Saturday, August 2, 2014


Crom - "Discipline of Steel" (The Cocaine Wars 1974-1989, Pessimizer 2001) 
Actually an awesome track. Actually an awesome band. (I just barely saw this trailer on Vimeo). Not to be confused with the dorko viking metal band with the same name, Crom was an L.A. based "powerviolence" band that had a rep for being kinda sloppy and nihilistic and for having shows that were insane. Thing is, they were miles better than most of the other powerviolence bands for having great riffs and for not being afraid to use "groove" as a piece to the puzzle (check "Steel Reserve" for proof). "Discipline of Steel" is a banger, 0:44 seconds long with a great riff that leads directly into "Wheel of Pain" (which itself begins with a sample of galloping horse hooves and Black Sabbath's "Changes.") The whole album needs to be experienced on its own though. Awesome. 

XFILESX - "I Hate What I Don't Understand" (Excruciation, Trash Art 2004) 
Like most albums of this ilk, they need to be experienced in one gigantic dollop and not as isolated cuts, but Excruciation has enough unique riffs and catchy bits on it to justify it's own smattering of "singles" ("STD," "Testify", "Jesus Fish out of Water," "Ay Guy"...all of them really) and serves as the band's final opus. "I Hate What I Don't Understand" is basically about being bummed about not understanding weird things. Self-Explanatory. The closing lyrics are "Not funny or amusing/just fucking stupid and confusing." Great.

Failure Face - "Punchline." (Failure Face, Burrito 1993)
Failure Face - "Punchline." (Failure Face, Burrito 1993)
Failure Face was an awesome hardcore band from Florida that I never really heard until Let Down covered them. Strangely, I WAS familiar with Murder Suicide Pact which was Bob Suren (who also ran/runs Sound Idea Distribution)'s band after Failure Face broke up. Bullet point facts: They're named after a Peanuts comic strip (confirmed here) and basically just sound like straight forward 80's hardcore with awesome guitar parts. "Punchline" is the shortest song, and there's not a bad cut here (Though I am partial to "Human Cancer" myself, and "Collapse" is an incredible closer). A choral refrain of "I don't get it, I don't get it." Just a great cut. Also, they were on Ebullition before it was know...shitty. 

Prisoner Abuse - "Brain Rot." (Prisoner Abuse, Painkiller 2012)
Boston hardcore that sounds like Boston hardcore. An LP that slogged me through some serious shit during the long and pointless winter of 2012. "Brain Rot" leads off the record with those thunderously patented pain cave drums and a nice little gee-tar/cymbal freak session. Though this band will probably always get tagged as "ex-dude from Think I Care and co plays the hits a'la Boston '82" (and there's nothing wrong with it, why salt the steak when that shit's fine on its own?) I like the feeling of psychosis, the "stretched-too-far-now-I've-snapped" feeling (which...ok, yeah, TIC had that in spades too). I get it, I get it. I'm not really making a case for it....just listen to the track and tell me that intro isn't phenomenal. You probably will though. Go back to Florida and take your zitty chest and Cruel Hand tank tops with you.

Demolition Hammer - "Envenomed" (Epidemic of Violence, Century Media 1992)
As history tells it, thrash metal was on it's last legs come 1991. Cobain and co were locked in to saturate the market with flannel-draped sadrock, Metallica's giant sea-change rolled forth in their biggest GD album ever and Pantera were poised to become the nu-champs of metal (and the last gee-tar GOD the mainstream world would ever know). It's in that regard that I've always regarded the "late wave" of thrash as one of the most interesting. It's when lots of bands were going off the deep end, exploring their craft (some with better results than others) and it's right before Floridian death metal exploded.

I always thought NYC's Demolition Hammer was an obscure band. I suppose they still are, but with the internet and such, it seems like they're becoming a regular reference point for every walk of IMN (internet metal nerd). They deserve it. Epidemic of Violence is pretty universally praised by everyone in the know, a really vicious slab of brutally-inflected thrash metal that's really just a hair shy of being full-on death metal. All killer and no filler. "Envenomed" is a straight forward "fast song" with a great mosh bit around 1:14 (gang shouts and all), and really has a similar rhythm to Slayer's "Captor of Sin", and also most of the songs on Reign in Blood. It's a great segue into the next song, an Obiturary-like groovestorm "Carnivorous Obsession." Metal to fracture your skull to. (Get it?)

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