Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Shortlived - Demo CD-R 2007 (New Zealand)

These dudes hail from our nations capital city, Wellington and they kick out some fucking angry "Drop Dead" inspired fastcore. It's so good. On this Demo (a real nice 4-track recording) it's Just Dan and Sam dishing out the thrash. They now have a Guitarist (Sam just does the vocals now) and Bass player and are a force to be reckoned with live. Play fucking loud!

01 - I Don't Pray, I Think
02 - Questioning Motives
03 - Meatman
04 - Fundamentalist
05 - All Talk
06 - Safe And Secure
07 - The Way
08 - Pyrotechnic Parliament

Photo by xsfat.

Instigators - Full Circle ep 1987

I've always liked the majority of releases from this band, with their "Phoenix" LP being a classic UK Hardcore release. Even the older stuff before they recruited ex-Xpozez front man Andy on vocals was quality stuff. This ep's title track is very indicative of the Instigators at their prime. Enjoy.

01 - Full Circle
02 - The Sleeper

Double A Records.

Final - Grow Strong / Empty ep 2003

Final from Japan dishing out some "Trader In Death" era Broken Bones worship, which at the end of the day ain't a bad thing!!

01 - Grow Strong
02 - Empty

Crust War.

Coffee Rage - Demo CD-R 2007 (New Zealand)

This is the first recorded effort from Hamilton's Coffee fueled D-Beat disaster "Coffee Rage". The band consists of two Gawj, one Asscharger and one My Brother Got Mulched. It's nothing flash but it's fun music to drink Coffee too. We recorded and mixed this ourselves in our practice room so it sounds rough but it's still listenable.

01 - Needles In Eyes
02 - Coffee Corpse
03 - Get Your Dose Of Fuck Off
04 - Live Like Devil
05 - Lies From The Chickpea Pot (Asscharger)
06 - Coffee Rage
07 - Another Song Not Sounding Like Discharge
08 - Drug Of Choice

"The conflict to find words that rhyme with war...
Another song not sounding like Discharge.
Rattle of something about burning babies...
Another song not sounding like Discharge"

Monday, 22 October 2007

Blanks 77 - I Wanna Be A Punk ep 1997

Something a little different this time, Blanks 77 have been around for an age, great snotty Pogo Punk. Even includes a Partisans Cover for good measure.

01 - I Wanna Be A Punk
02 - I Never Needed You

Radical Records.

Ambulance - Ambulance ep 2002

This wasn't really released by Busted Heads, I don't know who put it out, but Busted Heads is handling all of the record's distribution, so... Anyway, this band hails from Umeå, Sweden and features in its ranks ex-members of the mighty Eclipse, and the majority of the members, including the vocalist, are women - unloading some vicious metallic hardcore with a dark melodic edge akin to early His Hero is Gone or the like, but there's more speed involved, definitely bringing in some of their country's more known influences. The vocals are fucking great midrange screams with a fairly brutal edge that wavers to slightly higher and lower ranges on occasion, and there's a generally consistent level of tasteful melody to the writing. "Control" even starts out with some blasting speeds that bring to mind death or black metal... I shit you not. But there are also some crushing slow breakdowns with insanely powerful melodic lead lines, making this by far the most diverse and interesting piece on the EP. The recording is on the raw side, but it works out fine. There's a lot of density, which is essential for this style of hardcore/punk, but there's a major sheen of treble hovering over everything, which may be in part due to the vinyl, but I'm not sure. It's distracting, I must say, but it's still clear that the songs are forceful. The drums get obfuscated the most, but the bass, guitars, and vocals hold their own despite the noisiness of the mix. The 7" is pressed on clear vinyl and comes in a black and white sleeve with minimal artwork and band photos outside, and the lyrics inside. It's somewhat plain looking, but it gets the job done. The lyrics are fairly simple and personal, at times subtly hinting at potentially political undertones, but nothing major. "I sell my life, I sell my pride, My soul is gone, Sold to hate, No longer for me to control..." Good work. "Control" is a masterpiece, if they continue in that vein, look the fuck out. (7/10)

01 - Words
02 - Beyond Reach
03 - Control

Regulations - Destroy ep 2003

Five quick tracks of punk fucking rock from this Swedish act featuring ex-members (and some current members) of E.T.A., Dead Ones, and the Vectors playing in what has been tagged as a late-70's west coast style of US punk. I could agree with that I suppose. The songs are definitely based around rockin' punk with an attitude, played with minimal distortion and basic structures with snotty sort of sneered vocals and a few noisy blues-based lead riffs. It's all straightforward and pretty verse/chorus/repeat in structure, especially tracks like "We're Blank". But that's fine, the songs are still memorable and the record's not a forgettable slab of one-sided material in my opinion. "Policecar" begins after an instrumental segue and has a little bit more of a stutter to its rhythm and subtly dissonant chords, which is one of the most unique aspects of this EP. I really like the recording. The tones are natural, the guitar distortion is really minimal without being weak, the bass tone is really in your face and drives the rhythm section, there's just a little bit of dirtiness over everything, etc. I wouldn't change anything. The record comes in a bright yellow and red sleeve with blood spattered designs on it and a black and white insert with one band photo and additional artwork. Even the band photo looks incredibly dated, so these guys aren't messing around here, they know what style they're out to do, and they're nailing it. Check it out if this is your thing. I dig it. (7/10)

01 - Destroy
02 - My Future
03 - Were Blank
04 - Policecar
05 - Untitled

Busted Heads.

Discharge - Decontrol ep 1980

Third ep from Discharge and another classic slab of wax. The title track is the stand out from this record.

01 - Decontrol
02 - It's No T.V. Sketch
03 - Tomorrow Belongs To Us

Clay Records.

Discharge - Fight Back ep 1980

This is probably the best d-beat seven inch ever or at least one of the top three. It is so much faster than the first record, and every song on here except "Religion Instigates" has a claim to being the best DISCHARGE song. With briefer lyrics, increased intensity, and the most classic of riffs, this is where their sound becomes solidified as distinctly theirs. "Fight Back" and "War's No Fairytale" are compelling rants against war and the system, and then "Always Restrictions" anti-Thatcher verses explode into the so-stupid-it's-brilliant chorus "SMASH TO FUCK THE FUCKING SYSTEM!" Just when you think it can't get any better, "You Take Part in Creating The System" and its accusations of collaboration and apathy seal the record as a feat of genius never to be repeated. "Religion Instigates" can't quite live up to the pace of the previous four songs, and I've never quite grasped what the line "Religion's just as crass" means- as crass as *what?* Oh well. A good song that I will never tire of hearing, that fits in as a nice bookend to one of the great achievements of hardcore.

01 - Fight Back
02 - Wars No Fairytale
03 - Always Restrictions
04 - You Take Part In Creating This System
05 - Religion Instigates

Clay Records.

Discharge - Realities Of War ep 1980

The classic first burst of raw punk by DISCHARGE has not stood the test of time as well as some of their other material, but retains enough energy and aggression to deserve association with their better, later work. For one thing, the songs are uniformly slow, and the vocals are occasionally double-tracked, which takes the intensity down a notch. The song structures are not quite the rigid, career-making haiku of "Why?", and the lyrics are almost epic by comparison. I have heard live versions of these songs played much faster and better (on the First London Show bootleg and Nightmare Continues - where "Realities of War" is played so fast as to be almost unrecognizable). All that said, the makings of a legend are here: the immortal cover art, the war/system lyrics, the 7th-grade level understandings of anarchist doctrine, and the debut of the d-beat (which benefits from a loud drum mix). Anyways, this is a classic by any standards and definitely an essential, although *not* the definitive, DISCHARGE record.

01 - Realities Of War
02 - They Declare It
03 - But After The Gig
04 - Society's Victim

Clay Records.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Acrostix - (A Chain Of) Hatred MLP 2006

Mini LP released on Whisper In Darkness Records in the states last year but yet again a hard release to find. Go figure. Acrostix seem to get labeled an Amebix clone band but these guys are more a nod to some of the tradition Japanese bands like Systematic Death, Poison or even Gastunk. Sure there is a definite U.K. influence here but not as prominent as say a band like Zoe. This is a quality release and I'm sure you will like it.

01 - Rise From The Ashes
02 - S.M.O.G.
03 - The Day Comes
04 - Hazy World
05 - Last Hope
06 - (A Chain Of) Hatred

Whisper In Darkness.

Lip Cream - 9 Shocks Terror LP 1987

This is the second LP from Japan's mighty Lip Cream, released in 1987. I think this is their stand out release and is a very solid record. Awesome Guitar work, fast angry Japanese Punk that only bands in 80's Japan managed to pull off so well. Selfish Records was the best Punk Label in the world.

01 - Terror
02 - Breakin
03 - Cold Lover
04 - Kick Out The Jam
05 - Amateur Baby
06 - Enough Time
07 - 9th Nightmare
08 - Shock Treatment
09 - R.I.P. Off

Selfish Records.

Extreme Noise Terror - Hatred And The Filth ep 2004

The mighty E.N.T put out this ep on the Swedish label Distortion Records, more crushing dual vocal onslaught that thes guys are pioneers of (including a very nice Rattus cover). My only gripe about this record and every other release on Distortion is that it's so hard to find them outside of Europe and their mailorder is basically non-existent. Apart from that this is a solid release and way better than all the Cradle Of Filth fueled shite from a few years back....

01 - Sotahullat (Rattus)
02 - VIII (Genocide SS)
03 - Living Hell
04 - Mass Control
05 - Foul Nazi Phone Call

Distortion Records

Gai - Extermination ep 1984 (Bootleg Version)

We all know Gai and the history surrounding this amazing ep. This version is the Hard Vinyl Boot of the Original Flexi which you'd pay insane collector scum prices on eBay for, only to get bid sniped at the last second, man that shit pisses me off. Anyway sit back and groove along and if your foot ain't tapping during "Blood Spit Night" then you must be dead....

01 - Extermination
02 - Liar
03 - Pathetic Day
04 - Hate In The Memories
05 - Children Thear Don't Know The War
06 - Blood Spit Night

Outo - Shoujiki Mono Wa Bakawo Miru LP 1987

What more can you say about this LP from legendary Jap Punkers Outo? It's a fucking classic in fact it's essential listening for anyone with a slight interest in Japanese Punk. Bone crunching Guitars, fast rhythm's and Buthchers amazing vocals!! Get this fucker right now. Plus all the Gang Vocals are so killer.

01 - Japanese Title
02 - Free Man
03 - Mt.Osabishi Broken Fuckers (Moomin And Non Non)
04 - I Can Say
05 - Risky Risky
06 - Not Worth Dawn
07 - Lost Of Words
08 - My Revenge
09 - In My Head
10 - Brutish Bulldog
11 - Cops
12 - Last Countdown

Selfish Records

Systematic Death - Final Insider / Lucky Time LP 1987

Systematic Death were amongst the early pioneers of fast punk from Japan with the likes of Death Side, Lip Cream, Gudon and a fair bunch of others. They were one of the best, fast classic Japanese hardcore bands of all time.

01 - Under Age
02 - Chance
03 - Liar
04 - Kankisen
05 - Don't Stop My Way
06 - Rental
07 - New York
08 - Inside
09 - Color
10 - Let's Go Back

Selfish Records