Sunday, May 31, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Eleventh Hour" (Iconoclast)

With this post, Compilation Week begins. I've got four or five comps that don't suck in the posting-pipeline, so this SOTW showcases yet another band I discovered through this polarizing medium: Iconoclast (the "Ebullition" band). I can't say exactly why "Eleventh Hour" stands out to me so much on a comp that boasts Rorschach, Born Against, Greyhouse, Merel, Native Nod... At the time of purchase it floored me, and that's all there is to it. I heard mention that the version that appears on the band's Ebullition CD was an improvement because of the cleaner production. I disagree. The murky and ominous heaviosity of this original was central to its power. It proved that modern forms of hardcore could be emotionally riveting without being... namby-pamby. Anyway, this song's a crusher. Awesome drumming, too.

Iconoclast - "Eleventh Hour" (from the "God's Chosen People" comp)

Update: The above track is now re-upped at mediafire. I'll go ahead and rip the rest of the comp later this week.

The Family Band Of The '90's

The phrase "melodic crust punk" might illicit a strange response in many of you. For some it might conjure an automatic negative one. When I say that the melody actually comes from the vocals, it might draw an indistinguishable gasp of puzzlement. Quarantine were a Scottish band that did this, and did it right. Catchy, political, and powerful, this band pulled off beautifully what few bands ever attempted. Disaffect meets Crimpshrine? Leatherface meets Pink Turds In Space? You decide. This band ruled, and you'll probably like them.

The "Automatic Negative Thoughts" LP (Nabat Recs.) has been posted elsewhere before, I think, but I ripped my copy at 320 in case you need it, as well as the excellent "Junction 10" 7" (Panoptic Vision, etc. Recs.)....

Both records and a comp track here.

If you like Quarantine, you'll also like their new band, Debris.

Tonight, I kick off compilation week-- a series of posts dedicated to the most unpopular format in the blog world. The comps were selected for maximum entertainment; they're all interesting an/or awesome in some way. The first, to be posted Monday night, will feature another great song by Quarantine, so look out for that.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beware The Living

Feel the pretense and bullshit leech from your pores as Canada's finest flog you with 10 hulking, knuckle-dragging grind lashings. I'm not sure I should tell you that Saturation members also played in Born Dead Icons, Ire, The Black Hand, and Human Greed, but I just did. Sometimes finesse just doesn't do the trick, and you have to use the blunt end of things to get the message across.

(Note: This disk was released with, like, three different cover options, so the version you've seen may have had a black and white cover/another design).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Cancer Of Life

Token Tantum is another extended member of the Elderberry Records family (headquarters of G-anx, Counterblast, etc.) that shatters the Swedish mould into jagged pieces, then rearranges them into a mosaic of oblique patterns, steeped in icy tones. The experience can be a bit challenging, and, at times, trying to one's patience. But, as with Counterblast's epic work, the journey can be a rewarding one to those with calloused enough feet. The only other band reference I feel obligated to make is one to Lost (Poland), whose dark ambiance and stark screams could easily shoe-horn you into the bleak dilemma that is Token Tantrum. If motivation permits, one day I'll post their split with Affray, but for now, here's the "Cancer Of Life" 10".


PS- I think I divided the tracks correctly, but if you notice a problem, don't be shy.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chernobyl Cthulhu

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how many FE friends enjoy Wormwood as much as I do. So as not to keep you waiting too long for more from these sorcerers of despair, I offer you their limited split picture disk with fellow Northwestern Metal alchemists, Teen Cthulhu. To be honest, I'll pick up anything by Wormwood, as long as it isn't at some crazy collector price. It doesn't hurt that the track provided, "Released From Expectation," is quite possibly the band's most deeply penetrating song. Words will inevitably collapse in weak-kneed admiration if any attempt is made at describing its power. Three years later, it would grace the grooves of the Starvation" LP. Brilliant, no matter where it appears.

Teen Cthulhu have made friends and enemies with their synth-laden horror-death metal-violence. I thought their LP was pretty fuckin' solid, and the two tracks on this disk are right along those lines. After that LP cover, the art submitted on this thing is a little lacking (just a humble opinion). Their two tracks deliver the goods, though, and for additional spankings, be sure to grab the band's LP and split with Iron Lung here and here respectively.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Vertigo Index" (Discordance Axis)

I'm re-reading The Crying Of Lot 49 right now. For some reason Oedipa's futile scraping for the truth and her association of the San Narciso landscape with a circuit board reminded me of "Vertigo Index." Now that I've re-read the lyrics, I want to watch Brazil again. And re-read Neuromancer. Is summer vacation here yet?

"Vertigo Index"

Alienation washes over me, downloading world apartment horror
Wheezing through tea stained lungs comes a voice piped in from a

A tiled grove of telephone wires, rabbit ears and power lines
Insinuated in the residential disintegration that assassinates the sky

And now my being is networked
To be shared among us all.
And my world falls back into place
Or do I fall back into place In my world.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time Of Payback

A couple of FE friends haven't gotten enough Finnish bass & drum ultra-violence from previous Harsh posts. So this Harsh 7" hat trick goes out to Grindfreek and Roman... thanks for your support! The folder below spans most of Harsh's stylistic evolution from their days as a full-on PV band (Six Weeks 7"), to their early foray into double bass brutal-fabulosity (split with German grind stalwarts, Crude BE), and finally to their low-end masterpiece, "Implants." If the idea of putting Man Is The Bastard and Lack Of Interest in a super-collider turns you on, go ahead and click below.

Click the "Harsh" tag if you want their splits with Senseless Apocalypse, Control Mechanism, and Short Hate Temper/Quill.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Apeface are, so to speak, the missing link in the extensive catalogue of NorCal/Bay Area hardcore documented on this site. I don't know why it took so long to get this post up, but after a little nudge-nudge from Rygar and Mike, the compressed goods have finally arrived. Before the message-board punks shat out the term "neo-crust," bands like Apeface were ornamenting their hard-line political punk with the "emotive" tendencies of more modern bands they'd probably rather not acknowledge as influences. Expect no flaccid indie rock crossover here, though: this is furious hardcore but with fairly intricate interplay between the guitars and bass (nods to Econochrist are not subtle). I tried to gather everything the band released, but I'm not exactly sure how successful I was. Below you'll find links to their 12", their tracks from the Zero Hour split, the entire Lemming split 7", and an additional track they put on the "America In Decline" Comp. If you haven't downloaded the "Shit Gets Smashed" comp, there are a couple more Apeface tracks thereon, along with some other comtemporary Bay Area sweetness. Alright, enjoy; and if I've missed any songs, let me know.

The 12" and split LP tracks plus a bonus comp track

The Lemming/Apeface split 7"

"Shit Gets Smashed" post

Monday, May 18, 2009

Death Is Their Hero

With all this Southwestern metallic hardcore going on, this would be a good time to post the last of the Lardass requests: some Word Salad. The split with Hellchild should do the trick: it's out of print (and not on Prank) and it rules! Hellchild should be easy to recognize after sharing split honors with Multiplex and Discordance Axis, among others. Sludgy, grungy, and drugged out Japanese metal with just the right hint of melody to keep you coming back. The thick metal guitar sound doesn't hurt their case either.

Word Salad... yeah, I'm not too keen on their name, but as always, it's the rock that counts. What I like the most about this band is that they really are hard to classify; there's some thrash metal going on, and they dabble in sludge, but there's still something modern and novel about the whole delivery. Comparisons to Dystopia, Logical Nonsense, and maybe Lesser Of Two are hard to resist. The final nail in the coffin for me is the vocal style: there's nothing special these days about screaming into a mic, but the way this guy draws them out is truly cringe-inducing. This band has been overlooked long enough...

It's pretty easy to find this split... check some of the distros in the side bar. Prank handled all of WS's other releases, so check there for availability. Some good people have posted HC stuff here, here, and here.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Preskool Dropouts" (The F.U.'s)

Every time a year comes to a close, I always get to thinking about the supposed contradiction between education and "punk." I'll be the first to say that the Ed. system is severely flawed, but I just wish the people and politicians alike would look at the bigger picture once in a while instead of just blaming teachers...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Atolls And Serial Killers

Alright, broseph, here it is. The Southwest of the United States was a terrifying place in the mid 1990's, if you knew of the right bands. Two of these behemoths crossed streams circa 1996 to forge this little tainted eucharist of pure malevolence. Now you too can ingest the evil!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The King Packs Heat

This one goes out to Mike (the otherwise anonymous one) who besides being awesome about leaving comments, also has impeccable taste in music! He's been more than hinting at the need for more Enewetak on this site, and I couldn't agree more. "Guns. Elvis Loved Them." is Enewetak's second LP and puts in many bids among its 12 tracks to be my favorite of them all. No need to choose favorites, really, and no need to try to classify this band, or compare them to Rorschach or Unruh (although it has been done and it makes sense). Nothing can prepare you for the nihilism and torment this band trafficked, so just go ahead and listen.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Defiantly Flatulent Arachnoids

So I hear you like thrashing-mad hardcore played with precision. I also hear that you like to be able to understand what hardcore vocalists are saying once in a while. Well, so does Lardass, and so do I. In case you've been noticing a void in the above areas lately, DFA might be the remedy. The band plays fast songs, but isn't trying to break any records. Just fast, like the 80's crossover bands they obviously love. I can't say that DFA bring anything terribly new to the style, they just nail it with an intensely youthful zeal, and baffling tightness.

Six Weeks Recs. released DFA's follow-up 12" and I know they did a split 7" with Under Pressure. If there's anything else by them, I haven't run across it yet. The 12" below, "Destined For Assimilation," is their first and was released by Ugly Pop. UP doesn't do re-presses anymore, so this will probably be unavailable for some time at least. You may notice some noise on the first four tracks, because whoever owned this before me must have done hand-plants all over side A. The side B rips are of much better quality.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Retribution" (Icon Gallery)

I was all ready to post Icon Gallery's "Demo" 7", but then they re-pressed it. A SOTW post shouldn't hurt, though, and the honor is one I give not begrudgingly, but rather proudly! This EP just kicks so much ass! I "discovered" the band while doing research for the Aphasia post (2 members in common), and was floored. The band cites influences from Prince, Post Regiment, Heart, and Iron Maiden. Sure, okay. In a weird way, this makes some sense when you hear the tracks. The first comparison I wanted to make was Signal Lost meets early Sonic Youth. That falls short of the mark too. Whatever description you decide on, let it be known that the band churns out some fiery rock that is soooo punk, but yet soooo much more. The musicians play with gusto but, as with Aphasia, the vocals steal the show. Such a great 7", and "Retribution" is beautiful example of the band's energy and edge-of-the-seat songwriting. I was a little disappointed in the IG's newest 7"; it's a bit polished with a poppier edge to it, and I can only hope that next time they return to the foundation set down by the demo.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fuck Corn, This Is Rice!

This one goes out to Lardass, the man behind Impure Lard! Rice was a quirky hardcore band that used guitar noise, speed, and a trombone, and managed to break hardcore wide open for the rest of the nineties. For more info, go to Rice's blog and learn about their history and recent reunion. For a more complete Rice experience, seek out their "Fuck You, This Is Rice" collection. Or, for now, download their 7" and split 7" with Bumblescrump.

Rice 7"s (The split was clean, but the 7" had a lot of scratches, etc.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Light In May

Vengeanceismine was hoping to see some Swarrrm posted, and the plan was to put up the Swarrrm/Embalming Theatre live split. Turns out, that thing is available all over the place, so it's not going to happen. The next choice was easy: the split 10" with Dimlaia! I ripped this for Zmaj over at Cephalochromoscope a while back; be sure to check out all the Swarrrm stuff they've got over there! The split in question today is not exactly rare; in fact you can find it in places for super cheap. But I think it is technically out of print, and if you don't have money or a turn table, it would be terrible for you not to enjoy these tracks. Swarrrm kick their usual ass, and I would go as far as to say that this is my second favorite release of theirs (number one being the split with Muga). If Envy went grindcore and replaced their vocals with field recordings of an afternoon at the local insane asylum, you might have something similar to what Swarrrm discharge. They're brilliant, as are Dimlaia, but in a different way. Dimlaia hold us by the hand, reassuring us with their beauty that everything will be all right, as they lead us to the deepest, darkest caverns of the human predicament. But take comfort, because as long as there is art like Dimlaia produce, the darkness remains navigable. Get this split by any means necessary! Amazing music, white vinyl, and a gatefold cover clad in Carl Auge's (Dimlaia, His Hero Is Gone, Drain The Sky) haunting art. Here are some rips to hold you over:


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

14 Inch Crust

I got a great response recently when I asked for requests for future posts. Thanks a ton to the cyber-homies who put in their bids-- your choices are coming up! Main man, Billy, of the mighty 7 Inch Crust blog mentioned Wormwood and Daymare, and excellent choices they are! The only OOP disk I have by Wormwood is the "Reversal Of Fortune" 7", so here it is! These two tracks represent the band's final recorded output and if you already love the band, you won't be disappointed. For the uninitiated, Wormwood played a fairly unique concoction of creepy-ass, blackened, guitarless, doom, embellished with keyboards (but tastefully; seriously). Everything they did was great; no exception here. Only 300 of these were pressed, but you can still find copies in such fine establishments as this and this. Pick one up if you can, because the layout is amazing!

Repo(st) Time:

Daymare is another case of a band that died tragically young, with so much going for it. They are so my kind of hardcore, it's just ridiculous-- gloomy, both fast and slow, heavy, passionate, crusty, intelligent. Sadly, I think these five tracks are the only proof they existed, but if you know of any other releases, you've got to let me know! I posted this 7" way back in the beginning, so the 320 treatment is long overdue; file this in the same category as Ballast, Schifosi, Protess...


Monday, May 4, 2009

Some Slow, Some Go!

All request week (month?) begins with the Iabhorher 7" for Mike of the great All Go, No Slow! podcast blog. Iabhorher didn't release much (this 7" on Slap-a-Ham, and some comp. tracks?) before morphing into Cattlepress (more or less). I don't want to name-drop too much, but you may recognize some infamous member(s) in the line-up and on the cover art credit. Although my copy is a little thrashed, the menace doesn't let up on the two bass-heavy aberrations presented here, and you hopefully won't notice it too much when/if you rock out to it. No big deal if you do, because as Mike pointed out, Hyperrealist is going to reissue all the band's material on a 12" soon (at which time, I'll remove the link).


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Song Of The Week: "Restriction" (Jasemine)

Every once in a while, I like to "wuss out" to some nineties "emo." Of all the ridiculous non-classical music terms invented, that three letter one takes the cake. Regardless, when it comes to the French, no other people has been more consistently awesome in this particular style. They just have that je ne sais quoi that might be a delicate mix of impassioned anger and restrained elegance that when done right can only result in striking beauty. Jasemine ruled at this niche, albeit only for a few seconds in the grander scheme. The way the band could weave elusive strands of melody within beautifully convoluted bass and guitar riffs was absolutely breath-taking. For years "Restriction" has been a song I've relied on when I need a brief evisceration of the soul-- a moment to take stock of things internal. I wish Christophe would have stayed in the band (in which case they would continue to be Finger Print, I guess) because his vocal work would have been a better choice. But this is what it is, and it's still amazing.

Jasemine recorded four songs for their demo, which would later grace half of two split EPs with Elements Of Need and Ivich. "Restriction" comes from the latter of the two.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Of Flexis And Democracy

I like the idea of posting a 7" on a Saturday morning; it doesn't take up too much of your or my time on this leisurely day of the week (and if you have to work today, well then, sucks to be you :(. To supplement your cartoon watching capers, hang-over nursings, and post soccer game r'n r, I have for you a flexi from two out of control hardcore bands: Amen (Finland) and Damnable Excite Zombies (Japan... obviously). Amen are irreverent and crusty and produced a bunch of 7"s over the years (mostly in the early nineties). Most of their releases are pretty rare, and if my copy isn't in too horrible shape, I may post their 7" with the cover depicting an inflatable Catholic sex nun doll (!). DEZ had a similar career, but play super energetic hardcore like their country-mates, Deride. They also win my personal award for my favorite refrigerator magnet poetry/Japanese Engr/lish band name (leave a comment if you have a favorite). They produce some awesome tunes, as well, and you can go here for further punishment.

Warning: there's a slight bump on my copy, creating a "flange" experience; but what do you expect from the vinyl equivalent of a Nerf Frisbee? Just don't listen to it with headphones on, and it'll be alright.

So, in my attempt to include you in my postings, I'd like to get a request thing going. Below are some bands I will eventually do posts on. Help me choose what to post next by leaving a comment!

Gloom (Japan)
Cattle Press
Books Lie
Sin Dios
Crude BE
El Nudo
Human Greed
Sacrilege (UK)
A Light In The Attic
Revolt (Japan)
Saturation (Canada)
Terminal Youth
Kisses And Hugs
Gus (Florida)
The Neighbors (San Diego!)
Dead Wrong (UK)
Glycine Max
Out Cold
Edora (Singapore)
Forced Expression
Harum Scarum
Token Tantrum
Senseless Apocalypse/Slight Slappers
Stapled Shut

Potential Reposts:

"In The Spirit Of Total Rebellion..." Comp
Terminal Youth
Bonescratch 12"
Daymare 7"
Complacency Comp.

Okay, let me know if you want to see any of these or anything else posted soon. Bye.