Monday, March 31, 2008

"Kamikaze Attacked Amerika/Yankee Bombed Hiroshima, Nagasaki" CD Comp.

Commenter dxb requested more CFDL, but sadly I don't have much. I do, however, have this amazing comp. CD on which they appear. Since I'm on this whole compilation kick, it seemed right to post it. As the title suggests, this CD contains almost 50/50 American and Japanese bands. When Sound Pollution and MCR let this thing out of the pen in 1996, it found a cozy place in my CD player for upwards of 15 or so months straight! I can't express what a great listen this one is, and to entice the skeptics, I'll supply a band list below (note: several bands contribute two tracks) with special annotation when (I feel it's) needed.

Bands (Japan)
Insane Youth - Heavy-handed hardcore- Japan meets NYC
Anti Authorize - D-beat Cookie Monster-Core!
Senseless Apocalypse - noise/grind at its finest... their 2 best tracks!
Disclose - Hey, it's Disclose!
Balzac - Japan's unabashed punk "Misfits"
Addiction - simple and catchy- 80's style
Violent Pain - appropriately named
Bleed for Freedom - Rocked-out anthemic punk!

Bands (America)
- Pre-.NEMA Tolkien grind. 3 Tracks from their split LP with Jihad
Final Warning - D-beat boot-stomp featuring the original singer from Nausea!
- Dirt influenced peace-punk-hardcore with squealy female vocalist
Monster X
- The first and only straight-edge grind band (!?!?)
Quadiliacha - Melodic, political punk/hardcore (Great for those who like Strike Anywhere but are ashamed to admit it)
Masskontroll - Portland's answer to Sweden

Download (192)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol.6: "In The Spirit of Total Resistance"

All right, this one's a double 7", but why split hairs!? "In the Spirit of Total Resistance: A Benefit for the Mohawk Nation of Kanesatake" (Profane Existence, 1992) is one of my all time favorites. This masterpiece has everything a good comp needs: variety, a combination of known and unknown bands, an honorable purpose, incredible information/packaging (64 page book!), and of course, some ass-kicking music. All the bands featured have their own unique sound (except perhaps Crudos and Huasipungo... but who's complaining?!), so if you've never heard this one, you're in for a fun musical adventure. To this day, I still think MITB's track, "Homo Afflictus," is my favorite song of theirs, and Crudos' "Quinientos Años" might be my favorite of their early tracks as well. Crudos' work is easy to find, but it's still nice to hear this song within the context of this comp's theme (500 years of indigenous resistance, etc.) I wish I had the time to scan the entire book(let)... maybe one day soon.
Track List:
1. Jonestown - "The Gnawing Flood of the Wasichu"
2. Los Crudos - "Quinientos Años"
3. Huasipungo - "Estúpida Ambición"
4. Charred Remains a.k.a. Man is the Bastard - "Homo Afflictus"
5. Pollution Circus - "The Angry Brigade"
6. One By One - "Self Determination for the Fucked Over of the World (Common Ground)"
7. Dogfight - "Texas Two Step"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Animal Rights" Comp LP

Compilation madness continues with this full length gem brought to you by Tribal War Asia. "Animal Rights" (1999?) assembles seven of Japan's ragingest crust-mongers, and two others who employ a "lighter" approach. There are way more hits than misses on this piece of work, including but not limited to the thrash metal attack of AGE ("Psycho System" appears on their "4 Wings" LP), the classic crust barrage of Battle of Disarm, and the '80's keyboard-embellished punk assault of Argue Damnation. Really, though, all the other bands will make short work of pummeling the shite out of you too. Of course, all good comps should have some variety, so at the end of each side there's a couple of non-hardcore acts. Black September with Ikeda crank out a swanky yet socially conscious progressive-lounge-funk (or whatnot) track that may appeal to fans of The Big Boys and/or Guts Pie Earshot, and to conclude the show Yoshiaki belts out an acoustic number that sounds at once like your roommate singing in the shower, and then at times like an animal being tortured (maybe that's the point?). I still think it's a great way to end this inspired comp. When I picked this slab up, it was not in the best shape, so the sound quality is a little blah blah blah ... but, oh well, what can you do?!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol.5: "Disoppress"

To satisfy your Saturday afternoon noise hunger, here's another out-of-control, non-sucky comp. "Disoppress" was released around 1997 on Disoppress records, a label I am not familiar with. There are some good unknown bands on this one (for me at least) and a couple of long-time heroes (see back cover). The styles are all either straight forward political hardcore, or total ear-assaulting grind/noise. The one exception, and a real highlight on the record, is Depressor, who play metallic industrial crust. Depressor now plays with a drummer, and their releases (if you can find them) are definitely ones to look out for. First, the disclaimer: the production isn't great and my copy's a little warped... sorry about the (extra) noise. Second, the actual noise... Download

Friday, March 21, 2008

Hellnation/CFDL Split 7"

Sound Pollution Records has always been a reliable source for international fast-as-hell music. Around the time it teamed up with MCR Company, it was an especially good resource for Americans hungry for Japanese noise that fell on that side of the musical extremity spectrum. The split presented here is a great example of the label bringing two bands from opposite sides of the Pacific together. Hellnation should be legendary, but unfortunately are only mentioned cursorily in discussions of powerviolence and "underground" grindcore. Founded in 1988 by two Kentuckians (including Ken Sound Pollution), the band would go on for years producing an impressive body of grindcore, spear-headed by high-pitched, screamed vocals. The production was often fairly clean, but the band managed to appeal more to the hardcore crowd than the metal. Besides their choice of chords and song structures, part of this allure was in the straight-forward social/political lyrics that never shied away from calling out idiotic behavior within the "scene." On their side of the split, they take on, among others, sloganeering crusties, as well as the whole PC nonsense so annoyingly pervasive in the '90's. These dudes didn't care who they pissed off! Hellnation gives us five songs on this one, and although that's a lot for split, I am left wanting even more! CFDL (Chaotic Formidable Destructive League) take the wheel for Japan and, although not as ear-shattering, do the job equally well. There's a little more of an old school punk feel thrown in with the fastcore, and the vocals are a little easier on the ear as well. Only two of the four CFDL tracks have lyrics provided, and after reading them I truly believe that most bands should just write their lyrics in their native language. Anyway, the band's recordings are energetic and noisy- which is what I always look for in Japanese fastcore. At the time of this release (1996), the band had already broken up, but they reformed recently. Check this little record out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol 4: "Our Voice Pro-Choice"

The "Our Voice Pro-Choice" 7" (Hands On Records, 1993) consists of half Utah bands and half non-Utah bands, and was a benefit for the Utah Pro-Choice Coalition (they probably needed all the help they could get!). As you can probably guess, the Utah bands are virtual unknowns (unless you're from Utah?). However, the two out of state bands (Born Against and Heroin) would become quite influential within the nineties modern hardcore pantheon.


1. Anger Overload- "Waiting." I have not heard anything else by this band, and I'm not sure I would want to. They played metal with hardcore leanings that just doesn't do it for me.

2. N.S.C. - "Choice No Choice." NSC play old school punk not unlike The Avengers. Their track is not original, but still quite good and catchy.

3. Born Against - "Resist Control." BA need no introduction. "Resist Control" is a good example of their earlier, more straight forward material. This song is also compiled on their "The Rebel Sound of Shit and Failure" singles collection, and was originally a Life's Blood song. As the story goes, the release of the "Our Voice" comp. was delayed due to Sam McPheeters "misplacing" BA's layout for the insert behind his stereo. The comp. was thus completed after Clinton was sworn in, making the Bush Sr. imagery dated even for the record's own time of release.

4. Heroin - "Comes to Mind." San Diego's seminal gods of emotional and chaotic hardcore offer a very early track. If memory serves, this track did not make it onto the Heroin discography. While not as good as the band's later work, it is still great to hear this one... a real piece of modern hardcore history!

Download the Comp.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spine Wrench eps

After the dissolution of Deviated Instinct (who reformed and played shows recently!), Mid and Charlie started Spine Wrench. Charlie left after their first release, and was replaced by a drum machine. These two eps, "Soulscape" and "Heeldrag" (Desperate Attempt and After the Bomb Records, 1994 respectively) represent the latest period of this band's life span. The drum machine and noise used on these tracks warrant the "industrial" label to a certain extent, but the backbone of Spine Wrench's music is sludgy, groovy, hard-driving metal. There is a chilliness to their sound, not only from the drum machine, but from the pained screams and yells coming from Mid's mic, which seem to have some effects or distortion applied to them. I'm usually picky about these kinds of bands, but SW wrote some catchy and powerful tunes and I've come to appreciate their work quite a bit. In addition to these eps, Spine Wrench released a split CD, 2 other eps, and a split ep with Def. Master. Members are now in Bait and, well, back in Deviated Instinct.

All Spine Wrench releases are posted here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol.3: "Deadly Encounters"

As you can probably tell, I was really into the whole '90's west coast powerviolence/fastcore situation. Here's another little artifact with a bunch of favorites on it: The "Deadly Encounters Hardcore Compilation" (Agitate/Kill Music Records, 1997?). Half the bands on this one are from somewhere east of here (3 of whom are very well known!), but otherwise you'll notice the usual cast of LA and Bay Area superstars. As with many comps like this one, the cover is photocopied, the sound quality is checkered, and the songs are hit and miss. There were many detrimental skips on this ep, which I had to "repair" manually or with editing software; I hope it's not too noticeable.

Track List:
1. "Blinded" by Psycho
2. "Newest HC Song # 4" by Anal Cunt
3. "Newest HC Song #3" by Anal Cunt
4. "Drinkers of Mung" by Crom
5. "Redenbacher's Orgy of Pain, Fear and Pestilence" by Spazz
6. "Sarin" (Live) by Capitalist Casualties
7. "Boiling Point" (SSD) by Drop Dead
8. "Pressure" (Negative Approach) by Lack of Interest
9. "Viet Vet" by Violently Ill
10. "Better Never Than Late" by Charles Bronson
11. "Who Needs a Kleenex?" by Laceration
12. "Dig Up Your Dead" by Bad Acid Trip


Friday, March 14, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol.2: "Passing Bells"

This EP (Passing Bells Records, 2003?) is not as crusty as it looks. There are some crusty-type bands represented (Sharpeville & Diaspora), but the mix is fairly eclectic and displays some of the less "Finnish" sounding bands Finland has to offer. I love traditional Finnish hardcore as much as anyone, but that's not what this comp. is about. All the tracks and bands are great, which isn't something you can say about most V/A releases.

1. Sharpville: These neo-crusties play a thick, metallic style of punk much like the songs on their LP. The vocals are recorded a little low, but otherwise this one's a killer!

2. Diaspora: This band reminds me a little of Lost World or early Harum Scarum with its mid-paced hardcore tempo and vocals that alternate between snotty punk and harsh crusty screams. They released an LP too, which I'm now thinking I need to seek out!

3. Unkind: Taking a break from their usual scandi-crust ambush, Unkind deliver a haunting acoustic track that reminds me of some of the material on the first Deviated Instinct demo (for some reason). Not only is the song good, it really adds to the great sense of variety on this disc.

4. Wasted: 80's influenced, slightly abrasive punk. Lots of melody and fairly clean guitars. Good stuff.

5. Manifesto Jukebox: Another surprise! Rather than the bitter-sweet melodic indie rock influenced punk they are better known for, we are treated to a very faithful rendition of "Shroud" by Born Against! At times I thought I was listening to an alternate take of the real thing!

6. Hero Dishonest: These guys are starting to get better known in the US now, because they kick ass! HD play rocked-out old school (US) hardcore beautifully! Tons of energy and instrumental proficiency. Enough said... all their records are more than worth checking out.

Passing Bells

Monday, March 10, 2008

Plutocracy/Phobia Split LP (Live)

On this split (Misanthropic Records, 1994), LA/OC kingpins, Phobia, scrap it out live with infamous Bay Area tokers, Plutocracy. Both bands have had a huge impact on the "extreme music" emerging from California over the last decade and a half, and play/played their own brands of grindcore and/or powerviolence. Phobia have been leveling cities for about 18 years now, and on this LP expel 4 blasts of "Harmony Corruption"-era Napalm Death-style grind. Considering that it was recorded on July 24, 1993 at The Butt-Cave in Santa Ana, California, the sound quality on their side definitely exceeded my expectations. A great early set, by a legendary band! On the flip, Plutocracy put their out-of-control stylings on display by way of 8 bruising tracks. These guys created their own genre of grindcore that could never possibly be copied. The vocals are nutty and all over the place, giving the tracks a chaotic feel. But the band is in total control of its "art." They play with precision and conviction, and conjure a well-balanced blend of politics, humor, and fury. I can't say for sure where and when Pluto's side was recorded, because the insert is vague. There is a funny, ambivalent write-up of Pluto's last show reprinted there, but I'm not sure if we're to believe that the tracks were recorded at this show, The Butt-Cave, or elsewhere. Either way, their set completely shreds! Pluto members went on to play in Spazz, No Less, Capitalist Casualties, etc. They released a bunch of early records collected on a CD, and reformed around 1999 to record the "Sniping Pigz" LP.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

More 7" Comps That Don't Suck Vol. I: Reality

Arrgh. 7" Compilations. They're over in a flash, and before you let them sink in, you get too lazy to throw them back on the turntable. Doing this blog has really forced me out of my aversion for this comp. format, and allowed me to dig up and appreciate some of the better ones. I'll be posting more "volumes" of these comps here and there for the next couple of weeks...

Volume I is the "Reality" comp. released around 1994 on Deep Six Records. This would be the first in a series of numbered "Reality" comps that would appear in full length editions for years to come. Number One here is no sloucher, and showcases some of the most brutally violent bands the LA area had to offer at the time (the only exception is the Bay Area's Spazz). It's hard to pick highlights, because all the tracks kick muchisimo ass! For a full track list, click on the back cover photo up top. The Man is the Bastard track appears on the already-posted "Anger & English" comp, but this is a rough, live version that has its own distinct character. You can download this ep right....Here!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Asebia "Face of Civilization" LP

If your addiction to dark, metallic scandi-crust is as insatiable as mine, this may be the fix you've been scrounging for. Asebia sound like Swedes, but are actually Danes. Their "Face of Civilization" LP was released by Plague Bearer Records in 2003 and went fairly unnoticed in North America (as far as I can tell). It's too bad, because this is some excellent, world-class hardcore that could easily hold its own next to Skitsystem, Kontrovers, or Acursed. Asebia use speed generously to convey their fury, but keep each song interesting with tense intros, and slow interludes, many containing some evil black metal-type guitar picking. In addition to being sonically riveting, the lyrics are amazingly literate and thought-provoking (especially considering that they are mainly in English and the band is Danish). Themes cover a variety of topics symptomatic of our post-industrial predicament, including class exploitation, the dilemma of "freedom" for citizens of more more privileged states, and the anonymity of mass economic murder resulting from globalization. I've posted a photo of the lyrics from the back cover below if you're interested.

Asebia LP

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Silence "Mad Civilization"

This band's name reflects the amount of comments I've been getting lately (ha!). Silence is, really, a mournful, crusty hardcore band from Poland. Call it neo-crust, drama-crust, emo-crust (actually, don't call it that)-- I call it good hardcore. Each track on their "Mad Civilization" 10" (Les Nains Aussi, 2004) is out to wrench your guts and emotions thanks in large part to the darkly discordant guitars, hoarse screams, and on a couple of tracks, piano and violin. Most tracks reach hardcore-level speeds, but many slow it down in order to drag the listener through some serious emotional beatdowns. For lack of any better comparisons, some reviewers were hasty to foist Silence into the "Tragedy-esque" category. This is fair in terms of sub genre placement, but their tactics/techniques are more akin to Remains of the Day, Fall of Efrafa, or even Jeniger. In some ways, this is my favorite Silence release, although they have been busy in the last couple of years releasing some really excellent pieces: this 10", an LP, a split LP with Easpa Measa, a 7", and a split 7" with Burning the Prospect (probably a demo too, but I haven't seen/heard it). Of all these releases, the 10" seems the most difficult to find lately, so here you go...

"Mad Civilization"