Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Blast 'Em All for Weapon of Choice art show

Weapon of Choice is an art show focusing on various weapons used in movies. Having just gotten a huge tattoo of Han Solo's blaster, combined with being on a Metallica kick lately, I decided to pay tribute to 2 cool things from my childhood. The basic design is a tribute to Metallica's Kill 'Em All record cover, with the hammer swapped for Han's blaster, and the blood based on Greedo's silhouette. This was painted on an actual LP cover with spray paint, with the aid of stencils and painter's tape. I did a little blood splatter effect on the frame as well, for some added cool factor.
Hero Complex Gallery
Opening Reception:  Friday, January 11th, 7-11pm
Saturday Hours - 11am-7pm
Hosted by: Design Matters 
11527 Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Best of 2012

2012 was a weird year personally, though much better than 2011 for sure. This is the longest I've gone without being in a band, and I can't say I miss it terribly. My label released what I think were 3 totally killer tapes, and some big things planned for 2013. I got to go on tour with Sectarian Violence for 2 weeks in the summer. I also helped with opening a cool new punk venue in NJ with some friends, keep an eye out for more Warehouse Motor Club shows in 2013. It's also the first full year that I've had the same full time job in almost 5 years, which meant I could finally move out of my parents house. Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21, I'll be going on a weekend tour with Coke Bust and Sick Fix (the more things change, the more they stay the same). There were a lot of good releases there, and as you can see from the "honorable mentions" section, it was a hard choice.

*I have another reviews post that I'm working on currently, but I figured I would post this first. Some of the releases mentioned have no been reviewed yet, stick tight...*

Best 7"s of 2012:
1. No Tolerance- No Remorse, No Tolerance
2. Violent Reaction- s/t
3. Altered Boys- s/t
4. Hounds of Hate- No Redemption
5. Culo/ Tenement
It was a no brainer last year that No Tolerance's EP would be a scorcher, glad I got to see them a few times this year. Violent Reaction's demo was great, and this 7" was even better. Altered Boys continues being my favorite NJ band, even thought there is virtually no competition. Hounds of Hate won me over live, and I listen to this record a lot. The Culo/ Tenement split got here because it seemed like such a weird idea, but both bands really shine on here.

Best LPs of 2012:
1. Boston Strangler- Primative
2. Stripmines- Crimes of Dispassion
3. Shipwrecked- The Last Pagans
4. Birth Deformities- Suburbanized
5. Prisoner Abuse- s/t
Another no brainer, the Boston Strangler LP is amazing, got to see them a few times this year, and the new song they played is killer. Hope I don't have to wait 3 years for a new record. Stripmines I was also fortunate enough to see a few times before they broke up. This LP is a monster. Shipwrecked returned from relative obscurity with basically 2 LPs worth of songs on 1 LP. Brth Deformities released a 10", not a 12", sue me. Either way, it's a great mix of demo and new stuff with crazy cover art. The Prisoner Abuse LP came from nowhere, but with some familiar faces, and is right up there with the Boston Strangler stuff. Hopefully they play some more shows this year.

Best demos of 2012:
1. Oblivionation
2. Violent Future
3. Violent Outburst
4. The Flex
5. The Nukes
Ok, so I released the Oblivionation demo, but god damn, even if I didn't, it's seriously great. Violent Future's demo was so good that it got re-pressed as a 7". Great simple dumb oi influenced HC punk. Violent Outburst has members of Wasted Time, Socialcide, Mad World, Stripmines and a few more, and totally smokes. I also released the Flex demo, but again, it's real good. Great balance of mid paced and fast HARDcore from the UK. The Nukes did a demo I loved, and seemed like nobody is talking about. Hope they get the respect they deserve in 2013.

Best zines of 2012:
1. Chunks
2. Rumpshaker
3. Counterfeit Garbage
4. Pains
5. Excitement Level Zero
Chunks, for being short, and stubbornly opinionated really gets it. Short and sweet, but unfortunately I heard they're not doing any more after the next issue. That Rumpshaker zine was more like a book, crazy. The Mike Judge interviews are worth it alone. Very professional. Despite calling my old band "pop-punk," I still get every issue of Counterfeit Garbage. Pains was one I never got before, but put out a solid issue this year, hoping for more. Excitement Level Zero has a great cynical view, but yet highlights good bands. I feel like this guys calls out the shitty parts of the scene, and I like that.

Honorable Mentions:
Green Beret LP, Brain Killer 3rd 7", Power Trip 7", Outlast 7", Mindset LP, Sick Fix LP, Coke Bust/ Vaccine split 7",  Sectarian Violence 7" & demo, Sickoids LP, School Jerks LP, No Class LP II, Peacebreakers demo

Best Reissues:
Failure Face discography: Probably one of the best, and most overlooked band of the 90's power violence sound. Right up there with Infest and Dropdead for sure. This has been my "in a bad mood" soundtrack for years. There's a Youtube video of their reunion in Miami, and it's killer.
Agnostic Front- Live @ CBGBs: First of all, B9 did a limited version with red/white/blue vinyl. Already it wins, but between the set list and between song banter, it's a classic. No better HC live album I'd say. All that plus some sweet embossing on the cover really take it up a notch.
Discharge singles: Havoc reissued 5 crucial Discharge 7"s, all with exact re-created cover art. You need them all, but a collection LP is coming supposedly. I wish there was a special box set or something. but whatever.
Adrenalin O.D.- Let's Barbecue: Classic NJ hardcore gets a great reissue with some thick purple vinyl and slightly altered cover art. This is easily my favorite release by them
ManLiftingBanner- The Revolution Continues: Discography and 1 side of new material from what I consider the best Euro edge band. Definitely way faster than the average band in the 90's for sure. The new stuff is killer too.

Anticipated Releases for 2013:
Sectarian Violence LP, The Rival Mob LP, Hounds of Hate LP, Violent Reaction LP, Oblivionation 12" EP, The Flex 7", Altered Boys 2nd 7", Violent Future  7", Negative Degree 7", Culo LP

Sunday, September 30, 2012


OBLIVIONATION is a new band from Massachusetts, with ex-members of Out Cold (among many others). Fans of Out Cold will definitely not be disappointed, as this carries the tradition of no frills straight forward angry hardcore.

Limited to 200 copies with re-designed cover art on pro duplicated white cassettes, with printed sticker labels. (3 songs)
Stream / download the whole damn thing here: http://oblivionation.bandcamp.com
Buy it here: http://bleedingedges.bigcartel.com

Friday, September 28, 2012

Green Lantern cover for Comix Gone Rogue

Last year I did a cover for the first series of the COMIX GONE ROGUE project, so I was stoked to do one for the 2nd. Having never read a single Green Lantern comic, and growing up with a militant Marvel > DC standpoint, I went into this with an open mind. I had remembered seeing a squirrel looking Green Lantern somewhere at a comic con, so I thought it'd be funny to put him in a more prominent role. With DC revamping their universe with the New 52 gimmick, I figured why not give Ch'p a cover spread.
I sprayed 6 layers with spray paint, then drew in the detail with a paint marker. While painting, I covered the top text with some painters tape. I think it gives it a cut and paste look. A few imperfections aside, it was a real fun piece to do. I'm sure series 2 of CGR will be just as awesome as series 1.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Simpsons tribute Grody Shoguns

Lulubell Toy Bodega is having a Grody Shogun show at their retail store called
Mighty Morphin' Grody Mash-up Show. In anticipation of this, they offered blank Grodys for pre-order. If you follow my art, you are not surprised to learn that I jumped on the clear vinyl. I decided to go for a Simpsons tribute, since Escorced Man's head reminds me of Homer. I went with Karakuri as Bart. The overall sloppiness of the Grody Shoguns gave me a little bit of leeway to not be as crisp with my colors. I did almost all of the painting on the inside, except for the spray on Homer's feet and the detail for the eyes and hair. I named them "Home Boy and Brat," and you can see them at the opening on Friday, and hopefully online after that.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

[BE-05] The Flex- The Demo

The Flex is a new band from the UK, with members of Perspex Flesh and Closure. Musically, they remind me a lot of Think I Care, but with a heavy Boston influence (SSD/ DYS/ Xclaim!).  Plain, mean, dirty hardcore for the hardcore!

Limited to 100 copies with re-designed cover art on pro duplicated red cassettes, with printed sticker labels. (5 songs)
Stream / download the whole damn thing here: http://theflex.bandcamp.com
Buy it here: http://bleedingedges.bigcartel.com

Also available from: Sorry State Records, Grave Mistake Records, Hardware Records 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Record Reviews: Summer 2012

So I had a busy summer, hence no early/late summer posts, and just a general summer post. I went on tour with Sectarian Violence for 2 weeks, went to This is Hardcore, moved into a new apartment, and released 2 tapes on my label (more info on the second one real soon). I also went to the beach zero times, due to new tattoos. There's some real bangers in this chunk, as well as some real stinkers. I'm not one to pull any punches, but I feel like I was less tolerant of crap this time around. Deal with it, or don't release bad records. 


Impalers- s/t [demo] (No Way Records / Beach Impediment)
Impalers is a side project of some Mammoth Grinder dudes. I'm not really a fan of MG, but this is some raging d-beat. Some might say Motorcharge (Motorhead / Discharge), and they'd be right. This was originally their demo I believe, but there's no mention of that I found on the record. This is cool, but not blowing me away.

the Ropes- s/t (Youth Attack Records)
If you read my blog, you know how I feel about Youth Attack and their associated artists. However, I put that aside, because unless you've been under a rock for the past year, the Repos reunited under the name The Ropes. And in case you're deaf, the Repos were one of the best bands playing in the mid-2000's (this is not an opinion, it is a fact). So I had downloaded a few Ropes demos online and was less than blown away, sounded like the Repos on the wrong RPM. This 7"was originally self released I guess, and YA decided to re-release it with their usual extravagant cover art. Musically, they're almost at Repos speed, though not quite there. The layout is just plain stupid. No band name on the front, lyric booklet that's hard to read, the cover folds weird, and looks stupid. Am I the only one who thinks paying $8+ for a 7" is stupid? Fuck this label. Ropes, keep trying...

Pukeoid- s/t (Not Normal Records)
Pukeoid is a band from the Indiana/Chicago area I think. Musically I would say they fit with bands like Raw Nerve and Culo (having members of both bands share art duties on the cover) from that area. Musically, I'd say it's also akin to No Class or the Ropes (not the  Repos). So I mean if you follow the mid-west USA scene, all of those comparisons are compliments. This is cool, and the record is pink. Is it too predictable to have pictures of people puking on the cover, or if it wasn't there, would you be disappointed? I can't decide.

Backslider- Maladapted (To Live A Lie Records)
Backslider are back with another 7" before they headed off to Europe for a few weeks earlier this summer. BS has really evolved as a band, which honestly I kinda wrote off for only having 2 people. The song writing on here has gotten more technical and diverse. There's some parts that have late 90's style metalcore leads, and some slower Black Sabbath style riffage, all while packaged in the short fast and loud format. This is real good, if you're into pv/grind, you need to get this for sure!

Hounds of Hate- No Redemption (Katorga Works)
Hounds of Hate are a new straight edge band from outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Musically, they seem to be a bit slow paced from what you'd usually associate with a straight edge band. Soundimg more like the slower Cro-Mags songs, and with a definite late 80's NYHC slant.  At first, I wasn't too into it, then seeing them live on tour, I was sold. There's some real hard mosh parts here, without cheating some metal riffs and double bass pedal. I'm way into this. Apparently they're working on an LP now, which I hope will also rule.

On Parade- s/t (Desensitized Records)
This sXe band from CA flew under the radar, and I can't figure out why. Generally if a band is named after a Straight Ahead song, I will give them a shot. Glad I did in this case, because this rules. This sounds a lot like Nightstick Justice, real raw blown out recording, but fast no frills HC. I guess in the world of straight edge, you need to be on a cool label and get hype, but this blows anything that's currently on any hype label out of the water (I won't name names, but you know). Cover art isn't really selling it, but try to find this.

Male Nurses- Wanna Play Doctor b/w GI Jock (Cowabunga Records)
This is the first release on Cowabunga Records' "Sick Club," which is a singles club like the old Sub Pop Records club. These 2 songs were supposed to be on a 7" on No Way that never got released, and the rest of the record got scrapped. I was a bit skeptical, since it had been like 2 years since their last record, but the song writing is on point on here. Some real complex structures (while still being a punk band). Reminds me a lot of D.I., and it seems like the surfy guitar tone is mostly gone or buried. Wish there were more songs...

Slugz- Empty Space (Cowabunga Records)
Slugz is a band from Richmond, VA. I know they have a few 7"s, but this is the first I've gotten by them. You get 3 tracks of songs that show an influence ranging from garage punk to early 80's CA punk. Reminds me of that band, the Blinds from Germany (anyone remember them?). This is pretty cool, and I think there's a member or Dry Spell in this, which would make sense.

Brain Killer- s/t #3 (Framework Records / Vinyl Rites Records)
Brain Killer's 3rd and possibly last 7" is a killer. Not straying too far from their usual raw punk influenced by Japanese HC sound. The recording is dirty as hell, but still listenable. It sounds like there's just a track of just feedback. I ran into the singer on tour and asked, and he said there were like 3 tracks of just feedback. Well, there you have it kids, that's why your band sucks and Brain Killer rules... more feedback tracks. I really hope this isn't their last record, because this is great.

Love Potion- Intimacy (RSR Records)
First of all I want to throw out a policy that if your band names a song "Ejaculate With Hate," I will buy your record. Love Potion's 2nd and final 7" only has 3 songs, but all are killer.  Riff heavy Japanese influenced HC, reminds me a lot of World Burns to Death/ Severed Head of States when both bands were at their respective peaks. Great record.

Power Trip- s/t (Lockin Out Records)
While I generally run hot and cold on the Lockin Out hype, this band really stands out. As opposed to the usual LOC sound, these guys have a more crossover metal vibe (there's even a Prong cover). This style is often tried, and 9 times out of 10 fails. This however is worth your time if, like me, you grew up on that style of metal. I hear their next record is on Southern lord, which makes a lot of sense. Definitely check this out.

Beware- Won't Get The Best Of Me (Back To Back Records)
Beware had a promising 4 song demo (3 of those songs were re-recorded on this), so I was stoked to see what they did on the 7". Musically they remind me a lot of the tail end of the youth crew bands, like Mouthpiece and Chain of Strength. The vocals are very COS sounding in particular. The recording is a definite step up from their demo, but I noticed something really odd... All of the songs have the same theme, of someone breaking edge/ dropping out of the scene/ losing that person as a friend. I mean that's some common territory in HC, but seems real weird that every song is about that. Despite that, this is probably the best of the Back To back bands, and the best HC band from Philly in a long time. Expect big things...

Tremors- Island Songs  (Six Feet Under Records)
When I was in Europe in 2010 w/ Coke Bust, we played with these guys in the UK, and they were great. Real raw fast hardcore punk, with some modern touches. Their demo was real cool. The new record seems to definitely go a more modern HC route, reminding me of the early stuff of Bracewar or Ceremony. The cover art is also really bad, and boring. Bummer.

Divine Right- Pray For Me (Residue Records)
Picked this up with the Sickoids LP, not really knowing what to expect. The description said Negative Approach, but I guess maybe there's another band called Negative Approach. This sounds more in line with slow heavy bands like Slices. Not my thing, probably would appeal to the Youth Attack crowd though.

Desolation- Rest In Panic (Prank Records)
I got this from Prank while ordering the Forward LPs. What I was expecting was some raging Japanese influenced HC/ punk. What I got was a boring 3rd rate version of Tragedy. Pass.

Outlast- s/t (Harvcore Records)
Outlast, the only straight edge band in NJ, return for their 3rd release, and by far their best. They play fast/ hard youth crew influenced HC, that will disappoint fans of Floorpunch. The recording quality is a little more raw than their past efforts (which I thought were a bit too clean). Everything about this record though is a huge step up from their previous record, and I think the addition of a second guitar really fills out the sound well. I know everyone's real hyped to check out that new Mindset LP, but this will tide you over in the mean time. STRAIGHT EDGE!

Mikey Erg!- Fucifer (Bloated Kat Records)
Mikey Erg had been doing his solo stuff since the Ergs split. I was a fan of the Ergs, so it was cool to see Mikey play those songs solo live. He also did new songs. I picked up this red flexi square at the show, and was surprised at what I got. Mikey plays all the instruments, but it's all fast hardcore/ punk songs. Think more like the Ergs' "Thrash Compacter" 7"s stuff. This stuff is real good, definitely not what I was expecting, and probably more my style than the rest of his solo stuff. Very cool.

Weekend Nachos/ Lack of Interest (Deep Six Records)
When Weekend Nachos play fast, they're killer. When they play slow, I'm not as interested. Luckily they decided to throw 5 fast songs on here, and they're all great. Lack of Interest has been around for forever, and recently started releasing new material. Granted it's not as solid as their classic "Trapped Inside" LP, but it's still real good. It seems liek they have 2 singers now, and both switch off on songs, which is kinda weird. The cover art looks weird too, like a magnet your mom would have in her office. WN take the cake on here, but great overall.

the Afternoon Gentlemen/ Cyborg (RSR Records)
Cyborg's demo was real cool, but this was my first exposure to The Afternoon Gentlemen. TAG are more on the grid side of power violence, and have the kinda screeched vocals, metal tone guitar and super fast drums. Not really my cup of tea. Cyborg boast half of Weekend Nachos, but is more along the lines of WN's earlier material. It's power violence with goofy lyrics. While really good, doesn't really stack up to WN. The cover art on this record is really sick, and has a obi strip for the band names, but the cover itself is this amazing wrap around painting.

Extortion/ Completed Exposition (RSR Records)
Man, I love Extortion, but what happened? I mean the band had like 9000 records, but this is definitely their worst material. What is with the dancy intro? The drums and guitars just sound off, like someone wanted to play faster, but couldn't. Completed Exposition I know nothing about, but they have 2 bass players and no guitar (which actually isn't that terrible). You can skip this record though.


Birth Deformities- Suburbanized MLP (Cowabunga Records)
So this is a 10", but it's basically like an LP,  sue me. After what I thought was the best demo of 2011, Birth Deformities step it up on their first vinyl output. There's about half new, half demo songs here. The recording quality is a lot more raw, and faster. The guitar unfortunately doesn't have that same tone as the demo (which I loved). This thing is great, I really love this band (probably more than Culo even). The cover art is obviously ridiculous, as you can see above.

Sickoids- s/t (Residue Records)
Sickoids is a newish band based out of Philly, with members of Witch Hunt and Government Warning/ Direct Control. Musically leaning more towards Witch Hunt, but with a heavy Crucifix influence. They're musically more interesting and complex than your average "crust" or "raw punk" band, though definitely fit within the context of those bands. This is one of the best LPs this year, and anyone who saw them live on their US tour will agree. Unfortunately they just played their last show for a long time (if ever), since all of the members are leaving Philly for various parts of the country.

Failure Face- Discography 1993-1996 (Give Praise Records)
Failure Face may be my favorite 90's hardcore band. If they were based out of California, they would probably have been grouped in with the power violence legends.  They existed at the same time as Infest, and definitely channeled the same influences. The music is fast and heavy. The intro to "Life" starts the LP, and is harder than any NYHC band's intro. The lyrics are hateful, negative and self loathing. The perfect soundtrack for having a bad day. This reissue compiles all of their recorded output, previously released as "Complete Failure" with a live set. There's an extensive booklet with a history of the band, photos and lyrics.  This LP is perfect, and a great way to keep this band on people's radar. Also, they just did a few reunion shows to celebrate this, and the videos I saw were killer. "Fuck You, I Came To See Failure Face!"

School Jerks- s/t (Grave Mistake Records)
If you're not familiar with School Jerks already, I feel bad for you. They've got 3 other vinyl releases and a few tapes. I was really looking forward tot his LP, since the 7"s always left me wanting more, and was not let down at all. SJ really cracked the early Black Flag sound, and pull it off better than a lot of pathetic imitators. There's also a hit of Necros in there too. The vocals have the snotty, raspy slurred quality to them, and luckily they've omitted the lyrics again, so I have no idea what the songs are about. Awesome cover art, awesome colored vinyl choice. All around awesome LP. If you think that shitty band OFF! is good, buy this and see what real hardcore/ punk not played by old assholes sounds like.

Trauma- s/t (Feral Ward Records)
Trauma is a side project band of 2 of the Tragedy guys. Granted I could care less about Tragedy in 2012, but generally speaking, they tend to crank out some cool side projects. I had heard it was short and fast songs, so it piqued my interests. This falls somewhere between Deathreat and Warcry, and reminds me a lot of that band Repercussions from a few years back.  I remember hearing either demos or these tracks a long time ago on a Myspace page, and basically forgot about them until this LP that just came out, so I'm not sure when this was recorded. It's real good though, I'm into it, some raging d-beat for our ear holes.

Kuro- 1983-1985
Kuro was a band from Japan in the 80's. Musically along the lines of GISM, mixing metal with punk, but in a manic way that only the Japanese can pull off. This is a bootleg, but a very well made bootleg The insert has a full history of the band, and a list of the other bootlegs. You'll never find an original version of their records, and a legit reissue probably won't ever happen. If you like Japanese HC at all, you need to check this out because it's really well done and rules.

No Class- Keine Klasse II (Deranged Records)
Keine Klasse I was awesome, so obviously I picked up #II. Unfortunately the same thing I thought about the first, in that the music rules, but the cover art is terrible. This time looking likes some Dio era Sabbath record. Gatefold cover, with full colored church windows, also the lyrics are in a display font and hard to read. All that aside, the music does indeed rule. They re-recorded the 2 songs from the demo that weren't re-recorded for the first LP here as well. "Burning Bridges" particularly sounds great here. This actually sounds closer to sounding like the Repos than the Repos can even pull off. Easily a top 5 of 2012 contender.

Hard Skin- We're The Fucking George: Singles 1978-1981
 Not familiar with Hard Skin yet? Get your head out of your arse, you cunt! Here's a great introduction to the band, with some real anthems on it that were later re-recorded on their LPs. "We Are the Wankers" and "Make My Tea" are pretty much live staples. To call Hard Skin a joke band doesn't give them enough credit. They also happen to be one of the best oi bands in a long time, in a scene bogged down with shitty bar rock. They were easily one of my favorite sets at This is Hardcore, especially because the crowd was not into them, and they made fun of them. Just buy all of their records, really.

Agnostic Front- Live at CBGB's (Bridge 9 Records)
Bridge 9 has been getting some killer reissues under their belt, while at the same time releasing some terrible new records by these old bands. This probably goes down as the HC best live record. Between the songs and live banter, it's perfect. You get a good mix of the first 3 (4?) records here, though heavily featuring the Victim In Pain LP (best HC LP? I think so!) in the set list. Bridge 9 had the foresight to make the perfect vinyl color for this, red/white and blue split vinyl. PERFECT! The B9 version also has embossed letters, which makes the whole package real cool. If you don't have it already, here's your chance!

The Guns- s/t (Smog Veil Records)
The Guns were an early 80's Cleveland punk band. This double LP collects all of their recorded output; which spans unreleased songs, comps, demo, live and practice tracks. I probably would have been ok with the first LP, as the 2nd is mostly practice/live and not as interesting, but useful for completeists I guess. This band would be a major influence on a lot of the Cleveland hc/ punk scene, particularly the Non-Commercial Records scene. Apparently these guys were like 15 when they started, and it has that raw 80's youthful rage. It's definitely a cool collection worthy of a reissue, with a killer Vince Rancid cover illustration.

Forward- Just Go Forward to Death (Prank Records)
Forward- What's The Meaning of Love? : Singles Collection (Prank Records)
As the title would suggest, this is a collection of Forward's EPs on one convenient LP.Those 7"s are close to impossible to find, as they were all released by Japanese labels, some over 10 years ago by now. Forward is a band that i hold sort of dear to my heart. They were the first Japanese HC band I ever was able to catch live, and really blew me away. While they weren't my introduction to Japanese HC, they definitely strengthened my love and respect for the scene. The cool thing about this collection is that it spans the band's discography, not just all early material. You get a nice mix here, and some early versions of songs that would later appear on LPs.
If I was forced to pick a favorite Forward LP, this may be it (or at least in the top 3). Fast raging straight forward Burning Spirits style HC from members of Death Side. While the flirt with some weird elements like harmonica and female backup vocals, they stay truer to the BS style than their peers in Paintbox. Also "What's The Meaning of Love?" on this version is superior to the previously mentioned collection. I think this is the first time this was issued on vinyl, since I think the original was just a CD release.

The Rival Mob- "Mob Justice" promotional mix tape (tape)
The Mob continues to rule all on this new tape of songs that will be on their upcoming LP on Revelation Records (I think we were all shocked to hear that). Unfortunately the tape I have is different from the rip that was online, so it doesn't have the intro and "Boot Party," 2 crucial jams for sure. The other songs are killer, you even get a cover (Blitz) and goofy track (Phil Anselmo gibberish) much like the HC4HC mixtape. These were supposed to be #'d out of 500, but mine was not.

Negative Degree  (tape)
From the unlikely location of Denver, CO; Negative Degree unleashes a killer demo here. This would have fit in perfectly in the mid-2000's at a No Way Fest, when a lot more bands were playing the stripped down early 80's style. The guitar tone is clean, but dirty, similar to the Shipwrecked LP. Musically, I see a real early Articles of Faith/ pre-Revolution Summer DC scene influence. This demo is great, and just got re-pressed as a 7" in Europe in case you can't find the tape version.

Violent Outburst (Tension Head Records) (pro-tape)
Violent Outburst is a new band from VA with members of Wasted Time/ Socialcide and Mad World. More or less what you'd expect from a band with those members, to be raw, fast and raging. I get a real early Discharge vibe, but this is no d-beat clone, think more like Manipulation. This rules, I must have listened to this like 5 times in a row. I like the recent crop of band with "violent" in their name, it fits the negativity of modern times. 10 people got shot a block away from where I work last week.

War X Games (tape)
W X G is a new band from Baltimore with members of Deep Sleep and Mindset. The music is thick, fast and heavy; sort of like Haymaker. The vocals (same as Deep Sleep) however, are more punk sounding. I could see these guys and Sick Fix fitting on the same show really well, since they have a similar heavy approach to straight edge. My only gripe is that the solos/leads really sound overdubbed (which they obviously were). Otherwise, it's a really good demo, and I'm sure you'll be hearing more from them.

ACxDC- The Second Coming (tape)
This band has been generating some buzz in the power violence scene, so I wanted to check them out, but all I could find was this tape of their 2nd 7". I believe the band broke up, and got back together, with this being their return record. Musically it's pretty standard fastcore, but lyrically it's unfortunately also standard fastcore dopey lyrics. I don't get why this genre of music puts no effort into their lyrics and instead makes jokes and quotes movies. You play angry music, you probably have something to be angry about. This sucks.

Barge- Lose  (tape)
Barge is a new band from Richmond, VA. They remind me a lot of the 2nd Mind Eraser LP, in that they play some thick and heavy hardcore. This is real cool, recommended for people who are into slower riff heavy hardcore. I'm into it.

Lung Matter- First Demo (tape)
I caught Lung Matter on tour while in Raleigh, and they absolutely destroyed. They had a slightly different lineup on this tape (now having 2 members of Stripmines), but it's still good. My copy was copied poorly, which is kind a bummer. They just recorded a 7", which if their live set is any indication, will be killer. This tape doesn't do that justice.

Rumpshaker #6
To call this a zine doesn't do this justice, it's more like a DIY magazine. The layout is very clean, and has a very well made perfect bound spine. Rumpshaker is a zine I remember from my early punk days in the late 90's/ early 2000's, and it's good to see it back. The main reason you should buy this is for the Mike Judge interviews. Rarely do you see any interviews with him, let alone ones that will go this in depth. It's real nice to see him not bitter, just basically a calmed down old man who has no interest in rehashing the past (unlike 99% of the NYHC scene of the late 80's). There's also some great articles and interviews. Even if you're not into the bands, the interviews are very personal and are interesting. The article against dudes in sandals I 100% support as well. Great zine, definitely pick up a copy, because #7 may be another 10 years away.

Chunks #6
Chunks is my current favorite. I love their no-nonsense approach and I have a similar taste to them in terms of bands. This may be their best issue: Shipwrecked, No Tolerance and Boston Strangler interviews.  All real good, always asking the tough questions. Calling out DFJ for that Violent Minds LP sounding like shit. Asking Ben from BS about hanging out in dance clubs. You don't this hard hitting journalism anywhere else damnit. Short and sweet interviews, all in like 6 pages. Can't recommend it any higher.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On The Attack for Sailor Jerry tribute art show

"On The Attack" spray paint on 8x10 canvas board
When I was invited to participate in another Sailor Jerry tribute art show, I jumped at the opportunity. The one in 2010 that I helped with was one of my favorite art shows. Tattoo style being the theme, I went with simplified stencils (based on an original drawing), which I added shading to, and then outlined. It's fun to step outside of my usual style, I like doing things like this. I even did a blood splatter on the frame with a paint marker.

 Babes Booze and Tattoos: A Tribute to Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins art show sponsored be Sailor Jerry Rum
Saturday July 28th 6pm-10pm
@ Jinxed in Philadelphia

The long anticipated 2nd installation of the Sailor Jerry art tribute show is upon us! Come down to Jinxed Saturday, July 28th to see 40+ local artists work inspired by the man himself, Sailor Jerry!
This show is sponsored by Sailor Jerry Rum and there will be free rum drinks in his honor!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Brunswick HC show - 7/31

So I've been involved in various shows over the years, but this is the first I've really set up (with the help of my buddy Devin) in a long time. Hopefully the turnout is good, because Stripmines is one of my favorite current bands (and all around great dudes).

Altered Boys http://

Stripmines http://

Raw Nerves http://

3jane http://3jane.bandcamp.com/

Nation On Fire http://

@ The Alamo- New Brunswick, NJ / $6 / 7pm

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

[BE-04] Sectarian Violence- Conflict of Interest demo 2012

Sectarian Violence recorded these 5 songs for their European tour, which pick up right where their 7" on Grave Mistake left off. Raw fast politically conscious hardcore with members of Coke Bust (US), Never Again (UK), Stay Hungry (SWE) and others. International straight edge hardcore for fans of Violent Minds. I'm stoked to release this demo in the US in time for their 2 week June tour. 2 of these songs will also appear on the Punx Don't Drink vol. 2 compilation 7" on Third Party Records, and all of them will be re-recorded for a 12" on Grave Mistake.

Limited to 150 copies with re-designed cover art on pro duplicated cassettes, with printed sticker labels. (5 songs)
Preview the first track here:  
*Available NOW!*

ALSO AVAILABLE FROM: Grave Mistake, To Live A Lie, Cowabunga, Sorry State, Not Normal, Armageddon Shop (Boston)


These two bands will be joining forces to rage in basements and clog toilets across the North east quadrant of the country. Poison Planet is a vegan straight edge hardcore punk band from Chicago, IL. Sectarian Violence is a straight edge hardcore punk band with members who live in Sweden, England, and America'. Check back to this page for real-time tour updates!


**Just Sectarian Violence**

Monday June 4th - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter **EARLY SHOW @ 7 - 9PM w/ BARGE + DEVILS HAND ($$ = DONATIONS)


Tuesday, June 5th - Raleigh, NC @ The Union w/ No Tomorrow, Pure Scum

Wednesday, June 6th - Pittsburgh, PA @ Roboto w/ Constrict, Rabid Pigs, Killer of Sheep

Thursday, June 7th - Columbus, OH @ Legion of Doom w/ Axebomber, and Fumes


**Poison Planet and Sectarian Violence**

Friday, June 8th - Indianapolis, IN @ 4442 Primrose w/ Gas Chamber, Side FX, Chaotic Neutral

Saturday, June 9th - Highland, (NW) IN @ 3142 Franklin St. w/ Headlok, ABC Gum, Public Assault

Sunday, June 10th - Detroit, MI @ The Halfway House w/ Scum, Public Sex

Monday, June 11th - Cleveland, OH @ The Tower w/ Hounds of Hate, Mad Minds

Tuesday, June 12th - Easthampton, MA @ Flywheel w/ Vaccine, In My Grip

Wednesday, June 13th - Allston, MA @ The Burrow w/ Curmudgeon

Thursday, June 14th - New York City @ Acheron w/ Love Below, Pharaoh 

Friday, June 15th - Baltimore, MD @ CCAS w/ Sick Fix (record release)


Saturday, June 16th - Washington, DC @ Ras Hall w/ DOC, Misled Youth, Shaved Women, Caust http://www.facebook.com/

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Record Reviews (spring 2012)

I've been insanely busy lately, as you can see by the amount of art that was posted lately. Not too busy to buy records, but too busy to write about them. Here you get probably my longest post yet. If some reviews are short, I apologize. First reviews post of the year, and we already have some top contenders for the Best of 2012 list. Hardcore rules, it's starting to get warmer, get stoked.


No Tolerance- No Remorse, No Tolerance (Youngblood Records)
Here we go! After what seemed like 3 years since the demo, this record finally comes out. I will admit that I had ridiculously high hopes for this, luckily this thing is no slouch, and totally lived up to them. No Tolerance grabs from the slightly more obscure late 80's straight edge hardcore bands like Brotherhood and Confront, which sets them apart from the average youth crew rehash band. Compared to the demo, these songs sound more full and the vocals more harsh. Fast riffs, good breakdowns, even some guest vocals by the Waste Management dude on here. Fucking killer 7", the bar is officially raised for 2012. Includes a digital download.

Omegas- NY Terminator (Painkiller Records)
Omegas are definitely one of the better bands today, and I loved their LP last year. This record I feel doesn't have any stand outs; "Nazi Rules" is probably the best though. Unfortunately I don't think they'll ever wright a song better than "Gimme Oblivion." I think this record falls flat, bummer. I do think it's cool that it doesn't say the band name anywhere on the record at all.

Peace- s/t (React! Records)
First of all... why the fuck did it take 6 months to get this record? Second, this is literally the worst cover art I've ever seen. It looks like a relaxation CD you'd get at Walmart (and I should know because I designed covers for relaxation CDs that were sold at Walmart). The band has members of Mindset, The First Step and Champion. Before hearing this, I was expecting something like Praise and Sacred Love (based on the name). The record kicks off with the mid paced stomper, "Be Here Now," then kicks into "Let Go," which has a riff reminiscent of "Glue" by SSD. Overall the songs range from mid-paced to fast youth crew influenced HC, though some parts remind me of Inside Out. A pretty good debut release, though it seems to wind down and lose my interest by the end. Includes a digital download.

Sectarian Violence- s/t (Grave Mistake Records)
SV is a sort of odd side project band fronted by Nick (Coke Bust), with members from the UK and Sweden. Collaborations like this are very cool, and very indicative that the hardcore scene truly has no borders. Obviously there's a hint of Coke Bust in the vocals, however the lyrics deal with more political issues. Musically I get a very early Violent Minds, in that it's fast and raw in your face simple HC. The cover art also looks great, and punk (take note React Records). I like that this band wasn't a 1 shot project, and they've already done 2 tours in Europe, with a US one this summer. Go see them on tour in the US, and say hi to the handsome merch guy. Includes a digital download.

Bad Advice - Do Not Resuscitate (Grave Mistake Records)
Way back in 2007, I got the Bad Advice demo at the first No Way Fest. They played first and I missed them, then they were supposed to play the after party show and went MIA. The band featured members of the Ladies, Government Warning, Direct Control, Cloak Dagger and many others. Their demo reminded me of Battalion of Saints a little, but I don't get as much of a vibe of that. What you will get is some killed RVA hardcore punk, reminiscent of the boom of good bands from around 2006-2009ish. Glad this finally saw the light of day, too band the band will probably never play live again. Includes a digital download.

Krakdown- s/t (State of Mind Recordings)
Well, first things first who approved this artwork? Jesus Christ, it looks like something I drew in my notebook in middle school. This is KRAKDOWN, not some Casualties rip off band. If you want to make the cover different, just have the logo solid white on black, w/o the picture behind it. The back cover of the original press was great too, with the dude doing a wall ride. The insert isn't winning any prizes either. Anyway Krakdown, probably known best for their song on the NYHC: The Way It Is comp, had a 7" and I assume some demos. This re-press has the EP plus an unreleased song and "Ignorance" from the comp. I know the same label is planning a discography, so why tack on shit? Regardless, the 7" is killer NYHC, leaning more towards the WarZone and AF side than the youth crew bands of the time. A great record, but a poorly done re-press.

Sick Fuckin-O/ Torn Apart (Feast Of Tentacles Records)
Sick Fuckin-O was one of the best bands I saw in Europe, and I know their last 7" was recorded a while back. This one was recorded more recently, and has a little different sound. The sound is a lot more full and tight. Torn Apart I had never heard of, but they're damn good. This is a very well balanced split, and both bands have a similar vibe. Cover art was by the dude from Extortion, so obviously it's a killer.

Discharge- Decontrol / Fight Back / Never Again / Realities of War / State Violence State Control (Havoc Records)
Fucking Discharge man, one of those great mandatory bands. This band basically invented their own sub genre in punk, that's how good they were. These EPs had been out of print for a while, and rather than just release a "singles collection" LP, Havoc decided to re-press all 5 7"s at once with the original artwork. Even the labels look the same, but obviously say Havoc instead. I was lucky enough to get the package of all 5 on white, but was a little bummed there was no sort of box set, or obi strip binding them all together. Can't complain, because these are all amazing. I still say Decontrol is my favorite single, but they're all great. A singles collection LP is indeed coming, but just seriously buy them all before it's too late.

Adrenlin O.D.- Let's Barbecue (Psychic Volt Records)
Definitely a classic NJ punk record, which I don't think was ever reissued. Seriously every song on here is great. Musically they played early 80's style USHC, but added a goofy poppy element to it. They went on to influence bands like Stikky and NOFX. The reissue was also done extremely well. They changed the color on the cover to purple, with purple vinyl to match. The cover stock and vinyl are both nice and thick. Limited to only 500, and I would highly recommend this.

Front Line- Basic Training (Beach Impediment Records)
Front Line was a band from VA in the early 80's, and this is another one of those buried treasure type releases. Musically they're similar to fellow VAHC punkers, but more west coast punk. A mix of White Cross and Red Cross wouldn't be too ridiculous to say. This was all recorded in 1982, and largely unreleased until now. They did a great job with the reissue (unlike the Krakdown 7"), with a very simple 80's HC looking layout. Great job, and a great first release from beach impediment. Includes a digital download.

Brain Slug- Distort New York (Hardware Records)
I would probably be bold by saying that Brain Slug is currently the best band in NYC. They take musical cues from Citizens Arrest, YDI, Life's Blood; which is more my cup of tea than crusty art student bands. This record delivers 5 hardcore stompers, with thick guitars and evil distorted vocals (similar to the Japanese band, Kuro). As good as this is, I think their live performances blow this out of the water. Hopefully the next record will capture that, because I think they'd have a killer record on their hands. Includes a digital download.

Face Reality- s/t (Youngblood Records)
Face Reality has been kicking around for a few years, and only now does there seem to be a buzz around them. This 7" is pretty good youth crew styled HC, reminding me of fellow Youngblood alum, Desperate Measures. The vocals are real deep and remind me of early era Turning Point a lot, which is a very good thing. The music is lacking a little bit of grit, but I think that can be improved on the next record.  Includes a digital download.

Sick/Tired- s/t (Cowabunga Records)
This is a band I know nothing about, aside from them being from the suburbs of Chicago. I was expecting something more Weekend Nachos style power violence or grind, but it reminds me more of Haymaker. If these guys were on A389 Recordings, they'd fit right in. They play a pretty heavy style of hardcore, with more yelled than grunted vocals. I like this a lot; apparently they have an LP and another 7" available.

Culo/Tenement (Cowabunga Records)
Usually splits are kinda weird, in that it's usually 2 bands that sound similar, or play together often. Culo play fast dirty early 80's style hardcore punk, and Tenement play a sort of early 90's power pop. On paper this makes no sense, but I'll be damned if this isn't a killer split on both sides. Culo I'm more familiar with, and these 4 songs are just as good as their last killer 7", "Toxic Visions." Tenement I had seen recently on tour with Coke Bust and DOC, so I sort of knew what to expect. They definitely had some hardcore influence mixed in with a sort of quasi Replacements vibe. The 2 songs on here are ridiculously catchy, and makes me regret not buying their other records. This is definitely a split that warrants listening to both sides. Probably already sold out, but good luck tracking it down.

Stab- Nation Rising (Quality Control Records)
Stab is a band from the UK, who take a similar fast noisy approach as bands like Ripcord/ Heresey, or maybe Duress for a more modern reference. They also favor a more blown out recording, reminiscent of Discharge. I thought their demo was real good, and this EP does not let down. Very blown out recorded fast hardcore, hard to mess that up. The cover art is kind of boring, but the back cover typewriter layout is cool. This will be re-pressed on Painkiller in the US.

性交- s/t (Video Disease Records)
So this is a mysterious little record I took a shot on. I can't pronounce the band's name, but I Googled it and it means "intercourse," which is sort of cool. The back story I heard was it's a band from FL doing Japanese worship HC. There's no lyrics inside, which sucks because I was hoping for some broken English. Musically, it's not Burning Spirits styled, which is really the only Japanese shit I care about. It kinda reminds me of Double Negative actually. Not my thing.

Break Away- For Life (Mind Rot Records)
I think by looking at the cover you'll kinda assume what you're getting here, and you'd be right. Straight edge hardcore, with a heavy vibe along the lines of Judge and Floorpunch. Unfortunately being named after a Straight Ahead song, I don't get that fast NYHC sound. I would imagine this would appeal more to the Down To Nothing crowd than the Government Warning crowd in Richmond. The back cover layout is almost illegible, and the insert cut and paste look doesn't fit this.. According to the insert, they have 3 new members, so maybe the next record will sound different?

Hatewaves- Taste The Beast (A389 Recordings)
I caught these guys before Pulling Teeth (which this band has 2 members of) at This Is Hardcore, and really liked them. Maybe it's because a more grind influenced band stands out on a fest like that. The EP is really short, a 5 song 1 sided 7" with no songs going over 1 minute. I think my main problem with a lot of grindcore in general is that people think that since it's so fast, you can neglect writing good lyrics. And lot of the lyrics here seem to reference inside jokes, and I don't care about a song about Facebook. The songs are good though, musically obviously fast and short, though with a heavy guitar tone. Probably worth checking out if you're into the members' other projects. Includes a digital download.

Pick Your Side- Survival Prayer (A389 Recordings)
Well not putting the name of your band on the front or back cover of your release is a good way for people to not buy your record. If you were feeling bold, you'd find a new project from Haymaker/Left For Dead members. Musically it's heavy, but I feel a little more straight forward, and less metallic. It kind of reminds me of Bury The Living. A pretty mediocre Crucifucks cover (I know that song is cool, but I've heard like 4 other bands record a cover of this). If you're way into Haymaker/ LFD, you should obviously own this. To me this is pretty mediocre though. Includes a digital download.


Boston Strangler- Primative (Fun With Smack Records)
I'm sure you've heard the hype that it's the best LP in a long time. Luckily, you heard correctly. This LP absolutely destroys the demo, and that demo was fucking amazing. "Primative" kicks in with a long intro, like "Get It Away," and doesn't stop with the constant face pummeling. They obviously show their Boston hardcore influence, and with good reason, because those bands combined a tough sound but were still fast and punk. There are numerous songs on this record that you'll hear, and just say FUCK. They even throw in some straight edged themed songs, and reference their own band name in 3 different songs. "Make You Pay" also has some guest vocals by the Waste Management dude (this dude's becoming like the T-Pain of HC). I don't need to tell you, but this is probably the best record in recent years, and once it's re-pressed, everyone needs a copy. Also liberal use of the words "morons," "cretins" and "chumps."

Stripmines- Crimes of Dispassion (Sorry State Records)
I love Stripmines. Their demo and 7" were cool, but didn't come close to capturing their live sound. Luckily on the LP, they got it right and it's fucking awesome. Musically, they pull off an early 80's USHC meets classic Japanese HC sound. The vocals are powerful, the drumming is tight, the guitar wails and the bass is nice and thick. Bands like Deathreat and Talk Is Poison would be a similar mindset. The lyrics are very dystopian, and the gray dismal cover art fits perfectly. This may be my favorite Sorry State release, go see them on tour in July. Includes a digital download.

Man Lifting Banner- The Revolution Continues (Crucial Response Records)
Man Lifting Banner may be my favorite European straight edge band of all time. This double LP comprises their entire discography. However rather than throwing on a live set or demos to fill out all 4 sides, they recorded 7 brand new songs. A terrible idea in less capable hands, however MLB manage to crank out songs that are fast and politically relevant. Imagine if DYS still gave a shit about HC, maybe they would be this good. MLB has always been a political band, and in the current state of affairs where human right s are chipped away daily, these songs sound as urgent as they did 20 years ago. Bands who try to put politic in the forefront tend to overlook writing good music, but not them. I also liked their pro-Communist stance, which I feel is probably still controversial. If you're a fan of their later bands- Seein' Red, Mainstrike and a few more; you need to get this. The layout is full color with lots of Occupy Wall Street protester photos. Great discography, great new recordings. Includes a digital download.

Shipwrecked- The Last Pagans (Crucial Response Records)
Shipwrecked released a 7" back in 2005 that largely flew under the radar until recently. This LP should be receiving just as much, if not more hype than the Boston Strangler LP. This record is perfect, and you get 21 songs. The first song, "Fast Violent Noise" sets the pace for what you're in for here. The music doesn't rely on being fast or hyper distorted, it keeps things at the perfect balance. Shipwrecked knows how to write a catchy mean chorus. Taking musical cues from UK oi bands and the early 80's Boston HC bands. What you get is a mid paced forceful wrecking crew. Who cares that this record is an expensive import, it's fucking awesome. Includes a digital download.

ETÆ- All Possibilities Will Come from There (La Familia Releases)
I had never heard of ETÆ (nor do I have any clue how to pronounce their name), but the description I saw online sold it. They're a Japanese band, similar to Paintbox, in that they combine Burning Spirits style hardcore with more rock influences. However, ETÆ choose to mine 80's metal for their rock influence. There's some serious Iron Maiden riffage here, which is fucking awesome in my book. Looks like this LP is either a discography, or a collection of previous material. Either way it's awesome, glad I gave it a shot.

Plow United- Sleepwalk: A Retrospective (Paper + Plastick Records)
Way back in the mid-90's I got into the punk scene through pop-punk, especially local bands. I never did get to see Plow United back then, though I had a majority of their discography and always loved them. When it was announced they were playing Riot Fest last year, I was stoked, and even more stoked that a double LP was being released. Though I'm shocked that anyone outside of the PA/NJ area knows who this band is, I'm glad that now they will. Much like the Descendents or Grimple, Plow United knew how to craft an amazing love song as well as a goofy fun punk song. Interestingly enough this collection isn't a complete discography, but sort of an expanded greatest hits. They boiled their 3 LPs down to a side on an LP, and picked a bunch of songs from EPs to fill out the 4th side. Naturally there's some songs I feel were omitted, but this is the band picking and choosing their favorites. The layout is packed with photos, flyers and some writings from admirers. Unfortunately no lyrics, but the overall look is great (shout out to PW). In the unlikely event that they do tour, go see them, but I don't use a Descendents comparison lightly, so if you like late 90's pop-punk, give it a shot for your own good. Includes a digital download.

Heresey- 20 Reasons to End it All (Boss Tuneage Records)
I'm guilty of not celebrating Heresey's entire catalog, so all of these songs are new to me. This collection comprises their later records and some BBC sessions. In my American ignorance, I always imagine bands recording live at the BBC next door to like a Doctor Who episode being filmed. The playing is a lot tighter, and the recordings are a lot cleaner (in relative punk terminology) than their early records. I like this a lot, and Boss Tuneage did a great job with the gatefold cover and colored thick vinyl.

Lama- Ja Mikaan Ei Muuttunut (Svart Records)
Lama is one of those bands I love by know literally nothing about. I heard them on a tape my friend made for me years and years ago, then someone had posted an EP online which had 4 songs I recognized from the tape on it. Obviously googling Lama is not going to easily give you info on an obscure band from Europe in the 80's. I don't even know where they're from (Finland?), because nothing on the record is in English. Musically they play a mid paced catchy style of punk. Somewhat reminding me of Upright Citizens. This LP collects their 4 EPs, and I would say worth the import price.

Poison Planet- Boycott Everything (Third Party Records / Not Normal Records)
This is PxP's 3rd record with the current lineup, and I think they come into their own on this one. Musically still early 80's influenced, fast, political lyrics. However, adding a little bit of Dead Kennedys style leads here and there hasn't hurt at all. It's unfortunate that bands like this will go over the heads of most modern straight edge bands, who are more concerned about limited edition hats. Poison Planet has always had something thought provoking to say, in the liner notes, they explain their manifesto thoroughly. Reminding me of the Man Lifting Banner record, bands with extensive liner notes seemed to flourish more in the 90's, and sounded a lot more boring. This was  re-pressed in the US as a 1 sided 12" (the European version was a 7") with new art, a screened B-side, expanded liner notes and posters.

Altered Boys (RTF Records) (pro-tape)
Altered Boys are a new band from NJ, who somehow managed to crank out the best demo from here in a long time. They remind me of bands like Knife Fight and Shark Attack, who were heavily influenced by bands like DYS and Negative FX. The music is real no frills fast hardcore, with some angry lyrics. The first song "Ask a Punk" is a verbal middle finger to the old guard of the local scene, where relying on word of mouth turned into an elitist social party. Fuck that! Also, what a fucking great band name.

Violent Future (pro-tape)
Toronto's newest export, Violent Future, remind me a lot of fellow city coremen Urban Blight. Then I found out they share a member, and wasn't surprised at all. The music is very much along the lines of the mid-paced/slower UB songs, with a very UK82 slant, but having a sort of Boston HC toughness to them. All the songs are around the same speed, with no fast parts. It's real slam dance music, which I like. This is easily my favorite demo I've heard all year so far. Lace up your boots, and get "Goon Life" tattooed across your knuckes and hit the pit!

Violent Reaction (Mind Rot Records) (pro-tape)
Similar to Boston Strangler or Major Damage, this is a 1-man demo project. Also similar to BS, it rules and is heavily influenced by 80's Boston hardcore. Overall, it reminds me a lot of Punch In The Face. Really good short blasts of early 80's no frills hardcore punk.I hear a 7" is in the works, I'm sure it will be killer.

The Outs- We're On... (Not Normal Records) (tape)
I love bands with female singers when the music is good, luckily this is on e of those cases. The Outs feature 1/2 of Poison Planet, but lean toward a more punk sound. I like this demo a lot, as a sucker for punk bands w/ female vocals that aren't lame. Really good blown out recording quality too. The singer generally screams, but then shows some vocal range on a Bikini Kill cover at the end. Would be cool to add some scream/sing elements in the future. Great demo.

Pure Scum (Sorry State Records) (pro-tape)
Pure Scum is a new band from NC. Apparently the band is all real young, which makes "To Hell With School," and "I Hate The Mall" relevant song titles. Musically it's heavy and mid-paced, but diverse enough to stay interesting. "Road Rash" has an almost Dead Kennedys vibe to them. The covers are all screen printed, which makes it look really cool too. Includes a digital download.

Sick Charade (tape)
Sick Charade is a new band from Canada with the singer of Reprobates. I was real into that band, so I was stoked to see what he did next. Not quite as good as Reprobates, but leans more toward the Formaldehyde Junkies. That's not a bad thing in my book though. The cover layout is pretty hard to read though.

Mislead Youth (CDr)
Mislead Youth is a new band from DC with a member of Coke Bust. They play a more punk style, but still pretty fast. 1/2 of this band has the last name Jubert, and 1/2 of the band is on probation for doing bad kid shit. The music is fast and punk, somewhat reminding me of Life's Halt. Really cool demo, hope to see more from these guys.

The Storm (CDr)
I got this demo off someone I bought I shirt from, so all I know is they're from upstate NY. Judging (no pun intended) by the name, I would assume they would be sounding like Judge. I'm not too far off, I get a very 90's heavy hardcore influence here. Not really my style, so I'm not sure what to compare it to. It's not bad, but just not my thing...

PAINS Hardcore Fanzine #6
This is my first time reading Pains, and I really like it. It's a short cut and paste style zine from Toronto; with interviews/ features with Omegas, Boston Strangler, Urban Blight, Rival Mob and Born Bad. Killer lineup, so you know they have good taste. My only minor gripe is there's no band logos to break up the start of the next feature. Very cool "Best Hardcore songs of 2000-2010 feature to end it. 

Counterfeit Garbage #6
I've been a fan of CG for a while, but I might say this is their weakest issue (not just because my band got a bad review in it). The only interview is with Sweet Tooth, an alright band, but hardly a band you base a zine around. Chock full of reviews, plus a review of an Omegas show, where the writer didn't seem to watch any of the other bands. The best part is the article where Matt talks about his insane trip to Japan to spend tons of money on rare records. Much respect to that, there's even a center spread of all the records.

Punks Punks Punks vol. 5
I was not a big fan of the last issue of PUNKSx3, but I wills ay this is a definite improvement. The paper is nice and glossy, and the writing is a lot better. I wish they'd get rid of the "punks agree" and "punk points" parts. You get interviews with Noos, Peace, Needles and a too short interview with Henry Rollins. The Noose interview is my favorite basically for Kyle's responses. The layout is overall nicer than the last as well, I'm glad this zine is getting better. I get the vibe that these dudes are young, so I'm sure in a year, it will be even better.

Chunks #4, #5
Chunks is easily one of the best zines going today. They seem to keep to a standard format of 12 pages (3 pieces of paper, printed front / back and folded), basic cover art (logo in the corner with large band photo), along with reviews and killer features. Since both zines are so short, I'll review them both at once. Ironically the 2 main interviews aren't done with the band members on the cover. Issue 4 has interviews with Free Spirit, reviews of every WNYU Crucial Chaos show, a write up about Massappeal (with some sick flyer art) and a game of word association with Mark porter (Floorpunch). Issue 5 has interviews with Stick Together and Night Birds, a reprint of an ENUF interview and a collection of good live banter. For being a zine from Australia, they seem to focus heavily on the north east coast (Boston/NY) hardcore scene. The reviews are all short and to the point, rarely exceeding 3 or 4 sentences. Overall, this is easily mandatory reading material if you care about the current hardcore scene.

Greatest City in the World #2 / Shit Sheet #3
I haven't seen a split zine in a while. Pretty cool, but I wish it wasn't bound with staples on the side. GCITW has interviews with Milk Music, Night Birds, Dos and Night Birds, where SS has interviews with Leatherface and Negative Degree. While I like the bands in SS more, I found it very hard to read- small font, white typewriter font on black cut and paste. Some cool articles in the GCITW side, and the NB interview is cool.

Potential Friends #3
PF is a short half paged zine based out of Chicago. Some writings, record reviews, a show review and an interview with Haka (new Chi band, cool demo). It's also got some cool show photos. Lots of Chicago centered content, but Chicago's pretty rad, so no complaints here.

Excitement Level Zero #?
Not sure which issue this is, I assume it's not the first. The front starts off with a manifesto of sorts on the current trend jumping hardcore scene. I couldn't agree more. There's no writings, or political musings here, what you get is a bunch of interviews and record reviews. Stripmines finally get their due with a long interview, and an in depth Boston Strangler interview. Youa lso get interviews with Crazy Spirit and Accept The Darkness zine. I get the vibe that the interviews were conducted about a year ago, that or this zine is a little old. Either way, I like the no BS approach, and the layout is a traditional cut and paste format.

Don't Be Swindle # 1 
DBS is a zine for fans of the fast. Interviews with Looking for an Answer, ACxDC, Hummingbird of Death, Bastard Noise & tons of reviews. For a half size zine, it's real thick. Cool photos, nice columns and show reviews to boot. Clean computer layout too. For a zine that focuses on bands that write songs under 60 seconds, this is a nice chunk of zine.

Scion Metal Zine #5
Ok, ok so this isn't a "real zine," and people have mixed opinions on Scion co-opting the HC scene. Here's a newsflash Scion, there's no money here. So what you get here is a mass produced/distributed zine that's free. You get interviews with Cro-Mags, Repulsion, Wormrot, Landmine Marathon, and John Baizley (Baroness). It's obviously got a pretty clean computer layout, but keeps traditional to the standard black and white zine look. I mean based on content alone, it's a solid zine and there's no actual car advertisements inside.