With such a shit week, it's great being a hardcore fan, where any record I put on brings instant commiseration, or at least makes me feel grateful I live in a place that hasn't been annihilated by some kind of holocaust, or been completely raped of basic human rights, like the right to drink beer. Staying with the theme of Profane Existence related bands and/or Midwest crusties, this post concerns Path of Destruction and Provoked, but is a little heavy on the Provoked side. These lager-quaffers shared one hell of a priceless split, which I'm linking below along with both of Provoked's LPs. POD is a brilliant blend of Portland and Minneapolis ingredients with Japanese icing, while Provoked venture into darker terrain like their predecessors Unhinged, or their contemporaries, Schifosi (but maybe a little snottier, like their antecedents, Detonate).
It appears that another crime against humanity has been committed: the Kakistocracy LP remains out of print. When I picked up my copy around 2006, it was a revelation. A hardcore band could in fact be politically charged, devastating, intelligent, moody, modern, even a bit polished in their production, without succumbing to the pitfalls of pretense or stigma of categories. While these well-read anarchists raise the hairs on your neck, they simultaneously raze the rickety foundations of our masters' illusions-- at once with the wrenching dissonance of their chords, taken together with their words inspired, and at times directly lifted, from Goldman and Berkman. The outpouring of idealism, aggression, frustration, and perseverance is almost too much to take in one listening, but it can be worked up to one side at a time. The band has several other smaller releases, my favorites of which are their last 7" and their split with Nux Vomica. There have been a couple of rumors bandied about as well, one involving a split LP with Chronicle A/D, the other promising a second LP. I've given up on the first, and eagerly await the second. For now, the first LP should be easy to find is such places as this.
I've got another handful of random requests to fill, starting with Default's "Die With Honor" one sided 7" (sorry, I don't yet have the other EP requested). There was a time when Default 7"s were being sold for a dollar, and in one instance, I received one free with an order. What a travesty. Maybe it was because they were from Wisconsin and didn't release an LP (I don't think), but they never received their due respect. The "Complacency" comp was my first exposure, and those 44 seconds of gonzo crustcore made them standouts even among the honorable company they were in. "Die With Honor" thankfully continues along these lines, burning with such intense fervor that the tracks disintegrate shortly after starting. The impression is lasting, though, due in part to some flourishes in the songwriting, but mostly due to the tornado-like ass-kicking they deliver.
I got a request a while back for the first Scorned 7", and why not? Scorned is one surly political hardcore ensemble with a scary guitar sound. Being a pretty raw and rough outing, I would maybe not recommend this EP for the uninitiated. After listening to either their LP, split 7", or more recent 7", the first one can be a lot of fun, if fun includes the hardcore equivalent of a jackhammer and a chainsaw trying to drown out the shouts of an angry neighbor. Scorned is another in probably a long line of mid western bands that deserve way more attention, so give 'em a shot.
I was going to post the "Double Crossed" 7" by feisty Texans, Manchurian Candidates, but then I remembered that Mike included it in his post of the LP. For now, we'll just have to settle for some comp tracks until I track down their other 7" and split 7" (which I thought I still had...). Two tracks were re-ripped from the "El Guapo" comp ("Blind Lives" is still my favorite) and the other comes from "Reality Part 4" (a much more metal manifestation of the band).
"Dear bicycle, I shall not call you bike, you were green, like so many of your generation, I don't know why. It is a pleasure to meet it again. To describe it at length would be a pleasure. It had a little red horn instead of the bell fashionable in your days. To blow this horn was a real pleasure, almost a vice... What a rest to speak of bicycles and horns."