Monday, December 29, 2014

Best of 2014

I occasionally write for a punk/hardcore webzine called Some Will Never Know, and every year they do a 'best of...' feature. This year I decided to also post my list on here. You can out the article with 'best of...' lists from SWNK contributors here.

Without further ado, and in no particular order...

Funerals - Human Ruin 7"
If I had to nominate one record for 'record of the year', this would be it. Awesome stuff.
SWNK review - bandcamp

Strange Places - Strange(r) Places 7"
Great mix between stoner/sludge & hardcore, at times very similar to Iron Age.

Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache LP
Emo-metal from the UK, reminiscent of the old Tribunal Records band roster.

Soulground - Paradise 7"
German heavy riffcore, so good. 'I know nobody in heaven, please send me to hell'
New blood feature - bandcamp

Incitement - Hyena 12"
Their 2013 demo already gave a glimpse of what was to come, but with this new one-sided 12" these Polish kids created a Holy Terror masterpiece.
New blood feature - bandcamp

Decadence - In The Mouth Of Hell 10"
Spanish metallic hardcore that is more Arkangel than Arkangel.
New blood feature - bandcamp

Unrestrained - Forward Onto Death LP
This one was always going to be a contender for my top list, Portland's Unrestrained is so up my alley it's not funny anymore. Simply awesome.

Borrowed Time - Captive Soul 7" 
This band makes me wanna grow a beard and wear a wifebeater. So glad they are back, and with a killer EP as well. I want more!

Get The Shot - No Peace In Hell LP
Holy shit, this one hit me out of nowhere! Crushing high-adrenaline hardcore from Quebec. Highly addictive record.

Annulment - Celestial Mother Of The Handless Path demo
From Long Island. This style of hardcore doesn't get played too often anymore, unfortunately.

Breaking Point - Set To Burn LP
Uncompromising heavy straight edge hardcore from the UK. Blows their previous material, which was good too, out of the water. 'I will take this promise to my fucking grave'

Constrict - Carved Into Stone 7"
More Spanish hardcore, more metallic awesomeness.

Darkside NYC - Optimism Is Self-Deception Vol. 1 & 2 CD
Finally! I pre-ordered their self-released CD in January and at some point they sent out an email that they weren't sure it would ever be released... Thankfully it did. Not for the PC or faint at heart.

In Tongues - Entombed By Existence EP
As Overcast once said: more metal than your ma's kettle. And that applies to Glasgow's best too.

So there you have it... The best 15 releases of 2014 according to me, myself and I, at least of those I've heard, haha... I would love to hear what your favorites of the past year are, so leave comments with your lists.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Indifference - s/t 7"

Indifference from Staten Island seems mostly known for being 'that other band' from a split 7" they did with Indecision in 1997. But before that split 7" they did a demo (which I do not have) and a self-titled 7". That 7" was released on Struggle Records & Gus Records in 1996, both also from Staten Island. Soundwise Indifference is not too far removed from Indecision, typical chunky 90s hardcore with shouted vocals. Excellent stuff, definitely give it a chance.

Needless to say, on the Struggle Records flyer that came with my copy, it mentions they only do t-shirts in XL... And then people chuckle when they see pics of 90s shows with kids wearing oversized shirts... That's all there was!

Guitarist Sam Peralta was also the guy behind City Lights Records, who co-released their split 7" with Indecision. In any case, he also played in bands like Big Wheel, Circle K and Murdock. Right now he's an independent filmmaker and with some friends was working on a Staten Island hardcore docu. I don't know if that's still happening tho, but here's the trailer:

Monday, November 17, 2014

Path To Misery (re-)does it again... The Vegan Metalcore Bible is back!

I already posted about this on xSITPx, but it's too good not to re-post here as well. AJ from the ever-amazing Path To Misery posted the Vegan Metalcore Bible back in 2011. It was a hugely popular post, but as with most downloads (and there were A TON in this case), they eventually expired and became a thing of the past. I've had the same thing happen to me, and re-upping a ton of stuff at the same time is crap, especially when you can also post about other bands. So it's no surprise AJ kept up with the blog and posted about other obscure, awesome bands, instead of focusing on the VMB.

But it seems the VMB never really left AJ's mind after all, and he re-upped all the links again, check it out here! From Abnegation to Wrath Of Nature, this is a treasure trove of vsxe awesomeness! And as a bonus, he recorded an Abnegation cover as well, which you can check out here. I love the 18 Visions-esque vocals by AJ, which add a different edge to the cover (and yes, 18V used to be awesome), but musically it's also not a note-for-note copy, it's heavy as fuck. And if you do download it, which I hope you do as it's an awesome cover, all proceeds go to a local animal rights group. So support AJ and support an animal rights group by checking out both links!

Path To Misery's Vegan Metalcore Bible

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New blood: Divers (Malaysia)

A post-hardcore band from Malaysia, how often do you come across that? Admittedly, I am not a post-hardcore expert, but when Divers emailed me, they were the first one for me. And they sound great. Their melodic post-hardcore sound is full of energy and heavier than the average band in style, which is always a good thing to me. But they're also not afraid let go and turn up the heaviness an extra notch in their songs where needed with some good riffs, bringing a band like Cast Iron Hike to mind at times. Singer Faizul has a great screaming voice, hoarse and very throaty at times, and it really conveys the emotional content of his lyrics which deal with subjects like not letting anger control you, personal doubts and fears and not giving up on yourself. When I hear this band, I imagine them being quite intense and awesome in a live environment. Definitely a surprise for me, Divers, and a pleasant one. Give it a shot, you might get surprised too.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nothing But A Hardway comp CD

In the mid to late 90s Japan developed a huge NYHC-inspired scene. The 'Nothing But A Hardway' compilation CD, released by Radical East in 1998, is one of the finest examples of this era/scene of Japanese hardcore. It's got 18 bands, and while not every band is all that great, it's an overall solid compilation. Highlights include Dyingrace and Second To None (both awesome and heavy as fuck hardcore, I posted Dyingrace's insane demo here), T.J. Maxx (the Japanese 25 Ta Life), Protect (awesome old school dual-vocals hardcore), John Holmez (excellent metallic hardcore), Strength (heavy mid-tempo hardcore), Swing Arm (up-tempo sing-along hardcore) and Stinger (love their crazy vocals). Enjoy!

Nothing But A Hardway compilation CD

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cardboard Salvation? comp 7"

Here's another typical 90s hardcore compilation 7"... Let's see: it's packaged in a screenprinted manilla envelope, it features a mish-mash of bands playing hardcore styles ranging from emocore to grindcore, it's a benefit comp (in this case for the Memphis, TN shelters for homeless people), it's got cut & paste xeroxed inserts... Need I go on? And yes, that makes it awesome! Cardboard Salvation? was released in 1997 by Shandle Records and Genesis Twelve Records. I don't know anything about Genesis Twelve, but Shandle put out a bunch of releases in the 2nd half of the 90s. The guy behind Shandle Records also played guitar in a band called Chalkline, who also contribute a track here. Chalkline was a pretty decent emocore band, but unfortunately their track here, while decent, is pretty weak compared to their other material. The other bands on this comp are Self Infliction, Deathreat, Inept, FMD (F.M. Destruction) and Burned Up Bled Dry. Self Infliction play 90s emotive & metallic hardcore but with some weird vocals thrown in, and are the best band on here together with the rough grind/hardcore of Burned Up Bled Dry. All in all another great 90s hardcore comp.

Cardboard Salvation? comp 7"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

New blood: Incitement

Poland has traditionally always had a strong hardcore scene, with bands like Cymeon X, Sunrise, Agni Hotra, and many others. The past few years it seems stronger than ever with great new bands and labels like Indication, Hard To Breathe, Ratel Records and Last Warning Records. One such band is Incitement. This band plays awesome metalcore in the vein of Arkangel and Kickback with a dark Holy Terror edge thrown in for good measure. They released an awesome demo last year on Ratel Records out of Poland and Atonement Records out of the UK, and will release an LP later this year on Carry The Weight Records out of the UK and again Ratel Records. Judging by the pretty damn intense song that got posted a while ago here, the band has taken an even darker and more atmospheric approach to their sound. It certainly sounds like an album I need to hear. In any case, do check out this band.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New blood: Decadence

Spain's Decadence is up next in this series of 'new blood' bands. Hailing from Jerez, Andalusia in South-Spain/North-Africa, their sound combines the 90s metalcore of bands like Arkangel, Morning Again and Purification with more modern-sounding beatdown influences. Awesome stuff, that is indeed 'a tribute to true metalcore bands of the 90s' as they say on their bandcamp page. The band has members of Minority Of One (pop-punk), Pacto De Sangre (beatdown) and Truth Through Fight (youth crew), it's cool they have such a wide range of tastes.

The band recorded their 'In The Mouth Of Hell' record in early 2014 and self-released it on CD. It got released on 10" earlier this month as a co-release between several Spanish labels. I can't wait for my pre-order to arrive, haha. Anyways, do check out this band, if you enjoy the general stuff I post on here, chances are you will enjoy this band as well.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New blood: Soulground

Hardcore is alive and kicking around Europe... For this post I'm focusing on Germany. There are a lot of great bands in Germany at the moment, including Reapers Path and Beneath The Wheel. But this post is about Soulground, an awesome new band from Berlin. They play heavy metallic hardcore that alternates between mid/up-tempo hardcore and slow and heavy-as-fuck tuned-down breakdowns, with bleak and dark lyrics. Awesome stuff basically, with some great riffs to boot. Their singer's screaming voice might take some getting used to for some, but I love it.

The band did a demo in 2013 that was damn good already, but they recently released the 'Paradise' 7" on Mind Control Records, also out of Germany, which is simply awesome. It blew me away when I first heard it, it's a definite contender for my top 10 of 2014. I'm hoping to catch this band live some time, I don't think they've played in my general area (the Netherlands, Belgium, Ruhrpott Germany) yet. Anyways, check out this band if you like your hardcore metallic and heavy as fuck.

I know nobody in heaven, please send me to hell

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New blood: War Charge

Another installment in this series of exciting new bands. This time I am tackling Scotland with the 2nd best thing to come out of Edinburgh, after Inspector Rebus: War Charge. The band has been around since 2011 playing highly moshable and energetic metallic hardcore. Sure, it's not really 90s inspired hardcore, but contrary to what some people think, that's not all I love, hah! I love this style as well, and it's the perfect style for people to pit to. Anyways, on their 2011 demo the band's sound was akin to bands like No Turning Back. This led to the demo being re-released on 7" Demons Run Amok Records out of Germany and on CD by Spook Records out of Poland, both in 2012. Earlier this year their great 'New World Justice' 7" was released on Farewell Records, with a heavier and slightly more mid-tempo sound that reminds me of bands like Bitter End, Cruel End and even some Meltdown (remember them?). The demo was good, the 7" a clear step up tho, solid stuff. If you like any of the aforementioned bands, I suggest you give this band a shot. The band will release a new record soon, a split 7" with the Dutch anti-PC warriors of Cornered, on Neutral Words Records.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New blood: Hollow Truth

In the next couple of posts I will be discussing a few (relatively) new bands that I enjoy and that excite me. I might be a jaded oldhead at 41 years old, but I still check out new bands all the time and some of these bands still get me pumped. Hardcore for life, and all that...

First up is Hollow Truth from Dublin, Ireland, playing what they call Bray Area thrash. What's not to love about this awesome band? Their hardcore/metal crossover style is influenced by bands such as Suicidal Tendencies, 'Desperate Measures' era Leeway and 'Best Wishes'/'Alpha Omega' era Cro-Mags, but obviously they also love some good old-fashioned Bay Area thrash metal (Vio-Lence anyone?). This crossover style is making a comeback it seems with a band like Power Trip blowing up big-time. If they can do it, I don't see why Hollow Truth can't.

After doing a couple of excellent demo's, they recently released 'The Power To Endure' as a single-sided 12" on Powertrip Records out of Germany. As explained in this interview with singer Ciarán, some of the bands lyrics take an unconventional approach and incorporate some mythical influences. He also uses more of a singing voice which reminds of people like Eddie Sutton of Leeway but also bands like Twitching Tongues at times. Musically the band keeps evolving and fine-tuning their sound, so I can't wait to hear their new stuff. Their next record will be a split with Hardships, which should be a total rager. Hollow Truth will be touring Europe later this year so hopefully I can catch em at one of those shows. Don't sleep on this one!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Five Minute Major - When It Ends CD

Over a year ago I posted the 5 Minute Major demo, and recently someone requested their 'When It Ends' CD. So here it is. The CD has some new material on it which was recorded in 2000, but also the 1998 demo recordings and 2 songs taken from a set they did for the Crucial Chaos radio show in 1999. It was released on Inner Rage Records in 2000, a small label from Paris, France which was run by Jean-Marc Dalbin, who used to front a band called Drowning during their early years. He also released records for bands such as Overcast, Starkweather and Fury Of Five. Anyways, 5MM is great burly & rough NYHC that really shouldn't appeal to scrawny people like myself, but what can ya do?! Check out my other 5MM post for more info. Enjoy!

Five Minute Major - When It Ends CD

Monday, July 14, 2014

Overthrow - React CD

Here's another request, Overthrow's 'React' CD. Overthrow were a hardcore band from Long Island, they started in 1996 and continued till 1999 or 2000. In that time they did the 'No Authority' demo, a 7", several splits and this full-length CD. Released in 1999 on Triple Crown Records, this is a really solid piece of NYHC mixed with some melodic influences. One thing about having a large collection is that a lot of stuff just doesn't get played, ever. It's been at least 5 years, if not more, that I last listened to this album. And for some reason I remembered it not being all that great, maybe also because I love One 4 One and so I don't play Overthrow's side of their split 7" all that much. Anyways, an anonymous person requested this CD on that post, so I revisited it. Hearing it again, I don't know why I didn't bother with this for so long. It's simply great. Anyways, check em out.

Overthrow - React CD

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Isolation - s/t 7"

Isolation was a new school metallic sxe hardcore band from Milwaukee, WI in the second half of the 90s. As far as I know they recorded only 1 demo, in 1996, and this 7", from 1997. It's an awesome 7", with great typical late 90s metallic hardcore with hoarse, almost blown-out sounding vocals. Their run as a band was cut short when their singer, Paul Gazo, died on October 1st 1997. He was into tagging all around Milwaukee under the moniker 'SEB', which stood for Straight Edge Bomber (as in tagger). One night when he was tagging an old abandoned building, he fell through a hole in the roof, and died from the injuries he sustained. The band disbanded after that, and the 7" which had already been recorded, was released posthumously. After the band folded, the remaining members would move on to other bands such as Up In Arms and Protestant.

For the record, both the Isolation demo and this 7" can be found on the amazing site (here and here). But I decided to rip & scan my own copy of the 7" anyways, as this band/7" doesn't get mentioned nearly as often as it deserves.

Isolation - s/t 7"

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Evolve/Mindwar split 7"

One of the regular readers of this blog recently asked me if I had the Evolve/Mindwar split, and I do, so here it is. This split 7" was released in 1993 on Round Two Records. Evolve and Mindwar were both CT HC bands, and both bands tried to take a more mid-tempo approach to their sound with introspective and personal lyrics. Mindwar tried to do this with more indie-ish influences but they hadn't quite gotten their sound yet, they lack power. They would be better later on, as the video at the end of this post proves. Evolve had a more refined take on mid-tempo 90s hardcore, similar to bands like Atlas Shrugged, and they are the clear winner on this split 7" for me, they're damn good. But unfortunately I don't know what other records they did, besides the fact that their side of this split 7" was re-released on a comp 7" on Hearsay Records, which also includes a song from the Groundwork CT 7" I posted here. To make it even more crazy, Mindwar's side of this split 7" and the other song from the Groundwork CT 7" would also be re-released as a split 7" by Hearsay Records! In 1994 Mindwar signed a deal with XNO Records out of Germany, and they did a self-titled MCD and a CD called 'Degeneration' with them, as well as several European tours. I don't have these Mindwar releases but am looking to acquire them, and will post them when I do. Members of both bands went on to bands like Council Of Five Nations, Thinner, High On Fire and Below The Sound.

Here's the opening track of Mindwar's 'Degeneration' CD, which sound a lot better than the songs from this 7" I have to say:

Evolve/Mindwar split 7"

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Blackbelt - New Stuff demo

I have well over 500 demo-tapes in my collection, and plenty of those are of obscure hardcore bands I know very little about. One example is Blackbelt from Hanson/Stoughton, MA. I got their 'New Stuff' demo from Jim Moo Cow a while ago. This demo has 3 songs, one of which is a cover of Youth Of Today's 'Envy'. Their sound, which mixes old school hardcore with heavier mid-tempo parts reminds me most of bands like Judge, but the vocals have a slight snotty edge to them, which still works well here. Their version of 'Envy' sounds way more like a typical Judge song (for which it was originally written I believe) than a YOT song. All in all a solid demo that is way too short. There's no information with the demo except the tracklisting, but my guess is this demo is from 1994 or 1995, as they would record/release a CD called 'The Downfalls Of A Modern Society' in 1996, which I don't have unfortunately. Anyways, enjoy!

 Blackbelt - New Stuff demo

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Splinter was a 90s metalcore band from Akron, OH. Unlike the well-known Clevo hardcore scene which spawned a ton of bands including Integrity, Face Value and Ringworm, other areas of Ohio seemed to fly under the radar a bit (maybe because of Cleveland having such a strong scene?). Even tho Akron is close to Cleveland, Splinter never seemed to get the recognition they deserved. They played excellent 90s metalcore that at times goes for an Integrity/Holy Terror style sound but Splinter was far from an Integrity clone. They combined fast metallic hardcore, with hard breaks and tougher mid-tempo parts. For this post I decided to rip all Splinter records I own, which unfortunately is not their demo (I believe they did only 1 demo).

Splinter started out in 1989, but it wasn't until 1992 that their 1st 7" was released. This self-titled 7" was released on Smorgasbord Records, who also released it on cassette tape with 1 additional track. After that they recorded the 'Ten Love Songs' LP in 1993, which was released in 1994 on Desolate Sounds and Tenacity Records. This LP featured a couple of re-recordings of tracks from the self-titled 7"/cassette, as well as a cover of Black Sabbath's 'N.I.B.'. They went into the studio once more, in late 1994, when the band was nearing its end. In 1995, 2 songs from this recording session were released as the 'Scathed' 7" on Stormstrike Records out of Germany. Rubber City Records, out of their hometown of Akron, would release Splinter's 'The End Of The Belief' 7" posthumously in late 1996/early 1997. This 7" featured unreleased songs from the 'Scathed' 7" recording session, including a rather wacky cover of Minor Threat's 'Bottled Violence'.

Splinter also appeared on a couple of compilations including the soundtrack for 1997 horror movie 'Bloodletting', but all these tracks were taken from the 'Ten Love Songs' LP. Their track 'PM 1893 2TL' from the 'Dark Empire Strikes Back' compilation CD is actually 'Three' from the LP, no idea why it ended up with that title on the comp.

Splinter's line-up would remain intact throughout all these recordings, I don't know if they had line-up changes prior to that however. Splinter singer Larry 'Bleachmouth' Gargus moved on to The Unholy Three which after a few years became Don Austin, another pretty cool band which also included guitarist Clint Bott, who ran Rubber City Records. Drummer Joe 'Knuckles' Macchiarole would also move on to Don Austin, however he would quickly be replaced, before any recordings were made if I'm correct. I don't know what the other band-members ended up doing after Splinter folded.

My scanner is no good for scanning LP's so the LP zip contains no scans, sorry about that. You can see scans on its Discogs page however. For some reason this was also the hardest record of the bunch to obtain, it took me years to find (and then I got it from someone I know right here in the Netherlands, go figure!), I only had it in digital for for a long time. Anyways, enjoy! And if somebody has the Splinter demo, please share, I would love to hear it!

Update June 1st 2014: Larry Gargus emailed me after reading this post. Here's some more info straight from him:
Just so you know - there was one more compilation that we appeared on. It was called "Fast Kids Go!" and came out between the release of our 1st 7" and the LP. It contained an early version of "Years from Day One".

The reason the song titles are different for the track that was on the "Dark Empire" CD and the LP is kind of complicated. We weren't sure that we wanted to do the comp because we were strictly an Akron band. Up to that point we were shunned by the Clevo crowd and we had decided that we didn't need Cleveland anyway. But, Dwid asked us to be on the compilation and we had put out the LP and needed all of the exposure we could get so we did it. But, Dwid said he couldn't find the title on the DAT I sent him so he put the serial code from the tape as the title instead of calling me to ask. The story that got back to me was that he didn't like the song, our band or the song title. I have yet to figure out why he asked us at all.

We never had a line-up change during the band's existence. It was the four of us from beginning to end. Nathan moved to Colorado to snowboard. Bob lives in Columbus Ohio, where he own/operates a gourmet pizza place called Yellowbrick. Joe and I still live in Akron and see each other on a regular basis. Joe did appear on the 1st Don Austin 7", but bowed out on his own since he wasn't interested in doing a band on a regular basis.

Thanks again. None of us ever stopped playing music but it is weird to think that Splinter would be remembered by anyone outside Akron. Most people here don't even know about that band... Joe, Nathan and I were 17 and Bob was 15 when we started that band, so it was a long time ago. It makes us old men feel good that you enjoy it.

Splinter - s/t 7"
Splinter - s/t cassette
Splinter - Ten Love Songs LP
Splinter - Scathed 7"
Splinter - The End Of The Belief 7" (download fixed, 2 MP3's had issues)

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