Monday, June 8, 2015

DIRECT ACTION

Violent Reaction- "Marching On" LP (Revelation)
First Pressing, 2015
Clear Vinyl /315

More output from arguably one of Hardcore's most busy bands, the 2nd LP from the UK's Violent Reaction, "Marching On". I've posted about the group many times over the last few years so I'd be repeating myself with anything here so I'll keep it brief. Good solid hardcore that takes stark cues from early Boston stuff and UK Oi! As most would be aware with each new release those Oi! influences grow a little more and the same can be said here. I think this album as a whole is a better product than the last one on Painkiller though- the recording is better, sharper, louder and the songs just seem to flow like a proper full length album. Good stuff.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

AGAIN AND AGAIN

Not Afraid- "Locked Out" LP (Powered)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /500

I'd paid virtually zero attention to Not Afraid from Belgium before this LP of theirs came out last year. This kind of polished hardcore certainly isn't the stuff that I listen to normally so I'd kind of taken a less than positive opinion about this band until for whatever reason I listened to a few songs online. Thoroughly impressive New York styled Hardcore is what's happening here, and in very typical Euro fashion, the band is aping the heavier parts of the Revelation catalogue, most notably and very obviously- Judge. Now, I don't really find any interest in that band, but this is just excellent stompy, mid paced Hardcore. The songs are super catchy and the recording makes the band sound like they're coming straight outta '89. I think the singer from this band is also the singer from that group True Colors, while various members have done time in notables such as Justice, Dead Stop and Loud And Clear. That pedigree is probably enough of an indication of the quality here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

THE ATTENTION

Severe- "Distorted Views" Promo Tape
First Edition, 2014

The full vinyl edition of this tape has been released in the last few weeks, but this is the promo cassette for the "Distorted Views" 12" by Severe, self released t the end of last year. Meat 'n' potatoes hardcore from Toronto that's just done very well. Fast bits, stomp bits and some excellent vocals. Not a heap else to say really, except for the fact that I'll try and get my hands on the wax version soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

GET ME OUT

Survival- "Forged In Iron" 7" (New Instinct/Powered)
First Press, 2014
Blue Vinyl /200

I was initially attracted to this EP by the excellent artwork. Obvious references to the work of K. Crowley and then later Spoiler would indicate the kind of music to expect here; Meat and Potatoes Hardcore that pays obvious homage to weighty NYHC all the way back to The Abused and similar. Survival though hail from the other side of the pond- Manchester in the North of England, yet they segregate themselves from the current crop of NWOBHC in favour of  slightly more professional recording. Generally speaking I don't always find much interest in stuff of such polish, but these songs are just so catchy, I find it impossible not spin this over and over. They recorded a demo and an EP before this one and to be honest, both of those initial releases are absolutely horrendous. Just stick with this record.

Monday, February 23, 2015

BAD ACT

Shrapnel- "Frenzied State" 7" (Quality Control)
First Press, 2014
White Vinyl /200

More fodder from the monstrous cannon that is the current UK Hardcore scene. This time around in the form of the debut 7" from Northerners, Shrapnel. Another band that tends to differ from the more popularised Boston Hardcore style that's doing the rotations at the moment, as I mentioned when I posted about this bands demo tape last year, these guys dabble seriously in the styles of the heavy mosh from the mid to late 80's in New York City. This band will never escape the Breakdown comparisons, but I reckon that wouldn't bother them. This version is of the UK pressing by Quality Control Records, Triple-B Records also handled the work for the US market.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

BODIES

DiE- s/t 7" (Sonic Terror Discs)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /??

Had a few good things to say about DiE's sophomore effort back in December but mentioned how I didn't feel it was quite up to the scratch of this s/t EP of theirs, their debut from 2013. In that post I indicated how I was pretty keen to get my hands on this record, and in the comments section Mr. Massive Waste made mention about just how easy it would be to grab this online if I wanted it bad enough. He was right, but my only gripe was how much international postage costs these days is. I bit the bullet shortly after I posted that entry anyway (partly motivated by his comment) and committed to a purchase of this excellent 7" on Discogs dot com.
There isn't a huge amount of difference between this platter and their latest one. All of their recorded material to date is top shelf, outsider vibed Hardcore Punk. DiE are possibly one of the more unique bands that exists amongst this current tidal wave of excellent 80's inspired hardcore from England though, relaying less on blatant aggressive macho stomp in favour of a more weirdo, unhinged approach. Where a band like Violent reaction may take heavy influence from a group like Negative FX, DiE probably spin the first United Mutation EP more often. Everything about this release is fucking great and I don't have a bad thing to say about it. Great recording, excellent, catchy songs, memorable vibes.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

DOG DAYS

Rats Blood- "Low Life" LP (Distro-Y/Dogs And Vultures/Phobia/Imminent Destruction/Donnez Moi Du Feu)
First Press, 2014
Pistachio Vinyl /100

Apologies for the lack of posts for the last while. My girlfriend and I just bought a house, so I've been quite pre occupied with all that stuff.
Very little fanfare surrounded the release of the debut LP, "Low Life" from Dublin's Rats Blood at the end of last year. On one hand I like that this band isn't one that's been ruined by the masses and their hyping, on the other, I really think they're worth that attention. High energy, Scando influenced punk with the odd grooved out dance bit, they actually remind me heaps of Boston/LA act Obliteration because of this. This made my best of 2014 list. I hate how five different labels had a hand in releasing this though...

Monday, January 26, 2015

JESUS LOVES YOU

To The Point- s/t 3" (Behind The Mountain)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl, Lathe Cut /200

I like this band a little, they play a good, angsty take on Slap-a-Ham-esque Powerviolence mayhem. Their 7" from last year, "Give Me A Reason" is a record that I really need to get my hands on. This EP though, I didn't need. It's two songs and barely a minute of music and left overs from previous recording sessions. Had it been pressed as a 5", I doubt I would have bothered. As I don't have any other 3" records though (and I doubt I'll ever buy another one), I had to get this if anything just for novelty value. It's certainly a strange record to hold and look at in that context of small, novelty value releases.


Photo with Shrapnel 7" for comparative purposes.

Friday, January 9, 2015

TIED

Social Damage- "Eye For An Eye" 7" (Straight And Alert/Life To Live)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /328

When I last posted about Social Damage from Indianapolis, I mentioned how much I liked the music presented on that demo collection 7", but I also spoke about how I didn't think that it was really necessary. Perhaps ironically, I could probably say the exact opposite thing about their debut EP, "Eye For An Eye". Obviously, it's almost always a prerequisite for any newish band to make their first vinyl or CD release in the form of an EP, it's just a pity that the songs here aren't really as good. The same thing's happening here as with both of their original demos though; accurate Straight Ahead styled NYHC worship, the recording just lacks something- not as punchy, and the songs, like I said, aren't as good- not as catchy.

Friday, January 2, 2015

NO WAY OUT

Step Forward- 2nd s/t 7" (Painkiller)
First Press, 2014
Clear Vinyl /200

A record that probably would have made a lot of year end lists for 2014 is this second EP from Boston's Step Forward, and though I am certainly enjoying it right now while it's spinning while I write this review, I can't say that it's grabbed me the way that the bands first EP did. It's essentially the same kind of thing going on as the earlier material; menacing, fast, straight edge hardcore, and the recording is rough and excellent, but the songs just aren't as catchy. Maybe I just need to spend some more time with it though.
I'm not completely up to date with the info on this record, but I think it was recorded post humous with this being a second attempt. I also suspect that these are songs that were written well over six years ago. The story goes something along the lines of a tape demo being released in 2012 that was initially meant to be this record, but the guys in the band weren't happy with the sound so a vinyl release was abandoned and the music was relegated to cassette. I think for a while it was up in the air as to whether a newer version would ever actually be recorded. Well obviously it was, and here's my copy on the more limited clear colour way. I will get around to posting about my copy of the first 7" too. I thought I had but it seems I must have acquired it before this blog existed.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014

Year end list. No particular order here, though I'd say that the Battle Ruins LP would certainly be the best thing that happened in 2014. I realise that maybe I need to be a little more picky as this is a big list, but relative to the amount of horse shit that came out this year I'd say this is pretty fair. There's a handful of records here that I haven't yet actually acquired, a lot of these are currently in the mail and I'll post about them in the coming weeks. Some I just haven't got the money to blow on the stupid postage rates attached, but I hope to acquire eventually. Some of them just haven't seen their respective vinyl releases yet (or have no planned vinyl release), and well, I don't buy CD's.

Shackles Photo- Sarah Foollent

EP's/Singles

Splits/Comps/Reissues

Tapes/Demos
Migraine- Demo Tape
Mammoth Grinder- "Cosmic Crypt" Tape
Severe- "Distorted Views" Promo Tape ^^

Rumours or confirmations of new records from All Out War, Violent Reaction, Strong Boys, Crown Court, Genocide Pact, Vile Intent, Chain Rank, and Severe will surely mean a good start to 2015.

**  vinyl release due in 2015
^^  in the mail

Sunday, December 28, 2014

COMMENTATORS

City And Colour- "The Hurry And The Harm" 2xLP (Dine Alone)
First Press, 2013
Black 180g Vinyl /4020

Perhaps strange subject matter when considering the majority of the things covered on this blog, but this is the latest album from Dallas Green under his City And Colour recording alias, "The Hurry And The Harm". Apart from two or three songs, I was never a fan of the band that arguably shot him to fame, Alexisonfire, and it wasn't really until this year that I took an interest in any of his other work. This album is excellent folk rock though, and I'd argue that it's one of my most listened to records of 2014. This guy can really sing. I think I am mellowing out as I grow older.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WHAT YOU GET

Boston Strangler- "Fire" LP (Fun With Smack)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /??

Haha Dustin just posted about this new Boston Strangler album, so just read about it here. I will add though, that I think I might like this record a bit more than the previous one, just because of the slightly more gritty recording. Mostly new tracks, though there's a couple included here that were originally released on the bands demo in 2010, along with versions of three songs originally heard on the bands "Joke's On You" promo tape from last year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

PROWLING LEATHER

Midnight- "No Mercy For Mayhem" LP (Hells Headbangers)
First Press, 2014
Ox Blood /??

I've been aware of Cleveland's Midnight and actively listened to digital versions of their stuff for a few years now. None of it ever really made me want to grab a hard copy until this new LP surfaced this year though. One man Motorhead/Venom inspired Heavy Metal. Powerful, loud, dingy, scuzzy and raw, there's a handful of current bands doing this style at the moment, but I'd argue that Midnight would be leading the pack and largely responsible for the popularity it's experienced over the last few years. This Ox Blood colour way is apparently one of the limited pressings, but I have no idea of the pressing info. Comes with a big poster.