Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Favorite Punk Records

Hello.  Back again with yearly installment of my favorite punk releases for the year 2017.  A lot has happened in the passing year:  We have a new “president”,  millions have marched in protest, England begins it’s exit from the European Union, a US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, a total solar eclipse, a couple of tragic hurricanes, one of the most deadly domestic mass shootings, US withdrawal from UNSECO,  the deaths of numerous celebrities and activists alike, all throughout this tremulous year.  With all the terrible things in the world I give condolence.  In the end, I fell I have but no choice but to move forward.   On a personal level, there were a few things that I am forever grateful for:  I have been fortunate enough to travel internationally, I have had the benefit of making a lot of new friends and acquaintances throughout the last twelve months, some of them I would consider close.  I have had opportunities to grown mentally as well as physically.  I feel that through the tough times, you build the character to enjoy the good times.

Moving forward with the blog, throughout the year I have contributed to my ever growing punk rock record collection.  I am quite sad to say that most of the records I have purchased throughout the year have been reissues from classic bands of yesteryear.  However, there will always be new and fresh punk releases that will have piques my interests.  I would like to share with you the new releases that I’ve purchased that I feel are among the best.  Here are those releases:  

Glue - self titled 12” - La Vida Es Un Mus Discos 

Austin TX hardcore unit Glue are back with this 12” of 9 tracks that keep a tried and true 80’s hardcore feel through and through as far as song structure and attitude.  The lyrics are angry and bubbling towards and inward perspective.  Not much else to say here, but a solid old style USHC release with some flairs of modern HC like the reverb vocals and noise intros.  These guys have been at it for a good while now, and I’d really like to see live to see how they do it.   Not too into the album art. 

Lebenden Toten - Static 12” - Iron Lung Records

These Portland pogo noise rockers are back with a 12” ep that has a mid-paced noisy track that has plenty of room for experimentation.  However, the flipside brings Lebenden Toten up to speed into a style than I am more familiar with and enjoy more than on the A side.  Overall,  it’s a good release with kind of a “fuck you” feel with it’s experimentation.  This is something that I feel is needed in a time where underground punk sounds can feel a bit stagnant.  Lyrics are of the abstract nature, with the well known vocal delivery.  Lebenden Toten have also released a full length LP this year, but I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet.  As a long time fan of the band, I will acquire the record in the near future.  

Pollen - Fear Of Another War 7" - Brain Solvent Propaganda

While familiar with the label, I was really in the dark with this band, until a friend turned me unto Pollen.  This Philadelphia band released their seconds 7” this yeah and end the end I must ask you this;  Do you like noise punk in the Scandi/Japanese tradition?  Well this is the record for you.  What really does it for me on this release isn’t the non-stop barrage of speed of fuzz, but it’s the timing in which the over the top noise punches in are delivered throughout their songs.   I need in get my ass in gear and check out their previous material.  Songs about anti-war?  Yes please.  My favorite punk release of the year.  

       Moving forward into 2018, I can only hope that the national, geopolitical, natural landscape, and personal affairs will improve for the better.  With focus and determination anything is possible.  This year personally I am grateful for everything positive in my personal life within in these past twelve months.  Life always has the good with the bad.  I'm excited to see what releases will pop up in the year to come.  Peace!


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Favorite Short Players, Tapes, plus supplemental

Cadaver Dog - Blunt Force Trauma - Youth Attack Records

This limited flexi ep is pretty much over by the time you can reach your seat after dropping the needle.  Cadaver Dog is the one man project of J. Trejo from Denver, and what better way do do any kind of musical expression yet alone single handedly but to write some nice nihilistic fast hardcore with one of the best vocal stylings put to wax.  

Warthog - S/T 7" ep - Beach Impediment Records

Hailing out of NYC, Warthog are back with their 3rd ep in as many years, with this short, yet satisfying 4 song 7" ep that clocks just over 9 minutes.  Great 80's influenced USHC that has a really nice sounding production (something that a lot of bands these days playing this style don't usually opt for).  There are a few 70's heavy metal styled guitar duals thrown in at some points adding a fresh element. Also, the lyrics of Tightrope really caught my attention.  Check it out.

Nurse -  S/T cassette - Negative Culture Tapes

I stubbled across this ATL based harcore back on the back end of the year and was impressed with what I heard.  Nurse play a fast and quite melodic style of hardcore that has been en vogue for the last few years, but Nurse play it well on this 4 song cassette tape.  Wax version via Scavenger Of Death Records.  Check it out if you are into this style.

Being that is Christmas day, low and behold, Santa did leave a few tasty slabs of wax under the tree this year.  The one that stands out the most is the new 12" from Blood Pressure titled Need To Control.  Oh fuck yes, a great blend of great riffs, speed, and power.  A lot of the tempos are along the lines of the modern Scandi d-beat sounds, something that I can dig, being that shis style has waned a bit in popularity in the last few years, but it's pretty awesome to hear bands are still ripping it up in this style.  Buy this record.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Favorite Punk LP Releases of 2016

Another year has past, and just like every other music blogger out there, it's time to  rave about my favorite punk releases of 2016.  I must say... this year went by so fast, with a few life changes and being busy with numerous hobbies.  However, I was able to still snag a few great punk releases throughout the year, and it's an honor to share with you the records that I felt were at the top of the pile.  Here are my favorite punk long player releases of 2016.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.  Cheers!


Absolute Power - S/T - Youth Attack Records

Consisting of 90's hardcore veterans, Absolute Power come though and released quite possibly my most listened to long player release of the year.  Keeping things tried and true playing 80's inspired east coast hardcore, Absolute Power have something to offer for even the most jaded old school hardcore fan.  With 16 tracks total with the longest being just under two minutes keeps everything moving quickly with speeds above normal hardore standards and some tasty breakdowns for measure.  Great nihilistic lyrics round abound, this is a record I'd show anyone who thinks hardcore is dead.

Cinderblock - S/T - Brain Solvent Propaganda

Here we have Oi! played in style that is more Oxymoron than 80's UK.  These Boston bootboys churn out 13 anthemic punk rock tunes with a lot of variety.  I might get some shit for this one, but one of the songs really reminds me of a Pixies tune.  Overall, a good release.

Crown Court - Capital Offence -  Katorga Works

Crown Court are a new UK OI! band that features members of the UKHC hardcore act Violent Reaction.  Crown Court play a very tried and true 80's influenced UK OI! sound, but the band flips the script a bit having members who are straight edge, and having their record manufactured in the USA... it even says so on the LP, something that I find a bit head scratching for the style.  But hey, they play everything pretty good, so it's on the list!

The Repos - Poser - Youth Attack Records

The Repos are back doing what these Chicago area maniacs are are known for; playing ripping 80's influenced hardcore.  To me some of the lyrics (as well as the album artwork) come off as tongue in cheek and I can appreciate them.  However, there are plenty of straight up nihilistic lyric about to please the most fickle hardcore fans.

Sick/Tired//Sea Of Shit - split 12" - Deep Six Records

Having seen both bands live and purchasing previous releases, I feel that these Chicago grind/PV styled bands really upped the ante and released a super solid split 12".  This is for fans of pure grind and powerviolence.  Not for the meek.  I guess this was released last year, but I didn't get it till 2016.

Honorable Mention:

Last Crusade - S/T - Longshot Music

Here is another record that I got this year but was apparently released in 2015.  Anywho, Last Crusade hail from northern England and play tried and true Oi! complete with the semi jangly guitar and strong working class lyrics.  Recommended.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Returning from Chicago Zine Fest 2016

I'm the bald guy.  Photo courtesy of Maxwell J. Singletary
Last week I returned from Chicago Zine Fest and had a good time despite the rain and no cool punk shows happening.  I did however did move quite a few zines throughout the day.  It was good to attend the event after taking a year off.  I was fortunate enough to have two really friendly and interesting neighbors.  For the first time, I actually walked around to see the other zinesters and made some purchases.  I do plan on attending the fest again next year.  Cheers!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Still alive! Omaha Zine Fest recap + Chicago Zine Fest 2016 update.

Hello everyone.  How are you?  Crucial Changes continues to live regardless if blogging is cool or not.  Here we are alive and breathing.  Since last update, Omaha Zine Fest has happened, and in my opinion, the event was a huge success.  There were a lot of folk with tables that featured really a nice showing of zines, art, photography, and music.  It was a pleasure to meet all of the friends both new and old.  The Crucial Changes table was a success, moving the entire inventory that was brought.  THANK YOU(!) so much for your interest and support.  Putting on an event like so isn't easy, so mad respect to the folks who set up the event, you know who you are.  RESPECT!

Moving forward, the CCHQ has reprinted Crucial Changes #11 as well as the Kiwi's Kitchen vegan cookbook for the upcoming Chicago Zine Fest.  The current CCPP zine is expected to be ready by the  April 30th fest deadline.  More updates on the current project as they happen.  Cheers!