Thursday, February 28, 2008

Totalitär/Disclose Split LP

This post is dedicated to the I-Heart-D-Beat pack out there. Sometimes primal emotion just can't be aptly expressed through subtlety, intricacy, or poesy. That's why there are bands like Totalitär and Disclose-- to make sure we stay connected to our savage selves. Sweden's most reliable d-beaters are matched up here with Japan's prolific Discharge/Confuse-worshipping distortion pushers. What more needs to be said?

This split was a fairly limited release by Your Own Jailer Records (Sweden) in 2001 (500 copies). Havoc Records commissioned the repressing of around 500 more that year to be sold in the US. This is a loudly recorded disc, and I ripped it pretty loud too, so you've been warned!

The Split

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sink "Sad But True" 7"

"Sad But True" is a 5 song seven inch created by four angry young Japanese women who went by the name of Sink (MCR Company, 1995). The band stays fairly true to their country's punk roots, cranking out noisy and rather crusty hardcore that is as powerful as it is simple and raw. The vocals are gruff and agonized, and bring to mind the more gutteral grunts of Damad or Society Gang Rape. As should be anticipated from most Japanese records of this era, the insert supplies the listener with "Engrish" lyrics that waver between terribly charming and charmingly terrible. Overall, this is a really nice EP, and probably the only recording the band left behind (or is it?)

"Sad But True"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mörser/The Swarm Split 7"

Some records are so singular and arresting in their power, they seem to have their own gravitational pull. The Mörser/The Swarm split 7" is one of these; it lures you in black hole-like, and does things to you scientists only wish they had the words with which to explain the phenomenon. Mörser shouldn't need any introduction, but perhaps do. This German band is Systral's evil twin, and issues forth an a-traditional brand of grindcore that leaves nothing standing in its wake: four "singers," two bass players, two bass drums, and a guitarist. The two tracks included here are no disappointment to anyone who has heard this band before. The Swarm's tracks are miles away from disappointment, as well. Prior to hearing this ep, I had only heard one track by these Canadians on a No Idea comp., which left me numb. However, on this disc the band completely destroys with three tracks of suffocatingly heavy Swedish influenced hardcore that brings to mind the desert-bleakness and urgency of Initial State. This split is no light listening, so I suggest you warm up by listening to any of the bands mentioned already, and maybe a little Nasum and Tragedy.

The Mörser/Swarm split was released around 1999 by Spitfall and Per Koro Records. The Swarm's tracks are available on their CD.

Download the Punishment!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Holy Mountain/Deathcycle Split 5"

I haven't posted a new record in a while, and the Holy Mountain/Deathcycle split (Gloom Records, 2007) seemed like the right one to correct the situation. These bands are among the finest in contemporary American hardcore. Since first hearing "Entrails," I have often felt that The Holy Mountain don't get enough recognition for being one of the most impressive disciples of the dark and heavy sect of the Swedish style (the faction often compared to Tragedy...). I was similarly impressed by Deathcycle's debut LP, with its burly mixture of modern NY hardcore and thrash, and was excited to hear about this release. Each band drops one track here of demo-quality noise and destruction. Neither band is in its top form, but still, as mentioned before, these are excellent bands and this is a must-hear (check out records mentioned above if you get a chance). The 5" was released in a ridiculously small pressing (425... due to the expensive production costs), and are most likely gone by the time you read this (although you may still find one here and here). Sadly, The Holy Mountain disbanded last summer, but Deathcycle are still going strong.

The split (should be a pretty quick download)

Monday, February 18, 2008

.NEMA/Warfare State Split 7"

Another somewhat forgotten split, the NEMA/Warfare State ep was released in 1996 jointly by Schwarma and Hardcore Noisies Records (quantity is unknown). Many out there probably know NEMA because of their LP "Bring Our Curses Home," and from their members' previous involvement in Hobbit-grinding outfit, Ottawa (as well as Current). The band offers two great, albeit noisy, thrash/grind conniptions, and one slower, chunky track that completely rules! I kind of wish the production was better, but in a way that would perhaps ruin the overall effect. NEMA were accused of posturing and other counts of pretentiousness, but those tidbits of gossip may have been a result of scene politics or the band being misunderstood. I don't care too much, as their music definitely delivers. NEMA shares the spotlight here with Canadian crust-thrashers, Warfare State, who may not have released anything else prior to break-up. The lack of production really hurts the impact of the band's three tracks, which are an otherwise caustic blend of crossover thrash, d-beat crust, and black metal vocals. Members of Warfare State would go on to form Born Dead Icons and Countdown to Oblivion.

The Split

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


That's right, Bonescratch. Athough based in Sapporo, Japan, you may want to hold back any assumptions about Bonescratch's music. This isn't "Burning Spirits"-style hardcore, or blown-out distorto-Discharge worship. Instead, Bonescratch wear their diploma from the San Diego School of Hardcore on their sleeve (or perhaps it's the Ebullition or Old Glory school?). The good old days come to mind when it seemed that every month some new band would form with ex-members of Heroin, Indian Summer and Native Nod were considered "hardcore bands," and "chaotic" was an essential term used in every music review. Bonescratch released their "Last Words Gone" 12" in 1998 (on Bloodsucker Records), at the tail end of this thriving period of blurred distinctions, providing evidence that the SD sound did in fact land on the other side of the Pacific. Within these grooves, the band stirs up your emotions with the buoyant guitar sound of mid-period Antioch Arrow, the throbbing bass of Angel Hair, and vocals that sound like/are a Japanese guy screaming like Sam McPheeters of late-period Born Against. If this description sounds good to you, you will probably love Bonescratch (as I obviously do). If you don't know what or who the fuck I'm talking about, check out Bonescratch anyway... the worst that can happen is that you'll dismiss them as "interesting" and move on. The band also released a split 7" with In/humanity, but no other records that I'm aware of.

Bonescratch - "Last Words Gone"

Friday, February 8, 2008

Farewell To Sean Finnegan

With so many blogs singing the praises of Void, and considering the sad news, I felt the urge to post the "Condensed Flesh" 7". It's probably been done already, but oh well. Many hardcore-types have their story about the first time they heard the Void/Faith split. Mine's no different. I was in high school, and it, as well as the Bad Brains LP, changed my musical life for the next 15 years and beyond. I doubt the members of Void could have fathomed at the time the impact they would continue to have so many years later. They were one of the greatest and most intense bands of this genre, and tore down whatever boundaries their predecessors had built. Thanks for the music, and my condolences to the Finnegan family...

The Record:
I picked up the "Condensed Flesh" 7" in the mid 1990's when Eye 95 Records graciously decided it was time to issue it on vinyl for what I believe to be the first time (whether legitimately or not, I 'm not certain). From what I understand, the nine tracks were recorded as a demo in 1981. The recording is much better than on their split LP tracks, but the vocals are not nearly as over-the-top. Regardless, it's a great EP and several of the tracks do not appear on the split. If for whatever reason you haven't heard the Faith split- listen to that first, then this EP, then go over to Lo-Res Viscera and check out the unreleased LP (don't forget to leave him comment!).

Condensed Flesh

Monday, February 4, 2008

Acursed/Fallout Split LP

In celebration of the release of "Tunneln I Ljusets Slut," Acursed's excellent second LP, I figured this would be a good time to post the band's early and now out of print split LP with Fallout. On the back cover of the new LP, Acursed thanks only two bands: Discharge and His Hero Is Gone. This curt salute speaks volumes for the band's impact and sound, as indeed they play an earth-shaking brand of distortion-fraught scandi-crust layered with dark, melodic nuances. The 10 tracks on this split are even more uncompromising and raw than the new record, and are underscored with a menacing bass presence that is absolutely devastating. In my mind, the body of work this band has produced thus far firmly places them into same echelon occupied by Kontrovers, Konfrontation, Martyrdod, etc. One member (Jon) is in also in both Sayyadina and Victims, a piece of intelligence that might prepare you for the assault. Acursed are a tough act to follow, but Fallout handle the task effortlessly. Based in Victoria, Australia, Fallout answer the secret wishes of hardcore fans worldwide with their lethal cocktail of Dystopia's metallic crunch and ascerbic vocal snarl, stirred sparingly with the speed and violence of Infest and Luzifers Mob. This description is no exaggeration! These Aussies really do supply the punishment, making it difficult to decide which side of this record is more enjoyable.

The Accursed/Fallout LP was released on Putrid Filth Conspiracy (aka the label that can do no fucking wrong!) in the early 2000's (although both bands recorded their material in 1998). As with all PFC releases, they never stay in print for long, so here are some rips...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Waifle 10"

Waifle's LP "The Music Stops, The Man Dies" was a screamy, at times pretentious, outpouring of emotion. I admired the effort and heart the band put into it (the layout/packaging is amazing!), but the resulting tracks left me unmoved. Somewhere between that record and their "And the Blood Will Come Down Like a Curtain" 10" (Magister Ludi Recordings, 2000), something happened. It's as though the rough terrain of life was beginning to callous the skin of these young dreamers, and it became time to find a way to express their newfound burden of bitterness and despair. In finding their new skin, Waifle shed their need to be so obvious and preachy (no more of those self-righteous spoken parts), and opted for a much more despondent range of tones in their music. This a heavy record (which cannot be said about their earlier work) in the manner of both Policy of Three-type hardcore, as well as Acme/Systral-style metal, and when it comes to emotional power, these four songs are resplendent.

Much of Waifle's output is still available for very reasonable prices (see below). However, the insert for my copy of the 10" requests the bearer to make a tape of it for a friend, so I am posting rips from the vinyl. If you like it, though, the band is selling the CD for only four bucks and one distro still has copies of the 10".

Buy the CD here or here
Buy the 10" here