Friday, April 1, 2011

Concrete - Patior Ergo Sum 10" (SOA Records, 1994)


More overlooked Italian hardcore from 1994. Concrete offer up some really well-written chunky hardcore with melodic flourishes. Don't let the shouty vocals or the often thrown around "90's screamo" tag fool you, this is much more fatalistic and interesting than other similar sounding bands.

Ripped at 320 kbps

Concrete - Patior Ergo Sum

Note: After realizing how bad the sound quality was on the Headsman post, I ripped the LP again with much better results. It turns out that I had the volume on my record player turned up, resulting in over-loudness and staticy clipping. Delete those old files and download the new version, it sounds waaaay better. I have replaced the link on that entry.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Headsman - ... The Morning (Green Records, 1994)




For the first time ever on the information superhighway, I give you Italy's foray into the cold, brooding sounds popularized by the likes of Ironside... But unlike Ironside, these guys were able to put out a full length album. After the requisite ominous intro track, we are bombarded with "Morning," which sets the tone for the remainder of the LP. Unlike most bands that play (and play into) this loosely defined style, Headsman didn't sound like some half-assed high school band covering metal songs. The riffs tread at midtempo like some unhinged, malevolent take on Judge as the vocalist belts out a performance so purely gutteral that that very descriptor seems redundant and tame in comparison to his grated howlings. But despite the visceral sounds contained herein, for me, the uniformly lurching pace also gives it a certain contemplative quality. It was the perfect soundtrack for a recent gray morning spent drinking coffee and petting a cat.

Ripped at 320 kbps using the most primitive analog system possible. (New link as of 4/1 with a better sounding rip. If you downloaded the old .rar, delete that shit and get this one)

Headsman - ...The Morning

EDIT: Also, I realize shit's been slow on here lately. It's been because I've been lazy about learning how to rip records. Now that I know, I'm going to be putting a lot of hard to find shit on here in the coming days and weeks. Stay posted!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hate Crew - Silent Rage (1987/1988, Punk Etc. Records)



So trying to find out anything regarding HATE CREW (what a name!) on the internet will only lead you to an infinite number of CHILDREN OF BODOM fan pages, and a few write ups on a blog about a long defunct art collective from Belgium (where this band was from). So I guess they didn't make the biggest impact in the world. Who gives a shit? As Royce da 5'9" says, "the real will cop it." Because the obvious comparisons don't do the passion of this music justice, I'll just say that this this is what you'd get if you could condense some of the best electric knuckledragging music of the 80's into one little rock of heavenly stupidity. Case in point, the Celtic Frost breakdown that serves as the chorus for the title track, which otherwise blazes along with a speedy, mainlined hardcore riff. Just one thing that makes this so good. Along with the muddy production. And the singer who sounds KINDA like Roger Miret. Suspicions of a Crumbsuckers influence are confirmed by the fact that side A closes with an instrumental. If you like those old late 80's NYHC demos for anything more than ever-elusive "scene cred," then you will like this. Plus, they had better facial hair than all those mongoloids.


"Do I have to kill somebody to tell him how I feel?"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Genocide (Nippon) - Black Sanctuary (1988, King Klassic Records / 2009, Shadow Kingdom)


Genocide play epic old school metal. I guess the closest comparison is Mercyful Fate, but I find myself listening to this album way more than that band. There is definitely some well-executed wankery (a ballad and an acoustic instrumental)... But then you've got hard stuff like "Doomsday," "Last Confusion," and the first two songs on side B. It all builds up to a glorious climax: "Living Legend." This one alone is worth an entire album of acoustic instrumentals. It is seriously one of the heaviest songs ever written, grinding away at mid-tempo until a solo gives way to a doom part that bludgeons like Pentagram. The theatrical vocals would be overbearing if they weren't so evil sounding.

I am guessing the rip I downloaded (which has been going around forever) is the new remastered re-release that seems so readily available around the internet. Tell me if it sounds good... If it doesn't, look for a cheap copy of the original.


Black Sanctuary

Monday, January 17, 2011

Revenge - S/T 10" (1998, Brause Enterprises/An's Bein Pissen Records)




I am jacking these tracks from Am I Mean, a blog ran by a guy who roadied for this band when they were around. I found this 10" for 4 bucks recently, and have since been playing it a lot. Nothing on this is really groundbreaking, but it is hardly generic. If 90's hardcore wasn't mostly garbage (see my entry on TOETAG), they would be generic. Alas, find another band that collided such streamlined, heavy power chord riffs with breakdowns that were heavy as shit without being drawn out or "epic" (in fact, many of them constitute what some idiot assholes might call a "TWO STEP" part). It sounds like a Discharge/Broken Bones worshiping band (of the 90's variety, ala State of Fear) that integrated their favorite NYHC parts without creating a gimmicky or convoluted end result.

Revenge - 10"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SLANG - Life Made Me Hardcore (2010, Prank [USA]/Hardware Records [Europe])




Reviewing a Slang record kind of misses the point. They have been playing hardcore for over 20 years. Unlike most bands that have been around that long, they are as good as ever, if not better. What makes them stand out to me is their precise approach to the simplistic. Most bands that do the Discharge thing only have one of those qualities. Slang bring both in spades and even throw in a few curve balls (time changes, riff change ups) without ever being "metal." So what sets this apart from "The Immortal Sin?" Not much, but there are some differences. The production is really blown out but thankfully they keep the distortion levels down so that everything is clear. There are also more hulking mid-tempo parts than ever.

As I said, reviewing a record like this kind of misses the point. When the name of your record is "Life Made Me Hardcore" and the cover is a skull sword shield thing, you are wearing your sound on your sleeve. In some ways, I think Slang are a little too good for such obviousness, but I also think that if anyone has earned the right to be so obvious, it's them. Maybe I'm making excuses because in America the only bands that wave banners like that are bad fucking jokes taking part in some weird modern teddy boy charade.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Permanent Damage - End of Innocence (1987, Reactor Records)


When I first heard "End of Innocence" by Permanent Damage, I didn't really like it. You see, I had sought them out on the grounds that they were "Australian hardcore," which brings to my mind the grainy, muddy speediness of bands like Nailed Down, Heist and Rupture (and in a more modern sense, Extortion). This was reinforced by the ugly (but not poorly made) prison tattoo style cover art. I was wrong. A few things stuck out to me:

1) The production was really clear. This doesn't sound like it was recorded in a basement on a pocket lint budget. This worked against my assumptions, and effectively tricked me into thinking it was "overproduced."
2) This isn't super fast. It has speed, but nothing here is really that Negative FX/Siege influenced the way the Australian bands I listed before were, aside from maybe the song "Stress."
3) The lead guitarwork is refined to the point where anyone expecting the dirty, ragged playing of Rupture and the likes will be thrown through a loop.

Fast forward a few weeks. I'm jamming the Wrecking Crew LP and it finishes and I figure I might as well give this another try. By the middle of the first song, I have a realization that I had been completely wrong about this album. The "Australian" tag had thrown me off. But this transcends those arbitrary classifications: These dudes took aggressive 80's riffs and pieced them together with the precision and intent of a metal band. "Age of Quarrel" is the best point of reference - Listen to the breakdowns in "Don't Have a Say" and "Sniff Your Defeat." And the full production definitely compliments the skilled guitar work and songwriting on display here, from the change-ups to the mid-tempo stompers. For the most part, these aren't insanely complex songs... But your average shitty punk band couldn't make them sound as good as this. And that is what I think of as the true measure of a hardcore classic.

Since my vinyl ripping capabilities are impaired, I am using the rip of this album provided by SystemSabotageChaos (only the LP tracks, I don't have the 7" and will never upload music I don't personally own), but took PNGs of the crucial insert and back cover that you won't find elsewhere. When I get my hands on a scanner, these will be replaced.

Permanent Damage - End of Innocence


The best band that ever wore Crocodile Dundee hats. Definitely better than Big Audio Dynamite.


Your band is allowed to include a one sheet on your record insert if it details how your singer "had a brick cowardly thrown into his face." Permanent Damage were truly hard as fuck.