First are these two: Crom's full length "Hot Sumerian Nights" and the last Haymaker LP. Without a doubt Crom are one of the weirdest bands I've come across in a while. Of all the searching that I have done online to get just some basic information, at this stage all I know is that they're from the L.A. area and have a rich heritage in PV and Mexican gang warfare. I think that the second fact is a bit of bullshit, though if it were proven to be true I doubt I'd be surprised. This LP has nothing really to do with anything PV or grind like their previous stuff, it's just great cross-over thrash. 21 tracks, but about half are weird samples and the like. Seriously a strange band. 'Balls Deep Gold' wax as the band refers to it, and great, although peculiar viking artwork too.
Haymaker are a little more to the point. I doubt I really need to go into much detail about this band, being that most people have at least heard of them or should have. They've got a strong base in the Canadian hardcore scene with members hailing from a few earlier Colohan related projects and they play just great, no bullshit hardcore that makes me wanna punch like 20 dudes in the back of head, all at the same time. Some of their best stuff here too. Black vinyl. Pushead artwork.
Next I've got here the Sidetracked/Dead Radical split LP on black. I've talked about Sidetracked before: rather complex PV in the vein of No Comment. The best No Comment worship I've probably ever heard actually. They tend to get a little too tech sometimes, with many varying tempo changes, but with a little patience one can enjoy this stuff quite a bit. I reckon if they just chilled out a little bit and lost the full on A.D.D. approach they'd be ridiculously good. Dead Radical don't really do it for me too much. Spazzed out thrash with the standard wretched, snotty vocals that are being done quite a bit lately. Not overly bad, but it just doesn't reach out and grab me by the throat at all.
Next is California Love's latest release "Reaping The Whirlwind". An LP in format, but not an LP in actual length. Ten songs in 12 minutes. All great songs though. I suppose you could rate these guys pretty much as some kind of PV/grind unit. They sound to me mostly like Repulsion mashed together with Gehenna. Like that fast thrashy stuff ala "Black Breath", but then when they manage to blast out a good solid beat it parallels alot of anything that Gehenna has done. Like that awesome 1-2-1-2 black metal styled beat. Dudes vokills really remind me of the Gehenna singer too. Grey wax.
Third in line is the new Harms Way album "Reality Approaches" on black wax. Eh not sure what to think about this thing. Maybe gimme a little more time to get into it, but it really seems like this Chicago units sound has progressed immensely over the last 18 months into something rather generic sounding. They used to play break neck hardcore ala Infest, whereas these days it's just boring standard fare, moshy hardcore. I really liked this bands first 7", though the second one did really indicate that this was coming. I should have known I guess. I'll just wait for the new Weekend Nachos LP due out this year on Deep Six Records.Bookburner's 7" is amazing. 16oh Records really has a knack for sniffing out shit hot bands. Techincal, break neck PV again like No Comment. Some weird electronic Swans styled stuff too. Clear wax. Heard that they are touring parts of the US at the moment with Sidetracked. Quite a fitting duo if I do say so myself. Can't wait to hear more from these guys.
Mammoth Grinder are a little more hard to explain. First up they're a three piece. They play reasonably experimental hardcore. There's alot going on here: doom, sludge, rock. They manage to meld it all well with some more modern straight up stuff though, and make this release quite interesting. This is their "No Results" ep. Red and clear split wax. I also have their LP coming. Can't wait.
Fever's "SES" 7" on pale green (the 16oh website lists this with a photo of a much darker green press. Not sure if the my copy is supposed to be this light?) and a black copy of the Insect Warfare/Flagitious Idiosyncrasy In The Dilapidation split 7" that came out with the latest issue of Short Fast And Loud fanzine. Haven't listened to the Fever record yet, but I heard one song online and it's fucking brutal. I've also heard them compared to Crossed Out and Integrity, and 16oh put this out so I bet this stuff will annihilate.
Insect Warfare's half of the split is, as always, shredding. Kings of modern grindcore, such a petty that they broke up, though I suppose they did nearly everything that they could have. FIITD are weird. Three Japanese chicks playing fucked up thrash/grindcore. What am I to expect though? All hardcore that comes out of this country is weird. I really was surprised by how easy this record was to pick up, it's been floating around on eBay for months. Seems like there's a tone of copies out there. Normally Insect Warfare stuff gets snapped up super quick these days, but not this one. Maybe nobody knows about it? I doubt it. But anyway, the stuff here is on par if not better than anything else either band has done.