Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Suburban Voice blog #65

.... another long overdue installment. Once again, my apologies...



Brain Killer’s 8 song tape is, pardon the pun, totally fucking killer and this is one of the better new local bands to come along in a bit. Including folks from Libyans (Marcus Benamati, trading in his guitar for a microphone) and Terminal Youth. Raw, aggressive distorted hardcore with each song flowing into the next with a flourish of feedback and punctuated by searing guitar, rampaging bass and drums and Marcus’s bowel-moving growl. Sure, there’s the Dis-aspect (Dis-respect? Never mind...) but some variations in tempo and arranging separate it from your run-of-the-mill rehashing of dis sound. (610 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134,

The women in Eunuch offer bass-driven lurch ‘n grind, mainly the former. Slow and ominous before erupting into a blast zone. Eunuch recently added a guitar player to their lineup—or, more accurately, a creator of feedback but Liz Panella’s thick, heavy bass lines remain the focal point, along with Nay Rosario’s soul-screaming vocals. (59 Myrtle St., Somerville, MA 02145,

Draize’s CD-R demo has the lurching element, as well, along with whirlwind thrash parts. Laying down some fierce, heavy sounds and the lyrics, angrily expelled by Tom, even bring up some local topics, such as a bio-lab being built in the South End of Boston that’s created quite a bit of controversy. (11 Alleghany St. #1, Boston, MA 02120,

Male Nurses’ full-tilt thrash makes a pretty good impression and that was further proven seeing them live. Ranting vocals and a thorny attack on this brief 5 song demo that includes a cover of Koro’s “Dear Sirs.” These guys need to get in a real studio pronto. (

Morne’s debut demo is actually a proper CD release, jewel case and all. Doom ‘n gloom, as you’d expect, incorporating heavy riffs. The demo is introduced with tribal rhythms with a melodic/somber undertow and former Filth of Mankind guitarist Milosz’s pained vocals don’t appear until six minutes in. That soon turns over to the relatively sprightlier “Force.” And while there are lumbering pieces, Morne also choose to pick up the pace fairly frequently. The atmospheric keyboards are something that Morne have eschewed live and, given that they’re going to re-record these songs for a “proper” release, I don’t think they’d be missed. Think Amebix and “Souls At Zero” period Neurosis and you wouldn’t be far off the mark. An epic ‘n heavy approach. (


ANTIDOTE-No Communication (Rodent Popsicle, CD)
Just in case you didn’t know, this is the veteran Dutch band Antidote, not the early 80s NYHC band. Uptempo, no BS punk rock with an adequate amount of drive ‘n burn. Drawing from the more tuneful side of the early 80s UK spectrum ala One Way System or Partisans, for instance. Yep, been done before and they’ve stuck to their guns for a decade, now. It’ll get the kids with the mohawks running in circles in no time flat and it gets this old fart’s toe tapping from time to time. Just don’t expect any sort of mind-blowing revelation. (PO Box 1134, Allston, MA 02134,

When I got this album from BDTH vocalist/guitarist Chad Malone, he mentioned how psyched he was to be playing hardcore again, as he did with Brother Inferior and Assembly of God. The urge to rage continues to grab at his being and it comes out loud and clear with the sentiments expressed. As you would expect, given his past lyrical history, Chad continues to have a major issue with religion and also throws barbs at reactionary “pundit” Ann Coulter and those who suppress the rights of the worker. On the more positive side, there’s a salute to the over-30 punk folks with the street-punk flavored “Never Give In, Never Give Up.” Musically, it’s mainly a barrage of double-speed thrash with some more measured arranging from time to time and, truth be told, those are the best songs here. I also smiled when the first riff heard on the album nicks from Love’s “7 and 7 Is,” leading right into the pillage of “Bring Down The Hammer.” For a complete changeup, the album ends with a punked-up treatment of folk song “The World Turned Upside Down,” a modernized version of a Diggers protest song from the 17th century and it was also covered by Billy Bragg (thank you Wiki)... I’m not going to write a book report here—look it up, if you’re curious. I’ll let other reviewers use the “hammering” description and, uh, I just did. Fits, too. (PO Box 90579, Long Beach, CA 90809,

FIX MY HEAD-s/t (Vinyl Addict, 7” EP)
When the wife and I visited SF in 2000, we went to a show at Mission Records (RIP). If memory serves me correctly, I wasn’t really familiar with the bands and one of them, Scurvy Dogs, blew me away. Some years later, Matt’s got a new band, Fix My Head, and these guys are also quite ass-kickin.’ You need the lyric sheet to figure out what Matt’s ranting about and it runs the gamut from environmentalism on “Garbage Existence” and “Swirling Vortex” to “jock edge violence,” as he puts it on “I Sharted My Pantaloons.” Semi-raw production brings out the thrashy intensity to blast a hole in your skull, euphemistically speaking. For a non-euphemistic flavor, just put it on, crank it and prepare to bowled over by the savagery. (1835 De Bourgogne, Sherbrooke, Quebec, CANADA, J1J 1B1,

ICON GALLERY-s/t (Dear Skull, 7”)
A couple of people in this band—vocalist Chani and bass-player Aaron—used to be in Die Screaming (aka Aphasia) but this takes a much more melodic route. Mid-tempo rock with searing guitar lines and a solid bass/drums foundation, accompanying Chani’s dramatic vocals—and she’s still capable of summoning an angrier side. These two songs have plenty of forceful presence. (

I HATE THIS-Serious/KILLIN’ IT-Party 4 Ever (Give Praise/self-released, 7” EP) RAW SEWAGE/I HATE THIS-split (BS Propaganda/Give Praise, 7” EP)
A pair of splits, both of ‘em including I Hate This, who have a murderous-sounding style. Fast, piledriving hardcore thrash along with some impassioned lyrics and that includes topics that aren’t very ordinary—such as the commodification of herbal medicine (their vocalist De is a herbalist). And “Reprieve” is a gutsy revelation of a sexual assault. There’s even a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut. Those all come from the split with Killin’ It. All of their songs serve as visceral primal scream therapy and they’ve come quite a way from their first demo. Moving on to their vinyl partners (sounds interesting!), Killin’ It are a compatible pairing. Good ‘ol ripping thrash, albeit with some monorhythmic drumming affecting things a little. Raw Sewage operate in more of death metal/grind realm, not really offering anything particularly memorable. (,,

KULTURKAMPF-Existence EP (Trench Rot, 7” EP)
Crusty stuff with metallic overtones and at its best for “Whores Of War,” which follows a good ‘n raging blueprint and their cover of Aus-Rotten’s “Fuck Nazi Sympathy” isn’t too bad. On the other hand, the death-metal fodder of “Existence” is an ill-advised side step. The vocal grunts hurt things—I never understood why bands opt for something that detracting. The first song shows some promise but still nothing all that spectacular.

LEGIT!-s/t (Loud Punk/Shit Son!, 7” EP)
Legit! pack their music with a sense of foreboding and drama, contained within a framework of powerful hardcore. The howling vocals are accompanied by a combination of thrash and the occasional technical flourish in the guitar playing, with an on-a-dime navigation between tempos. The lyrics read more like prose taken from a journal and lash out at conformity and complacency, to shine something of a light on it—and that’s in the punk scene as well. That’s presented on “Legitimacize,” where people “dream of a brighter world through colored vinyl.” Because, as we all know, that’s what leads to change, right? “Three cheers for all the punx.” My kind of sarcasm and those words are accompanied by a musical attack that reinforces the overall cynical outlook. (PO Box 3067, Albany, NY 12203,

MASSGRAV-This War Will Won By Meat Eaters (Sound Pollution, CD)

The air-raid warning sounds and the blitzkrieg commences. Double-speed thrash craziness, a pair of vocalists hoarsely screaming out the words. I was thinking it had something in common with the speed-blitz of fellow Swedes Diskonto and it reminded me that they did a split together some years back. The instrumentation has a chainsaw intensity but really loses something with the blinding tempos. Standard lament—it’s still a powerful sound, regardless. And the lyrical synopses are to the point. My favorite: “Let’s fact it—your life sucks and it ain’t gonna get better.” Definitely not posi youth, here. (PO Box 11742, Covington, KY 41017,


MEHKAGO NT-s/t (Vinyl Rites, 12” EP)

RELIGIOUS AS FUCK-Collection (Drugged Conscience, tape)


I let Mehkago NT’s 12” sit for too long and that’s a pity ‘cause it’s a crusher. A heavy sound with an arsenal of speed and heaviness. I hesitate to call it crust but it’s definitely got some elements of that, especially in the gutteral howlings and lyrical negativity. The leadoff track is called “Negative Outlook,” in fact. Their new split with Floridians Religious As Fuck continues in a similar vein. Moving on to RAF, they’ve got more of a thrashy hardcore punk approach but not in the early 80s sense. This is angry and visceral music and taking it up another level from their debut 7” (which was quite good). Blazing loud/fast fodder. The cassette collection includes the tracks from this split and their first, self-titled 7” plus, on the b-side of the tape, a live performance. Everything here, from both bands, provides a potent soundtrack for these bleak times. (Vinyl Rites: PO Box 924, Gainesville, FL 32602, Conscience: 5140 Tamarind Ridge Dr., Naples, FL 34119, Idea, PO Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604,

SHORT CHANGED-Burn Down Wagon Town (Goat Power Recreation/Pyrate Punx, 7” EP)

Lovely green/gray vinyl mixture and, in the grooves, this is romping, stomping fast hardcore punk. “Bottle or The Knife” is another song offering a reflection on ones life and, as they put it, “how you deal with it is the key.” Amen to that and this band’s charged sound. Down with the (Oakland) Raiders but up with the Pyrates! (

SOCIALCIDE-Unapproachable (Even Worse/Kangaroo, 12”)
A hot mix, with these dozen songs spread over 12 inches of wax. Hmm... perverted description—again? (second time this blog!) Anyway, the production is cleaned up a bit from their other records and doesn’t suffer at all. Blazing, no BS hardcore punk with a pretty negative attitude or perhaps, more accurately, impatient and accusatory. “SDA,” for instance, which stands for “Stupid Drunk Asshole.” Even the double-speed moments are done with ruthless efficiency. Poison Idea provides some of the inspiration and a song like “Will Call” has an old-school west coast ‘core flavor, as well. Really comin’ into their own here. ( or

STATE-Sanctimony EP (Punks Before Profits, 7” EP)
The State continue to crank out the vinyl and, once again, they’re blasting out the thrashy punk with rawness and anger. The lyrics are fragmentary sentences and blunt in their intent—critiques of “white male dumbinance,” to quote BGK and, at the end of the day, owning up to being a bleeding heart, raging against social Darwinism and shitty politicians. Some impressively sputtering git-playing from Mr. Art Tendler to accompany Preston’s emanations and his style has always been a defining factor for this band. Another effective, pissed-off missive. (