Wednesday, October 31, 2018

V/A Tidal: A Hardcore Compilation

https://reasonrecordshc.bandcamp.com/album/va-tidal-a-hardcore-compilation-rr-031

V/A Tidal: A Hardcore Compilation
Label: Reason Records (Ukraine). 
Featured bands: Set Adrift, Flame, Tomorrow, Sundown (Ukraine), Ritual, Donde Todo Termina (Argentina), Desencadenar, Remission (Chile), Give Today (Sweden), Radiance (Poland), Skeleton Hand (Russia) and Rising (Denmark (?))      
Artwork: Redline
Mastering: Dark Blue Studio (Ukraine)
Format: CD/Digital.
Country: Ukraine.
Release date: September 25, 2018 (Physical edition), September 28 2018 (Digital edition)

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with another quick entry. I recently discovered this amazing international hardcore compilation made by Reason Records, a straight edge record label from Odessa City, Ukraine. I wasn't really aware of what's going on within that ukranian city hc/punk spectrum nowadays before listening to this record but I'm quite impressed with my discoveries. Indeed, this O.C. hardcore scene (Do not confuse O.C. with Orange County, USA) is a living homage to the fiercely passionate, rich and complex 90s hardcore style. You already know I'm obsessed with that particular timeline and I absolutely fell in love with those bands.

Now, this compilation is that, a sort of revival record. You already know the 90s is one of the most bouleversé hardcore punk eras in musical, political and even spiritual terms. Regarding the sound, both american and european all-time classics such as Unbroken, Strain, Outspoken, Mean Season, Undertow, Disembodied, Converge (US), Refused, Abhinanda (Sweden), Blindfold, Kindred (Belgium), for naming a few, will surely come to mind. One thing I really liked about this record is their musical variety despite the fact that all the featured bands follow the same exact musical patron. Indeed, there will be more emotionally-driven executions with a mix of both fast and slow-paced moments (i.e. Donde Todo Termina) and some other a little bit more metallic hardcore-infused ones with complex guitar riffs and the iconic 90s chugga-chugga feel (i.e. Rising). And, yes, all the members of these outfits are straight edge (Some of them even are either vegan or vegetarian). 

Finally, I must remark the inclusion of the south american bands due to their local hardcore scenes have been an oasis of this kind of outfits since almost a decade ago (or even more). Note that Remission, some months ago, had a successful tour in the US (Even they shared some venues with Raw Brigade (Colombia) and both bands were really praised). The other european acts are pretty good too and have nothing to envy to. I must be more aware of this kind of bands in the near future since, within their local scenes, there aren't much like these ones. 

Lastly, click on the image for getting redirected to Reason Records' official bandcamp account where you can listen to this amazing record and either download it for free or paying the price you consider right. I'd like to have a physical copy pretty soon. Don't forget to listen to the other material this record label has to offer. There are some surprises that could have been included in here. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention. For this record, I was meant to write more about each band individually but, unfortunately, I'm kinda busy right now. Maybe I'll do it sooner or later with other purposes. Time will tell. This record is undoubtedly a potential candidate to our best picks of this year. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Stay tuned. Kisses and hugs! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

V/A Blazing Anarchy

https://mega.nz/#!SOxFXS7A!TXzZOONXXMdjO8WF4P2-2EHBKQ4vDJT_0I_1z6Tomgw

V/A Blazing Anarchy
Label: Voices From Inside (Ukraine). 
Featured bands: Fatum, Bloodsuckers, Duke Nukem (Russia), PISS (Germany/Spain), Life Fucker (Germany), Cheap Drugs (Belgium), DiE, Murder (UK), Orden Mundial, Barcelona (Spain), Halshug (Denmark), Masspolution (Belarus), Kohti Tuhoa, Backlash, Lapinpolthajat (Finland), Paranoid (Sweden), Rats Blood (Ireland), Shitty Life (Italy), Ohyda (Poland) and Negativ (Norway).    
Artwork: Xomeless AKA Eatalia Ngorova (Front and back covers, layouts and inserts) and Nico El Fracaso (A3 Poster)
Format: Tape.
Country: Ukraine.
Release date: 2017 (Physical edition).

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with another entry. As some previous posts in later months, this one also was unexpected and wasn't meant to be originally featured here in the blog. Why? Because I completely ignored the existence of this brutal compilation. How could I miss it out? Shame on me, I know. It could have been featured in our international best picks of 2017. Undoubtedly. Luckily, our "anonymous" collaborator (Yes, s/he does exist. S/he also was a little bit dormant recently but is back stronger than ever...) gave us the digital edition of this record and gladly exhorted us to publish it. (No, please no, the duct tape no. Please nooooo). Ehemm, ok...

Now, why does this compilation matter? Well, it contains some of the best modern hardcore punk in Europe nowadays. I'm pretty sure you already know most of these outfits (The names speak for themselves) but if someone is reading this entry and, for a strange reason, is not aware of them, this collection is a good introduction. "Europe burns. Hardcore Punk lives". Note that most of the featured tracks were taken from each band's material prior to the release of this compilation (Notably early demos or first full-length albums), except for DiE's contributed track since it's exclusive. We'll explain you why later.     

Lastly, just like the successful Silla Eléctrica compilation (Remember to re-read the original review of this superb colombian hardcore punk record by clicking here), I'll review each band individually for providing you with the most relevant information as possible. Yes, you can love me for that. Thanks in advance. They will also be classified on their native country for an easier reading. And, don't forget to click on the image above for downloading the compilation (Artwork, layouts, inserts and poster included), as well as clicking on the images of each featured band below for listening to their available material so far and supporting them. It's worth it. With all that written, let's begin. 

Russia

Fatum
https://fatumhaarp.bandcamp.com/

One of the reasons why I love compilations, it is because I get to know some unexplored hc/punk scenes such as russian's. And Fatum is a motivation for being more aware of. Indeed, this band truly is a living homage to the glorious old days of mid-80s british stenchcore style days, you know, the original crust punk sound. Indeed, all-time classics such as Deviated Instinct and Hellbastard will surely come to mind after listening to the metallic crusty-infused savagery displayed by this great band. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

 Bloodsuckers

https://bloodsuckers82.bandcamp.com/releases

This interesting Saint Petersburg-based hardcore punk band only released one demo (2013) and one full-length album named Cheap Trip (2015). I'm not really sure if they still are together or not. Regarding the sound, Bloodsuckers draws influences from stenchcore, d-beat and UK82 for creating an unique and particular mid-paced yet overwhelming sound. You'll also find some interesting musical execution with reverb effect on vocals. Pretty nice. This is probably the oldest band included on the compilation. Give it a try. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Duke Nukem  


https://dukenukem.bandcamp.com/

(Warning: Do not confuse it with the american powerviolence band of the same name). Another great Saint Petersburg-based band but they're more into the metal punk territory. I really liked their musical style since they reminded me a lot of crust 'n roll acts such as Inepsy (Canada) and Black Panda (Spain). Even Darkthrone's most recent speed metal-oriented trend à la Mötorhead also came to mind. Perfect soundtrack for hitting the road ruthlessly. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Belgium

Cheap Drugs

https://cheapdrugs.bandcamp.com/

This is the only belgian band included in the compilation. They've been active since 2013 and also have gained some kind of recognition due to their old school hardcore punk revival touch. Indeed, you'll find in here a pretty neat homage to US hardcore (g)oldies such as Black Flag and Poison Idea (Although some slight Discharge's traces can be heard too). They also reminded me a lot of modern bands such as Career Suicide (Canada), Government Warning and Strung Up (USA) which give a fresh air to old tyme hardcore, more suitable to these fucked up modern times. Pretty neat. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Germany

Life Fucker

https://lifefucker.bandcamp.com/album/z-12


Many people have recently mentioned me about the existence of this impressive Berlin-based act. At first glance, I wasn't paying too much attention but later I was kinda shocked. Indeed, their musical execution reminded me a lot of these outta control noisy hardcore bands from North America such as Sadist, Crazy Spirit (USA) and S.H.I.T. (Canada) for naming a few. Their first full-length album named Z 12" (Static Age Records (USA), 2018) really got me. I loved their particular display of violent music. Not as frantic as the aforementioned acts but it still does have an impressive musical force to remark to. A potential candidate to our best picks of 2018, for sure. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

PISS

https://wearepiss.bandcamp.com/

A pretty awesome Berlin-based hardcore punk band with female/male duet vocals. Their style mixes both japanese and swedish d-beat hardcore sounds (Think of Disclose (Japan) and Mob 47 (Sweden), for example) with more crust and noise sensibilities. Indeed, they're pretty similar to other local counterparts such as Life Fucker and Kriegshög but I think PISS is a little bit more raw and violent. Finally, their more recent self-titled 7" EP (Static Age Records, 2017) could have been in our list of best picks of last year but I completely forgot about them. I'm really sorry and ashamed of such reckless omission. I really hope to receive more news coming from this band soon. Pretty soon. Highly recommended.

UK

DiE

https://diecunt.bandcamp.com/releases

One of the precursors of the acclaimed New Wave Of Britsh Hardcore - NWOBHC (You can read our impressions of this amazing scene in both spanish and english here and here) says goodbye with the contributed track to this compilation, which is, as stated before, exclusive for this release. Herein you'll only find it since, for a strange reason, isn't available in their official bandcamp account. Regarding the sound, the band displays a more sophisticated and refined style without drifting apart from their iconic SSD-Beat formula. A world without DiE and Violent Reaction is like a sky without stars, like a taco without salsa. Too bad. Anyways, highly recommended. Enjoy!

Murder

https://murderhardcore.bandcamp.com/releases

Another impressive act from London which can also be associated to this intriguing New Wave Of British Hardcore - NWOBHC. I do not know why could I miss this band out. So, you'll find in here a pretty good mix of both classic US and UK hardcore punk styles in the same fashion as some other local counterparts like The Flex and Arms Race. Indeed, the music is short, fast and straight to the point. Like hardcore should always be. Finally, this demo is their only material available. I'm not really sure if the band still does exist right now. I hope to get more news coming from this band. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   


Spain

Orden Mundial 

https://ordenmundial.bandcamp.com/

Photo: Angela Owens

One of the hc/punk ambassadors of Palma de Mallorca finally is here in the blog. I saw them last year here in Bogotá during a small tour they made in Colombia alongside with Muro, Amenazas and other local bands and, I completely forgot to mention them. Such a sacrilege. The band is really awesome both inside and outside the stage and even their vocalist gave me a night glowing pin button as a gift. Nice. Regarding the sound, they reminded me a lot of 80s italian hardcore bands such as Negazione and Indigesti but with more d-beat and some slight noise elements into their frantic repertory. I really loved this band. Their more recent Las Drogas Son Veneno 7" EP (La Vida Es Un Mus (UK), 2017) was also meant to be in our best picks of last year but you know how maladroit.e. et distrait.e. I am sometimes. Damn. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Barcelona

https://barcelona.bandcamp.com/releases

Sharing the same name of their native city, this female-fronted experimental hardcore band, alongside with Una Bèstia Incontrolable, is perphaps the best outfit in the whole Iberian Peninsula nowadays. Indeed, they mix hardcore punk, d-beat and noise for creating a mid-tempo-paced yet pummeling style filled with lots of distortions and an unorthodox musical execution. And their vocalist is angry as fuck. Imagine something like a weird mix of Último Recurso (Catalunya, Spain), Disclose (Japan) and a broken mixing console. Awesome. Despite not being as frantic as other noisy american hardcore bands like Crazy Spirit, Barcelona is some kind of monster of its own. Be afraid, punk. Really afraid. Finally, I must add that their more recent Un Último Ultrasonido, Nació Y Murió En Barcelona LP (La Vida Es Un Mus, 2017) was also meant to be featured in our best picks of last year but you already know what happened...Highly recommended. Enjoy!  
 
Finland

Kohti Tuhoa

https://kohtituhoa.bandcamp.com/

Pelon Neljäs Valtakunta (self-released, 2017), the most recent work of this amazing female-fronted hardcore punk band from Helsinki was already featured here in the blog when we published our Best Picks Of 2017 - International Edition. You can go and refresh your memory by clicking here
 
Backlash 

https://backlashfinland.bandcamp.com/

This interesting hardcore band from Tampere was born in 2012 and only released that year one demo (Backlash self-released) and their only full-length album named Realities Of Life (Tampere Hardcore Coallition / Kämäset Levyt). As you can imagine, this band holds the spirit of all-time classics from their country such as Kaaos, Riistetyt, Terveet Kädet, and, of course, Tampere SS but with a modern touch. More or less like the first modern d-beat infused american hardcore punk bands such as Perdition and HOAX. Finally, it seems like the band is inactive since long time ago and we probably won't ever see a new record from this band. Too bad. Anyways, highly recommended. Enjoy!       
 
Lapinpolthajat

Speaking of classic finnish hardcore punk acts, here's Lapinpolthajat featuring members of local heroes such as Riistetyt, Terveet Kädet and Sotatila. You can consider this band like a sort of finnish hardcore supergroup. Regarding the sound, it's not as chaotic nor frantic as the aforementioned acts. Indeed, they're more melodic-driven. You can think of bands like Bad Religion and NOFX when they were starting to drift apart from their original hardcore roots. But, unlike these infamous californian acts, Lapinpolthajat still is fast-paced enough for pleasing your ears always craving for ultra violent madness. In some songs there still are some echoes of their past. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   

Denmark 


Halshug

https://halshug.bandcamp.com/

A pretty outstanding hardcore punk from Copenhagen. Their musical style is fast-paced and relentless enough for making you desire to burn anything down to ashes. They will definitely remind you of japanese and swedish d-beat hardcore bands such as Disclose and Totalitär but executed in a modern fashion, pretty much like these american bands such as Ajax, Nomad, Green Beret and Sunshine Ward. If you enjoy ultra fast-paced modern european d-beat hardcore bands like Infernöh (Sweden) and Kriegshög (Germany) or even Krömosom from Australia, this danish band is for you. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Sweden

Paranoid

https://pndftw.bandcamp.com/
  
This amazing swedish hardcore band also draws influence from the classical d-beat school of their country but, unlike many of their other local counterparts, Paranoid also has strong japanese d-beat hardcore sensibilities. Indeed, you can think of like a swedish edition of Disclose. In fact, for this compilation, they make a cover to Disclose's song Ashes Of Death. The band also adds to their repertory some crust, metal punk and early black metal elements. It's so strong the japanese hardcore influence that in their most recent record Heavy Mental Fuck-Up! (Paranoid self-released (?), 2018), their vocalist sing exclusively in the native language of the "land of the rising sun". I'd consider this record for our best picks of this year. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Belarus

Masspollution 

https://masspollution.bandcamp.com/

Another living homage to Disclose but this time coming from Minsk, Belarus. Just like the russian bands featured so far, I didn't know anything about hardcore punk bands coming from these slavic countries. Just like I stated before, you can find all the dissonant  madness that made so great japanese d-beat and crust hardcore bands like Gloom, S.D.S., Abraham Cross, Battle Of Disarm, etc. back in the 90s. Finally, this belarusian outfit will make explode your head long before the imminent nuclear holocaust that will kill us all. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Ireland

Rats Blood

https://ratsblood.bandcamp.com/
This Dublin-based hardcore punk band also made me realize that I must be more aware of different hc/punk scenes around the world. Their sound is heavily inspired by all-time classics within the d-beat spectrum such as Disclose (Japan) and Totalitär (Sweden) but there also are some slight american hardcore punk traces. If you have enjoyed the New Wave Of British Hardcore - NWOBHC and the different modern d-beat-influenced american hardcore bands exceedingly posted here in the blog so far, this Irish outfit will certainly please you. Highly recommended. Enjoy!     

Italy 

Shitty Life

https://shittylife.bandcamp.com/

A pretty interesting band from Parma that describes their style as "chitarrino power punk". The chitarrino is an italian variant of a small guitar created in the XV century but I didn't detect in their music any kind of tune with this instrument. Regarding the sound,  Shitty Life has different old-school hardcore, traditional punk rock and garage rock influences for creating an unique and personal mid-tempo-paced hardcore. Not so fast yet not so slow, something like Career Suicide or Ceremony's most recent recordings but less aggressive. It also reminded me of classic american hardcore and punk musical groups such as Black Flag, Weirdos, Wipers and X. Finally, this is slight different to everything else contained in the compilation but you'll enjoy it too. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

Poland

Ohyda 

https://ohyda.bandcamp.com/releases

I recently read that Poland is spawning a new breed of hardcore punk bands to be aware of. I know the all-time classics like Dezerter, Tragedia and Siekiera left a rich heritage but we need to take a step forward and look for more modern acts. Ohyda was a big surprise since I didn't know it before listening to this compilation and also their particular style blending post-punk, hardcore punk, industrial rock and noise really caught me. Indeed, there aren't too many experimental hardcore bands like this one out there and this is something to remark to. I instantly thought of Perspex Flesh from the UK or Blank Spell from the US but Ohyda is a monster of its own. Finally, let this dark, psychedelic and gloomy polish band mesmerize you. This is a perfect mix of Bauhaus, Cress (UK), Destino Final (Spain) and the greatness of 80s polish hardcore. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Norway

Negativ


https://negativ1010.bandcamp.com/

We finally conclude this post with this amazing norwegian hardcore band. We already wrote about this band when we featured the Infection 1 - Worldwide Hardcore Attack 2x7" 4-way split (Featuring Muro (Colombia), GAZM (Canada), Blank Spell (US) and this band. You can also refresh your memory by clicking here). Now, they currently released the Projections MLP (Byllepest Distro (Norway), 2018) which can be heard here. I didn't notice a radical musical shift for this record but it's a little bit more refined than in previous works. Their particular re-interpretation of the classic norwegian hardcore sound (Kafka Prosess, Svart Framtid, So Much Hate, etc.) still is intact. Cool. Finally, as a curious fact, our friends of Rat Trap Collective (Colombia) were involved with the beautiful artwork of the record. I hope you enjoyed this entry as much as I did preparing it. See you soon with more surprises. Stay tuned. Kisses and hugs!

Friday, October 26, 2018

More e-mail requests

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back after some while ago. I've been quite busy in the "real world" so, it wasn't possible to keep the blog properly updated. But you know, I always try to redeem myself with some good content after my long and (un)justified absences. As I previously announced you, I already reviewed some of the stuff you've recently sent via e-mail. I have to admit it's pretty good. Don't forget to send me your material (In the "Disclaimer" section, you'll find out how to do it). Lastly, the year is coming to an end so, I cancelled some of the special posts originally planned to be published in November. But don't worry, I decided to make some other ones featuring some great hc/punk festivals held this year (You may already know which ones are...) and, of course, our best picks of this troubled and agitated year. I'll be brief for this entry since I don't have much time right now (Curse you, Peter Pan). Don't forget to click on the images for downloading/listening to the material. With all that written, let's begin.

Ache - Tired EP

https://rizkanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rr32-ache-tired-ep
Southeast Asian bands never cease to impress me. Luckily, Ache from Indonesia is no exception to the rule. Unlike some of their local hc/punk counterparts, the band opted for a more slower and refined sound. Indeed, they reminded me a lot of featured bands in the (in)famous The Emo Diaries compilation series (some of them already featured here in the blog) such as Blacktop Cadence, Pop Unknown, Pohgoh, and The Jazz June (for naming a few). And, of course, there's a breeze of Jawbreaker's loved/hated pop-punk-driven era as well as Braid's particular alternative rock-infused musical execution in later recordings. For fans of the aforementioned bands. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Bloody English - Conflict Resolution

https://soundcloud.com/bloodyenglish/conflict-resolution




A pretty interesting 5-piece band from London, UK. Just like the previous band, this one was also a huge surprise. Indeed, they play short, fast and loud music in the same vein as all-time classics in the post-hardcore subgenre such as Built To Spill, Jawbox, Drive Like Jehu and At The Drive-In. Pretty good musical instrumentation and execution. Sadly, they only have released one song available to listen to and I couldn't find elsewhere the complete material. I do not tend to publish incomplete albums nor individual songs from upcoming releases but I'll make an exception to the rule this time. You'll love it. I want to have the complete record in the near future. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Social Apathy - Procreation EP 

https://socialapathy.bandcamp.com/releases

Another huge surprise this time coming from Athens, Greece. If I'm not mistaken this is their debut album. Regarding the sound, they play some sort of blackened metal punk. Indeed, you'll find out some traces of early black and death metal influences (You know, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Possessed, Death, Venom and Bathory, etc.) but with a more hc/punk-driven musical execution. There are also some interesting guitar solos and some slower modern breakdowns which give them an unique and particular interpretation of their own. Finally, I highly recommend this band. They probably aren't as loud as other metal punk acts such as Doraïd (Japan) or Devil Master (US) but give Social Apathy a try. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy! 

3 more releases from our friends of Zegema Beach Records (Canada)

Snag (US) / Swallows Nest  (New Zealand)




An outstanding split featuring two bands: Snag (US) and Swallows Nest (New Zealand). Firstly, Snag is a living homage to the late-90s/early 00s screamo scene. You know, bands such as Reversal Of Man, pg.99, Orchid, Jerome's Dream, Combat Wounded Veteran, etc. will surely come to mind. They only contributed one song mixing both short and fast-paced moments with some slower and introspective interludes. And, last but not least, we have Swallows Nest. It features members of different screamo acts such as Machina Rex, Yung Nat$, The World That Summer and мятеж. Unlike Snag, this band has a female/male duet vocals and a more darker approach with some black metal, crust punk and post-metal influences. Somewhere between Oathbreaker (Belgium) and Amygdala (US). I completely dig this record. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Komusō – self-titled EP

https://zegemabeachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/komus-2

This amazing Japanese/Swedish collaboration features members of different modern screamo outfits such as Cape Light, Careless, Det är därför vi bygger städer and No Omega. So, this 4-track debut EP contains different elements of chaotic yet melodic music. Indeed, the mix of fast-paced moments with slower and introspective interludes in their repertory is just amazing. Even there are some clean vocals in some parts of different songs for giving a more "ethereal" impression. Nice. I'm truly impressed with the final result because not every new band starts so brutifully like this one. I hope future releases will be as excellent as this humble record. For fans of early-00s european and asian screamo revival outfits such as Louise Cyphre (Germany), Raein (Italy) and Envy (Japan). Highly recommended. Enjoy!    

Massa Nera (USA), Thisismenotthinkingofyou (UK), E’fil (Malaysia) & Yo Sbraito (Italy) 4-way split 12" LP 
 
https://zegemabeachrecords.bandcamp.com/album/massa-thisisme-yosbraito-efil-split


This international 4-way split shows us that screamo still is a relevant thing in 2018. If you're either fans or simply enthusiastics of this infamous emotionally-charged and scream-y hardcore punk variant, this record definitely is for you. In general terms, you'll find in here the recent trend within the screamo spectre: a mix of both chaotic and melodic music. Indeed, there will be some savage fuzz and fast-paced moments as well as other ones a little bit more slower and introspective with a mesmerizing math and jazz-oriented ambient. I'd write of each band individually, but their kinda similar to each other so, there's no need doing so. I'll feature them in the near future with other purposes. For fans of early-00s american screamo revival bands like Off Minor and City Of Caterpilllar. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Anticitizen - Stand Up And Fight

https://anticitizenpunk.bandcamp.com/album/stand-up-and-fight

An interesting outfit from Washington, New Jersey (USA) whose musical style mixes anarcho-punk, street punk and hardcore punk. These kind of bands aren't my cup of tea at all but I really liked this one. Indeed, there are traces of different classic bands such as Defiance, Conflict (UK), Antischism, Aus-Rotten (US) and Fleas And Lice (Netherlands) for naming a few. But what I like the most from this band is their lyrics. Indeed, they're pretty clever and well-structured and deal with subjects such as poverty, capitalism and class war. If you dig bands such as The Casualties (US), Acidez (Mexico) and Blatoidea (UK), Anticitizen is for you. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

itallreturnstonothing - self-titled EP

https://soundcloud.com/itallreturnstonothing/sets/itallreturnstonothing

Last but not least, we finally conclude this entry with this interesting band from Hawaii (US). According to the e-mail sent by the band, itallreturnstonothing "[we] are hawaii's only skramzy/crusty/blackened hardcore type band currently (and one of probably under five ever)". I know nothing about hawaiian's hc/punk spectrum nowadays so, let's keep their word. Regarding the sound, this band draws different influences from screamo, crust punk and black metal. Indeed, they reminded me of  neocrust/blackened crust bands such as Das Plague, Asedio and Ekkaia (Spain), Fall Of Efrafa (UK) and Iskra (Canada). You'll find in here an interesting mix of chaos and melody. Pretty good musical execution. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Hardcores Vols. 1 - 3

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with a new entry. Yay! I must admit this one wasn't meant to be featured here in the blog, but this idea came out from somewhere inside my head and, yes, you're gonna love it too. As you may know, I'm a nostalgic individual and my hardcore/punk preferences will always be either on the 80s or 90s side of things. Indeed, this was the golden era of hardcore (IMHO) and something else after these decades doesn't quite surprise so much at all. It's pretty hard doing so ha ha.  However, I must admit some modern bands (including the ones that have exceedingly appeared here in the blog) still manage to keep alive the outspoken, outrageous and frantic spirit of the most important punk rock subgenre. Thank you for that.

Now, this compilation series were originally released back in 1992 by Fuckin' Bastards, a pretty obscure and completely unknown record label (probably from the U.S.) that only published these collections. Note that these are bootlegs since they never got an official release nor even seal of approval of the featured bands. As you may know, this trend of bootlegging is as old as hardcore itself. Indeed, many people did personal mix tapes featuring their favorite bands and some of them were even available for purchase (Most of the time without the bands' consent). Back in the days, there's a pretty well-known yet infamous case concerning a german label that will be featured here in the blog in the near future (I think you already know which one is...). And, finally, today the trend hasn't disappeared at all but it's not as encouraged as before (at least in some circles).

Lastly, I'll review separately each one of the records that appeared in every single volume of Hardcores since I consider important writing about the stories and curious facts behind them. I couldn't find the "original" third volume so, I added in one file the real records (including artwork, layouts, lyrics, etc.). Note that most of the featured records in this infamous bootleg comp series are either early demos or first 7"s of each band. There are also some tracks directly taken from some well-known compilations (two of them already featured here in the blog). You may recall Dischord 1981: The First Years in 7" compilation (Dischord Records, 1993) because the concept is exactly the same (Hmm, I wonder why I haven't featured yet this classic collection...). Oh, and I almost forgot. The e-mail requests have been pushed to next week since I'm still receiving more material from you so, I haven't finished yet of listening to all of them and I'm still busy with other things. Damned "real" world...But don't worry, I'm still working on them. In the meantime, enjoy this unexpected yet interesting ABC to 80s american hardcore punk (the names of most of the featured bands speak for themselves). With all that written, let's begin.  

Hardcores Vol. 1

https://mega.nz/#!XWIxDKoR!QKskrHjra1hB7cy8VoscZ34IRz68E8UDcZ1TfBXtsgw


Featured records: SSD - The Kids Will Have Their Say 12" LP (Xclaim! / Dischord Records, 1982),  The Freeze - Guilty Face (Modern Method Records, 1983),  Gang Green - Sold Out 7" (Taang! Records, 1984), Unsafe At Any Speed 7" compilation and some tracks taken from This Is Boston, Not L.A. compilation (Modern Method Records, 1982). 
The first volume contains some of the earliest and best exponents of Boston Hardcore in the 80s. I think this is a good start despite the obvious lack of some other iconic outfits (i.e. Negative FX, Siege, Deep Wound, etc.).  In general terms, the songs are short, fast and loud (notably SSD, Gang Green and Jerry's Kids) and are just a sample of what this violent, frantic and fun scene was capable of. Their overwhelming and pummeling sound is still relevant and highly influential for many modern acts today (i.e. the so-called New Wave Of British Hardcore - NWOHC).

Firstly, SSD's full-length album debut is considered by many hardcore fans as one of the best records ever released, and this outfit was also one of the first straight edge bands that were really serious about the thing. Indeed, they were unfairly accused of promoting and inciting violence against non-straight edge scenesters since there are even stories of the band leading these kind of acts in the streets but this is completely false. After the release of this LP, the band started to experiment with metal doing some kind of crossover thrash but it wasn't too great at all. Anyway, a great hardcore classic that everyone should be aware of.

Next, we have the second 7" of The Freeze. Despite not being as frantic as SSD, this band has nothing to be ashamed of. Indeed, the songs are short, fast and loud (with some of them featuring a sort of slow-paced breakdowns with more traditional rock 'n roll guitar riffs) slowly drifting apart from the punk standards of the time. In fact, the bostonian scene had to struggle and experiment with different sounds and attitudes until the iconic style was established. Finally, these songs, along with the featured ones in the compilations present in the bootleg, are probably some of the fastest material ever made by the band. Pretty neat musical execution.

Now, if we're talking about fun and frenzy, Gang Green is the party animal you'll always keep on mind (Or maybe not). Unlike other bostonian hardcore kids of the time, these ones were too extreme for everyone out there because they were clearly addicted to alcohol, hard drugs and skating. In fact, most of their lyrics involve these subjects (making fun of them, obviously) but there are some other sarcastic stances too. i.e. their infamous anthem Kill A Commie. There's a curious fact about this song. Jello Biafra, vocalist of Dead Kennedys, asked them to make a political song. The band didn't like so much the idea and made a parody of the national anti-communist propaganda at the time (You know, "Cold War" era) for pissing everyone off (Including Biafra). And, yes, they achieved the purpose. Well, kinda since many people thought the stances were serious. Also, just like The Freeze, this Gang Green 7" is probably one of their fastest material. In later releases, they opted for a more crossover style gaining some moderate mainstream attention. Finally, this record is highly influential for crossover thrash, thrashcore and powerviolence styles alike. 

Last but not least, we have two compilations featuring different Boston bands. Firstly, we have the iconic This Boston, Not L.A. featuring the following bands: Decadence, The Freeze, The F.U.'s, Gang Green, The Groinoids, Jerry's Kids and The Proletariat. The sound is properly adjusted to boston hardcore standards (short, fast and loud) but there are some exceptions with a more british punk and anarcho-punk approach. And, I'm sure you may be asking, what's the deal with the name? Well, just like I stated some paragraphs above, bostonian hardcore bands found the necessity of creating an unique sound (Notably different to L.A.'s, which was predominant in most areas across the U.S.) and the editors also created that motto as a parody. But people got serious about the title and the apparent musical superiority of Boston style above L.A.'s was a real thing. A real one. SSD was also meant to be featured in the compilation but they were discarded due to all the problems around their violent and frantic live performances. And, finally, we have Unsafe At Any Speed 7" compilation, which can be regarded as a complement of the previous compilation because it contains some additional tracks from all the featured bands (except for Decadence) that didn't make it. Both compilations were put together on CD format by Wicked Disc Records in 1995 and you can click here for downloading it (You can also look for our original review here in the blog when we wrote in spanish).

Lastly, click on the image for downloading these Boston Hardcore classics. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Hardcores Vol. 2

 https://mega.nz/#!SLYhTSSB!1GPz5D2m7njJeUgZBagEvp-7KVhwlUDIZQOmJEAHlAg


Featured records: Negative Approach - self-titled 7"(Touch And Go, 1982),  C.IA. - God, Guts, Guns 7" EP (Shmegma Records, 1983), Cause For Alarm - self-titled (Not On Label (Cause For Alarm self-released), 1983), Nihilistics - self-titled 7" (Visionary Records, 1982), Deep Wound - self-titled 7" (Radiobeat Records, 1983), White Trash - Trash Is Truth / Wake Up! EP (Local Anesthetic Records, 1983) and Urban Waste - self-titled 7" (Mob Style Records / Wasteland Productions, 1983).  

Firstly, we have the first record of arguably one of (if not) the best hardcore punk bands of all time: Negative Approach. When I heard this Detroit-based band for the first time long time ago (notably this production), I instantly fell in love with. Indeed, my cravings for savage, outspoken and "fuck you all" attitude were absolutely satisfied with this. I even must admit many years have passed since that day of hardcore epiphany and this full of hate nihilistic record is still unbeatable in my mind. Regarding the sound, just like some bostonian acts such as The Freeze and Jerry's Kids, Negative Approach was drifting apart from the current punk standards of the time, thus creating more short, fast and louder songs. Yes, some classic punk rock elements can still be heard but the musical execution is notably different. Their second and final record Tied Down LP (Touch And Go, 1983) is also a must but I can't complain about the featured record in this bootleg. One life saver to me. Finally, the band is still active (with only his ferocious and viciously mad at the world vocalist, John Bannon as original member) since 2010 and doesn't seem to ever stop until its last breath in this fucked up world. Highly recommended and yes, mandatory acquisition for any hardcore punk enthusiastic.

Secondly, we have a pretty interesting yet underrated hardcore act from Bridgeport, Connecticut. Note that even though CT hardcore punk scene wasn't as big as other ones such as, for example, L.A. or Boston's, it spawned some interesting acts like Crippled Youth (Later relocated in NYC and changed their name to Youth of Today, one of the most influential bands ever in the U.S.), Youth Korps (one of the unofficial precursors of both powerviolence and grindcore subgenres. We'll write about this band...a little bit...later) and, of course, C.I.A. Just like many hardcore acts at the time, this one had a pretty short lifespan and only released this humble 7" EP and one self-titled LP (Incas Records, 1986). I personally rather this EP over the LP but you should check both records as well. Regarding the sound, C.I.A. is fast and loud as you'd expect from this kind of bands. Also, their lyrics are pretty well structured and written dealing with different social and political issues of their time, notably "Cold War". Finally, check this band out. Totally worth it. 

Next, we have Cause For Alarm's debut album. This is a pretty well-known act from NYC but their impact and influence in the hardcore subgenre has somewhat passed a little bit unremarked despite their huge popularity in their native local scene. Just like emerging local outfits such as Murphy's Law, Urban Waste, The Abused and Reagan Youth, Cause For Alarm played straightforward hardcore punk with short, fast and loud songs containing both personal and political lyrics. It's true that many NYC- based acts like this one were clearly overshadowed by the raising popularity of other ones like Agnostic Front, Warzone and Cro-Mags but there's an element to remark to. Following the release of this album, Cause For Alarm disappeared almost a decade. They later re-release it through Victory Records and their subsequent works (Also released through that "demoniac" record label) were having more influence of Krishna Consciousness in the same vein as Antidote, Cro-Mags, 108 and Shelter. I think I could write about all the vicissitudes behind this Krishnacore trend during the 90s in the near future. Yes, I probably could...Finally, get this record. An absolute early NYHC classic record.

Now, the turn is for Nihilistics, another influential early NYHC act, with their debut album. For no one is secret that New York spawned seminal punk acts such as The Ramones or Patti Smith but shortly after the magic of early punk rock was extinguished and turned into another fashion statement, the underground of the "world's capital" also spawned a more direct and outspoken form of punk: hardcore punk. And this band was one of the pioneers. Unlike other early bands like Kraut and The Mad, Nihilistics had a more bitter, dark and "negative" vision of life and both their lyrics and musical performance were a proof of that. I'm pretty sure that after Bad Brains' relocation in the city (Remember this also seminal act came from Washington D.C.), the opposite sides of local "positive" and "negative" bands was starting to be a thing (A serious one I must add) and Nihilistics was the perfect example of the latter. Do you wanna quit this world with an overdose of hateful bullets in your head? Listen to this then. Finally, I highly recommend this underrated 7", which was unfairly overshadowed by later acts at the time (Ironically inspired by it). If you dig acts such as Poison Idea and Sheer Terror, this is for you. A pretty solid material recalling us punk can truly be a threat (even for your mental sanity...). 

The next record we have is also a debut album from one of the most underrated hardcore bands in the creation of both powerviolence and grindcore: Deep Wound. This band from Westfield, Massachusetts only released 2 demos (American Style and self-titled (Not on label (Deep Wound self-released), 1982 and 1983 respectively) and their only self-titled 7" (Radiobeat Records, 1983) featured here in the bootleg. Unlike other bands from their state, Deep Wound played extremely short, fast and loud. In fact, some songs even include one of the earliest examples of the use of blast beat drum technique in hardcore punk. They disbanded in 1984 and 2 of their members (J Mascis and Lou Barlow) formed Dinosaur Jr., one of the earliest examples of alternative rock gaining some modest mainstream success during more than a decade (You know, the kind of music you start to listen to when your youthful, sexy and outspoken hardcore punk self starts growing older. Ô, folle jeunesse...) And, Deep Wound briefly reformed and played one show during a Sonic Youth concert (where Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh (Barlow's another project) were the opening acts) That mix of alternative rock and hardcore punk should have been awesome. Finally,  there's an almost complete discography (Damaged Goods (UK), 2006) containing most of the works of this underrated band. Highly recommended.

Last but not least, we have the last two remaining records. On one hand, we have White Trash's only official release. There's also one self-released demo from 1982 (AKA Hell No) but it's pretty hard to find and I haven't got the opportunity to listen to it (Some of you have it? I'd be thankful if you could pass me the .mp3 files he he). Regarding the sound, this band's sound reminded me a lot of other contemporary acts such as S.O.A., Minor Threat, Void, The Crucifucks and The Germs but with a more outspoken and evident politically-charged lyrics in the same vein as M.D.C. and Reagan Youth. As a curious fact, this record was one of the personal choices of Tim Yohannon (R.I.P.), founder and editor of Maximum Rock 'N Roll zine (the de facto bible of punk). If you dig cryptic american hardcore acts such as State and Condemned To Death, this is for you. Highly recommended. Finally, on the other hand, we have Urban Waste's first album. Just like Cause For Alarm, this NYHC outfit was also unfairly overshadowed by other more popular acts. Regarding the sound, the music was fast and frantic and the lyrics were politically-charged denouncing hideous acts like police brutality and brainwashed public opinion. Finally, they disbanded shortly after the release of this record and returned in 2010 and have released since then more material but I haven't got enough time to listen to them so much but I can assure you that they haven't changed at all their style. A pretty rare and solid lost NYHC jewel that you shouldn't miss out. Highly recommended.

Hardcores Vol. 3  

 https://mega.nz/#!TGJRASIY!UtxEHvNNgNJbCcrU7vOQeWgkeMkZcq4JDmwgH_cjlbI


Featured records: Process of Elimination 7" EP compilation (Touch And Go, 1981), Necros - I.Q. 32 7" (Touch And Go / Dischord Records, 1981), Die Kreuzen - Cows And Beer 7" (Version Sound, 1983), Hüsker Dü - Statues 7" (Reflex Records, 1980), The Fix - Jan's Room 7" (Touch and Go, 1981), Naked Raygun - Flammable Solid (Ruthless Records, 1983) and Side A from The Master Tape LP compilation (Affirmation Records, 1983).

We finally conclude this entry with the last record of this interesting bootleg compilation series. The first record included in here is a compilation featuring the following "Midwest Hardcore" bands: Necros, McDonalds (Maumee, Ohio),  The Meatmen, The Fix (Lansing, Michigan), Negative Approach, Youth Patrol (Detroit, Michigan), Toxic Reasons (Dayton, Ohio) and Violent Apathy (Kalamazoo, Michigan). Note that this compilation is one of the first efforts in the U.S. for featuring hardcore bands from scenes that weren't as big as the most well-known ones (i.e. L.A. or D.C.) and can also serve as a sampler containing some of the first bands in the publisher's catalog. Regarding the sound, it's not so different to what other US hardcore punk bands made at time but there are some traits to remark to. For example, Detroit-based bands had a more outspoken and violent attitude (notably Negative Approach); The Meatmen were pretty obnoxious and offensive thus making people pissing off as their own political agenda; Necros and McDonalds (the latter was also an alternate side project of the former) were more sarcastic and irreverent; The Fix, some of the most underrated bands in the country, is fast as fuck; Toxic Reasons was something between Black Flag (US) and The Exploited (UK); and, last but not least, Violent Apathy had a pretty interesting mix of slow-paced mid-tempo bridges with faster tunes (Not as much as other bands from the area but it's nicely executed). Finally, get this record. It's the proof that 80s american hardcore wasn't limited to L.A. or Boston scenes. Highly recommended.

The second record is also the second album of this impressive band from Ohio. For this record, the band managed to play faster than their debut album Sex Drive 7" (Touch And Go, 1981) and it was also one of the first non-D.C. hardcore punk record to ever be introduced at Dischord Records. Of course, this 7" doesn't quite surpass their magnum opus Conquest For Death LP (Touch And Go, 1983) but at least it's a good blueprint for it. The sound is short and fast and it still does retain some classical punk rock traits (Including their more sarcastic and irreverent point of view) but the differences are getting clearer with each song. Imagine like a some sort of Black Flag but a little bit darker. Finally, this was also one of the first hardcore bands doing a tour across the US. In fact, they accompanied The Misfits (With the original line-up, Danzig included) as their opening act in 1982. There's a funny story about this tour. Both bands were arrested in New Orleans on charges of grave robbing but bailed themselves out of jail and skipped their court date in order to drive to their next performance in Florida. That's too hardcore for all of us ha ha. This is a must. Get it while you can since there's a lot of price speculation on the Internet and sadly all Necros' records are reaaaallllyyy expensive as fuck. Yeah, as fuck. Yeah.

Next, we have Die Kreuzen's first EP. This band is pretty underrated since their local scene Milwaukee, Wisconsin was way too small and not many remarkable acts (besides them) came out from it. In fact, this is one of the few cases where only one band transcends their native city/town making anything else not as relevant as it should be. Also, despite their hardcore roots, Die Kreuzen quickly started breaking the mold and began to explore different musical styles such as heavy metal, gothic rock and even shoegaze, developing an interesting alternative rock-oriented style during the next decade. You can hear this change in subsequent records after the release of their critically acclaimed self-titled full-length album (Touch and Go, 1984). And, this musical shift also meant they were highly influential for the grunge movement in the 90s. Indeed, Nirvana's vocalist and guitarist, Kurt Cobain (R.I.P.), used to cite this band as a big influence on his music and life as well. Finally, check this record out. IMHO this is their best material during their short-lived hardcore era (Of course, don't forget the self-titled either). Highly recommended. 

Now, we have the second chance of reviewing more material coming from Hüsker Dü. As you may know, this band appeared in our infamous yet successful Make Emo Great Again: Your unofficial guide to 80s and 90s american emocore when we featured their awesome work Zen Arcade (SST Records, 1984). You can read our original review by clicking here.  So, this is officially the band's first record, a single featuring two songs Statues and Amusement. This is probably the only Hüsker Dü's record which features a more straightforward post-punk-influenced sound (At least in its purest form). Indeed, you can hear something like a desperate Joy Division tribute band trying to play faster. I know it may sound weird but you'll get the idea after listening to it. Following the moderate success of this record, Hüsker Dü released more straightforward hardcore punk-related material like most of their punk counterparts at the time (With some slight teasing with other less aggressive sounds, obviously) until the release of Zen Arcade, when everything changed and, in subsequent records, they consolidated themselves as one of the first and most influential alternative rock bands (like their contemporaries The Replacements). Finally, this is something different to everything else featured in this bootleg compilation but it's worth listening to it. Highly recommended. 

For The Fix's first 7", we only have to say one thing: it's friggin' amazing. Pretty underrated record. During their pretty short lifespan, they only released two records: this one and other one named Vengeance 7" (Touch and Go, 1981). There are also some discographies reuniting both records like At The Speed Of Twisted Thought...LP/CD (Touch and Go, 2006) and Vengeance/Jan's Room 2x7" (Touch And Go, 2014).  Both records contain the only material officially released by the band in 1981. The only difference between the two editions is that the former has some live recordings and outtakes absent in the latter.  Regarding the sound, just like emerging bostonian hardcore bands at the time such as Jerry's Kids and The F.U.'s, The Fix managed to play fast and straightforward hardcore punk slowly drifting apart from the traditional punk rock standards. And, despite their cryptic existence, many european bands that started to incorporate more american hardcore elements into their repertory like Mob 47 or Rövsvett from Sweden, gave the recognition that The Fix never got. Finally, if you have enjoyed ultra fast-paced US hardcore acts featured here in these bootleg compilations such as C.I.A. and White Trash, The Fix won't ever disappoint you. Ever.

Lastly, we have the last two records. Firstly, Naked Raygun's second EP is a huge surprise since I didn't know it before writing this post. Indeed, it was a mystery to me and I found it quite charming. Just like the featured material from Hüsker Dü, Naked Raygun is an exception to the rule of fast-paced and ferocious hardcore punk presented so far. Their sound is more closer to post-punk with lots of classic rock 'n roll, traditional punk and even surf rock guitar riffs, solos and stuff but it still does have a strange early american hardcore punk feel. This record in particular somewhat reminded me of a less "dark" version of T.S.O.L's Dance With Me (Frontier Records, 1981). Pretty nice, though. Finally, the last record featured is The Master Tape LP compilation which contains Toxic Reasons, Slammies, Battered Youth, Delinquents, Zero Boys (Side A), Articles of Faith, Repellents, Learned Helplessness, The F.U.'s, The Pattern and Die Kreuzen (Side B). For a strange reason, the "original" bootleg only featured the tracks from Side A. This was probably due to there wasn't enough space on the vinyl. But, for your commodity, I'll feature Side B too as a bonus. And, most of the bands speak for themselves so, it's not so necessary writing further about it. Don't miss the other acts out either because they're also a pretty cool and almost forgotten chapter in american hardcore. I hope you enjoy this entry as much as I did preparing it. I wasn't expecting writing about 80s american hardcore punk for awhile but you know, shit happens. Ha ha ha. Stay tuned for more coming surprises. Until next time. Kisses and hugs!