Sunday, April 6, 2014

New blood: Reserving Dirtnaps

Memphis's own Reserving Dirtnaps contacted me recently about doing a post on em... I had no idea what to expect with a bandname like that (is that slang for something?), but after checking them out, I'm glad they decided to shoot me an email! The band features ex-members of Memphis hardcore bands Clenched Fist and Dead City but the band takes a slightly different approach with a tougher and slower beatdown edge. Tough as nails hardcore with deep vocals. Lyrically the band is not afraid to step away from the usual subject matter and style of writing associated with this genre, and take a more introspective and dark approach. The lyrics might not be for everybody but I for one love them. From 'Commune':
Razor's edge
Heightened ledge
So many I wish were dead
Instead keep my soul bound to flesh
Nail of breath
Bands like PA's No Retreat and NJ's Lifeless come to mind when listening to Reserving Dirtnaps. Both bands I like a lot, so I have no problem here. Reserving Dirtnaps can hang with the best of em, their first EP is solid from start to finish, I love it, a very impressive effort. I imagine their hometown shows have some crazy violent pits. If you like it hard, tough and violent, check out Reserving Dirtnaps. Hopefully they'll make it out to Europe someday, I would love to see these guys at a show in the Ruhrpott area in Germany.

*update: Brandon from RD has informed me 'reserving dirtnaps' means something like 'setting up someone's death date'. *

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Confined - s/t 7"

Another random 7" from my collection... Confined was a short-lived 3-piece band from NJ in the mid 90s, and apart from a demo this is their only proper release. This self-titled 7" was released by the band in 1995 and is pretty decent. Fast old school hardcore with some youth crew as well as some slower more metallic/new school sounding parts. Not something I listen to loads, but I've definitely heard worse. I know very little about the band, but there's a decent amount of information available over at Mad At The World, which has a write-up on the 7" (but no download).  If you want more info on this band and the band members, please follow that link. As mentioned on Mad At The World, members moved on to bands such as Autumn, Dogs Of War (not to be confused with Dogz Of War from Detroit) and Another Nothing. If anybody has Confined's demo, please share!

Here's a Confined track that's not on the 7":

Confined - s/t 7"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Depth Of Mind - This Broken Face demo

Depth Of Mind was a short-lived hardcore band from Ithaca, NY in the first half of the 90s. From what I know they were all teenagers when Depth Of Mind was around, I'm not even sure they did anything else besides this 'This Broken Face' demo from 1993?

Anyways, musically this band is pretty good and falls in line with similar new school hardcore bands from that era like Trial By Jury, Billingsgate and Bloodline, altho never quite reaching the awesomeness of those bands. The vocals however are what makes Depth Of Mind stand out most, most of the time it sounds like the vocalist wants to be in a hardrock band, or even a straight-up rock band, rather than a hardcore band. At times the singing vocals work, but other times they simply do not fit the music at all. I would enjoy this band a whole lot more with a different singer, let's put it like that.

Bass-player Jacob Todd has since moved onto the electronic/house scene and is now a DJ/producer. I have no idea what the other band members did after Depth Of Mind folded.

Depth Of Mind - This Broken Face demo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Direction - Flatline 7"

This awesome 7" has been waiting to be posted for quite some time, it is stuffed with 90s hardcore characteristics. Socio-political lyrics dealing with anti-capitalism, anti-drugs and anti-homophobia subjects (which some would call 'PC'). Shouted vocals with occasional spoken bits. Mid-tempo new school hardcore with chunky riffs and some chugga chugga thrown in for good measure. Artwork that seems to be lifted straight from library books on woodcuts and such. Band-members with big X's on their hands. A singer kneeling on the floor, grabbing his head with a pained expression. A 'deep' personal piece next to a thanks list that includes every band they've ever played with. And I think I even spot some band members sporting tulasi beads. Yes, this is the kind of stuff I live for!

Direction from Austin, TX were around in the mid 90s and their output is limited to this 7" and a split 8" with another TX band called Anomie (not to be confused with the French emocore band), which I unfortunately do not own. Released in 1995 on Ballyhoo Withdrawal, Direction was a fairly obscure band outside of Texas, but undeservedly so, this is one awesome 7". Whether your 90s interests lean more to the political side or to the chugga chugga side, there should be something here for everybody. After the band broke up, members moved on to New Year, who released a 7" on Moo Cow Records as well as a split 7" with a band call 1066.

Direction - Flatline 7"

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Foundation - Fear Of Life EP 7"

Sometimes hardcore bands start out under a name that's already used by another band. In some cases bands have to change their name due to legal disputes, like Disciple and Shipwreck becoming Discple ad and Shipwreck ad respectively. In most cases tho, nothing happens and there are just multiple bands using the same name. Examples include Kingpin and Intent, both names have been used or are used by at least 3 hardcore bands each that I am aware of. But I imagine the most often used bandname in hardcore is Foundation. In my own collection alone I have records by 5 different  Foundations. There's an early 90s Foundation from Rochester, NY who did 2 7"s. Then there's a Foundation from San Diego, CA a bit later who did a 7" on XWords Of WarX Records and a split 7" with Ecorche. Robbie Huddleston from the indie/punk-band Ann Beretta started a side/solo-project called Foundation in the early 00's, which he's still doing. And then of course there's the Atlanta, GA based Foundation who've been around for 5/6 years now and are still going strong.

Bu today's post is about the 5th Foundation from my collection. This Foundation originated from New Jersey and were around in the late 90s. Their sole 7", released in 1999, was the second release on a NJ label called Dead Alive Records, which was around for 4 years or so but managed to crank out 30+ releases during that time. The label renamed itself Manic Ride Records afterwards and continued for a few more years before finally folding. NJ's Foundation was short-lived and I have no idea what the band-members did before or after. They also contributed a track to Dead Alive Records' first release, a compilation CD (a benefit for ABC No Rio), other than possible demo's that's it. Anyways, this 7" is filled with solid manic hardcore with dual (even triple) vocals which give it a crust/grind-like edge. It sounds like this band would've raged on stage. Good stuff, so check it out.

Foundation - Fear Of Life EP 7"

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Case Closed? comp CD

The full title of this compilation is 'Case Closed,? An International Compilation of Hüsker Dü Cover-songs' (yes, with the ',?', no idea what that is about). That should give you a pretty good idea of what this compilation is all about, a tribute to Hüsker Dü, the legendary Minneapolis band from the 80s which started out as a hardcore band but soon started to add all kinds of influences to their sound. The band would in turn influence a ton of bands, and especially their albums 'Zen Arcade' (1984) and 'New Day Rising' (1985) are landmarks.

This tribute album was released by Snoop Records out of Germany in 1994 and features bands from the USA, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Norway and Australia. Bands include Sick Of It All, Only Living Witness, Big Drill Car, NRA, Motorpsycho, Alloy and Gigantor. This compilation was also a sort of benefit for Artists United For Nature, an artist-based non-profit organisation for preservation of nature. I don't know however if it has any relation to the project of the same name that did the cheesy 'Yes We Can' single in 1989, a project similar to Band-Aid.

Anyways, what's nice about this comp is that the bands chose songs to cover from all stages of Hüsker Dü's career. I'll be honest and say I am not really into Hüsker Dü all that much, let alone have intimate knowledge of their discography, but this compilation is pretty cool, it's got a wide range of styles and most bands do a decent job. So give it a chance.

Case Closed? comp CD

Sunday, December 15, 2013

4 In Tha Chamber - Unstable Foundation MCD

4 In Tha Chamber was a hardcore band out of the Bronx, NYC. They were formed in 1996 by Dave Mitchell (ex-Without A Cause/Fahrenheit 451), and in 1997 their 'Unstable Foundation' MCD was released on Extreme Championship Wreckords. ECW (a reference to then-popular Extreme Championship Wrestling) was a label run by 4ITC's singer Jon. Heavy & semi-groovy NYHC with a slight rap-influence, 4ITC had their own sound going on. They had some problems with their line-up and commitments outside of the band, causing the band to go through several periods of inactivity. In 2000 they released a full-length called 'Existence' on Kingfisher Records and even toured Europe in 2001. Shortly thereafter the band pretty much quit, but then reformed a few years later, with a new singer, and a heavier sound, under the name 4 In The Chamber. This resulted in the excellent 'Memories Die' CD in 2007, which they released themselves again. After that CD the band folded but again reformed a few years later, this time under the name Unstable Foundation. Under that name they released one album that I know of, which I unfortunately do not own. The last thing I heard of Unstable Foundation is that they were looking for a new singer.

Anyways, if anybody has their other stuff (especially their split with As They Die on Moosestyle Records, from 1999), please leave a comment.

4 In Tha Chamber - Unstable Foundation MCD