Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 top releases

What better and more self indulgent way for me to see out 2008 then to publish my top releases for the year that was? So many great releases over the last 12 months has made this list virtually impossible to compile, so rather than counting from ten to one I've just thrown down a massive list here in no order. If you've been reading my blog for long enough, you already know most of this list anyway, like I said, I'm just indulging myself here.

I found these guys this year, along with all of their records. Not exactly sure about actual release dates with some of the stuff, but I'm almost positive that most of it was birthed in 2008. If not, it was definitely a late 2007 affair. To date they've done a demo tape, the "Reality Choke" 10" and tape, the split with Sidetracked, the split with Massgrave, and the live radio split with Godstomper. They've also seen material released on the "Trapped In A Scene" PV compilation. Great band, probably one of my favourite for 2008. The 10" is unstoppable.

Need I really go on about this band here? These days they're massive within nearly every hardcore circle, they have the sound that seems to be able to appeal to nearly any demographic. I read an interview with the bands guitarist once that eluded to a near end for the band, and what better way to go out than with the stuff they did this year? I mean I really hope they don't throw in the towel, I'd love to see them play live before they do, but if they were to, you know they'd be happy with what they did. The "Conscious Unconscious" LP destroys nearly everything in its wake. Just unrelenting doom. 2 songs, something like 20 minutes. A friend recently described the break in 'Unconscious' as sounding like a giant stomping over a tone of trashed cars. Worked well for me. "The Prodigal Son Brings Death" on the other hand is said to be of just fast No Comment style PV. Short songs, no bullshit. I've heard one song off it, and I agree. Mine is due in the mail very soon. I probably won't get in until 2009, but it is a 2008 release to me.

A great year for this band. 4 releases and a QLD tour... I was stoked to be able to see these guys play 3 times. 2008 saw the release of the bands second long player "Sick". As most should know it was a concept album of sorts, based around the bird flu. Songs written detailing its effects and causes etc. The LP at this point was also the fastest and most grindish that they've done. Great album and probably the most polished stuff the band has released to date too. And all within the last 6 weeks, we've seen 3 new ep's released aswell. The split 5" with Rupture, which was all b-sides from the "Degenerate" sessions, the split 7" with Agents Of Abhorrence which I'm told is also left over tracks from other recording sessions, I'm guessing from the "Sick" studio time. And tonight apparently sees the release of the bands new ep on Shortfuse Records. I heard nothing really about this ep until yesterday afternoon, but reports tell me that the band are doing 2 new years release shows in Melbourne for it. Lucky Melbourne bastards. This stuff is supposedly the roughest they've done for a while, sounding most similar to the early, more straight up Boston stuff they did with the demo and first 7". I'm worried I'm gonna have trouble getting my hands on this ep.

Wow. This band had stuff in the pipe line for ages before anything was actually officially released. Tracks floated around here and there for a fair bit, and it's safe to say that I had probably 75% of the s/t ep and split with Masstrauma in my possession before either were actually released. Anywho, when Missing Link eventually did get around to pressing these 2 pieces of wax I jumped on the orders straight away and did manage to get the limited colours. Cock skin pink, and dick head purple if I remember correctly? Both 7"s were recorded in the same sessions, so both have the exact same sound. It's a great sound for how I heard they did it, it's clean and crisp, but in no way overdone. Second best grind violence band in this country this year.

Holy terror mayhem from The United Kingdom. This bands releases have left me more or less speechless. If you have any remote interest in anything resembling any good, heavy music, you need this bands stuff in your life. Integrity/Ringworm worship, but with enough of their own hooks and input to make it great. As with In Disgust I'm not totally sure about actual release dates for their stuff, I am thinking the three 7"s that they have material on were probably released in 2007, but 2008 was the year that they did blow up for sure, and the year I found them. You may be hard pressed at this point to find the demo 7", the split with Hordes, or the split with Braindead, but A389 Records is releasing a discography LP of it all in 2009, and Deathwish Inc is due to press an LP with all new material too. Jump on these guys, 2009 will be their year.

I have collected all this band previous ep's in the past. I always kind of liked them. I was never crazy about them, but their sound always did appeal to me in a sense. To be honest though I think the main reason I did get all their stuff was because I new at some point they would blow up. Well this year they definitely did, and for good reason. Where I was always on the fence with their old stuff, I am totally in love with this new s/t LP. It's relentless, angry, moshy hardcore. Easily the best stuff they have ever done. They pressed and released this album on their own after leaving Deathwish Inc in what some people may say a rather abrupt manner. It's rough... super rough, but that adds to the charm of the recording. It's heavy, and the song structure certainly seemed to take a differing direction on this release. Less typical skater thrash structures lead to much more PV influenced stuff with plenty of short and fast songs and mid temp changes. I was totally surprised with this LP and I hold high hopes for this bands future.

Local Brisbane scum bags unleash a ripper of a demo tape on QLD's unsuspecting ears. Lead by Brisbane punk celebrity Neal Bramley, it's safe to say that this tape is probably the best demo to hit my ears this year. I never dug any of Neils previous exploits too much, I have the Draft Dodger records,but I'm by no means mad about them at all, but with Tear Gas, the myriad of sounds going on here (clevo thrash, jap thrash, even some Slayer riffs) turns me on every time I listen to it. Expect great things in 2009.

Speechless. "The Way Is Narrow" single. Listen to this song again and again and again. Just a sign of how big this bands 2009 LP is gonna be. MASSIVE. If you don't like this band you may as well be dead. Check out all of their older stuff too. The "Butchers Bill" single, the "Constant Struggle"  LP, and the "Burden Of Empire" single. Earlier stuff was deadset later Cro Mags / Leeway worship, whereas this new single sees the band really extending upon that formula and making it their own. All amazing.

A friend of mind turned me on to this band a couple years back when they put out their demo tape. I loved the tape at the time and with the release of their first ep I initially had a little trouble adjusting to the cleaner sound. With time though I have grown to love said ep even more than the tape. Then 2008 sees the release of their second and even cleaner ep "Solitary Confinement", and from the word go, I am in love with this stuff. Yeah it's cleaner, but for some reason I didn't have to adjust to it again. It just slipped into my taste stream seamlessly. I was siked. Typical stuff for No Way Records. Harsh, snotty hardcore punk with I'd say heavy DC influences.

Another Perth PV gem. Who knows what the fuck goes on over in that part of Aus, but for some reason this town constantly seems to pump out all of the best PV/Grind/Thrash influenced hardcore bands. Where Extortion have gradually progressed their sound over time, and currently seem planted heavily in No Comment era Cali bliss, with this new tape, Suffer really sound heavily influenced currently by Crossed Out and the fastest bits of Infest. This tape is for scum bags. It sounds like it was recorded in  a dark, dingy warehouse somewhere surrounded by junkies and murderers. It's super rough. It's super dirty. Micky sounds possessed. Another band I am really excited for in the '09.

These guys didn't release anything this year. But they did do a 12" ep in '07 that I only just found this year. And after checking my lastfm it's my most listened to new found band of '08. I wish I found this ep earlier. It is amazing. Later, more metal era Cro Mags mixed with even more Slayer riffs. Lots of heavy mosh bits, and some really good vocals. Reminds me alot of Violation too. Such a good band, and I can't wait for their new stuff due in the next 6 months.

These guys put out their first ep this year that I only seemed to stumble upon almost by accident. The description for this 7" on RevHQ does a little to compare the band to Think I Care. Now when I read this, being the PV nerd that I am, I automatically assumed they meant the early era TIC stuff. Like the Infest worship stuff. No, I was wrong. Creatures bite heavily on mid era TIC, like "Mogrel" era stuff. And that's not even a bad thing by any means. I guess it would be if they didn't do it well, but Creatures have mastered this sound it's clear. The dudes vocals are an exact mirror of JasonTIC's, and all of the song structures are of that NY, mid paced mosh style. Some of the breaks on this ep are so damn catchy too. Very very good stuff.

So that's the main list. The stuff I could be fucked writing about anyway. Other honorable mentions include:
The new Cruel Hand LP. It's good. But nowhere near as good as the bands older stuff. The Pressures On demo tape. Great early Boston styled stuff. A little too rough in places, but Nathans vocals are great. The Insect Warfare/Agoraphobic Nosebleed split 5". Great release for IW, ANB shit me though. I discovered Gehanna and Catharsis this year. Whoa. The Hatred Surge 7" single and 5". Very obscure stuff by this band, but cool none the less. The Obliteration 7" was pretty good. The Breathing Fire LP. Great LP. Alot of people seem to be crazy about it. I'm not, but I do like it alot. The new Bitter End 7". The song 'Purgatory' on this ep is without a doubt in the world the best song the band has ever written. I hope all of their future stuff sounds like this. The Can't Relate demo tape. I never really dig on youth crew, but I love this Melbourne bands tape. I heard they broke up? I hope not. "Seizures In Barren Praise" by Trap Them gave me an enormous erection. More than once too. Too graphic?

Think thats just about everything that deserves a mention from me this year. I've probably missed a few, but from memory, everything I have listed here is what stuck out in my mind for 2008. Thanks for a good year hardcore universe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

like you said.. so many great perth bands...

you'd better make your ass over here asap.

you know.. once you get back from the states.. and all.