Thursday, May 29, 2008

Unauthorized Duplication is the Obvious Solution!

Before we dig into today's auditory buffet, I'd like to point out that commenter and all around stand-up guy, Javier, has done us a huge favor by uploading Logical Nonsense's rare "Deadtime" LP. This album is incredible, and may even be a little surprising (in the vocals department) for those of you familiar with LN's later work (Green Day meets Napalm Death... um, no). Thanks again for doing that Javier!

As foretold, the arrival of "Vinyl Retentive" on compressed digital files is here! This massive comp. is one of a handful that shaped my musical world during my late teens, for better or for worse (along with some of the early Lookout! collections and so forth). On a comp. of this magnitude (33 bands), you're bound to dislike or even hate some of the tracks, especially considering the diversity presented herein. One thing is for certain: this is a unique ride indeed, the peaks and valleys of which range from the bizarre as fuck (Pounded Clown), to the silly as fuck (Horny Mormons), the catchy as fuck (Nar), the twisted as fuck (Lizards), all the way to, of course, the awesome as fuck (Econochrist). Some other "big" names include Buzzoven, Logical Nonsense, Grimple, Pinhead Gunpowder, Gr'ups, and Schlong. The sides of each of the two LPs seem to be organized loosely around the featured bands' styles: sides A and D contain most of the melodic, poppy punk bands (with tons of variation within that genre), side B presents the groovy, progressive rock/metal bands, and side C delivers the angry, heaviosity! There's tons of fun to be had here, so grab your favorite mind altering substance (or don't), and crank it loud!

LP #1

Note: I didn't realize just how many times I have spun this beast in years past. It really shows in the crackley background noise. I did what I could to counter this, but it still sounds... rustic. Sorry about that. Or maybe I'm not. This is "Vinyl Retentive" after all (emphasis on the vinyl); perhaps this is as it should be (Maybe I should've named this post Vinyl Expulsive). Each pop and crack is a memory of mine coming loose...

Back Cover & Tracklist

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"What Are You Pointing At?"

Here's the first in a pair of compilations I'll be posting this week put out by Very Small Records in the late eighties/early nineties. I'll always remember Very Small for its/his eclectic punk output, and snide/silly sense of humor (see cover design to the left). The 10" you see here was released in '89 and then repressed in '94 (on Too Many Records... really it's the same label). "What Are You Pointing At?" is a classic, featuring early work from Econochrist and Screeching Weasel, as well as four good, slightly more obscure bands. Yes, the Econochrist tracks have already been compiled on their essential discography CD (Ebullition Records). These two are among the band's earliest recordings, and display punkier, more melodic songwriting than on the later, more discordant and angry material for which they would become legendary. I'm not sure about the availability of the other bands' material. Screeching Weasel drop two catchy, fast pop-punk jams, one of which, "I Wanna Be a Homosexual," may be their catchiest and funniest of all time. The rest of the troop, Vapor Lock, Schizoid, Dissent, and Bazooka Joe, come from different parts of the country and each play their own style of '80's hardcore and/or punk with energy and panache! I think you'll like this one... and if you have any info about the last four bands, definitely don't hesitate to help out and leave a comment!

Back Cover & Track List

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Three-Part Recovery Program for Former Listeners of "Adult Contemporary" Part 1: Agathocles & Shikabane

I have some split 7" ragers I've been wanting to rip and get out here for a while. Since many Americans have a three day weekend (I have four!), and the weather sucks, this seemed like the time to do a "Triple Thrash Threat" kind of deal, Fugitive E. style (please don't sue me, MTV)! Today's "program" begins with a Belgium vs. Japan match-up. Most of you know Agathocles, at least by reputation. What reputation would that be...? I guess the band competing with Unholy Grave for the unofficial "Who Can Do the Most Split Records" contest. Here again they pump out three more simple mince tracks that are more compelling and enjoyable than I remember my last AG experience being (which was admittedly a while ago). Good stuff, although they aren't my favorite band in the world.

Shikabane, on the other hand, is a band I always look forward to hearing from. Those who know this band will be a little surprised by their offerings on this one. Missing is the brooding layer of darkness which has become the hallmark of this band. Instead, these tracks resemble the energetic thrash attack of Romantic Gorilla or Quill. I like their newer material better, but it's still nice to see where this band "came from." Note: I don't know how to transcribe Japanese titles. Sorry. If anyone knows a good method to learn this, do share!

Part 2: D.P.P.S & Nailed Down

Our second installment brings us back to Japan with DPPS. These psychos play a screaming mad, high energy grind/hardcore that is as tightly played as it is energetic. These ragers win the match on this split because they kick ass, and for reasons I'll explain below. Once again, sorry about the "Japanese Title" thing.

It has been said on another blog that Austraila's Nailed Down didn't release anything great since their 3" CD. This may indeed be the case. The tracks on this record are alright, but they have a certain listless, sloppy feel to them that led to ND losing some listeners. The band is obviously excited by eighties Japanese and Swedish hardcore as can be witnessed in their distortion, raw simplicity, and "pidgin" English song titles (eg. "Grand Order of Confuse Assasin"). The best track is a cover song (Mob 47), which is usually a fairly bad sign.

Part 3: Lack of Interest & Stapled Shut

Finally, we have this split between two fast LA area bands. Lack of Interest drop an impressive set list of Negative Approach-styled hardcore that is tempered by the band's proximity to Burbank (Infest). Good stuff-- I'd say some of their best!

Stapled Shut are the LA area's compilation darlings. Here they get to shine with a full six tracks of their stoned-out, fuzzed-out thrash. The extremely fuzzy, yet warm sounding distortion is the standout quality here, as is the fast d-beat drumming (which occasionally lapses into a blast-beating). The songs are simple, but somehow keep your attention (the short song lengths help, too). I have another EP from these guys somewhere, so let me know if you want me to post it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

(Not Such A) Bad Influence

If you're one of those people who were disappointed by the brevity of Zygote's lifespan, this post may provide a morsel of solace. It seems Tim Crow, bass player for Zygote and The Smartpils, hadn't received his fill either, and joined with some Belgian musicians to create Bad Influence. The mention of Crow's name is not incidental or gratuitous, for his bass work is, in a major way, a crucial ingredient to the gloomy brew concocted on the "Afterbirth" CD (Genet/Skuld/Self-released). The bouncier tracks absolutely reek of Zygote in the best way imaginable, while at other times, when the tempo creeps more slowly, the band wafts out a thick overcast of atmospheric despair, infiltrating the nightmarish and paranoid recesses of the human psyche. "Afterbirth" is a dark affair, so be sure to imbibe when the sun is shining and sharp objects are out of reach.

Download "Afterbirth"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Cover Songs Strike Back!

I had such a great time making the last Mixtape, I decided to make one more (final?) cover song collection. It tickles me to no end hearing crust and grind legends like Nausea and Crossed Out sharing the same musical space as my "guilty pleasures" like Friction (US) and Car vs. Driver! Some favorite bands from the last Mixtape make a repeat appearance, but the only repeat song is the Stooges' "Search and Destroy," this time by Terveet Kädet (if you haven't heard the version by Cursed, I highly recommend downloading the first mixtape). The emphasis this time around is on variety in order to keep this 22 track leviathan rockin' your sonic world from beginning to end. Thanks to the commenters on the last mixtape post who gave encouragement and feedback. This one's for you, and for anyone who likes to see musical boundaries smashed! (Note: At the bottom of this post there is an "index" of cover songs that appear in other posts in case you're interested or missed them).

Track List:

1. "Work for Never" (ENT) by Sanctum from their split LP with Stormcrow
2. "Search and Destroy" (The Stooges) by Terveet Kädet from the "Horse" LP
3. "I Don't Care" (The Big Boys) by 8-Bark from the "How the Midwest Was Won" Comp.
4. "From Enslavement to Obliteration" (Napalm Death) by Capitalist Casualties from their S/T discog. CD
5. "No Truth" (Christ on Parade) by Crossed Out from their discography LP
6. "Selfserve" (Crossed Out) by Denak from their "Grindcore" 10"
7. "Dead Shall Rise" (Terrorizer) by Le Scrawl from their "Too Short to Ignore" LP
8. "Ghetto" (Presley) by Leatherface from their "Cherry Knowle" LP
9. "Mr. Suit" (Wire) by The New Bomb Turks from their "Destroy- Oh-Boy!" LP
10. "Power" (derived from the Union Protest Song Lisa Simpson sings when Homer becomes union president) by Cluster Bomb Unit from the "Less Bank More World" Comp.
11. "Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing" (Discharge) by Nausea from their "Punk Terrorist Anthology 1" CD
12. "Children of the Grave" (Black Sabbath) by Detestation from their "Unheard Cries" demo
13. "Am I Demon" (Danzig) by Coliseum from their split LP with The Doomriders
14. "Banned from the Pubs" (Peter and the Test Tube Babies) by Filth from their split LP with Blatz
15. "Savior" (Neon Christ) by Car vs. Driver from their "Out of a Silent Sky" LP
16. "Lack of Intelligence" (Disrupt) by Hatred Surge from their split EP with Insect Warfare
17. "21st Century Schizoid Man" (King Crimson) by Rorschach from the "God's Chosen People" comp.
18. "Taste the Steel" (Beowulf) by Despise You from their "West Side Horizons" CD
19. "Split" (Jawbreaker) by Friction from the "How the Midwest Was Won" comp.
20. "Prejudice" (Crucifix) by Aus Rotten from their "Not One Single Fucking Hit" discography CD
21. "Pink Houses" (John Cougar Mellencamp) by Avail from their "Dixie" LP
22. "Boys Don't Cry" (The Cure) by Sheer Terror from their "Bulldog Edition" 2xCD

Download Here

Index of Previously Posted Cover Songs:

Grimple covers Celtic Frost
Quill covers Infest, and Harsh covers The Nihilistics
Drop Dead covers SSD, and Lack of Interest covers Negative Approach
Manifesto Jukebox covers Born Against
Health Hazard does "Funky Town"
Under Pressure covers Jesus and the Gospelfuckers
Seized covers Black Sabbath
Life But How to Live It? covers The Beatles ("Norwegian Wood")
Hatred Surge covers Despise You

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And The Horns Will Be Drowned Out By Bells...

Friday is National Ride Your Bike to Work Day, which, like Earth Day, is a chance for Americans to expunge their liberal guilt and, for 24 hours, feel that they are making a difference. All cynicism aside, the underlying intentions of The Day are admirable. But for many of us, it's just another day of saddling up the aluminum steed (or carbon, or steel), and declaring guerrilla war against the bustling and cranky tide of (sub)urban assault vehicles (at least in our fantasies). That's right, cycling is not just for the spandexed yuppies, but for the punks and revolutionaries too. If you look at the number of profiteers making money off our auto-addiction, riding a bike is one big "fuck you" to the insurance companies, rip-off mechanics, oil companies, DMV, Jiffy-Lubes, parking garages, cops, tire companies, car washes, and car manufacturers who have us in their clutches once we make that one big purchase. I am slowly weening myself off my addiction, driving only about one day a week to work. The ride there is a rough one through three different low income areas with several hills (8-9 miles each way), but like everything, it gets easier after a time. A handful of individuals won't change the world with a simple change of lifestyle, but examples can be set, and the personal benefits are numerous, as well.

So what will I be listening to on the way to work tomorrow? Among other things, the Awakening/Virginia Black Lung Split 7". This EP was one of the Sea of Steel series releases that Ed Walters Records put out, celebrating the political implications and pragmatism of cycling. You may know The Awakening from the 7 Inch Crust post a little while back, or from their excellent discography LP, "Eternal Blizzard". This Ohio trio merges the form and content with two tracks about cycling: "Front Wheel" and "Back Wheel." Awakening's musical delivery is an invigorating blend of cleanly played, dark scandi-thrash, with a hint of thrash metal. The vocals are refreshingly coherent, but full of conviction. This band came and went, but they really deserve our attention regardless of their flash-in-the-pan existence. Riding tandem is Philadelphia's Virginia Black Lung. I don't know much about these chaos-mongers, but they impress the heck out of me here. It's tough to pin-point their sound, but I hear some Econochrist, and perhaps a bit of the more chaotic hardcore of bands like La Quiete or Orchid. VBL are much more political and sinister than the last two bands (that's a compliment), and discharge four ragers, and a direct yet stirring spoken word piece (about oil wars, of course). This disc is great, but if you can't find it, I can't recommend The Awakening's discography enough.

Download this split

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

No Dogs, No Masters!

You're probably wondering what the hell happened with the cover photo. No, I did not get hungry... explanation is to follow. Today's spotlight is on the band Arma Contra Arma. When their only record, the "Let No One Deceive You (No Dejes Que Nadie Te Engane)" EP was released (on Lengua Armada Discos), Arma was billed as 'the band with Martin from Los Crudos playing drums.' I suppose that was a "selling point" for many, although his drumming is nothing remarkable. As a whole, the band's attack is not a surprise one for any fan of Crudos. ACA keeps it simple and raw the way Huasipungo or Ataque Frontal used to serve it up. Each of the 7 tracks (except the last one) gets it's message across in under a minute, making this EP a quick, no-bullshit experience!

Cover Story: Sorry about the crappy cover pic. When I adopted my dog nine and half years ago, he went through that orally fixated separation anxiety phase. I thought my records were secure, but I underestimated his tenacious jaws of death. Among the other casualties of this brazen act of vandalism: the .NEMA LP, the Angel Hair/Kerosene 454 split EP, and the HHIG "15 Counts" LP (this one, he actually damaged the wax!). In retrospect, it could've been a lot worse. I think he (Ulysses) fully realized my wrath over this matter, because he never pulled a stunt like that again! (A message to all you dogs out there: Don't mess with your best friend's records!)

The Arma Contra Arma EP

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Can't Seem to Get the Grimple Out of My Ass!

I must have been a Bay Area resident in a past life. Half the bands I love (from the US) are from somewhere in Nor-Cal. Since I don't believe in transmigration of the soul, I'll have to conclude and accept that there's just a ton of great bands up there, and not many down here (how I wish that weren't true!). Grimple were a great example of the Oakland punk greatness I love, exuding the infectiousness of Berkeley punk of the late eighties, and the ferocity of street-punk and hardcore. Their "Grimple Up Your Ass!" LP is a plasma-ball of energy, absolutely exploding with power, grit, and snot! Those tracks are readily available and recommended, as are the not-quite-as-easy to find tracks on their split with Logical Nonsense (East Bay Menace Records). These later tracks were, I believe, released on a discography CD which is out of print. By this point (1993), Grimple's approach changed a little (not for the better or for the worse necessarily... it just changed) adding a more serious, political, metallic, and, I daresay, crusty dimension. Part of this was probably just an internal musical evolution, but was also perhaps influenced by the bands they were playing shows with (and doing a split with!). These nine tracks are an essential part of their discography (there's a great Celtic Frost cover too!), so here are some high bit-rate rips for you (below)!

And we can't neglect Logical Nonsense, who on this disc offer seven earlier examples of their dark and menacing metal punk. Here the band displays a slightly closer kinship to crust punk than to the Neurosis-metal that would become the signature of their later full lengths. The gruff and pained vocals, as well as the jangly Bay Area bass lines are the big attraction for me, and are the main source of the power and lasting impression of these tracks. All you apocalyptic punk types are gonna love this stuff! There are five listed tracks on the CD, but as bonuses the band included a re-recorded version of "Pig's Blood Blues" (from the "Vinyl Retentive" Comp.) and an atmospheric spoken word piece.

Download here!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The "S.S." Must Stand for Super-Shred!

Yeah, it's another left-wing band that punctuates its name with that super ironic "SS." It was probably the unoriginality of the band's name that led me to dismiss them as just a cut-rate, aborted branch-off of .NEMA and Ottawa, and thus ignored their EP for years. BIG mistake in hindsight, as I now find that it's an AWESOME EP (in every sense of that word), and may surpass everything .NEMA or Ottawa put out in both power and quality! Dearborn SS did indeed feature Matt Weeks (of Current, Ottawa, .NEMA, Calvary, Council Records notoriety), and a cast of Michigan-based musicians that may have appeared in some of those bands as well. The sound on these seven tracks is hypothetically akin to what you'd get if you spliced the crisp, hard, fast drumming of Disrupt with the slight dissonance of more "modern" bands like Devoid of Faith. Each track is a whirlwind of energy, and before any of them gets too repetitive, the songwriting provides some turn or other to keep the jam from losing its intense momentum. To round this great little disc out, the male/female trade-off vocals are more compelling than many bands of this ilk (for me, at least), mainly because Kim's vocals are so reminiscent of Pink Turds in Space's and/or Detestation's (always a plus!). This EP is a raging piece of modern quasi-Scandi-thrash that could lead to a wide array of hardcore freaks slamming against walls or running naked in the streets (no guarantees, but I'm fairly confident).

Ultra-Nerdy Info:
The DSS EP was released in a single pressing of 1500 by Council Records and Lengua Armada Discos in 2000. 60 of those pieces were released in a "German only" edition, under the title THE DEARBORNSS, with all references to "S.S." removed (or at least "subtly" integrated). Based on the insert, it seems the band name was inspired by the band's disgust over Henry Ford's collusion with Nazi Germany before and during The War.

DSS EP (mediafire)

DSS EP (4 Shared)

Monday, May 5, 2008

I saw your mommy and your mommy's dead

If your experience with the Suicidal Tendencies LP is/was anything like mine, you've listened to it over 1000 times and have probably been caught in public singing aloud some pretty fucked up lyrics (see post title). That record had to be one of the most hard-driving and catchy punk/hardcore records of all time (funniest, too). As was typical in the eighties, the band went completely metal (and not in a good way, either) after the release of their masterpiece, leaving only 12 tracks for the punks to dote over. Luckily, the bootleg operation Skate Core has dredged ST's 1982 Demos and rehearsals, and etched them on a quality 17 track (see picture below) LP that's been making the distro rounds recently. Side "S" (One) presents about seven rough recordings of tracks that would make it onto the LP, and a couple of unreleased ones (all with decent sound quality). Side "T" (Two) features mostly unreleased tracks, but they either have horrendous "production" or the vocals are nearly to completely inaudible. Most fans will enjoy hearing these songs regardless of their imperfections, so here are some decent rips for your demented listening pleasure...

1982 Demos

Back Cover (including track list):

Saturday, May 3, 2008

...lost inside this manned collision

I shudder to imagine where I'd be without Bad Brains. The ROIR tape and "Rock For Light" were responsible for lifting me out the (strictly) reggae-listening daze of my junior high years, and pretty much got me through the most painful parts of high school. I can't count the number of times I ran home in a hormonal rage in order to throw on one of these tapes and be instantly calmed by the more genuine rage of these four musicians. In the absence of that hormonal imbalance, I still reap a WHOLE LOT of joy from those songs (let's not even get into HR's religious and homophobic "issues"...). Most great stuff from the eighties has been covered by better blogs that are more focused on that era, but I've had this strange, presumably bootlegged, 7" for 14 years and felt the need to share it. The EP pictured above and below is basically the "Pay to Cum" EP but with a bonus track: a version of "Don't Bother Me" recorded during the same 1979 session of the original EP. This may or may not be the only place this version appears!? Another reason this EP seems unique is the insert which has some photos I haven't seen elsewhere (and the fact that the record has a little stapled booklet inside... kinda rare for such an old 45...). As you can see, the back cover states the record was released on Limp Brain Records in 1980, but seeing as how that's not a real record label (or is it?) I don't know if we should believe in the accuracy of the date (potential commenters: please share if you have info!). What is clear is that only 500 were made in this pressing, and I have no idea if anyone went on to press a bootleg of this bootleg. If you don't have these songs, then do yourself a favor and download them below, and check out the pics if you're interested.

Download The Tracks