Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hello, We're Åsswipé From Big Lick, Kentucky

For a while, at least two bands a week would send me links to check out or review. While this did wonders to boost the false vanity of my blogger ego, it got to be overwhelming. I kept all the e-mails under the delusional notion that one day I would post this stuff. If you're in one of those bands, I haven't mentioned you until now not because I hate your band or that I'm an asshole (although in other facets of my life, that is easily proven), but I just let myself succumb to a priority "system" based on pure impulse and whimsy. In other words, I post whatever the fuck I feel like on any given week. This will continue until this blog's death, so sorry to say that most "submissions" will be archived indefinitely in favor of dusty records from my collection and the occasional request. To say thanks to most or hopefully all the bands that contacted me thinking that people actually read this thing, here is a big directory of the offerings. I'll make each blurb quick and let you all be the critics. Honestly, some of these bands are doing some incredible things, so get comfortable and get your clicker finger ready.

Mit'an - Un(holy) Hebrew! This band from Israel is just incredible! Emotion, speed, and tightness like you haven't heard in a while. They leave me with a similar feeling as El Mariachi, Torches to Rome, and Ballast/Preying Hands. According to Gad of Urban Decay Records, the band featured members of D9, Dir Yassin, Uzbeks, and Tea With Satan, but unfortunately broke up last year. Crying shame. Being one of the few countries in that region with much of a "scene", it's hard for Israeli bands to get noticed. Thanks Urban Decay for allowing this free download.

Arxi Tou Telous- This band from Athens, Greece is hard to pinpoint soundwise, which is a characteristic in a band that I love. They're right in using the post-punk moniker, but even that can be ambiguous. Very moody and complex, with some nice build-ups. Check out their myspace page or this live set.

Famine Year- Perhaps you've heard of these Finns. They play dark and metallic, grinding modern hardcore a la HHIG, Nasum, Asebia, Perth Express, etc. The recordings sound good and they play with ridiculous amounts of power. Sample their MS tracks here.

Sanctions- The dudes from Sanctions sent me some download links, but the links died. The tracks on their myspace page are pretty powerful post-HHIG, Silence, Madam Germen-type melodic dark crust. Good shit from these guys, which you can purchase here.

The Constellation Branch- TCB get compared to Sunny Day Real Estate and Radiohead, and as reference points, we're not far from cracking the case. Slick, moody, oozing with talent, I wanted to dismiss this band as not-my-cup, but they're sneaky in how they move in on your favor. Maybe it's the xylophone in "ReCreation In Sleep." I don't know-- if you're willing to explore, check 'em out.

Nervous Sex - Some nervously sexual noise here from Philly. I feel bad for holding onto these downloads for so long, because these guys seem like good people. Now, if I can be said to have any expertise, Nervous Sex would be beyond it. But even a layman like me can appreciate the layers of racket produced by these three mad scientists and their convoy of homemade instruments and stockpile of stimulants (just guessing). Here are links to their "Creep Sea" album and a split tape with Drums Like Machine Guns. I hope they don't mind sharing the goods; contact NS on their MS if you'd like hard copies.

Mass Obliteration- I think there's a rule somewhere that if your band has "Mass" or "Obliteration" in its name, you're automatically in with the grindcore crowd. Mass Obliteration from Rome self-label their music "anarcho death metal." This is more accurate than my original assumption. The whole record has an old-school, mid-paced death metal feel, but with some unexpected rockin' and groovin' flourishes. So if that's your thing, get it here (lyrics included, MS link they gave me = dead).

Protozoan- This is a more or less one man industrial/electronic/heavy music band. TomAD has generously offered his three albums for download: "Waterburner", "Amok", and "Fault". These mind-squeezers should keep your consciousness busy for some time.

Big Shiny Prison - ... is a book and journalistic adventure whereby author Ryan Bartek took to the road and committed his experience interviewing various folks in the metal, punk, etc. world to paper (or in our case, a pdf file). I haven't had a chance to read it, but it sounds interesting as heck. Here is the free download for it; I'm not sure if a paper copy has been published at this point.

Stagnation Is Death - Polish hardcore/death metal, and pretty raging as far as that goes. Harsh vocals, lots of bass drums, tremolo madness. It's all there, and the members are very involved in local anarcho activism in their country. So, support SID all you can, and download their LP and split CD to sample the wares.

The New Enemy- I posted one these Canadians' last record a while back and here they're back with this new EP, "Shakedown". I love the more heavy and hardcore direction this time around, but I'm glad they retained their melodic tendencies. Gruff, but still slick, emotive but still heavy... good outing and a nice indication of the future things to come.

Dead Until Dawn- A little more polished than what I'm used to, Dead Until Dawn play ugly metallic hardcore that's good for its genre. The crusty in me makes my attention span wander during listenings, but that's just me.

Lanterns - Hey they're from San Diego! Lanterns play indie rock with punk rock energy, and a hint of the bitter in their sweetness. Kind of like some of those mid-western bands in the nineties. Judging from their merch, I was afraid they'd be too hipster, but the music is what counts, and I have to say... me likey. Not something I'll listen to all the time, but it's a nice way to break up the screaming, blast beats, and post-nuclear imagery of my usual fare.

Fat Mans War Face - Yeah the name got me interested too. FMWF is death metalcore, or whatever arrangements of those root words you prefer. Once again, more metal and more slick than what I'm used to, but they will more than satisfy dudes with a hardspot for mosh, and pride in their hardcoreness. Get their "White Light" EP here.

Purity Control - Another Canadian band to look out for, Purity Control play raw and mean hardcore with distorted vocals and definite associations with PV and metallic hardcore. Devastating shit. This kind of music doesn't require good production, but better production next time will only make this band more badass. Visit their MS page and get links to both of the band's cassettes.

The Smashrooms - These Italians play tight, melodic yet metallic hardcore that draws on that country's HC heritage, but I can also hear a little Sin Dios and American SxE gang-styled vocals. Interesting stuff, and nicely played. The lyrics link is down on their MS page, but they have an anti-fascist blurb on there, so at least there's that. Also at their MS page... free download!

Cool Band Now - If you're tired of being preached at by bands, check CBN. These Santa Cruzers are all about keeping the fun and funny in music. Hard to describe these guys, but I like their attitude about music and such. Chris introduced me to his band after noticing my strange love for crusty pop punk (if such a thing exists). Click here if you like your crust thin...

Organ Trail - Moody, tripped out weirdness that has a heavy feel at times, and a spacious and serene feel at others. I'm at a loss for other words besides... intriguing. I haven't ordered my copy yet, but I will, and you can too.... here.

Mona de Bo - Latvian experimentalists with a dirgy feel to their compositions. Consumption of depressants would aid this adventure greatly. Some tracks are more listenable than others, but I have the feeling time and patience will also come in handy in unwinding the complex threads holding this band's sound together. Another interesting one to walk into with the most open of minds.

Groover - LoFi, Funkadellic, blackened grind! Or something. The band reassures us that we haven't heard anything like this in the last decade. Gotta be true; must be heard. Download "Let's Boogie"

Okay, so I'm not doing this again. As the name of this blog indicates, I much prefer the randomness that has directed postings in the past. Thanks again for all the generous contributions, but I'm probably going to ignore most submissions in the future. I have a hard enough time maintaining this blog as it is!

On that note, I'll try to fill a request tomorrow that I've had to put off, so stay tuned.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Song of the Week: "Facet" (Dezerter)

I've been on a bit of a Poland kick since the release of the new El Banda 2xLP (which is excellent but a bit over long) so I have a very Polish song for you. Dezerter designed the blueprint for modern Polish punk in the early eighties from the other side of the Iron Curtain, and continued to lay waste for many years after. You can hear lots of British and Euro influences ("Facet" was inspired by Crass apparently), but more importantly you can hear Dezerter's influence in band's like Post Regiment and El Banda in not so subtle ways. This is an excellent thing I hope you'll agree, and "Facet" takes the form of a duet with a guest vocalist who sounds uncannily like those from the above two bands (although from what I can decipher from the liner notes, she is neither(?)). There's great energy and chemistry on this one, so enjoy; and in case you're wondering, "Facet" means "Tough Guy" and it's about chauvanistic men.

"Facet" by Dezerter from "Ile Procent Duszy?"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We Do The Numbers...

Things are starting to get back to... equilibrium around here; sometime last week, the counter finally made it 100,000 visitors-- and just shy of three fucking years! That's what I get for posting shit nobody else likes, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I also replaced my needle cartridge with a really nice one after breaking the last needle in a beer-buzz klutz-move, so ripping should resume soon. All this is restoring my lagging interest in blogging, as are a couple of e-mails I received recently.

The first was from Eddie (formerly of Tafkata) letting me know about his insanely good new band, Seven Sisters Of Sleep. I asked him the first obvious question you'll have too after hearing "Monastery" and Swamp": when will the first record come out?! Rest assured, the band is working all that out. If you're on this blog, there's already a 90% chance SSS will be the subject of the next shrine you build in your living room, and if utter despair set to music is your idea of a good time, the chances are even greater. The next, less obvious question was: "How's about that Tafkata demo I've heard about"? I'm a shameless moocher-- sorry Eddie. Turns out there were two, and he hooked them up for us. As a Tafkata fan-geek, I feel it's my duty to share everything I can with you, and these heavy and dirty cuts are more than worth repeated listens regardless of, or especially because of, the damage it will do to your head and the walls around you. Thanks a million Eddie!

Tafkata Demos (Some tracks are titled differently than the album versions)

Another generous e-mail was from Kevin from another favorite band, Icon Gallery. Kevin gave the permish to keep the demo tracks up, and even sent a five track version including the song, "Pain" (which is amazing!). He also included a rip of the band's 7" which long ago I prematurely had a lukewarm response to (probably because I was buzzing on the demo still). Giving it another spin led to giving it five more, and now I'm under its spell. This is such a talented and great band, I hope you crusties can put aside your prejudices and rock the fuck out. I'm going to include the 7" in the folder below under the condition that you will buy it or that you promise you don't have a turn table. Support this band and check with them in June to see if their LP is out yet (there's a new-ish track up at their MS page that sounds great!).

Icon Gallery EPs

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Song of the Week: "Drowning In The Aftermath" (Schifosi)

Coming out of a 3 year, late-nineties bender of straight His Hero Is Gone, I needed something to keep me going, and keep the edge off. This and my unreconciled need for more bands like Unhinged led me to a little known Australian band called Schifosi, specifically to "Ill Winds From Outopia." The abrasive character of the vocals and Swedish-style drumming were smoothed over by the dark, malty guitar leads with the insidious after-effect of both satisfaction and craving. The year or so after this discovery is a bit of a blur, until "Half Lit World" came out. There are only four tracks on this one, but even after the great final 12" was released, I consider this 7" to be the band's finest achievement. "Law Is Freedom" and "Drowning In The Aftermath" are still my two favorite songs by the band, but after binging on both, "Drowning's" forceful build-ups and excellent songwriting put it in the #1 spot.

"Drowning In The Aftermath" by Schifosi (from the "Half Lit World" 7")

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sapporo City Hardcore Vol. III

I haven't seen this mini-CD in too many places, so I'll just throw it out there for you. I'm sure a bunch of you out there dig the leaden, Japanese pummeling of Slang's hardcore, and this disk is right up there with "Immortal Sin." Actually, it has the title track and few more off that LP, plus a couple that are not (including a Ripcord cover). The package itself is a little cheaply put together, but that'll be the farthest thing from your mind as you stagger around in a bloody stupor of Slang-induced trauma.

"Humanistic Disorder" CD

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

From The Depths Of An Ether Binge

As I await my new stylus in the mail, this break allows me a chance to get caught up with blog e-mails, and post some submissions I've been sitting on. I can't say I'll do this much in the future-- I have a hard enough time keeping up with the whimsy that normally dictates the posting on this site. But where to start in the back-log was easy. James from Into The Storm was kind enough to send me a copy of the band's debut CD. I didn't think bands still did this! An actual CD! ITS obviously works hard on their presentation with the slick artwork, and the many extras they sent with the CD, but it's the music itself that we're most interested in here. In this category, I was not let down either. I feel like it's redundant to describe ITS's sound, when one of the guys at Razorcake already said so much of what I was planning on saying, from his comment on the art, to the Shotmaker reference (that was fuckin' creepy when I read it!). I could rattle on about the Post-this genre/that genre that could maybe fit their M.O., but that would imply that the band is some kind of Isis clone (certainly far from true). I mean, when a band can so easily warrant comparisons from so many genres that have been given such trite labels (post-metal, emotive hardcore, post-punk, post-rock, stoner rock, math-metal, metalcore...), but isn't the least bit trite, what can a "reviewer" do? This conundrum can only be solved with a download, which the band is more than obliged to provide. It's a pleasure to hear these guys working out their fertile ideas, and I look forward to their next release, hopefully with recording quality that does them even more justice.

Click the punk rock pelican:

Song of the Week: "Cut" (Drunk)

Last time I posted Drunk, the download numbers were a little... modest, but the Song of the Week is all about... me, damn it! So I proceed with "Cut" for the week's selection, for the usual reason of its brilliance. The more rock-influenced nature of the band may put people off for the first listen, but great things are bound to happen with my favorite guitarist in the line-up (Roger from LBHTLI, So Much Hate, and I think Bannylist), and English lyrics that put many American/English bands to shame. The punk rebelliousness and abrasiveness is all there, it's just projected through the more wise lense of experience and therefore more subtle (or does experience make us wise, or just more confused? Lately I've been leaning toward the latter...).

"Cut" by Drunk (from the split LP with Goatboy)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Indescribable Megahertz

15 years ago, Three Studies for a Crucifixion and Coleman recorded a groundbreaking split LP; Since then I have inextricably linked the two bands. As you already know or will find out, this isn't really fair--each being two very different entities. But then they shared a comp together too, and now for me, they are inseparable. This post is both bands' discographies as I know them. Any other comp tracks, EPs, or their demos would be much appreciated if you have any. First we have arguably the pinnacle of both band's recording careers, the LP. I used to think Three Studies strutted along the dam that keeps music from falling into chaos, but upon repeated revisits I'm convinced they crossed over and returned with news of how beautiful the union of the two could be. Or ugly, if that appeals to you more. You're welcome to dismiss it as chaos, but if you are so inclined, I urge you to give the band a few chances. The intensity of these tracks is undeniable, and I defy anyone to place these guys into any cozy category.

Maybe it was due to my infatuation with Three Studies that I at first regarded Coleman as a pretty cool band. My revisit to Coleman's world a few years ago was an epiphany: this band may have been one of best things to happen to the 1990s. The enthralling cacophony of the guitar and tantrum-esque vocals seem to anticipate a future Boston quartet, The Conversions, and on top of that, the drumming is incredible. The live feel of the recording adds to the raw, DIY feel, although the sound is a lot better than on the glorious EP below (not sure if the cover is rotated right).

In the other folder at the bottom of this post is a collection of both bands' additional tracks that I was able to dig up; once again, I'm not sure if it's a complete collection, but it's a pretty substantial start. Included is the Coleman 7" which, considering it's rawness, songwriting and hilarious sound samples, is one hell of an entertaining listen, if not one of the more perfect artifacts of nineties hardcore. Like most of the tracks, they reveal the condition of the vinyl they were ripped from (ie. in "much loved" shape). The other tracks were ripped from the Education Comp, the Amnesia Comp, and Three Studies for a Crucifixion's splits with Melt-Banana and Harriet The Spy.

The Split LP

The Comp Tracks, Coleman 7", and Three Studies split tracks

Enjoy, or don't. Man, I've been plagued with obstacles here at FE headquarters. I fixed the camera situation, but last night I broke my needle. Then this week's hectic schedule left me no room to breathe. Next week will hopefully be more productive-- I'll probably post CDs and a mega-links post of all the cool shit people have sent me to "review." Anyway thanks for your support, patience, etc...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Song of the Week: "Briganti" {Live} (Contropotere)

My camera is somewhere on the bottom of the San Diego River (which right now looks like an actual river for once) so I stole the image to the left from the great Night Gaunt Graphics site. Posting will be even slower than usual until I get a new camera, but this week we feast on the haunting, yet rousing live version of "Briganti." This little beauty was found nestled within the "Farmhouse Records 1994" comp amid rollicking pop punk songs and some ragers from Apeface, Lesser of Two, Mohinder, Fuck Boyz, etc. All this talent aside, Contropotere's offering is the one I sweatily anticipate during each spin. That should come as no surprise once you hear it, or maybe it will; depends on what you like. But if you're at all like me, this song will have you burying your dead and marching on to the good fight in no time at all.

"Briganti" (Live)

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm Feeling I Wish I Was Dreaming

As the season arrives when we sweep out the dust bunnies from the baseboards and corners of our houses and the psychic junk from the recesses of our minds, it's time to replace the bad debris with the good Debris. I'm referring of course to Scotland's Debris, who continue the traditions begun by Scotland's Quarantine. Those traditions include driving and precise punk rhythms, harshly sung melodies, and acerbic political commentaries. The "Attrition" 7" was recorded way back at the end of 1998, and continues pretty close to where "Automatic Negative Thoughts" and "Junction 10" left off, and is beyond satisfactory for people like me with a love for crust and a soft spot for Bay Area (pop) punk.

The band followed up with the equally piss and vinegar suffused "Ten2" LP which is available in many distros, so I may not be able to keep the link up for long. The rips were recorded at a fairly loud volume, so be sure to play them through good speakers.

Debris LP and 7"