I’ve managed to fall way behind on shit, once again. Story of my life. I was hoping to have a section devoted to the cool zines I’ve been getting in recent months. I’ll try to get that in the next blog, which won’t take as long. In the meantime, it’s been too long a gap since I last posted one of these so I wanted to get something up this weekend.
So, over this past weekend, I attended a crazy-ass show at the Baby Safe Haven house in
Who played, you asked? I’m getting to it. Patience. The show featured the Cola Freaks, from
A quick story before I finally get to the review here. In 2004, when the Red Sox were in the American League Championship Series against those same Yankees, there was a huge show at a Polish hall in Dorchester with Hammer, from
Back to the show—Unholy Goatfucker began with some truly evil, tongue-in-cheek death metal. All made up in Gene Simmons-goes-to-hell fashion and more musical than your metallic mayhem unit. And yes, those really are two goats’ heads in the picture. Lovely, eh? Next up, Fruit Salad did the thrash and grind thing to an enthusiastic response, ending with a cover of Youth of Today’s “Put It Aside” that created a nice youth crew mosh. As I’ve said in previous reviews, they’ve really evolved as a band over time. I passed on Praxis, since I needed a bit of a breather and just saw them a couple of weeks ago. Finally, the Danes took the stage, uh, floor. Some tall guys in that band, especially their vocalist, who has to go around 6’5”. A jittery, nervy, tuneful punk mix that fits in with the bands who proudly exhibit an affinity for those vintage sounds. People were worked into delirium and, as I said, the sewerage was mainly held at bay until they were done.
One hell of a good time… a real punk rock show, to quote Craig, who put this together.
BANDANOS-We Crush Your Mind With The Thrash Inside (625, CD)
DESTRUCTION’S END/BANDANOS-Thrash From The Dead (625, CD)
Thrash? Don’t mind if I do. Where have I heard that before?* I’ve certainly heard bands like Bandanos and Destruction’s End before. Bandanos are from Brasil and have the retro crossover sound down pat. A rough ‘n tumble Bay Area thrash influence, stripped down and throwing in a touch of early COC. The strangled vocals have some Mike Dean in ‘em, tag-teamed with Blaine Accüsed. Another throwback is the photo collage in the centerfold for “We Crush Your Mind.” Oddly, the songs on the split, which was released before the full-length, have fuller-sounding production and it creates more impact. Either way, it’s throat-grabbing fodder. As for Destruction’s End, it’s a good fit with Bandanos. Another band blurring metal and hardcore with a straight-forward speed attack. Hell, they make the 80s tribute more complete by including a sample from the Rambo “First Blood” movie and that’s the title of the leadoff song, as well. This band have gotten quite a bit better since their ’04 album on Mike Fitzgerald Records. It’s tighter, and has better drumming and recording quality. Viva la crossover! (*the answer is Municipal Waste, in case you didn’t know) (www.625thrash.com)
CLUSTERFUCK-How The West Was Won (Vital Center, LP)
Rip-roarin’ hardcore punk with a rowdy spirit. Short songs that seamlessly blend into each other without missing a beat. It’s not just simple thrash, either—busy bass and guitar lines and stop-on-a-dime tightness. Donn has a memorable voice in much the same way Jello does. A higher pitched snotty yelp-croon that drips with sarcasm. That sarcasm is coupled with a sense of anger, a sense of numbness as mentioned on “I’m Fine, Thank You,” followed by “OK, Now I’m Unhappy,” expanding the numbness into hopelessness. The notes on the inner sleeve call it an “exercise in American protest music.” Even with those feelings, the songs are imbued with an irresistible liveliness. Only 300 of these suckers so you best not sit still. (
CULT RITUAL-s/t (Burrito, 7” EP)
Boiling over hardcore—a forceful clatter of white hot guitar, thick, bulldozing bass-lines and wild drumming. Lurching savagery interspersed with thrash and more straight-forward riffing. The vocals are buried in the mix a bit and Dan does his damnedest to cut through the din. Some mighty intense and crazed sounds emanating from the purplish-brown grooves of this record. That may seem hyperbolic and reminiscent of an old Pushead MRR review but it’s the truth. (
DEADLINE-8/2/82 (Peterbilt, CD)
Deadline appeared on the “Flex Your Head” compilation and, after those songs were released, recorded 11 more. Those sat in the can until ’89, when Peterbilt records released a one-time pressing of 1000 copies and that’s been scarce as hell, ever since. So, finally, here’s a long-overdue reissue. Deadline very much kept in the HarDCore sound—rough hardcore punk played with youthful agitation and aggression, mixing up fast and slower tempos. In fact, several of those songs fall into the latter category. I’d have to say, out of all the other bands from that era, they came closest to the Faith, sound-wise. Maybe a notch below their better-known brethren but still a worthy artifact. (distr. by Dischord,
DEATH TOKEN-4 Track Attack (Even Worse, 7” EP)
A primitive D-Beat or Dis-attack, more accurately. The reverb on some of the vocals is a combination of cheesy and cool. They address the recording method on the title track, calling their sound “a busted ear tape salad to go” and they also endorse their “exclusively crap equipment.” The last track, “Eye Hardly Exist,” is a moody instrumental with guitar and ocean effects—there will be quiet after the storm? Oops—wrong band. Otherwise, Death Token keep things in a purely pillaging mode, definitely busting eardrums along the way if you hold ‘em too close to the speakers. (www.geocities.com/evenworserecords)
DISNIHIL-s/t (Chainsaw Safety, CD)
A strong debut album for this Swedish hardcore-inspired band from
ENDLESS BLOCKADE/HATRED SURGE-Split (Schizophrenic, LP)
Two mayhem-oriented bands—grind is part of the deal for both of ‘em. The Endless Blockade start and end their side with dirge-like compositions, with the opener “Abraxas” sounding like a walk to the entrance of hell and then the listener is forced through the door and immediately savaged with brutal blasting. Hatred Surge’s side was created by two people—Alex and Amy, both contributing vocals and Alex handling all the instruments (they have a full band for live performances). As with the Endless Blockade, the final song is a slow piece that takes up nearly half the side. Actually, the coolest moment is their over-the-top cover of Agnostic Front’s “Society Sucker.” Both bands have the modus operandi of blastbeats, thrash, heaviness and harsh vocals. This style continues to remain an acquired taste and I still haven’t really acquired it. (
NIGHTMARE/BURIAL/CRUDE-Axis Of Wolves (HG Fact, CD)
Three bands, two of ‘em Japanese, one of ‘em German (Burial) and two songs apiece. This is ostensibly their tour CD and each band contributes powerful material. Nightmare trade in lengthy songs and somehow hold the flailing attack together. With Burial (who have some other solid releases), if I was going to take a blindfold test, I’d guess that they were a Japanese band, stylistically. A relentless aggression. Crude’s songs have a stripped-down roughness and it works to their advantage. Each band have their own sound and, taken together, it’s a strong lineup. I wish this tour was coming my way. (www.interq.or.jp/japan/hgfact)
NIPPLE VIOLATOR-Double Suck (Bloody Stump, LP)
SOCIALCIDE-Burn In Hell, Bundy (Kangaroo/Even Worse, 7” EP)Slam-bang hardcore, following a rip-snortin’ demo that Even Worse pressed on vinyl. One interesting thing is the new recording sounds rougher than the demo. In any case, Socialcide’s calling card is raw, old-school hardcore, established ca. 1982, although their cover of Wolfpack NYC’s “Suicide” dates from the later part of the decade. In fact, there’s an early Revelation Records feeling, as well, with the fuzzed-out guitar and breakdown style. And those bands were trying to bring back an older feel, as well. These guys do justice to those influences. (www.geocities.com/evenworserecords or www.geocities.com/tysonkangaroo)
UNDER PRESSURE-Black Bile (Fashionable Idiots, LP)
Under Pressure continue with their dark blend of hardcore and fired-up rock ‘n roll. Maybe rock ‘n roll is a misnomer since that will sometimes conjure up visions of guys in clichéd poses but, well, this is pretty rockin’. The lead licks are worked into the arrangements instead of dominating them. It should be noted that their guitar player does come on like Angus Young live but it’s more like Angus in the midst of a caffeine jag.
WATCH IT BURN-How
The cover for this record weighs a ton—it consists of two pieces of black and white vinyl tile with stickers slapped on the front and back with the track list and the like. And I like the cover a bit more than the record itself. Recorded in ’98 (Oct 30-32? Huh?) and they indulge in some heavy jams. Not hippie stuff and it’s structured—guitar/bass/drums with the first side featuring shorter compositions and the flip a lethargic, extended exercise. Metallized riffage, howling vocals and a solid rhythmic foundation. These muck-monsters do have the right idea on occasion and the playing skill to pull it off, but the songs don’t really go anywhere. (http://www.myspace.com/triggeronthedutendoo)