Sunday, April 20, 2014

WHEN YOUR GENITALS SEEP UP INTO YOUR FACE

Melbourne's blast beat merchants Doubled Over had been notably dormant for a number of years, perhaps even totally dispatched until recently reforming to make a contribution to this split 7" with Cleveland grind stalwarts, Hemdale. Perhaps naively, Hemdale aren't a band that I had ever been familiar with before this record came about, but research shows a 20 year history of demos, split release and the like, and talk of an ill fated LP that never saw the light of day. They play a pretty solid blend of no frills grind, generally the kind that I am normally most fond of. Perhaps I need to track down this bands other stuff. Doubled Over strike back with their style of obtrusive, straight forward grind. Guttural bellows dominate the mix, and as always Christoph's percussion is world class. Lineage and influence of course can be traced back to bands like Excruciating Terror and perhaps even their split mates here. Pressed by Fat Ass Records.

Monday, April 14, 2014

SWALLOW

While I was away over the Xmas/New Years period Melbourne's Caged Grave came up to Brisbane to play. They were selling this self released live tape of 28 of theirs as part of the run. Obviously I missed out on my own copy as I wasn't around but Craigos was kind enough to keep a copy aside and send it up to me recently. Nice little short run cassette with three songs from the demo and a Deadstare cover. The band have a new EP due pretty soon, pressed on vinyl as a self release, while Operation Grindcore is handling a cassette issue for the North American market.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

BAR SMASH

I don't really remember how I got onto Kurb Stomp. I think this "Stomp The Druggies" demo tape of theirs may have been included in a Youth Attack update st some point in 2012 and I may have looked into the band from there, but I'm not sure. This would certainly be the kind of music you'd expect to see Youth Attack involved with these days; ignorant, scummy, stripped down hardcore. The four tracks here possess one of the most blown out, roughest recordings I've heard since the last Urban Blight EP and scrape in at around five minutes. I'd been chasing this tape for the better part of 12 months until one popped up on discogs from somewhere in Europe a few weeks ago. Lyrical content revolves mostly around ignorant, baiting straight edge lyrics, and though I'm not edge at all, I wish I was when listening to "SxE Streetfight". Good stuff.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

THE DICKS HATE THE POLICE

It's only been very recently that I've taken interest in The Dicks. Having been involved with hardcore for a long enough period of time to have heard the bands name mentioned a few times over the years, it's almost embarrassing to say, but I just never bothered checking them out until this year. My interest was sparked when a friend of mine simply posted the youtube vid of this EP's title track "The Dicks Hate The Police" one afternoon on Facebook. Following that one preview I have been pretty hooked on this band and their brand of social outcast/weirdo/edgy hardcore punk.
Existing throughout the early 80's in Austin, Texas, this was the bands debut release, coming in before a live recorded split with The Big Boys and a couple of LP's. Indication of the bands prominence within the early Texan hardcore punk scene (and to a further extent, the 80's USHC scene in general) would be obvious when participating in a split with a band as influential as The Big Boys. Along with that band, The Dicks were/are the godfathers of punk in that region along with groups as well known as MDC and DRI. I almost feel that history hasn't been as kind to these guys as it has been to some of the other mentioned acts. This is a 2012 reissue of the "The Dicks Hate The Police" 7" pressed by 1-2-3-4-Go! Records, though it was originally pressed by the bands own imprint Radical Records. I'd go as far as saying that this is one of the best EP's to come out of the entire 80's American Hardcore scene just for the title track alone.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

DRIFTING AWAY

I've been waiting for this record for the better part of four years now. An initial track, "Extinction"  from Shin To Shin first surfaced around that long ago on an A389 Records online sampler. Then later that year it ended up on the bands split 7" with Pulling Teeth. And now it sees another release on the bands debut s/t MLP pressed by A389. Since 2010, word would surface every 12 months or so of the impending release of this record and then nothing would happen. Well near the end of last year an official release was mentioned, and finally it has materialised in the last few weeks. It's been a topic on many blogs over the last few years, but for those who don't know, this is the sole work of Aaron Melnick, writing genius behind early Integrity, and far as I can tell he handles all duties except for drums, which are sorted by a guy named Bob. Fans of Melnick's previous efforts should find plenty of interest here. It's basically 90's style metallic hardcore with a slight Japanese feel, that can be attributed mostly to his uniquely burly vocal style and the reverb it's put under on a few of the tracks. Whether that was intentional or not may be debatable, but it's definitely something I hear. Every track is a lesson in well written, catchy stomping hardcore. I already knew this before I even heard any of the other tracks, but this will certainly be on of my absolute favourite records of 2014.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

BEYOND REDEMPTION

With most bands that I am very fond of I normally make the effort to get my hands on one copy of each of their records, even if I'm not necessarily fond of a particular album or two in their catalogue. This records acquisition would be an example of that attitude. In the grand scheme of things, All Our War's "Assassins In The House Of God" is a ridiculously superb example of crushing Metallic Hardcore fury, but it's probably the weakest album of their entire discography, hence why it's ended up being the last that I've brought into the collection. This record has been floating around on my want list for years now, and it's a cheap record to buy, I've just never had a good, affordable way of having it posted my way until the last fortnight.
Having not developed a proper interest in hardcore of this ilk until after the end of the 90's, I sometimes feel like I really missed this band in their proper heyday, and I would assume most of the older guys who were around during the release of the bands earlier works would agree. It's funny though how I feel that the LP that the band released after this one, "Into The Killing Fields" is easily their crowning work and the best album by any group of 2010. In fact I don't think any single album by any band has topped it since. I still spin it just about every single week. Wedge "Assassins..." then between that excellent last record and three genre defining LP's released between 1997 and 2003, and it's probably doomed from the very start. Like I said though, this is still a ferocious album, but when I feel like punching the face of God, I do it with "ITKF", "For Those Who Were Crucified", or "Condemned To Suffer" instead.
As disclosed, my interest in heavy hardcore hadn't properly developed until the beginning of the 2000's, and perhaps as a result my view of the majority of 90's hardcore is a little less than favourable. Apart from a few favourites here and there (the more obvious stuff- early Hatebreed, Buried Alive, early Biohazard, Turmoil, Ringworm, some Integrity etc) it all just seems like either horrendously executed metalcore (Disembodied), excruciatlingly overboard hyper PC bullshit (Trial [though I actually love their LP, whatever]), or a combination of the two (Earth Crisis). Though their first album suffered the same fate as the VAST majority of stuff committed to disc by any band throughout pretty much all of this decade, in a shitty shitty recording, All Out War are one of a very few bands that managed to escape all the trappings previously mentioned and just play demonic, brutal, heavy hardcore. It's been mentioned countless times by countless others, but to me, they're the only band whom A) has the balls to, and B) executes precisely the writing and playing of a perfect splice of Obituary, Slayer and Cro Mags. There is word of a new album due this year. I await the mayhem.

Monday, February 24, 2014

POETRY OF WORMS

Rot In Hell have certainly been quiet for the last little while, relative to their previous work schedule anyway. Psywarfare aren't a band that I have any prior experience with but a little research tells me that they've a solid discography that traces back to the mid 90's. This is their split LP pressed on white vinyl by Magic Bullet Records.
A slight departure for RIH, their three songs here experiment further with the acoustic, folk and noise arrangements first hinted at with their split with Horders and the limited "Studies In Emerald" tape. Again the bands guitarist and central composer, POI handles the clean sung vocal duties. I was really into their contribution to the Horders split, and this stuff is just as good. Psywarfare is the work of Dwid and is basically just a totally noise driven, power electronics soundscape. Hardly the kind of thing I am even vaguely familiar with, but it certainly sounds menacing played at maximum output on my stereo. I don't think the neigbours agree.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

CHURCH BITCH

The s/t LP from Austin's Impalers probably should have made my 'best of' list for 2013, but for various reasons I just wasn't able to get my hands on a copy until recently. I've been paying MP3's of the record minimal attention since its release, but it wasn't until I could actually lay this record on the platter and play it at full volume that I realised just how excellent it is.
Thrashing d-beat punk pressed by 540 and Todo Destruido, featuring the identifiable vocals of Chris Ulsh, singer, guitarist and songwriter of popular Death Metal band Mammoth Grinder. From what I can gather, he may be the driving force behind this band as well.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN

The first two CD's that my mother ever let my buy as a kid were Pantera's "The Great Southern Trendkill" and "Astro-Creep: 2000" by White Zombie. This LP is a record that I've wanted to get my hands on now for a few years, motivated mostly by nostalgic values. Originally pressed on release in 1995 by Geffen Records, I wasn't aware until this week that it had been repressed in 2012 by Music On Vinyl with licence from Geffen. Picked this off the back wall at my local record store, seen completely at random. Black wax is the wider press, accompanied by a 180g variety and a coloured version.
As dated as this album sounds in 2014, it's still a relatively solid performance from the band and the stuff of theirs that I'm most familiar with and fond of. I'm unsure of how correctly this version replicates the 1995 edition, but it is a shame that all of Rob Zombie's excellent full colour artwork that accompanied the CD version isn't available here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

TOASTED

The official release date for the first Shackles full length, "Forced To Regress" is today, though I received this in the mail from Resist Records near the beginning of the week. Limited blue wax of 100 copies. Certainly the hardest working band in Australian hardcore right now, these guys have built up an intimidating catalogue over the last two years and have toured relentlessly in support of it. It's not hard to see why Resist were interested in releasing their album. In terms of sound, this thing doesn't stray at all from the sound they've developed in the last 18 months- abhorrent, mosh peppered metallic PV of the loudest order. Mark's vocals are at their burliest, and the sound that engineer Chris Brownbill has captured would easily be the nastiest example of the band yet. I think this will please a lot of Australians.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

HEAT DEATH

The last in the impressive catalogue of Boston's speed violence pushers Vaccine is this split 7" with sister band No Faith, pressed by Vinyl Rites. Perhaps a strong if predictable way to go out, Vaccine produce five tracks of uncompromised, break neck, bitter hardcore, exactly what you'd expect. This brings the bands entire recorded output up to about 20 minutes. Excellent.
From what I can tell No Faith is comprised of 3/4's of Vaccine. Their previous LP was extremely comparable to Vaccine in terms of sound and recording quality, with plenty of hasty blasts, though broken up with many more moments of plodding doom and electronic induced noise. Sharing lead singers certainly creates a very similar feel too. Their one track here though runs around five minutes and is comprised entirely of a sluggish, drab, noisy soundscape punctuated with a powerful riff and snarling vocals. Perhaps a polar opposite to that of their split mates. I guess that's the point.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

LIFE IS BUT A DOORWAY TO THE INCINERATOR

The sheer scope of the Boston scene is on display again with "Life Is But A Doorway To The Incinerator" from Torture Chain. I've only had the pleasure of blogging about this no-fi Black Metal outfit once when I posted about their only foray into vinyl last year with the LP issuing of "Across Great Landscapes To A Legacy of Blood". This tape here would certainly be my favourite material of the bands though, utilising the biggest and loudest recording of their entire catalogue. One track that nears 25 minutes in length, but boring it never gets, as the song progresses through multiple sections distinct enough that they could have easily been divided up into more shorter tracks. As the music stands though, the progressions make for a drawing listen. I'm rarely so taken with music of this style, but there's something about this tape of the bands in particular that is fascinating. Each section has it's own feel and amazing hook. It also definitely takes the cake for one of the best release titles ever penned.
In 18 months I've only ever seen this tape surface on Discogs once, and that is how I managed to land this copy. With postage from Europe it wasn't a bargain at all, but still worth every dollar.

Monday, February 17, 2014

CROTCH ROT

2010 No Way! repress of the shredding s/t 7" from Chronic Sick. This was originally committed in 1983 by Mutha Records. Not a band that I've researched heavily, all I really know is that they were around for a brief period in the early-mid 80's and that they liked to get a little 'edgy'. It seems that they've probably developed more of a fan base in the three years since this was pressed than when they were actually active. A record that I've been slightly interested in getting my hands on since then, finances have always permitted otherwise. Stumbling cross it recently in a record store rectified the situation.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

OUT OF HAND

The latest in this long line of metal classics that Earache Records seem so determined in reissuing in the 'full dynamic range' is a fresh repress of the mid era 'coming of age' Entombed album, "Wolverine Blues". This is the 'rotten soil' press of 300 copies, now sold out.
The album of their entire catalogue that seems to really divide fans of the band the most for long discussed reasons, being a manic for their earlier proper Death material, I still enjoy this album to a plentiful degree. I do believe that it's probably held in a little too high esteem by the hoards of current Entombed-core fans thanks in large to bands like Trap Them and Converge and their cover of this albums title track though.
Original pressings of this record regularly sell on sites like Discogs and eBay for sums exceeding $100, a figure that in the past I have been more than willing to fork over for original copies of the bands older works, but have never been able to justify dropping for this. A great record though, perhaps it's a bit of a shame that Earache have been too lazy to give it the real treatment it deserves, opting to press on cheap, flimsy vinyl, and issue with a sleeve constructed of cardboard with the consistency of that found in a cereal box, an issue that all of these recent reissues have suffered from. The question also remains, do the band see any income from this??