Saturday, May 23, 2020

Four Powerviolence and Grindcore Compilations: I Hate Powerviolence Vol. 1 and In War with...Emo!!!


Note: Go go go Powerviolence!
Image source: Fábio Ponto Six: https://www.behance.net/fabiobelem924b

Coucou, les chaton.nes! We're back with an unexpected short entry. I was listening to some music on my PC and I remembered that these compilations would eventually be published someday so, yeah, they're here. I love to write these kind of entries down because sometimes there are pretty interesting surprises to remark to. And, I hope you will enjoy these humble records. If you're into this ultra-fast and dissonant hardcore variant, you'd definitely know about these musical outfits (Or at least that's what I'd like to believe in). Finally, I had to push this month's special post until June since I still owe you some material (even some of our (un)official partners'). I'm sorry for that but I always try to compensate you with good stuff, right? I certainly hope so... With all that written, let's begin.

In The War With...Emo!!! compilation (bootleg) (Stop The Emoviolence Records (Czech Republic), 1998)


Featured bands: No Comment, Crossed Out, Capitalist Casualties, Ulcer, Forced Expression, Charles Bronson, Infest, Spazz, Monster X, Hellnation, Despise You and Avulsion. 

We'll start off this entry with a really impressive bootleg released back in 1998 by Stop The Emoviolence Records (best name ever) from Czechia (Czech Republic). This apparently was the only "official" release from this record label. I think you already know, back in the 90s, some people took too seriously the hate towards anything related to the emo subgenre, to the point of even dedicating whole records to it, i.e. Hellnation's At War With Emo EP or Insult's Emobashing Fastcore Pimps, just for naming a few. But, leaving aside that boring as hell discussion, this record compiles some of the earliest examples of both powerviolence and grindcore styles in the US. If this is something you're familiar with, you wouldn't be impressed at all but do you know something about either Ulcer or Forced Expression? Deep cuts. If you know what I mean...Finally, for some obvious reasons, I had to re-compile by myself all the featured tracks on the record and remade it. Indeed, all these tracks are available in different records, i.e. Ice Nine and Charles Bronson split EP, Capitalist Casualties and Ulcer split EP or Infest's Slave LP, among others. However, the "original" insert classifies Crossed Out's "contributed" tracks as untitled so, I took the liberty of randomly pick up and added in Supremacy (from their split with Dropdead), Ulcer, Homegrown (contributed tracks to Son of Bllleeeaaaauuurrgggghhh! compilation), Practiced Hatred and Vacuum (from their split with Man Is The Bastard) tracks. Please lord forgive me for doing this...Don't forget to click on the image above for downloading it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

I Hate Powerviolence Vol. 1 compilation (incomplete and refurbished) (Kill Your Heroes (USA), 2019 (?)) 


Featured: Cave State, BruceXCampbell, Wasted Blood, Asshole Assassination Squad - AxSxSx, Cancer Patient, Sordo, Water Torture, Goner, xSwampx, Pickled, LxDxT, Lunchline, HSK, Tension, Fissure (USA), Bungus (Canada), Higgs Boson (Norway) and For Sample (Indonesia).  

I'm not really sure but this tape was released by Kill Your Heroes records early last year, only a few months after The Powerless 2 compilation release, which already was featured here in the blog (You can refresh your memory by clicking here). Just like that other compilation, I had to re-compile by myself all the featured tracks on the record and remade it. In fact, it wasn't very difficult to doing so at all since most of the songs were taken from already released material such as A Product Of Six Cents compilation, Higgs Bosson and Lovgun (France) split, Cave State and Fissure's respective self-titled EPs, among others. Also, I had some difficulties trying to get For Sample, Pickled, LxDxT and Lunchline's tracks (I'm assuming those ones are exclusive to these release) so, you'll note the clear absence. And, of course, if you're into this brutal legacy of powerviolence and grindcore, I definitely am sure you know what's all the fuzz behind it. If not, well, prepare your ears and enjoy this sonic torture while having uncontrollable urges of breaking windows for fuck's sake. Yup. Finally, the tape's track listing classifies Sordo and Water Torture's tracks as untitled and I'm not really sure which ones are. The insert has something written about how to know the song titles but I couldn't understand well because one part is kinda unreadable. That's the reason why I randomly picked up and added in some tracks from the Sordo's split with Chulo (Colombia) and Water Torture's split with Sea Of Shit (USA). Yeah, to refurbish records is one of my multiple hobbies ha ha. Don't forget to click on the above for downloading it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Hit Mania Violence Vol. 1 - "Italian D.I.Y. Conspiracy 2020" compilation (Not On Label (?) (Italy), 2020)


Featured bands: Always Never Fun - ANF, Double Me, L.UL.U., Taste The Floor, Mesecina, Failure, Mexoff, Repulsione, Peep and xDeloreanx (Italy).  

Since my self-imposed exile here in Colombia, I haven't been in touch at all with european powerviolence and grindcore records at all. And, of course, that includes italian bands. Yes, it's true that there have been only a few times we've featured modern musical groups from that country, for example, Grind Your Teeth To This and Gymnasium Violence compilations, for naming a few (You can refresh you memory by clicking here and here). So, while I was watching on YouTube funny cats and meme-related videos (How's that even possible), I found this interesting compilation released by...someone in Italy early this year. Since I'm not really familiar at all with every band's material, I think the featured tracks are brand new and exclusive to this release. This is just potereviolenza alla italiana. There are some cues of grindcore and even crossover thrash as well. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it on YouTube. Let's hope a physical release anytime soon. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Brutal Noise Colombia Vol. 1 (Ruptura Iconoclasta (Colombia), 2020) 


Featured bands: AxCxMxE, Primitivo, Cementerio, Ruido Infernal, Nefasta, Human Scum, Murder Pussy, Anger Blast, Nastiness, Die In Silence, Satvrn Svnlight, Contra, K.R.H., Satanik Pussy Impalers, Ratta, Basta de Mierda, Hedor A Muerte, Átomo de Lokura, Horrorterror, Grinding, Infexion Nekrotizante, Rotten Noise, Septicemia, Strike, Infexion, Úlcera, Putrid Vomit, Mortado, Malparido, Porn-Dis-Noise, Union Kaos, Bombhead, Aghori, Pútrida Gestación, Aborígen and Ezkleroziz Demencial (Colombia). 

We finally conclude this short and humble entry with a recently released colombian exxxtreme hardcore punk compilation featuring different grindcore, d-beat and powerviolence bands from different parts of this tropical anarchy land forsaken by the ancient gods and goddesses of rock 'n roll. Yup, we're that fucked. There also are some brand new and exclusive tracks to this release as well, for example, Nastiness' one. Now, this compilation in particular was in the making more than one year ago but different impasses impeded to released it last year as it was originally planned to. I also am aware of the fact that these kind of releases are very popular here in the blog so, yeah, MOAR colombian releases for your pleasure. Lastly, click on the image above for listening to it on YouTube. Let's hope a physical release anytime soon. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

20 records to take a look at this 2020: Some of our (un)official partners' catalog updates.


Note: Did you already miss me?

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with another entry. As I promised you some weeks ago, here are MOAR records to take a look at this 2020 starting off with some of our (un)official partners' catalog updates. Some of these records are potential candidates for our best picks list of this year as well. Damn, I'm really surprised of the ever increasing number of releases in the last months, despite the fact that the world is upside down due to this fucked up pandemic. That's the power of hardcore punk ha ha. Also, I'm sorry if I didn't update the site during these days but I've been working on the upcoming entries that will be uploaded next week. I guess I should start getting paid for doing this, right? ha ha right? ok no :(...Finally, I'm doing some modifications to the special post of the month because things were getting outta control (not in the way I wanted to though) and I hope to release it during the last week of May. So, yeah, that's it for now. With all that written, let's begin.

1) Triple B Records (USA)

It's been months since I wanted to present to you this impressive Boston-based hardcore punk label, whose official bandcamp account description states "Too Hardcore For Smartphone Punks, Too Punk For Clap Mosh Losers. Boston, MA. Kiss My Ass" (ha ha ha nice!) as one of our (un)official partners. And, well, here it is. Finally. Ha ha ha. Of course, we've exceedingly wrote about them since some of their records have been featured in different best picks of the year, including our 2019 AOTY This World Is Too Much LP by Restraining Order (I still cannot get over it. It's so friggin' cool). So, let's see what we've got lately. 

Mindforce (USA) - Swingin' Swords, Choppin' Lords EP

    
This is the most recent EP from this impressive hardcore band from Poughkeepsie, NY (how do you even pronounce that? ha ha). They've been in the game since a few years ago and their Excalibur LP (Triple B Records, 2018) was featured in different sites as one of their best picks of that year. I totally forgot about them because, well, you know, shit happens. So, this EP draws influences from all-time NYC crossover thrash heroes such as Leeway and Crumbsuckers but executed with a modern touch. Indeed, there's an interesting mix of both fast and slow-paced moments with overwhelming and metallic breakdowns and 90s chugga-chugga-esque side of things. Pretty dope. Finally, I guess I'd redeem myself if I include them in our best picks of this year. Don't forget to click on the image above for listening to it. Mandatory achat. FOF: Power Trip, Primal Rite and Enforced (USA). Highly recommended. Enjoy!

One Step Closer (USA) - Promo 2020


You know, sometimes there are nuits blanches where insomnia cannot let you embrace Morpheus' arms and, well, I discovered this band. Browsing on different websites, I read the statement "This is your favorite straight edge hardcore band". And, just like the previous band, I forgot to include their From Me To You LP (Triple B Records, 2019) in our best picks list of last year. Shame on me. For sure. So, this is a promo (Duh!, well done, Captain Obvious...) for an upcoming album (not sure if either an LP or an EP) and their sound really reminded me those loved/hated '00s bostonian acts such as Verse and Have Heart with the spirit of emotionally-driven 90s straight edge hardcore bands like Oversight and Framework, for naming a few. This record also includes a live cover to Broken by Turning Point, which is one of my favorite tracks ever. I hope One Step Closer's next album contains a proper studio version of the aforementioned reprise. It's so damn good. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Saigan Terror (Japan) - Anatomy Of Saigan LP  

Saigan Terror is a japanese hardcore band that started their musical career back in 1998. They were really active at the time when their local hardcore/punk scene was getting more interested in different styles like crossover thrash and thrashcore, in contrast of their more crust and d-beat-oriented counterparts. Now, this is their first LP ever, originally released on CD format by Bowl Head Inc. (Japan) in 2019 and re-issued on LP format this year by our bostonian special guest. Their sound really reminded me of 80s crossover thrash and protogrindcore acts such as S.O.B., Systematic Death, Nightmare (Japan), Concrete Sox, Heresy (UK) with some 90s american crust flavor à la Disrupt. Pretty harsh and gritty noise. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Be All End All (USA) - Better You Than b/w Famous Last Words single 


This band released last year through Triple B their first full-length album entitled Object To Persona. Just like One Step Closer's LP, I forgot to also include that fantastic record in our best picks list of 2019. Damn. Anyways, this single includes two brand new tracks (This is probably a preview for an upcoming LP or EP) and the sound is a fantastic mix of youth crew, thrashcore and crossover thrash that really reminded me of like a some sort of mash-up between D.S.-13 (Sweden), Voorhees (UK), Cryptic Slaughter and Youth Of Today (USA). Indeed, there are blast beats, slower and overwhelming metallic breakdowns brief moments and "groovy" guitar chords and stuff, always retaining a fast-paced musical execution without losing the grip. Pretty cool. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. I cannot wait for more material coming from this band. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Big Takeover - Madhouse LP

     
This is also Big Takeover's first full-length album ever (I guess the Bad Brains' reference is kinda obvious, right?). They previously had released two demos in 2014 (Offside Records (France)) and 2017 (Thrash Zone Tapes (France)). So, since the first time you "spin" this record, you immediately can detect their notorious late-80s / early-90s NYHC influences. Indeed, they reminded me of Outburst, Breakdown, Life's Blood, Madball and Vision of Disorder. There are even some slight teasings with both crossover thrash and thrashcore. I'd consider this record as an upgraded version of both Madball's Ball Of Destruction EP and Breakdown's '87 demo. I know this is such a bold statement but you'll give me the reason after listening to it. Pretty awesome. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

2) Iron Lung Records (USA) 


This is another of our recently added (un)official partners. This record label is owned by Iron Lung, a two-man powerviolence/grindcore band from the US. They originally intended to release their own records but slowly became a more established record label and have released different hardcore and punk releases from bands around the world, including latin american countries such as Mexico and Brazil. Great. Let's see what they have released this year so far.

Internal Rot (Australia) - Grieving Birth LP


This is Internal Rot's most recent LP. I haven't listened to this band since too many years ago that I completely lost their track. In fact, I strongly believed they disbanded or something. So, what's this LP all about? Well, this is pure grindcore. Indeed, no fuzz, no experimentation, just nonsensical speed and stuff. What else could you ask for? You can think of all-time classics such as Carcass Grinder (Japan) and Warsore (Australia). They also share drummer with Agents of Abhorrence, a grindcore band from Melbourne, that was kinda popular in the early/mid '00s. Well, at least for grindcore connoiseurs. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Oh, and I almost forgot. This is a co-release with 625 Thrashcore (USA), the legendary record label. Yup, it's that legendary. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

Smut (USA) - First Kiss MLP 


This is the first full-length album from the Los Angeles-based freaks. They share members with other local hardcore punk bands such as Soma and Condition. We already have featured this band when we reviewed the Powerless 2 compilation (You can click here if you want to refresh your memory). Regarding the sound, Smut plays straightforward hardcore punk in the same vein as other modern d-beat- influenced american hardcore bands like Ajax or Impalers. There's some mid-tempo musical execution in some tracks as well as some distorted fascination to both The Germs and Poison Idea. According to the record label "this is nastier than an unchecked venereal disease in the summer swelter". Ok...I think we already got the whole point...Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

C.H.E.W. (USA) - In Due Time EP 


This is the most recent release from this Chicago-based hardcore punk band. Don't worry their name doesn't stand for anything.Just like the previous band, this also was featured on the Powerless 2 compilation. In 2018, they released Feeding Frenzy LP (Iron Lung Records) and, damn, I forgot about them. Sorry for that. Regarding their sound, C.H.E.W. plays short, fast and loud hardcore punk. And, that's it. This is just pure madness. Indeed, a friend of mine saw them in Paris, France last year and was so stoked for their live performance. Cool. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. FFO: Törso, Nosebleed and GEL. Highly recommended. Enjoy!    


GAG (USA) - High Off Guard Powder single 


"Remember GAG? They're back in single form", Milhouse, 2020. 

One of the most interesting modern american hardcore punk bands is back...in single form. This track is a promo for an upcoming record that will be released through Iron Lung Records sometime in 2020. When? They only know. It's been five years since the release of their last LP entitled America's Greatest Hits (Iron Lung Records). So, yeah, just wait for it sitting around at home in your dark room while holding in your left hand a depressed clown picture and on the other one, a rhum bottle. Your faithful gun also is waiting on the desk when the right time comes. Live, love...GAG... (Pun intended). FFO: GAG, GAG and, mostly, GAG. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy! 

3) Larry Records (USA) 


Larry Records is a relatively new record label from Queens, New York City, mainly focused on releasing screamo tapes (on very limited quantities) from around the globe. For this entry, we will only review three records featuring bands, or whose members are, from different latin american countries. You can click on the image above for getting redirected to the record label's official bandcamp account where you can listen to other great records such as Lytic/Amitié/Chivalà/Pique 4-way split (already featured here in the blog), among others. Let's see what we've got.    

Mis Sueños Son De Tu Adiós (Argentina) - páginas_muertas tape


Mis Sueños Son De Tu Adiós (On this record, mis_sueños_son_de_tu_adiós) is a one person band from Viedma, Argentina. The person behind this project is our friend Enzo, who also used to run El Basurero del Emo blog, which, for strange reasons, apparently is on indefinite hiatus. Regarding the sound, this musical project is highly inspired by Jeromes Dream (You know, when they were in their best years almost two decades ago) with the same exact musical instrumentation and execution but with a little bit more raw, lo-fi and minimalistic approach. Even the vocal pitch is nearly identical. There are some instrumental-only tracks with harsh noise and power electronics influences (Pure Merzbow style, baby) which gives more variety to the production. Nice. FFO: Jeromes Dream, Jeromes Dream, and, of course, Jeromes Dream. Oh, BTW. Did you get the Serial Experiments Lain's reference? Neither did I. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!     

44.caliberloveletter (Sweden) - A Hedgehog's Dilemma LP 



This is the debut from this Stockholm-based musical outfit. 2/3 of their members are indeed from Chile. This record originally was meant to be only available on digital format but Larry Records released a limited edition of 30 tapes, which flew faster than my broken dreams. Regarding the sound, 44.caliberloveletter has different screamo, post-hardcore, post-rock, metalcore and emoviolence influences. Their lyrics are both personal and political with references to gender issues, anti-fascism and even straight edge. Most of them are sung in english but there are two spanish and swedish exceptions. There's one particular song entitled xEMOVIOLENCE CREWx with some 90s chugga-chugga and beatdown hardcore influences. In fact, the band promoted this track on their official Facebook fanpage using Kickback's infamous "K" image rip-off but using the number 44 and Sweden's map instead. Nice. I think this is the first time I've ever listened to such thing labeled as emoviolent beatdown. Nice. I'd like to see them open up tha muthafuckin' pit with this particular song. Maybe someday...Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Amitié (USA) / Empatía (Colombia) / Marée Noire (Canada) 3-way split   


This 3-way split also was a co-release with Zegema Beach Records, Les Disques Rabat Joie (Canada), Half Story Collective, Illuminate My Heart Records and Jean Scene Screamers (USA). So, this record includes 2 brand new tracks by each band, except for Empatía that only contributes 1. However, both Scam Likely by Amitié and Extraño El Sonido De Los Árboles by Empatía were previously featured in the seventh sampler of Miss The Stars (Germany) roughly a month before the digital release of this record (Labor Day). Regarding the sound, all three bands have different screamo and emoviolence influences. Just like Dave Norman from Zegema Beach Records correctly states, this record is FFO: People's Temple Project, Crowning (USA) and Te Lloraría Un Puto Río (Mexico). Oh, BTW. I am the vocalist of Empatía so, it's kinda weird to review my own works LOL. There are only 70 physical copies available so, grab'em while you can. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!      

4) 11 P.M. Records (USA)

Cadenaxo (Mexico) - Lenguas Podridas maxi single 


As many of you already know, the basics of mexican food are fresh, simple and high flavored ingredients. This philosophy could also be transmitted to this impressive mexican hardcore punk outfit. Indeed, their music is short, fast and loud, drawing influences from different american and european hardcore styles, with straight-to-the-point and outspoken stances. And, that's it. This record has been in the making since more than 3 years ago and includes an alternate version of Fachos A La Verga track, originally released on Not Normal presents...Hardcore compilation (Not Normal Tapes (USA), 2015) (already featured here in the blog). So, if you dig all-time classic mexican hardcore punk outfits such as Herejía, Sedición, M.E.L.I. and more but with a modern touch, this cadeneo intenso is definitely for you. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Oh, and I almost forgot. Our friend Juan Sebastián Rosillo (who also works at Casa Rat Trap in Bogotá, Colombia) made the fantastic artwork. Neat. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Big Laugh (USA) - Manic Revision EP



Ok, I have no words for this record. It's so damn good. Indeed, you can detect the best elements of 80s american hardcore punk such as Negative FX, Urban Waste and Negative Approach, for naming a few, mixed with some early powerviolence acts such as Infest (USA) and Heresy (UK). The result? Well, listen to it and draw your own conclusions. This is just hardcore punk perfection in roughly 10 minutes long. Indeed, there are blast beats, "groovy" guitar riffs, mid-tempo overlaps, slower breakdowns, and more. Only a few bands could mix those aforementioned elements brilliantly and that's why Manic Revision EP definitely is one candidate for our best picks list of 2020. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Loss Prevention (USA) - Shoot To Kill EP 


When I read this album's title, I thought there would be some GISM's musical references onto it. Sadly, there's none of them. Ah, les chagrins d'amour...But, hey, guess what? Both their musical instrumentation and execution really reminded me of the unbeatable and unmatched charisma of the true Kings of Punk: Poison Idea mixed with the "I don't like you attitude" of Jesus And The Gospel Fuckers (Netherlands) and the modern touch of Amdi Petersen Armé (Denmark). Pretty solid. And, just like the record label states this is "SPEED, SPEED and SPEED". You wouldn't need something else in your life, right? Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

Freon - PYK EP



When I first listened to this record, I thought I was listening to an interesting modern interpretation of 80s american hardcore acts such as Poison Idea, Killer Instinct and the Crucifucks. Well, les chaton.ne.s! that's the impression that I get (No, please, no. That goddamn song. No pun intended. No!). So, yeah, this is all about: loud and frantic music. I really liked their musical style which also has some slight d-beat-influenced mid-tempo overlaps with cool guitar solos, slower breakdowns and stuff without losing the grip. Nice. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. FFO: Exótica, La Misma (USA) and Forra (UK)Highly recommended. Enjoy!

5) Youth Attack Records (USA)

Combat Force (USA) - Never Stray EP


Ok, so I gotta be honest with you, les chaton.ne.s! The oi! subgenre hasn't been my cup of tea at all (only the classics, maybe) for many, many reasons that I wouldn't want to expose here but I find really interesting when hardcore punk bands make something with it. This is the case of Combat Force from Denver, Colorado, that has recently released their long-awaited EP through Mr. McCoy's maison de disques. Their sound perfectly blends old-school hardcore punk (notably the 80s boston style) with oi! They reminded me of other bands like No Time (USA), Shipwrecked (Sweden), Crown Court, Gutter Knife and even Violent Reaction (UK). The music is pretty aggressive and hostile with outspoken and straight to the point lyrics. That's what hardcore is about, right? And, this knight-related imagery made me want to play some Age of Empires II online matches. Guess what? They weren't the same after listening to this. I won a couple of times. Neat. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

6) Quality Control HQ (UK)

Masterpiece Machine (Canada) - Rotting Fruit b/w Letting You In On A Secret single

  
Masterpiece Machine is like a some sort of "supergroup" featuring ex and current members of hardcore punk acts like Career Suicide, Fucked Up, Ruination (Canada) and Power Trip (USA). Regarding the sound, their style draws influences from post-hardcore, sludge, hard rock, industrial rock, psychedelic rock, noise and electronica music for creating something unique and of their own. I thought this was like a some sort of Nine Inch Nails meets Ministry in a Pink Floyd-themed after party. Or something like that. It has an outstanding creepy aura that you shouldn't miss out either. Pretty interesting. Oh, and I almost forgot. This is a co-release with Triple B Records (USA). Let's wait and see their first full-length album. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

FUSE (Singapore) This Segregation Will End EP


Remember when we made The Tiger And The Dragon special post last year? (If not, you can refresh your memory by clicking here) We featured their '17 demo and patiently waited for their long-awaited first album. Well, it's final-fuckin'-ly here. Just like their previous work, FUSE fuses (no pun intended) different american hardcore styles such as NYHC (youth crew style to some extent) and Boston's with some mid-tempo and slower breakdown overlaps. However, in some tracks, i.e. Vexed and Deadlock, there's even some slight teases with thrashcore. The band members themselves describe their style as "punked up hardcore, hard but not like those tough guy hardcore bands". Best description ever. The lyrical content has both personal and political stances and this EP also includes Poison and Deceit tracksextracted from the demo, re-recorded as bonus. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. FFO: The Rival Mob, Restraining Order, Firewalker and Warzone. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

Vile Spirit (UK) - Scorched Earth LP


We finally conclude this humble entry with  the also long-awiated debut full-length album from Vile Spirit. It is final-fuckin'-ly here. Yay! Some years ago, this band emerged from Brighton and released an impressive demo in 2017, whose sound was truly reminiscent of United Mutation, a cryptic american noisecore band in the 80s, and even was included in the best picks of that year. Now, their fascination to that musical group is enhanced with the Holy Terror and black metal elements they recently incorporated into their repertory.  This is just fantastic. Indeed, the music is savagely relentless with complex guitar chords, unpredictable fast and mid-tempo paced overlaps and changes, gruff vocals and an atmospheric dark aura to remark to. There's also included on the record the Leech tracks, which was featured on their Promo '19 tape, with some slight changes. I wish they would have added in their cover to In Contrast Of Sin by Integrity, also from that tape. Finally, click on the image above for listening to it. FFO: (The Infamous) Gehenna...Yeah, you know which one...Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Lost In Umeå Hardcore (90s and 00s period) special post final part: Abhinanda, Refused, Doughnuts and some compilations


Note: Vegan Smörgåstårta! You can get the recipe as well as other two by clicking here: http://www.umgasmagazine.com/3-savory-swedish-dishes-switched-vegan/ 

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with the fourth and final part of our Lost In Umeå Hardcore special post. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. So, for this entry, we'll feature the "big three" musical outfits at the time, at least in terms of popularity and international recognition. And, finally, we will also re-upload some old compilations that already were featured here in the blog when we wrote in spanish plus one extra that, literally, took me years getting it (Sounds ridiculous, but yeah. It's true ha ha). Lastly, next week I'll upload MOAR recent releases to look at this 2020, including some colombian ones, plus March's next special post. We´re on fire. Ha ha ha. With all that written, let's begin. 

Abhinanda 


Abhinanda, alongside Refused, was one of the first vegan straight edge bands in Umeå and were active from 1992 to 1998. During their lifespan, they released Ever Increasing Bliss demo (1992), Darkness Of Ignorance EP (1993), Senseless LP (1994), Neverending Well Of Bliss maxi-single (1995), self-titled LP (1996) and The Rumble LP (1999). All these records were released through Desperate Fight Records, founded and owned by José Saxlund, vocalist of Abhinanda. There's also one split with Unbroken (USA) (Trust No One Recordings (Sweden), 1998), which includes Abhinanda's cover to Rebels Rule by Stray Cats and Unbroken's cover to Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division (note that this raw and lo-fi alternate version never was included in their discography compilations), and one bootleg split with Refused, which includes their contributed tracks to the Northcore: The Polar scene compilation, as well as Refused's cover to Let's Go Crazy by Prince. Yup, no kidding. 

Despite the band's name, Abhinanda wasn't linked to the krsnacore movement and they have confirmed this in different interviews. However, their demo have International Society For Krishna Consciousness - ISKCON references as well as lyrics in hindi. Was probably this the first krsnacore record ever in Sweden? We'll never know...Regarding the sound, Abhinanda played metallic hardcore in the same vein as american contemporaries linked to New Age Records such as Outspoken, Mean Season and Unbroken for naming a few. Their lyrics also had this inner struggle of facing off materialism with spirituality element as well as some personal topics (for example, love songs for your beloved ones) or political issues such as anti-fascism and anticapitalism. Their last LP also meant a musical shift since they opted to add more classical and alternative rock elements into their repertory. You can look at the artwork and it will give you the impression that they're some sort of a "boy band". Well, a pop one. Great record, though.

Finally, they disbanded in 1999 and reunited again in 2004 for playing a special show in their hometown. 5 years later they did re-reunited playing at Kafé 44 in Stockholm, recorded one brand new song named Still Alive, which was included in Kizuna, their only discography CD, (Alliance Trax (Japan), 2009) and made a quick tour in Japan with only three dates. They also participated to Refused's secret reunion show in 2012 (Final Exit also played there). This was their last time ever as a band. Lastly, click on the image above for downloading all of Abhinanda's material except for the demo. It's really, really hard to find so, if you have it par hasard please let me know. I'd be really thankful. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Doughnuts


Doughnuts also was a straight edge band that existed between 1994 and 1996. Despite their short lifespan, they only released Equalize Nature EP (Desperate Fight Records, 1994), The Age Of Circle LP, promo split with Snapcase (USA) and Feel Me Bleed LP (Victory Records (USA), 1995 and 1996 respectively). And, of course, they contributed different tracks to the Straight Edge As Fuck comp series and Northcore: The Polar Scene compilation as well as various Victory samplers among others. 

This band quickly gained the attention of everyone at the time, not only because they were an all female band (something not very common in small scenes such as Umeå's) but also their music was hard as fuck with an interesting melodic and mesmerizing touch of their own. Indeed, you could imagine like the swedish cousin of Snapcase that you only get to know and visit once in a lifetime. They also reminded me of contemporary belgian musical outfits such as Serene and Shortsight. Of course, their popularity increased when they signed to Victory and made an US Tour. As you might imagine, this was one of the few swedish bands in the catalog of that love/hated record label, something that gave to Doughnuts a some sort of "exotic" aura. Damn, I hate marketing...Their lyrics had personal and abstract content with clever, complex and well-structured long stances. Pretty touching. Finally, just like some other of their local counterparts, Doughnuts' last LP had a more mature sound teasing with some progressive rock "grooves" and slow-paced breakdowns, but yeah, still hardcore as fuck. 

Lastly, click on the image above for downloading their entire discography excluding their promo split with Snapcase, because, well, it's a promo and the featured songs are included in the first LP. Highly recommended. Enjoy!  

Refused


When everyone mentions Umeå, it doesn't matter the context, most people immediately think of this renowned and highly popular hardcore act (and most notably their vocalist, Dennis Lyxzén). In fact, not everybody knows at all about the magic behind their local scene (or at least name one or two musical groups besides Refused ha ha). However, behind their musical career greatness, there's a "dark" episode that we will expose in the following paragraphs... 

Refused was born in 1991 from the ashes of local hardcore acts such as Step Forward and Garbage Pail Kids and until 1998, the year of their first separation, they released a bunch of demos, EPs, split and compilation tracks and 3 LPs: This Just Might Be...The Truth (Startrec Records (Sweden), 1993), Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent (Victory Records, 1996) and The Shape Of Punk To Come (A Chimerical Bombination In 12 Bursts) LP (Startrec Records / Burning Heart, 1998). The latter is regarded by many as one of the most influential and important hardcore punk records ever released. 

Just like many of their local hardcore counterparts, Refused played NYHC-inspired metallic hardcore with non-conformist and far-left politics lyrics, elements that quickly made so praised this musical outfit inside and outside of their hometown. The band got much heavier release after release, for example, in their second LP more thrash metal and crossover thrash elements were prominent. However, this hardcore formula dramatically changed with the release of The Shape Of... Indeedsome traits of experimental rock, post-hardcore, post-punk, jazz, noise, electronica, ambient, interludes with samplers of propaganda in between some tracks and more were added in for creating such an ambitious concept album. The name also is a reference to The Shape Of Jazz To Come by Ornette Coleman and the record is filled with other cryptic references to different music, cinema and litterature manifestations such as Igor Stravinsky's The Rite Of Spring, Born Against's Born Against Is Fucking Dead track, Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer and the Apocalypse Now film, among others. Also, the record includes a manifesto, which is formed with the 12 song titles and their respective lyrics, criticizing the point where both punk and hardcore became another "cool revolutionary" product of consumption in the mainstream. 

Despite this aesthetic and musical "transgression", the record was a commercial failure and many reviewers refused (no pun intended) to write about it because either they didn't catch the whole idea behind it or it wasn't even considered as a hardcore/punk production. Many years had to pass for gaining its current cult following status. Against all odds, the band did a USA tour for supporting the album but it also was a failure. Indeed, it had to be cancelled halfway because only 8 shows could be completed (all of them without the expected audience) and their last one in a basement of Harrisonburg, Virginia, was a total mess and shut down by the police. The friction between the band members was increasing day by day due to the musical and artistic differences. After this "emotionally devastating" and "awful experience", Refused returned home and disbanded for the first time ever. Their members went on to form musical projects such as The (International) Noise Conspiracy, TEXT, AC4, among others. 

Now, Refused re-gained their long lost luster after the stories behind their failed USA tour. Indeed, the sales of The Shape Of Punk... increased (even it was re-issued) and their fandom base eagerly waited for a reunion show and more brand new material. Despite the Internet rumours during almost 15 years, Refused reunited once again in 2012 for playing in a secret show in their hometown (with Abhinanda and Final Exit included) and at great music festivals such as Hellfest (France) and Groezrok (Belgium). Even they had a special appearance at Jimmy Fallon's TV show. Next year, they were awarded with a prize by the swedish Ministery of Trade but the band refused (no pun intended) it and did severe declarations against the government. In 2014, their long-time bass player, Jon Brännström, stated that he was fired from the band and didn't leave it like the other band members have stated the previous year. This sad statement led to different speculations on the Internet about an imminent comeback. 

Finally, in 2015, Refused came back and released Elektra LP through Epitaph Records, which tried to recover some of the old glories of The Shape Of Punk...but with a different touch, and have been active since then.They also released last year their more recent War Music LP (Spinefarm Records (Finland) with a more punk-oriented approach and, ironically, more appealing to the mainstream. Don't forget to click on the image above for downloading their first LPs (including The Shape Of Punk...), a collection of the early EPs and demos (released on 2xCD by Burning Heart and Startrac Records in 1997), their split with Randy, in which both bands cover songs to each other, and the New Noise Theology EP, the last remnant of their The Shape Of Punk...ethos spreading. Their recent material is pretty good but it isn't my cup of tea at all but if you want to listen to it, click here and visit their official bandcamp account and look for yourselves where you can listen to their more recent LPs. Ha ha ha sorry. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

Straight Edge As Fuck comp series



Featured bands: Drift Apart, Doughnuts, Beyond Hate, Abhinanda, Solitude, Refused and Final Exit (Vol. 1); Shield, Doughnuts, Situation 187, Abhinanda, Aim, Eclipse, Final Exit, Saidiwas, Refused, Reason For Anger, Separation and Purusam (Vol. 2); Saidiwas, Separation, Bittersweet, Bloodpath, Purusam, Doughnuts, Final Exit, Plastic Pride, Refused, Eclipse, Scared and Abhinanda (Vol. 3). 

This comp series was released by Desperate Fight Records in 1994 (Vol. 1), 1995 (Vol. 2) and 1997 (Vol. 3). The first two volumes also were compiled on CD in 1996 and distributed by Victory Records in the US. So,the featured tracks were previously unreleased and served as "promo" for upcoming releases. However, there are some exclusive tracks to these releases, for example, Drift Apart, Aim, Situation 187, Reason For Anger, Beyond Hate, Solitude, Scared, Plastic Pride, Bittersweet and Bloodpath's. This is because bands like these ones never recorded anything else besides a demo or single. Remember that even some bands such as Bloodpath and Drift Apart released official material almost 20 years after their dissolution. And, some others, well, remained on this record due to the fact that, for strange reasons, never were featured in further releases. Other interesting facts to remark to are, for example, Solitude later changed their name to Shield while Everlasting by Refused is slighty different than in other releases. This particular version also contains Mutilated Scumbag by Final Exit, 0:16 seconds long (!), as hidden track. Cool. Finally, click on the image for downloading all three records. The first two volumes CD bundle is included in the file as bonus. Highly recommended. Enjoy!   

Northcore: The Polar Scene compilation


Featured bands: Drift Apart, Refused, Breach, Fireside, Shredhead, Doughnuts, Plain, Better Change and Abhinanda. 

Warning: Do not confuse the term Northcore used in this compilation with the Bremen-based hardcore bands in the 90s such as Acme, Systral and Carol. We exceedingly wrote about those german monsters in our To Lie Is To Be Strong special post. Look for it using the blog's search bar (visible at the upper left part of the website) and re-read it. Totally worth it. 

We finally conclude this humble entry with a previously published compilation when we wrote in spanish. This compilation was released in 1994 through Burning Heart Records and, along with the first volume of the Straight Edge As Fuck comp series, was one of the first collections featuring hardcore bands from Umeå. There are also a few, Breach and Fireside, from Luleå, a nearby northern city which is closer to the swedish-finnish border. Just like some featured tracks in the Straight Edge As Fuck comp series, this compilation contains some exclusive tracks to this release, for example, Drift Apart and Better Change's. The latter was meant to be featured here in the special post but I couldn't find their demo. Pretty hard to get. Also, there are some tracks that are more into pop punk or indie rock territories besides the iconic 90s Umeå hardcore style so, yeah, a more varied record doesn't hurt anyone, right? Finally, click on the image for downloading this record. Pretty good stuff. Highly recommended. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!