Sunday, July 20, 2014

DRUG DOGS DUMB iTUNES DUMP #1

Here's a section in which I hit "shuffle" and do mini-reviews on the first 5 songs that come up. It's stupid, and many of these songs will be stupid, but sometimes it's just hard to come up with things to write about. 


1.

Excessive Force - "Those Who Were" (In Your Blood; Life Sentence Records) 
The web (and dorko  90's nostalgists) have spilled enough ink over this song's opening couplet ("you said you'd always be true/but you're a weak motherfucker and you never had it in you") but I'd still like to call attention to the profound poetry of one of Salty City's finest exports. Having just finished an agonizing tour of duty behind the Zion curtain, I tend to give Salt Lake City a hard time about their hardcore (historically: lotta sizzle, very little steak IMO) and Excessive Force (or Xcessive Force, which is a way better moniker) is no exception. I'm hesitant to call this record "good" though I do enjoy listening to it a fair amount at the gym, when I'm pipe-bombing a McDonalds or other such ventures. "Those Who Were" features a drum sound that fluctuates between "Ball-peen hammer on a lead pipe" and "soggy noodle on wet cardboard" but those vocals sound legitimately unhinged and when you're 16  and SUPER into straight edge, it probably sounded like god speaking directly to you. I'm also a geek for all the weird guitar stuff they tried to pull off (check "In Your Blood," the track) and some of the off-kilter batshit riffing that made it into this song. Tempo changes galore, gang vox and yadda yadda. Definitely worth checking out for historical purposes, but if you're only tentatively interested in 90's monster-core, you're probably going to struggle making it through this entire album. Wise choice to put this as the leadoff track though. 

2.
Next Step Up - "Sweet Leaf" (Fall from Grace, Gain Ground)
A Cover that falls into the "so bad I can't stop listening to it" category. Don't mistake me, the riffs are spot on, but the vocals really don't do justice to the almighty Sab. I get it. Covers are supposed to inject something new into the song, so this is cool as a novelty, it just kind of feels like a throwaway on the end of the album. Fav Next Step Up track is their contribution ("L.A. Story") to the East Coast Assault comp. vol 1. Because you asked. Also, this doesn't have any solos on it. Just lettin you know. 


3. 
Power Trip - "Hammer of Doubt (April Fools Version)" (Omegas Joy Boy Mixtape Vol. 3) 
There are, to my knowledge, three versions of this song and like any good Dad, I love them all equally and for different reasons (but will also admit that I like the one on the Triple B comp just a TEENY bit more than all the others). What's more to be said about Power Trip? Remember back in the Armaggedon Blues era when they couldn't GET rid of all their 7"s? Times have changed. I did a Drug Dogs interview with Riley that will probably end up on the internet someday. We talked about baseball and Monster Magnet

What's special about this particular version of the song is that it's crappy cassette quality and features new falsetto/screech vocals (seemingly done by Udo Dirkschneider) and an added melodic chanting bit at the end (gregorian chant style). Awesome. Pure awesome. Everything this band does is awesome. For once, the internet was right about something! (No youtube vid for this one. Sorry bunky.) Also, I'd like to point out that this mixtape has added band names like Candy Randy and the Gay Boys, Woo Ric Woo Flair Woo and Heavy Metal Eric into my iTunes library. Thanx guys. 

 4.
Fit for Abuse - "Prefabricated" (Mindless Violence, Crust)
Criminally underrated beantown 'core, fast and punky a'la Negative Approach and The FU's, created in a time of JNCOs, Open E notes and vegan apologetics. Absolutely essential. No question. This one's a minute long and features a phat and phunky beat. Get this 7". Get everything they did or pose forever. 

5. 
Our Gang - "Out of Hand" (Uprising Demo)
Late 80's NYHC that was always on my periphery (due to a smattering of awesome logos and demo covers) but I never really checked out until mid-college when I discovered Blogged and Quartered. The songs from the Uprising demos appeared other places, but sound-quality wise, these are the best. "Out of Hand" features an awesome riff and a "skank it up!" mosh call. Perfect ingredients for a rippin lil' tune. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Logo Power #9: The Flexual Predator

All Seeing Eye

In honor of the fabled Flex/Violent Reaction tour which recently hit Yankee shores, I'm inclined to unearth this guy for the second installment of Flex-based logo discussions.

The show was great, somewhat sparsely attended, but that's what I'd really expect for a hardcore house show in suburban Salt Lake City that wasn't featuring any bands on the Reaper roster *sigh*. Obstruct opened, and I'd received their No Life 7" as part of a trade I'd completed. Rippers for certain and should be sought out by all.

Here's a crappy iPhone/Picstitch shot I got, courtesy of a small room, bad lighting, and my own criminal inability to take pictures that aren't awful. Still, it should showcase SOMETHING from that night.
Top: Violent RXN/Bottom: Walk in the red light w/ the Flex
Violent Reactions set rang perfect, the inclusion of the Cro-Mags "Don't Tread on Me," an obvious hit. City Streets is a damn good LP that you should seek out.

Before the Flex had set up, I'd spent some time in the garage shilling some old T-shirts and making conversation with the singer, mostly about wrestling in the UK. Turns out he was a big Ring of Honor fan, which endeared me to the band even more, and I bought a shirt. (As the picture indicates) they played in front of some red lights, creating an ultra sinister atmosphere, and when they covered "Kickback" by Breakdown, I absolutely saw someone get moshed into (and subsequently through) a wall. Suburban discipline.

This ain't a show review though, so I'll move on to the real "meat" of the matter (i.e. cartoons in hardcore). Skinheads appropriating HC iconography shouldn't raise any eyebrows, but I like the fact that this bloke's got an eyeball drawn on the back of his hand (symbolism there? IDK man), he's planting a Union Jack into a misproportioned globe and he's carrying what's either a boxcutter or a strange looking banana. Excellente. Flexual education. Flexual deviant. Flexual reproduction. God bless a band that opens themselves up to such seamless wordplay.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Logo Power #8: The Avon Ladies Bear

It's certainly been a minute since I've posted one of these, so without any more "ado" let's get to discussing a band who, for my money, should've gotten a lot more hype than they did. Actually...we're just going to discuss that little bear up there.

I'm sure other artists have meddled with the idea of Jerry Garcia's psychedelic peace-bears, trying to toss their whole rose-colored ideology on its head. Maybe they've placed a joint or crack pipe into their furry, out-stretched paws or carved a swazi into their foreheads. (60's shit = Manson shit, funny story. The only time my Mom ever asked me to turn my music off was once when I was in high school. I was listening to Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." She burst through the door, told me she didn't like it because it reminded her of all the worst parts of 60's culture and shut the door again.)

I'm not saying the A-Ladies were the first in their class to mess with the 'Dead bear. I am saying that I fell in love with them when I first saw their 7" cover of their Guns and Gold 7", which featured these cute little guys carrying machine guns and just looking badass. This is actually from an ad in Bloody Ways fanzine, posted for my own joy in seeing the machine gun that's been replaced by the ever-more-comical stick o' dynamite. This bear absolutely doesn't care about you or your commie political movement or your effort to rid the internet of (buzzword)-phobia. He's been around the block for far longer than you have. He knows rock n' roll. He was probably at altamont, gleefully cackling when a parkful of unknowing saps played witness to a hellish gangland murder as Mick n' Keith warbled on about banging prepubescents and such. When Sid n' Johnny cursed on Bill Grundy's TV show, he was feeding them their lines and when the last quivering vestige of anything remotely resembling a real-deal guitar GAWD got shot in the face at an Ohio rock club (Dimebag, RIP) this guy wasn't crying.

The guns are gone, only to be replaced by cartoonish explosives, rudimentary in design, but still indicative of one immediate truth: this is a suicide mission. Rock n' roll has been munching on its tail since Dylan went electric and there's no more sand in this etch-a-sketch.

(Editor's note: The Avon Ladies are [by my estimation] broken up. Thank jah for an internet that keeps every stinking thing around. There's a demo tape, a 7" a split with Tempe SS and some other bits and pieces floating around.)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

LAST MINUTE HOUNDS OF HATE SHOW: PLZ CUM

Steve Rocco come out n' play
Very last minute, but if you're in the SLC area, please come out. Details on the flyer. This may be your only opportunity for a while. SPREAD DA WORD.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekly Seizure 11.8.13: Edgegazer Fanzine + The Abused Reissue

Greetings goofballs. Got some GREAT gear in this week. Still burning through some tapes and zines, but these are the ones I'm gonna focus on for the here and now. Also, not that it matters, but I tried listening to Unbroken this week and it still didn't do much for me. Now you know.
EDGE GAZE-AHHH BITCH PLEAZAH
1) Edge Gazer Fanzine
Edge Gazer is a visually impressive fanzine done by a younger coreman (with some serious photography chops) down in Texas. I dig his enthusiasm for newer core, and overall enjoyed the zine. I know there was a little bit of balking at the steep price, but in the end I figured it'd be worth it and I'm not disappointed.


BRICK CITY
This is probably the most coverage I've ever seen given to Life of Reilly so that was cool. I dug the reflection on Free Spirit as I too am bummed about the record that didn't materialize out of that awesome promo tape last year. The definite highlight for me was the Chris Corry interview (interesting nuggs about Stop & Think, WW4 and the Pain Cave). The Intent layout rules (See above). My only gripe comes with the reviews...and I know, after all the time I spend complaining about how zines never have reviews I should probably shut my yap, but hear me out. I like that they're long and heartfelt, I just think the verbiage is a little convoluted and hard to understand. Generally though it's a good read and an impressive first effort. Really impressive. I got mine straight from the source, but you can save a few bucks if you get them from Mosher's Delight here.
JUST ANOTHER FOOL

2) The Abused - Loud and Clear Reissue
I'm not gonna "review" this record because you should have heard it already. Bonafide NYHC gem. Guitar tone, riffs, art, the total package. I used that old anecdote about how these dudes got into hardcore because they stole a car and found a Minor Threat cassette in the tape deck to open up a paper in college and my professor seemed horrified. Anyway, in terms of the re-ish, this is one of the best I've seen. Super extensive booklet filled with flyers, setlists, photos and a sticker sheet. Side A has the original record on it along with a live version of "Police Reign" and side B has the demo tape on it.

To steal an exchange I had with my Oz-Barney brother BSN: "The spiciest of the reissue meatballs." If only that half-assed Krakdown reissue on State of Mind would've looked this good...

Radio Raheem is sold out for now, but there's another press coming mid-December.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

(NOT EXACTLY A) Demo Dogz #9: Boston Strangler - Joke's on You 3 song promo

DID U HEAR ABOUT THE BOSTON STRANGLAH? THE ONE THAT EVERY BODY KNOWS
Got this one from Fun With Smack and got it super quick. Super happy with it, just as I have been with everything the Strangler's done. 3 rippers, even more of a Discharge vibe and my new favorite B.S. cut "Forward into Hell." Seriously, how hard does that song rip? Good n' throaty on that melody, straight up perfect track. Love the vocals. Seriously. Writing about hardcore is stupid sometimes. You've already downloaded this, so go listen to it your damn self and try to tell me I'm wrong.
Mighty Mighty Boston

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Logo Power #7: Intent

This demon mosher guy came from Edge Gazer fanzine, but I think he's all over Intent's letterhead and was probably done by Chris X based on his involvement with other Intent related ventures. I like that he's making the "Loser L" with his right hand.