Monday, February 27, 2017


Innumerable Forms- "Petrified/Joyless" Cassette (Hell Massacre)
Second Edition, 2017 - 12/250 

True Finnish Death Metal's legacy continues to be dredged from the depths by Boston's Justin Detore, this time with the help of Iron Lung's Jensen Ward. It seems that this band has grown beyond the work of just Detore now and that Ward has been enlisted as a permanent fixture. His addition hasn't changed the general mission statement of this project though and more of what one familiar with previous work would expect and hope for is offered here; slow, guttural Death Metal, taking cues from all of the classic early 90's acts from Helsinki and surrounds. Two songs that are to re-appear on a planned full length, due at some point this year. An initial small run first edition of this was issued in 2016, only to sell out at the bands only live show of that year, this copy is from the new wider run, put together by Painkiller imprint, Hell Massacre.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017


Black Jesus/Darkhorse- Split 7" (Grindhead)
First Pressing, 2014
Blue with Black Splatter Vinyl /?? 

A record that I have possessed for a number of years now, bought mainly just to satiate my dumb need to complete collections of bands that I really like (which is Black Jesus in this case). One song from that band that went on to appear on their following LP, and two from Darkhorse.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Frightener- "Guillotine" LP (Ghost City/A389)
First Pressing, 2006
Red with Black Splatter Vinyl /?? 

London's Frightener played a fairly unique blend of Metallic Hardcore mostly informed by 90's Holy Terror and related groups, mixed tastefully with strong influence from blasters like Terrorizer, Extreme Noise terror, Napalm Death and the rest. I really feel like the progression of time hasn't been kind to the memory of these guys and this album in particular, as it's rare that you see anyone referencing them these days. Masterfully recorded heavy hardcore that doesn't ever get weighed down under sloppy performance- it's crisp, clear and brutal.
My initial interest in this band came about due to the involvement of Rhys Davies on drums. For those uninformed, most notably Rhys co-wrote and played on the early (and best) Extortion material, and has since been involved with a few other excellent Australian bands including Black Jesus and others. His drumming has always been hugely unique and is more often than not massively identifiable. Odd patterns, cool fills, and great blasts.
Now approaching eleven years old, I still give this thing a spin at least three or four times a year. Worth the (very small) amount that you'll find it for on discogs and the like.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


NWOBHC's Violent Reaction recently played their final run of shows. I think it can be argued pretty fairly that the band are/were solely responsible for kick starting the current regeneration of UKHC. I haven't posted an interview (or anything besides records posts) on here for a long time now, so I figured, what better time to post up the interview I did with Tom for the zine that I used to publish? Now this interview is bordering on something like four and a half years old, and the band evolved considerably in that time, but I think it's one of the better interviews that I ever did with a band. Video of their final show further down the post too.

From various sources I’ve gathered that the demo tape was a one man affair, with yourself handling all duties. The new 7” is due out in a few weeks, and you’ve reportedly written and recorded an entire LP worth of new music on top of that as well. Is it all still just you, or have you enlisted a group of fuck ups similar to yourself?
Tom- Aye, all three recordings are just me. The demo tape and 7" we're actually all from the same session, but with H13 wanting to put out a tape and Static Shock/QCHQ talking about doing the 7" all around the same time, I just thought I'd record everything I had then split it up. Rafferty mixed them both separately too so they wouldn't sound exactly the same. 
The one-man thing was partly due to necessity; I'd wanted to do a straight edge band for so long but never had enough people to start one with, especially around here. Didn't wanna wait any longer so I just had to do it by myself.

And on the live front? Is it a revolving door of musicians or a pretty solid thing?
The door has only just stopped spinning! The live lineup has involved about twelve different people I think, switching various instruments and on two different continents...not all of them even played a show! But we now have a solid lineup I'm really happy with. Violent Reaction is currently Nick from Stab/Abolition on drums, Jimmy from Abolition on guitar, Charlie aka C-Fresh aka Iron Charlie aka Cee Punch from Iron Curtain/Abolition on bass, and myself on vocals.

Do/did you find it at all a struggle having to manage all aspects of the band musically? Coming from my point of a view, possessing absolutely no hint of musical prowess whatsoever, I can’t fathom being able to play one instrument, let along three as well as you evidently do here. What are your weak points if any? Surely you must have your pet talent and then the others are used more of necessity?
Well I was pretty sure of what I wanted the band to sound like from the start, so it's pretty cool to be able to focus every part of the music towards that. But at the same time, there's no one there to tell you that your song is shite, so I'm constantly worried I'm recording total nonsense. 
I started off as a drummer, so when I'm playing guitar I always write with drums in mind anyway. To be honest though I still feel like I struggle with the drums. I only started playing guitar a few years ago just to help write songs for a band I sang in, but it feels more natural to me than drums already. Drums drive me mental! I almost always end up throwing my sticks across the room or punching something when I record drums. I think I just about get by on everything, I can't really do anything fancy. Bar chords, two string bass and punk beats...

I’m curious about the original recording process of those early practice sessions that you had on your bandcamp. I can imagine that recording three or four instruments as a solo musician would become easier in a studio with the help of an engineer, but I’m not sure how you managed it with the practice tracks? They seem very lo-fi, were they also recorded in a studio? Or a home job? Is that kind of thing a challenge?
Those first sketchy recordings were a nightmare, it's a miracle anything remotely listenable came out of it! My mate Adam recorded it on the very top floor of this practice spot in a converted factory down the docks, right next to where they filmed a lot of Sherlock Holmes and Captain America. I actually had a healing broken leg at the time (part of the reason I did the band in the first place, another story though...) so he had to lug most of all this shit up all the stairs haha. We hadn't really thought the process through either, so I ended up playing guitar to a click track, then the bass then the drums last. Trouble was that the headphones didn't go loud enough, so I couldn't hear anything when playing the drums along to the rest! We recorded eight songs in six hours, and ended up with two listenable (which is arguable) songs totaling at about 2mins. So that's why they are all over the place and out of time!
For the actual releases I've had either Rafferty or Kev from Down And Outs play some guide guitar so I can keep the drums steady and time the breaks etc.

Not until more recently did I know this, but you play drums for Sectarian Violence. What’s the go with that band? I know it’s comprised by a line up that spans across a handful of countries but nothing more really. How did it come about? Who writes the music? More details in general?
I actually joined SV as a last minute fill-in for their European tour in March, and just wound up staying in the band. I'd only met Pat once and had never met the others, so turning up for the three-week tour was a bit of a gamble. Luckily they're all the soundest of lads and I had a brilliant time on the Euro and US tours. In fact I'd never toured anywhere in any band before so I got real lucky. They started out in Sweden I believe. The singer Nicktape's band Coke Bust (DC, USA) played with Staffan's band Stay Hungry (Gothenburg, Sweden) and Pat & Andy's old band Never Again (Kent, UK) in Sweden. Never Again was coming to an end, so they all got talking and ended up forming SV. Staffan flew to England, recorded the music for the demo/EP, sent it over to Nicktape, he threw down some vocals and they went from there. The music comes from everyone, a combined effort for sure, although I'm yet to make a riff-based contribution, I just say things the others can't understand and play too fast.

Are there future plans for that band what with the big gap of water between members and the fact that a lot of you are occupied with other projects?
We actually just recorded a 12" for Grave Mistake Records in Baltimore during our US tour which I'm really excited about, Alex D is the man and Grave Mistake is one of the best labels out there. Should be out sometime next year I'm guessing. We do have a lot going on outside SV, but we will definitely be touring again in 2013, in all likelihood another euro mission.

Violent Reaction are one of the bands that seem to be heading up a current small influx of good, simple, chunky USHC sounding groups coming out of the UK. Am I imagining this insurgence when I reference other bands like The Flex, Legal Highs and even No and Stab? What do you think has inspired it?
Not sure what's really brought it on, I think it could just be coincidence to be honest. Seems like everyone into good stuff that could play just had enough of all the shite in UKHC at the same time. Too much boring mosh can bring out the best in some people. I'm really happy that people in other countries are starting to take notice of UK stuff though, we've had a lot of good bands go under the radar here.Stab and No are unbelievable and it's a shame Legal Highs called it a day. I'm really excited about The Flex. Those boys are our brother band, they kill it, eat loads of chicken and are top lads. We should be playing out and causing trouble with them a lot in the near future.

You’re from the north, Liverpool to be precise, what else exists in that area in terms of good hardcore? While I can reference nearby Leeds with Mob Rules amongst others, I know nothing really about your city in particular. What’s going on up there?
Not a lot I'm afraid. The scene here is really up and down, some of the gigs can be fun and well attended, but most people aren't bothered about doing anything other than turning up and getting arseholed. There's a band I play drums in that doesn't even have a proper name that's actually one of my favourite bands that I've played in, feat ex members of SSS, Walk The Plank and Nowhere Fast that plays Poison Idea/Bastard style stuff, but we have only played one show and haven't practiced since. So for the most part Liverpool hardcore is pretty dead at the moment! I just travel to Leeds or London to play in bands or go to gigs usually.

Back to the LP of recorded material I mentioned. A friend of ours tells me that it’s got a pretty solid Oi! vibe compared to much of your previous stuff. Certainly elements of that style exist in a number of your songs thus far but reportedly these new songs are considerably more concerned with the slower 1-2-1-2 sound. What’s happening with these songs? 
I'd like you to meet a friend of ours...he is indeed a connected guy. To be honest I didn't really notice til I'd finished recording, I suppose that's just the way it turned out! To quote Ola from Stab I've always has a bit of a "la-la-la-la" writing style haha, which I think translates as having a little bit of pop feel to the riffs. I wouldn't go as far as saying VR is melodic, but tunes can be hard too! Just listen to 'Razors In The Night'. Not that my shit is that good though. I will say that while some of the songs are more oi/UK82, it also contains the fastest songs yet so there's a balance. 
I actually started out with the demo & 7" trying to lean more heavily on the Out Cold/early Poison Idea/Discharge side of things, the idea being a straight edge band that didn't really sound like one. That stuff is still in there, it just came out in different ways. Got a couple of very good labels on different continents up for releasing it so I'm made up.

Notably, the track “Disputed Attitude” from the demo is one of those obviously Oi! influenced tunes that you’ve written. I find that It’s also massively comparable to the brilliant VIOLENT MINDS anthem “Riot”. I’m aware that Oi! is relatively linear in it’s approach but it’s hard not to draw comparisons to that VM masterpiece. Am I hearing things? Were you at all mindful of that song when penning yours?
Bloody hell, I don't think many hardcore records of late can measure up to the 'Riot' single, let alone ours! But if you wanna say that we sound like Violent Minds then I'll take that. I've just thrown it on and I see what you mean now, I don't think it was a conscious bite though. There's probably more blatant rips (accidental of course) in VR songs to be honest...not gonna say where though in case I'm currently getting away with it. 

How much of an influence on your writing is the Canadian scene that has spawned so many greats like VM? And while I’m at it, the Boston scene also? Seems that you have a relatively tight knit relationship with various members of both mentioned groups, and USHC is obviously the strongest sound within your repertoire. Are you happy with the stark USHC sound you’ve created so far?
Yeah, I mean that has always been the focus of the sound and for lack of a better term 'attitude' so I'm happy with the way things turned out. I love bands from both of those places. The Ontario and Massachusetts areas have produced a bulk of the best and most memorable bands of the last decade for sure. Quantity and quality at the same time is rare. The productivity and inter-weaving from the likes of Career Suicide and the Boston 'same guy core' is an influence in itself, gets me stoked to make shit happen. I'm sure I must take away something musically from some of them too, as I listen to good modern punk and hardcore as much as I listen to the classics. Those lads need to chill out though before they use up all the good riffs!

And in contrast, what, if any influence do you take from your Countrymen of old? I assume an album like “Spilling Blood Without Reason” would posses a good deal of sway with you when writing new jams? Any other older UKHC bands? Surely a band like Ripcord has made a dent at some point?
Honesty time; I'm not really much of an 80s UKHC superfan. A lot of it just never really made a huge impression on me, I love 'Poetic Justice' and Heresy are cool but never really have me rushing back for more. Probably losing points by the second here, but no point faking the funk. The UK stuff that clicked with me has always been slightly less breakneck speed and more on the punk/Oi side of things. Chaos UK, Discharge, Mau Maus, Blitz, 4-Skins, Cockney Rejects, Charge all influenced VR heavily...basically all the same UK stuff that inspired the Boston 82-85 sound anyway. 
Voorhees good. Songs like 'Nailbomb' have definitely made an impression on me, so hard. I'd actually say I took more of an influence from their vibe than their sound, just mean and violent as fuck. I currently play guitar in a band called Sick-fuckin-O with the Voorhees singer Lecky, and even though we rarely do anything it's still awesome to see him unleashed and I'm sure a little of that carries over. Incidentally, we should have a split with White Male Dumbinance out soon.

What was your original introduction to hardcore in general? I know you’re a BMXer but with my experience as a BMXer also, I’ve found that generally most guys who ride don’t take interest in actual genuine hardcore, opting more often for more metal/mosh orientated stuff. What got you started and does it at all tie in with your other interests such as riding?
Well luckily for me I got into BMX in the VHS days, before DVDs and web edits. The first videos I saw were things like Turbulence, Nowhere Fast, Road Fools '98, FBM Albert Street and All Time Low, Criminal Mischief, Props etc. Me and my best mate Tank used to watch them til they almost wore out. I got into so much good shit through those videos that I still love today; Slayer, Black Flag, Sabbath, Sleep, Integrity, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, The Cramps, The Misfits, Gorilla Biscuits, ACDC, Minor Threat, DRI, Youth Of Today...list is endless! Tank was a year above me and had left school and got a job, so every Saturday he would buy a couple of new CDs from town, then I'd get to burn them at our other mates house. On top of that, there was some older riders who would lend us good music too. It's funny, because even though we knew all these old classics, we never really twigged that bands might still be playing that music. Luckily we stumbled across it in time to catch the middle of what are now hailed as Liverpool punk/hardcore's glory days. Seeing bands like Walk The Plank, SSS & Down And Outs 2005-2007 was insane.
We just dived into it all, started bands, put on shows, got involved and never really came out again!
I'm just glad I started riding when I did. Most of these DVDs and 'web edits' now have the worst bullshit music. Dubstep and electro-indie...what the fuck?? Back in '02 the only debate was which you liked more; Slayer or Metallica. Now most of the kids are just straight up spice boys. 

Through a lot of your lyrics, artwork, shirts etc you’ve developed a pretty blatantly negatively geared, anti social straight edge vibe in line with a heap of our Boston forefathers. What is it like existing as a man of obvious strict edge values in a country that’s somewhat well known for it’s rampant youth party culture? Would you say that your ethos have developed as a reaction to that culture? Are you affected on a daily basis by things like alcohol and drugs?
It's funny actually, I've had a lot of people who know me saying "Anti-social? That's not you!". It's more of a sound thing than an accurate representation of how I am all the time, I just wanted to set the band apart from the 'let's all hold hands' posi straight edge stuff. I guess you could say its the dark side of me showing through though. Everyone has that dark side, and mine is the one that has to leave the city centre on weekend nights before I start running through the streets in a suit made of knives. 
It's definitely a reaction to the drinking and party culture. I think the UK is the worst place in the world for that shit. Not to trivialise my American brethren's edge, but it's plain to see why there is much more of a straight edge scene over there than in the UK. People hardly drink there for a start, compared to here anyway. Normal practice here from the age of 14 or 15 is to get obliterated every single Friday and Saturday night, and you add various other nights to that when you hit university age. Also, in the US people usually have to drive to get to a bar, and their culture isn't socially centered around pubs like ours is.
I never wanted to do that shit, and I'll always identify as straight edge because I never want to be like the lager louts, the party drug hipsters, the stoners, the coked up meatheads, the useless drunk punx, the crackheads, fuck those losers.

Does your heavily anti outlook effect your everyday life in general terms? Surely you must work or study with people that rub you up the wrong way? In turn, do you use hardcore as some kind of escapism from that every day life? Do you think that it’s a natural thing in 2012 for us to have to rely on some kind of escapism whether it be punk, BMX, or whatever?
It does. Sometimes you just grind your teeth and get on with it, sometimes you snap and and belt someone. Sometimes you even get so sick of working a job chasing down debtors with ignorant racists that you quit your job, go on tour then hide out in the US for three months. Having an outlet is very natural for me. I think I've always needed a release, even when I was really young I was always drawn to really physical activity like rugby and martial arts. In high school I had really poor concentration, I'd get so frustrated with my work I'd punch up my room and stuff but I'd go and bang out some grinds on my bike or blast some music and then everything was alright. It's the same now. I'd have a shit day at work, and as soon as I stepped out of work I'd put 'Pick Your King' on in my headphones. Jerry A's rage matching mine has this sort of equalising calm effect on me, it's intense relief like finally getting to piss after being trapped in a car for ages with 30 miles til the next service station. I basically need hardcore to avoid pissing myself. 

With the microcosm that modern hardcore has become, does the scene in the UK actually provide some kind of refuge from that every day shit? Is your outlook directed at a culture within the scene as well?
It does, but only in certain places at certain times. Things are so dead in Liverpool that I usually have to travel to Leeds or London for anything good punk-wise. The power of a really good gig should not be underestimated. But on the other hand things certainly aren't perfect in the punk/hardcore scene either. We still have too many shit bands, supported by an endless cycle of idiot kids and 'promoters' using hardcore as a leg up to bigger and shitter things. I went to this fest thing earlier in the year just for the craic as some Irish mates were playing, and it blew my mind. I didn't recognise hardly anyone, everyone was smoking and I'm pretty sure of you added up the cost of all their streetwear shit you would have enough money for a deposit on a fuckin' house. I saw bands cover Cock Sparrer and Minor Threat and these cunts did nothing, but some other band did an Iron Boots song (hahaha) and the room exploded. What the fuck?! These people aren't punk. They sit on the Internet all day, listen to shit mosh and dubstep, booze and take drugs every weekend and just do what every other cunt in the world does. I wish they'd fuck off now rather than in three months time when they decide they're over it. 
There's also a song on the 7" called Empty Threat that's about bands that have formed just to imitate the latest bigtime band or sound without looking back to what came before and influenced them. Really like Backtrack? Go and listen to the Breakdown 87 demo. You think Trash Talk are good? Log out of tumblr and check out Neanderthal. 

Are the guys you’ve enlisted to participate in the band of the straight edge and do they agree with your opinions involving straight edge and party culture in the UK?
Oh definitely. They all play in the London/south coast straight edge bands Abolition, Stab and Iron Curtain. In fact I don't think they play in any bands that aren't straight edge. One thing is for sure, these lads don't need any substances to help them get into trouble...

Tell me about the song “Nightmare”. Of all the songs on the demo, the lyrics for this one certainly come across as the most vague. ‘Every night this country dies’. At first I interpreted this song as your explaining of a dream you had, but I’m thinking it may be something a little more hateful and less obvious now? What’s the story?
It's just about people just repeating the same cycle of work-drink-hangover-repeat, because they can't think of anything better to do. It's just being frustrated that once the sun goes down the country essentially dies, as nothing happens unless booze is involved. Just a load of zombies stumbling around the streets puking, fighting and crying. So many times I've had to walk through all that shit after practice with Out Cold in my headphones and just wanted to kill fuckin' everyone.