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" (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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

READY TO ROT

DiE- "Vexed" 7" (Sonic Terror Discs)
Firs Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /1000

Unhinged, macho hardcore from the UK is running rampant at the moment, and while most of the bands from the country tend to specialise is the variety with a massively stompy feel, DiE dabble in a style that resides in a much more outsider, brooding kind of vibe. This is their second EP, following a simply perfect debut (that I'm still desperate to get my hands on), and while this is still top tier punk, it doesn't quite hold up to that earlier material. Vocals would be the stand out here, there's nobody around at the moment that quite possesses the power that this guy does, and the off kilter guitar work and frantic drumming all work perfectly together. Though I don't enjoy this as much as the first record, this band is still easily a top 5 UK group.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

UNWELCOME MAT

Social Damage- "Both Demos" 7" (Straight And Alert)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /326

Vinyl pressing of the two demos (I II) that Social Damage (previously Blind Justice) released in 2013. I was massively fond of both of these tapes when they originally surfaced, but to be honest I didn't really think it was that necessary to press them like this. Regardless, I had to buy myself a copy. The band have just released their debut EP which I shall post about soon.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ALLEY CAT

Migraine- Demo Tape
Band Edition, 2014

Been sitting on this demo from Byron Bay's Migraine for a few months now. This is the band released version, Around the same time, Asbestos Death Records released a differing version also. Outsider vibed, hardcore punk that I suppose would claim lineage to bands like Bl'ast!, Black Flag and the like. They're currently in the middle of a tour of the southern states and they have a new 7" coming out soon on Asbestos Death.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

CAST DOWN

The Sentenced- "Out For Blood" 7" (Hardware)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /??

More excellent traditionally geared hardcore, this time from The Sentenced from Fort Worth, Texas. This is their demo pressed to vinyl, re-titled "Out For Blood". Black vinyl of the wider press, red wax of 100 copies was also committed. Not a huge amount of variation from the tried and true style that originated on the east coast of the US in the early 80's that is obviously very popular at the moment, but it's just done extremely well. Punchy recording, manic front man, snappy drumming. Can't really ask for anything more.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

FUCKED UP HEAD

The Combat Zone- s/t LP (Side Two)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /400

Though my buying has lagged this year for various reasons, I do keep a list of current and upcoming essential purchases. Stuff that is must-get regardless of how much postage may cost, or how it might effect my savings. A lot of the list is bulked by stuff from the UK and Boston (and Boston surrounds) and until earlier in the year the debut s/t LP from The Combat Zone. I have actually been spinning this copy now for a few months and I'm confident in saying that this album will definitely end 2014 as one of my top LP's.
There's nothing to it really- as with a heap of the stuff that I post on here, they're a modern hardcore band essentially playing a style that owes a heap to the Boston scene of the early 80's. They just do it really well. Though they've progressed from their demo in virtually zero increments, this is a lot better than that tape.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ONLY WARNING

Mind Trap- "Life Among Liars And Thieves" 7" (SFR/Refuse)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /500

A friend turned me onto this debut 7", "Life Among Liars And Thieves" from Mind Trap a few months ago citing the intro riff to the EP's opening track, "Lifer" and it's stark similarity to the intro of "Life As One" from the massively influential EP, "Thou Shalt Not Kill" by New York Hardcore stalwarts, Antidote. These guys don't hail from the big apple though, instead claiming origin in Germany and Russia. If the previous sentence didn't indicate well enough, these guys claim early 80's East Coast USHC as primary influence, most obviously that NYHC sound, though flourishes of Boston '82 peak through here and there. The recording is loud and gnarly and walks that balance of blown out while still retaining a totally listenable quality. Bare bones sleeve rounds it all out with an entire press of black wax. Excellent release.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

DESPOTISM

Genocide Pact- "Desecration" 7" Single (Bad Teeth)
First Press, 2014
Black Vinyl /450

More excellent Death Metal from this newish DC band, Genocide Pact, in the form of this two track 45 pressed by Bad Teeth Recordings. I originally managed to post about this band at the beginning of the year when their demo was pressed to vinyl by Flophouse Records & Tapes and Malokul Records. The two tracks on offer this time around don't differ in any way to the groups earlier material at all really, other than the fact that they've managed to present a noticeably more up-market quality recording. Two tracks of meandering, plodding, riff charged, guttural Death metal. Over the year I've read in numerous places the band being compared to obvious and more popular influences such as Obituary, Autopsy, Terrorizer etc, but one band that I haven't seen brought into the discussion at all that I think these guys sound heaps like is Six Feet Under. The singer bares obvious similarities to that of Chris Barnes and the music is largely of that simplistic riff based style also. Whether they realise it or not too, they've managed to come up with cover art that is strikingly similar to that of Six Feet Under's 1999 opus, "Maximum Violence".
From what I've read, these guys are writing for their debut full length to be released on A389 Records in the not too distant future. This EP serves as a perfect preview to that upcoming music.