Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Shrapnel- Demo Tape (New Instinct Records)
British Edition, 2014

The absolute tidal wave of powerful UKHC continues with this demo tape from Shrapnel. It's just been issued by Moshers Delight in the US but this is the English edition from New Instinct Records. Where the bulk of this current breed of British stuff has centred around a stark Boston '82/UK Oi! vibe for the last 18 months or so, certainly kick-started by bands like Violent Reaction and The Flex, this tape oozes mid/late 80's NYHC ala Breakdown. It's heavy and nasty, and the recording teeters on blown out just like the '87 Demo'. There hasn't been a more on-point rendition of this particular kind of knuckle dragging hardcore in years from anywhere, let alone from the UK. Might be worth pointing out that this band is comprised of members of VxR and The Flex.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Metallica- Master Of Puppets (Universal Music Group)
European Reissue, 2008
Black Vinyl /??

I think most people around my age (born in the early 80's) could say that some of their earliest exposure to Heavy Metal was via Metallica. My earliest memories of anything remotely heavy were of some of the film clips from the Black album playing on a local video clip show. Though I was always familiar with this portion of their career as a result, my real interest in more popular metal didn't come about until years later via Pantera and "The Great Southern Trendkill". From there I explored the heavier and more evil end of the spectrum like Slayer and early Sepultura, and then American and European Death Metal. Metallica was just something I never paid any attention to, probably because I came up in a period when nearly every older, experienced metalhead that I met would write them off as a result of any work of theirs that followed "And Justice For All...". I'd taken a light interest in that album (and a much stronger one in the last few years), but nothing before it even came onto my radar.
Though I'm certainly still no fiend, I've taken some time to explore the bands Burton era albums in the last few years, probably more so as a bit of task then as a genuine vested interest. From what I can gather, the general consensus amongst the wider metal community is that "Ride The Lightning" is the bands crowning work, though of the first three, I'd have to say that that album is their weakest. This one is my favourite- "Master Of Puppets".
As stupid as it may sound with what I've just said in mind, I feel that no proper metal record collection should be without this bands earliest work, if just from a cataloguing point of view. It's an OCD thing I have with collecting and probably why I made myself explore their music, so I wouldn't feel stupid dropping cash on their product. This is a 2008 Universal Records reissue of the album on black vinyl. At least, I think it is anyway. This bands entire catalogue has been re-issued and re-pressed so many times over the years that it's hard to keep track, even with the help of Discogs. I doubt I need to explain though, influential, thrashing metal glory, this pressing being pretty faithful to the original.

Friday, April 25, 2014


In Disgust/SFN- Split 7" (Drugged Conscience Records)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /600

Sometimes the faithful must wait, and never more so has that been the case than with the In Disgust/SFN split EP. A good solid two years of planning went into the release of this 7", and from what I've read, plenty of hurtles were encountered along the way. Pressed by Drugged Conscience with some kind of help from IFB Records, this EP was originally announced initially in 2012 (possibly even late 2011?) before In Disgust broke up the first time. It was also also originally supposed to be released as a two sided 5" but for whatever reason it ended as this one sided 7".
Four tracks in less than 2 minutes from In Disgust of the usual ExT peppered Californian Grindcore, sure to please any fan of the bands previous work. The biggest difference from older material being that Ramirez handles the vocals on all of the tracks as opposed to Gomes usual main contribution. The best thing about their side is the viciously 'slow' track in the middle of the bunch. Information is scarce but I'm sure that these songs were recorded during the sessions for the split LP with PLF. Maybe someone out there can tell me, but I think these guys have broken up again? There doesn't seem to be much word of anything happening.
SFN handle their side in much the same manner, three tracks in less than 2 minutes, all of which should please fans of down trodden Powerviolence ala Crossed Out/the bands previous works. I've never been the hugest of fans, but this is pretty solid stuff.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Doubled Over/Hemdale- Split 7" (Fat Ass Records)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /??

Melbourne's blast beat merchants Doubled Over had been notably dormant for a number of years, perhaps even totally dispatched until recently reforming to make a contribution to this split 7" with Cleveland grind stalwarts, Hemdale. Perhaps naively, Hemdale aren't a band that I had ever been familiar with before this record came about, but research shows a 20 year history of demos, split release and the like, and talk of an ill fated LP that never saw the light of day. They play a pretty solid blend of no frills grind, generally the kind that I am normally most fond of. Perhaps I need to track down this bands other stuff. Doubled Over strike back with their style of obtrusive, straight forward grind. Guttural bellows dominate the mix, and as always Christoph's percussion is world class. Lineage and influence of course can be traced back to bands like Excruciating Terror and perhaps even their split mates here. Pressed by Fat Ass Records.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Caged Grave- Live Tape 2014 (Self Released)
First Edition, 2014
Orange Cassette 27/28

While I was away over the Xmas/New Years period Melbourne's Caged Grave came up to Brisbane to play. They were selling this self released live tape of 28 of theirs as part of the run. Obviously I missed out on my own copy as I wasn't around but Craigos was kind enough to keep a copy aside and send it up to me recently. Nice little short run cassette with three songs from the demo and a Deadstare cover. The band have a new EP due pretty soon, pressed on vinyl as a self release, while Operation Grindcore is handling a cassette issue for the North American market.