Well I haven't posted in months....just not really had the drive to do much, but in any case, I'm back with my best of 2013....I wasn't very active, both when it came to reviews or shows, still, there were plenty of records that caught my ears....
Perfect pussy - I have lost all desire for feeling
I probably should've reviewed this months ago, in any case, Meredith's new band takes up where shoppers left off and then some. Its just a bit more melodic this time around...can't wait to hear/see what's in store for this band....
11. Boilerman - loss leaders
Best pop punk record of the year. Nuff said.
10. Technicolor teeth - teenage pagans
Members of tenement bring us the best dream/fuzz/shoegaze record of the year.
9. Goddard/giraffes giraffes split "10
Two great bands from mass team up for a great split. Mathrock madness.
8. Late bloomer lp
North Carolina ragged tuneful indie rock harkening back to the 90s. Great stuff that gets better with repeated listens...
7. Hate vacation ep
Philly powerhouse with an all star lineup....ragged and ugly...just the way I like it.
6.speedy ortiz - major arcana
Unfortunately I missed these guys twice so far...hopefully that streak won't last...one of the absolute best records of the year from one of the best bands of the year.
5. Dreamdecay - nvnvnv
Epic noisy moody record from Seattle's best band
4. Gay kiss - fault
Arizona dudes playing some of the most vicious hardcore I've heard this year...top 5 record easily.
3. Cloud rat - moksha
Great friends playing great music. Not much more I could ask for out of a grindcore record than what's in this record.
2. Cousins - bathhouse
This Milwaukee outfit narrowly missed my top spot...dudes put out the best punkgaze record of the year.....there's nothing bad I can say about this record, its pretty close to perfect..
1. Red hare - nites of midnite
My record of the year...Sean brown, jason Ferrell & co show the kids how its done on 2013's hardcore tour de force....but with the pedigree these dudes have, would you expect any less? Also best dischord record of the past 10 years.
I guess thats it for 2013....I'll see ya on the flip side....hopefully I'll be more active in 2014...
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
rice chips at 1AM……..life is sorta good.........theres a half bottle of smirnoff on the counter.....ive only been what you could call “shitfaced drunk” once in my life……im alone and i could easily get there again, but im just not one to take leave of my senses (if i dont have to)
off to bed.........
Friday, September 27, 2013
hey people, im back...at least for the moment.........the subject today is a band from Sacramento, CA, called so stressed.......i had no idea who they were until i got an email from one of their members who linked me to their record....after a listen, i can say that i enjoyed it a pretty fair amount with room to like it alot more with subsequent listens........what we have here a sort of lo-fi punk/noise/indie rock thing.....a decent amount of influences comming together here.....i can hear overtones of dreamdecay, hints of milemarker, little flecks of calumet hecla and giraffes giraffes, even a tiny drizzle of small brown bike....despite all of these seemingly disperate sounds popping up, it all seems tied together pretty well throughout......i wouldn't mind seeing these guys (and girl?) live at all......i bet they'd be pretty fun........im perfectly fine recommending this record as it is and im sure with subsequent listens that recommendation will only get reinforced........check it out!
Friday, August 23, 2013
now that im on a mini roll of sorts, heres an album from R. vomisa cassi, who hail from budapest hungary......this came out last summer, i was unaware of it till a nice dude from the band directed me to their band camp from tumblr........5 songs of fast chaotic hardcore with prominent high end and a melodic undercurrent flowing through the sound.....reminds me alot of those old german bands on love records like sog and stale. the vocals sound like a little kid at times and it takes away from the music somewhat, but overall this is a good outing from a band thats very new to me.....check it out.
R. vomisa cassi
Thursday, August 22, 2013
today im back with another new record. this time from chicago's boilerman, who i've been into for a while now.......they possess a skillset that seems to have died out for the past decade: crafting excellent pop punk tunes that are rough edged, stripped down and memorable without the extraneous sappy shit/polished sound that alot of bands who go this route had....this record pretty much continues the band's flightpath over the past couple EPs and tapes......just fucking top shelf pop punk, not much more to say about it than that.....its not the most innovative sound, and hasn't been for a long time, but they do everything right and pretty much max out the potential of the genre.....if you want cutting edge math grind, look elsewhere.......if you want tunefull catchy pop punk thats still rough enough to earn the hardcore tag, by all means, check this shit out..........definitely a top ten record of the year.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
well after a month and a half im back.....computer problems have prevented me from doing much of anything. that has been somewhat remedied, but my posting will probably still be sporadic for a while......anyways this record is the best thing i've heard this year, edging out amazing offerings from red hare, gay kiss, even cloud rat.........its that good.......speedy ortiz have nailed the 90s alt-sound with perfection. frontwoman sadie dupuis has a voice that falls somewhere between tracy bonham and juliana hatfield (IMO) and has a knack for writing awesome lyrics. the band is just so fucking on point musically and lyrically...i haven't heard anyone playing stuff like this this good in years.....every song is amazing. after a few listens, i'm having no trouble putting this record at the top of the pile for 2013........definate must listen.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
keepin the momentum going today, on the menu right now: the debut lp from appleton wisconsin's technicolor teeth (featuring members of tenement). they play a heavy melodic blanket of sound that sounds like its literally oozing along....its really good, though you may want to break up this record into portions, cause its a long listen (at least for me it was) this isnt really like much that i've heard before. to my ears its fresh, weird and original sounding stuff.......of course i don't really have a backgound in the more psychadelic side of rock, so they could be just ripping off bands ive never heard, (but i dont think so) its a fine album, and i hope i get to see them live sometime soon. check it out.
Friday, June 7, 2013
keeping on a steady roll with new stuff, heres another new lp from another great newish band......late bloomer are a band from north carolina whose demo i reviewed a year or so ago.....this record builds upon the early 90s indie sound displayed on the demo and adds to it.....dinosaur jr, treepeople, built to spill, all are heavy influences here, melodic disheveled rough edged rock with smartass lyrics......thats the nuts and bolts of late bloomer and they do it better than most.....this is something i could recommend wholeheartedly to everyone. listen to it on a nice drive through the country or on the way to a show......its a really great album.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
another killer record finally works its way into my suddenly robust review cycle......what we have here is a brand new album from one of Seattle's best current outfits, dreamdecay, whos last offering, "fern" was an outstanding work in its own right.......they've evolved in an even more moody weirdo direction in the noise rock realm and to me, this is a great thing, twisted chords, nimble rhythms giving way to tribal pounding, echoey distorted loudspeaker vocals, steady basslines, all comming together to make some amazing, even epic listening........songs that go from twisting moody crawls to towering bludgeoning........these are my impressions after one sitting with this album, im sure ill be able to find even more nuances as it sinks into my consciousness with subsequent listens.....one of the most original bands making music today....taking influences from everywhere and truly making them their own......easy top 10 record of the year so far for me and possibly top 5 with more listens......check it out.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
another record that i completely ignored until recently........i knew fred thomas (lovesick and a billion other bands) was in this band, but i thought it would be something that i wouldn't like (IE: i thought it would sound like saturday looks good to me) they even came up here and played sekoitus fest last year (they played on the second night when i didn't have any cash to come back cause i was saving up for michigan meltdown the next weekend) i still held off for another few months after that....then around the turn of the year i finally got the record and listened to it and i was immediately addicted ........catchy surf rock-pop with mostly sweet female vocals....fred sings here and there (a much different experience here than lovesick, at least to my ears) and the recording is top notch......i need to learn to not sleep on stuff cause it seems im missing out on alot of things.......anyways this shit is great and it probably would've made my top ten last year had i not slept on it...........now im just hoping i get another chance to see them in a live setting.........highly recommended........
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
this came out last month and id have to say this is the current frontrunner for record of the year.......yea, the new cousins album and the latest offerings from cloud rat and gay kiss are all neck and neck at the top, but these guys are out ahead a little farther.......been listening to this almost constantly since i got it a few weeks back.......ex swiz/dag nasty/buetip/garden variety and retsonic personnel here. sean brown (dag nasty/swiz/sweetbelly freakdown) still sounds the way he did 25 years ago, actually listening to this record is kind of a timewarp back to the early 90s, very much on the swiz tip and without much of a "modern" influence at all.....the songs are all powerful and catchy and the lyrics are interesting, clear and outfront........the mix is great (as can be expected of j robbins) and the recording is nice and loud. i cant find a bad thing to say about this record (maybe the songs are too short? haha) anyhow, IMO, this is the kind of hardcore more bands should be playing, anything to reduce the amount of lousy crust and 80s throwback "hardcore" bands that are currently overstaying their welcome.......this shit is golden.
Monday, June 3, 2013
ok, so this record just came out over the weekend (on cassette, the band is still looking for someone to put out the vinyl) and its blown me away. seriously haven't stopped listening to this since i got it saturday.....shoegaze perfection, the only two words in the english language that aptly describe this record.........if you don't know, cousins are a band from milwaukee who play great shoegaze punk. their "axthoxy" ep (2011, reviewed here a year or so ago) was great, but this record is a full staircase above that release in quality, which is saying something, because these dudes were already talented.....just really great mellow wall of noise sounding jams that hit the sweet spot everytime.....some might say it gets monotonous, but i love the fuck out of this shit.......i still have yet to see them, which sucks cause i bet they translate really well live.........in any case im not sure i have enough words to praise this record with. its just that good. i can see this record ending up in alot of top ten lists at the end of the year for sure......you need to check this out.
physical copies can be had here: http://www.bridgetownrecords.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
another one of those bands i probably should've known about (considering that they are ex pg99, and now by far my favorite recent ex pg99 project) but who i just wasn't aware of for whatever reason......i will say playing catchup on this band's work has been an almost unparalleled pleasure, all of their records are so fucking good......anyways, "lull" is their latest offering, recorded late in 2012 and released at the end of that year, this record is alot more smooth, fluid and laid back than the previous two, up to this point, the band's formula consisted of amazing rough edged melodies over a tight rhythm section with nasally, and at times, snotty sounding vocals.....think dinosaur jr, city of caterpillar and treepeople fused into one beautiful beast......however this new album is on a different path, yet it sounds as good as anything they've released so far....shimmering shoegazy guitars crafting amazing melodies over rather calm vocals, all under an overarching clear, awesome production.....i cant stop listening to this (and the rest of their stuff) and i don't think you'll be able to either....one of the best things ive heard this year....A fucking + effort.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
this is a record i discovered a while back (maybe 5 months ago or so) and have been jamming a hell of alot recently.....speedy ortiz is one of a rather sparse, but growing number of bands who have their eyes set squarely on early-mid 90s indie rock and are carrying the style intact though the 21st century. loud, catchy awesome tunes that make me think of the breeders and archers of loaf, but somehow with more power behind it than either of those two bands.....these dudes and dudette are professional songsmiths who know exactly how to write a memorable tune that hits you in the brain and heart, meaning music AND lyrics are always on point, unlike so many other bands in this vast sea of mediocrity that passes for popular music nowadays.......speedy ortiz are among the most excellent bands going today and this record is a fucking home run. if i was less socially inhibited, id probably be running through the streets slipping copies of this album to everyone i met......its that good.
Monday, May 27, 2013
here we have a split "10 from 2 Massachusetts bands, one who i know well and one who until recently, id only heard of.......anyways lets start with the one im familiar with, goddard from worcester MA, who bestow us with two new songs "midwest 95" and "thrushes" both moody math rock numbers that remind me of anne and jason's former band, calumet hecla, even more so when anne sings......driving, taut rhythms that dissolve into spacey atmospheric wanderings......really good stuff, as ive come to expect from this band..........on the flipside we have giraffes? giraffes! from amherst MA who i hadn't heard before this record.....their song is chock full of thick murky fat riffs that are almost shoegazey at times, then exploding into tight rhythmic passages with pinpoint drumming which giveway eventually to the big riffs again....very much in the prog-math vein, at least to my ears, somewhere between don caballero, lighting bolt and dinosaur jr, the land of giraffe? giraffes! resides very comfortably....all in all, its a great record, worthy of many many spins. very recommended.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
its a sunny tuesday morning and yet another record is on my plate.......this time its the debut from the philly band hate vacation, this band consists of members of gods and queens, storm the bastille and several other bands that i cant recall at the moment......anyways its really good rockin metallic stuff with a weird slant......one part karp, two parts endeavor with maybe a little breather resist or black cross in there somewhere....i haven't heard anything like this in years and its a breath of fresh air when the "scene is currently being smothered into oblivion by all of these 80s influenced hardcore and "noise punk" bands.....excellent excellent stuff...
Monday, May 6, 2013
two days, two reviews, maybe im getting back into the swing of it........anyways this is the latest release from the st paul, minnesota band animal lover, its also my first exposure to them and their sound.......it definately harkens back to the amrep days, thick, noisy, dirty with blaring vocals, but with a little melody poking through the smog here and there.....one of the better recent bands i've heard doing this kind of thing and up there with condominium as far as good recent minnesota bands go for me. will assuredly be hitting this bands' backcatalog in the near future......top end record, top end band. check it out.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
well after a few weeks im back with another new record....this one is a demo from a brand new band from grand rapids and lansing michigan called diane rehm (named after the NPR matron with a lets say "unique" voice), dylan from oily menace is behind the kit for these guys (and girl)......its fast out-of-breath hardcore with frantic female vocals. the lyrics are kinda atypical of the style, probably because there arent that many bands of this style writing lyrics from a female perspective...in any case its a wonderful start and i cant wait to hear more from these dudes/dudette, 6 songs that fly by and leave you wanting more........their playing the DAAC with touch and jowls (not huge on the latter band) in a few days but i wont be able to make it down =(.............highly recommended.
Monday, April 15, 2013
well im back........saturday night i went to my first show of the year.....hollow earth and traitor, both from detroit, were up to play keewanawesome fest, and played marquette on their way back downstate........this was my second show at the loaf house and just like tenement, it was fuckin fun..........locals couchfort where first up, playing a set of their rough edged - melodic hardcore....their sound IMO, is still in the process of being shaped and smoothed out, it came across pretty rough, but the emotive core and melodies were in place, and i see this band only getting better with time, no dissapointment for me with these dudes....slaves to the pavement were up next, i think they are from negaunee, but im not sure......anyways they play melodic hardcore on that now somewhat elusive wavelength between pop punk hand hardcore, it has elements of both, but its neither.....anyways they were proficient in what they do, tradeoff rough vocals n all.....but i cant say im a megafan.........nice dudes and good live energy in any case..........after then the first of the two detroit bands, traitor, took the floor......their sound consisted of tough metallic hardcore of the kind played by lots of bands from the late 90s to today...kinda like gehenna if they had a strong east coast/NYHC influence.....nice dudes and pretty big sound..........lastly, hollow earth set up and played the best set of the night....this is a band whos name ive seen around alot, but who ive never seen until saturday night...i know they were heavy on the mosh tip, with an ex shai hulud member (no idea which one was in that band) n all.....was expecting something good, but i just didnt know how good.......anyways the start their set and play some thick, heavy, sonically nuanced mosh that seems to draw both from the 90s and more modern sounds......hard to make comparisons, especially live.....maybe botch, maybe black kites, maybe turmoil, anyways it was just fucking great. there was a small conflict between the vocalist of hollow earth and a drunk dude who spit on him....no idea weather it was intentional or not. but it was soon resolved and hollow earth went on to play a killer set......all in all it was a great show. marquette seems to be putting itself on the map through the efforts of certain individuals and from what i see, the arrow is pointing way up for punk in northern michigan..........
slaves to the pavement
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
had no idea these guys were still together...........they were from germany and active in the late 90s...had a bunch of "7s and splits and then put out a full length on troubleman (weird choice of label, but then again simonetti did put out stuff like anasazi, so...) thick, dark, HHIG-inspired hardcore thats ugly and socially conscious.....a real nice listen, and one of the beter things ive heard in the past 6 months.....
Friday, April 5, 2013
so im back....was taking it easy, just chillin for a while....i update when i feel like it now. ive got a little backlog of stuff id like to review so maybe april will see more posts than previous months.........anyways today im reviewing the demo of a boston band called mean man's dream......this was recorded a little over year ago and im not sure why i didn't get ahold of this then, but in any case this is some fucking intense shit.......heavy ragged dirty hardcore that has one foot in the modern crusty metallic hardcore of bands like cynarae or full of hell and the other planted firmly in that special sweet spot only a few bands in the mid 90s managed to hit....... raging yet fucked up damaged hardcore with their own unique spin........heemeyer and permanent night live in the same neighborhood musically, but they reside on breather resist ave while mean man's dream sits a few blocks away on the corner of deadguy terrace and ice nine lane......insanely good is what id call this, especially for a demo.....you get your moneysworth with killingsworth i guess.....haha....in all seriousness, this is right up there with the gay kiss and cloud rat albums as far as good things ive heard this year and it easily would've made my top ten list last year.........despite the fact that this band doesn't play many shows, id love for them to maybe hit the midwest sometime......would be great to see how all this fucking power translates live.....A+ effort!
Sunday, March 10, 2013
heres a brand new album, i was contacted by one of the dudes in this band by email, he sent me a link, and whoa, this is some good shit......its a heemeyer sideproject of sorts. huge, heavy downtuned sludge-core with rough vocals that kinda remind me of dwid from integrity at points (which is kinda strange, cause he sings for heemeyer too and at no point would i have made that comparison for them....maybe it has to do with his vocals being buried in the noise on the heemeyer record)....lyrically it seems to be on an anti christian slant, attacking conservatism and religiously derived value systems.....thats all well and good and im digging that their politically inclined (at least thats my impression) and care about more than just being another sludge band with "dark" lyrics like so much other assembly-line doom/sludge" bands......its pretty well produced too.......that can be a good or bad thing, here, luckily, its good.....everything is clear and intense and everything fits together perfectly. the riffs are solid, as is the drumming and the vocals can be clearly heard, which was the one tiny gripe i had with the heemeyer album, that the vocals there were submerged under everything else.....anyways this is really fucking good and you really should buy it when it comes out in physical form, for now the digital will have to tide you over. enjoy!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
this is the first record released in 2013 im reviewing and its a jammer.........whitewalker are a new michigan band formed from the ashes of cougar problems (though that band is still semi-kicking according to the members) but where cougar problems did bass-driven "powerviolence" on the slightly arty tip, whitewalker goes in a slightly different direction, delving into the depths of noise-slathered static core.....this shit is incredibly raw, sounding like it was recorded in a 100 ft sinkhole just above the upper levels of hell......the songs themselves are forever driving forward on some simple yet brutal riffing but are surrounded by and encased in noise.........the harsh vocals are somewhat audible, but most of the time buried in the noise, the drumming is good and propels the songs forward with blastbeats here, a fill there.....only three songs here but their all worth it if you like the kind of extremely raw hardcore thats been coming out lately in certain circles......check it out!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
im back again, first multiple post month this year! yay! anyways, permanent night are a band from louisville who play dark nasty ragged hardcore in the breather resist vein, which is to be somewhat expected of Louisville bands, given BR's high profile and subsequent influence among certain sets.....everything is nice and loud and savage, just the way it should be.......i should've reviewed this a long time back, but things kept comming up and it just sorta got pushed back and pushed back until i forgot about it. in any case this is a hell of a start for any band and im looking forward to hearing more in the future.....its right up there with heemeyer (a heemeyer/permanent night split would be perfect) in my list of top shelf hardcore thats been released in the past year.....great stuff that id recommend to anyone who loves i loud and heavy.
Friday, February 8, 2013
so this came out at the tail end of lat year.....really im counting this as a 2013 release as its impact or "buzz" will be felt this year....i reviewed this band's "7 last year and as good as that record was, this one tops it in every way possible...........if your not in the know, gay kiss are from arizona and play loud fucked up hardcore with manic vocals.......its pretty fuckin unique....midpaced and abrasive with echoey riffs here, blastbeats there and those harsh, almost vomited vocals over it all.....they've carved out their own niche in hardcore and im lovin it.......along with the new cloud rat lp, this is already the co-record of 2013....pick this up while its still hot.......they just toured the east coast (not the midwest, unfortunately for me....fuck) look for them to hit a town near you sometime soon......this record is the motherfucker.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
so i figure id get off my ass and do the first review of the year finally....and its a doozy.....if you know me, then you know how i feel about cloud rat. one of the absolute best bands going today....ive been with them since 2010 and i don't see that changing anytime soon.....as for this record, its the patented cloud rat formula of thick charging riffs and huge sounding blastbeats with madison's gnarly vocals splattered across it like so much venous blood spurting from a ripped carotid artery.......this time they add a few layers, some new tricks on top of their tried and true recipe and branch off into some interesting directions, both chaotic and surprisingly melodic at times..."infinity chasm" could almost be an outtake from a welcome the plague year or joshua fit for battle album .. there's even some singing on a couple tracks, including a neil young cover ("needle and the damage done").....this monster is growing, maturing, but without the artistic shittiness alot of bands go through in the name of "growth". they remain savage and loud and feral and emotional. no need to resort to trend hopping, polished production (although their production has always been top notch) or going in a totally different direction....cloud rat are who they are and i hope they will continue being that for the forseeable future because its a great thing to hear and behold......i can foresee after their imminent european tour (march-april) that they will be an internationally recognized force to reckon with, that is if they aren't already. these people mean the world to me and seeing them progress and move forward like this makes me proud that something this good has arisen from my home state, even if there's not much else to be proud of around here.........this band is connected to so many great recent memories....even little ones like stopping in big rapids at meijers on my way home from seeing them to get something to eat and reading through the liner notes of their split with republic of dreams on an 80 degree morning with not a cloud in the sky and the sun blazing full tilt.....those are the little things that keep me connected to these people, that keep me coming back, now its seriously a whiteout blizzard outside right now but im still so stoked to get down to mt pleasant next month and see my favorite people again, and get some crucial hang-time before they head off to conquer europe......if you are in their european path of destruction, i urge you to take a day off and go see them, you'll be a better person for doing so......album of 2013 so far.
cloud rat - moksha