Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Axis Of Stupidity

I'm feeling a little crusty tonight, but I bet the two bands on this split feel crusty all the damn time! What we have here are two of the finest examples of European battle axe-wielding crust-core sharing a split. Guided Cradle are one of the heaviest and meanest I've heard in the genre, and if you like Disrupt, you can't go wrong with these Czechs. Instinct of Survival are a little bit harder to nail these days, but I definitely hear a ton of old-fashioned grind and some heavy crust metal (the Napalm Death meets Sanctum comparison is too tempting not to use...). Supposedly this little nugget is going to be repressed by Yellow Dog Records, but until that happens...


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Closing In" (Kerosene 454)

My relationship with Kerosene 454 has always been cursory: a song here, an EP there. When I found "Came By To Kill Me" on vinyl recently, I figured it would be my chance to finally digest them in full. Turns out, this LP was a rip-roaring choice! Along with some of the releases on the side bar over there, this one has been on non-stop rotation for the last month. Much of the Dischord stuff from the mid nineties was a bit... 'dainty' for my liking, and it seems fitting that this LP was a split release. It's as if the band was some bastard child not quite worthy of full inheritance. To my tastes, it's brilliant. Ethereal guitar chords, good cop-bad cop vocals, and drumming that must have been provided by a disgruntled blacksmith... everything adds up to a pretty unique rock experience, yet the aesthetic ties to heavy indie acts like Fugazi, Drive Like Jehu, and Last Of The Juanitas make it all rather sweetly familiar.

The album is pretty stellar all the way through, but I chose "Closing In" for the usual reasons: it's one of my favorites, and it tightly epitomizes this most captivating moment in 454's lifetime. Check it out.

(Filepub's been kinda ghetto lately, so I put a back up link down below too.)

"Closing In"

"Closing In" (Mediafire)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome to Hell

Sorry if the Jeniger LP has been posted elsewhere, but really it was just a matter of time before it appeared on this blog. Around the time of the demise of His Hero Is Gone, the plague of morbid brutality had already spread out of control globally. Every band and their little sister was overcome with the need to play their hardcore dark and heavy, and to work that chilling thread of melody into the barrage of pure destruction. Predictably, some of these second wavers were fairly incredible, Germany's Jeniger being one of the sneakier and deadlier examples of this elite strain. There's an overall sense of bleak minimalism dominating the songwriting, which is perfect because a sound informed by such raw emotion shouldn't try too hard to dazzle or distract from its own impact. The aptly named opening track, "Point Of No Return," should be enough to lure you into the band's desperate world, if not from the throbbing, distorted opening bass riff, then certainly from the mesmerizing drum march that follows. After that, there really is no turning back.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Infectious Hypnosis

I said I would put up some more Counterblast, and I'm happy to finally make good on that. "Impassivity" is the band's second full length, made available by Putrid Filth Conspiracy on double LP. I found a cheap copy of the Malaysian CD version, so what you get tonight is the CD ripped at 320 along with photos of the vinyl graphics. If you don't know by now, Counterblast are a formidable post-G-ANX metal/hardcore band that mix spacious, at times cold, ambiance with crushingly heavy, slow riffs. A few song-lengths on "Impassivity" could easily have been shortened, which is why I favor "Balance Of Pain" (that album just had some tight fuckin' songwriting). But all in all, "Impassivity" has some truly sublime moments of stark beauty and heaviness, not to mention awesome production and enough fast parts to make the G-ANX fans teary-eyed with nostalgia. I hope to post "Balance Of Pain" very soon, but it all depends on whether or not I can make good rips from my LP, or find high quality rips of the CD. The ones floating around soulseek are ripped at 192, so if you have the CD, perhaps you could help out?

This is a massive record in many ways, so I divided it into two parts. Due to its wide availability, I may have to remove the link in a couple of days.


Pick up some Counterblast material here:
Active Rebellion
Puke'n Vomit
Crust Punks
No Way Out

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Easter Island" (Cull)

I know, I just posted Cull's "Erosion" CD not too long ago. But another post is in order because I'm still excited about it, Cull is on tour, and Jacqui was generous enough to send me an extremely limited and awesome version of the CD! The art and layout for this thing is handmade and it turned out amazing (see sample below), so try and get one from the band before they run out (they only made a hundred, so hurry!). They're playing Seattle tonight, and Oakland tomorrow, by the way, and these few dates may be your only chance. If you need a description, go to the original Cull post , or just check out my favorite track of theirs (this week) below... "Easter Island." Definitely beware and be aware of this incredible band!

"Easter Island"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Wealth Of Ignorance

Mange's releases will make you re-assess what you used to consider "heavy." Oozing from the tar pits of SoCal, Mange lumbered like a zombie brontosaurus carcass on its own version of a feeding frenzy. This Phobia side project didn't drop too many releases in their long history; the first line-up put out the "Junkie" demo tape (1997) posted here, and the "Disillusioned" CD which I recommend you purchase here. Certain members of Dystopia and Anubis Rising joined up, and another demo was released way later (2005); you can listen to those tracks here. The "Junkie" demo doesn't have any exclusive tracks or anything, but below you can enjoy the authentic demo tape experience, complete with inconsistent volumes and lovely tape hiss. I enjoy it as the precursor to one of the heaviest records I've ever heard.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Found It

I'm playing hooky today, and the day wouldn't feel complete without doing something naughty, like doing a post when I'm too "sick" to work. This naughty little post also signals the end of a year and a half long search for Multi Facet's split 7" (with Sheephead, I found out...). When I posted the Zero Hour 7" two summers ago, a kind commenter mentioned this mysterious platter. I've since posted the band's other output, but it's time to bookend this mofo! Multi Facet were a mere blip of flatulence in the mid-nineties Bay Area hardcore "scene," but they were a loud and well placed one! Their approach was fairly straight forward, but accented with the playful of bass doodling and dark ambiance of Econochrist and the "post- Econochrist" bands in their neighborhood. And, with Jenean (Ojorojo) on vocals, this band could have been unstoppable; unfortunately the eight tracks posted on this site are all they released on vinyl. A belated RIP to an awesome band... enjoy the legacy (link below).

Sheephead, on the other side, played poppy punk like Crimpshrine or Fifteen, but with high fructose corn syrup added. It's catchy and fun, but they aren't much different than much of the pop hordes coming out of that time and place. Think of it as the Prozac to battle the depression Multi Facet will leave you with.

The split

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Masshysteri" (The Vicious)

I like hardcore. I like it fast; I like it angry. But right now I'm on a more melodic kick, which is where The Vicious enter the picture. Now, from what I understand, punk is dead. It died around '84, and now we have no recourse but to listen to stale MTV acts and shop at the local Hot Topic. No need to start a band, or scream about tearing it all down. Punk was there for the privileged few who were born at the right time and were savvy enough to seek it out. Fine, but I'm still gonna listen to The Vicious, if that's alright. By the above reasoning, The Vicious is not a punk band, but they happen to draw on influences surrounding that "P" label, especially from certain bands from California during the '80's. What they add is a modern sheen that's a composite of fairly mature songwriting, and some artful "doomtown" despondency. "Masshysteri" is a brilliant example of what this band could do, and the emotions it was capable of invoking. As is often the case with me, I find this band after they've broken up! The good news is that the guitarist has started another similar-sounding and similarly brilliant band called, fittingly, Masshysteri! Proceed with caution, as The Vicious sound is incredibly contagious. The "Igen" 7" and "Alienated" LP have stuck a flag in my turntable and claimed it for Sweden... and they aren't leaving any time soon...


Visit Feral Ward to buy all things Vicious and Masshysteri!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keep On Keeping On...

It's time to speed things up again. You may know Tokyo's incendiary ensemble, NK6, from their Yellow Beauty" 7" or their split with Dudman. If you do, then you also know that the Gauze influence is not subtle (they aren't shy about announcing Fugu's role in producing their records), nor is the blazing fast hardcore they produce or the terse lyrics they disgorge. The "Keep On Keeping On" 12" is a fantastic piece of thrashing mad Japanese hardcore that I can't recommend enough to the speed freaks out there. The North American version (Deranged Records) is pictured and ripped here, but there's another version here with different cover art. Thanks a ton to Punk Dinner blog for posting Kanji song titles for so many great Japanese bands! His/her/their work made tagging the violent and noisy little masterpiece below a lot easier. So if you don't have NK6's Bloodsucker Records 7", it's in the folder too (at 320... etc.).

Get 'em here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Worth A Thousand Dark Words

Something to sweeten your palate here after the bitter pill of the last post. Calvary was total Rites Of Spring worship brought to you by Matt Weeks (and others), perhaps recognizable as the man behind Council Records and co-conspirator in Ottawa, Nema, Current, and Dearborn SS. From that intro, you should already know whether you'd be interested in Calvary or not. "Outnumbered Is Outflanked" surfaced when Council Records grew new roots in Chicago in the early 2000's, and stands as the band's only full length. The tempos are upbeat, but the guitar lines never get too dramatic and the melodies never get past the courting stage with pop. Just 12 tracks of the good late eighties style DC rock, but with its own distinctive character.

And, since there's room, why not throw in Calvary's follow-up 7"? At least two of the three tracks rock, especially the title track, which comes complete with a melodica intro! These two waxen slabs are all I've come across from the band, so if you know of more, don't hold out on me.

Both records here

Monday, March 9, 2009

World Of Hurt

All four of the "Cry Now, Cry Later" comps have been compiled on CD, but with a line up and layout like this, I felt an urgent need to add volume one to the FE catalogue. The "Cry Now" collection is akin to the Deep Six "Reality" comps in that they gather as many kick-ass bands from every extremity of speed and heaviness that they can find. Installment #1 wasted no time in establishing Pessimer Record's superb ear for the sonic manifestations of violence, depression, and psychosis. This is the part of metal and hardcore history the documentarians will always try to keep secret. (I guess I'm supposed to warn people that Meat Shits' graphics are, well, graphic. So ask your mom's permission before you download and stuff).

The Troops:

The Comp

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Time Bomb" (Titanarum)

Since I'm stuck here, I might as well focus on the good things in my little coastal habitat (especially since this whole economic crap is making me a little skittish about moving...). So other than Bümbklaatt, I really could think of no other current San Diego bands that get me going; that is, until I discovered Titanarum! This band is fairly unique, but draws upon the tradition of raging thrash and old school hardcore (that must be the "Spastis" part of their motto) as well as the jarring start-stop dynamic of more "mathy" bands (hence the "Progressivus" portion). If you're at all familiar with The Neighbors, one of SD's all time finest, then you may meet the machinegun-speed screaming and conversational lyrics like a long-lost friend (same vocalist). Several tracks on the "Spastis Progressivus Aggressiorum" 7" concern themselves with the speaker staying a misfit for life-- "Time Bomb" being one of these. It also runs the gamut of all the band is capable of in the music department as well. This is one hell of a talented and sincere band, and I only hope they'll stick around long enough for me to finally get up off my ass and see them! San Diego may never be known as a "hardcore city," but as long as bands like Titanarum pop up every once in a while, I can feel at least a little less embarrassed about coming from here.

"Time Bomb"

Buy this 7"

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nothing Can Save You

I've only got the time and motivation to post a quickie today (that is, an EP). I thought Oroku only released a 7" and their "Living Through The End Time" LP. Apparently they also released this split 7" with The Gammits Make War. Oroku was an incredibly promising, mid-paced crusty hardcore band from Seattle who, like many up there, didn't last too long as a band. I believe the three early tracks on this one were left off the CD version of the LP, but they're just as good as the band's other output (except that the recording was done in 30 minutes in exchange for a 12 pack, and it shows!). I posted Oroku's EP last summer, but it was remastered and tacked onto the CD, so contact Inimical Recs to get a piece of that.

I don't know too much about The Gammits Make War except that they're from New York City and they play snotty, melodic hardcore with lots of punch. Sometimes they have a more modern Econochrist thing going on, but at more sing-along moments I hear a bit of Drunk (the Norwegian band). It's quite a change from the mournful Oroku tracks, but they play the style well, and I'll be glad if I find more from these guys in the future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Scream While There's Still Room To Breathe

The punishment comes slow and heavy tonight, as it's finally time to post a long-time favorite-- Counterblast! From the still-twitching remains of Swedish greats, G-anx, Counterblast was pieced together to be a more brooding, atmospheric monster, while still retaining their predecessor's unrelenting heaviness. This post brings together the band's first and (so far) last vinyl outings. First, as pictured above, is the split they released with Grace Will Fall. Counterblast demonstrate with ease that they have not lost a bit of their power over the years with their one excellent track, "Failure," and GWF offer three blasts of their lightly distorted, bittersweet, "screamo" (for a serious lack of better terms). It's a really nice, yet odd pairing, on an unfortunately limited edition platter.

Just in case you don't have Counterblast's absolutely classic debut 7", I went ahead and included rips in the folder. The first track, "Prospects," stands up to this day as one of the band's all time best. In addition, they've released at least one comp track, and two powerhouse full-lengths, which are getting harder to find. I have them on vinyl, so if they stay hard to find I may have to post them soon.

Get these EPs

Monday, March 2, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Kiss The Bottle" (Jawbreaker)

I was going to post this song closer to Valentine's Day, but it's simply too sad. One of the greatest songs about alcohol abuse (among other things), "Kiss The Bottle" tells the fragmented tale of two unfortunates that end up as only one unfortunate, drowning his/her regret in the almighty bottle. It's too beautiful for an atonal synopsis, so I'll let Schwarzenbach and company tell the rest...

"Kiss The Bottle"

It gets loneliest at night.
Down at the liquor store.
Beneath the neon sky.
Our moonlight.
Six A.M., the floor comes alive with lice.
The pan's dried up so tight.
With hardened beans.
We're hungry.

So I lean on you sometimes.
Just to see you're still there.
Your feet can't take the weight of one.
Much less two.
We hit concrete.

How were we born into this mess?

I know I painted you a prettier picture, baby.
But we were run out on a rail.
Fell from the wagon to the night train.

I kissed the bottle.

I should've been kissing you.
You wake up to an empty night.
With tears for two.

Cigarettes they fill the gaps.

In our empty days.
In our broken teeth.
We're jonesing.
Say mister, can you spare a dime?
Some change could make a change.
Could buy some time.
Some freedom.
Or an ear to hear my story.
It's all I've got.
My fictionbeats the hell out of my truth.
A palm upturned burnt blue.
Don't call it sunburn.

You've been shaking on the job.

Just one drink ahead of your past.
There's a white light coming up.
You draw the blinds hoping it'll pass.

I kissed the bottle.

I should've been kissing you.
You wake up to an empty night.
With tears for two.

I kissed the bottle.

I should've been kissing you.
You wake up to an empty night.
With tears for two.

I kissed the bottle.

I should've been kissing you.
You wake up to an empty night.
With tears for two.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sign Language

I've got another artifact here from the time when extreme idealism was prerequisite for starting a hardcore band or label. "Sign Language" was a triple 7" box set compilation Allied Recordings put out in the early '90's. According to his blurb, Yates liked the result but hated the process of assembling this thing. Like many contemporaneous comps, it includes a ton of graphics and writing, and fairly diverse selection of music (for similar comps, go here and here). Most of the standout bands' material would be compiled elsewhere in later years, but this is a pretty awesome line-up in an equally awesome package. (Note: the records were mastered at a really low volume, so you'll have to crank up your stereo for this one).

Bands & Tracks:
1. Scarecrow- "Walls Of Vacaville"
2. Sawhorse- "Twice Removed"
3. Seein' Red- "Man-Trap"
4. Political Asylum- "Sentenced"
5. Spitboy- "Motivated By Fear"
6. 411- "Life Minus Me"
7. Christ On A Crutch- "Fish People"
8. Suckerpunch- "Pain Never Dies"
9. The Fixtures- "Support The Troops?"
10. Sleep- "Numb"
11. Econochrist- "18 And Free"
12. Jawbox- "Dreamless"

Sign Language