Thursday, September 30, 2010

Corrupted Souls

Coupla LP's that I have had for quite a while now, but y'know with all this back log, posting about certain things can take some time. First up, the new album from San Antonio's Bitter End, 'Guilty As Charged'. This is hideously underrated in my opinion. While every kid is hanging from the nuts of Cruel Hand and their new LP this year, this thing seems to have fallen by the wayside somewhat. It's a bit if a shame really. Lets not get too excited though, this is by no means anything mind blowing, it's just good, tough NYHC, and the bands best stuff yet. Well produced, chuggy, heavy.
I'm actually really into the art/layout of this release, to the point where I'm thinking it could quite possibly be my fave of 2010. There's nothing overly original or ground breaking about it, it's just done really well. Obviously, you've got Ramirez in shackles in black and white. It's eary, it works really well for me.
Deathwish Inc tells me that this grey and maroon mix of 300 copies. Happy with that.
And the latest Maximum Penalty LP, 'Life And Times'. Maybe I should have looked into this band a little more before I went and bought this album. I mean it's not bad at all, these guys play well written, hooky, mid 90's influenced NYHC, it just gets a little too hooky for me, and a little too cheese ball with some of the lyrics and the odd singing here and there.
Reaper Records. Gold and white split wax of 800. Maybe I should just give these guys a little more time, maybe then I'll come around. That terrible singing drives me nuts though.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parkway Drive Interview

It still blows me away how big Byron Bay's Parkway Drive have become in 2010. Sold-out 10,000 plus shows, multiple worldwide headlining tours, gold and platinum record sales etc. I used to watch these guys perform in shitty pubs in front of 10 people, now look at them. This is an interview that I did with Winston McCall back in 2005. This was just after their first full length CD, 'Killing With A Smile' came out. I kind of lost interest in the band to an extent after that album and the follow up did nothing to reignite my interest, but the new album that's come out this year, 'Deep Blue' certainly has some catchy stuff on it. For fans of: moshing to open chord break downs. These guys are what you would probably call 'rock stars' now, but they still seem quite down to earth. Anyway, this interview seems a little nooby I guess, it appeared in the second zine I ever did, TheShaprEndZine #2. Read on if you give a shit...

Your hometown scene of Byron bay seems to blowing up at the moment. Why do you think it has been Parkway Drive to rise out of the scene?

I think mainly because we’ve been around for the longest, although I wouldn’t call two years an age. I would say that’s probably it. Hometown pride!

What other bands are you dudes in from that area?

Myself and Ben, we are in xChuck Norrisx, but we’ve put that on hold for a while.

What’s happening with xChuck Norrisx? Will they be continuing on? That band seemed to have such a short life.

Not to sure hey. We all had super fun playing in that band but due to time constraints with Parkway we had to stop. We might hit it up again in the future. There is also talk of getting a new drummer and singer and continuing on, we’ll just have to wait and see.

You guys have just released your debut long player ‘Killing With A Smile’. For the album you chose to go to the US to record with Adam D of Killswitch Engage fame. Can you give us the details on how all of this came about? How was the trip funded?

Pretty much we we’re in the car on the way home from Adelaide and we said ‘hey, wouldn’t be cool if we could get Adam D to produce it’. We all kinda figured it would be too hard but when we hit him up he said yeah and it pretty much went from there. We financed the whole thing ourselves, via band savings and parents loans (thanks guys). I’m still really surprised it all came together.

What was recording with Adam like? In general how was your experience in the US?

Adam is a fucking genius. That’s the only way I can put it. He can play pretty much everything and just has a really good ear for music. He had a huge influence on the way our cd has turned out. Pretty much exactly what we wanted and needed for this cd. As for our experience in the States, well it was stressful. We spent 12 - 13 hours a day recording so we didn’t really have much time for anything else. The food over there is very fast and I couldn’t find shit to eat cause i’m vego, so I pretty much died.

Does the album have distro overseas? On what label?

Not sure just yet, we we just have to wait and see. Hopefully.

This is the bands first full length release. What was the writing experience like? How long did you spend writing the songs etc?

We wrote the majority of the songs over about four months. Some of them came together super quick, some took ages. It was kinda hard because we wanted to make a cd that isn’t just the same sounding songs over and over. We just tried to be really conscious of how all the songs sounded together as a whole without compromising heaviness and the way we really wanted it all to sound.

You guys have been heavy tourers for a while now. Most recently and notably with Bleeding Through. Can we still expect to see Parkway around these parts?

Yes, yes, yes!!! More tours. Tours everywhere. We love touring so keep an eye out for us cause we are going to be on the road heaps.

With the new album being more of an international affair can the rest of the world expect to see a Parkway tour?

Hopefully next year we’re going to try to get overseas.

So what is the full Parkway Drive lineup at the moment?

Winston (me), Ben, Luke, Jeff and Cashy. We just recruited Cashy on bass to replace Steegy so that’s the only change.

There was alot of shit talking when it was announced that Steegy was leaving the band. Can you set the record straight on the whole topic?

Sweet, I sure can. Here it is. Steegy is our friend and a fucking great guy. He just lacked either motivation or something else. In the months that we were writing the cd we just kinda drifted apart. It was obvious that he cared about the band but in our eyes he just didn’t seem to understand how much his actions were bringing us down so we had to split. It was heavy and pretty sad cause he’s an awesome guy but we had to do it. No bad blood. So yeah, now we have Cashy.

These days it seems that the main content matter of alot of bands lyrics is love, hate etc. What do you like to write about?

I like to write about stuff that effects me directly or through someone else’s actions. The new album is a hell of alot angrier than our older stuff. Mainly because I see alot of bad shit going on in the world and within our scene. I’m not good at writing love songs haha.

When writing as a band who are the key contributors? Does everybody play an important role?

Everybody plays a role. Jeff generally writes the riffs so he’s pretty much the core of it but everybody is important which is really good.

How do you describe the sound of Parkway Drive?

Heavy and large. Like Jed.

When writing, what bands do you guys rate as your biggest influences?

It varies from person to person. I know Ben loves Unearth but I gotta say we have no real band that we strive to sound like or emulate. We just want to sound heavy.

I know you have probably had to answer this one alot but where does the name come from?

Hahaha, fuck this one again. Nah it’s cool. Parkway Drive is the street that Ben lives on. His family has let us and pretty much every hardcore band in Byron before us use their house as a jam space and hang out. Pretty much gave all bands a home. We just wanted a name that stood for something so this is it.

With what would seem alot of your goals as a band achieved recently what other goals have you yet to achieve?

Really we never had to many to start with. We have been lucky enough to have a bunch of opportunities thrown our way. I guess I would really like to go overseas, that would be cool. To play in another country would be something we would never had dreamed could happen. I think we just want to play the heaviest music around and we will see how we go. We have a way to go yet.

Any good bands you dig at the moment?

HER NIGHTMARE. Holy fuck. When these guys blow up people are going to fucking die. Seriously awesome shit. Also 50 Lions and Powerslam. Home town pride!

Any thanks?

Yeah. You for doing this zine, and anyone who reads this and supports hardcore and sees it as something more than just ‘heavy music’.

Monday, September 27, 2010


This be here the number one Australian LP of this year. 'I: A Turn For The Worse' by Canberra's I Exist. Initially Common Bond/Resist Records released this on CD only, which made me a little nervous, I have trouble taking non wax releases seriously (fuck wit right?), but Craig at Midnight Funeral Records has come to the rescue with this brilliant package.
Black vinyl of 152 with a hand screened cover. Originally when Craig announced that he was doing this record he stated that he was planning to use different artwork. For whatever reason between then and now he decided to use the original art from the CD by non other than Glenn Smith. Couldn't have made a better choice I don't think.
I wasn't a big fan of this bands first 7". It wasn't bad, but to me, for this style they're getting at, it just wasn't HEAVY enough. If you're not familiar, I guess you could say that these guys make a good effort at a sludgy style of hardcore/metal akin to bands like Crowbar/Iron Monkey etc. I know that Aaron, the bands main man listens to all of that kind of stuff too. Where that first 7" failed, this LP pretty much fills in all of the gaps. And I think you can pretty much thank Jason PC's amazing production/mix for that. Alot of the song structures I feel still revolve a little too heavily around basic hardcore builds and ideas, but they're all certainly better than the older stuff. I hope that this progression continues with the new material and it ends up being a collection of like four 7 minute doom songs or something haha.
Aaannndd here's a test press of the LP. Call me lucky, but Craig randomly inserted a few of these into various mail outs. I guess I scored then huh? Same sleeve, but with a gold logo header to differentiate.
And gold printed back panel too. Clean.
Numbered. Duh.
Easily in my top ten for this year, and deservedly my number one Australian record of 2010. I doubt that it will be topped at this stage, if it does, I will be really surprised. Craig has the pre orders up now for the 2nd press on red wax of 100 copies. Get over there. I wasn't going to order it originally, but now that I have a test press, I may just have to, to complete the collection.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Walking On Rusty Nails

Couple quickie 7"s with 'mysterious guy hardcore' connotations, first is this Death Squad s/t 7" on white wax of 500. This is an early(ish) Youth Attack release. These guys certainly use elements of what is popular now with this sound; stark later Black Flag comparisons, but they also manage to utilize some crusty, anarcho/scando influnces too. As far as I know, this is the only proper release that they did. It's not bad, not amazing either.
Bought mainly for two reasons: the Youth Attack association, I'm always wiling to give stuff on this label a try, even though so much of it seems to be utter dribble, there have been some doozies over the last 18 months. And I've taken a warming to this 'edgy' Nazi rip off artwork. It works well.
More obscure stuff in the Mentally Challenged 7", 'Doctors Lawyers Cops & Priests'. Black wax and self released as far as I can see. From what I can tell this is the work of Chris Corry AKA Mind Eraser guitarist/song writer with some help from a rotating roster of drummers including Justin from Mind Eraser too.
It's weird, messy, noise punk with elements of drone and industrial. Heaps of feedback, heaps of reverb. It certainly takes some patience to adapt to (well, it did on my part anyway), but with time, one can find some enjoyment in these three songs. For me, it really depends on my mood. I find this more palatable to listen to than the bands demo tape that I got a couple years ago.
Great artwork too, one of the main reasons that I grabbed it actually.

Friday, September 24, 2010

VVake Of Temptation

This is the new Pale Creation s/t 7" on black vinyl. Two tracks of Clevo metalcore is what you get. Extreme Integrity comparisons aside, this is somewhat entertaining stuff, though, I have heard better. There's some cool parts (guest vox by Dwid), and there's some crappy parts (the cheeseball singing bits, by Dwid, I think). Eh, this is a tricky one, don't let the 'legendary' tags mis-lead you, yeah these guys originally appeared in the early 90's, but that doesn't make them amazing by any call, it just makes them over the hill.
Boring artwork and layout. I like A389 as a label, alot of good releases lately, but I can't really recall any single album sleeve that has really made my blood pump, except maybe the Caulfield LP sleeve.
And the latest offering by Illinois sludge/hardcore fellows, Black Teeth. This is their 7" 'Ghost Room Anthems' on a sort of smokey clear with green smudged vinyl. I posted about their first 7" a couple months ago and how that record was certainly headed in the right direction with the dirty, doomy tones and ideas but didn't quite get there because of the all too basic hardcore structures. Well this record is somewhat the same unfortunately, but the production is thicker with a definite muckier mix. Most of the songs are a little longer too. Maybe the next release by these guys will see their true direction realized. I cross my fingers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Culling To Come

Protestant sound like Catharsis. This is their 7", 'Antagonist'. Beautiful packaging with plain card stock with nice, thick screen printing, wrapped vertically around the 7". Black wax, Halo Of Flies Records. Really tired tonight. I'll keep this post minimal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

alpha male

A few months back I posted about the Crime Desire LP and my general distaste for it. In said post I made mention of this here 7", the 'In Lucifers Grip' EP and how great it is. Messy, noisy hardcore with definite elements of early Clevo thrash and some Jap thrash stuff. Here the songs certainly seem a little more structured and the vocalist sounds alot more angry and demented. This material, in my opinion, is much more suited to this band, and exactly what I want to hear.
Cool artwork and layout. Red plastic. Life's A Rape Records.
The cardstock used for the sleeve is of a matte black variety, it's nice and thick. Folds out to this square, four panel poster. The vinyl is tough, robust stuff too. Pressed somewhere in America from what I can tell, not a cheap Euro pressing.
Not much else to say. I don't know much about this band, whether they're still going, or if they released anything after this 7". I know that this record is pretty raging though, and if they haven't recorded any subsequent material, at least they went out on a bang.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Brain Cell Rape

I bought this Integrity 7" off my friend a few weeks back. It's the Septic Death covers 7" single that they did. I'm no Integrity nerd, so I have no real idea about the rarity/collectibility of this thing. I paid something like $10 for it. Black wax. Victory Records. Someone tell me the story.
And the new Insurgents 7", 'Fad Cash'. Issue #35 of Distort zine. Raw as fuck early USHC worship ala Void, United Mutation and other similar Washington upstarts. I really liked this bands first 7", and this isn't at all a bad release either, I am having just a little trouble getting into it as much. It's rougher, faster, and Wes sounds alot more pissed off than he has in the past, but that's not why I don't think. To be honest, I think it's because Wes is a fucking jerk, and he's been more than a little rude to me and friends of mine more than once in the last couple of years. Haha whatever. Internet beef starts now.
I actually have two copies of this record now, so if anyone out there wants to arrange a trade or sale, I'd be more than willing. This baby is bound to fetch good bucks down the track.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dirty Handshakes

Thomo posted earlier tonight about his copy of the Life Trap demo tape. As far as I know, his is the first dub. He asked me to post my second dub copy, so here you go mate. This dub is with a purple tape, insert and sleeve. The first used yellow instead.
Arguably the best stuff they did, I do have trouble deciding though, both of the 7"s shred in their own ways. Hoping the band get some new stuff out soon, it's been a while.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This is the Asbestosdeath 'Dejection/Unclean' 10" released by Southern Lord Records in 2007. Black vinyl. Originally this was two separate records (the 'Dejection', and 'Unclean' 7"s), both of which originally saw the light of day in 1990. The band played a kind of doomy, crusty blend, with some peculiar string bits and effects. It's a rough as hell recording, but it works very well.
Purchased from my good mate Morgan. Not much else to say really.

Friday, September 17, 2010

You're Caught

I try really hard to not buy into hype when it comes to bigger bands these days. Often I do okay in this resistance department, but I will admit that it's been somewhat tricky keeping away from the hype that has been surrounding this new Terror album. This is my copy of 'Keepers Of The Faith' on blue vinyl thanks to Reaper records. This is certainly an 'out of the ordinary' purchase for me if you consider the vast majority of the content of this blog, and to be honest I have heard better albums by more than a few bands this year, but I'm happy to own this LP, it's certainly a tidy little package. I like the layout, if you haven't noticed, the cover is a close up photo of one of those KOTF hoodies. Mine didn't come with that Terror logo sticker on it, said sticker was on the shrink wrap in the same spot, I put it there after I peeled back the wrap. Perhaps not the wisest thing I could have done as a collector, but I'm not too worried, I don't really see myself offloading this any time soon.
This new album sees the introduction of Jordan Posner (formally of No Warning etc) into the fold, replacing Doug Weber as guitarist and song writer. If you want to try and guess why this album is causing such a stir at the moment, I'm willing to bet that Jordan's enlistment would definitely be a driving factor. He's certainly crafted some very cool songs on here, and he obviously knows how to put together a great riff. Imagine if No Warning kept going in this direction. Holy moly.
I'm actually planning on getting one of those hoodies for myself now. What a sucker.
The insert comes in the form of a rather large booklet with heaps of pages of live photos, crew shots, mug shots and the lyrics etc. It definitely serves as a nifty mood setter for a good sit down/chill out to this album.
When I was younger I liked Terror up until the second album. One of the very first proper hardcore shows I ever went to was when they did their first tour here in Australia with Last Nerve supporting. Back then though I wasn't a record collector, so I never grabbed any of the stuff on wax. Seeing as how it's obvious that I'm back on the Terror wagon, it didn't seem stupid to me to grab 'Lowest Of The Low' and 'One With The Underdogs' last time I was in Sydney. This is the 12" version of LOTL on clear wax that Bridge 9 did. If I'm not mistaken it originally came out as a 10" that is alot harder to get your mitts on. I'm happy enough with this version.
I guess you could say that this is the band at their most 'pure'. The least polished production of the entire catalogue, all of the stuff here is just fast, pissed hardcore. I think it's safe to say that most of the older Terror fan base rate this as their best material. Not me though...
...I'm a bit of a 'One With The Underdogs' guy myself. There's only one song on this album that I don't like, everything else is murderous. I mean, there really isn't anything to these tracks, they're all just simple hardcore songs, but sheesh, I don't think that some of the mosh bits on this album will ever be topped. Kill your fucking grandmother kind of stuff. The title track to this LP would have to be one of the most perfect hardcore songs of all time. Anyway, black vinyl, Trustkill Records.
Say what you will about this band and Scott Vogel himself, but fuck, if I'm still singing about hardcore pride, moshing, inciting stage dives, and living the 'hardcore lifestyle' when I'm in my late 30's/nearly 40, I will be a very happy man. To me (regardless of what rumours you've heard and whether they're true or not) Vogel is one of the true modern hardcore godfathers. His lyrics always get me pumped and make my days better. Go Scott haha.