Sunday, January 14, 2018

Wrecking Crew 1993 7"

Here's a request, Wrecking Crew's self-titled 7" from 1993. When it comes to Boston's hardcore outfit Wrecking Crew it appears most people tend to focus on their older output: the self-titled 7" from 1988 and the 'Balance Of Terror' LP from 1989. I can't blame them, both are great records. But Wrecking Crew continued into the '90s, even beyond 1991, despite what the title of the '1987 - 1991' compilation CD released on Bridge Nine about a decade ago might imply.

In that year, the band went through a rough phase and saw several line-up changes, with original singer Glenn Dudley and guitarist John Darga eventually being replaced by Nathan Elgin James and Nick Clancy respectively. With this line-up the band would record a 1993 demo, which was re-released as a self-titled 7" that same year on local label Sonic Aggression Records. Excellent hard & rough hardcore that can more than go toe to toe with their older songs. The sound is a slight departure from their older sound, and not just cuz of the new singer, but for my money, it's just as strong as their older material. But it didn't help the band a lot, Wrecking Crew finally came to an end in 1994. Members moved on to bands like 454 Big Block, Righteous Jams and Bitter.

Wrecking Crew 1993 7"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Get A Grip On Reality compilation CD

Best Wishes for 2018! To start the year with, here's an Italian hardcore compilation from 1997 called 'Get A Grip On Reality'... It was released on the Italian label Circus, which specialized in Italian hardcore & punk. This compilation provides a great overview of the Italian hardcore scene of that time, even it does ignore the edgemetal bands such as Reprisal or Purification etc... It still has Timebomb tho, a band somewhat loosely associated with that scene, even if they were way rougher than those bands. Their track here, 'Bow', is a different version than the recording that appears on their 'Hymns For A Decaying Empire' album btw. Other bands include Ivory Cage, Headsman, Opposite Force and many more. The Spawn that appears on his comp is from Rome btw, and unrelated to the German band from around the same time. All in all, an excellent document of mid/late 90s Italian hardcore.

Get A Grip On Reality compilation CD

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Best of 2017

2017 was an awesome year for hardcore. There have been tons of great releases, so much so that I've had to make some hard choices to come up with a top 10. 'Thankfully' I haven't had a chance yet to listen properly to a bunch of obvious yearlist contenders like the new Converge, Amenra, Integrity or Sect records... So that made this list a little bit easier... But in the end I had to make some hard choices. And I decided to stop mulling over which releases to drop once I narrowed down the list to 15...

I'm sure I missed a ton of awesome releases, so please leave a comment with your top picks! I love checking out new records even if I mostly blog about 90s hardcore.

So, my top 15 records of 2017, in alphabetical order:

Body Count - Bloodlust
The video (and lyrics!) for 'No Lives Matter' already promised a lot, and Ice-T, Ernie C and co delivered. To say this album exceeded my expectations is putting it mildly. BC ... BC ... BC ...

Break Through - The Seventh Circle Of Hell
Crushing Disembodied-inspired metalcore from Tasmania. Yep.

xDevourx - Defiant Until The End
Uncompromising XXXedgeXXX metal from Belgium.

Drawing Last Breath - Final Sacrifice
Florida edge metal. I think that says it all...

Ecostrike - Time Is Now
Vegan straight edge hardcore from Florida that sounds more like Strife or Outspoken than Morning Again.

Get The Shot - Infinite Punishment
Their previous album 'No Peace In Hell' made my top 10 of 2014 list, and this one does it again. If you like up-tempo thrashy metalcore that brings the mosh, this is for you.

Grasp - Under The Grief
Late 90s/early 00s metalcore done by kids from the Crimea peninsula.

Higher Power - Soul Structure
This band from Leeds, UK keep going from strength to strength. Imagine what Leeway might've sounded like had they kept going after 'Adult Crash' and 'Open Mouth Kiss'.

Malevolence - Self Supremacy
Sheffield, UK's hardest. Sick metalcore meets beatdown with plenty of groove, this shit is addictive.

Mindforce - The Future Of...
Excellent followup to their 2016 demo. Crossover hardcore from Poughkeepsie, NY that brings back the early 90s.

Mourning demo
A two-man project from the UK, this kicks serious ass. The small hints of old Kickback certainly don't hurt!

Pulse - The Light Is Calling My Way
After seeing them several times over the years at shows in Belgium, I'm glad this EP shows the major potential this band has. Overcast worshipping done right. 'Bloodstains' might be my fave song of 2017, it's seriously amazing.

xReignx demo
Blistering and militant vegan sXe hardcore from San Diego. Fuck yeah!

Soulground - Life Ends
Awesome heavy riffing hardcore from Berlin, Germany.

Thoughts Of Ionesco - Skar Cymbals
TOI are back and they're still a one-of-a-kind band. Uncomparable and unique, suffice it to say, TOI still sounds like TOI.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Heidnik - Nothing CD

Today's post is a slight departure from the usual posts. One of my Instagram buddies, Lada, contacted me about Heidnik's Nothing CD, which was released on Too Damn Hype in 2002. Unfortunately I don't have it. But when he managed to acquire it, he ripped it for me so I could share it on here, so here it is.

Heidnik were a metallic hardcore band from Philadelphia, PA, and they combined the chaotic metalcore sound of the early 00s with a tougher and heavier edge. Good stuff for sure, a bit like a more chaotic All Else Failed, but fairly underrated. During their 4 year run they managed to do a couple of releases including this CD. Their stuff is pretty hard to come by these days it seems, so I'm happy Lada was kind enough to share it with me, and OnexPath. Merci beaucoup, mon ami!

Members of Heidnik moved on to band such as Dead In The Face and Eaten Alive. Guitarist Max Moya died unexpectedly a couple of months ago, which also signaled the end of Eaten Alive. All proceeds of their new album will go to Max's family, so if you feel like supporting them, please check here. RIP.

Heidnik - Nothing CD

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Planet Freek - Payback E.P. demo

If you're ever in Brussels, Belgium, make sure to visit Electrocution, a small record store in the center of Brussels owned by Kirby (Deviate, Length Of Time, Arkangel). I was in Brussels this past weekend and as usual dropped in for a quick browse, and walked out with a bunch of old demo tapes. Including this Planet Freek demo from 1995. I had seen their name on a few NYHC flyers from back in the day (including a couple that Rick Ta Life sent me in the mid 90s) but never heard anything by them, and had all but forgotten about them... So obviously finding this demo was a nice surprise!

In any case, Planet Freek were a hardcore band from Long Island, NY who were around for about 4-5 years but I don't have a clue if they recorded anything else besides this 'Payback E.P.' demo. This demo is a solid slice of heavy metallic NYHC with 'Tragic Fool' as my fave from this demo. Not sure about closing track 'Walk Away' which is more on the punk-ish side, but overall I really enjoy this demo. If anybody has more information about Planet Freek, please leave a comment!

Planet Freek - Payback E.P. demo

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mindwar - s/t MCD

A few years ago I blogged about the Evolve/Mindwar split 7". As mentioned in that post I was looking for the other Mindwar releases, and I found them, I just never got around to blogging about them... Here's their self-titled MCD from 1992. Despite what I said in the other post, Mindwar from New Britain, CT didn't sign with Germany's XNO Records in 1994 but a few years earlier. This was the first record they did with them, followed by the full-length 'Degeneration' in 1994 (I'll post that at a later date), which would also be their last record. This 4-song MCD comes in one of those thin CD-single cases that required the covers to have these weird 'cutouts' (always hated them). If you don't know what I mean, check the scan in the zip to see what I mean. Ugh. Anyways, this is good stuff no matter how it was packaged, heh... Mindwar played a style that had its roots in early 90s metallic hardcore but combined this with a ton of heavy alternative rock/metal. They had a sound of their own, but I'm not sure if that worked in their favor or not, this band seems rarely mentioned. Underrated is good word to describe this band. Please give them a try!

Mindwar - s/t MCD

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Step Aside - I'll Take Darkness... 7"

I first heard VA's Step Aside on the 'A Change For The Better' comp 7" from 1990, which I blogged about here. I loved their track on there but I somehow never managed to add it to my record collection. Soon after posting that comp 7" I corrected that oversight and I now own on black & red vinyl heh (I am still looking for any of the alternative covers tho, in case anybody's willing to part with one). In any case, Vicious Circle Records who released that comp, released this 7" in 1991. And it's simply awesome, right up my alley, so much so that I somehow thought I had already blogged about this 7" soon after I got my hands on it, haha... Early 90s mid-tempo metallic hardcore with great semi-spoken/shouted vocals. And it even has some guest vocals by Lance from As It Stands (and the almighty Mayday afterwards), how could this not rule! I am pretty sure that regular readers of my blog will eat this shit up. Unfortunately I have no idea what else this band did besides a couple of comps and this 7", nor what the members did before or after Step Aside. If anybody has any information, please leave a comment!

As an aside, a couple of years later another Step Aside, from Brooklyn, NY, would appear on a couple of compilations (including one of the amazing East Coast Assault comps)... Good stuff, but not the same band tho.

Step Aside - I'll Take Darkness... 7"