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.
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.
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