Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Land of Greed, World of Need" Embrace Tribute/Comp.

Embrace was a mid-80's DC band that came after the end of both Minor Threat & the Faith. Swapping younger Alec for older Ian, the members of the Faith joined the Minor Threat vocalist to put down songs that would inspire whole generations of Post-Hardcore/Emo*core bands to come after them. Taking the aggression and turning it on its head musically, all the fury and conviction still comes through and hits like a foam bat with a steel center. Softer music doesn't mean soft music and the lyrics cut and accuse.

Because those statements are very true, in the early 90's record labels Watermark & Trustkill came together and put together an Embrace tribute album (also a homeless benefit). Long out of print and containing a very wide selection of bands, I still haven't seen a physical copy in real life. Needless to say, it can fetch ample attention any time it surfaces. But, that is to be expected of a record that not only pays homage to a band like Embrace but includes bands like Outspoken, Ashes, Rancid, Avail, Lifetime, Current, & Undertow. There are some real suprises on here (I didnt know what to think of Rancid covering Embrace, but they make it fit into the forumla of the early 3-piece Rancid) and for the most part the covers are great.

The entire Embrace record is covered, in order, 1 song per band. The bands are:
Nations on Fire, Current, Undertow, Groundwork, Outspoken, Sparkmarker, Function, Blindfold, Avail, Rancid, Lifetime, Process, Farside, Ashes.


Land of Greed, World of Need Comp. (download)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

H20 - What Happened? (Video)

Personally, coming from a punk background, i think a band like H20 should be a required band to listen to. Seeming to almost perfectly tow the line between Punk & Hardcore in that seamless manner that a hardcore band should. Catchy enough that you could catch your mom bobbing her head to it, but pissed enough that you know its on the level and from the heart.

Like many, I was sadly disappointed by the "Go!" album. So, when I heard they were making music again I was happy, but cautious. What came was their fifth album, "Nothing to Prove." Which is ironic I guess, a band of their stature certainly doesnt have anything that they HAVE to prove, its been proven. But, the album establishes that H20 is still around and still capable of writing a catchy, honest, angry record of Hardcore Punk. The video of their song "What Happened?" to me, shows in its best form, everything that I love about this band. From the records they single out while in a record shop (including Rancid, Gorilla Biscuits, & Descendents among others) to the balanced guest singers of Lou Koller (Sick of It All) & Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio), and of course the words in the song.

Just watch the video. And buy the cd.

pS - ive got a new power cord for the laptop, so i'll get back down to business here.

Now playing: H2O - Fairweather friend
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As for the Interruption...

The power cord for my laptop (which i do all of the blog stuff from) took a powder on Monday and opted out early.

So, I havent updated due to that. Thankfully, I knew it was going and got a replacement ordered and it should be arriving soon. I also uploaded a few things and I will try to make some time for an upload or two on the desktop (which i almost never use)

Summer Day Camp also started at my work and its a grind/adjustment the first 2 weeks or so.

Forgive an old guy pushing thirty (ha ha).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Catharsis - Newborn split & Newspeak Split

Catharsis are one of those bands that you neglect hearing until that fateful moment you finally hear them and then you kick yourself for the next 6 months for not hearing them sooner. For me, its also another case of a style I simply wasn't into at the time they were at their peak. Sadly, that means I missed seeing them live. Their body of work however is extensive and good enough that it balances those "i'm a fucking idiot" feelings a bit.

Catharsis was heavy. Catharsis was fast. Catharsis was crazy. And all of those comments could be used to describe their music or even their lyrics. Catharsis took deep concepts, heavy & fast music, and made into something very distinctly their own. With a speedy & heavy sound that conjures up Tragedy, its safe to say Tragedy & His Hero is Gone probably listened to some Catharsis in their time. Political as can be (their singer began releasing their stuff via the Crimethinc. Collective) and even flatly anarchist, Catharsis in their audio state is a truck hitting a brick wall at 80mph and going on afterwards despite the wheels being off and the engine in flames.

Long songs & some interesting sounds to mix things up (their album "Passion" is still available, find it if for nothing else, the song "Deserts without Mirages" and hear how a band like this can make a smooth reggae song blend with haunting spoken word into a slow screaming mess and back into reggae- NO, seriously!), Catharsis may not have been ahead of their time, but they probably existed in their own time.

Members went on to other bands, including Requiem who also released a cd on Crimethinc. Besides these splits, they have a split with Gehenna (i have a copy, but the sound is super thin/tin sounding. im gunna see if a better version exists), the "Passion" album i mentioned, another album named "Samsara" & some assorted demos/ep's. All in all, there's plenty to be found.

I included the splits in their full state, with Newborn & Newspeak's tracks as well. Newborn are really good as well and worth a complete listen. Heavy as well, they mix in some clean vocals and elements that remind me of older screamo at times. Newspeak have a heavy fast sound, but it leans more towards screaming and thrashing around than Catharsis or Newborn. I guess, more of an overall screamo feel than Newborn.


Catharsis / Newborn - Split (download)

Catharsis / Newspeak - Split

Now playing: Deadguy - Running With Scissors
via FoxyTunes

Deadguy - Work Ethic 7inch

Crazy. Disturbed. Fucking Insane. Far before there time, Deadguy with Tim Singer was insane. Their 2 7inches, and full length before his (and guitarist Keith Huckins) departure to start Kiss It Goodbye are still making waves.

In some ways a modern Black Flag in the sheer force of their power and expressiveness, they would explode and quickly burn out. Odd and driving, kind of like the third step after Bl'ast (and the aforementioned Black Flag). Pounding drums, thick guitars, and off beat changes under vocals that scream 'man on the edge', there really isn't too much I can do to give justice to what this band was doing. But the odd changes, thick guitars, and utter anger found in these three songs has probably directly made some of your favorite bands possible today.

I included an interview (scanned from a zine and found on a fan/tribute Deadguy Myspace ) from this time period of the band.

There's another 7inch, "Whitemeat" & a full-length "Fixation on A Co-Worker" that are great. I'll post the other 7inch some time, but the lp is on Victory.

Deadguy - Work Ethic 7inch (download)

Deadguy on wiki

Now playing: Rancid - Can't Forgive
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Time For Change - Soiled Dove/Let This Go video

Last week Time For Change played the Pharoah's Den in Riverside & I recorded a few songs. Andy (TFC/Glory Kid) edited two of the songs together, touched it up a little and posted on YouTube. Here it is:

Now playing: My Revenge! - Gay Marriage is Better Than Your Marriage
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Drop It! - Demos

Drop It! was a Inland Empire, Ca. band in the mid 2000's that played fast, pissed off hardcore. Originally a 5 piece, they quickly trimmed down to a four piece and began recording (other than these demos here, there is a tape demo of some horrid standards that I have a copy of. I plan on doing a DI! Discog. at some point, so i'll include it then). At the time that the band began thinking of recording, Vic DiCara had come back to Southern California (and into the Inland Empire) and set up a home studio. Wishing to work with someone who had been in bands that they respected & to record close to home, Drop It! went to Static Void Studio in Fontana, California and recorded a 7 song Demo with Vic.

Its funny, writing about other bands you like or bands you looked up to is easy, but when you were there and even some small part of the process its harder. You remember so much, you have to edit yourself and wonder if youre fluffing everything up for memories sake. I was present for the Drop It! sessions and hung out with those guys a lot at the time and so to reflect on all of this and try to trim the fat is hard in some ways.

The Short Version goes... a 7 song demo was recorded. 6 originals & Vic singing on a cover of the Circle Jerks "Deny Everything." It was pretty to the point and pissed off, with singer Foose just letting go (you thought I was gunna say "letting loose"). The demo was briefly shared before Vic and the band agreed it needed a remix. A remix was done. Still, even after putting it up for download, it seemed lacking.
Admittedly, Vic was new to recording and said as much himself. He invited the band back to the studio in May of 2004 to re-record the demo, sans the cover. With the previous recording experience to both of their benefit; Vic & the band set to it again. Vic had more input and the band had more ideas. Foose didn't go so full steam into his vocals, instead using a cleaner voice. The demo, overall showed a better representation of the band. Sadly (in my opinion) the bass levels are some what off on this demo and the sound can be a little too much for a lot of standard stereo systems. But as a whole, Drop It! found their sound on the Second demo.

From this point the two 7inches were recorded and along with these demos they encompass the studio recorded output of Drop It! In the near future I will include the 7inches, the 4 track Tape demo & some other recordings I have of the band, as I unpack and find the cd's/hard drive.

For now, here is the Original Vic Demo, Original Vic Demo (remix), & Second Vic Demo. All of them include the Deny Everything cover for completion's sake, but its the same version each time.

*I'll scan the demo cover later for the Discography*

Drop It! - Demos (download)

Now playing: Anathallo - To Renew, Cause to Grow, Or Bloom Again
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 16, 2008

Murder City Devils /// What's Been Posted So Far /// Blog Spotlight

This is gunna be a little bit of everything post. I've been meaning to make a post of links to all the posts so far, so that's first. Also, there's some awesome blogs out there (like the already linked and referenced South Florida Blog that Chip runs) & it's high time to link a few more for you all to check out. Lastly, I found a live radio set from the Murder City Devils (pictured above) about 6-8 months ago. Its from 1998 & is before In Name & Blood came out & features the full fleshed out line-up with Leslie Hardy on organ/keys.

Time For Change - Live video of unreleased song
Dead Ones - Busted Heads EP
Area 51 - Discography (pre-Murder City Devils/Pretty Girls Make Graves/Death Wish Kids)
Tension - Sickness of Our Age 7inch (Big ups to Chip & South Florida again)
411 - The Thoughts That Feed the Fire 7inch
Revolution Summer - Demo (not the Euro band)
Parades End - 2 7inches & Live radio Set
Le pro ou suis mort - EP
Greg Graffin - Live (Acoustic. Solo stuff & BR songs)
Endeavor - Kill Traitors CD (7inches) (Thanks to Severed Forever again)
A Reason For Living Comp. (w/ Despair, Snapcase & more)
Reinforce - Youth Shall Sing / One Life Thug Free 7inches
No Justice - Still fighting 7inch
Collision - Final/Crocodile Hunter Demo
Quicksand - Divorce/Voice Killer 7inch
Strain - Cataract/Turn the Tide 7inch
Hot Cross - Live on WLUW (radio)
Roswell Project - 7inch /// Stickfigurecarousel - Bastille 7inch
Drift Again - 7inch

All the Blogs linked to the right are great with the mighty South Florida Music Scene and x43x being two of my favorites.

Besides all of those, two of the ones I've been digging on lately are Prime Directive run by Chase & All Over This Town by Jav.

Prime Directive bounces around a little and includes older stuff (an early post had Blackspot) as well as more current things (Never Healed & Fucked Up to name a few) and includes downloads, interviews, and posts of information on long since gone bands. Really informative with a good diversity.

All Over This Town is real new and so far is focusing on Zines (older ones) & Interviews. Thus far Jav has posted a current interview with Steven Miller of Crushed On You (Kill Holiday & Unbroken) that is pretty interesting. He also just did a good length post on some old zines. Its got me itching to do one again dammit.

Check em both out.

Lastly, we come to the Murder City Devils radio set. This is from October 1998. As I said before, it includes the full line-up with Leslie Hardy (Johnson) on organ/keys and all the other regular suspects in their respective spots. This was done in studio on the air. I was late to this band, not hearing them until a friend bought "In Name & Blood" and played it one night. I was hooked. Rock and Roll, Punk Rock, a swagger all their own, flaming drums, and that fucking organ.

I had to convert these and re-tag them. I have the suspicion that theyre not fully tagged, so i'll post the song order to make it easier (though most downloading this are probably big enough fans to know the songs)

the Murder City Devils - Live Radio Set October 1998

1- Murder City Riot
2- Dance Hall Music
3- Idle Hands
4- 18 Wheels
5- I Want Alot Now (So Come On)
6- Boom Swagger Boom
7- From the Cradle to the Grave
8- Broken Glass

*i also have "Three Natural Sixes" 7inch recorded, "Split" w/ Glucifer recorded, a handful of other singles/non-lp tracks, & the Showbox show (from the surprise show the night after the first reunion show). If that interests you let me know in the comments.*

Drift Again - 7 inch

People have their opinions about the 90's and hardcore. Love or hate it, the time post the big 1988 break out was a period of a lot of growth in the Hardcore Scenes. What lots of the bigger bands (be it Cro-Mags, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, or Agnostic Front) had built in the concepts of loud, fast, and pissed was being explored and reassessed.

Not to put some grand spin on Drift Again, it's a reflection of the time, the same could be said about the Quicksand & 411 7inches i've upped before. This band pre-dates Outspoken & features both Dennis Remsing & Mike Hartsfield. It also includes members of Solitude & second Ignite singer Randy Johnson (on guitar).

Personally, I hear the effect that Inside Out was starting to have on bands as hardcore and metal started to mix in a way that showed a dominance of hardcore's sound (as opposed to Agnostic Front who showed more of metal's dominance at the time). Vocals that are sung more than screamed, music with some little leads and fancier guitar work, and lyrics that reflect kind of darkly, but not depressing.


*download includes full scans of the covers & insert*

Drift Again - 7inch (download)

Thanks Again to Andy for letting me borrow the record and scan/record it.

*they also had a comp song on 'Words to Live By'. Thanks to a good eye from Chase over at Prime Directive, this comp came out on New Age. DUH on my part*

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Roswell Project /// Stickfigurecarousel - 7inches

Double post! In this one you get two different downloads for two different bands.

Both of these bands I stumbled upon accidentally. Roswell Project by being intrigued by the artwork as it looked at me in a used bin, again at the great Dr. Strange Records. When I looked at the thanks list, I decided the record was worth a two dollar risk and at worst i got some cool artwork. I wasn't disappointed. Screaming, pissed, anguished hardcore from so cal. circa the late 90's. Yeah, I'd call it screamo. Good stuff and definitely track it down if you can. The last song bums me out almost every time. Great song though.

Roswell Project - 7inch (download)

*at the time I upped this, I hadn't added the artwork to the zip file. All scans for the Roswell Project 7inch can be found HERE


Next is Stickfigurecarousel. Now, this band I had at least heard of before finding this 7inch in the used bin at another local shop, Red Planet (ne. CD World). I knew that Chad Stroup was in the band and that they were part of the second wave of "the San Diego bands" meaning, post Unbroken.

This two song 7inch comes packaged really nicely. It all folds out with little windows cut in the front and back sections to show other pictures through them. Nice, hard card stock for the whole thing and two songs that deliver chaotic, equal amounts of mid-90's screamo/emo. Infused with just enough of what made bands like Heroin, Indian Summer, & Saetia great- the band mixes things nicely.

They have at least two other releases, I believe three if you include the split 7inch, which I have never seen or heard. If anyone owns these, mp3's of them, or wants to swap - DEFINITELY get ahold of me. (I own the As The Sun Sets comp they were on). Thanks.

Stickfigurecarousel - Bastille 7inch (Download)

*I havent scanned this record yet. This is being posted because it accompanies the Roswell Project record nicely and a I promised a friend I would up it since he keeps hearing about them and hasn't heard them yet*

Hot Cross - Live on WLUW

Hot Cross was formed from the ashes of many well noted screamo bands, which set high standards of what the band would produce as a singular musical unit. Unfortunately, for most the expectations they held of a cookie cutter repeat of their previous bands (Sateia, Neil Perry, you and i, & Joshua Fit For Battle) would lead to a dislike of what Hot Cross would do.

Their first ep "A New Set of Lungs" set the pace both lyrically & musically and outlined a new band with a new sound that was going to operate independently of any expectations that others had of them. Forgone was much of the noisy, chaotic sounds of previous bands; in place was very well textured guitar parts with running leads dueling each other over less refined riffs. The guitar execution of the band helped set the band above, and maybe unfortunately, apart.

Also gone were singer Billy's impassioned & awkward screams- in place was a new voice- not unfamiliar, but rather just new. A cleaner voice that screams, sings, and talks along with vocal help from different members again gives the band a textured sound. Bass and drum round out a full sound with such utter perfection that its hard to not consider the possibility of them being robots.

The ferocity felt on the first ep was channeled into a much more lyrical anger backed by the aforementioned musical layering. Still enough piss and energy to go around, but when the "Cryonics" lp came out, many of those who liked Hot Cross began to tune out. Some of us though, listened closer.
"Fair Trades & Fairwells" ep came next. Mostly fast, dueling guitars, but still boasting a full and intricate sound- the previous output seemed to collide into one small record. All along a few split 7inches came out that tow the line between Cryonics and Prepare/Repair. Then came the departure of one singer and recording an album twice, the second time with said departed guitarist.

"Risk Revival" came out and took another step. Gloomy and with a more standard sound, a last step that pushed even more away. Even though its my least favorite Hot Cross record, its still a great record with some real gems and a lot of other good tracks on it. Sadly, at this point Hot Cross would go on an indefinite hiatus that they are still currently on.

Much, if not all of their stuff is still in print. Level Plane records carries a lot of it. Aside from that material there is this live set from WLUW radio. It offers an alright mix of songs (all great songs, just not much from Cyronics). This set predates Risk Revival. The quality is great.

Enjoy & excuse the long story.

Hot Cross - Live on WLUW (download)

Level Plane Records
Hot Cross Myspace Page

Now playing: Hot Cross - Vacant (demo)
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Strain - Cataract / Turn the Tide 7inch

At the request and assistance of the ever awesome Andy Kid (thanks for loaning me the record) this 7inch is coming to you. Heavy, Angry, and so very 90's. Strain is all things a band from their time ('92-'97) should have been. Hailing from the great white north of Canada and releasing much of their stuff on a German label has helped keep this band some what of a semi-forgotten treasure. And so, its a true pleasure to offer up this little 2-song gem. It was their third 7inch and in my opinion finds them first really coming into their own. Heavy hardcore (predating metalcore) with (no pun intended) strained vocals soaked through in anger. Members went on to bands such as By A Thread & member Eric has had a long running radio show up north called Flex Your Head.

Enjoy (scans of front, back, and insert included in download).

Strain - Cataract / Turn the Tide 7inch (download)

Now playing: The Spectacle - Angel's Choir's+choir

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quicksand - Divorce / Voice Killer 7inch

Quicksand came out of the ashes of a multitude of prominent hardcore bands from the late 80's/early 90's (Burn, Absolution, Beyond, Bold, Gorilla Biscuits). Led by GB guitarist Walter Schriefels, they took a lead role in developing the sound of Post-Core and leaving an influence that is still widely felt in music today.

Equal parts hardcore, indie, punk, and innovative, they blended a sound that could have a menacing musical sound while being perfectly layered with guitar hooks and clean vocals that cut through it all.

They did an EP, 2 LP's and a multitude of singles/promos and have a wide assortment of other tracks floating around. They even began a third album before dissolving for good amid internal tensions.

This 7inch is one of the aforementioned promos, containing one track (divorce) from their second lp & Voice Killer, an otherwise unreleased B-Side. Enjoy.

Quicksand - Divorce/ Voice Killer 7inch (Download)

Quicksand WIKI Page

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Moral Straightjacket

... My apologies, my laptop has been a pain the last week or so and it's prevented me from uploading much. I just got up the Collision demo (see directly below post) and I'll work on some more this weekend. I'm in the process of copying all my things and preparing to reinstall the OS, so bare with me as I use the PC which has almost none of the files on it. FUUUUN.