Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Omaha Nebraska's very own hardcore heartthrobs Hercules have a band new lp currently up from pre-order from my friends at Nihilism Records. From what I heard of the new songs from a show played recently, I'm expecting a solid hardcore release. Fast hardcore with lots of stoner elements. Support the scene, buy it. Hercules will be touring in support of the record Feb and March, click HERE for the dates.
I'm sure most of you know... before there was Tragedy, there was His Hero Is Gone. His Hero Is Gone played a super down tuned, dark, and heavy style of crust/hardcore with lots of blasting elements and lyrics of social commentary. The band that would eventually become heavily influential, releasing a high output of recordings in the relative short time they were together. Most of the bands material is still in print can can be bought from the Prank Records website. As far as I know, this is the only official demo recording that His Hero Is Gone made. The band had a different guitarist/vocalist during this time period, and was replaced by Yannick from Union Of Uranus soon after the demo's release. Even at the beginning of the bands existence, they had a good idea on how to play the style the band is well known for. An excellent demo with songs that were never re-recorded for any other releases. Some of the most punishing music ever written for any genre. Recommended for the completeist collector and first time listeners alike.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It's always really exciting for me to see hardcore bands releasing demo tapes and cassette tape releases. Here is a brief list and review of some of my favorite hardcore cassette tape releases of 2008. Nearly all these tapes aren't available anymore, so I added links to the bands material for you to check out. If you like what you hear... buy their records.
Mentally Challenged - Regressor pt.1
This tape rules! Mentally Challenged play hardcore that reminds me of early 90's NYHC bands like Citizens Arrest, and Life's Blood topped off with some noisy guitar attack. The drummer in this band is exceptional, and the drum tracking sounds really full. The singer has a unique voice as well that really adds to the overall sound. Good mosh worthy music. The band is currently recording new songs, so keep your eyes and ears open.
Men's Interest - Demo
Painkiller likes to release demo tapes on the side, so I decided I'd check this band out. Men's Interest play a powerful blend of mid-paced and blasting hardcore. This is pretty much how demos should sound in my opinion, rough around the edges and raw. Not too over the top, but still enjoyable for the style.
Sound clip HERE
Coke Bust - Cycle Of Violence
08' Summer Tour Tape
Some of you who read this blog may already know of this band. This tape was a leftover from the summer tour, so I snagged one. Coke Bust are a straight edge band from DC, but play more WHN?/Scolastic Deth style blazing fast core, and they emphasise on the fast. The songs are all go, rarely pausing for breaks. Some of the lyric content is pretty in-your-face straight edge style, and I think it's cool considering that most of the bands who have lyrics like this tend to be 3rd rate bad Earth Crisis metal. Really cool band, cool tape. Limited to 200. Look for a new lp soon on Six Weeks Records available next month.
Never Healed - Live tape
Never Healed are a Bay Area hardcore band featuring ex-members of Yaphet Kotto and Knife Fight. The style is true to the mid-paced rock sound. One thing that stand out upon first listen is vocalist Casey's almost black metal styled vocals. They sound like he drinks Drano. For a live tape it sounds alright, and I was actually surprised that I was able to score this tape considering how popular the 12" was a year or two back. The packaging is quite unconventional... a Ziploc baggie. A cool collectible release very limited to only 53 tapes.
In more Never Healed news, Parts Unknown Records have released the 12" ep on cd format that also includes the two songs on the expectational split 7" that came out two years ago with Violent Minds. The cd also includes two new songs that will be featured on the next official release, as well as a killer cover of Integrity's No One. The new songs are faster as well. I'm really excited to get more of the new material.
Broken Patterns - Demo tape
Band features an ex-Knife Fight and Life's Halt member changing up styles big time, playing a 77' style, punk vein. They play the style pretty well. The band has newer material recorded and will soon be released as a 7" on Six Feet Under Records. From what I've heard from a band member is that the new material destroys the old stuff. I will definitely be on the lookout for it.
Pollution - Nasty DNA
self released full length tape
This is one of my favorite hardcore releases of 2008, any format: vinyl, cd or tape. These NYC dudes play a noisy brand of hardcore that remind me of old AmRep bands of the early 90's. The style/production is raw and harsh. Lots of really cool guitar work and shouted vocals with some reverb in it brings a different approach to the music. This is a total DIY full length tape release, something that is pretty rare these days. I bought this tape on a whim, and was a total surprise. I'd like to see these guys live. Limited to 100.
This rounds out my 08' tape reviews and recap of favorite hardcore releases for 2008. I wish I had time to do mini reviews of every good new release I bought this year. I hope these reviews show you that there is a thriving underground hardcore scene with lots of great new bands, releasing lots of great hardcore. In the future, I possibly might review hardcore releases as they come out throughout the year if I have the time. I might also throw in a couple of surprises. Thats it for a year passed, I'm really excited to find out what bands will have new releases in 2009. As always, comments are much appreciated.
Tomorrow I plan on uploading a some classic hardcore material for you readers to check out. Hopefully soon, another local spotlight interview, as well as more show photos.
Are you in a local Nebraska hardcore band that wants your materail reviewed on my blog? If so, you can contact me at my email: Keithcore@gmail.com
Until then, keep reading, and stay hardcore.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Just as promised, here is a small list of my favorite lp's that came out in 2008. I planned on getting this posted up last week, but my old computer died a painful death. I did lose a lot of my albums that I intended to upload, so be patient for me to re-upload classic hardcore from my collection. I think overall the 2008 had some pretty good releases, and a few great ones. This is just a brief list of the many album I did buy on 08', so if there is a band you'd like to see on this list, leave a comment and tell me all about it. If one of my reviews sparks an interest, there are links to sites where you can buy the album. Soon, I'll be reviewing the tapes I bought in 08' so be sure to check back for that as well as possibly a few surprises. Now the noise!
Blank Stare - s/t
Third Party Records
Blank Stare play fast hardcore that is played at borderline thrash speeds. Normally bands playing this fast can get pretty muddy in the mix, but Blank Stare keep it all held together pretty well. First song on the album is called Fuck Your Life, so you can guess what the lyrical content is like on this release. Good shit. I guess these guys play bigger fests in the summer, so definitely check them out if you get a chance. From what I've read in live reviews sounds really promising. Overall a good well-rounded, fast hardcore lp that doesn't go too far off into the deep end trying to be experimental or over the top.
Press Gang - s/t
Press Gang are a punk band from Germany that play a really awesome KBD styled brand of punk/hardcore. Lots of clean guitars here with rock speeds and semi-sung gravely vocals and up beat energy. Everything is played really well and the mix is great allowing you to hear the good bass lines. I love this shit! They have an older 7" that is in my opinion just as good if not better than this lp. Also by the time you are reading this, the bands new 7" "Sexsatan" should be available to order. Lyrics are in English. Check this band out if you want to check out something a little different.
Recomended, so buy it HERE!
Mind Eraser - Conscious Unconscious
Clean Plate Records
Mind Eraser continue their high quality output with two releases in 08'. One being the newer 7" on Youngblood Records that pretty much continues the blasting styles they have been playing on the previous long players, and this... Conscious Unconscious. This lp is much slower than previous efforts. Only a few blasting parts smattered here and there, with LOTS of sloooooow/doom? styles. I guess I like it more than the 7" because the band is going into a different realm with this one. Only two song, one and each side. After only listening to side one I am completely exhausted (not a bad thing). Mind Eraser capture a crushing sound without having to go into metal territory. Vocalist Justin doesn't sound very happy at all on this and has the right voice/vocal style for this type of music. I have seen these guys live once, and they are the real deal. By the time you read this, Mind Eraser will have an interview printed in the current issue of MRR. Just buy it already.
Get it HERE
Sex/Vid - Communal Living
Dom America Records
This is Sex/Vid's first long player after a string of highly received 7"'s. Sex/Vid play what I would call a modern style of what Void was doing back in the early 80's. Lots of twisted guitars over fast hardcore with some breaks, and well as mid paced songs thrown in. I really like this bands vocal delivery. Production is what I would call on the lower end of the spectrum, but fits this bands style well. Lyrics are pretty sparse and are along the lines of religion themes. Pretty good release overall. Band also released a 7" in 08' called Nests that has a little more variation with a stoner jam on side B. I wish the lp wasn't so short, but knowing this bands output, I'm sure another release is just around the corner for 09'.
Buy this record!
Cloak/Dagger - We Are...
Grave Mistake Records
Technically speaking this album came out in 07', but didn't come out in vinyl format until later in 08'. Even though Cloak/Dagger feature members of popular hardcore bands from the early 00's, you wouldn't know it by listening to them. Cloak/Dagger play a rock/hardcore hybrid that is pretty unique. Clean guitars but with hardcore punk speeds give this band a lot of personalty. The lyrics are shouted with some strained singing here and there. If this band was going for a garage band sound, well they captured it with the production. Virginia is on a roll with its many great bands. My copy came with a super cool limited screen printed cover. Good stuff.
Annihilation Time - III Tales Of An Ancient Age
Whoa! Annihilation Time keep going deeper and deeper back in time with this full blown 70's rock inspired lp. A lot of the songs clock in over the 3 minute mark, and have plenty of riffs and solos on this record that most bands have in their entire career. If this record came out in the 70's they would probably be doing large arenas. I want to hear this material live. A fun record.
Keep, on rockin' and buy it HERE!
GAUZE - s/t
Japans longest running (30 years!), legendary hardcore band GAUZE release their 1st 12" since 1997, and well worth the wait. GAUZE seem to be getting faster with every release. This bands hardcore style is VERY RAW and fast. Not much variation just full on speed and wild vocals. Lyrics are in Japanese so I have no idea what the subject matter is about. If you know and love Japanese hardcore, you probably already have this record. If not, defiantly check it out.
Breathing Fire - Years Of Lead
Painkiller Records keep up with their super consistent releases and bring us the 1st lp by Breathing fire after releasing the bands demo tape some 4 or 5 years ago. Breathing Fire play a style that sounds like early Sabbath with blasts tossed in. Slow, heavy, with lots of good guitar riffs, then suddenly shift into over the top blasting hardcore. I think the mix of the styles work really well together. They also throw a curve do a gnarly cover of The Stooges classic "I Wanna Be Your Dog". Lots of pissed off shouted vocals round off this killer album. Not for the meek.
Buy the record HERE.
Right Idea - Our World
Straight up 80's youth crew here right down to even the production. What I like about this album is that its played and produced in a style before youth crew was synonymous with name brand sports gear and fancy hair. Straight forward and fast, positive lyrics, awesome energy. Worth the wait. Lp may already be sold out, but a repress will be available soon in 09' in 7" format from Bottled Up Records. Check it out if you missed this the first time around, GO!
Common Cause - The Power To Change
Powered Records continue their awesome high quality output with Common Cause's first lp after releasing their 7" a couple years ago. These Norwegian dudes play total Youth Of Today worship that only Euro hardcore bands know how to. Don't expect a 3rd rate generic sound here, these dudes can play! The production is superb, and loud. The album packaging is also really cool with a 3-panel fold out lyric sheet with lots of tour photos playing live, goofing around and flashing crucial merch. Lyrics in English complete with Euro accent. Awesome record.
Check it out HERE
Total Abuse - s/t
After a 7" release, Deranged Records dropped this insane album late in 08'. Total Abuse play a strange mix of early 80's hardcore with early grunge styles with super twisted elements. This is an extremely noisy record, with lots of feedback and vocals that range from talking, to bubbling over the top rage. The rhythms are all over the place on most of the songs but the band retains a lot of power. The lyrics are pretty fucked up and might be offensive for some. This band lives up to it's name.
Buy the record HERE
Socialcide - Unapproachable
Even Worse Records
Socialcide are one of my favorite bands going. These kids are really young yet know the 80's style done right. Lots of speed, lots of great mosh. Interesting topics in the lyrics ranging from drug abuse to edge posers (ha!). These guys are getting better with every new release. Recommended.
Don't Sleep, BUY IT!