OK, seeing as I’ve been so busy learning the ins and outs of the amazing world of Maximum Rocknroll, I decided that I would upload some of the reviews I did these past six months I’ve been here…Shiat, is it already six months? Time flies when you’re in the bubble that is the MRR compound—a house of punk rock awesomeness if ever there was one! Cool people coming through, a radio show recorded every week, Halloween pumpkin carving, Punksgiving and much much more!
LOST SOUNDS – “Lost Lost – Lost Sounds demos, sounds, alternate takes & unused songs 1999-2004” LP (#353)
What to say first about this band? That they are one of my all time favourites? That their records (all of them) contain some of the darkest, most enchanting, twisted, self-obsessed post-apocalyptic, sociopathic garage anthems of the previous decade? That no other band can conjure up such creepy, devilish, morbid and downright resonant gloom and doom in one song? Their sound is too close to my aching heart to be objective about it, but this LP and EP do a good job of summarizing what LOST SOUNDS were all about: noise, distortion, obsession, lots and lots of echo, psychosis, saturnine desire (oh vicious desire!) and expansive planes of fuzz. Take that and choke on it.
The tracks on this LP are what the title says, so expect to find an assortment of a couple classics (apocalyptica-dance-fever on “Total Destruction,” mental nausea on “Black Coats/Whitefear,” lamenting in stunned horror on “Glued to the Screen”), some ‘sounds’ and retakes (“Throw Away” a masterpiece of denunciation, claiming “If this is an endless circle I would rather walk the line/I’m the scum of the USA/I am just a throw away” and “No One Killer” which is timeless LOST SOUNDS), a couple cover tracks (“I Cannot Lie” originally by a band from the No No No garage comp and a ‘slaughtering of a wonderful CRYSTALS song’ called “Frankenstein Twist”), as well as some which were never “officially” released, like the vintage/’60s-sounding lonely-cowboy reject track “No Count”.
They’ve always had an air of cosmic destruction about them, a feeling of tormented pursuit; chasing mania, then hunted by dread, and their keyboards, lyrics, arrangements, themes and overall sound is pure ecstasy to me. Alicja has “a way like a serenade” and her voice gives me goosebumps (Lucifer Jay has indeed fallen down and I am your servant now), while Jay is obviously the Pied Piper of Hamelin, luring us like rats to a sonic death. Oh rapturous synth bliss, “it’s my dream.”
Yet listening to these tracks now, after Retard’s death, whose influence was undoubtedly audible in everything he created, I’m not surprised that some of them almost predict the ending this truly unique band would imminently have in 2005. “You will never seem me again/So I wave goodbye” on “A Foreign Play”; track titles like “I Didn’t Mean to Lose You”; or the wishful thinking on “Die Alone (Promise Me)” a bleak-as-death and cold-as-stone track found on the complimentary EP—they all ring like bad omens. The EP in itself is fucking brilliant, with a rawer version of their epic, escape-from-reality opus “I Get Nervous,” plus an equally epic, thundering and emotionally charged masterpiece called “Look at Me,” which oddly enough reminds me of the energy summoned by GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR on “East Hastings,” that spine-chilling composition used on the OST to 28 Days Later. “Look at me/and don’t you turn away/look at me/and don’t you cry/look at me/and don’t you be afraid/look at me/up in the sky”—it seems to loom like a ghostlike farewell, as this is apparently the last track Retard and Alicja ever recorded together.
This may be a collection of ‘rarities’ but this is as compelling to an uninitiated listener as it is to the LOST SOUNDS completist. What’s most depressing is that this is probably the last we shall ever hear of this band ever again, unless more hidden gems are unearthed in the future in some sick Retard second coming. The LOST SOUNDS are dead. Long live the LOST SOUNDS! (Goner)
EPOCA DE RECLUTA – “Evolucionando Bajo Suelo” EP (#353)
I won’t say much. Not so much because I am one of the least qualified to discuss early Venezuelan punk, but more so because this is just fucking brilliant! Whatever words, in whatever language would not do this justice. A reissue of a 1994 demo tape by obscure/legendary Caracas band EPOCA DE RECLUTA (Age of Recruit). This is exactly how I like my punk and when I listen to this I can hear a lot of contemporary bands reflected in their sound—the relentless drumming, the gruff mean guitars, thick basslines and classic vocals that summon a fight! This is good on so many levels; and it’s only the first of a Radical Rock series of ’90s Venezuelan punk! Raw, anarchist, with an early ’80s USHC sound, with a rougher feel and street-wise edge, charging forward with scorn and conviction! The reason this is actually so refreshing is because you can hear the intensity and frustration that brought about the creation of the original release; in a Caracas, which, only a few years earlier, had lost hundreds if not thousands of workers during the ‘Caracazo’ riots of Feb. 27, 1989. Seven tracks of absolutely essential, prime South American punk, limited to 300, sure to sell out and guaranteed to spread like wildfire all over again! (Cabeza DeVaka / Noseke)
PROTESTANT / SUFFERING MIND – split EP (#350)
The first time I put this on I thought there must be some kind of mistake. It says four songs on the sleeve, but there’s only two! This clear orange piece of vinyl may look small, but boy, does it blasts some power: in just under five minutes SUFFERING MIND and PROTESTANT deliver four fast and heavy tracks. Polish grinders SUFFERING MIND launch their side with aggressive, metal infused hardcore, with ripped vocals and racing rhythm sections, then immediately pound in with what instantly sounds like a classic (“Obudzony”), full of blast-beats, gun-shot riffing, angry death metal growling and heavy breakdown ending. PROTESTANT have definitely grasped the meaning of mean fucking hardcore, with a sound that’s sharp (like black metal spikes) around the edges, yet still packs a solid crusty core. “No freedom, no life, no peace”. The rage continues with their second track, “A Sheep in Wolves Clothing”, splintering ears with crashing drums and choppy guitars and what do you know? The fun is already over. Suggested for repeated listening! (Halo of Flies)
SNOB VALUE – “Whiteout” LP (#353)
Let me start by saying that these boys have been busy busy busy, with their kicking and punching first tape, aptly named Keep It Short and Simple – K.I.S.S. in 2009, with Prince on the cover and tracks that just trip over themselves in fury and frustration, then another killer tape in 2010, which I also friggin’ loved—from the “bad cop” artwork and don’t-give-a-fuck lyrics, to the creeping, ripping riffs and mad lyrics—so I have anticipated this for quite a while! I can tell that they’ve definitely worked on this LP and these tracks are doused in indignation, antisocial aggression and contempt for humanity—I can relate, “I don’t give a shit about what you did, when you were my age in 1986,” “sometimes I wish I were deaf, I would have peace at last.” Yes, antisocial hardcore for angry people, reminiscent of USHC classics, like the CIRCLE JERKS, DEAD KENNEDYS, MINOR THREAT, and more contemporary outfits such as the REGULATIONS and BRUTAL KNIGHTS. The compositions are still tight and catchy, but the band has developed them more, with slower, groovier hooks, slower intros, meaner guitar interludes and solos, layers and the ever-present, spiteful vocals; the kind of spite discovered in late adulthood, when you realize adulthood sucks and your peers are a joke!
While SNOB VALUE’s work has never lacked lyrical aggression or sonic force, these tracks have a more polished production, which makes conventional sense for a debut LP I suppose, though they don’t entirely lack that seedy subversive sound. Also, the artwork is quite minimal (“contrast reduction, disappeared horizon”) and while it’s handmade and still looks good, it doesn’t compare to their previous punk-ass designs. “1986,” “Hammer & Öl” and the self-titled “Whiteout” are stand out tracks for me; the first because it’s dark, honest, ballsy and foaming at the mouth (their pièce de résistance for this album if you ask me), the second because it’s sung in (their native) German and of course sounds all the more menacing for it (I hope to hear more auf deutsch) and the third because it’s SNOB VALUE essential: short and simple, fast, effective, mind-pounding. I’m already flipping this faster than I can keep track of and, while I do appreciate the more serious take they seem to have taken on this release, I honestly hope they keep some distortion and dirt intact, it’s that blunt irritation that makes ’em so great! Minor detail: I love it when bands have little messages scratched onto the wax; on ether side of this white 12” was: World peace can be fun – Anarchy’s a blast. Fuck yes! (Crapoulet / Prügelprinz / Spastic Fantastic)
V/A – “More World, Less Bank part 3: No Borders, No Banks” EP (#352)
Oh my fucking hell! This. Is. So. Amazing! Third compilation in the More World, Less Bank series, featuring top-notch Swedish crust, D-beat hardcore bands, that’s totally worth your time and effort. The cover features Swedish riot cops standing in line outside an important-looking building (I did some research but didn’t find out what it is) and every band on this will deliver a harsh, fuming, political assault on your ears! MISÄR start out this comp and exactly one minute and 5 seconds into their song they expel one malicious riff! And they actually only play this three-second riff twice! Please make it last longer than that! KRIMTÄNK come in after that with a very different recording quality and I think on the one hand that’s a shame, because this song is totally tight, old school raw and effectively simple early ’80s hardcore, but on the other hand this rawness of sound is well-fitting! SLAKTRENS have fuzzy and sharp guitars and a vocalist that sounds like he’s permanently got a sore throat, delivering short and choppy hardcore with furious energy. ESKATOLOGIA boom in with growls and mean metal guitars, the ripped vocals mesh with the guitars really well, the drums are fucking unstoppable and the melody b(l)ackbone behind this paints a grim, desolate picture that makes your eyes and ears bleed! And yes, there is also a B-side!
PASSIV DÖDSHJÄLP, who keep showing up everywhere in front of me, start out their choppy, fuzzy screamfest with the classic Manson quote (“Believe me, if I started murdering people, there’d be none of you left.”) The track only last about 30 seconds (not including the sound bite) so it obviously packs a good punch, with a rampant approach. INSIDIOUS PROCESS rips through you like a massive, multi-bladed shredder, with female vokills from a bloodbath nightmare, that growl and screech ‘fuck the elit’—this is blackened crusty D-beat at its best—blare on! MODERAT LIKVIDATION should need no introduction; their solid D-beat hardcore rolling along with force, carrying a depth of sound and a quality of execution that new bands should to take note of. END OF ALL close off this excellent comp, with crusty hardcore, with dual vocals, both ripped and bellowing, with metallic guitars and a steady snare assault, sharp production and classic crust riffage. Good comps burn like Motolov cocktails and this one does some serious damage! (Halvfabrikat)
NEGATIVE STANDARDS – “I-V” 10” (#350)
I actually saw this band play the second day I arrived in San Francisco and I can say they gave off a lot of power! As far as hardcore album artwork goes, I find bands can usually go one of two ways. Either very image heavy, with skulls, bombs, war pits, dead animals, corpses etc; or the complete opposite, as is the case in hand; just a black and white picture of a wall. Now, just because I’m an excessive person by nature, doesn’t mean I oppose such minimal artistic statements, laden with meaning none the less. In fact, it leaves a clean pallet for the music and draws the listener to wonder what the heck? This is heavy fastcore with metallic toppings, German hardcore trimmings, racing angry vocals and crusty rhythms. The second side (or at least the one without Latin numerals on it) begins at a slower, more tormented pace but quickly picks up and by the end NEGATIVE STANDARDS had indeed made an impression on me. Both epic and racing, anguished and aggressive, this Bay area band—featuring members of ACTS OF SEDITION didn’t you know—is worth keeping your eye on. (Vendetta)
HELLSHOVEL – “Hated By the Sun” CD (#351)
There’s a strong feeling of motion to the songs, as if they are part of a larger narrative, which doesn’t seem impossible given the fact that they were recorded in “various apartments in Montreal and Berlin”. There are kaleidoscopic melodies, blimps and scratches, gritty drums and enough repetition in the riffs to safely assume some sort of unearthly state of mind had been reached by way of acid and absinth. It’s lo-fi enough to be absorbing, dark enough to keep you listening, but not overly-psychedelic so as to lose any of their garage flavour. Slightly distraught and mysterious, like the cover, this sounds like the ideal soundtrack to a sun-lounging, bourbon-drinking, chain-smoking, summer; or even a one-off, home-alone trip down mescaline lane, just you and your scary thoughts… Pas mal. (Slovenly)
V/A – “Warsaw Hardcore Punk Attack Vol.2” LP (#351)
Well, I admit this is a little different from the last thing I heard out of Poland, which was MOSWKA circa 1989, which I found on the Where the Wild Things Are compilation from Sabbel fanzine #14. This comp comes with a cool printed ten-page booklet with info and pics from all the bands and along with the music, you get a good taste of what’s going on in Warsaw at the moment. I’m a sucker for the sound of any Balkan language, so I was more than happy to review this. I notice that overall there’s definitely a heavy hardcore theme running through the whole compilation (with breakdowns to go around for everyone) and almost every band makes some political reference, even if only indirectly. If you like moshy hardcore, you’ll appreciate most of the songs on this: angry breakdown hardcore by DEADLIFT, BORN ANEW, SOCIAL DEATH, ska punk by the MUGSHOTS and NANCY REGAN, Oi! punk rock by TZN XENNA, the LUNATICS and PORNOSKINS, fast and melodic hardcore by STREET CHAOS, SOCIAL DEATH, NOISENSE and WSCHÓD (whose use of an audio-clip intro is quite effective), street punk by KOLIZJA, mid-tempo pop punk by NOWY SWIAT, heavy metalcore by REALITY CHECK, female fronted hardcore punk by ANTIDOTUM and POSING DIRT and lastly, my favourite, some powerful and dark post-punk with saddened female vocals by HATESTORY. I could listen to this song on repeat all night! (No Pasaran / Studio Fonia / Warsaw Punk / Dead Press / Warsaw Hardcore)
ARRESTUM – “Ihmistieteet” EP (#352)
Menacing, dark D-beat from Finland’s ARRESTUM with enough power to damage your ears if you go beyond 5 on your volume dial! This is crushing, brutal and deeply aggressive, with political lyrics sung in Finnish and I’m stoked that I get to review this! The A-side opens with an unyielding track driven by crusty metal guitars, called “Inho/Repulsion,” that comes to a blackened heavy close, before bursting into “Viha/Hate”, gathering motion and breaking out into epic riffage and tight drumming. This is epic in every meaning of the word and I love it! The single track of the B-side thunders down without cease, with hair-raising guitars that shear and shave, soaring with rage and grief, the vocalist bellowing Mikään ei muutu (nothing will change) with gut-churning force, the drums a sheer delight to get lost in, the guitars leading to a crashing post-apocalyptic crescendo. The crust disappears, the sound liquefies and it all ends with a single chord loop before fading back to silence. If this is what a good death sounds like, please kill me again! (Parta)
IVES – “Abandon” LP (#354)
This is straight up grim, thrashing black metal, with strong anarchist overtones and evident punk undercurrents. While this does most definitely reek of desolate mountaintops, bloody death by cannibalism and running through a CARPATHIAN FOREST, this duo hails from Jacksonville, Florida. And because the term black metal is pretty broad, let me say that this reminds me of what my metal friends and I used to say about late ’80s-early ’90s black metal bands hailing from Norway. To distinguish it from other sects of black metal, and for lack of a better description, we called it ‘punk played black metal’. Yet unlike BATHORY, DARKTHRONE, MAYHEM, early ULVER and so on, who did play black metal with a punk aesthetic, I feel the opposite is true for IVES: they’re punks who want to play with a black metal aesthetic—which is fine with me, I do too! The orchestration and production is just atmospheric and harsh enough to keep this firmly in black metal territory, yet oftentimes the sound on the drums is just downright punk! Sharp, shape-shifting guitars aside, this recording also finds a mandolin and violin put to effective use, summoning nightmarish echoes from beyond the mass grave we are all sure to share. This is a one-sided (!) LP and besides the useless acoustic guitar intermission near the end of the record, this reminds me of why I like black metal: it makes me want to escape to the nearest forest and just dwell there, doing drugs and making poisonous blow darts, until I’ve convened the powers of evil into an electric storm and channeled it into a midnight madness recording session…Limited to 200. (Prison Tatt)
ZEITGEIST – LP (#352)
OK, so the GORILA ANGREB/MASSHYSTERI/TERRIBLE FEELINGS formula for off-kilter female vocals on top of tense yet melodic music really struck a chord with people. As broad as that statement may appear, the actual sound honed by these and other bands similar, is much more distinct and easily recognizable here, in this band from Pittsburg, members of which also play in ICON GALLERY, which makes total sense. OK, so right off the bat I knew I liked the music, yet all I could hear were the things I didn’t like about Tilley’s voice (the chorus on “Someday,” the screamo and PARAMORE-ish bits of “So It Goes” and “Dogmatic Flu,” the meowing on “Relationshit”). I’m a stubborn person so this challenged me and with every listen I warmed up to it more. When she growls, croons and spits with anger and lust like on “Social Gag,” “1, 2, 3” and “Let’s Play House,” she really captures the tension the music carries so well throughout, while her sad howling chorus on “Atone” is a spine-chilling delight that rang in my head for days. The guitars are tight and constant, with a well-produced sound that’s backed by a solid rhythm section, alternating between heavy/fast, sharp/delicate, rolling/choppy at all the right times. There’s a memorable riff on at least half the songs, while the bass does some neat finger work above the layers of pummeling drums and crashing cymbals. My final verdict says guilty, of being a catchy yet thoughtful debut that I will listen to many times over. By the way, Zeitgeist means “spirit of the times” in German and if you haven’t seen the three-part documentary of the same name, I suggest you do. (Cobra Cabana)
V/A – DIMORNA SKINGRAS VOL.3 (#352)
Twenty-four tracks of raging Swedish D-beat, hardcore, punk madness ladies and germs! Each one guaranteed to fulfill your wettest, horniest, rawest hardcore dream, if raw and Swedish is how you like it! This sort of continues where the Really Fast records comps left off so you know it’s good! No foreplay, let’s get it on!
HANDGRANAT deliver straight yet melodic, agro hardcore, with D-beat sprinkles and crust trimmings on their song “Inget Nytt Under Solen” (nothing new under the sun), while on “Slå Blå” (slay blue), the drums pummel in, the guitars turn into solos and the vocalist sounds genuinely pissed about the police beating people until they’re blue, which is what this song is about. One-man project PP7 GAFTZER plays speed punk with reckless-sounding guitars that riff away with a crazy spirit and deep rolling sound (“Sliding Doors”), with awesome, hoarse vocals, shouted choruses and guitar solos that many will appreciate (“Life in the Mainstream”). Powerful and pit worthy! STOCKHOLMS BLODBAD start off with some samples in Swedish (which I don’t understand but dig ’cause Swedish rules), then charge off on a hardcore rampage (“Rattsprocessen”), with stomping drums, then crash into some black metal vocals and guitar touches, complimenting the singer’s gruff tone; I fucking love this!! Some more Swedish samples before all hell hangs loose in the circle pit that is the four-second “Jag e inte Botad”. More ominous-sounding samples above a doomy, crusty intro and metal guitars that ooze venom for their final track, “Va fan!”. BOMBANGREPP lay down three tight and heavy D-beat hardcore tracks, with brazen guitars, crusty and absolutely raging vocals and solid riffing throughout! VENGEANCE OF KARMA storm in with fuzzed out guitars that almost sound like they should belong on an early crossover black metal rarity and fucking rip it! Dual vocals, both throaty and scratched, with an enjoyably noisy and gritty production—then all of a suddenly it turns into a heavy hardcore breakdown, with double-pedaling and guitar-string pulls that recall DARKEST HOUR-influenced crap, that sounds altogether out of place with the blissful insanity they had going on up until that point. Their second track is short and sweet, with groovier riffing played at a solid speed, sharp solos, deep bass and angry vocals. (I’m having so much fun!)
On the flipside! “Checkpoint Sweden” it is indeed, as introduced by the BRISTLES, who play old school punk, with a touch of Oi! in some of the drum/guitar combos on their second track. PASSIV DÖDSHJÄLP turn the fuzz back up and steamroll out some chugging crusty hardcore, with melodic leads, buzzing bass, ripped vocals and steady, thick drumming. Gimme more! A change of pace and sound swarms in with INAVEL and their three awesome tracks of chaotic and raw ’80s-influenced hardcore, with razor-sharp guitars and exasperated vocals that at first I thought sounded Japanese; plus one track of mucking about called “GHB.” VON BØØM, who originally formed in 1984, take it from there, with fast and fuming hardcore, accompanied by yelped vocals and steady streamlines of thrashy riffing. THÄSHERS round things up for the final curtain, with two tracks of youthful, angry hardcore punk, with (what I believe are) female vocals and gang vox to carry the solo to the grand finale. (Pike)
MUTANT GENES – “Straight to Hell” EP (#353)
Angst-ridden, catchy, melodic hardcore punk, in the vain of AUTISTIC YOUTH and NO HOPE FOR THE KIDS, rooted in early BLACK FLAG urgency and ADOLESCENTS mania. Five tracks of late-night street fighting, pit-diving punk, with a mischievous no-hope attitude and straight no-frills sound. Frustrated vocals, brisk drumming and aggravated story lines are carried by convincing pick-work and slick solos; all rounded off with a production that’s suitably basement-sounding and organic. This EP is a very pleasant new introduction and even though they aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel, their approach sounds candid. I hope they kill it live, because there’s definitely fertile ground here for something memorable. A cool EP for sure, I can see “Straight to Hell” becoming a hit with the kids! (Vomit Comit)
LIGHTBEARER / NORTHLESS – Split LP (#353)
Most split records with two tracks per band are EPs, but not when you’re dwelling in a sludgy “post” swamp it’s not, so don’t be alarmed to find four slow-burners on this dark and mystical concept 12”. Slow-developing, heavy post-hardcore from Milwaukee’s NORTHLESS; apparently their side is “the first chronicle by the Luciferian followers, who document the struggle for Lucifer to enlighten the universe of the false god’s true nature.” Guitar layering and composition ideas that bring to mind ISIS circa Celestial and Oceanic, with some minimal GODFLESH chugging and techier touches à la KNUT on their second track “For As Long As You Shall Walk the Earth, Your Blood Will Reek of Failure”, which then stairwells into a MASTODON-esque stomp-drift, stomp-drift guitar trip, then pummels on at a steady stoner pace before adding the mandatory ‘pretty’ riff to come to a close.
The LIGHTBEARER side was a little more powerful on the first track “Celestium Apocrypha,” the way FALL OF EFRAFA were on Owsla (which shouldn’t surprise you, as it’s basically them since the three-record concept band of FALL OF EFRAFA is now over), with soundscaping riffs that remind me of early CULT OF LUNA; the overall sound swimming into ISIS waters circa Panopticon, then posting-out on a grand and gradual closure MONO/ENVY style. If you have no interest in any of the bands previously mentioned—or weed—then you’re obviously nothing like me and should give this a pass. If you want something deep and heavy while you slay behemoths at AD&D, or get high and meditate, or make love, or write your epic anarchist novel or whatever, then yes, this has got all the staple post-hardcore elements you need. However, if you, like me, have maintained a steady level of depression this last decade by listening to the better contributors of this epic genre, which ever-gains popularity thanks to countless bands rediscovering the power of the almighty riff as first unearthed by NEUROSIS, then you might as well go listen to any of your NEUROSIS records released between 1993 and 2004, because that’s where this is all fucking coming from. (Alerta Antifascista / Halo of Flies / Moment of Collapse)
REPLICA – flexi EP (#353)
“Never turn your back on fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed”—Hunter S. Thompson. Do not be fooled by this simple-looking piece of thin wax! Do not be misled into thinking this is a mere four-track flexi. This is five (yes, five) tracks of menacing, evil hardcore from this Bay area quartet of wrath. This grabs you by the neck, slaps you in the face and says ‘Listen you piece of shit, this is your life, don’t let anyone else but you fuck it up! Now fuck off!” That’s the kind of motivation I need to make it through the day! This flexi encompasses everything I like about hardcore. It’s heavy without being sluggish, riff-infested without being rotten, pissed off and hungry, like a rabid hyena on a serious quest for a juicy dose of hardcore madness. Unstoppable and fierce, with guts and brains, lyrics that are pensive and passionate, riddled with fear and loathing, self-destruction and misanthropy, encircling the sonic pallet of emotions like a wild beast. Juliana is a colossal riff maniac, delivering tense, racing riff attacks drawing from old school thrash to ’90s hardcore, complemented by Alicia’s thick and heavy bass lines that crawl up and down the spine of each track like a venomous tarantula. B (of NO STATIK) expels ferocious drumming (unleash some blastbeats!), with D-beat pounding, ecstatic and tribal thumping on “Becky’s Rite,” crashing cymbals and steady snare beatings to make your ears bleed! Dharma is a vicious necromancer and I feel she carries a primordial anger only few people can experience, as if they somehow channel the anger of aeons past, spitting in the face of authority, laughing at convention, screaming the truth because that’s all that makes sense, then lighting up a bloody cigarette after beating your ass in the pit. A-class stuff, released by Bay area’s dynamic duo Radical Punx Never Die! This was already sold out within a month of its release, so send love letters to the band and label and demand they reprint this! (Radical Punx Never Die!)
RAPE REVENGE – “Paper Cage” EP (#351)
A tight EP, packed with 16 short, fast and loud grindy fastcore songs, which is what RAPE REVENGE know how to deliver best. The vokills are pissed and raging, the drums solid and steady, the guitars sharp and fast, while the production is dark, dirty and gritty, sort of like the artwork. This EP comes with a ten-page Xeroxed little booklet, with a short explanation of what each track is about, with a strong political backbone (SxE veganism, anarchy, womyn solidarity, challenging the status quo, ect) running throughout. Short and angry powerviolence, a good place to start if you are new to this band. (To Live A Lie)
COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION – “Discography” LP (#350)
COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION was a Toronto-based band from 1998-2000 and featured members of various Canada-based hardcore bands (CURSED, WARFARE STATE, BRUTAL KNIGHTS, THE SWARM, ANTI-FLAG). This here LP, released by A389, is a collection of their work and I took to it like a dog to a bone. I admit I hadn’t heard of them, but I love CURSED and BRUTAL KNIGHTS so I had little fear. It includes their 1999 “Death Rattle” demo, their “Brain Surgery for Beginners” 7” and their part of the “Starting Fires” split 7” with THEY LIVE, plus three tracks from various compilation appearances. COUNTDOWN TO OBLIVION had all the things a good hardcore band needed: raw sound, tight guitars, solid bass lines, pissed off vocals and lyrics, menacing drumming and in-your-face attitude. “We had done all we could for a band that we had created just for some extra fun on the side,” the sleeve inside reads, but I think this is just as relevant today as it was then. Worth introducing it to your record collection, if you haven’t already. (A389)