Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Unholy Fist Of Justice

There are two reasons I chose the Unholy Grave/PLF 7" for this third split installment: Pretty Little Flower and the record's packaging. It comes in a nice three color glossy gatefold, and it's pressed on thick wax. Sorry, but I get kind of nerdy about these things. So most of you know what awaits you on the Unholy Grave front: alright grindcore played at mid-pace (by grindcore specs). You get one song about landmines, and FOUR about terrorism. Yeah...

If you've been following the fruits of the Gulf Coast Grind offensive (Insect Warfare), then you're already excited about Pretty Little Flower! These Houstonians (or is it Houstonites?) play chunky grindcore that nods generously to your favorite grindcore bands (with grindcore, that can be said about any band, but whatever...). Fast brutality played by talented musicians with an overtly anti-macho band name... there aren't many better things in life. Well there are, but most can lead to permanent psychosis or brain damage. Play it safe...

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Great Mass Of Despair: Silence & Burning The Prospect

There'll be no holiday cheer on this blog, not in the presence of Poland's mighty and brooding Silence! Say what you will about "neo-crust" and other such epithets; what it boils down to is that Silence plays powerful hardcore. Yes, there are song titles like the title of this post, and they've been known to throw in some piano and violin at times, but the proof is in the final product. The tracks on this split with Burning The Prospect are two of the band's best-- they're solidly written, crushing, and not as meandery as some of the band's other work. As always, check out the Box o' Songs for a sample. And if the more straight forward crust-core approach is more your thing, Burning The Prospect should not be missed. Their three tracks were recorded at the 1in 12 Club, if you know what that means. If you don't, let's just say that that venue is notoriously connected to acts like Doom, Police Bastard, Ruin, etc. BTP completely rages with some stomping, thrashy beats, and powerfully distorted guitars. The songwriting is not super typical, and keeps their modern crust sound from blending in too much with that particular over-saturated scene. Keep an eye on this band; needless to say, this split is highly recommended!

The Silence/Burning The Prospect Split

Another Repost Alert!
To rectify another injustice where I ripped a good record at 128kbps (unknowingly, of course), I have re-ripped Silence's "Mad Civilization" 10," this time at 320 kbps. They're not as tight on this early release, but they hold nothing back in laying all their guts and emotions out on the table. It's powerful stuff, but with song titles like "Suffering," "Tears Of Humiliation," and "In A Tunnel Without End," you probably shouldn't throw it on during your New Year's Eve Party!

"Mad Civilization" @ 320

Monday, December 29, 2008

Week Of Splits II: Acursed & Bonds Of Trust; Repost: Fallout/Acursed Split LP

Lots of stuff going on today... First off, we begin the second installment of the week of splits-- a chance to showcase some treats in one of my favorite vinyl formats: the split (especially 7 inches). It also helps me put the piles of records I want to post into some kind of order. When appropriate, I'm also going to sneak in some reposts since I have a little vacation time on my hands and I'm really not going anywhere special. So the first post for this week of splits and reposts showcases of one of my favorite contemporary Swedish bands, Acursed. These scandi-thrashers made some international noise finally with the release of their Prank Records LP, but today's split sees the band in their early years working out their stiflingly heavy and fast hardcore barrage. All four tracks are great, as is everything they've done. Bonds Of Trust are also from Sweden, but judging from the block letter logo, giant X's on the members' hands, finger pointing, and song entitled "Floorpunch," you'd think they were some thuggish band from NYC. The music absolves their posturing, though, with some more blistering Swedecore not unlike that delivered by their split-mates. There are no lyrics supplied, but I get the feeling that's probably a good thing. The music is great and meshes well with Acursed. Really good split!

Acursed/Bonds Of Trust Split

Repost Alert!!!

Act now, and you can get this re-ripped version of the amazing split between Acursed and Australia's Fallout. You should already know Acursed, and I promise their side will level you. I can promise the same for Fallout too, even though they have kept a low profile over the years. Just know that Fallout are one of the most underrated/under appreciated metallic "Powerviolence" bands out there, and mix adequate amounts of Siege/Infest aggression with a generous chaser of chunky/sludgy Dystopia heaviness. No bullshit... :

Fallout/Acursed Split (re-ripped loud @ 256 kbps)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Song Of The Week: "No Te Rindas" (Sin Dios)

Hardcore has saved me on so many occasions. From what, exactly? It's hard to say, but I feel like the raucous hammering and screaming has kept my thinking somehow... clear. It started with Bad Brains and Void in my early teens; then it was Econochrist and Crimpshrine entering young adulthood; His Hero Is Gone more or less sealed my fate... but as I was entering my chosen career, it was my discovery of Sin Dios that may be responsible for keeping me on the path for life. Coming out of the decade that dealt the death-blow to "punk," everything in the independent music world seemed ruined by imitators and colored by irony. Enter Sin Dios, who was like a brass-knuckled fist up the ass of that way of thinking. I was lucky enough to stumble upon them right when their masterpiece, "Ingobernables," was released. This was the first time the band felt the desire to reach out to the world beyond their compadres Españoles, releasing the album on German labels (Skuld & Twisted Chords) who in turn distributed it fairly well to all the global punk "markets." After about ten years, these anarcho-syndicalist punks managed to belt out hardcore anthems more explosive, full of conviction, and heavier than anything they had done prior. The lyrics and additional writings are full of the usual Sin Dios scholarship: rants about the virtues of the DIY ethic, topical diatribes on the state of European politics/direct action initiatives, and images/lyrics that show a strong atavistic connection to Spain's libertartian heritage. In short, these guys were the real thing- not just a bunch of fly-by-nighters sloganeering about nuclear war and such.

This post could be an album of the week post, since all 14 tracks are just awesome. I chose the first track, "No Te Rindas, " because its fiery message and energy encapsulates what this band and this album did for me at a time when the lure of the status quo could have easily won my soul. When you start to feel like there's nothing you can do to change the "way things are," and you're tired of making ironic remarks to cover up your sense of futility, crank this song about four or five times in a row...

"No Te Rindas" ("Don't Give Up")


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Repost: Zygote "89-91"

Long ago, I posted Zygote's "89-91" LP which collects their demo and five live tracks. By default, I ripped it at 128 kbps, not knowing exactly what I was doing (as if I do now, right?) So here it is again, ripped at 256 with overall better sound quality and the lyric sheet included. If you don't know Zygote, read here. Also, for similar music, go here, here, here, and here.

"89-91" (Re-ripped @ 256)

I'll be re-ripping other old posts as the weeks carry on; if you have any requests, don't hesitate to comment.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Spinal Wrench 2: The Splits

I hope to re-rip the two Spine Wrench EPs I posted a while back, and rip two additional ones in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, this post concerns the two split releases the band did: their first outing, and their last. In case you don't already know, SW were a sludgy metal band with industrial leanings, but are best known as the band MID (Rob Middleton) formed after the demise of Deviated Instinct (you also may know Rob from his art which graced many famous Napalm Death albums, and from his current work in the band Bait). The first split of the day, with Def. Master, was Spine Wrench's last release. The one SW track is easily my favorite from the band's discography. Through the cold, industrial atmosphere tears some anguished vocals and gut-wrenching, string-bending guitar eeriness. Based on this last remnant, I really wish the band had kept going...

Japan's Def. Master are a whole other trip. Their hyper-kinetic, electro-industrial adrenaline shot is both seductive and nerve-wracking (in too high a dose). The format follows a similar pattern to their "Fear Of God" 7", both of which consist of one booty-shaker and one metallic head-rush. As can be expected, the tracks are layered with all manner of electronic bells and whistles to keep your warped neurons from their inevitable atrophy; yes, our species is "evolving" to where ADHD is becoming one of our essential qualities-- Def. Master has kept this in mind during the composition process. Get DM's split with the almighty Discordance Axis here and a couple more DM goodies here.

For no extra charge, you can also download the Sin/Spine Wrench (or Spinewrench if you prefer) CD below. SW showcase their usual awesome, throbbing, grooving metal. This also happens to be the only release with Charlie (ex-Deviated Instinct) on drums before he left and and was replaced by his mechanical counterpart. The songs are pretty good, and, for me at least, blow away Sin. Maybe I'm just not accustomed to the flat, anti-dynamic, industrial influenced metal those guys produced, but I get a little antsy listening to Sin. I don't know, maybe you'll like them more, but I usually skip to the SW tracks.

Both splits

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Another Happy Customer (Korova)

You're probably gonna see Korova's "Another Happy Customer" CD reviewed on several blogs, because instead of resisting the download tide, the band has decided to ride out its inevitable current. They've made the CD available for cheap, and the mp3's free (see link below). Another reason you may see it around is because it's really good! Korova solves one of the problems with hardcore full lengths: keeping them interesting all the way through. The framework of the music is grimy eighties-style hardcore ("Pick Your King" era Poison Idea?) with pissed-off, yelled vocals (if you're tired of over the top grunting and screaming, Ian's got the remedy!). Throughout the experience, different nuances maim and enhance the band's MO: soured noise rock cacophonies, discordant modern chords phrasings, spoken word tracks, and enough literary references to provoke a few visits to Wikipedia. The result is one hell of a gritty and compelling listen from a band that has its boot firmly planted in the ass of the past, but whose bloodshot eyes aim squarely at the future.

Ian gave the go ahead (for now) to post the CD using his mediafire link. If you want to support the band, here are some ideas:

-Go buy Korova's CD and/or 7"
-Go say hello to Ian on his blog
-Leave a comment here so more people will become interested in Korova
-Go see Korova live in January if you live in/near Alabama
-Post this CD on your blog


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Destroy The South!?

Maybe we should keep Southern traditions intact after all, since that region harvests some damn fine bands! Four of them are gathered here on this early release by the great At A Loss Recordings, "Destroying Southern Tradition." Compilations are probably not high on your download priority list (assuming you have such a thing), so I'll just show you the track list and let you decide:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Wind Of Pain" (Bastard)

Post number 200 happens to fall on a song of the week night. I told myself I would stop counting posts, but Blogger makes it hard not to. So, what am I in the mood for... well, in an Immoral Squad post, I was praising bands that turn simplicity into power: Discharge is a classic example, and tonight's featured band may already be too. Bastard are often touted as one of the greatest Japanese hardcore bands of all time, and I certainly agree. As with many superlative bands from that country, the labels played the cruel joke of making Bastard's releases very limited. I was lucky enough to find a vinyl bootleg of their LP and EP recently, but if you want originals, just understand that you'll be paying in the multiple hundreds for either of them; luckily there's the blogosphere to the rescue. So what makes the band so great? Everything: the insanely thick and heavy guitar and drum sound, the pissed off, traditional vocals, the cranking riffs... the usual things-- just turned way up in quantity and quality.

There's not a single mediocre moment in the bands' discography, so choosing a single track really sucked. The title track to the band's LP "Wind Of Pain" will do nicely. When I throw on the album, I eagerly anticipate the fist-pounding main riff more than any other. Great hardcore should illicit a violent reaction, and this jam doesn't fail in that regard. Seek out this band's work if you haven't already!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


If you were able to squint and see the band names on this 7" and know either Yaphet Kotto or Suicide Nation, you have probably skipped to the download link already. In case you don't know these bands: Yaphet Kotto were one of the better second wave Ebullition bands, who played dissonant and emotionally charged hardcore/rock. "Critical Response" is recorded rather muddily, and the vocals are difficult to hear; considering that they consist of indecipherable screaming anyway, I don't think that matters much. The track itself is urgent and intense, and deals with a certain empire's economic pillaging of third world countries. Being the only song of YK's present, you can't complain this time around that their songs sound too similar to each other. Now, the reason I combed the corners of the earth for this split was Suicide Nation. And man, was it worth it! "Collapse & Die" musters all of the band's conviction, musical proficiency, and 90's emotive angst into four of the most powerful, blackened minutes of the band's existence. The production is a step up from the first LP, but the songwriting is much in the same vein (which if you've heard it, is reason to rejoice!). Is this the best SN song of them all? Quite possibly! But I am a little biased right now...

Listen for yourself

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Meaning You Live?!

It's a shame that Shikabane's full length, "Why Do You Live?" (Prank/Mangrove?, 2003) is out of print, and an even bigger shame if you don't have these tracks on your hard drive (there's a good chance you do, but just in case...). Building on the brooding thrash aggression of the last posted EP, the band added dirtier, more atmospheric production and more diverse songwriting to accompany their personal/philosophical lyrics (which are in English this time). Some of you may hanker for the raw power of their previous outings, especially during the acoustic and undistorted interludes; but I rather like the whacked out moodiness of this record and the "Ego And Desire" 7" quite a bit. As a matter of fact, this is easily one of my favorite Prank releases. Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter...

@ 320!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Burn" (Life... But How To Live It?)

A while ago, I posted a shit-ton of Life... But How To Live It? tracks that I had downloaded. Back then, rumor had it that Boss Tuneage was going to issue a double CD discography for the band. Over a year later, and it has yet to be substantiated. Considering this, LBHTLI continues to rank as probably THE most detrimentally overlooked of the truly great "punk" bands the world ever produced. I won't insult the band by attempting to put the beauty they created into words... I'll just go ahead and present, for the third time on this blog, the band's epic diatribe on American hypocrisy, "Burn." It's tied with "Jealousy" for my all time favorite LBHTLI song; I hope you like.


"Burn" (Live)

Shikabane releases are dropping out of circulation like crazy, which may mean there's a discography in the works, and certainly means that it's time for some posts. Being a huge fan of dark hardcore, it wasn't long before this band caught my attention. My first exposure was the masterful "Why Do You Live?" LP, which was enough encouragement for me to explore the band's back catalog, such as their split with Agathocles, and this slightly more mature CD, "人のために生きるか 自分のために生きるか." By the late 1990's, the band dropped some of their speed, and adopted their signature, ominous tone. So this CD is a transition point: it's fairly traditional Japanese thrashcore with some added gravity. As much as I love Shikabane's more complex recent work, these eight tracks are great in their own right.

人のために生きるか 自分のために生きるか

1. 自滅
2. 虚構の現実
3. 生業 ~なりわい~
4. 悲観
5. 崩れていくもの・・・
6. 所業
7. 死ね!!
8. 人のために生きるか 自分のために生きるか

Friday, December 12, 2008

In A Glass Box Of Emotion!

Jake sort of requested the One Eyed God Prophecy LP, or at least that's how I chose to interpret it. I was looking for an excuse to do so anyway... Plenty of blogs have probably posted this thing, but as you can see already, I don't care. OEGP were a brilliant off-shoot of (Union Of) Uranus who released this 6-banger and I'm not sure what else (I've heard there was a super limited fan-issued discography?). The band played screamy and chaotic hardcore, but to dismiss them as some "screamo" band would be to miss the point (whatever that may be). What sets the band apart is tough to nail, but each track is like the detail of a larger panorama... a dark one where people and objects are painted in the same impersonal gray. Beneath the surface throbs a pulsing knot of every human emotion imaginable, but instead of breaking through, it only moves the murk in mesmerizing waves and sudden convulsions. This is the songwriting of a band that both rejected and embraced its own moment in time and space, and created something lastingly powerful, if not beautiful. Follow its chilling and turbulent movements, and see where it takes you...

@ 320

As with many records from my personal stash, this one has been a bit ill-treated and it shows in extra noise. Just thought I'd warn you. It sounds like it's been man-handled by a guy who got the munchies, ate an entire bag of hot Cheetos, and didn't wash his hand. I don't want to mention names, but let's just say his name begins with a B and ends in a -guano.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Immoral Invaders From Uranus

By request from Nick(throne), and because it just makes sense to post it, we have here the split 7" between two Canadian phenomena of the '90's, Uranus and Immoral Squad. Depending on what day you catch me on, "Believer" is either my favorite or least favorite Uranus track. It's a lot slower than the scathing rippers on the HHIG split, and more repetitive and hypnotic than the brilliant material on their double 7". The throbbing bass toward the end is all kinds of infectious, so you've been warned.

If you know Immoral Squad from their 7", then you won't be surprised or disappointed by the metallic-crust-Hell they unleash here. I like a little complexity in my hardcore, but these guys make simplicity work with that unbelievable power I mentioned last time. Everything they released on vinyl minus one comp appearance is available on this sight. Unfortunately, that isn't much.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Night Falls" (Tragedy)

Since we're on the subject of Portland via Memphis greatness, how 'bout some Tragedy for the song of the week?! Sometimes I wonder if anyone listens to Tragedy, or if people just use their name to reference bands that sound like them. I would like to assume the former, because Tragedy is one the most sincerely powerful hardcore bands in the world today. Like many, when I heard the first Tragedy album, it had a similar effect as when I heard the first His Hero Is Gone 12"-- that is, it completely destroyed and rebuilt my life in it's 20 minute duration (part of that was just the joy of knowing these musicians were still at it). But when I reach for a record to play, it's "Vengeance" that I choose as a default. Not that the other two aren't completely awesome; they can stay over night at my turntable's house any day. But "Vengeance" was the record where the band took some time and space to explore their brand of bleakness on an epic level. The Swedish assault dominates many of the songs, but on a few, the band finds its way back to the heyday of crust with slow to mid-tempo ploddings. "Night Falls" is an excellent example, and when I think of this album, my mind immediately starts playing that simple and stark guitar riff with which the track opens. The word Heavy, and all of it's musical and emotional connotations also comes to mind. The listener is escorted with belabored and lethargic steps through an empty street in a war-torn nation. The tempo picks up when the soldiers come marching through, but as the lyrics explain, there will be no resolve for the sleepless masses who wait for peace in their darkened apartments. And you wonder why they chose their band name! But as the ancient Greek dramatists taught us, tragedy and catharsis are fairly inseparable.

If for whatever reason you haven't heard Tragedy or "Vengeance," I can't urge you enough to rectify that. Keep in mind that many of their songs are actually fast, unlike this one:


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Urânus Is Gone

Hardly any one's enjoying the obscure stuff I've been posting, so it's time for a classic. The His Hero Is Gone/(Union Of) Uranus split 12" was one of the greatest things the nineties squeezed out of its fruitful, if irregular bowels. Whether everyone out there has these tracks already or not is irrelevant; I've always wanted to post this beast. HHIG were one of a few bands who revitalized my interest in hardcore at a time when I could have gone in some pretty embarrassing directions; so potent was their influence that here I am over ten years later, more enthused than ever about our little subterranean niche. They must have done the same for hundreds of musicians, as HHIG/Tragedy worshippers span the globe these days. Uranus' influence was more subtle, but they left their mark in a huge way too, and did so even more after their discography CD finally emerged from its icy, unmarked grave. The split itself was limited to somewhere around 500, and was sold exclusively on the bands' joint tour ('97? '98?). The Uranus tracks are of course compiled on their CD, but these recordings of the six HHIG ragers weren't ever reissued (don't quote me on that). These recordings also represent the last output by the line-up as heard on the "Fifteen Counts Of Arson" LP. The re-recorded versions (with new members, including Yannick from Uranus) would occupy the slab known as the "Fool's Gold" 7", which went through a confusing number of pressings on different labels. In addition to rougher sound quality, we're treated to a feverish, tribal-ish percussion intro that seems curious when held alongside the bands other work.

So, if you don't have these tracks, I've gone ahead and ripped this piece at 320 kbps, and included some pics of the insert and so forth in the folder (the photos didn't turn out great so I may post some better ones if the occasion should present itself).

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that these are two of the most amazing and important hardcore bands ever!

Right... Here

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Murder Is A Viable Option

A big thanks to R'nR Steve who reintroduced me to Enemy Soil by hooking me up with the their semi-discography, "Smashes The State." I hadn't listened to these grindcore "legends" since they were still a band, and I have now seen the error in my judgement. I won't post the double CD, because it's still extremely available. However, I did find the band's split with Japan's Desperate Corruption for cheap, and am more than happy to rip it for the rest of you grind-heads. Enemy Soil recorded their three tracks with only two members, Richard playing all the instruments and Doshu doing lead vocals. The signature power, bitterness, and suffocating heaviness of ES's later work is written all over these songs. As most of you know, members of the band formed/joined a bunch of noteworthy bands like The Index, Pig Destroyer, Drugs Of Faith, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, etc. Desperate Corruption were not as prolific, releasing only a series demos and a few splits (as far as I know). These dudes definitely practiced their scales and listened to a ton of Napalm Death. Both songs are impressive, but I couldn't say for sure what DS is about because no lyrics are supplied. All in all, this is a great split, and grindcore bands that consider the bass a superfluous instrument might think twice after hearing these tracks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pisspoor & Ungrateful

If you checked out the "El Guapo" comp a while back, you know that Pisspoor were one of the more cacophonous thrashcore bands that you missed the first time around. Featured today is another tidbit from the Sound Pollution Records back catalog: their split LP with Ungrateful. Pisspoor's often uneventful riffs are made up for by the relentless drumming and bloody-murder vocals (see Ojorojo for a quick analogy). It's not about brilliant songwriting; it's about the rage, and these guys/gals have plenty of that. As do Kentucky's Ungrateful, who opt for the more old-school hardcore approach, but throw in scathing vocals and an occasional blast-beat part to keep the kiddies happy. I wish the guitar wasn't buried so deeply in the mix, but what can you do... this is DIY?!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Girls On The Fiddle" (Mutiny)

Like some other weeks in the past, last week turned out to be a tribute to female fronted bands (not to be confused with full frontal female...). We're past the point where we need to have a parade every time a woman does something, but we can't ignore the lopsidedness of the male to female ratio in punk/hardcore. Hell, most of the blogs to your right are run by menfolk; any lady visitors out there? Anyway, working with teenagers, I get annoyed when I see the young ladies slipping into the expected gender roles. I'm reassured, though, when I see women in hardcore and metal-- the hope being that it will encourage girls to pick up instruments and stop regarding such an activity as "unfeminine." Which brings us to tonight's rollicking number, "Girls On The Fiddle" by my favorite Irish folk-punk band from Australia, Mutiny. It's possibly my favorite song by them, from my favorite album, "Rum Rebellion." Mutiny is a mixed gender band, but it's the ladies who dominate on this one, completely tearing up the fiddle, vocals, and I believe the bass. Whether you like this little sub genre or think it's played out, I recommend giving Mutiny a chance. And if you dare compare them to Flogging Molly, I'll be forced to break this bottle of Jamison over yer head!

"Girls On The Fiddle"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oasis Of The Shit

I love finding new favorite records. Just when you're getting jaded about music, you discover yet another overlooked, should-be classic, and it renews your once tireless search to unearth other such gems. This treasure hunt led me to the "Agitator" LP by Whipped (Outcast Records, 1995); I have to thank Brandon once again for supplying the map. The last post was a teaser for what Whipped would do two years later on this LP, which is a twisty adventure through the sardonic and impassioned hearts and minds of a small group of Seattle crusties. Expect no boring formulas, though; they're much faster than peace punk, sometimes nearing grind velocity, but don't expect brooding, metallic Nausea-crust either. They do throw in some awesome metal chugging, but it doesn't dominate the writing. And from song to song, you never know what to expect from the multi-faceted vocal attacks, except that there will be some snotty yelling and screaming at some point. What you can certainly expect over all is a powerful hardcore punk experience that will leave you asking where this band has been all your life!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

We Need Our Wars

Many 'Mercans have the day off today to celebrate a holiday notorious for its imperialist origins. Really it has just become an excuse to feast and hang out with The Fam. So if you've got the day off, enjoy! And to cleanse the genocidal aspect of the day, I have a nice nugget of crust to offer. The second featured band this week was brought to my attention by Brandon. This dude was cool enough to send an e-mail requesting any rips I may have by Seattle's Whipped. I hadn't heard of them, but I figured if someone likes what they hear on this blog and goes out of his to e-mail me, this band must be great. My search led me to their split with Inhumane, an LP, and I almost got a 7", but that's gonna have to wait. Until I get the LP ripped properly, chew on this split! Whipped play crusty hardcore punk that totally kills. On this split they remind me of Dirt or Mankind?, although their sound expanded quite a bit on their LP. So on this little Martha Foker, you'll receive two snotty originals and an Aspirin Feast cover. These songs only hint at what these guys/gals would do on the full length, which I'll have up by this weekend. From what I understand, some members of Whipped continued the rock legacy in Whorehouse of Representatives.

If you like other heavy crust bands from the early nineties North West (Decrepit, etc.), Inhumane may tickle your fancy. They may not have been prolific or original, but crust is all about power, not forging the next fashionable sub-genre. Metallic, heavy, plenty of conviction, and a bass player with a motorized finger. Sounds good to me. The 7" was put out by Sabotage, Earth Records and came with a poster for each band. The cover design looks generic from a distance, but upon closer inspection it's actually pretty kick-ass.

Get it

Monday, November 24, 2008

West Bay Chupacabras!

This blog may not get an excessive amount of visitors, but the ones who do stop by tend to be awesome individuals (or so it seems from here behind my desk). Two bands I hope to post this week were brought to my attention by a couple of these music-enthused passersby. The first band is Cathy Ames, who were recommended by Rygar (Ryan), who, incidentally, started a blog recently. He's a gifted wordsmith and posts bands that aren't the typical fare on all the crusty hardcore blogs. He's also looking for a job, so go over there and hook him up and leave lots of nice comments. But I digress. Ry mentioned the band when I was posting one of my favorite sub-sub-genres of music: dark and crusty hardcore with cackling banshee-ass vocals (often provided by a member of the fairer sex). Cathy Ames isn't quite that dark, but they certainly meet all the other qualifications. The three tracks herein shred pretty hard, and Fenny, the vocalist, belts out some real blood-curdlers. All searches for more CA releases have been fruitless. If you know anything else about this band, there are at least two people who would love to hear it.

Then we have Godstomper, who may not rival Agathocles for releasing split 7"s, but they hold their own pretty well. Being a bass and drum sludge/grind band, I am forced to throw in an annoying reference to MITB. If you prefer Lana Dagales, then, sure, go with that. Anyway, the six tracks on their side are heavy and raw. As a matter a fact, there's a noticeable rawness to the whole release, which was put out by Paul Barfo's (Godstomper) label, Cesspool Records. The "cover" is a two sided photocopy with no lyrics, and the recording is rough to say the least. But the music is what matters most, so see what you think...


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Drink And Be Merry" (Amebix)

Yesterday I celebrated (suffered) another birthday. There are a rare few out there who still meet this annual aging rite with an unending, childlike enthusiasm, even after they've reached the big 3-o and beyond. I can't say I'm one of them, exactly. For me these days, the B-day is a pretty bitter-sweet affair, and for the Song Of The Week I've chosen a crusty ditty that's as emotionally ambivalent as I am about seeing another year pass. With "Drink And Be Merry," Amebix takes us on a guided tour through a stench-filled, post-nuclear planet Earth. A priest vomits blood, and the last survivors of the holocaust are cannibalizing the dead rotting carcasses that lay strewn about. And the point of this? Carpe diem, baby! Leave it up to The Amebix to take a potentially uplifting theme, and turn it into a total Dante-esque nightmare. Needless to say, I love Amebix, and I love this song. And yes, yesterday I drank (a bit too much) and was merry, but today we did not die. Shall we wait to see what tomorrow'll be like, or shall we crack open another bottle?

"Drink And Be Merry"

The Politics Of Dining

Here's another compilation that you probably won't download. There are some nice treats on this "You, Who Are Innocent..." 7", which was a benefit for Vegan Outreach and Farm Sanctuary. You got some metalcore (Upset, Morning Again), d-beat crust (Detestation), grind (Tho Ko Losi), and "powerviolence" (Capitalist Casualties). There's a ton of topical information in the booklet as well, if you still don't know how horrid the meat industry is.

Track List:
1. Upset- "Make An End"
2. Morning Again- "Martyr"
3. Detestation- "Consumed By Your Greed"
4. Tho Ko Losi- "The Laughing Christ (Live)"
5. Capitalist Casualties- "Reborn (Live)"

Here it is

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When The Orcs Ruled Arizona

I've spent the last week ripping through (correcting) about 150 essays written by 8th graders. Persuasive essays. The only thing they've persuaded me to do is to put my fuckin' head through a wall! Luckily I have grindcore as my safer and more preferred method of therapy. Since a couple of you out there expressed the desire to see Uruk-Hai's 7" posted here, and since I please to aim, I'm finally ready to deliver the goods. Some recent posts have seen this blog slowly descending the Arizona family tree of nineties hardcore bands, and today we arrive at the roots. Before there was Tho Ko Losi, Wellington, and Suicide Nation, Uruk-Hai recorded the "Give Up On God" 7" (Fetus Records, 1994?) which I believe to be their only non-demo release (I'm only assuming they did a demo at some point). The band spews out nonsense-free grindcore that's more raw and straight-forward than Tho Ko Losi. The mathematics of this release may sheds some light on the brutality: 10 tracks on a 7"; 3 vocalist, plus the other 4 musicians all provide some vocals as well (and none of them are named Mike!). Yes, their name comes from The Lord Of The Rings, but Orcs are badass and the band existed long before the films came out, so it's okay.

Click here if you've given up on God

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Ejaculation Of Serpents

I was reluctant to post the Hard To Swallow LP "Protected By The Ejaculation of Serpents" because I assumed the tracks were on their Armageddon Records CD. Luckily commenter XyosefX set me straight; I'm not too into CDs, otherwise I would have known that it only collects early EP tracks and such. So here it is... eleven blows of brute-force nihilism from one of the more underrated UK bands of last decade. By the time of this LP's release, H2S had beefed up their bass and guitar density and sickened their vocal style to become an almost full-fledged grindcore band. Those hardcore nerves are constantly exposed, though, and if you can imagine the burliness of Citizens Arrest, mingling with the cold, forlornness of Counterblast, and garnished with the dissonance of Discordance Axis, you may have an inkling as to the enigmatic yield reaped by these brits.

Household Name Records was wise enough to remaster these ragers for that anvil-around-your-neck heaviness. The LP still appears in their webstore, so maybe they have some copies left (doubtful, as it was released in 1999 in a pressing of 1000?!). If you're in the UK, hit 'em up!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Fallout Of Our Being" (Nausea)

Whenever I post a compilation, I can always expect half as many downloads as usual. I guess I can understand that... wanting something more cohesive, etc. But I've discovered many of my favorite bands through comps... Nausea being the third Song Of The Week band for which this is true.

My introduction to Nausea was also my first glimpse at the stench filled bog we now call crust. "New York City Hardcore: The Way It Is" is admittedly an odd place for such a how-do-you-do. "Fallout Of Our Being" was nestled among a brigade of sportswear-clad straight-edgers and right-wing pseudo-skinheads. But in the late eighties/early nineties, I was (unfortunately) only acquainted with this New York scene, and a few other bands I love to this day, like Bad Brains and Agnostic Front. I remember seeing Nausea in AF's thank you lists, and that sparked the detective in me. Finding this comp got me a little closer, but upon interrogation, the clerk who sold it to me could direct me no further. The Nausea case would have to be left open for a time.

It would be years later when I'd finally discover that crusty beacon of light, Profane Existence, and Nausea's treasured gift to hardcore, "Extinction." Having now heard their discography numerous times, I can't necessarily say that "Fallout" is my favorite Nausea track. But its stomping d-beat power and bleak lyrics belted out so urgently and gruffly by Niel, knocked something into my head (or out of it).

So it was through Nausea that I would get to know the classic UK crust and political punk bands. Now, looking back, Nausea seems like the Noah Webster of this genre, establishing the American crust lexicon, while still paying respectful homage to their forebears. Whether you agree with their politics or not, it's hard not to recognize Nausea's place in the hardcore cannon, and I personally can't help but regard them as one of the all time greatest bands of the genre.

"Fallout Of Our Being"

Destitute Populations/Diseased Minds

Censored Opinions/Dwelling On Time

Are people really blind
or just absent of their minds
A continuous pattern towards
the fallout of our very being.

And when at war
Soldiers kill soldiers
It's man killing mankind
I ask you why, why must
life go to so much waste?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

To The Holy Land Of Grind!

Who would've known that Quebec City in the early nineties was such the bastion of brutal crust/grindcore? I guess the easy answer would be the Quebecois themselves. I remember reading enthusiastic descriptions in DIY 'zines of Immoral Squad, Human Greed, Shitfit, and Global Holocaust, and, well, they're all here on the "Quebec Crusade For Auditive Savagery Proliferation" 7" comp (Doomsday Machine Records, 1994). So what's the crusade exactly? Besides steam-rolling your face with crude and ferocious tunes, the comp also tried to serve as a rendezvous point of anti-globalization solidarity for Canadian crust-types. For the most part, all the bands stay on topic lyrically, and musically the standouts are mentioned above, but I would add Drift, whose track is ten times more devastating than I remember them being in the past. Eight angry bands; nine angry songs. Fight The Power.

Get it (and don't forget to D/L the Immoral Squad 7" down below)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Immoral Squad 7"

Some bands have that knack for conjuring immensely powerful ends from meager means. Discharge and Drop Dead come to mind, and are two prime reference points for describing the scant but unforgettable output of Quebec's Immoral Squad. It's all been done before and will be done again, but some bands just have that... power. Immoral Squad played simple and straight forward crustcore (before it was fashionable to do so), but with some added speed (not quite blast beats... more like the tempo of Siege or Luzifers Mob). So what sets them apart from the hordes? Power! I know it's abstract, but damn if these guys didn't have a ton of it, mainly due to a bulldozing guitar sound comparable to early Uranus (with whom they shared a split) or any of the bands mentioned above. And I can't leave here without mentioning the howling and crooning vocals... a virile mix of Discharge, early Boston hardcore, Ripcord, etc. This is hardcore at its most visceral and unrepentant; don't ponder too much, just...

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Is Helsinki, Not Boston

You listen to entirely too much hardcore and grindcore (and other genres ending in -core). As a result, I shall be forced every now and again to give you a little injection of melody to break up all the screaming and yelling. So drop your pants; it won't hurt a bit. As a matter of fact, I think you'll like today's prescription: the War Of Words 12". These Finns (don't confuse them with the Bostonian band of the same name) did time in Diaspora and Life's A Riot, and will definitely appeal to you if you're partial to bands like Imperial Leather, La Fraction, Happy Bastards, and Signal Lost. Weaving in and out of the mid-paced punk explosions, you'll find soaring bass lines that give the tracks a "California" feel; but the first thing you'll notice I think will be the vocals. The young lady vocalist is especially noteworthy, alternating between slightly harsh shouting, and downright lilting melodies. There are a few somewhat saccharine choruses, but the greatness of the rest of the material counters that nicely.

If you own a turntable, have some extra cash, and find that you like this record, please help out either Crimes Against Humanity Records or Puke 'n Vomit Distro. I think these two outlets have some of the last copies of this disk in North America (only 500 were pressed). CAH Records is struggling to survive, so head over there NOW and throw some scrilla his way (there's even a sale going on). Download blogs get a lot of shit for taking away revenues from labels, but I'd like to believe we actually help their sales. Prove me right.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Song Of The Week: "Inspiration" (Crimpshrine)

It was 1993, and Jawbreaker were about to play this outdoor gig at a kid's amusement park. The only thing more intriguing than this were the scummy punks with Crimpshrine patches on their tattered jackets. Who is this Crimpshrine? Such a strange and cryptic name; such a crude and inornate logo... I had to find out. Weeks later I would, and my outlook on life would never quite be the same again.

So, yes, Crimpshrine was a punk band. But for me, it isn't as plain and simple as that. They were a small group of people, who rebelled against the rebels. In a time when it was fashionable to say "Fuck you, I don't care," Crimpshrine had the balls to say "Fuck you, I do care." The concrete spires were rising up around their native Berkeley, enshrouding their world in a cold, cynical malaise; but these naive guerrillas somehow found the unction to breathe warmth and hope back into the ruins of all that used to be meaningful. Hiding and thriving in the dark crags of their fallen home, they were hellbent on teaching us how to be human again.

I would go on to listen to "Duct Tape Soup" more times than any other album. The band's power, artful simplicity, and sincerity can never quite be matched. When I find myself entering into that cold, cynical place, I look to Crimpshrine. Of the 30 or so songs I was tempted to choose for tonight's post, it was "Inspiration" that seemed to sum up what this band means to me. It appeared originally as the last track on the "Quit Talkin' Claude" 7", then (fittingly) the last track on the "The Sound Of A New World Being Born" collection. All the suffering and deliverance this band conveyed throughout their life is contained in this little song, from the bluesed-out lead-up, to the fiery punk crescendo. I can only hope that this band inspires you half as much as they do me.


Negativity's too enchanting
Cuz the world seems so depressing
But I know it can't always be that way
I get caught up in my situation
But I know my life's just begun
We all need...


And the thought of a hundred million smiles
And a hundred million buildings burning to the ground
From a hundred million miles away, I can hear the sound
Of a hundred million burning definitions
And a hundred million dead restrictions
And a hundred million minds set free
From the chains put there a generation before

I can see the world falling to it's knees
Screaming "Please someone help me"
Now I can see, we've destroyed ourselves with certainty
And this machine will crumble and fade
To a hundred million miles away
Where there's someone just like me
Thinking everything will be OK

From a hundred million miles I can see a man
And I know he understands
Saying your chains are your own
It's your mirror, so smash it.