Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hatred Surge- Isolated Human 7"... finally available to order in the Painkiller Records webstore after a few problems with the pressing plant. GO.

Also, I found a few new copies on eBay of the "Broken" collaboration 7" that Alex (Hatred Surge main man) recorded with Iron Lung. The first press copies of the record were extremely limited and sold out about a year ago at some Iron Lung shows if I remember correctly, hense most people missing out on them. Not sure how readily available these second press copies will be over the next few weeks (you can't buy it anywhere else other than on the Iron Lung/Extortion Californian tour at the moment, and these sparce few on eBay), but I suspect more will become available as time rolls by. I heard they will be available for mail order from the bands once the tour is over too.

One dude I found on the 'bay wants $50US for it. Keep in mind, this is only the new second press version, with the Hatred Surge cover, not a first press (which I could jusity paying $50 for, if I had that kind of money to throw around).

This seller charged me $4.20US for one of the three copies with the Iron Lung cover that he had. Yhew. Perhaps the different cover is the reason seller #1 is asking such a high amount, but I'm sorry, there's no way I'm paying such a crazy price for a brand new record.

So for now, if you're like me, and ultra hungry to get your hands on this record, for a reasonable price, this one link I've supplied here may be your only chance... for now anyway. Get at it.

(edit: all now sold out from the seller I linked here. unlucky.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cold Shoulder 7"

Picked this up today... the "Patriot" ep by Cold Shoulder. Due to my laziness I don't know a huge amount about this band at this stage, I stumbled onto them about 6 months ago by means of Cowabunga Records. I got my hands on stuff from the demo they did and I was mighty impressed. Then I just plain forgot about them, till I saw this 7" on the RevHQ site, so I grabed it. I suppose you could describe these guys as a sort of Boston styled hardcore band with some more moshier stuff going on, and quite a modern edge. To be honest I don't think they quite suit Cowabunga Records, though I doubt that matters. Still a great band, with some fiery lyrics, and a great delivery, and they're from Chicago.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Iron Age Album

The band just posted a two minute sample of a mix of a few tracks from their upcoming LP "The Sleeping Eye" on their myspazz. Stuff sounds downright amazing. Go check it out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ion Dissonance Interview

An old interview I published in TheSharpEnd issue # 3. Some nooby questions, but still okay I guess. I lost interest in this band after their original singer Gabriel (whom is the interviewee) left the band after their first full length. Following material also took more of a professional 'studio' sound, which is what not I was keen on. The bands first album was just pure technical death metal glory, and rough at that.

First up the basics: who's in the band and what are your roles?

I, Gabriel, am the vocalist and lyricist for Ion Dissonance. Sebastien and Antoine are on Guitars, Xavier on the Bass and  is on Drums. Who's doing what now, well, mostly Antoine, Sebastien and JF are writing all the ideas for the music itself, then mainly Sebastien is coming up with an overall structure for the riffs. I am in charge of everything that is Media related, the lyrics and the imagery, as well as everything that is graphic related for the band, such as Merchandising.

When did you guys first form? What made you want to create such brutal music? Since forming what fundamental elements of the band have changed? Do you still love to the same thing you were doing back then?

Well the official lineup has been rounded back in 2000, we created ID for the sole purpose of making extremely brutal Techcore, something that was far remote from what we did before and also something that would put us into a new musical scene and crowd, which was a bit more hardcore. To make music that possess certain skills of course but also some kind of sinister vibe, even if you will mosh and headbang, so basically, to put everything we love about extreme music and make it a cohesive whole. And were just getting closer and closer to what we want to pull out of this band, the new ideas are always better so yeah, of course we still enjoy very much what we do. There are some unpleasant aspects to the life we live in Ion, but they are mainly due to the "business" and "corporate" aspect supporting the passion. The passion is very much still there tought. We experienced a couple of lineup changes here and there but since we’ve only gotten stronger, they`re irrelevant to mention.

You have just released your new album 'Solace' on Abacus Records. It has been quoted as one of the heaviest albums of 2005. Would you agree? Did you go into the studio hoping that when released the album would garner such reviews?

Surprisingly no, this album we did to prove ourselves, to acquire maturity as a band and also to realise what we wanted most, which was to top and make a more violent album this time around. And I truly think we did it. The whole thing breathes more easily now and its just so goddamned vile...  if I would change anything to that album it would be on a mixing and mastering level, cause I think we’ve outdone ourselves as far as recording goes. Still, I always eternally thankful to see that a lot of people are connecting to the same level as us and if it can garner incredible reviews that all the merrier I guess.

The album has been mixed by Pierre Remillard famed producer of other tech metal bands like The End and the legendary Cryptopsy. Being that Ion Dissonance share so many similarities to Cryptopsy (both being from Canada, sharing the same producer, both playing crazy, technical death metal, sharing the same record label) are you often compared to that band?

You might think like it but again no hahaha, actually we`ll be compared to our Toronto brothers from The End way more often than Cryptopsy. Its true we all grew all listening to Cryptopsy but apart from the fact that most Montreal band tends to surpass themselves technically, I think we have very few tendencies alike to Cryptopsy. We are extreme, and they are too, and that`s about it really. We recorded the entire album in a week with only our guitarist Antoine Lussier behind the board. Pierre came for the mixing only. With all the respect due to Cryptopsy, we are a different new wave for the Underground, and we are just trying to pave our own way. 

When writing what other bands do ID rate as influences?

Anything really, we take our influences from so many bands and so many individuals, we are entirely open to whatever music, and as soon as it can be interpreted in an intense and crazy way, we`ll try to incorporate the element to Ion Dissonance. It might not be Metal or even Hardcore, but it can be some type of music that will generate a crucial emotion that`ll help us create our unique sound. Trying to be original is one thing yes, but first and formal the idea is to make enjoyable music, well as far as making the soundtrack to each and very homicide goes.

Being that your label Abacus records is a imprint from the huge metal label Century Media home to such metal greats as Shadows Fall and Arch Enemy do you consider the band more of a metal or metalcore band? What do you think the future holds for the metalcore genre?

I guess you could say we`re metalcore but tending toward the metal side way more, since we`re all from that background (and you can tell by the aggressiveness displayed in our albums). Without being a dick to all the bands out there doing the "Swedish "At the Gates" with breakdowns type of Metalcore", I think those bands that made it with this are gonna stay, otherwise there is very few hope for those trying to emulate that sound. Let`s face it, it was a total rip off from the beginning anyway. 

At least one other band on Abacus that I know of (Turmoil) has spent time on the mother label Century Media. Do you hope that with good enough sales of 'Solace' that ID could get a promotion to full time Century Media? Would such a move be possible?

That would be a first. But that's not the way it works. Abacus is a perfectly distinct entity, a company on its own, only owned by Century Media's owner and working with the same money and power basically. So unfortunately I don't think we would upgrade to CM, if upgrade there is, cause is the same thing really. Just think of Despised Icon, our comrades from Montreal, they`re on CM, so we can entirely witness the difference.

How does knowing that you have a fanbase in a country as far away as Australia make you feel? Would you ever have dreamed for distro so far away?

Shit yeah, this is more of a dream like you say, but it also mean that working this hard as paid (in a way). I`m so overwhelmed with pride when I hear about fans that we have over in Europe, Asia or even Australia, you gotta be humble but man this shit is so rewarding. I mean, distro is sometime even bad in your own country (Canada for us, for instance), so to know that people are listening to your things overseas is really something special.

Technical metal really seems to be blowing up as of late with the emergence of a host of other bands. Often I read that it can be put down to the rise of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge etc. Do you guys draw influence from more hardcore orientated bands such as these? Do you think that they are really the reason for the rise in popularity of technical metal?

Totally, since those guys initiated the merge between technical metal and hardcore first.... then spawned a whole new way of seeing how extreme music could be played, which is amazing as an eye-opener. Now they have to make way also to those that wanna keep this style sick and depraved. And just more and more insane instead of going more mellow.

The new album is perhaps the most technically insane I have heard for quite a while. It is so extreme that it comes to the point where some potential fans could be discouraged from actually really getting into it because it takes so much patience. Do you guys deliberately go out of your way to write such musically perplexing material?

Of course with that type of music is not for the common hear, but see it that way, back in the days, Suffocation (as one of the few examples) was the most technical fucked-up death metal band out there and it wasn’t`t for everybody to understand but after a while, it became a standard in death metal and things evolved to more extreme ends and nowadays is all-of-control tech/fast craze. So if our shit seems confusing, maybe this only means in need more attention, and eventually you develop an ear for it. Like me back in '92 with Effigy of the Forgotten!

Do you ever worry about alienating certain groups of people and only being immediately accessible to a select few?

We`re underground metal, which means, we are not accessible to all, that's a proven fact and it does`nt bother us the least.

I am largely unfamiliar with your work prior to 'Solace'. What would you say is the biggest difference now in relation to song structures etc from the days of your previous album 'Breathing Is Irrelevant'?

The sound of the recordings plays a great part. The first one is pretty raw and digital and filled with stuff we might not have needed on second thought. It was put together under a lot of pressure and very little time. It was our way to make an impact on the scene from the very beginning, to warn people that we were about to shake things a bit with our corrosive entry. Now that we had the time to develop our sound, Solace came as a far more intricate and well-put-together morbid piece of art.

Do you still play songs from those days? Do you still play stuff from your very first demo '357'?

Yeah, well both songs from the ".357" demo we`re re-recorded for the first album "Breathing is Irrelevant", kinda what we did with "She's Strychnine" on Solace. Off the demo and the first album we still play "The Bud Dwyer Effect" live, a couple of other songs we cant avoid from "Breathing..." and that's about it for the old stuff since we need to promote the new album. Plus its a breath of fresh air, I mean, we’ve played around 250 shows with the old stuff, it was time for us to move on.

Do you worry about the prolonged future of ID? Do you think that a good reason for your new found popularity is because of the explosion of such extreme forms of music in recent years?

That I don't doubt, but the difference with us might be from the fact that we were amongst the first one to do it. Us coming from Canada, made it hard to hit the States for a long time while our American counterparts were growing bigger, due to the easiness of them touring the states and getting signed etc. But I know that our way of playing this genre is entirely different and we`re gonna mark our passage this way.

What bands are you really excited about at the moment? Who do you think is really on top of their game?

Alright, since this is always very hard for me to say, since I'm into so many genres of music I'll just go by particular styles.

In Death Metal = Nile (will always be the kings).

In Black Metal = 1349 (there new album Hellfire is completely sick and what black metal should’ve always been).

In Metalcore related = The End and Despised Icon (both Canadians comrades, check out they`re newest stuff).

In Avant-garde Music = Ulver (probably one of the highest influence I had over the years).

In Hip-Hop = Jedi Mind Trick (I dig Legacy of Blood, that album reminds me a lot of Non-Phixion which I like a lot also).

In Smooth music = Sigur Ros (they`re entire discography is amazing).

In Neo-Classical Ambient = Puissance (they have something more about they`re sound, very interesting). That`ll be it for now, I could go on forever.

Who do you think is the band that is massively underrated and deserves more recognition?

Ulver; I wont say it enough... and Alias, for those that are into electronic music. And metal wise... hum, Us hahahaha.

Any last words for your fans in Australia. Thanks?

The day we'll get the chance to fly out and see all you guys face to face, and play for you live. You wont believe that shit, we'll tear Australia apart and you'll like it, I cant wait! Eternal Hails and Respect to all of you!

Friday, January 16, 2009

In Disgust/Sidetracked

I have previously documented the efforts in which I have gone to, and the troubles I have endured in my attempts to obtain this split by California's In Disgust and Washington's Sidetracked. Well today it finally arrived, after 5 weeks of problems. It's no coloured variant, but it'll do. Black wax. 
Sidetracked play ultra technical PV in the vein of No Comment and the like. Short songs, with plenty of tempo changes. It's gets to the point where it gets a little too much for me with this band though, with nearly every song being under a minute long, and most of which using at least 7-8 varying tempo changes within each song. That's about every 10 seconds. I like the idea, and generally the sound of the band is tight, but it does get a little too hard to follow for my simple ears. Any real structure that the band looks like they're creating is quickly demolished by these harsh changes every time. It's frustrating. I would rate these guys over many of todays modern 'PV' bands though, I just think they're selling themselves short by trying too hard.
In Disgust... you know what I think. Currently the USA's best grindcore exponents. Really massive stuff that will kill people. Give these guys another year, I reckon they'll be the next Insect Warfare.
IxD are quite possibly the most anti social band I listen to as well. All of their albums inserts are like this. Never any lyrics or major details.  Just insults. Great band.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Who knows, maybe I'll get kicked in the head for this upload, but somehow I doubt it. Benchpress were a band from the lower Gold Coast region that broke up around 18 months ago, maybe a little more. Chances are though, that if you're from Australia and have a clue you probably at least heard of this band at some point. Early Boston influences, with some more modern bouncier/cheesier bits every now and then, though most comparative I suppose to SS Decontrol or similar. For the most part, all of the material I've uploaded here shredded. They broke up after releasing two tapes, but they managed to record for a planned 7" that never actually saw the light of day. One track from said recording was mastered and committed to wax in the form of the now fabled "A.HC" compilation 7" released by the bands singer Cade Perrin and Josh from Hard Luck with their label No Policy. I'm assuming though that if you're reading this, you should at least know that. If not, that record is long gone now, but had a tone of great bands on it... Extortion, WMD, Insurgents, Masstrauma, Hard Luck doing an Abused cover, plus tones more. Wow. 
Live these guys were completely off the chart, pretty much in whole due to Cades on stage presence. You would never fuck with Cade... just a madman when playing live. An unstoppable force almost.
edit: So heres and email that I recently received from the lead singer of Benchpress, Cade Perrin, if you're confused, he's calling me 'Sharp End', the name of the zine that I used to do. Read on. Be siked on the state of music in this country. Yeah... great.
"Sharp End, i stumbled upon your post about about the press on your whats gonna happen is, your gonna print this email either with the post or in the comments, up to you. If it doesn't happen, your in a world of hurt.
*I Sharp End am a dick head because i was told when i was taped the 'unreleased 7" and demo tracks' not to pass them on or circulate them. I was given them in a moment of good spirit, or stupidity from the owner and here i am putting them on a blog, fuck i'm a herb.
*I Sharp End am a pussy, i have the email of a band member and i neglected to use it and ask to do this, instead i write crap about how i might be killed for doing it...
*I Sharp End, when Benchpress was around was into the likes of Bloodlined Calligraphy, Looking Forward, A Secret Death, GSLTW and many many many more bands that were leaked out of the colostomy bag of bad taste and mediocrity. I sure as shit never covered them in my zine...which is fine with the band i'm sure. I wasn't one of the 5 kids in Qld who gave a fuck. But now that i am a born-again hardcore god with a cut and paste zine and crappy power violence fetish i now cover them. I guess i'm confusing, one could say i pose?
*I Sharp End probably shouldn't be asking if people have a clue? Because there is conjecture as to if i have one myself. 

To be honest I do see his point here, but when I did post this upload, it really never occurred to me that he would really care this much. I mean who wouldn't want more people to hear their music? And it's not like every fucken idiot reads this blog, one would assume that people downloading the music, would be worthy of the listen. But anyway, sorry for stepping on your toes Cade Perrin...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Brain Handle 7"

Brain Handles ep from 2006 , "Scratching At My Skull". Great straight up hardcore punk from Pittsburgh, not dissimilar to bands like Sex/Vid, Cult Ritual, Direct Control and the like. One of only a few records that the band has released, and really only shadowed by their newer ep, the "Smiling/Smiling Again" single on Iron Lung Records (the label run by the band of the same name). Features former members of the so-so PV influenced band Warzone Womyn. Perhaps that's where the Iron Lung link comes from? Probably. This one is on black wax. 
I do want the hard copy of the "Smiling/Smiling Again" 7" if anyone out there wants to hook me up.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In Disgust/Godstomper

This is the video from the making of the latest split between these two bands. Recorded live on KFJC Radio, it's their "live radio battle". The music in this vid is exactly how it comes on the record. As you all know IxD (the first band to play/dudes with caps) rule my brain. They kick the fucken shit out of Godstomper too. 

It's not the whole ep (about 3 minutes short), but it's the best I could find.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I got it. Fuck yeah. Terminal Cancer by Extortion.
After all of my hissy fits over various blogs and message boards, I managed to snare a copy of this new Extortion ep today via my mate Borg and his Distro Endless Blockades. I had 4 different people email me yesterday morning to offer me copies. Was rather funny, after the cuffuffle I got my self into over it.
Without any doubt in my mind what-so-ever, I'll go on record to say right now that this is the best Extortion material ever committed to wax. Until now the bands previous effort, the Control 7" had been my favourite, but now this new ep takes pole position. Everything about what is going on here is flawless. Self described by the band as 'raw as piss' the whole thing bar vocals was recorded on a 4 track in a practice room. It's rough as fuck, which does nothing but ad to the charm of this recording. I was told by a mate that perhaps this release would see the band return to older styled approach reminiscent of their demo or the first ep... more Boston/Infest styled stuff, but no, that hasn't happened here. It's just fast fast pissed off hardcore. Intentional or not the rough nature of the recording also brings about a more metallic sound too, which for me is a great thing. Micky from Suffer has guest vocals on a number of tracks, I'm excited to hear his range with this stuff, away from what I have heard with Suffer so far. And I think for the first time Rohan experiments with a little spoken word on the last track. Not a tone, just a couple lines. Works well. An amazing way to kick off 2009 for this band.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Two new records in the mail today. First this Mind Eraser 7". I already downloaded the tracks for this thing from the i-tunes store because I couldn't wait anymore. I can safely say, that it is a shredder.
I actually missed the original orders on the Young Blood Records site. I was about a day too late. So I had to wait for RevHQ to get orders going. Generally I find that the stuff that Rev normally stocks is the larger press variations of records. So I was expecting to get the black version of this 7". Happy to get the clear wax, though I'm not sure of actual pressing info. Knowing Young Blood though, I'm betting this clear is the smaller press, if not at least equal with the black.
The insert is pretty cool. Take note of that font at the top there. The lyrics are all written in that aswell, so it's virtually indecipherable. Kind of frustrating. I am quite curious as to the meaning of it's existence as it's all over the bands other new LP too, and another band, Men's Interest, latest cassette tape on Painkiller Records. Curious.

Then there's this Sex/Vid LP. Quite the hype band of 2008 certainly, but I think the vast majority of hype is deserved. Just raw, noisy hardcore punk. Upwards of $60 for their first 7" that is barely a year old on eBay gets a little annoying though, even if said record is the bands best to date. Jumped on this LP though.