These NYC noise mongers hit the west coast last month, and delivered a wall of metallic, effect drenched Japanese inspired chaos that dwarfed the sounds heard on their first demo. This tour tape is more along the lines of that live show - raw and ugly, with female vocals soaring and howling into total oblivion.
27 February 2011
This shit just rules - and rules hard. The same music, if played by dudes from Jersey, would likely be accompanied by preposterous posturing and asinine hair windmills...but for some reason every cliché gets a pass when the band is from Japan. CASBAH play ripping thrashcore, with riffing and shredding that would have made ANTHRAX proud - they started in '85 and continued into the mid '90s without ever getting the recognition they deserved. Most will agree that this 1987 demo is their pinnacle.
26 February 2011
Still on the noisy kick today, I offer twelve garage punk shockers slathered in effects and distortion, all but completely masking the infectious hooks and dance inducing songs contained on this short tape. These songs have a raw determination that owes as much to Jay Reatard on crack as it does to '90s riot grrl stylings. PORN PERSONS are from Quebec, and they won me over in no time flat...also, these songs are all about walls, both physical and metaphorical.
25 February 2011
Perhaps this comp tape might be better shared on a Noise Punk Monday, but these 42 songs presented by 17 early Dutch outfits are coming your way right now, so prepare your earholes. Raw assaults, many of them live, from bands that were almost all new to me (VACUÜM visited The Escape last year, and apparently shared a member with E.N.E., who offer the best jams on the tape). I can offer no background except that these bands range from primitive to painful in their delivery, but if you are up for the challenge, then MASSACUBADSET, T.B.R., the chaos of ZOEM, ANTI STATISCH, industrial madness of FAUX and the no-fi UK82 punk from ABCES might start to win you over. It's worth noting that a lot of these songs are about hating, fighting, and/or destroying cops.
"The Unfriendly Tape"
24 February 2011
It amazes me that this is the music that hordes of fashionable youths tout, but even through the sea of all things desirable, sometimes something of genuine merit floats to the top. To call this black metal band "primitive" would be giving them too much credit, and these sounds are often truly awkward to listen to...but that guitar sound will help overcome just about all musical shortcomings, and even make me not care if this is music made by forest trolls or one short haired 23 year old art student. The PORTISHEAD cover leads me to believe that the latter might be closer to reality, but even that bizarre track is delivered in such a shroud of sound that I find it transfixing. Enjoy...
23 February 2011
A great six song pre-cursor to 1984's Against All Odds EP. These songs are faster and rawer than the vinyl release, and if you can get past the generous helping of tape hiss, then you'll be treated to some excellent UK82 with animated female vocals belting out shrill political anthems.
22 February 2011
More Terminal Escape love for the Statico Ponx crew and label in LA. The Ponx just released a new RAYOX X cassette (you can snag it at Cola De Rata if you don't want to wait for me to post it here) and while I was listening to it, realized that I still hadn't posted their first release. Better late than never, here are eight essential driving punk tunes - few things I've heard lately have instantly struck me as this "authentic," for lack of a better word, and the songs get better the more I listen to them (and I've listened to them a lot). Punk as shit salvation for residents of a pobre nacion.
21 February 2011
RATFACE take their cues from UK raw punk masters instead of re-filtering Japanese sounds that are themselves variations and amalgamations of primitive UK punk. Confuse(d)? RATFACE aren't. Pure and powerful chaos dominated by blown out drums and the requisite vocal effects (which sound bizarrely like Alan Vega) - often the guitar is all but completely buried, but it doesn't diminish the impact. Yeah, that's the singer from ANNIHILATION TIME.
20 February 2011
I got a couple of tapes a few months back from Tony/KINIT HER, but I keep putting them off because the time never seems right. These are deep and inward sounds that flow into you, instead of just to you, and finally, today, they seem to fit my head space perfectly. The deluge of rain and cold has finally started to wear down my spirit, a spirit that is already pathetically weak compared to my friends and loved ones who have shut down the capital city of my former home state for the last week (RAINDRINKERS are from Madison as well, no real coincidence I suppose). I was accosted on the bus yesterday by a 50-something-year-old autistic man just over 5 feet tall - his name is Tommy, and I worked with him fifteen years ago at a restaurant downtown...he remembered me instantly, even though I was clean shaven the last time we saw one another (anyone who knows me knows that this means we must have last seen each other quite some time ago), he hugged me, told me he misses me, and said that he quit the job we shared because his co-workers after I quit "treated me bad" and that they were "ugly people" inside, while he pointed to his heart. After I left the 14 Mission (with Tommy waving enthusiastically and shouting good bye across a packed bus), I was waiting to board a 24 Divis when an elderly woman much shorter than Tommy said "take...me...?" and held out her arm. The bus driver was on his phone and hadn't bothered to lower the hydraulics on the bus, and this woman was trapped, unable to disembark, holding out her arm so someone could help her off the bus. I did, it took less than 10 seconds, the smile with which she thanked me would melt the heart of the fiercest man alive and then she shuffled off into the cold rain. I was soaked, I was cold, and both encounters were racing into my thoughts...not through my mind, but into it. An inexplicably powerful stint on public transportation...and this RAINDRINKERS cassette could have been the perfect soundtrack for the whole afternoon. Dark but pleasing sounds with strings and piano, this makes you feel like you ARE the movie.
This is for all of the people that are stronger than I am.
19 February 2011
Combatting the uncharacteristically cold and dreary weather in San Francisco with 15 quick minutes of sweet poppy punk. SURROGATE ACTIVITY are endearing, and the same way bands like THE GRUMPIES, GOMEZ and VANBUILDERASS charmed hoards of jaded punks in the '90s, they will worm their way into your brain and have you dancing around the kitchen like a fool. Plus, they are from Newfoundland, which is about as far from my house as you can get without leaving the continent, and I tried to play there in 1996 but we couldn't afford the ferry ride home and we didn't feel like getting jobs there in case the show was a bust (probably a wise choice, even though I still wonder what the show would have been like and if I will ever get the chance to play there again)....so we drove to Matty's grandmother's house in Maine and I crapped my pants. But that's a different story entirely.
18 February 2011
Lots of people who like modern heavy music worship at the altar of Scott "Wino" Weinrich. Wino's output has never thrilled me, and I think SAINT VITUS left their best work in the dust when original vocalist Scott Reagers departed in 1986, but his influence on the world of doom, stoner and heavy modern psychedlic rock cannot be understated or ignored. Bands like THE OBSESSED, THE HIDDEN HAND, SPIRIT CARAVAN and the current SHRINEBUILDER all seem to get people's panties moist, and I suppose I can see why, even though they all leave me rather uninspired...but this tape isn't about Wino's music: this tape is about the music that inspired Wino to make Wino's music. Wino made this tape for a dude named Edd (who I do not know) and then Edd copied it for my pal and fellow shitworker Andrew (who I do know). Andrew loaned it to me, since he knows that I like rock and roll, he knows I like cassettes, and he knows that the combination of the two, with the added stamp of cultural credibility that can only be given by a bona fide superhero, was too sweet to not share here on The Escape.
Side Old opens with early '70s UK rockers THREE MAN ARMY (opening track "Polecat Woman" is a total burner worth the whole tape on its own - even with the infrequent but unfortunate warbles towards the end of the song, and "Butter Queen" is an unfukkntouchable driving number); DUST ("Suicide" from Hard Attack is surely an oft shared jam, but it is also one of the best...a future RAMONE and that mind melting bass solo in the same song and I am helpless to resist); UK's QUARTZ had some scene crossover with late '70s era SABBATH, and with these two tracks as an introduction and considering the band released their first record the same year SABBATH released Technical Ecstacy, I'd say that QUARTZ deserved to move into the spotlight. Crank up Eastern Ohio's LEFT END, Florida's BANG (1971's crushing debut LP is well worth tracking down), and more unsung genius from more SABBATH proteges NECROMANDUS and the side starts to draw to a close. DAEMON are evil sounding, but they still boogie (an important quality in all '70s rock bands of note), while TRAPEZE take boogie-ing to lofty heights (this unsung band was a virtual training camp for UK hard rock band members, with personnel eventually joining the ranks of SABBATH, WHITESNAKE, DEEP PURPLE, JUDAS PRIEST and others) and CACTUS pound out the killer title track to their second LP. Escape alumni CAPTAIN BEYOND close out the first side of the tape with the same two tracks that close out the first side of their debut, and clean guitars have never sounded heavier.
Side New starts off with two Wino collaborations, the first with former DEATH SS guitarist Paul Chain (and again, the first track here is a spaced out crushing groove well worth the whole 60 minutes), and then with New Orleans sludge supergroup CLEAR LIGHT (the excessively psychedelic "Veiled" is my favorite tune on the side by far). ABDULLAH and MAMMOTH VOLUME close out the side and make me think about how much fun it must be to name new stoner rock projects.
Andrew for Terminal Escape and Terminal Escape for you...
17 February 2011
Bought it in Olympia, sounds like it could be from Olympia (which is a polite way of saying that it sounds kinda pretentious even though it's really good), and it was recorded in Vancouver. I'm gonna go ahead and say that COWARDS are from Canada, since I really like the tape and find myself generally fond of Canadians. COWARDS hit on so many cylinders on this demo...immediately, they remind me of JESUS LIZARD, but that comparison fades after the first song. The combination of distorted vocals and DK-esque high end guitar repeatedly stabbing leads into the rhythm section creates an aura reminiscent of feisty goth bands, but COWARDS sound to hip (and even a little too rock 'n roll) for that. "Human Smear" starts off with such a minimally infectious riff, and then they break it expertly into half time and make it even better - all this before the song even starts. "In The Mouths Of 13 Year Olds" follows, and the vibe is complete...COWARDS are THE VSS on Dilaudid plus UNSANE wearing suits and playing in a candlelit goth club. Now the only thing more pretentious than the music is my magniloquent description of the music.
16 February 2011
After an excruciatingly long intro and one track that leans more towards the crossover side of late '80s thrashcore, ELECTRO HIPPIES dish out heaps of killer fast hardcore on their second demo. A few added bells and whistles from the band came with this tape: One track from the split LP with GENERIC as presented on Radio One comes before the nine track demo, and versions of "Vivisection" and "Life" from the third demo come after it (the latter with a nice note requesting that these versions not be copied for anyone...I hope that it's OK by now to share these tunes). Essential UK political thrash - if you don't know already, then you need to start learning.
And just in case you need more, these dudes were nice enough to throw part of a January 1987 live set onto the flipside of this demo, so here are ELECTRO HIPPIES having a well cool time.
15 February 2011
I received a compliment Saturday night. After we played in Portland a friend told me that it was good to see a hardcore band - not mysterious and dark, not obscured by feedback and white noise pedals, not obsessing on bygone genres and watered down mantras...just a band going all out and playing hardcore punk. The compliment was appreciated, and I would like to extend the same to Chula Vista's SLEEPWALK. There are hints (subtle, and likely accidental) of '90s San Diego in the dual guitar attack (this is a good thing), but this tape is just hardcore and it rules.
Thanks to Travis, Jensen, Matt, Ken, Rick, The Morgue, Black Water and The Hub for making last weekend's jaunt a fukkn killer. I look forward to more Northwest jaunts in the future.
14 February 2011
It's Monday, and today you get two bands on one tape. LA's THE HELPLESS are making another appearance (cheers Jon for sending the tape!), and have honed their obvious Japanese influences to create a solo drenched chaotic juggernaut this time around. LEPROSY hail from Australia and look more towards DISORDER than CONFUSE. They deliver lo-fi distorted madness, just the way you like it.
13 February 2011
PARTY BY THE SLICE was just gaining momentum when I left Milwaukee, but they were already good. Now they are great. Midwest metallic hardcore with touches of melodic crust and brilliant bursts of fastcore. Serious lyrics (see the STATEMENT post from a few days back, this is important) mixed with the good times that come from overeating and being dealt a shitstick by god in the hair department. But even bloated stomachs, babies and bald heads can't stop PARTY BY THE SLICE.
Today is the last show of NO STATIK's little jaunt. Come see us in Sacramento at The Hub with THE HOWLING and QUILTING BEE. If you live in Germany, we will have to see you on another trip, it was just a little out of the way this time.
12 February 2011
For the third time in less than a week (and the second day in a row), I offer you no song titles and little background information on the band. C.O.S.A. were from Kagawa prefecture (Takamatsu-City) in the southern half of Japan, about halfway between Osaka and Hiroshima, but still a bit out of the way (in case you needed a vague and imprecise geography lesson). Musically, this is guitar drenched Japanese hardcore that will fit in nicely with the stuff that is commonly referred to as Burning Spirits (though that moniker should be applied to a group of friends who tour together and not to a style of music, but it's far too late to try to impose that distinction at this point). Metallic guitars shelling out gratuitous leads, everything is just slightly out of tune so that it makes your ears a little upset, and those brilliant gruff Japanese vocals that keep you listening long after you've forgotten that you didn't like heavy metal. And if you already liked heavy metal? Oh...then this is going to be an easy sell.
NO STATIK are in Portland tonight at Black Water. LORDS OF LIGHT, SALTED CITY and RAW NERVES are playing too. It will be awesome, but it will be more awesome if you are there too.
11 February 2011
A mix tape in two parts from Denmark....the sticker on the cover pretty well explains what you will find inside. Perhaps it might be a little silly to listen to radio DJs blabbering on in a language I cannot even begin to understand, but it's kinda funny to hear BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and SUBHUMANS on the same radio show with Danish KBD shots (though at the time I'm sure it was just punk rock) and UK82 burners. 30 minutes of killer early Danish punk on the flipside...apart from not listing the tracks, someone made a raging comp tape, one that is still worth blasting 29 years later.
MORE SELF PROMOTION:
NO STATIK will be at The Morgue in Seattle tonight with WHITE WARDS and BONE SICKNESS.
10 February 2011
There was something about yesterday's post that made me think of this tape, and how it's been sitting for months, patiently waiting to be shared here. And so here they are, Melbourne's UV RACE. Atonal and overtly awkward, marginally in tune and constantly on edge, even while they play hopelessly catchy post punk. Think THE FALL and VASELINES melded into mid tempo Aussie punk and you'll be in the ballpark. The cool kids already like this band, so you should get with it.
SHAMELESS PLUG DEPT:
NO STATIK is playing a few shows up north this weekend, come see us. Tonight we play in Olympia at The Phoenix House with HPP and WHITE WARDS. Also, we have a new 12" record on Prank, it has seven songs on it.
09 February 2011
So I was having a chat with my pal Golnar yesterday, and we were talking about the lyrical content dished out by most current bands (to be fair, our conversation took place via text message, while I was at work and she was in class...how very adult of us both). What has happened, we both wondered, to the days when it seemed every punk band was political and/or confrontational...or at least thought provoking? What happened to a time when we read lyric sheets and learned something about the world, or maybe we were just inspired to learn, but it made us think. Maybe those days are gone...maybe the internet makes punk politics redundant...maybe we are just older and more worldly now and if bands were to sing about the long term effects of colonial oppression in Africa we would both just chuckle and say "yeah, I read that in the Times six weeks ago, young punk...get with it!" But who is singing about that? Who is yelling about something other than their scene? Who is screaming about something more abstract than war - which I think the punks have long since established is a blemish on the reputational face of humankind? I was thinking about this conversation, which took place with thumbs instead of mouths, while I was trying to choose a tape to rip when I got home from work. I dug out a UK box that's been buried for a while since there's some tape in it I'm supposed to send to some dude and I came across this:
And I thought about punks and politics and how much the punks in the UK seemed to have the shit dialed in....a decade after punk started to rumble, it had truly evolved into a community of activists and radicals genuinely hoping to evoke change, both social and political. Fortunately for our modern ears, in many cases they also made excellent music. The irony in this post is that the lyric sheet heralded in the insert of this most excellent STATEMENT rehearsal tape, their first release, is nowhere to be found. No lyrics, no song titles, no subject matter, nothing but a notice that the cassette should be of the highest quality (it is) and that the package should include a lyrics sheet....oops. But the point is still valid - a healthy percentage of the records I buy today don't even have the promise of printed lyrics, much less actual lyric sheets, and many of the ones that do are full of words lacking ideas that required anything approaching originality or thought. I am as guilty as any...I just miss feeling like it mattered, even if those feelings were foolish.
These songs were recorded to four track, they are awesome, and they fall somewhere in between UK anarcho and mid tempo post punk...there's one part that bizarrely reminded me of EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING and inspired me to pull out a particularly excellent tape for tomorrow.
08 February 2011
I snagged this from the clutches of a free box somewhere, expecting to take it home and have a laugh. I mean, clearly this sucks, right? The cover is cheesy as shit and seems like an indicator of what is sure to be an ill conceived and poorly executed attempt at hardcore as viewed by a bunch of meatheads. Plus, it came out of a free box, so someone already decided it was shit. I press play (in your case, you will double click the first song, unless you are a rebel and decide yo start with "Bullshit Evolution") and that guitar...the tone is just fukkn sick - so I keep listening, with decidedly more enthusiastic ears. WEAK LINK are not your typical free box fodder, they are tough as nails and zero nonsense hardcore punk. The cheesy cover I mentioned earlier might also belong to a band who know exactly what they want to do...a band who channel NEGATIVE APPROACH with every power chord. Best free score in ages.
07 February 2011
The punks who check in on Mondays do so for tapes like this. Ottawa, Ontario has brought us SHIZOPHASIA, GERM ATTACK...and now HUMANS OFF PLANET EARTH. The level of distortion here is deafening, and their use of noise and feedback help keep this raging platter on edge from start to finish. Amazing.
06 February 2011
The Sexkrime Arts site describes this cassette perfectly: "Collection of acquired spoken word samples dealing with various forms of human disability and strength." This is a transfixing and extremely uncomfortable listen that may hit a little too close to home for some (there is one segment that is nearly impossible for me to listen to). It's amazing that humans can be so inspirational and yet so profoundly negative while still being a part of the same species.
05 February 2011
Way more raging than their three song demo from earlier in 1985, WARZONE rip through 11 total scorchers and one killer slow tune - relentless UK82 madness. My copy comes with no artwork, but I got the lyrics to this and the Frightened City banger scrawled out by hand, which I figure is an acceptable consolation. I love the way this tape sounds...everything is maxed out but still crystal clear, and the guitar tune is something bands should strive for. Extra accolades for leaving the studio banter on the demo, including the bits towards the end of the session when the band starts fighting...this rules.
04 February 2011
More BCT jams to fill up a Friday. This time the hardcore jams come from Americaland (except AKUTT INNGGELSE, some random Scandinavians tacked onto the end of the tape who totally slay) - PSYCHO (Boston), LOVE CANAL (Los Angeles), THE DRILLS (Seattle), EAT THE RICH (San Jose), Terminal Escape alumni THE UNEXPECTED (New Jersey), SUBURBAN DECAY (more Jersey), legendary scorchers from DETENTION, and DISORDERLY CONDUCT from Florida. Lots of raw and likely live recordings, perfectly suited for blasting at top fukkn volume because you are a punk rocker. The DETENTION songs blew my mind when I first heard them courtesy of ILLEGITIMATE SONS guitarist Dan, and they are just as powerful today. And yes, I know that the EAT THE RICH cover of "Electric Funeral" totally blows.
Worth noting: I'm assuming that the band WHITE PRIDE is indeed a white pride band, and yeah I think that's somewhere between stupid and offensive, but 25 years later it seems silly to edit them out of the tape, especially since their songs are super catchy. No sense in starting a dialogue about the musical merits of '80s nazi shitheads, since they can all get fukkd and probably spend their adult days pulling swing shifts at Best Buy to support their cross eyed aryan offspring. You gotta sell a shitload of Lil Wayne CDs and Call Of Duty games and kiss a lot of your bosses ass to support a one bedroom apartment full of blond haired rugrats, so my heart goes out to them.
03 February 2011
According to their mailing address, SWEET TOOTH hail from O'fallon, Illinois, which is somewhere about three skidmarks to the east of East St. Louis, which is nowhere I ever need to hang out. Unless these kids are there, because if your hardcore is this good and you are this pissed then I want to, at the very least, drink several beers with you. Perhaps I want to hang out on your porch for a week, but I definitely want to tap into the rage that creates this music. Remember the inward drive that made DIY punk/hardcore from the '90s so appealing? Well, just transfer that personal touch to more modern fastcore/thrash and you have made yourself a monster that goes by the name of fukkn SWEET TOOTH. 8 songs in just under 8 minutes...today, you win.
02 February 2011
We played with these kids at the tail end of 2010 and it totally ruled. Super heavy and unpretentious female fronted hardcore that owes a generous helping of thanks to the heaps of early '00s quasi-melodious crust bands that seemed to sprout out of every scene in Europe and Americaland, but aside from the simple fact that DEATH FIRST are making this music when it's not cool like it was a few years back, this tape is worth accolades because it rules. Crushing musically, heavy (and spot on) lyrically, and presented with a forceful urgency that commands you to listen. OPT OUT will be playing with them again in Brooklyn in March, stoked.