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!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Late Winter 2016 Update - Omaha Zine Fest + Chicago Zine Fest + more!

Late Winter 2016 Update - Omaha Zine Fest + Chicago Zine Fest + more!

Photo courtesy of Kim Van Brunt 

What up world?  I’m just dropping by to let everyone know what has been happening here at the CCHQ.  The first ever Omaha Zine Fest happened this past weekend, and not surprisingly, the event was a smash hit!  All the folks involved in putting on the event did a fabulous job.  A big shout out to the staff at 1316 Jones for being so accommodating throughout the day.  Everything went really well at the Crucial Changes table, selling everything I brought with me.  It was a pleasure to meet new people, as well as all the folks I reconnected with whom I consider friends.  I have a good feeling that this is going to be a reoccurring event in the future.

Moving forward, the finalized list of the Chicago Zine Fest 2016 tablers has been released, and it appears that Crucial Changes will be near the buildings entry area.  A map hasn’t been released yet, and I haven’t been in the building that is hosting the event so I’m really excited to see exactly where my table will be in correlation of the buildings interior layout.  Expect reprints of Crucial Changes Winter 2015 zine, Kiwi’s Kitchen zine, plus the new Spring 2016 edition of Crucial Changes all to be featured at this years event.  I’ll post further updates regarding towards the preparation of the fest as they happen.

In other CCHQ news, there are some side projects in the works that will be released soon.  The main one being a tri-fold pamphlet for my local disc golf club OMDGA.  Disc golf has become a new found passion for me in the last couple of years, and the local disc golf club here in Omaha represents the sport and culture to a high degree.  Once completed, the pamphlet will be available in a few of the disc golf courses within the Omaha metro area.  More updates on this project as well as well as other side projects happening in the near future.

And finally, I want everyone to know that Crucial Changes has always been an open submission platform to express anything that is important to you.  Any original writing, photographs, etc. can be submitted for posting or print.  Crucial Changes will not censor any works, and full credit will be recognized.  That’s it for now.  Everyone have a great day.  Cheers!


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Crucial Changes Printing Press will be attending Omaha Zine Fest 2016

I'm honored to announce that CCPP will be attending the first ever zine fest held in my hometown of Omaha, NE March 12th, held at 1316 Jones St.  I'm really excited for the event, and I hope so see old and new faces alike.  In case you missed out on the interview with the fine folks who are hosting the event, you can check it out by clicking HERE.  See everyone in March.  Cheers!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Year End Best Of List

Horrendous - War Is Still… (Brain Solvent Propaganda)

Horrendous play tried and true D-Beat hardcore with a few mid-paces songs thrown in on this seven song 12”.  Hailing from Sweden, and featuring members of well known bands INFERNÖH and Herätys.  But don’t think of this as just a side band, this record can hold it’s own among the other bands playing this style.  This 12” warranted repeated listens upon first listen.  Recommended.

Violent Reaction - Marching On  (Revelation)

Violent Reaction are back with their 2nd 12”, this time courtesy of the well known Revelation Records.  The band went through somewhat of a sonic revelation on this record, trading the high gain guitars for a more clean, almost jangly sound on this record.  Does it work?  Sure.  Is it as good as the previous 12”?  I’m going to have to say no.  However, Violent Reaction ape some nice early Negative Approach riffs, here and there, and add a few fastcore/blast beat elements to keep things interesting.  Violent Reaction are more than capable of writing descent mosh riffs too.

Poison Idea - Confuse & Conquer  (Southern Lord)

With a revamped lineup, the legendary Portland punk outfit returns sans Pig Champion (RIP), and brings back Eric The Vegetable to handle to lead guitar duties.  The band crafts an lp that still has elements of classic Poison Idea, but adds a couple of twists with styles ranging from rock n roll to full out spaghetti western (yeah, no shit).  This is one of my favorite bands all-time, so of course I can find a spot for Poison Idea on this list.

Noi!se - The Scars We Hide (GMM)

Tacoma street rock contemporaries Noi!se keep up the studio output, releasing their first full length record The Scars We Hide on the well known street rock/oi! Label GMM records.  While these aren’t my favorite batches of songs that the band has released, this record gets repeated spins.  A lot of people criticize the new sound of street rock/oi! being way too pop punk influenced, and I can see where that kind of comparison can be made with the rhythms being very similar, and some of the guitar melodies being a bit too sugary.  However, Noi!se have good lyrics, many of them leaning more towards the tried and true hardcore content.

Dawn Of Humans - Slurping At The Cosmos Spine (Toxic State)

How much art can you take?  This 12” will have you asking yourself just that.  Dawn Of Humans play a unique brand of punk that is noisy, bouncy, and driving.  Lots of 1-2 pogo drumming on this to keep the kids up front moving.  Dawn Of Humans is a band you must see LIVE to fully appreciate.  Part punk show, part performance art.  Toxic State keeps it’s traditions of amazing packaging going, with a huge foldout poster, and full stylish lyric sheet.  If you want to hear something a bit different, check this record out.  SEE THIS BAND LIVE!

Eel - s/t (Beach Impediment)

Total Disorder worship with some nice guitar playing.  Pittsburgh’s Eel say fuck the trends and keep the pogo noise style going into 2015 and beyond.  After a lengthy string of releases, Eel are back with a 3 song 7” one of them being a Disorder cover.  If you are into this style of punk at all, chances are you already have this record.  There is a cool fold out poster too!

Best live show of 2015:

By far, the best live show I saw in 2015 was Raw Power at Lookout! Lounge here in Omaha.  Raw Power proved that age, nor language barrier doesn’t mean shit.  The band played more than 20 songs in 30 minutes, only briefly stopping to talk once saying that it was the first time they have played Omaha since 1988!  The turnout for this show was super weak, and I feel bad for everyone who missed out.

Final Notes:

This may seem like a short list for this year, and I agree it is.  So many classic and/or rare out of print punk and hardcore records have finally been given repress treatment.  Many of these records took up most of my listening time in 2015.  But, as stated in a rant in previous years, no repressed albums will ever make my year end list.  There was also a handful of demo tapes that came out in 2015 that created quite a stir.  However, I just haven’t had the time to set up my cassette player to listen to them to give a fully justified review.  The CCHQ is going through an interior revamp currently, and hopefully I can create enough room for my twin deck within my music listening area to provide better coverage of bands releasing tape formats.

What were your favorite punk releases of 2015?  Cheers!