Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Stain Remains

While we're on the topic of dark, mysterious, post punk bands from yester-year (and with Tim Crow on bass too, no less), The Smartpils have been name-dropped on this blog a few too many times to not post some of their work.  Maybe they're not the intuitive choice for my first summer post, but I have to admit... I've been infected by the mutated gothy germ that's been going around.  The Smartpils (or Smart Pils if you prefer) could teach some of these new bands a thing or two. Unfortunately the Pils have taken measures to not tout their role as an influence, or even that they were once a band.  Like many, I thought their mighty "No Good, No Evil" 12" and their first demo comprised their only recorded material.  The digital age, however, has provided the proper implements to exhume some fine Smartpils treasures from their analog graves.  Cassettes seemed to have been the bands' favorite M.O., but I own none of them.  I had to grave-rob the cheap and unadventurous way via peer to peer download.  Considering this, some of the tape rips below are of varying quality (decent to piss-poor).  I'm just glad to have them, and if you happen to be one of the rippers whom I downloaded from, infinite thanks to you.  The rips of the aforementioned 12" are my own, as I was tired of the lackluster ones I had been clinging to for years due to some twisted sense of loyalty or just plain laziness.

Smartpils- "No Good, No Evil" 12" (Bluurg Records, 1987... ripped at 320)

As far as I can tell, Smartpils released three demos-- the one mentioned above, "Toxic State," and "Zen Punk." I tried to find the best quality rips, but the pickings were slim.  As always, if anyone can offer more info or point us in the direction of better rips, you are strongly encouraged to get in touch!

All three demos here.

And now for some compilation appearances.  For all I know, some of these recordings are not exclusive and may be redundant if you download all the links I'm putting up.  I just wanted to throw different rips out there. Seven of the tracks come from a cassette called "Wessex 1984," two come from "Open Mind Surgery," and two others come from two volumes of "Aquae Sulis Calling."  The last in the list is of particular interest if you enjoyed the previous post.  The two tracks in question do not have the usual vocalist on board, and could easily pass as Zygote songs (I would love to know the line-up on "Brothers of the Head").  Both comps are available for download or streaming from the label's bandcamp page.

Smartpils tracks from all three comps here.

Although the "All And Everything" tape has many of the songs from the demos, there are some interesting odds and ends, plus, even though the bit rate on these rips isn't great, the clarity of the songs is better than some of the rips in the demo link.  In addition, there's a 40 minute live side.

"All and Everything" 

Requested Re-ups:
Deformed Conscience/Excrement of War split LP
Harsh/Control Mechanism split 7"
400DayHeadache comp
Lana Dagales 7"
Grievance 7"
"Le Garage" Comp

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

From Our Red Halo's Hands

With the positively bubonic scourge of dark, gothy post-punk infesting the distros and venues these days, I decided a Zygote revisit would be in order.  For years I thought the "89-91" LP was the band's demo with a live set tacked on.  Turns out it's the "demo to their full length" (with live tracks), but there was another demo done earlier (which happens to follow the studio/live format).  I'd be a real bastard if the next thing I said wasn't that I have a copy and have ripped it for you.  I have, although this is one of those "elitist completist" posts in that if you have "89-91" and "A Wind of Knives" already, then you're pretty much set.  The cassette boasts only one truly exclusive track, which is a live recording of "Conspiracy."   Beyond that, there's additional demo and live versions of tracks you already know, but it should be mentioned that the title of "God is Dead" was changed to "Scarred" on later releases.

For those of you who have somehow avoided the acrid stench of the still-smoldering crater left by Zygote's short existence, they were a very polarizing band in that they had two members of Amebix, yet sounded little like them (and they started up shortly after "Monolith," which probably alienated some fans).  Less concerned was Zygote in the end of all; their obsession seemed to lie in the more subtle agony of living in the half-dead world of right now, and the desperate attempts we all make daily to rise above the filth.  The dark post-punk alluded to above is a starting point in describing their music, which is a swirling kaleidoscope of squealing reverb/flange and pulsing rhythm.  The full demo experience is a bit much to take all at once, but it really captures in full the nightmarish psychedelia that was the essence of the band.

Zygote- Demo Cassette (Bluurg, 1990).  This is a large file (about 160 MBs) and was ripped at 320 from an old tape... just a heads-up.

"A Wind of Knives" is the band's only proper full length, and is completely essential.  If you need it, here it is at 320 with scans of my copy's insert (damaged as it is after all these years).

Zygote- "A Wind of Knives" CD (Epistrophy, 1994)

Monday, April 28, 2014


What's that creaking underfoot? Is this derelict barge finally starting to budge?  Yes, it's sailing once again, but the waters ahead may be choppy and a bit foggy.  I can't be sure it will get far, but it's time to leave dock and let the current take it where it will...

This post consists of the other two bands I alluded to in the Acursed post.  Lest they be forgotten, I thought it'd be a good idea to post a retrospective on a band that really hooked me in to all the dark scandi-core of the late nineties/early naughts.  The first album by Kontrovers seemed to gush an endless supply of manic, thrashing riffs, made endlessly listenable by their tasteful touches of guitar melody.  I'm sure this garnered them many lazy comparisons to Tragedy, and genre-wise that isn't entirely off.  But I certainly wouldn't want them to be written off as some disposable derivative.  I think their discography speaks volumes to the band's worth, and below is the bulk of it.

The idea behind these posts was to gather the odds and ends, so this link is in keeping with that goal.  It collects the band's early 7" and splits with Beyond Description and Mass Separation.  On many of these tracks we see a slightly "grindier" and more raw approach.  While I prefer their later, more intricate song writing, there's not a thing wrong with these little records.

All three records here.

In case you've passed Kontrovers up before, I wouldn't feel right letting you go without loading you up with my favorite releases of theirs.  Their two albums offer some of the finest work this sub subgenre produced.  The massive 20 track debut is a real feast, but the final LP exudes a confidence and mastery that really distinguishes it.

Kontrovers LP (Putrid Filth Conspiracy, 2002)... If anyone has better quality rips of this one, let me know! I really didn't feel like ripping my copy of the LP

Kontrovers- "När Spelreglerna Ändras" LP (Putrid Filth Conspiracy, 2003... 320 Kbps)

The lesser known of the "K" bands, Konfrontation only managed to drop one LP, but it was quite the doozy.  From when I posted it before, I vaguely remember using imagery of finely crafted surgical instruments to describe the way this band can rob you of your vitals with a precision that is both artful and savage.  Instinct of course led me to explore their back catalog, and while none of their EPs quite match "Nedbrytningsprocessen," they still collectively make for a great listen. If you missed out on the LP, though, you can find it here.

 Two Konfrontation EPs and their split with The Slicks (also a Swedish band, but with more of a punk 'n roll thing going on).

I hope to do the impossible and get another post up before the end of week, along with new favorites in the side bar, and, after I check all my e-mail, some re-upload links.  Stay tuned, those of you who haven't given up on me yet.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We Can Do Anything!

Ah, the sound of children's voices, so green, carefree, and heart-warming, especially when shouted over grinding fast hardcore punk!  It's thanks to another blog visitor that I was pointed in the direction of a record virtually unseen on these shores.  The "Making Children's Songs a Threat Again" comp might suggest a themed collection, and that is indeed the case.  The tracks, writings, and interview responses are all concerned with either growing up, or the ongoing conundrum punk/anti-authoritarian parents face as they struggle to reconcile their ideals with the choices they make for/with their children.  Some documentaries have been made on this subject, but the interviewees and bands on this one are not as mainstream as the ones in those flicks.  In addition to fantastic music and discussion, this comp was put together with that ingredient foodies love to allude to-- I'm talking about the "L" word here, people.  There's a hand-bound smaller booklet with lyrics, a comic book clipping, and even some handwritten messages.  The larger booklet is less involved, but nicely and simply laid-out, and contains interview responses from some members of contributing bands, members of other hardcore bands, and some label proprietors (Deep Six, Profane Existence...).  And, just look at the international line-up:

This is an incredible comp; something I seldom ever say.

Some other things you may want to know about it:
  • It starts off with a long spoken word in French by the singer of 20 Minutes de Chaos.  But that is the only track of its kind.
  • Yes, a couple of tracks do actually have band members' kids on vocals.
  • Some European distros still have copies of this, such as here. This one is worth owning just for the packaging alone!
  • Many of the tracks are exclusive to this record
  •  There are some between-tracks sound bites and music; I often wasn't sure where to cut them off.  Sorry if I goofed.  However, this comp seems designed to be heard all the way through, no interruptions. 
"Making Children's Songs a Threat Again" LP (scans of all booklets included), (Guerrilla Shooting Records, 2005)

Recent Re-ups:
Servitude/Ebola split 7"
Servitude 7"
Multi-Facet/Sheephead split 7"
Token Tantrum 10"
Assassinators early EPs/Demo CD

Okay, next up, we return to the Swedish series...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eye of Nix

From Seattle, whose water supply must be nightly tainted with goat's blood by some dark, hooded figure, comes yet another smashing addition to metal's grayest enclave. Eye of Nix is the sound of Empire crumbling: a lone woman's wailing is heard, awakening old despair.  The populace stirs to a mumble of discontent traveling mouth to ear, thrusting the gyres of dissent into motion; the throb and pulse mounts to a critical mass that the mechanisms of power can no longer contain.  Chanting and drumming dissolves to caterwauling and crashing; before long, all is dust and rubble, and the hazy promise of things to come.

Call it black metal, if you have to call it something. Cold, ambient, hypnotic, noisy-- the kind of band you'd want to have play at your next black mass, yet whose lyrics (that aren't in Latin) are refreshingly straight forward.  I came to know Eye of Nix because of their connection with other Seattle favorites, Same-Sex Dictator and Hellgrammite, whom I hope you'll check out too.  For a time, I'll post my tape rips of the Eye of Nix demo below, but I hope you'll go to their bandcamp page and support them if they appeal to you.

Eye of Nix demo, 2013

Live video of another EON track.

Counterblast EPs
Counterblast first LP
Counterblast second LP
Mine first 7"
Grinch/Lost Goat split LP

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Soul Full of Holes

This post begins a triple thrash threat of sorts, that will unravel between posts over the next couple of weeks.  Showcased will be three bands that fall into the subgenre I can't seem to get enough of.  I'm referring, of course to the dark, Scandinavian stuff.  All three bands have either been posted before, or referenced repeatedly throughout this blog.  As you can see, Acursed is the first band, and many of you know them from the black pall their two LPs draped upon the unsuspecting world; which brings me to the main motivation for this post-- it seems that the days of collection/discography CDs have come to a near dead end. This blog can be of some use in this respect.  Under the assumption that you have or can easily find the band's full lengths (I recommend starting there), I've ripped and collected all of the EPs and splits that I own to supplement those. If you're new to the band, I would point you in the direction of the Fallout split LP as a starter.  There isn't much more to say about Acursed that I haven't said already.  They're dark, heavy, fast, and refreshingly more complex than much of the boring raw punk rehash going on out there.

Acursed/Last Warning split 7" (Red Storm Rising, 1997)

Acursed- "A Fascist State... in Disguise" CDEP (Distortion, 1998)

Acursed/Victims split 7" (Putrid Filth Conspiracy, 1999)

Related Re-uploads:
Acursed/Bonds of Trust split 7"
Fallout/Acursed split LP
Fallout/Last Warning split 7"

Get a cheap copy of the band's second LP here

Requested Re-uploads:
Jeniger LP
Filthkick 7"
Inflicted/Segue split LP
Quarantine discography (?)
Depressor - 2 x 7", 7", splits.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

All This Sunshine is Just Going to End

It's time for another piece of that candy of nostalgia, wrapped in a shoddy DIY wrapper and tainted with just enough poison and broken glass to give you a slightly "off" feeling for a while.  This backhanded, backward glance is dangled before us by Rights Reserved once again, a band resolute to drag you behind the house and shove your face in a steaming, shameful pile of memories best left alone.  As promised, I'm offering the band's split with Assfactor 4 as a starting point.  Rights Reserved are in what I consider their prime on these two tracks, holding back none of their prodigious angst in neither the music nor lyric department.  The only other song of theirs that matches these would be the one on the 400DayHeadache comp. While their LP is full of heartfelt and emotionally charged material, none quite compare to the power of these three songs.  On the other side, Assfactor 4 make one of their earliest vinyl appearance before going on to dominate the modern hardcore "scene" of the nineties.  The two tracks offered mark a transitional point between the members' time in Tonka and Unherd, and the solidification of the A-4 sound on their later 7" and LPs.  Essential for fans, plus the mood meshes well with the RR tracks.

I also mentioned that I would post Rights Reserved's other EPs, and while I am a lazy-ass, jaded, distracted son of a gun, I'm no liar.  Many bands have enjoyable early material that shows them working out their ideas; RR's early 7"s are fine examples of that.  The band mixes and alternates between indie rock, punk, and melodic hardcore, like, well, small town youths trying to find themselves and having fun doing it.  With no small measure of talent, I might add.

Rights Reserved 7"s

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Cold Gust of Wind

A little bitterness to offset life's sweetness is one thing, but then there's the need now and then to prepare for those inevitable bouts of despair-- stare down the barrel of a gun, glance over the edge of a precipice, or just listen to some metallic Polish hardcore.  Bands from that country have an intimidating tradition of flirting with utter bleakness; favorites of mine would be Lost, Silence, and Insuiciety (I know, technically based in Germany, but still comprised of Polish personnel).  Next Victim became an instant entry to the list with the outstanding From the Depths split LP, which I still regard as one of the best splits I've run across in quite some time.  On this one, Next Victim break up their doomy, hypnotic riffs and rhythms with more buoyant, almost groove laden picking, and one very haunting, melodic interlude.  Although confined to only a small section of wax, their three songs still succeed in capturing the expansive, epic quality of their approach.  But it's on their CD, "The Cold Gust of Wind," that the band was able to fully unroll the intricately realized map of pure hopelessness in sonic form.  The whole disk flutters in circles like our own stomach butterflies as we peer over the beams of a bridge that could be our last stop in life.  The frequent use of space in the songwriting offers moments of clarity, which are then abruptly suffocated by heavy chords and anguished screams. Then, occasionally, our buckled and hunched figure is raised up by Gosia's robust vocal melodies and some truly enervating guitar riffage.  Rarely before has a band succeeded in making the abyss so alluring.

I'm going to offer both records for download, but I hope you'll at least try to find the split or send the label or bands some money.  The split tracks are my own vinyl rips, by the way.  And, if you haven't heard From the Depths before, they are another incredible band, dark and powerful, with almost operatically sung lead vocals (they are also a Crimethinc joint, if that matters to you).  Finally, if Next Victim appeals to you, certainly check into Mind Pollution, a band which not only has NV members, but sounds rather similar too.  They offered much of the darkness and songwriting idiosyncrasies, while kicking up the speed at times and working in more dissonant chords, a la Silence.

Next Victim "A Cold Gust of Wind" CD (Sadness of Noise, 2009)

Next Victim/From the Depths split LP (Nikt Nic Nie Wie, Scream, and Zaraza, 2010)

Mind Pollution "Spalone Dusze" CD (Yama Dori and Sadness of Noise, 2005)

Saturday, September 21, 2013


From the evolutionary graph charted by Kort Prosess and Angst came what may be a climax in the incredible Jin'Rik'Sha.  Released on the cusp of the new millennium, the "End Present" 2x7" is four sagas that could be about any number of cynical matters, but to me represent the victorious cannon blast of these musicians reaching their peak, while also laying of the first brick of the road they hoped would guide us into the next decade.  The Norwegian palm-muted savagery rears its dragon head here and there, but really "End Present" sails headlong, and with frightening precision, into the misty waters of The Modern.  While I've read some comparisons to HHIG/Tragedy, I'm not wholly satisfied by those.  If forced to find an analogous contemporary, I would elect "Conquest:Writhe" or "In Coveting Ways" era Burst.  But all great records should stand alone, regardless of context, and this one turns out to be a true, towering beacon.  While the four tracks below are the band's only vinyl output, it wasn't completely the end for the members.  Read this old post from 7 Inch Crust for more info about Jin'Rik'Sha's legacy.

Thanks, eastcobb, for suggesting this post!

Jin'Rik'Sha - "End Present" 2x7" (Heart First Records, 1999)

By request, the Hanging Rotten link has been updated.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Disport Illusion

This Idora CD is for all those times when you can't decide if you're in the mood for Japanese hardcore or some psychedelic kookiness.  You know, all those times.  The CD format really gave these previously terse and abrupt rockers more room to spread their sound out, for better or for worse.  At times, I'll admit, I itch a little for the punk rock, two minutes-or less-rule (except on the appropriately titled "Absent Time," which takes up a whopping 9 minutes and still kicks ass!).  There are more shining moments than dull ones, so check this one out, scroll down for their split with Angst, and stay tuned for a couple of their early 7"-ers.

Idora CD (Rebelabel and Bloodsucker Records, 2000)

Recent re-up request:
Lack of Interest/Stapled Shut Split 7"

Friday, August 23, 2013

En Stille Død

Work started again, and everything else stopped.  I've fallen into a groove with work, though, and I'd like to jump start life as I once knew it again, including this here blog.  The next few posts will be a bit of a catch-up game: requests fulfilled, missing pieces finishing puzzles of previous posts.  Today brings a post I've been sitting on for a while, since I posted the Angst/Idora split, in fact.  So here's a big trunk of Norwegian wood up side your temple, to floor you until the next post (I promise it won't be long from now, and it will probably be Idora related).  I tried to include the flexi these bruisers put out, but my budget is not generous enough for what the collectors are asking.  If you like Norwegian hardcore, you probably know Angst.  If you don't like Norwegian hardcore, you must not have heard any.  This 7" is one of the best examples of this now traditional style, and as good a place to start as any for those out of the know.

Angst 7" (Heart First and Fangst Records, 1992)

By request, I've re-upped a 7" from related legends, Kort Prosess HERE.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Everyone's Already Said Everything

Besides sludge, melodic punk, and the newest releases and reissues I've grabbed, vacations always send my musical choices in one final direction-- an often inebriated amble through the gleaming boardwalks of nostalgia.  As my musical coming of age was in the nineties, it's not surprising that I should reunite with some Rights Reserved records this summer, a band with whom I made an instant connection so many years ago (first exposure was the Assfactor 4 split).  The problem of genre is only a problem if one obsesses over it.  If you're one of those, I'd say for a brief moment RR may have been called hardcore, in the same way Kerosene 454 was.  Which is to say that in retrospect... they were not really that.  The band, in their closing statement of the liner notes, chooses the self-deprecating "crappy rock" tag, which if you take time to read the lyrics, they seem like the types that would say that.  I will gladly settle on indie rock/punk with a definite DC/Maryland feel.  What brought instant camaraderie between me and RR's rock was the honest, confrontational, and ultimately cathartic way they handled the often overlooked, but extremely frightening dilemma of young adulthood.  We come barreling out into the real world like a second birth, knowing everything and sneering at the masses who of course have it all wrong, ready to conquer the world, only to be repeatedly tripped up by the baggage of our past, and clothes-lined by our arrogance and ignorance.  The boys in Rights Reserved, jaded before their time, knew this I think.  Maybe they even understood how crucial those pitfalls would be in making us who we are.  I can't say for sure, as the LP posted below was their last testament as a band.  It's a bitter pill to swallow, but this band's tough love will get it down your gullet one way or another.

Rights Reserved LP (Assorted Porkchops Records, 1996)

A Rights Reserved EPs post should make it here before too long.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dude, Yer Gonna Need a Bigger Beer

I guess every compilation post should start with a disclaimer: the story is I heard about a band that featured members of Filth, Dystopia, and Fields of Shit.  They were called Abandon, and their only output were the five tracks on the "Letters from the Landfill" comp.  Abandon made music for the early days of summer-- a desperate outpouring of pent-up angst to be heard while sitting under that blazing yellow disk in the sky, fighting hopelessly to get through the haze .  Don't expect the sludgiest, crustiest thing to ever come out of the Bay Area; in fact I recommend that you to recalibrate before taking a listen.   These guys were more about ambiance driven by fairly lightly distorted guitar and syncopated drums, navigated by the unmistakable vocals of Mr. Jake Sayles.   As a  first release, I would have been all excited to hear what Abandon would do next, but we all know what happened (or didn't).  The rest of the comp has its moments.  The big moment for me was discovering This Is My Fist.  I'm not sure how I've avoided them for this long, but their abrasive, yet melodic punk tunes had me checking their discog page but quick.  From track to track, I detect a little bit of all those things I like in bands like Lost World, Preying Hands, Burning Kitchen, Zeitgeist... difficult to nail, but completely rad.  The other two bands have to catch me when I'm in the mood.  Shotwell and Peels each play their own kind of indie/punk/progressive rock that is silly, smart, and serious depending on which track or movement you're hearing. Good stuff; just now always my thing.

"Letters from the Landfill" Compilation (Left Off the Dial Records, 2003)

Shit, where does the time go?!  I think I finally found the motivation (and some records) to get this thing going again.  Meantime, keep the requests coming.

Seven Foot Spleen
Spine Wrench- also... if you want free Spine Wrench vinyl, check out Mid's comment on this post and get in touch with him.
Multi-Facet/Sheephead Split

Monday, May 6, 2013

Land of Stone, Castle of Emptiness

Martyrdöd's first LP is a storm landing just after spring's first thaw, despoiling the promise of renewal with its shroud of jagged ice, turned gray by the blackened sky.  For years, I thought the excellent "In Extremis" was their debut, but after following the soot-streaked snow trail that eventually leads to "Paranoia," I came to know of their savage and impetuous origin.  Given to us by the same madmen who brought Asebia into this world, "Martyrdöd" is a lost classic of righteous conviction smothered in a haze of Scandinavian bleakness.

Martyrdöd LP (Plague Bearer Records, 2003)

Recently re-upped:
Saké - Discography
Crow/Artimus Pyle Split 7"
Himei 7"s
Undone- 2 7"s and a comp

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Peace, Bastards

Finally, a post, and fittingly on this day of resurrection.  You'll get no Christ from me though.  This season so far hasn't encouraged me to want to get the blog back together much (hence the month-long delay in getting this one up) or doing anything involving staring at a monitor.  But I 'm hoping some of the spring giddiness has been expelled and things will change.  We'll see.  What we have today is a band I probably would have overlooked if it weren't for a keen-eared commenter.  All he (she?) really had to say was it's Elenor's new band (from To What End?) and I was in pursuit.  Peacebastard is a fairly new band based in Germany who just put out their third release (a split with Dishonorable Discharge).  For free today are the band's first two EPs, which stay with the theme of resurrection but without the rehash.  Brought back are the fury and idealism of the early days of Profane Existence and Flat Earth, drawing gracefully from so many bands of those two rosters that it's futile to list.  I will say that Elenor's vocals this time around are more guttural and abrasive in the manner early Ebola and Unhinged-- a 10 megaton warhead on an already deadly rocket.

Peacebastard 7"s 

Heart First Records
Truemmer Pogo

Recent Re-uploads:
Life... But How to Live It
Zero Hour (EP and Apeface split)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Half Japanese

I have neither sad story nor heroic epic to account for the lack of posts.  I've just been finding other things to do with my time.  To make up for said "lost" time, I offer a resurrected idea, the "grab bag o' splits."  Four splits had to be chosen from my teeming bins; the international theme was not enough to quell the chaos.  Japan would have to come to the rescue!  Each EP in the bag has one Japanese band featured-- beyond that, quality counts, style doesn't; obscurity is a plus.

This first split sees Norway's Angst wrestling with Idora for the last scrap of whale meat.  Figuratively speaking, I hope.  Both bands represent their respective countries as well as the time period (early '90's) smashingly-- Angst discharging an arctic blast of thrashed-out Norse-core with modern flourish, and Idora doing what their country has mastered for ages, but with an exceptionally scathing guitar sound.

If a bit of South American brutal primitivism is your thing, Venezuela's @patia No deliver it, Machetes in hand.  Their three tracks also appear on the collection LP they put out on Alerta Antifascista/Skuld, but here they are, in their original place of nativity, next to Japan's Jabara.  These guys are probably best known on this coast for the 12" they put out on Prank, and these two Death Side-esque rippers ended up on that one too.

It's Germany and Japan, reunited once again, this time not for world domination, but for intricately wrought ass-brutalization.  Deutschland's Atka provide the fractal grindcore geometry combined with repetitive autistic mind-melting guitar loops, while Swarrrm are up to their usual tricks, escaping the psych-ward long enough to smear their rambling manifesto in feces all over the infrastructure of our decaying civilization.  Ecocentric Records was having a hard time keeping their online store online, and I had a problem downloading my digital version, so my own rips are provided, and I hope you'll contact the label to get a real copy if you can.

  The last goody in the bag is a double creature feature of dirty, metallic sludge.  Hellchild's chugga-chunkiness has graced many a split, and here they are again, busting out Wesley Pipes with Tennessee's very own cannabis crematorium, Bongzilla.  H:G Fact never lets us down, even when the bands are not the label's usual fare.

Get all four splits in this bag.

Recently Re-upped: Mine "Tetanus" LP + Dawnbreed Split 7"

Coming Up: the fulfillment of a request!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Run with the Sheep, or Dance with the Banshee

If you weren't already a happy bastard today, the album art above should take care of that.  If that fails, give the music a shot.  Unless you're one who considers melody a ghastly scourge upon hardcore, these Eugene, Oregonians will surely free the closeted, illicitly-begotten child within all of you and stir your loins into such a tizzy you'll want to accost strangers, beget more and start the bastard baby boom!  But seriously, these bastards create a real threat in the way they coat pure subversion and defiance in a glorious subterfuge of sweet melody and driving rhythms, reinventing hardcore punk as something dangerous and new again.  We all now it's not actually new, but for a moment or two, while listening, I actually forget I'm a jaded fuck.  Fans of Burning Kitchen, Sado-Nation, Godless, and Harum Scarum should take special interest in Happy Bastards, and to spread the creed I'm offering two splits.
 The first is a 7" with the UK's Kismet HC, who bring together the best aspects of One By One, Ebola, and Disaffect, with a touch of Life...But How to Live it?  On this one, Kismet blast Happy Bastards away.  They're just way on top of their game, and HBs have hollow production and much less energy than they had on the next split (except for "Damn Nation" maybe).
This next split is an LP, and although both bands are from Eugene (not international, I know), the Happy Bastards tracks are just too incredibly good not to post.  These eight anthrax Jell-o shots go down so smooth and just rip you the hell apart.  I was an instant fan; no latency period required.  Side A is occupied by Human Certainty, a band who seemed young and full of ideas.  Like many bands of this nature, putting it all together yielded uneven results, although I do enjoy their music quite a bit (not so much their vocals).  Stylistically  HC could have come from Arizona, bringing to mind the metallic yet emotional fury of bands like  Absinthe or Jeremin.  

Recent Re-ups:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Seven Inches of Songs About...

In sorting through the mess of split EPs I've got lying around me right now, I once again felt the need to choose a theme to make sense of it all.  I've arrived at an international theme, as in the next few splits will have bands from two different countries.  Having stated that, both 7"s tonight are linked by German melodic hardcore workhorses, Inner Conflict.  When I first heard this band's second LP, I wanted to dislike them due to their "processed" vocal sound and the fact that they played with a drum machine.  But the driving riffs and melodies were too much for my sanctimonious knees, and an inevitable collapse took place, followed by a surrender.  The usual adjectives-- energetic, catchy-- associated with bands of this style are ever so appropriate here.  This first installment sees the band paired up with a Finnish band whom I liked a great deal; then they recruited vocalist, Arja, and it morphed into a love affair!  Juggling Jugulars has got to be one of the most explosive and distinctive bands in Europe today, and they only seem to get better with each release.  This time around they treat us to four tracks so charged and ornery, you'll never get a chance to nail them to any one genre within the punk (dis)order.  Each band also covers a track from the other's back catalog, thus solidly rounding out an already rock hard piece of wax.
 Inner Conflict's Spanish friends on this next split hopefully need no introduction.  For me, Sin Dios have been an intermittent crutch, anchor, and a slap in the face for many years and will continue to be even though they are long deceased (as a band).  "El Poder Mundial" is sadly only two short jabs, displaying the band's fighting spirit even as it was sinking to its knees.  If you've heard the other splits and the last CD the band put out, the tracks are along those lines.  While I regard "Ingobernables" as Sin Dios' pinnacle, the material just afterward was still better than most punk or hardcore out there.  As mentioned above, Inner Conflict take side B honors with two of their best tracks.  "Down" follows the band's usually style, mixing faster hardcore tempos with slower, more anthemic moments.  But it's "Scene" that has stuck with me since first hearing their side.  It's easily their most fist-pumping, gritty anthem, holstering their melodic weapons, and reaching for the switchblade instead.  Both sides go by way too fast, but hopefully the other 7" will offset this disappointment.

Both splits here

Contact Twisted Chords to get hard copies!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Succeeding Where Celtic Frost Failed

Fast-forwarding 16 years from the last post, this split series continues with an outstanding pair-up from last year.  Side A is (I believe) the second outing from San Diego bros, Death Crisis.  From their name, you probably guessed one band members were in previously.  DC are hardcore for the fan of bullshit-free bands like Out Cold, but whose ADHD is lighter on the "AD" and heavy on the "H."  Tried, true, but still relevant themes of media brainwashing and apathy are strongly represented, as well as a new one: douches who bring their dogs to hardcore shows.  While I've never experienced this first hand, I can understand their irritation (but for the record: my dogs do/did like hardcore... still wouldn't bring them to shows though).  Death Crisis also have out a 7", and another split 7" with 80's San Diego D-beaters, Diatribe; a burgeoning website can be found here.

Side B brings perennial FE favorites, Same-Sex Dictator, in what might be their most primal form.  These two tracks were written and performed straight from the brain stem, and given the option of fight or flight, I'm thinking SS-D choose the former every time.  In describing the band's inimitable and incredible LP, Justin (drums) felt that his band was more caveman than the proggy descriptors I used.  If you've heard the "Descend to Syncope" tape then you know what he means, and on this outing the band has gone positively neolithic!  It's also possibly their most blackened offering, considering the faster speeds, atmosphere, and less-than-sparkling production values.  This time the lyrics take a blunt ivory implement to the skull of themes like system moochers ("I'm Not Paying for Your Failure") and the Orwellian/Kafka-esque world we drones inhabit ("Removed By Paperclips").  The split is still available in two formats, so I'm supplying my crappy vinyl rips for a limited time.  Yes, music is digitized, but real people are putting in real time and resources to make this all happen.  Please support them.

Buy the vinyl here
Death Crisis digital tracks here
SS-D digital tracks here (awesome Eyehategod and Joy Division bonus cover tracks available!)

Vinyl rips here.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

To Show You How Much You Meant

I got delayed again, but this series of splits is happening for real this time.  The first two will be more deliberate; the others a bit more random, but no less awesome.  First off, the indestructible and unstoppable Despise You/Suppression split 7" is being reposted for two reasons: Roman requested it (dude, sorry for the delay... again) and because it's got be one of my top five powerviolence/grind records of all time.  Don't ask me about the other four-- it would take some hair-pulling deliberation to work that out.  This one requires no such ordeal.  When I first posted it a few years ago, I probably ripped it at a crap bit rate, so here it is again, with graphics and all.

The Despise You/Suppression split 7" (Slap-a-Ham Records, 1996)

Recent Re-up:

Never Healed/Violent Minds split 7"