If you were anywhere the Bay Area in the '90s then you surely heard of Sacramento's LIZARDS, even if you never heard the band. Irreverent and unabashedly FUN punk that sounds timeless when blasted in(to) this millennium....the ten tracks here from their Summer '94 Tour Tape will put a smile on the face of nostalgic visitors and hopefully turn on a few newcomers. What if THE DEAD MILKMEN and pre-Hidden World FUCKED UP and HICKEY morphed into one band? Seriously.
16 November 2017
I've fawned over these kids in these pages before, and feel fortunate to have shared a split release with them a few years back. The recent release of XRDM's Fashkodato! EP (which is an absolute stunner) inspired me to spend some time with their earlier releases....and so here you go. Self titled 2014 cassette contains six blistering fastcore tracks in six minutes, with little bursts of heavy '90s crust and everything fronted by Nzt's relentless high end vocal attack. Power and speed and intensity - I really want to go back to Kota Kinabalu....
15 November 2017
Anguished and repulsively heavy sludge from America's Rust Belt, the lost and prolific land of desperations. MOLLUSK are (were?) nothing short of sonic annihilation, nuance/s coming only in the form of short quietudes that are more like a warning than a break....because though you are about to crumble from the weight of what you are already holding, that quiet moment is just MOLLUSK telling you that the universe is about to bury you.
14 November 2017
This one is beautiful, and also deadly. Distorted pulses and waves of sound that sometimes sound like a SCIENTIST dub treatment laid (unwillingly) on harsh industrial electronics. And then there's "Sleeping," that takes up 20+ minutes of the B-side of Sleepless...ominous sonic punishment of the highest and most hypnotic order. Highest praise here.....
13 November 2017
I recall a lot of people dismissing this demo when it came out a few years ago. Who knows...maybe it was NYC backlash, maybe it was just not quite as flavorful as something else cool that came out that month, or may the ears just adjust over time....but in late 2017 this demo fukkn creams hard. Six songs, eight minutes, nihilism as sound. If this is the soundtrack to the beginning of your week, then just imagine how grim things are gonna be when Thursday come rolling around.
12 November 2017
Someone want to fill the rest of us in here? I have no idea how this cassette came to me (this is a common theme in my life), and I don't know anything about the band. What I do know is that this four song demo from 1988 is a perfect (B)rat Pack montage soundtrack, brilliant synth heavy new wave/pop music from/for a lost generation. The second track leads me to believe that these kids (might have) had punk roots, but then the chorus drops and it's just brilliant outsider pop. Maybe I wouldn't want a full album, if only because these were the kinds of bands who had seemed to have a few good songs and then you heard the LP and the rest of the songs were shite, but I'll be damned if this sampling isn't pretty much perfect.
11 November 2017
A year and a half after I referenced the brilliance of this 2015 demo, and months after Big Achievements flew off of Iron Lung's shelves and into the greedy earmitts of all you mongers, here's the first offering from Washington (state) mutants NASTI. Well, the first one that I heard. And it blew my mind. Ferocious and discordant hardcore freakouts that don't try to sound mean or fukkd up....because they are mean and fukkd up. The guitars in the title track should be all the convincing that you need here. For those not already on board....
10 November 2017
I am always very pleased when I decide to pull this one out. Late '90s hardcore that defiantly clings to the unregimented glory of that oft unheralded decade, NEXT OF KIN was born out of the Wisconsin DIY basement scene but members had migrated west by 1998 when this document was recorded...it's angry, it looks inward, it's raw intensity in sound. Their existence was short, and they existed in the shadows of their previous and more prominent projects, but this demo......pure power.
09 November 2017
More anguished submissions from LIFE DRAG. 2016's Feed Your Grave was perhaps slightly more coherent than 2016's Feed Your Grave (that's not a typo), but this offering opts for desolation and darkness and misery brooding beneath a shroud of hollow sound. Well....I guess that's pretty much the same as the other one, but my point is that the vision feels more realized on this cassette. Listen to the dirge that is "Collapse Of Reality." Listen to the brutal monotony of "Transaction." Listen to the sparse desperation of "A Living Trend." Listen to your pain. Feed Your Grave once again.
08 November 2017
07 November 2017
06 November 2017
Project bands are cool, as this flash in the pan Ohio screamo outfit demonstrate. Vocals are maxed and broken, riffs are weird and the keyboards sometimes don't make any sense whatsoever - which is why they are so perfect. According to the liner notes, these tracks were essentially written and recorded in a week. Not bad, kids....not bad at all.
05 November 2017
It's funny that my first mental comparison is FUCKED UP....funny because CHILLER don't sound a fukkn thing like that (maybe on "What Can You Reach Through?" and the closer "You Reading New History") and also because FUCKED UP hasn't played hard and/or fast in at least a decade. But take those marble mouthed vocals and set them to ripping, meaty, Steel City hardcore and you're basically in the ballpark. A relentless eight minute collection.....you're welcome.
04 November 2017
Perfect fall weekend fodder for visitors who can't decide if they want to listen to lo-fi pop or retro shoegaze or Jay Reatard (on quaaludes) or dark indie/punk and kinda want to listen to all of them. But, you know, at the same time.
03 November 2017
We were supposed to tour together in 2002 - it would have been KYLESA's first - but they killed two vans in three days and (wisely?) decided to stay home before we even left the Southeast. While our shows definitely benefited from having their name on every flyer, I still really wish that we could have just done the damn thing together. But we shared a shitload of bills through the mid-'00s, and they were like family every time they came through. Obviously KYLESA was on the road a lot during that time, and obviously they had similar relationships with friends all over the country, but when they rolled up to our place on Achilles Street in Milwaukee it always felt like family. And then they proved that we were family when I went to Europe with them in 2008, but that's a different story....
I don't remember exactly when Laura made me this tape, but I'm pretty sure the tracks from the No Ending EP were yet to be released at the time, so that means 2002/3, pretty soon after we met. It's a pretty simple concept for a mix: throw some new shit from your band on a tape with some classic bangers that you want to turn your friend/s onto. And if the shit bangs, then you're finished...and this shit bangs. Ohio 1983 // Ontario 1987 // Georgia 2002 // Thanks, Laura.