Thursday, December 08, 2011

Best of 2011

Best 7"s of 2011

1. Waste Management- Power Abuse (Painkiller Records)
2. Cülo- Toxic Vision (Deranged Records)
3. Stripmines- Sympathy Rations (Sorry State Records)
4. Death Evocation- s/t (Quality Control Records)
5. School Jerks- Control (Cowabunga Records)

Ok, so the Waste Management EP came out as a tape last year, but it was awesome to get these songs for real. Seriously, if there's not a pack of angry dogs singing backup on "power Abuse, I'd call you a liar. Fuckin-A, Culo's 3rd 7" is by far their best. Excellent balance of hyper fast and mid-paced punk. Fuck, it was a real hard choice between 1 and 2. Stripmines are a band that don't get enough credit. I was lucky enough to catch them twice, and they're even better live. Death Evocation is some sort of mysterious side project, but they play 80's sounding heavy metal just the way I like it. School Jerks also dropped their 3rd record this year, hopefully they do an LP next year; it will be a top contender for the best of 2012.

Best LPs of 2011

1. Omegas- Blasts of Lunacy (Parts Unknown)
2. Night Birds- The Other Side of Darkness (Grave Mistake Records)
3. Void- Sessions 1981-1983 (Dischord Records)
4. Vacant State- Fill the Void (Deranged Records)
5. Razor X Fade- s/t (Not Normal Records)

Omegas channeled the sound of their demo, and released a killer LP. Night Birds had a handful of 7"s, but knocked it out of the park with this LP. The Void stuff was mostly not formally released, so I'll count it as new. Sue me. Vacant State is Canada's best kept secret, people need to stop sleeping on this band. Razor X Fade had a hell of a follow up to their demo, then unfortunately seemed to call it quits immediately afterward.

Best demos of 2011

1. Birth Deformities
2. Beware
3. Stab
4. Sick Charade
5. Black and Blue

Ok, so maybe I'm a little biased on the Birth Deformities demo, since I re-released it. But you know what? I put my money where my mouth is, because it's fucking incredible. Beware will be a band to watch next year, my favorite band in PA now. Stab I think will have a 7" soon, and hopefully it's just as raw and crazy. Sick Charade is a new band from Canada with the singer of Reprobates. Just got it, so I haven't reviewed it yet. Black and Blue did a cool demo of Wasted Time sounding HC, hopefully an EP this year?

Citizens Arrest- A Light In the Darkness: One of the best NYHC records ever. This gets reissued on colored vinyl with 2 extra songs (from comps). This was reissued in a few different LPs over the years, but this is the first on a 7".

Ripcord- The Damage is Done: The first Ripcord record I heard, so I always regard it highly. While it's more raw than their later records, it's still great. This originally came out as a flexi, so this is it's first shot at real vinyl.

Authorites- Puppy Love + Soundtrack for Trouble: Another one of my favorite underrated 80's punk bands. No excuse to not check them out now. I recommend Puppy Love since it has the Soundtrack for Trouble songs anyway. Perfect 80's California punk.

Cock Sparrer: Classic UK punk band gets the proper thick colored vinyl reissue treatment. I've seen past reissues and bootlegs, but they looked like crap. I always loved the Shock Troops LP, so many hits on there. Never listened to any of their other records, but they also got reissued.

No Comment-Common Senseless + Downsided: These powerviolence masterpieces are back in their original vinyl form. I hated that mishmashed discography LP from the 90's, so this is a way better way to appreciate one of the greats. Downsided is my favorite, but you need both.

Anticipated Releases in 2012:
Boston Strangler LP- They released a 3 song promo tape this year, but the LP should be out very soon. In fact, it leaked to the net recently and is incredible. Seriously, I listened to it all day on repeat.

No Tolerance- "No Remorse, No Tolerance"- A limited version of their 7" came out at the Youngblood Showcase, but sold out before I got there. Streaming HERE, it's fucking ridiculous. I will make this the #1 7" of the year if it comes in at the buzzer before the year's end.

GISM reissues- I heard from a very reliable source that all the GISM records were remastered and being re-released this year. You heard it here first kids...

LPs: Rival Mob, Stripmines, Culo, Birth Deformities. Most of these are recorded already, so hopefully we'll see something before spring.

Discharge singles- Havoc is currently offering a package of all 5 right now. How cool i that? Plus they'll be releasing an LP with all 5 singles later this year.

Life's Blood discography- Still waiting on that Prank...

United Mutation and Mecht Mensch discographies- Coming out on More Than a Witness (the same label that did the CIA discography), both with unreleased songs!

Altered Boys demo- New band from NJ that kicks ass. If you dig the Shark Attack and Knife fight style of Boston influenced HC, you'll love it. Best demo from an NJ band in a long time.

Predictions for 2012:
More bands influenced by 80's NYHC/ early REV bands- Seems like I've seen a lot more youth crew/NYHC covers lately. I love that shit, so no complaints here.

Grunge is cool?- Bands with members who were in hardcore bands, but sound more like Soundgarden. Saw Give and Devotion a this year, and thought I was listening to my walkman in 1992. Not into it. Probably going to be more bands with long hair and wah wah pedals in 2012.

Boston & Chicago- I seriously feel like 90% of the good new bands I've heard are from either of these places, and I'm sure there will be some new as well as established bands releasing some killer shit this year.

Guest vocals- Seems like a lot of bands have been having guest vocal parts in songs. I'm way into it, scene unity and all that shit. Way cooler than just having the guitar player yell in one song, call up your buddy.

Pointless reunions- Without a doubt there will be band reunions that will make you scratch your head. Please for the love of god leave the fedora hat at home this time.

UPDATE 12/29:
I decided to upload a mixtape of sorts, which has a song from each release, plus 3 bonus tracks of releases that will be out in early 2012 that I really like. Download it here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Record Reviews (late summer/ fall 2011)

So late summer was a little slow in terms of record buying, at least new records. Did score a handful of great old records at Double Decker and Celebrated Summer Records. Went to a handful of shows, (including This Is Hardcore and Tsunami Fest) but didn't have enough new records for a sizeable post until now. Also I've been busy releasing/ distributing the Birth Deformites tape, which is almost gone. The next reviews post may be the Best of 2011 post, so get stoked.


Alert- Find Your Way (Six Feet Under Records)
Alert is a band from MA, who did a pretty cool demo a few years back. Their sound is very west coast straight edge hardcore sounding. The vocals are more sung than yelled, giving it a very Uniform Choice sound. The recording is very clean, as well as the layout. Not many bands are playing this approach, so it's pretty cool, but I think it could definitely be pushed further into Ignite territory. Pretty good record, definitely check it out if you're into other modern edge bands. Includes a digital download.

Picked Clean- s/t EP (Six Feet Under Records)
I had seen Picked Clean years ago, and they were ok, then about a year ago they broke up and released a final demo, which was better. I guess they got back together shortly after that, because this record just came out. Musically I get an early 2000's vibe like Knife Fight, but there are some mosh parts thrown in as well. The sound kind of bridges the gap between Tear it Up and Mental, if that makes sense. I absolutely hate the artwork though. Pretty boring front cover with the band name and some pixelated tears. The back cover is just one of those square that you're supposed to scan with a smart phone, no song titles or label info. I don't have that app, so I have no idea what it does. The inside is just a bunch of lyrics, again no song titles. The labels are blank except for a SFU stamp, so basically the songs have no names unless you download the mp3s or scan the little phone code (I guess). The music is ok, but the layout isn't exactly winning me over. Includes a digital download.

Kicked In- In Session (Thick Skin Records)
Remember when that Lockin Out shit was huge like 6 or 7 years ago? Kicked In does! They sound more like Stop And Think and Mental, who were some of the better bands on that label. Their lyrics are a lot better, which is where I think a lot of those Loc bands fell flat (Rampage/ Crunch Time). If you like shit like Outburst with plenty of mosh parts, give this a spin. If they were from Boston, they'd already be huge. I kind of wish "Crampin' My Style" from the 3 song promo was on here, that song rules.

Stick Together- No More Games (Back To Back Records)
Stick Together is a band that's gotten some hype recently,but that fype of thing usually makes me not want to.xheck our a band. I however got to see ST a few times over the summer, and they're all the real deal. They play a style of straight edge hardcore like Floorpunch or Fastbreak (when they were good obviously). When I saw them, the singer actually had some good things to say between songs, and they played real tight. Their theme song is definitely the live hit, and get the kids finger pointing and moshing. I know they recently recorded a new 7", and they played a lot of those songs live. I expect that one to be even better.

Cider- 3rd Reichord (SPHC Records)
So Cider's been a band for about 20 years, but only released 3 records. Containing members of the Inmates and Darvocets, they fit with those type of Cleveland bands. Cider's thing in the past has been singing in fake British accents, and writing kind of dumbed down punk songs. On this record, they drop the fake accents, but recorded the whole thing live with just drums, guitars and vocals. Boasting no overdubs, but it sounds thin and shitty. I kind of wish they did the redneck album like they promised, but this is kind of a step down from their last record.

Crowd Control- s/t (Disposable Culture Records)
I knew nothing about Crowd Control other than that they're from the UK. I saw the tracklist included covers of my favorite songs by Bastard and Citizens Arrset. SOLD! The music reminds me of Ringworm, in that it's heavy but fast. Not my favorite genre, but good. The covers are pretty decent too, but obviously the originals still slay. Not bad, heard they broke up though.

Death Evocation- s/t (Quality Control Records)
So remember when Metallica wasn't a joke? When metal bands played metal, and weren't rapping or had dreadlocks. Death Evocation does, and they play faithful real ass 80's style heavy metal. Very similar to Sacrilege, since they also have a female singer. But very metal punk, like early Slayer. This band is a collaboration between people from Boston and the UK, so you'll probably never see them live, but do whatever you can to get this record. If I were a betting man, I'd say that DFJ plays drums, since he seems to play in every band from Boston. Though there's only 3 songs on there, they have a lot of substance, and changes to keep you flipping the record for hours. "Bang the head that doesn't bang!"

Boilerman- Yield The Ghost (Cowabunga Records)
This is Boilerman's 2nd 7", and despite a recent member change, it sounds pretty similar. I always got a Dillinger Four vibe from these guys, mixed with a more modern No Idea/ The Fest quality. Odd that this is on Cowabunga, and is nowhere near the early 80'strain hc/powerviolence styles that the label normally does. I like that though, because I think a lot of people will pick this up, who normally wouldn't. A very good record, hopefully you caught them on their recent US tour.
*Though it's not available yet, it should be in the CBR store by the end of the year. I got mine from the band.

Noose- The War of All Against All (React! Records)
So this record isn't out yet, but my dogg Joey Noose hooked me up with the React Showcase version of this, which was the test pressing. I liked their demo, but was a little worried that the new 7"on would be real clean sounding. No worries, everything is real distorted, even the vocals. The song writing has evolved, yet still keeping that Confront/ Brotherhood vibe, all while being the most militant XVX band this side of the 90's. Great follow up to an awesome demo.
*These will hopefully be out for real in a month or so, but you can pre-order it now.

Crisis Of Conformity- Fist Fight (Drag City Records)
So if you love the internet like I do, or for some reason still watch SNL, you may be familiar with the sketch of the punk band playing the wedding. If not, WATCH IT HERE. Someone had the genius idea to have them make an actual recording of the song, and put it on a record with another song. Unfortunately the recording doesn't sound as raw and chaotic as the live performance. I kind of wish there were the group vocals and a more raw recording quality. I'm not sure what the lineup is for this record, but Fred Armisen is definitely still singing. The b-side song is ok, nothing special. I like how the layout looks very much like an early 80's hardcore punk record. I do like novelty records, so this is up my alley even if it isn't great.


Weekend Nachos- Worthless (Deep Six Records)
I think by now if you haven't gotten past Weekend Nachos' goofy name, they you're just blowing it. Over the past couple of years, they've evolved into a minute solid power violence band with elements of grind and sludge. I think a lot of people (me included) were a little weary after the Bleed EP, but this is more a follow up to the Unforgivable LP's sound. WN can combine fast and brutal like few others can. I'd love to know who the song "Jock Powerviolence" is about.

Void- Sessions 1981-1983 (Dischord Records)
You know who Void is right? Obviously. So Dischord has been re-pressing a lot of their old releases with colored vinyl, download codes and some with updated cover art. They've also been kind of re-seizing records that only existed as bootlegs. This LP combines songs that were on the Condensed Flesh 7", Hit and Run demos and a live bootleg. There's some unheard extras too. I always thought the Hit and Run demos were awesome, compared to the Condensed Flesh stuff. Probably more for the die-hards, since some of these songs are repeated and others appear on the Faith split. I wish the cover art was more interesting, but seeing all of those of pictures inside in color is really cool. Definitely a worthy pickup. Includes a digital download.

Vacant State- Fill the Void (Deranged Records)
Imagine an alternate reality where instead of Henry Rollins, Black Flag tapped Choke to sing on My War. That's where Vacant State is coming from. I loved their 2 7"s, so naturally I was stoked to see what they'd do on an LP. They always balanced fast, mid paced and slower hardcore songs, while still sounding fierce. I was a little skeptical when the first song, "Dying World" started out real slow. Luckily it's just about a minute long, and they kick into high gear. I think a lot of people compare these guys to Cardiac Arrest (which is not a bad thing), though I think by varying their pace, it stays a lot more interesting. Definitely an awesome LP. Includes a digital download.

Teargas- The Way Of All Flesh (Hardcore Victim Records)
I loved the Teargas 7", it reminded me of Death Side, so I was stoked to check out the LP. Unfortunately it doesn't nearly live up to their previous efforts. The LP is ok, but there's definitely a lot more melodic crust and less "Jap-core" thrash. I was hoping to see these guys over the summer, but both area shows were with Tragedy (yuck). At least the cover art is really cool.

Rational Animals- Bock Rock Parade (Katorga Works)
Rational Animals are a weird band, look at the cover of the record...goats. Their name isn't even on the front cover. They play a style of hardcore similar to the un-popular era of Black Flag/B'Last...weird. Their 2 7"s prior to this were definite sleeper hits, and they're always tight as hell live. That being said, they kind of step into an even weirder territory on this LP. Fusing more stoner rock influences along with their previous stoner punk influences. It's good, but some of the songs get on the longer side, and lose the interest of this elder edgeman.

Authorites- Puppy Love (Get Hip Records)
Puppy Love is a reissue of an unreleased LP, plus their classic 7" songs. The Authorities were an early 80's punk band, similar to fast more punk CA bands like Angry Samoans. I always liked this collection, and am glad to finally be able to get it on vinyl. Mine didn't come with an insert, which is real disappointing, as I feel like something like this warrants lyrics and some sort of bio of the band. Since this is a reissue of their discography made in the early 2000's, it would maybe have been nice to include a more complete discography with those "Burbon Decay" songs and a demo or something. Great record regardless, pretty essential.

Dark Ages- Can America Survive? (Sorry State Records)
Dark Ages' demo and 7"on were great, so I was real stoked to hear this LP. I was a little skeptical since there was kind of a big gap between records, and a lineup change. Musically, it's similar in that it's some fast early 80's mid-west sounding HC/ punk. Drawing influences equally from Die Kreuzen as early Replacements. I feel like their demo and 7" were better, though this is pretty good too. They seem to favor a lot heavier on the slow/ mid-paced parts here. The artwork is kind of boring, despite the gigantic poster inside. The art on their previous records had business man monkeys and crazy priests, so this was kind of disappointing. Includes a digital download.

Night Birds- The Other Side of Darkness (Grave Mistake Records)
Night Birds is one of the few local bands I actually like. I wasn't really into their demo, but their 7"s had some real good songs, but this LP really knocks it out of the park. I was somewhat expecting it to have some of the more slow to mid-paced songs on their previous releases, but this LP is all fast. A lot of their lyrics are based on horror movies, similar to Angry Samoans. Musically it continues the kinda Agent Orange surfy punk vibe, but there's definitely some Dead Kennedys sound creeping in there too. This LP is great, definitely a must have for 2011.
Fun fact: the photo on the front cover was taken at the Forum Theater in beautiful downtown Metuchen, NJ. Includes a digital download.

Weekend Nachos- Two Things at Once (Cowabunga Records)
As the cover may suggest, you're getting 2 record re-pressed onto one record. First up is their first 7", Torture. Sounding good years later, and you don't have to flip sides in the middle. The lyrics were a little juvenile, but the music is on point with the Weekend Nachos sound of power violence. The B-side is the Bleed 2 song LP. I skipped this one when it came out, since a 2 song LP holds no appeal to me. The songs are way sludgy. WN always had some doom parts in songs, but 2 slow doom songs aren't my cup of tea, though the 18 songs on the A side more than make up for it. It's also kind of a neat juxtaposition to get WN's 1st and 4th records. The layout is pretty straight forward, in tribute to those "valu-pack" CDs which has 2 LPs on on CD (particularly, the Descendents one).

Timebombs- I Belong in Hell (Cowabunga Records)
One the last Timebombs record I got they were going for the more No Way Records/ early 80's sound. However when I saw them 2 summers ago, I noticed a more evolved sound. On this record they're channeling the same paths as Cult Ritual and Total Abuse. I think they avoid some of the more artsy/ indie rock trappings of those bands though. So basically it's a fast feedback drenched hardcore record. It may throw off fans of their earlier records, but this sound works a lot better for them. The version I have has a different cover than the one above, but I like mine a lot better.

Boston Strangler- 3 song promo (tape)
I was lucky enough to catch Boston Strangler in NYC a few weeks ago, and picked up this tape. I loved their demo, so naturally I was real stoked to check this out. As the named might suggest, it is a 3 song promo tape for their upcoming LP. It kicks off with "Primative" which has an intro that builds up kind of like "Get It Away" and is catchy as fuck. I feel like the new stuff is channeling a bit of a Slapshot influence, which fits in their all Boston HC influences. This LP is going to destroy, hopefully it comes out before the end of the year.

Brain Slug (pro-tape)
Brain Slug is a new band from NYC, that actually takes influence from NYHC (not shitty artsy mysterious shit or boring crust). The vocals are real harsh, sort of like a Citizens Arrest or United Mutation quality. Musically there are some fast and slow parts. When they play fast, I get a total YDI vibe, which rules. When I saw them they played a bunch of new songs, which were awesome. Stoked to get their new 7".

Living Laser- Ragged Glory (Trip Machine Labs) (pro-tape)
Living Laser is a new band from NY. Their sound is somewhat melodic, mainly due to the vocals. It has a Kid Dynamite mixed with early AFI vibe, in the best possible way. Melodic, but definitely not pop-punk. The slick cover art that's heavy on the yellow reminds me of the Bad Brains ROIR tape, which is definitely not a bad thing. Pretty cool. Includes a digital download.

V/A- Youngblood Records 2011 (Youngblood Records) (pro-tape)
At TIH Fest, Youngblood had this sampler tape of their upcoming releases. It wound up being the only piece of music I bought at the fest, mainly for the No Tolerance song. No Tolerance kicks it off by being the best current sXe band, with another raw fast hard moshy number from the new 7". Face Reality play some pretty good youth crew, similar to early Turning Point. Give I don't get. I feel like a lot of people I know like them, but they just sound like a 90's grunge band to me. Police and Thieves I didn't realize were still together, but they bring a new song off their LP that's very Dag Nasty/Swiz sounding. Sacred Love sounds like bad era Bad Brains. Mob Mentality kinda have a scrappy NYHC quality, but not terribly tight. I'm definitely ordering the No Tolerance 7" as soon as it'll be available, and will probably pick up the Face Reality 7" as well when I do. I like that in 2011 this was a cassette promo, and not a free download on some site.

Monday, October 31, 2011

[BE-03] Birth Deformities demo repress out now!

Birth Deformities is a new band from Chicago, consisting of members of Culo with Nick (Cowabunga Records CEO) on vocals. Taking influence from early 80's NY/NJ bands, similar to the approach of Omegas and Culo (obviously). This is probably one of my favorite demos of 2011, and I'm stoked to get to re-press these. Fans of cult hardcore shit like Chronic Sick and Fatal Rage will dig it, uptight PC idiots will hate it.

Limited to 100 copies with re-designed cover art on pro duplicated cassettes with screened shells. (7 songs)
Preview the first track here:
**I also threw up a package deal with the remaining Phibes tapes

ALSO AVAILABLE FROM: Cowabunga, Sorry State, Grave Mistake, Vinyl Conflict/ No Way, Deranged, Trip Machine Labs, Video Disease

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Record Scores: Cro Mags- Age of Quarrel

So a lot of people will tell stories of finding pretty decent records in thrift store, but I don't think you'll find a better thrift store hardcore story than this. So when I was unemployed, I made it a point to go the Goodwill in town every Monday. They would have put out all of the good stuff from the weekend, and everything was 25% off. A lot of days I turned up with nothing, but one day as I'm walking out I see what looks to be a somewhat punk layout. It turns out to be Anti-Nowhere League's "we Are The League" LP. Cool, so I keep digging, hoping for a deposit of punk records. I find some mediocre 80's metal, a Steve Jones (Sex Pistols) solo record, an old Posh Boy Records comp I'd never heard of and The Adolescents' laughably bad "Balboa Fun Zone" LP. Then I come across the holy grail, a copy of the Cro-Mags' "Age of Quarrel" LP! This record had been out of print until recently, and was an early pressing with the CENSORED sleeve art. Unfortunately the corner was cut off, which indicated that it was a promo copy originally. Still it was in amazing condition. I went to the register and asked how much the records were, and the cashier said $1, though with the sale- 75 cents each. I quickly went back and grabbed the Posh Boy comp, the Adolescents and Anti-Nowhere League LPs as well. So there it is, the story of how I got a copy of "Age of Quarrel" for 75 cents.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Incredible Hulkster for Comix Gone Rogue

COMIX GONE ROGUE is a project organized by my buddy Edwin Vazquez where artists not associated with the comics do art on the covers of blanks. I got the Incredible Hulk, and I immediately thought of doing him in a classic Hulk Hogan pose. I was a little worried with the detail in the face getting lost, but I think the over-spray almost doubles as shading. Check out the other pieces on the blog too, it'll make for a sick show one day.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Custom Rumble Monsters toy

I scored a Rumble Monsters Damnedron toy on eBay cheap recently. I decided to do it in a somewhat Hedorah style, giving him a kinda sludge/oil slick look. I painted the inside with black, which through the milky clear vinyl looks dark gray. Then masked out the detail for the eyes and teeth, and painted the mouth with a paint marker. For the body, I sprayed kaiju style whisps of yellow, and masked off my trademark X's and a biohazard symbol. After that I did a rub of light green to give it a kind of grosser look.

More pictures here:

Classic Comps vol. 4- The Master Tape

It's been a while since I did one of these comp reviews, and this is a good one to come back with. The Master Tape was compiled by a member of the Zero Boys, and sadly does not get the credit it's due, most likely because it's been out of print for like 25+ years (time for a reissue?). If anyone knows anything about the bands I didn't know as much about, please feel free to school me in the comments. I found a download of the comp HERE, but if anyone wants to sell/trade me a copy of the vinyl, get in touch.

1. Toxic Reasons - Mercenary
2. Toxic Reasons - Drunk and Disorderly

Toxic Reasons starts things off awesome with "Mercenary." Their sound was definitely similar to other USHC bands, but heavily influenced by the UK bands of the same time. "Drunk and Disorderly" is a total oi-influnced barroom anthem. Definitely track down their LP called Independence, which got reissued a few years back on Beer City. The sound on the LP is somewhat clean, but these songs are raw and dirty.

3. Slammies - Frustrated
4. Slammies - P.U.S.
5. Slammies - Manager Breakdown

Slammies are a band I know absolutely nothing about, however I do know that these 3 songs are really really good. They have an almost light-hearted Adrenalin O.D./ Detention vibe, where there is a bit of melody, but at the same time some force behind it. "Manager Breakdown" is a perfect song to listen to on the way to a job you hate. Definitely some catchy shit here.

6. Battered Youth - New Patriot
7. Battered Youth - We'll Love You When You're Dead

Battered Youth is another mystery to me, name rules because I hate children. The vocals have a kind of raw screaming quality to them, but the music is sort of mid paced. "..When You're Dead" has the better hook for sure, but the songs have a kind of monotone quality, though there's some potential if they had other stuff recorded.

8. The Delinquents - Bible School
9. The Delinquents - Systems Pressure

Another band I don't know, though "Bible School" is easily one of my favorite songs on this comp. It's really really good. Seriously, the chorus is so damn catchy. Almost has a California punk quality, like Battalion of Saints maybe. Their other song is also real good too, I need to hear more of this stuff.

10. Zero Boys - High Places
11. Zero Boys - Human Body
12. Zero Boys - Mom's Wallet

Hopefully you're familiar with the Zero Boys by now, if not their Vicious Circle and Livin In the 80's records are mandatory pick ups. They were from the mid west, but had the melody and punch of a band from California. These songs are of the caliber of the Vicious Circle LP, and are even tacked on as bonus tracks on some pressings of it. "Mom's Wallet" is probably the best of the bunch, but an overall strong showing. These are definitely noway comp tracks.

13. Articles of Faith - Buried Alive
14. Articles of Faith - False Security

Articles of Faith is another band I hope you're familiar with. If not, Alternative Tentacles released a 2 CD discography a few years back. These songs are more along the lines of their earlier/ faster material, unlike their more slowed down DC influenced sound later down the road. "Buried Alive" is my favorite of the 2.

15. The Repellents - Think for Yourself
16. The Repellents - Livin' Like an Animal

Never heard of the Repellents, but the songs to me aren't very memorable. "Livin Like an Animal" is a bit more intense, but still falls flat compared to the other bands.

17. Learned Helplessness - Vegis
This is a kind of weird one, a female fronted band singing a pro-vegetarian song. It kind of reminds me of the Putrid Girls from the We Got Power: Party Or Go Home comp, though much better. Not too great, but at least it's got a catchy hook.

18. The FU's - CETA Suckers
19. The FU's - Death Wish

FU's was a killer band from Boston, notably on the Unsafe At Any Speed and This Is Boston, Not LA comps as well as their own classic LPs- Kill For Christ and My America. These songs seem to be early ones, like from around the time of the comps (which "CETA Suckers also appears). The FU's are definitely a band you need to check out for sure, killer tracks.

20. The Pattern - Unnatural Silence
21. The Pattern - Michelob

The Pattern is another that I don't know; their songs are mid-paced and the vocals are pretty forcedful. "Unnatural Silence" has a real weird chorus, I can't describe it, but I kinda like it. "Michelob" is definitely a throw away track that's like 5 seconds long.

22. Die Kreuzen - On the Street
23. Die Kreuzen - All White
24. Die Kreuzen - Fighting

Die Kreuzen was an awesome band from Wisconsin, their Cows and Beer 7" and s/t LP are both amazing, and both recently reissued. These songs all appear on their LP, though these were earlier recordings, and sound different. Their sound is a sort of balance between fast and disjointed, maybe similar to Void, but all their own. These versions lack some intensity, but are still killer for sure. "All White" would have made a cool droning closing track for the comp, just sayin'...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Rodney Dangerfield for Iconoclastic Dead

I did this stencil painting of Rodney Dangerfield for The Autumn Society's Iconoclastic Dead art show. The idea for the show is to do a portrait of a hero of yours in a Dia De Los Muertos style, so I titled this one "Sin Respeto," ("No Respect" in Spanish). This piece is a 4 stencil spray paint on 8" x 10" canvas board, with a painted frame.

The show will run from October 1st at 6:00pm - October 31st at:
Gurú Tienda Galería
Colima 143, LA ROMA
Mexico City, Mexico

Friday, August 12, 2011

Record Scores: Youth of Today- Can't Close My Eyes LP

In honor of getting to see Youth of Today tonight at This Is Hardcore Fest, I thought I'd post this. This was the first "rare" record I ever got. I remember it being around 1998, when Rev had done the reissues of their 3 LPs with the newer covers. The new cover for CCME was the worst. I found this in Curmudgeon Records in NJ for about $20, maybe less. The original pressing of this was a 7", this is the 2nd pressing on an LP, which was on Schism and Caroline. This is the first pressing of the LP which is determined by the white labels and insert (which mine unfortunately didn't come with). I remember back then thinking it was so cool to own something on Schism. This of course was the days before eBay, now all you needed was persistence and a high credit card balance to snag old records. I love this record, it's just fast and angry. Their other stuff is good, but this is my favorite.
I always thought this cover ruled. I'm pretty sure it's the same photo from the 7" version, just un-cropped. In doing that though, you can see the buggy eyed kid, and the sweet graffiti. Don't know why they never covered that up, but it clearly says "Meat Rules" and "Fuck with HIV Seeeeee!" Ridiculous.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Custom Tripus toy

I had gotten this clear Tripus by Max Toy Co. a while ago, and kind of stared at it, not wanting to ruin it until I had the right idea. It's about 9" tall, and has 7 parts. I based the colors off the Kraken from the old Clash of the Titans movie. After taking it apart, I noticed that the face tentacles were glued on, and not a part of the head. I had to cut a hole, and use a straw to paint the inside. Once I painted the inside green, I made masks out of tape on the chest and legs for the gold spray paint. I was a little worried, since the vinyl is a little different than what I'm used to, but the paint stayed perfectly. For the arms and top of the legs I went a little more free form, and did a more Kaiju style spray. For the face, I used a gold paint marker for the horns and eyes. Once painted, I went over it all with a black rub technique. This really brought out a lot of hiding detail, especially in the scales. I couldn't be happier with how this came out.
More pictures here:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Record/Zine Reviews (early summer 2011)

The bulk of this batch or reviews post is going to be zines, since I picked up a bunch recently. In today's instant gratification culture, it's real good that people are still making zines. Also, you may notice that I changed the format of my reviews slightly. I want people to go out and buy the good releases for sure, and support new bands releasing demos. After being basically called an elitist on a local message board for wanting to wait until I got a record in the mail before passing judgment on some mp3s, I feel like actually buying releases is more important. Downloading is convenient, but it devalues the efforts of the bands you claim to like. Before publishing this, I came across a (self-proclaimed) hardcore blog where the write said "I'm not a fan of the physical format." Fuck off asshole, I actually own all of the things I review. If this is the future of the HC scene, what's the point of even dropping out? What will you do, delete your hard drive?


Waste Management- Power Abuse (Painkiller Records)
So these songs came out last year on a cassette, which also had a live set. These new songs were too good to fade into obscurity. If you have ears, you no doubt loved their first record, which blended SSD with early AF. The new record has that, but adds some Discharge elements. "Too Much Unity" is about keeping hardcore for the weirdos, which I can definitely support. The cover art is a crazy full color illustration that reminds me of Agnostic Front's Cause for Alarm LP. If you only get one record this month, it should be this. Includes a digital download.

Ripcord- The Damage is Done (Boss Tuneage Records)
So to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ripcord's first 7", the fine folks at Boss Tuneage were cool enough to re-press this record. The original was on a flexi, so even if you found an original, it probably is in some rough shape. The re-press is on a nice thick piece of vinyl, so it will last another 25 years. This is Ripcord at their most raw. Their sound was heavily influenced by the early 80's USHC, though filtered through Discharge's raw intensity and anger. Some of these songs were re-recorded later, but I prefer these versions better. The version of "Furder" is by far superior w/o the opening mosh part being ruined by a sample. 3/4 of Ripcord now play in Violent Arrest, who are also awesome.

Night Fever- Transparent (No Way Records)
I LOVED Night Fever's New Blood LP, so not only was I psyched to get this new 7", but I get to see/play with them twice on their US tour. In the past, I described them as Youth of Today mixed with Guns N Roses. This new 7" has 3 songs, which display a bit more Thin Lizzy style rock n roll vibe, though the lyrics are still hateful and vocals still ridiculous. Hopefully you caught them on their US tour, pick up this record for sure, and get the reissue of New Blood if you don't have it already.

No Statik- Clarified, Distilled, Recomposed b/w We All Die In The End (Iron Lung Records)
Picked this up based on the ex-members of What Happens Next? and Look Back and Laugh, expecting it to be pretty good. Unfortunately this 2 song single is insanely boring. The A-side is an ok song, but pales in comparison to LBAL. The B-side is some boring instrumental that turns into some techno crap. I don't know if their LP on Prank is any better, and frankly I don't want to find out.

Criaturas- Aranas En El Corazon (Lengua Armada Records)
Cariaturas is a band from TX, who are female fronted and sing in Spanish. I believe there's some Deskonocidos members involved in this. The music is a melodic early 80's punk, sort of like a Spnish version of the Comes. The vocals are screamed, while the music is a reverb drenched D-beat. Not too bad, into it.

Poison x Planet- Bleed For Me (Third Party Records)
Here's a record I'm sure was fun to make. For Poison Planet's recent European tour, they decided to release a 7" consisting of 2 Dead Kennedys covers that they recorded with their last 2 EPs. Unfortunately for us, the lyrics of both of those songs still hold true today as much as they did in the 80's The government is still underhanded, and nazi punks still need to fuck off. Nick sings in his own way, and doesn't try to emulate Jello's signature style. The lyrics are printed inside along with how they relate to us almost 30 years later. If you like Poison planet and Dead Kennedys, then this is a fun release. If not, then you're fuckin' up. I would have like the see a PxP take on the old DK logo for that B-side label though.

Remission -Winds of Promise (React! Records)
Reission is a band from Chile, a country not generally known for their hardcore output. Not really knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. Their sound reminds me of the mid-80's DC sound like Dag Nasty and Swiz, however not treading into pop-punk or boring indie rock. The songs have a lot of punch to them. Coincidentally, they have a split with Police and Thieves that just came out, and I feel like both bands play a similar style. This 3 song 7" definitely left me wanting more. Includes a digital download.

Street Sweeper- s/t (Shoe City Records)
Street Sweeper is a new band from MA who plays a style of HC more like bands from NY. I get a Leeway or Killing Time vibe from this. The music is mid-paced and heavy, however straying from metal guitar tone in favor of heavy riffing. While not my favorite style, this is actually done very well. My only peeve is that the songs don't flow into each other, it seems like the feedback could have easily been blended between songs without a break. That may just be something I notice, but an overall impressive debut.

Villain- Trouble At Home (Shoe City Records)
Villain is another band from MA, who also play a harder style of HC, similar to bands like Think I Care and Tarpit. They balance the slower mosh parts with the faster HC/punk parts. I kind of wish there were more fast parts, as I think they're more interesting. I could see someone into the Ceremony style being into this. Includes a digital download.


Soul Swallower- Devoured (Painkiller Records)
Soul Swallower was a side project that released a 7" back in like 2005, that sort of flew under the radar when it was released. Though it was good, Mind Eraser related bands have a lot more interest nowadays. Musically, the LP is a bit more dark, taking cues from Taste of Fear, and mixing black metal elements with fast hardcore. There's a good balance of fast and heavy parts here. Would have been nice to have a lyric sheet, but it's pretty decent. Includes a digital download.

Poison Planet- Ugly Truths Vol. 1 (Carry the Weight Records)
Another Poison Planet record to coincide with their European tour. This LP compiles their first and second 7"s, along with 2 covers and some new songs. Since I've already reviewed their 7"s, I'll keep it brief. Poison Planet is a politically conscious vegan straight edge band, who plays hardcore similar to bands from the early 80's. I thought it was interesting that they chose to cover Get It Away and Cold Shoulder, 2 bands from recent years that are local to them. One of the new songs, "Who's to Blame" takes the intro to "Eyes Wide Open" and has an animal rights speech that sounds like it's through a megaphone. Kinds reminds me of the LP version of "Furder" by Ripcord. However both songs open each side of the LP, so the A and B sides both start with the same music. This LP is a good way for newcomers to PxP to catch up on their releases, and get some new stuff.

Pure Hell- Noise Addiction (Welfare Records)
This reissue came out like 2 years ago, but was recorded in the 70's, so it's still relevant in my eyes. Remember the Death LP that everyone went crazy for? Here's another all African American punk band from the 70's who's material went largely unreleased. Pure Hell's music is more along the lines of the New York Dolls and Sex Pistols, with a lot of attitude.

Get The Most- s/t (React! Records)
I had never checked out Get The Most before, but this LP compiles their 2 7"s and demo, so it's a perfect refresher course. I was really surprised, because this is a pretty faithful youth crew style HC, complete with Ray of Today style growls. More bands need to do that, you can say it's goofy, but you're wrong. The main riff in "Pass It On" reminds me of the mosh part in the A-Team TV show theme song, which is not a bad thing for sure. They also cover my favorite Abused song on here. Unfortunately the band is breaking up soon, and now I feel stupid for sleeping on them this long. Includes a digital download.


Villain- It’s Rough
This is Villain's first release, and while not as good as their recent 7", it's not too bad either. Lyrically is seems a lot less serious, while musically it's not as fast. I kind of liked how their 7" had a balance of fast and mid-paced mosh parts, but this isn't very fast. A bit too much focus on the mid-paced mosh for my liking. Not a bad debut, but I prefer the direction that their 7" is showing.

Snake Face- Ignorant Youth
From what I can tell, Snakeface is a band from Australia. The CD packaging has some of the worst art I've ever seen, and I thought it'd be some sort of ironic hipster indie rock crap. Thank god they had that crude drawing of a dick on the inside cover instead of, oh I don't know, lyrics/contact info? Musically though it's pretty fast/heavy hardcore in the same style as bands like Ceremony. Most of the songs clock in under a minute, but it's not enough to hold my interest.

Stab (tape) (Painkiller Records)
I had seen a write up about Stab on a blog that referred to them as a UK straight edge band that sounded like Ripcord. Welp, I was sold. Lucky for me, Painkiller re-pressed it and had copies in the store (now sold out) when I placed my order. No false advertising here, I get a definite Ripcord, where it's fast, but not venturing into grind territory. The production is real raw and distorted, like Discharge. Overall an awesome demo. Also, it turns out that I met some of these dudes while in the UK, and this was the band they told me about. Wish I was able to see them.

File 13- Generation Lost (pro-tape)
File 13 is a new band from Richmond, VA. Their sound reminds me of recent bands like Wasted Time, Crispus Attucks or Rations; in that they play fast but with a heavier/ thicker sound. The vocalist also reminds me of No Justice. Not enough bands play this style, and I think it makes them stand out. Smart lyrics and a cool cover graphic make this a demo worth your time. Definitely looking forward to what they do next.

Beware (tape)
This is a new band from PA, with the former singer of Let Down and some other folks from other bands. They remind me a lot of Mouthpiece, or Chain Of Strength w/o the fast parts. The music is somewhat mid-paced, but powerful. When I saw them they covered my favorite Turning Point song, so that rules. This will be a band to keep an eye on for sure.
*I should note that I had to review this based on mp3s, since my tape had the first song repeated 3 times. It starts about half through the song, then repeats twice and cuts off in the middle of the 4th time. I don't even know how this could happen, who was dubbing these? Bands: just pay the extra money to get your tapes pro-duplicated, so we don't have these problems. Thanks!

Got Myself #5
This is a zine based out of VA, which I've picked up before. The inside layout is some top notch cut and paste. Not too sloppy and easy to read, but the layout has no boring white spaces. There's interviews with Wasted Time Double Negative and Night Birds. I like that there's more than just a page of reviews, I wish more zines dedicated 1/3 of their content to reviews. The writer also makes numerous references to how much they hate VA. I hear ya dude, try living in NJ.

Seven Inches to Freedom No. 9
SITF is a nice little half page zine from FL. The inside layout looks like it's been run through a photocopier from the 80's, but is very clean and easy to read. The content is similar to MRR in that there's a good amount of guest columns, interviews and reviews. I'm not really into any of the reviews or interviews, but some of the articles a real interesting. The how-to guide to creating a successful straight dge band, ot crust band was funny. The retrospective look at Sound Idea records was good as well. My old band wound up playing our last show there. Great store. Pretty cool zine overall, but probably wouldn't pick up another.

Litmus Test Issue 2
Picked this one up on a whim, I figured a straight edge zine may be cool. Not really into Bracewar or Let Down, so the interviews weren't of much interest and the reviews were very minimal and mainly focused on Richmond bands. The article on women in straight edge was kind of interesting, though I would have liked to see more quotes or interviews with actual women. Oddly, I found the political writings more interesting (which isn't a good thing). Clean computer looking layout, but not really anything special. Did the thanks list really require the whole back cover?

Punks! Punks! Punks! Volume 3
This zine reads like it was written for the high school newspaper. The layout is an ugly computerized look, but trying (and failing) to look cut and paste. Did you really ask one of the Casualties about what's punk or not? Did you really reference Have Heart in the Ian Mackaye interview? The best part is when the singer of Reckless Aggression tells him these are the worst questions he's ever read. This reads like the B9 board or the Youth Attack jerkbooth. .

Chunks Issues 2+3
Town of Hardcore was arguably the best zine of the 00's, but Chunks just became my top contender to carry their torch. I picked up issues 2 and 3 recently, and loved them. There's well written interviews with good questions, short and to the point reviews (I don't need 3 paragraphs on a 7 minute record) and packed with photos and a cut and paste layout. The interviews are probably the best part, since they read like someone who knows the bands personally and genuinely gets them. They stray far from the typical "who's in the band," "tell us about your touring plans" type boring questions. These 2 issues have interviews with Waste Management, Reckless Aggression, Rival Mob and Omegas- you you know they're good. Both zines are kind of thin, but are packed with nothing but quality material. Not for the weak, hardcore zine for the hardcore.

Counterfeit Garbage #5
Another great issue of this zine, a little thinner than the previous issue, but still high quality for sure. Good interviews with No Class and Devour, as well as reviews and rants. The highlight for me is Matt's review of a terrible show he went to in China, where he talks about hating white people numerous times. Great zine, probably the best in the states.

Social Hardcore Issue 2
This one's interesting, an Australian zine, but written based on a trip to the good ol' USA. It's kinda cool to see a foreign take on the bands we maybe take for granted. There's a focus on the NYC and Boston bands. The zine is only 8 pages (2 pages folded,) and the inside is all photos. Not the best photos, but cool bands for sure. Pretty cool despite its size. Would pick up again.