Friday, January 28, 2011

De Este Lado del Mundo

Around 2004 my waning interest in hardcore hit a point of resurgence with help from a newly resurrected Profane Existence, who were releasing some pretty great stuff. Their distro then introduced me to another a burgeoning label that still can do no wrong: Alerta Antifascista! I picked up a grip of invigorating vinyl products, but one in particular was like a sparkling Roman candle wedged in the butt crack of my musical conscience: Migra Violenta's "Superficial" 10". It may not be the only reason I have yet to lose interest again, but it certainly snapped me out of the malaise. Migra Violenta consisted of hardcore kids from various South American countries who had immigrated to Argentina. Although they were compared to Los Crudos, I suspect that was mainly due to a lot of American reviewers' lack of exposure to Spanish speaking bands. Crudos was never this fast or tight (although I still love them to death... SOTW coming soon on them...). "Superficial" is packed close with manic, antsy blasts of defiant hope in the face of the impossible and immovable. Speed, anger, and even good musicianship are nothing new I guess, but these guys did their own take on it, and not only did it come out superbly, it's also endlessly listenable. The band has a ton of other releases, including an LP on Profane Existence, and on the 10" below they added two tracks from their Kontraataque split.

"Superficial" 10" by Migra Violenta (Alerta Antifascista/Le Nains Aussi)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dead Songs to Hum to

Bear with me dear readers, for I know your prejudices concerning "screamy" hardcore. I have my own, after all, mainly based on the pretentiousness of many of these bands. Today, you'll just have to trust me, or move on. This post shines the spotlight on a short-lived band whose frigid guitar sound and stifling rhythm section smashed my own prejudices, not unlike the violent collaboration of liquid nitrogen and a rusty sledge hammer. Armed with talent, a quirky sense of sound manipulation, and a deep acceptance of human despair, Welcome The Plague Year bowled me over in 2004, and continue to do so to this day. If you have a stomach for bands like One-Eyed God Prophecy, Raein, early Envy, Gasp, Joshua Fit For Battle, Shikari, or the band's split mates, Funeral Diner, then definitely look into WTPY. I'm also including the bands split 7" and one-sided 7". There's one track missing that is on their CD, but you'll just have to seek that out elsewhere or shell out serious cash on ebay...

Welcome The Plague Year LP (vinyl rips... 320)

Welcome The Plague Year 1-sided 7" & Split with Funeral Diner (also 320 rips)

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Creators of Dismay

Two tracks today: one on distinguishing our past from our present, the other on our present attempts at affecting our future. Both are about futility. And so Arctic Flowers and Spectres do the only thing there is to do when tethered to an atrocious past, in a morally desolate landscape: make great music.

Arctic Flowers/Spectres Split 7"

This out of print split was a great excuse to post about one of my new favorite bands (AFs) and it also gave me a chance to really listen to Spectres who have finally sunken in and won me over (they have several releases you might be interested in). Arctic Flowers are touted often as "Stan from Signal Lost's new band" and they are that and so much more. They're the celebration of all things dark and beautiful, and the annihilation of the illusory and false. I hope this band is as resilient as their namesake, because their next releases will/would be amazing. Be sure to grab their 7" here or from the band on their California tour dates.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cleansed by Flame

Here's Unruh's two part prescription for the most brutal form of Euthanasia: the first to knock you out, the second to end it all. This is the most extraordinary of renditions Arizona-style that's caught in the Rorschach dilemma of being either metallic hardcore or hardcore influenced metal depending on what angle you view it from. After all these years, Unruh's Hell is still hotter than Satan's crotch, like a chunk of coal emerging as a shining jewel after smoldering in His loins for 13 or so years. For the take today is Unruh's debut LP "Misery Strenghtened Faith" and...
their follow-up/swan-song "Setting Fire to Sinking Ships." While both are nearly equal in their raw brutality, I would venture to say that "SFTSS" surpasses its predecessor in production and technical precision, as well as in the impact and originality of the lyrics. As to which I enjoy more, I lean toward the first, but really you just can't go wrong with either one. Both have been ripped from the vinyls at 320 kbps as per request from Mike, but you may want to check Pessimiser Records (if you can find them) or ebay to find the CD version of "SFTSS".

"Misery Strengthened Faith" by Unruh
"Setting Fire to Sinking Ships" by Unruh