liked Obliteration's first 7", and was glad they were doing another so soon. Obliteration is basically the singer of Knife Fight, but with Mind Eraser as his backup band. They play a distorted crust/d-beat influenced hardcore similar to Crucifix or Anti-Cimex. It lacks some of the cliches of the average crusty band, but that's a good thing. I kinda liked the first record better, but this is good too.

Brain Killer- s/t
Boston's Brain killer play with the distorted fury of Japanese bands like Disclose and Framtid, but the vocals remind me a lot of Deathreat. There's a lot of feedback throughout this record, which ads to its all over raw sound. I would imagine this band plays loud as hell live. This is fucking great!

Brain Killer- s/t (demo)
This is a re-pressing of Brain Killer's demo on vinyl, which I had downloaded a while back and loved. Musically it's very similar to the 7", but as you could imagine a bit more raw. Get this as well as the s/t 7" and you won't be disappointed.

Middle Class- Out Of Vogue
Released in 1978, some might say this was the first hardcore record, and I would agree. This was way faster than everything else from that time. Songs like "Out of Vogue" (which was featured in American Hardcore) and "Insurgence" laid the groundwork for American HC, while being influenced by UK punk. Frontier reissued this at the end of last year, and it's about damn time. Mine came on blue vinyl too, sweet!


Urban Blight- More Reality
Back in 2004 Urban Blight released a pretty good 3 song 7", 5 years later they release this amazing 12" EP. Their sound has matured a lot in that time, and I think this 12" is a huge step. The recording is real blown out, which totally works, and gives it that authentic 80's HC sound. The music is very early 80's NYHC influenced, think early AF, early Warzone, etc... Real good, and a huge step up from their previous releases. The cover art is kinda weird, I guess they wanted it to look like a DJ's single, which I don't think works.

Death- For the Whole World to See
You may have read the stories about this band online, but basically this is a relatively forgotten band from the 70's that is just now seeing a proper release. Not to be confused with the metal band of the same name, Death were 3 African American brothers who were playing punk in a style of the Stooges, the Buzzcocks or the MC5. This LP is really good, and well recorded for something over 30 years old. Some of the songs are fast, almost early Bad Brains sounding. "Politicians In My Eyes" and "Freakin Out" are like unheard classics. Seriously, this is a great record, with some great authentic 70's looking cover art to make a great overall package.

Paintbox- Trip Trance & Travelling
So this album was years in the making, and after listening to the whole thing I can see why. Judging by the psychedelic cover art, I knew it was gonna be kinda weird. There's their signature rock n roll meets burning spirits style, mixed with some more psych influence and a good amount of trumpets. There's a lot of great guitar parts by Chelsea (RIP), and some female vocals mixed throughout. They really went all out on this one, and while it may seem weird to some, but the only word I can use to describe this is EPIC. Paintbox really likes to straddle the line between traditional punk/HC sounds, and something a bit more experimental. If you're already a fan, you're not gonna be let down, but may be a bit much for a first time listener.

Mouthpiece- Can't Kill What's Inside
In honor of Edge Day recently I got a real craving to listen to some Mouthpiece, but had foolishly sold all of their records when I was getting rid of all my youth crew type stuff. Luckily Rev has re-pressed their discography on vinyl, and I was able to rectify my mistake. Mouthpiece existed in a time after the youth crew style bands, but before the heavy 90's HC sound really took shape. They sound more like bands like Inside Out and Burn, but have a bit of a harder edge like Judge. At the time they were considered a fast band, but by today's standards not so much. It seems like there's a good deal of hype around bands from the early 90's scene, and a lot of them reuniting for the Burning Fight show this summer. With that, it's nice to see Mouthpiece get some recognition. Personally, I kinda have to be in the mood for this style of HC, and I could see why I sold off my Mouthpiece records originally (not to say I don't regret it). I saw them twice in 2001 @ their reunion shows, and they were great. NEW JERSEY STRAIGHT EDGE!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trick Art Treat show pieces

This is a piece I did for the Trick Art Treat art show. I find dogs in Halloween costumes hilarious, so I montaged a photo of a dog in a devil costume with a photo of my girlfriend's Boston terrier, Lelo. As with all of my other pieces, it was drawn out in Illustrator, then cut into stencils and spraypainted on a canvas. The piece is entitled "Devil Dog (aka: S.T.D.)," as I've affectionately nicknamed her "Shitty the Dog."
I cut out a stencil of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein for the b/w flyer for the show, so I figured I would make it into a simple stencil piece for the show as well. The piece is entitled "Frankie Says Relax."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Misfits Tubby, Couch Slouch Qee & Kaiju Gwin

I've been working on a bunch of toys lately, and haven't had a chance to post them, here's what I've been working on for the past month or so,,,
This was originally a vinyl toy of Tubby from the Little Lulu comic. I got a few of these and decided to paint it up in a style of Bounty Hunter, hence the logo on the back. It was mainly influenced by the Misfits fashion sense.
This started out as a blank Pigee Qee, and I turned it into a lazy balding dudes who I call "Couch Slouch" (after the DRI song). He's so depressed he just sits around the house watching TV in his underwear and flippy floppies. Poor guy... I painted it pink first, then gave it some light sprays of ivory to lighten him up in spots.
This was a Gwin that I made as an experiment to try painting the inside of a clear toy. I left him blank, but decided I should finish him off w/ some simple details. I was influenced by the minimalistic kaiju style paint jobs from Japan.
This Gwin was mine for the Custom Gwin Trade on the October Toys forum. The concept was that the Gorilla had a banana peel on his head, which made use of the penguin shape's flaps. My trade partner got this Gwin along w/ a custom painted Zombie and header card. I had gotten the Zombie free in an order and was just playing around w/ paint markers one night. The arms are from a Dunny and are drilled in so they still move. My trade partner was very happy with it and I eagerly await his custom to come in the mail.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

hardcore/punk toys?!

Collecting vinyl rules. Whether that vinyl is playable or shaped into a cool toy is your choice. What some of my usual blog readers may not know is that a lot of punkers are involved in the toy world. I did a post a while back about the Gorilla Biscuits toy, but did you know that CIV did a Dunny design in their tattoo series?
Suicidal Tendencies had a Be@rbrick design as a pattern. I was lucky enough to score one of these on the first try. It's made to look like a blue bandanna, and is a part of the pattern series. Medicom recently released a larger "400%" version of this design. They've also done Sex Pistols themed Be@rbrick in the past.
Kidrobot recently did series of pieces depicting their mascot as a punk rocker called Kidpunk. There were 3 different versions- 1977 (Sex Pistols), 1980 (Dead Kennedys), 1984 (Black Flag). I of course got the Black Flag looking one. Each one came with a record and cover parodying the band's classic album that was released in that particular year. I thought it was pretty clever, and shows that someone working there knew something about the actual music, and not just the look.
Everybody knows Pushead for doing tons of awesome album covers, but he's become popular in the toy scene as well. His toys are kinda hard to come by, so I still don't have any in my collection yet. Hopefully soon... He recently did a signing at the NY Comic Con with Secret Base out of Japan, that I heard was packed. Secret Base also has produced toys for Napalm Death and Balzac. Mike Sutfin who you may know from bands like Charles Bronson and Killers also had customs for sale at NYCC. He has his own toy coming soon from Reckless Toys, which is reminiscent of the old Corrosion of Conformity logo. Amos Toys recently released a character called Martin X, which has X's on his hands and makes references to the character being Straight Edge.
Also, make sure to check out a great documentary DVD called Toypunks, focuses on the rise of designer toys, and the parallels to punk culture. There's even a song by Deep Sleep used in the movie.
There's even a huge DIY movement within the designer toy scene. People hand mold and cast their own toys out of resin and sell it themselves. A lot of toy companies sell blank toys, which encourage customization. So you see, the hardcore/punk scene stretches far into nerd culture than most people would like to admit.

*this is a post I was working on back in February/March, and never finished until now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dia De Los Muertos

This is my piece for the Autumn Society's Dia De Los Muertos show entitled Esqueleto Con un Monopatín, which translates to "Skeleton with a Skateboard". It was done on an oval shaped 9"x12" canvas with stencils and spray paint. The character was heavily influenced by Posada's prints.

"Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead), is typically a Mexican celebrated holiday, in which families bring offerings (such as food and mementos) to remember and celebrate their loved ones that have passed away. The holiday is celebrated between October 31st through November 2nd.
The show will consist of 40+ pieces of art from the Autumn Society's finest artists, each interpreting "Dia de los Muertos" in their own unique way.
So come and celebrate on First Friday, October 2nd, and don't miss out on some fantastic original artwork, music, and sugar skulls!"
Proximity Gallery
2434 East Dauphin Street
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BLObPUS custom contest

Here are some pictures of my Blobpus custom for the contest via Lulubell Toys. I poured red acrylic craft paint on the inside, then did some sprays in black and silver w/ spray paint, then added the details w/ paint markers. This was my first kaiju style paint job, and I'm pretty happy w/ it.

For reference purposes, here's what it looked like originally, you can see the vinyl was clear.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Record Reviews (summer edition)

It's summer, which means there's a lot more bands touring. That also means there's a lot of records you should be buying to support these bands. Go see: Coke Bust/ Sick Fix, Shitty Limits/ Logic Problem, I Hate This/ Backslider, Zhenia Golov/ Plague Bearers, Rip It Up/ Stressed Out, Punch, and Guilty Faces who are all still on tour through August.


Waste Management- Get Your Mind Right E.P.
This came out a while back, but I wish someone had clued me in on this band earlier, holy shit. The vocals are almost a dead ringer for Springa (SSD), and the music has a real early 80's Boston feel to it. This has a perfect balance of raging fast parts, and slow mosh parts. Some of the lyrics seem to be straight edge oriented, but the band isn't very up front about it. Great 7", hopefully they have more in the works.

Boiling Over- Trash City
I had only known Boiling Over from the Punx Don't Drink comp, but much like Cold Shoulder their own EP is way better. "Humanity is Fucked" kicks off this beast, and sets the tone of a bleak world view for the rest of the record. My favorite song is "These Colors Don't Crust" which has a pretty memorable chorus of "We have been wronged, we have been lied to." I love bands like this that are sXe, but don't use it as a marketing ploy from some watered down cartoon version of hardcore. This straight up, no BS early 80's inspired HC. The record also comes w/ an mp3 download, which is always convenient.

I Hate This- s/t
Released just in time for their US tour, IHT drops their first solo 7". After a lineup change (one of those changes happened to be the primary song writer), they don't let up on the fastcore fury. The music is more in a Charles Bronson direction, taking old style HC structure and speeding them up. Pick a copy up from the band as it hasn't made its way into distros yet.

The Shitty Limits- Here Are the Limits
The Shitty Limits are a band from the UK, who are currently on tour in the US. Their sound is some sort of mix of garage rock and late 70's punk. I could see them fitting in well on a show with Jay Reatard or one with Regulations. "Here Are The Limits" opens up the record with a bullhorn scream, which is a pretty good introduction to the record and the band itself. The songs on here are a real bouncy mid pace. The guitar tone is undistorted, and matches perfectly with their style.

The Shitty Limits- Espionage
This is basically a single for the song "Espionage," backed with 2 faster songs. The music is almost 60's British rock influenced, which I guess makes some sense since they're from the UK. The B side offers 2 more tracks with a slightly different sound, "We Had a Gang" is probably the better of the 2. This record is ok, but I prefer the "Here Are the Limits" E.P.

No Man's Slave- Siege Mentality
I saw these guys in NJ, and picked up this there. For a band named after an Infest LP, I thought I knew what to expect. I got a real Ruination feel from them, which was confirmed by the Left For Dead cover at the end of the record. They somehow cram 14 songs on this record without feeling like they just threw a bunch of crap together. The music is fast as hell, but with a moshy heaviness to it.

Nitad- Ge Oss Mer
This is a reissue of the band's 2nd 7", which I believe was limited originally. Honestly the artwork was what really attracted me to this record, it's like 60's poster art. The music is early 80's upbeat punk sounding, but sung is Swedish. Sounds pretty similar to fellow Swedes Masshysteri or Regulations, but with a lot more punch to it.

Nitad- s/t
Despite the cover art on my version looking like a Bathory 7" (I have the tour pressing, so the cover may be different when it's released for real), this is a definite punk record. This record doesn't deviate too far from the sound on their previous efforts. It does seem a lot tighter and angrier (the lyrics are still in Swedish, so i have no idea). Definitely pick this up once it's properly released.

Drag the River- ...Has A Way With Women
I got this because I heard it was Chad Price's (of ALL fame) new band. The songs seem to have been recorded a while back, and are more demo quality. I would say there's a real country vibe to these. It's pretty cool, but I doubt I'll play this more than a few times.

Zhenia Golov/ Botox Party
NJ's Zhenia Golov bring us 2 new songs of politically influenced crusty thrash. Botox Party play more folky pop-punk, that almost Propaghandi sounding. It's a pretty strange balance for the 2 band to do a split, but somehow it works as both bands have played together often before. I should note that there is a Botox Party song at the end of the ZG side. I'm not sure why they did this (as well as having blank labels), but I know I'm guilty of only listening to one particular side of a split record.

Mirrors and Wires- Colorized Audio Transmission
This is not surf punk, but it is punks playing surf (mixed with a little bit of psychedelic rock). M&W are an all instrumental group w/ members of some local HC/Punk bands. The A side offers 3 short musical bursts, while the B side has one long more psychedelic song. I definitely enjoyed the A side way more personally. It's definitely something different, and makes for some feel good background music.

Ugly Law- s/t
I love the recent rise of old dudes playing in hardcore bands, and one of these dudes was in Unseen Force. My band did a weekend tour w/ this dudes back in May, and I got this then. They play a mid/late 80's crossover hardcore sound. Kinda reminds me of Animosity era COC at times. They seem to take similar influences to COC, blending southern rock with faster hardcore sounds. This was self-released, and apparently they have another record recorded.


Coke Bust- Lines in the Sand
After an good demo and a really good 7", Coke Bust come out with this amazing LP. I seriously think this blows everything they did previously out of the water. "Countdown to Death" is my favorite song (also their longest), and has a great slow mosh which reminds me of SSD. "Leave Me Behind" also has a great 2 second hard mosh at the end of it. I think if you wrote off Coke Bust in the past, this will change your mind. The song writing and lyrics have matured into on amazing HC record. Also, GO SEE COKE BUST ON TOUR!

Punch- s/t
I had heard great things about Punch since their last tour, so I decided to check em out at their Philly show. Boy was I impressed. The music is somewhere along the lines of Scholastic Death type thrash, mixed with some youth crew influenced mosh breakdowns. The mosh buildup in "Ol' Factory" rules. They manage to pack 16 songs into 20 minutes of hardcore fury. Not to make it a selling point, but Punch are a female fronted hardcore band. That doesn't let up any of the fury here, as she can belt it out with the best of em. Definitely try to catch them on tour!

Bad Antics- Tour LP
I wasn't a huge fan of Bad Antics' last record, but picked this up after seeing them in NJ. It's more a step back to the California punk influence that the first 7" had. The songs are kind of mid paced and slower (and therefore longer) than their older stuff. It kinda reminds me of those later Adolescents and DI albums that nobody really listens to. Honestly I'm more impressed with the cover art, which is stenciled and spray painted, so each one is different.


Just Die!- Garages and Basements
Musically NC's Just Die! seem to take the Kid Dynamite approach, but faster... and I mean WAY faster. The music has some melodic parts, but the vocals are harsh and screamed. Saw this band on a whim in NJ a few weeks ago and was very impressed, they were super nice dudes too. This is the CD version of a 7" that wasn't ready in time for tour.

Sick Fix- Nothing Else Mattered No one Else Mattered (tape or CDr)
Sick Fix decided to record a new demo before their tour w/ Coke Bust this summer, and it's about damn time. I thought their 7" was good, but didn't really do any justice to how they sound live. Michelle's vocals have gotten a lot more brutal sounding since then as well. Here you get 4 new song and a re-recording of "One Third" (from the 7"/demo) with a way slower breakdown (in a good way). "Liberty Lost" has the new intro, which they've been playing live for the past year, and boy is it heavy. My favorite song on here is "Boudica." Hopefully this is a demo for a new record in the works, whether it be an EP or LP I'm sure it will be a monster.

Backslider (tape)
The idea of a 2 person fastcore band sounds about as appealing to me as a turd sandwich, however somehow this defies my expectations. There's a good balance of grindy parts, power violence style breakdowns, and of course short songs. The way the songs are mixed, it's almost like one giant song with stops. I feel like for a 2 person band things should be a lot tighter, but it's just a demo so I'll cut em some slack. The new stuff on their website has a more Lack of Interest sound, and blows this stuff away. This band also comprises 1/2 of I Hate This, and are on tour w/ them now.

Outlast (tape)
Outlast are a new youth crew sXe hardcore band from NJ. If you read this blog, you know I have a real soft spot for this type of stuff. It reminds me of the late 90's sXe revival bands like In My Eyes and Better Than A Thousand (there's even some Cappo style growls). The recording quality is really clean for a demo, and apparently it will be re-pressed on vinyl soon. Bands like this were a dime a dozen like 10 years ago, but now I miss this type of stuff. The lyrics cover your typical posi topics such as change, unity, helping each other out, and of course being straight edge. Awesome!

Teenage Whore-Moans- Moan All Nite Long (pro-tape)
Teenage Whore Moans play some low-fi garage influenced pop-punk. The low quality of the recording kind of ruins it for me, and maybe a better studio recording would have been a little easier on the ears. I guess with "garage" styled stuff you can get away with that. Otherwise it's some poppy songs about girls ...not my thing.