Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vicious Pleasures

Since I don't go to shows much anymore, grabbing random demos and getting pleasantly blown away has replaced the excitement of discovering bands the more preferred way (live).  Although places like bandcamp remove some of the mystique of the demo experience, at least the bands are getting more exposure (and bloggers get to spotlight certain bands to like-minded people... hey, maybe this blog isn't completely useless after all).  So on to the spotlight band, Vicious Pleasures, fired from that musical birth machine of Portland, Oregon.  By now we know that location doesn't necessarily mean much in this case, except for the higher potential for quality.  Therefore I'll describe VP as playing modern peace punk which reminds me of the slower-paced material from Signal Lost, minus the noodle-y guitar leads.  A formula like this leaves the vocalist exposed and vulnerable, and only one with charisma like Sara can hold things together.  Her pipes and style will appeal to fans of that gutsy, rock-crossover approach put on the map by bands like Icon Gallery, Godless, and, yes, Signal Lost.  The five-track demo is not only promising, it's a great listen and has excellent sound quality for a first outing.  So that you enjoy an almost authentic demo experience, I ripped my tape copy, but you can get a free digital download from the band.

Vicious Pleasures- demo tape

Bandcamp - Free download available

Alternate cover art:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Los Pobres, Ladrones, Y Muertos

This one's not a tape, but it was at some point.  Generacion Suicida's demo is the kind of punk that could be the soundtrack to my entire summer, evoking sweaty, beery garage practices, broken up by hours of blissful idleness under the smog-enshrouded Southern California sun.  The strategy here is to appear loose and untrained, but really I think these guys are quite calculated in their artful use of rawness and simplicity.  SG bring that post-1980's LA sound, mastered by Scandinavians like The Vicious and Gorilla Angreb, back to LA with an authenticity not only of place, but of style and emotion.  I've heard the band is great to see live as well, and you can listen to a live-on-the-radio set here. The demo tape was apparently released in two sets of 50, and the 7" version posted here in one pressing of 307.

Generacion Suicida demo 7"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Hay Futuro

The posts this week(end) are the result of me finally locating my box of recently purchased demos and other cassettes, some of which I've been wanting to post, some I haven't really had a chance to absorb yet.  The Criaturas demo falls more into the former category, as the band's 7" and LP have been giving my turn table quite the workout of late.  While the band shares members and a visual style with Deskonocidos (another recent obsession), they don't come across as dark as their cousin band.  Criaturas perhaps share something in common with another Austin band, Sacred Shock, in that they draw from an array of impressive punk/hardcore influences, but what results is something better than merely the sum of these.  The standout quality on this outing is the sense of Cold War-era paranoia, conjured by the frantic pace of the drumming and fits of noise from the guitars, and given staying power by the way Dru sustains her shrill wails and cries.  Some exciting things have been happening in Austin, and although a lot of those "things" share members, I hope other musicians will be inspired and take up arms.

Criaturas demo

You can get wav files of the tracks here.

The band's 7" can still be found here.

The LP is available in many places, but was released by Trabuc Records, Spain.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You Bonescratch?

The month of May almost beat this blog(ger) to death, and June has thus far been a time of recovery.  The rest of this and next month should be much more productive, but as usual, no promises.  For this comeback post I have a handful of releases from a displaced spirit, or a response perhaps to an Ebullition/Old Glory/Gravity Records catalog sent in a bottle across the Pacific.  Bonescratch is one of the few proofs that that style of hardcore crept its way to Japan before the end of the decade that spawned it.  If you're thinking Merel, Angel Hair, Assfactor 4, and End of the Line, then we are speaking the same language.  If not, prepare your ears for their first sputtered morphemes from the lexicon of nineties entropy: frustration and angst in both form and content, followed to their logical end-- complete dissolution.  To my knowledge, the folder linked below has all of band's releases, minus comp. appearances.

"Last Words Gone" 12" (Bloodsucker Records, 1998)
Sawpit/Bonescratch split 7" (Vernacular Records, 1998)
Bonescratch/In/humanity split 7" (H:G Fact, 199?)
"Diaglam" CD (H:G Fact, 1996)