Monday, January 28, 2013

THE AVENGERS - TEENAGE REBEL 7"

AVENGERS - TEENAGE REBEL 7" (Superior Viaduct)
This 7" originally came out on the Swedish Really Fast label back in 1997. Along with their first "We are the one" 7" and their third "Paint It Black" 7" it has now been reissued by Superior Viaduct with a complete new cover artwork, which looks a lot better than the old one. Both tracks from this 7" were recorded in 1978, but somehow they didn't make it on their "Pink Album" best of compilation LP. Why? I have no explanations: but both tracks are certainly not a sight worse than the ones on the "Pink Album". Due to their recording and style, they're comparable to their first Dangerhouse 7". On the A-Side we have "Teenage Rebel", a perfect punk number: It's short, simple and straight forward. At the time it's filled with melodic undertones and it has a super catchy sing-a-long chorus. The lyrics are pretty punk and youthful, dealing with the feeling of alienation: "Everybody's trying to tell me how to live my life. If I hear it one more time from you baby. Gonna slit your gut with a knife." "Friends of me" on the flipside is driven by a powerful bass line and super melodic guitar hooks. Once again Penelope Houston's vocals are characteristic for The Avenger's sound and they make it something special. The Avengers have allways been my favourite early punkbands from the US westcoast and this 7" is definitely not an exception. (Listen to it here)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

PUSRAD - DÖMD 12"

PUSRAD - DÖMD 12" (Gaphals)
Pusrad are the result of a Raped Teenagers reunion in 2010. But instead of going on with Raped Teenagers, this two-piece started something new and took their bandname from a track of Raped Teenagers first 7". After two excellent 7"s this is Pusrad's first 12" release. You get 19 short tracks, most of them with a playtime under 30 seconds. The full playtime is about 6 minutes. But this record really doesn't sound like a sequence of song fragments: Pusrad write super compact songs, packed with manic breaks, plenty of variations and a undercurrent of melodies. Their music is just straight to the point and when one of their 20 second blasts is over, you won't get the feeling, that there's anything missing. Pusrad's hardcore sounds like punk on high speed, so this definitely pure 80s style hardcore without any metal, grind, crossover or whatever influences. The whole record is filled with high speed blasts. There's only one exception: "Errare Humanum Est", with a playtime of 35 seconds the longest song of the record, is some kind of Bäddat For Trubbel style melodic punkrock. The recording is super tight and it has a great modern production: It sounds dry and clean, but at the same time it captures Pusrad sheer energy and freshness. This is the best Swedish hardcore in a long time! (Listen to it here)

Monday, January 21, 2013

IMPALERS - DEMO 7"

IMPALERS - DEMO 7" (Beach Impediment / No Way)
There's a boom of demo 7"s  in the world of punk and hardcore. I don't get the point, why bands don't use new studio recordings including their best songs from the demo plus some new ones to release it as their first "real" 7". But in the case of this release, it was made with good cause: Impalers play excellent d-beat driven hardcorepunk with a good dose of hard rock and metal. They are taking influences from Discharge, Motörhead, Celtic Frost and Texas hardcore in the vein of World Burns To Death. Heavy pounding drums, fantastic short guitar solos and some real ugly and harsh vocals. 4 tracks from their 10 track demo tape made it on this 7". By the way: Impalers have released another "real" 7" in 2012 on Todo Destruido and W-Label, which sounds straighter: more raging hardcore - less metal and less rock, but it's also highly recommended. (Listen to it here)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Interview mit TOTAL CONTROL

Upcoming Interviews will be written in English, but I've lost the English version of this one. So this is German only: 
Wer immer noch denkt, dass Bands aus Australien entweder wie Radio Birdman oder wie AC/DC klingen, der hat die letzten Jahre entweder hinterm Mond verbracht oder eine der spannendsten Entwicklungen in Sachen Punk verpennt, denn in Australien schießen momentan großartige Bands wie Pilze aus dem Boden. Vor allen Dingen sind diese Bands nicht nur gut, sondern  schaffen es einen eigenständigen, frischen Sound zu kreieren. Total Control aus Melbourne sind Teil dieser neuen Welle australischer Bands. Sie vermischen Garagepunk mit New Order ähnlichen New Wave / Elektro Einflüssen und Krautrock im Stil von Neu! oder Kraftwerk. 



Ich finde Total Control ist ein ziemlich irreführender Bandname. Beim ersten Lesen habe ich an früh 80er UK Hardcorepunk gedacht. So im Stil von Bands wie Chaos UK, Varukers oder Subhumans. Wie seid ihr auf diesen Namen gekommen? 
Wir haben uns nach dem gleichnamigen Song der Motels benannt. Wir hatten dabei nie die Absicht, dass der Name etwas über unsere Band aussagen soll. Total Control war einfach nur ein Song, den Dan und  ich mochten und so dachten wir, dass man ihn auch gut als Bandname verwenden kann. Ich glaube er klingt ziemlich nach Hardcore.

Ich weiß, dass ihr auch noch in einigen anderen Bands spielt. Kannst du uns eine Übersicht über all eure derzeitigen musikaIischen Aktivitäten geben? 
Mikey: Ich spiele bei Eddy Current Suppression Ring, aber wir sind gerade nicht sonderlich aktiv. Das ist meine Hauptband. Und auch meine bisher erfolgreichste. Wir spielen mittlerweile schon größere Konzerte und verdienen etwas Geld. Aber es tut gut, jetzt mal eine Auszeit  zu nehmen und mit etwas anderem zu beginnen. Außerdem spiele ich noch bei den Ooga Boogas. Wir sind nur dann aktiv, wenn wir wirklich Lust drauf haben. Wir haben einmal die USA getourt und haben auch schon einige 7”s und eine LP veröffentlicht. Das ist aber eine totale Spaßband, die wir nicht sehr ernst nehmen. Keiner hat den Ansporn, dass daraus mehr werden soll. Ich kann für die Ooga Boogas die verrücktesten Riffs schreiben, die mir einfallen, was sehr cool ist. Ich denke wird werden noch in 2012 ein neues Album aufnehmen. Ich mache auch noch so eine tanzbare Synth/Pop Geschichte mit meinem Freund Max. Wir nennen uns Brain Children. Ich habe schon immer Disco, Funk und Dancemusic gemocht und es ist eine sehr angenehme Veränderung für mich, mal nicht Gitarre zu spielen und stattdessen mich mit Synthesizern und Drum Machines auseinanderzusetzen. Ich kann da also Musik auf eine völlig andere Art und Weise machen. Dan und Al spielen in der Hardcore Band Straightjacket Nation, die es schon seit einigen Jahren gibt und die regelmäßig touren und Platten veröffentlichen. Im Lauf der Zeit sind sie etwas langsamer geworden. Eine neue 7“ kommt demnächst auf Iron Lung Records raus. Dan und Al spielen außerdem in der legendären Oz Rock band UV Race, die man sich unbedingt anhören sollte. Al spielt auch bei Dick Diver. Das ist so keltisch beeinflusster Country. Al hat noch eine Band: Zusammmen mit Zephry spielt er in der Stoner Band Eastlink. James hat eine neue Band, die Wonderwall heißt. Die kann ich nur empfehlen. Das war ursprünglich nur ein Straßenmusik Projekt, aber sie haben es jetzt doch noch ins Studio geschafft. 

Ihr klingt mit jeder 7”, die ihr veröffentlicht habt, mehr nach Elektro. Wie kam es zu dieser Entwicklung und wie schreibt ihr eure Songs`? Habt ihr eine genaue Vorstellung wie Total Control klingen sollen? Und wie wisst ihr, dass ihr eine neue Songidee am besten für Total Control und nicht für eine eurer anderen Bands verwendet? 
Al: Wir wollen einfach nur die bestmögliche Musik machen. Es ist uns völlig egal, ob wir uns in Richtung Goa-Trance, Alien, Punk, oder keltischer Musik verändern. Es soll am Ende einfach gut klingen. Das ist die Hauptsache. Ich finde, dass unsere anderen Bands alle vollkommen anders klingen, daher ist es für mich ganz klar, welche Songidee ich am besten für Total Control verwende. 

In den letzten Jahren kamen so viele neue großartige Bands aus Australien: Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Blank Realm, Golden Staphs, Royal Headache, Super Wild Horses, UV Race, Loose Grip, Kitchens Floor, Native Cats, Fabulous Diamonds, Dead Farmers, Woollen Kits, Naked On The Vague, Slug Guts, Straight Arrows, Low Life, Per Purpose, Kids of Zoo… die Liste ist endlos lang. Hast du eine Erklärung für diese Entwicklung? 
Al: Gentrifizierung, Kolonialismus und mehr Polizisten!

Welche anderen momentanen australischen Bands lohnt es sich anzuhören? 
Al: Bitch Prefect, Repairs, Holy Balm, Forces und Mad Nanna sind ziemlich gut. Ich bin leider sehr schlecht darin, Bands mit Worten zu beschreiben, aber all diese Bands sind fantastisch und jede klingt vollkommen anders. Sie sind gute Beispiele für die Vielfalt, die es hier in der australischen Szene gerade gibt.  Versucht die Bands im Internet zu finden, um Songs zu hören. Dann bekommt ihr einen besseren Eindruck von ihnen, als ich es mit Worten beschreiben kann. 

Viele australische Bands sind auf amerikanischen Labels. Ich habe generell den Eindruck, dass die Szene in den USA viel stärker auf australische Bands fokussiert ist als die Leute hier in Europa. Stimmst du dieser Einschätzung zu und wenn ja, hast du eine Erklärung dafür? 
Al: Ja den Eindruck habe ich auch. Die USA sind gerade ziemlich empfänglich für all die moderneren australischen Bands, was uns natürlich ungemein hilft, wenn wir die Staaten touren wollen. Ich habe das Gefühl, dass die meisten Europäer von australischen Bands immer noch diesen klassischen Sound Richtung AC/DC oder Radio Birdman verlangen, obwohl der bei uns ja heute kaum noch gespielt wird. Aber das ist nur mein Gefühl, ich kann mich auch täuschen. 

Touren überhaupt viele ausländische Bands Australien? Ich lese nicht gerade oft davon. In Deutschland sind ständig unglaublich viele Bands aus allen möglichen Ländern auf Tour. Wenn man in der richtigen Stadt lebt, kann man fast jeden Abend eine Punk Show besuchen. Ich nehme an, in Australien ist das anders? 
Al: Sehr viele Bands touren Australien, aber es sind in der Regel bekanntere Indie Bands, denn es ist finanziell sehr riskant hier eine Tour zu spielen. Es gibt nicht viele Läden, in denen man spielen kann, daher ist sehr schwierig. Andererseits mag die Tatsache, dass wir hier so abgelegen sind und wenige Bands von außen hierherkommen, auch der Grund dafür sein, dass wir eine so beständige eigene Szene haben. 

Eure LP kam auf Iron Lung Records raus, was etwas ungewöhnlich ist, da das Label ja doch eher auf Hardcore und Extreme Musik fokussiert ist. Wie seid ihr mit dem Label in Kontakt gekommen? 
Al: Wir kennen Jensen schon ewig. Wir haben ihn vor etwa 6 Jahren zum ersten Mal getroffen, als seine Band Iron Lung Australien getourt hat und wir mit Straightjacket Nation einige Shows mit ihnen gespielt haben. Er hat auch eine Eddy Current Suppression Ring 7“ rausgebracht. So sind wir mit ihm in Kontakt gekommen und er macht einen tollen Job.  Zur anderen Frage: Total Control sind extrem! 

Ich habe gelesen, dass ihr im Dezember einige Shows in Europa gespielt habt. Gibt es schon Planungen, um für mehr Konzerte zurückzukommen? 
Al: Wir haben nach einer fünfwöchigen USA Tour einige Guerilla Gigs in Berlin, London, Brighton und zwei Shows in Paris gespielt. Außerdem haben wir Gary Numan, den Papst und Angela Merkel getroffen. Die Highlights waren die Berlin Show und unsere Urlaub bei Butlins in Minehead. Das ist so ein englisches Feriendorf und ein vollkommen merkwürdiger Ort. Es ist göttlich dort, ich könnte dort mein ganzes Leben verbringen. Alles was man braucht, ist in einem Radius von 100 Metern zu bekommen: Pizza Hut, drei Kneipen und eine Wasserrutsche. Für eine Rückkehr nach Europa gibt es momentan aber noch keine konkreten Pläne. 

Ihr habt Gary Numan, den Papst und unsere Kanzlerin getroffen? Da will ich natürlich mehr Details haben. 
Mikey: Ich muss zugeben, der Teil mit dem Papst und euer Kanzlerin war eine Lüge. Das Treffen mit Gary Numan gab es aber wirklich. 

Gab es einen Unterschied verglichen zu euren Konzerten in Australien oder den USA? 
Al: Das Konzert in Berlin war fast gar nicht anders. In Berlin leben gerade sehr viele Australier. Bei unserem Konzert waren also hauptsächliche Kumpels von uns da, die wir kannten. Der Hauptunterschied war eigentlich nur der große Kochtopf mit leckerem Essen zur Begrüßung. In Australien bekommt man kaum was zu essen, wenn man ein Konzert spielt. 

Eure letzte Veröffentlichung ist eine Split LP mit den Thee Oh Sees. Wie seid ihr in Kontakt mit ihnen gekommen und wie ist die Idee entstanden, gemeinsam eine Split LP zu machen? 
Al: Das war die Idee von John, Gitarrist und Sänger der Thee Oh Sees. Eigentlich war nur eine Split 7“ angedacht, aber wir haben ihn dazu überreden können, daraus eine Split LP zu machen. Eddy Current Suppression Ring haben 2008 mit den Thee Oh Sees Konzerte gespielt. Seitdem besteht der Kontakt und wir haben immer einer Menge Spaß zusammen. Petey, der bei den Thee Oh Sees Gitarre spielt, ist einfach ein Engel. 

Paranoid Video ist einer meiner absoluten Lieblingssongs von euch. Der Song hat diese großartige Melodie, die klingt als hättet ihr sie direkt von einem Aracade Videospiel aus den 80ern geklaut. Wie ist dieser Song enstanden? 
Al: Das war so: Ich sitze zuhause, mir fällt eine Synthesizer Melodie ein, mir fällt ein Basslauf ein. Dann kommt mein Kumpel Dan vorbei, packt seinen Gesang drauf und BAM wir haben einen Hit. 

Ich finde ihr habt einen deutlichen Krautrock Einfluss. Ihr kling für mich stellenweise wie die deutsche Band NEU! Kennt ihr die? 
Al: Ich bin ein riesiger NEU! Fan. Ihre “75” Platte ist der totale Wahnsinn. Ich glaube aber, auch noch viele andere Krautrock Bands hatten einen Einfluss auf Total Control. Ihr Deutschen macht echt großartige Musik! 

Ich stehe total auf alten Punk aus Australien. Bands wie Razar, Thought Criminals, Psycho Surgeons, Victims, X und all dieser Kram. Sind diese Bands auch ein wichtiger Einfluss für euch gewesen? Und was sind deine persönlichen Top 5 Bands aus dieser Zeit? 
Al: Ja wir stehen auch alle total auf diese Musik, aber ich denke nicht, dass sie den Sound von Total Control entscheidend prägt. In unseren anderen Bands spielen wir schon eher Musik, die nach den genannten Bands klingt. Ich denke mein Lieblingsbands aus dieser Zeit sind AC/DC, The Saints, X, Chosen Few und Laughing Clowns. 

Zwei eurer insgesamt 4 7”s hatten gar kein wirkliches Artwork, die zweite auf Iron Lung und die bisher letzte. Ich bevorzuge ja doch Platten, die auch gut aufgemacht sind. Wie denkst du darüber und warum haben die beiden 7“s kein wirkliches Artwork? 
Al: Die beiden 7“s hatten doch ein Artwork. Du wurdest nur abgezogen! Nein, nur ein Witz. Ich dachte ihr Krauts steht auf Minimalismus? Iron Lung 7”s haben nie ein Artwork und “Pyre Island” sollte aussehen wie eine low budget Dance Single. Das ist uns scheinbar gelungen. 

Ich habe vor einigen Tagen, die traurige Nachricht von Brendon Annesleys tragischem Tod gelesen. Negative Guest List war eines der besten Labels und Fanzines der letzten Jahre. Habt ihr Brendon persönlich gekannt? Welche Bedeutung hatte er für die australische Szene während der letzten Jahre? 
Er war ein großartiger Typ und einer der produktivsten Menschen der ganzen australischen Musikszene. Seine Hingabe für Musik war beeindruckend, was auch auf mich persönlich einen sehr motivierenden Einfluss hatte. Dan unser Sänger hat wie viele andere Persönlichkeiten der australischen Szene nach seinem Tod einen großartigen Artikel über Brendon verfasst. Man kann ihn im Internet auf der website messandnoise.com finden.


Das Interview wurde auch in Trust Ausgabe #156 veröffentlicht. Hol dir hier dein Trust Abo!

Monday, January 14, 2013

TOP TEN 2012: OTHER MUSIC LPs PART 2 OF 2

BUCK GOOTER - WITCH MOLECULES LP (X-Mist)
Buck Gooter from Harrisonburg, Virginia combine broken electronic sounds with blues-rock guitar riffs, 80s industrial, drum computer beats and hateful shouted vocals. Their songs are made with super minimal instrumental arrangements, manic repeats and various damaged, disturbing sounds. Not poppy, not catchy and not melodic - Bucker Gooter's music is anything but beautiful. Listening to "Witch Melecules" with all it's ugliness is sometimes exhausting, but that just seems to be the special thing about this record. They are taking the best parst of Throbbing Gristle, Flipper and The Dicks "These People" era to create their very own unique style without giving a fuck about current trends and hypes. Recorded by Don Zientera at Inner Ear studios. (Listen to it here)

CHEATER SLICKS - REALITY IS A GRAPE LP (Columbus Discount)
Cheater Slicks from Columbus, Ohio were formed in 1987 and they are still active after more than a quarter century. This is their first studio record since 2007 and its yet another proof of their oustanding status among the US garage genre. They merge garagepunk with doleful pop meldodies, 60s psych, high speed rock and weird guitar noise, but they don’t paint themselves into any corners. "Reality Is A Grape" is filled with amazing instrumental passages, that are just as endearing as the pop elements with it's subliminal sadness and their restrained, but catchy melodies. In the front of their songs are the unique long drawn-out vocals with it's jaded sounding. A great record by a great band. (Listen to it here)noisseurs of truly intense music have recognized the brilliance of this criminally over-looked band.
DUM DUM GIRLS - END OF DAZE LP (Subpop)
I've been very much into Dum Dum Girl's early releases including their first LP on Hozac or their 12" on Captured Tracks. Their early style was a perfect combination of punkrock with psych and Jesus And The Mary Chain, based on super fuzzy guitars and Dee Dee's unique and mysterious vocals. It's always difficult, when a band changes the style, you've loved, but it in case of the Dum Dum Girls it's still well done music: Since their last full lenght "Only In Dreams" they've developed to a cleaner production in line with the Sub Pop indie sound. "End of Daze" is their darkest record with a dejected atmosphere created with quiet, but complex song structures. The lyrcis deal with a listing of several interpersonal disappointments, sufferings and hurts. But after all it ends up with a spark of hope: "It's the end of daze" are Dee Dee's finsihing words in the last song. Alltogether this is a perfect indie record and even if I'm still more into their early stuff, it's exciting to track Dum Dum Girl's musical development. (Listen to it here)

FEATURELESS GHOST - PERSONALITY MATRIX LP (Night People)
First full lenght release by this twopiece from Atlanta. Featureless Ghost are heavily influenced by electronic music and dance music from the 80s and early 90s. They are taking the best parts of synth pop, minimal wave, trance and dark wave to create their very own contemporary style of electronic music. "Personality Matrix" features ten danceable tracks, based on pounding beats, poppy synth melodies and a dreamy, yet dark atmsophere. On top of that there's change of catchy female and deep male vocals. If you're digging releases on Industrial records as much as other current Night People bands like Terror Bird, Goldendust or Blanche Blanche Blanche, you'll also dig this great album. The cover art looks great, but it's only printed on a two-sided board (like all Night People releases). I would have prefered a real record sleeve. (Listen to it here)

HORRID RED - NIGHTLY WREATHS LP (Terrible)
Horrid Red is an offshot of Teenage Panzerkorps featuring frontman Bunker Wolf plus members of Burial Hex. "Nightly Wreaths" is already their third full lenght since 2010. Horrid Red's sound is heavily influenced by Bunker Wolf's dark unique vocal style and his brilliant, weird German lyrics. He is the reason, why it's not possible to review this record without referencing Teenage Panzerkorps. But in contrast to them, "Nightly Wreaths" ranges from a simular UK postpunk/ gothpunk style influenced by The Cure and Joy Division to contemporary electronic soundscapes comparable to current Not Not Fun releases and a sense for melodies and elements of pop music. Another excellent instalment in Horrid Red's discography. (Listen to it here) 

MERCHANDISE - CHILDREN OF DESIRE LP (Katorga Works) 
Tampa, Florida is the hometown of some of the most unconventional US underground acts like Neon Blud, Diet Cokeheads, Cult Ritual and American Snakeskin. Merchandise share or have shared members with most (or all!?) of the named bands, but they are probalbly the most catchy among them. Merchandise's second full lenght is grounded in several different music genres of the 1980s: They merge postpunk in the tradition of Joy Division, New Order and The Smith with shoegaze, industrial and Jesus And The Mary Chain's noise-pop. "Children Of Desire" is less noisier than Merchandise's early works. It's pop-friendly song structures are paired with outsized experimental soundscapes (including two extended 10 minute songs), a dazed atmosphere and their very own weird feedbacks and reverbs. Carson Crox' voice shows influences of Morrissey, without sounding like a boring reproduction. Instead of a lyric sheet, they've included some kind of a diary printed in a black cover. It tells storys of personal deseases caused by the search of sense in a world without sense. At least that's my interpretation for a brief summary. Nice idea anyway. (Listen to it here

PROTOMARTYR - NO PASSION ALL TECHNIQUE (Urinal Cake)
"No Passion Al Technique" is allready Protomartyr's third release in 2012 after their two excellent 7"s. Once again it's an amazing punkrock record by this band out of Detroit rock city. The connection to Tyvek is obvious here, even if the songs are darker and tighter. The guitar work is in the frontline: a lot of riffage rooted in 70s rock, feebacks, reverbs, and a good balance between dissonant parts and discreet melodies. Protomartyr add powerful bass lines, pounding straight drum beats and charismatic spoken vocals for good measure. There are links to cold postpunk like Joy Division or Birthday Party, but it's definitely not some kind of reproduction. I play this LP every day since I've got it, sometimes multiple times in a row. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)
    
PUMICE - PUNY LP (Soft Abuse) 
Latest full lenght by New Zealand's Stefan Neville under his Pumice moniker, already active since the mid 90s. Neville's music is grounded in the tradition of early 80s Flying Nun releases and the unconvential sound of early 90s New Zealand bands like first of all Dead C. He creates experimental and fancifuls soundscapes with a marked prefence for lo-fi sounds and DIY cassette recordings. The songs have a perfect balance between fuzzed out rawness, beautiful, desolate melodies and epic repeats. They are focused on instrumental arrangements, only with a spare use of Neville's low recorded, but fascinating voice. The result is an great album with it's very own beauty. (Listen to it here)

TIMES NEW VIKING - OVER & OVER LP (Siltbreeze)
Times New Viking are back on Siltbreeze! "Over & Over" is also a musical return to their early releases: A perfect combination of "Dig Yourself"-era lofi-pop and their fuzzed out, super distorted "Rip It Off" masterpiece. That is to say unconventional, weird with a strong lo-fi / cassette four track aesthetic and with despondent vocals floating over the six songs of this mini-album. Noisy indierock with punk roots and an appreciation for poppy melodies. This is a lot better than their previous releases and it's hopefully a restart of a great band. (Listen to it here)

WOODS - BEND BEYOND LP (Woodsist)
7th regular full lenght in the large Woods discography and I still can't get enough Woods records. They've decreased their experimental side and pushed their 60s folk and indie influence way into the forefront; even if there's still a fair ammount of psychedelic rock creeping in the guitar leeds. Their songs seem to capture the best moments of extented jam sessions and they are downright infectious for sheer enthusiasm. The subliminal darkness of "Bend Beyond" is a bit unusual compared to their previous releases, but it's the fantastic addition to their 60s lo-fi pop sound filled with grandiose melodies. (Listen to it here

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012 TOP TEN: JAPANESE HARDCORE

ATTACK SS - NO NUKES 7" (Distort Reality)
Reagan SS, Hitler SS, Tampere SS, Veuve SS, Attack SS, Heroin SS - I still can't understand, why so many punk bands use "SS" for their bandname? Its neither provocative, nor funny, it's just pretty stupid. But apart from the bandname, this 7" is really good. Frantic fast, noisy hardcore comparable to other current Japanese bands like D-Clone, System Fucker, Folkeiis or Framtid. It's heavy distorted and noisy, but at the time the recording captures the energy of the songs and you can still make out the song structures. There's also some d-beat mixed in for good measure. Great stuff! (Listen to it here)

D-CLONE - CREATION AND DESTROYS LP (540)
After a bunch of 7" releases, this is finally D-Clone's first full lenght. Among the plenty of noise bands in the world of hardcore, they are without any doubt one of the best. What's sets them apart from most other bands, is their high-grade noisy, but super powerful recording. It sounds like a mess of noise and sheer hardcore power and it's seems to be marginal, what D-Clone actually play, because everything will turn into something great, if you have this kind of production. Certainly that's of course not the only explanations of D-Clone's intensity: they also write good songs, combining the best parts of Scandinavian and Japanese Discharge influenced music with traditional hardcorepunk of their home country. (Listen to it here)   

FOLKEIIS - DESTROY AGONY 7" (Hardcore Survives)
This is Folkeiis second 7" after their much thought after "Hell Kaaos Night" 7" from 2009. While their older recordings were a complete worship of classic Finish hardcore (including lyrics in Finish language), Folkeiis have now developed heir very own unique style of d-beat driven hardcore. The influence of classic Finish hardcore from bands like Kaaos, Appendix or Riistetyt is still obvious, but they've combined it with current d-beat noise of their native country and a very dark sound. It's made with heavy distortion, but it's not too noisy and not too fast. (Listen to it here)  

FORWARD - WAR NUKE AND DEATH SENTENCE LP (Prank)
Forward are back after a eight year lasting release hiatus. Along with bands like Crude, Paintbox, Crow and Judgement they were one of the most important japcore bands in the late '90s / early '00s. Their third lenght combines catchy,rockish and melodic parts with intense hardcorepunk and heavy throated vocals. For my taste a few songs are way too melodic, but alltogether this is again a great hardcore record, made by people with know-how (former members of Deathside and Systematic Death). Great powerful production (obvious for a Japanese band), mastered by Jack Control. (Listen to it here) 
  
ISTERISMO - FOLIA VERSO L'INTERNO LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)
I've I had to choose only one favourite hardcore of 2012, it would be this one. Isterismo are a bunch of Japanese maniacs, singing in Italian language and doing some kind of Wretched style hardcore with a wall of distortion and feedbacks. This is the most extreme production of a hardcore record I've heart since Exclaim (remember their "critical exploder" LP). You can allmost hear no drums, just a sick distorted bass and overloaded squeaky guitars. But within this mess of distortion the recording captures the sheer power of hardcore in it's most primal way. This record is essential! (Listen to it here)

NEMESIS - DOU-KOKU 7" (Solar Funeral)
Most current Japanese bands are either into d-beat noise or into '82 UK style. So it's very exciting to listen to Nemesis' debut 7", because it features 4 tracks of classic 80s Japanese hardcore in the tradition of bands like The Comes, Gudon, Masturbation, Systematic Death or Execute. Based on straight pounding drums, simple but energetic guitar riffs, short fucked up guitar solos and this kind of vocals, that are so typical for Japense hardcore (=insane). Plus a brilliant old-fashioned, clear production. (Listen to it here
 
VENDETTA - S/T 7" (Imminent Destruction)
The debut release by Tokyo's Vendetta features five tracks of classic '82 UK style hardcorepunk. It's definitely more punk than hardcore, filled with melodic hooks and catchy guitar lines and vocals, but at the same time they keep it raw, raging and powerful. And they have a brilliant old-fashioned production. If your digging The Varukuers, Chaos UK, One Way System or other current Japanese bands like Zetu and Skizophrenia, you will definitely also dig this 7". They've already released a second 7" on Hardcore Survives. Should be great too. (Listen to it here)

VA - RAW PUNKZ 7" (Vox Populi)
I love 7" compilations! While most LP compilations are filled with to many average bands, it seems to be so much easier, to find a few great bands and put their best songs on a 7". This "Raw Punkz" compilation is a good example: No filler, all killer. The title already says it: all bands are into raw punk and hardcore. Raw Distractions from Tokyo crank out a great anti-police anthem with hints of 'UK 82 and Scandinavian hardcore. First vinyl release after their great demo tape. Persevere are well known from their several 7" releases on Blood Sucker Records. Great blasting catchy hardcorepunk. Solpaatos is a total finnish hc worship influenced by Lama, Appendix or Kaaos. Vendetta is probably this year's best new band from Japan. Aweseome '82 UK style hardcorepunk. Skizophrenia are another current Japanese band influenced by UK hardcore from the early 80s. As good as their amazing "This Fucking Skizophrenia! Still A Raped Ass" 7" from 2011. This compilation is a must have, if you like Japanese hardcore!


ZETU - NINJA ATTACK 7" (Hardcore Survives)
Over the past years Hardcore Survives has developed to one of the most important labels from Japan. The great thing is: they only put out tapes and 7"s, which are in my opinion still the best formats for hardcore releases. Zetu's debut 7" features four tracks of driving hardcorepunk, combining traditional Japanese hardcore with '82 UK style. They strike a good balance between catchy, melodic riffs and the raging, primal power of hardcore. Comparable to other current bands from Japan like Vendetta or Skizophrenia. Artwork looks great as well. (Listen to it here)

ZYANOSE - ISOLATION 7" (Distort Reality)
Awful drawing on the frontcover, but the music rules: Great mix of Gai / Confuse worship and Crazy Fucked Up Daily Life like Crust. A lot better than the tons of other bands, trying to imitate the originals, because Zyanose are probably the most extreme among them. The guitar sound is super overtuned and full distorted. It's just one big swoosh, far away from what a guitar usually sounds like. In addition to this mess of noise, you get fast straight drum beats, insane, throaty vocals and super short fucked up guitar solos. This is just throughout sick music. Great! (Listen to it here)  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 TOP TEN: AUSSIE 7"s

GOOCH PALMS - R U 4 SIRIUS 7" (Anti Fade)
Incredible four track 7" by Gooch Palms from Sydney. They call their music "shit-pop", but I don't realy know why. It's just simple, super catchy and loud music. Live shows should be a lot of fun. They combine the rock'n'roll sound of the 50s with 60's lofi garage and 70s US Punk. It seems like their equally into The Ramones, The Sonics, The Cramps and Chuck Berry. It's really fun to listen to this 7" with it's silly melodies and lovely primitivity. Limited to 300 copies. (Listen to it here
 
MARTYR PRIVATES - S/T 7" (Bon Voyage)
Excellent first wax by this amazing band from Brisbane, Australia. "Bless" on the a-side is a psych number, based on simple but crushing guitar hook and some adds of percussion and guitar solos. It's somehow comparable to Spacemen 3, even if it sounds a lot heavier. "Native Son" on the flipside has super cool garage-psych sound with a kind of hot desert twang of the guitar. Many bands are into psych these days, but Martyr Privates are probably the best. Can't wait to hear more. Limited to 300 copies only. (Listen to it here)

MEAT THUMP - BOX OF WINE 7" (Negative Guestlist) 
Brisbane allstar six-piece featuring members of Kitchen's Floor, Slug Guts and Brendon Anneley (R.I.P) from Negative Guestlist. They are probably now defunct after Anneley's death. The songs are pretty much focused on squeaky, damaged guitars. The vocals sound drugged and weird. They combine influences of garage, folk and the sound of early releases on Flying Nun records. Definitely not a kind of standard music, but in all it's weirdnes these are two throughout beautiful songs. (Listen to it here)    

KITCHEN'S FLOOR - BITTER DEFEAT 7" (Negative Guestlist)
First release since their amazing "Look forward to nothing" full lenght from last year. This 7" features Kitchen's Floor darkest material so far. So you're absolutely wrong, if you expect any punk or noise, since this 7" is heavily influenced by moody folk and pop. Both songs are made with a simple, but great guitar line, a straight drum beat and a organ. The gloomy vocals give the songs a jaded, depressing vibe, but at the same time they're absorbing and fascinating. (Listen to it here)

LIVING EYES - WAYS TO MAKE A LIVING 7" (Anti Fade)
Second 7" by Living Eyes featuring three brilliant tracks. "Ways to Make A Living" is a 60s beat influenced number with fuzzy guitars and catchy melodies. One of those songs, that stucks in your head after the first listen. Think of Ty Segall with more pop or a The Kinks influence. "Nose Diving" on the flipside is a midtempo punk tune with lots of feedbacks and a 70s Aussie punk feel. Reminds a bit of Perth-era The Scientists. And there's another short rock'n'roll influenced instrumental track, that has not been listed on the backcover or elsewhere. (Listen to it here)

RUINED FORTUNE- BULLS EYE 7" (R.I.P. Society)
First release by this new twopiece band from Sydney. Ruined Fortune play hook-filled punkrock influenced by US bands from the late 70s. The titletrack "Bulls Eye" is a simple, super melodic punkrock number with a catchy vocal tune and squeaking guitar solos. "Hope Diamond" on the flipside sounds heavier. It starts with a guitar riff almost comparable to Circle Jerks or early Black Flag, but when the drawn-out and jaded vocals begin, it's a style of singing, you would expect from some kind of lo-fi garage rock band. (Listen to it here)

SOUTHERN COMFORT - SILVER AND GOLD 7" (Black Petal)
New band with Angie from Circle Pit and Ruined Fortune. A-side is faszinating 60s psych pop germ without drums only made with vocals and guitar. B-side is cover of "Don't Cry No Tears" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse from their '75 "Zuma" full lenght with a super fuzzy guitar sound. Fans of Girls At Dawn, Vivian Girls and the whole neo-psych HoZac sound in general, won't be dissapointed. 265 copies only, so be fast to get your copy. (Listen to it here)

TOTAL CONTROL- SCENE FROM A MARRIAGE 7" (Sub Pop)
Total Control made it on Sub Pop and  this 7" follows up their amazing "Henge Beat" LP from last year. "Scene From A Marriage" starts with a quiet accoustic guitar riff and soon turns into some moody garage-postpunk, with a super catchy chorus including some of the best "aaahh aaahh's" ever "Contract" on the flipside shows their talent to create some really amazing electronic music. It varies from some kind of 80s minimal wave synth pop to hints of Neu! and early Kraftwerk. (Listen to it here)

UV RACE / NATIVE CATS - SPLIT 7" (Ride The Snake)
Two of Australias best current postpunk acts join the forces for this amazing split 7". Native Cats from Tasmania chip in one dark number. It starts with a bass line and a simple drum beat and ends up with some loud pounding moody synthezisers sounds. Great minimal music influenced by New Order and the 80's UK minimal wave sound in general. The UV Race side offers 3 songs, capturing the sound of their first demo tape and their early 7"s. This is straight pounding The Fall meets Swell Maps like postpunk. Again I've enjoyed the detailed explanations to their lyrics. More bands should do that! (Listen to it here)

WHORES - MOB REALITY 7" (Negative Guestlist) 
Whores play slow. but devastating hardcore comparable to all those "mysterious guy hc" bands coming from the USA during the last couple of years. Sounds like it could have been released on Youth Attack: ugly shouted vocals, a wall of ugly feedbacks, heavy distortion and fucked up downtowned guitars. This is just top notch noise, mixing the best parts of Void, Flipper and early 90s noiserock, to create their very own extreme and weird sound. Great stuff! (Listen to it here)


2012 TOP TEN: HARDCORE 7"s

BI-MARKS - SLEEPLESS 7" (Black Water)
Second release after their ripping "the golden years" full lenght from 2011. Bi-Marks are from Portland, the town that has produced The Wipers, Poison Idea and Tragedy. But this is neither Neo-Crust, nor dark Wipers style Punkrock, nor anything elese you would expect from a typical current Portland band: Bi-Marks play fast thrashing hardcore in the tradition of US bands from the early 80s. Think of Zero Boys meets Jerry's Kids with hints of  crossover thrash in the vein of early(!) Corrosion of Conformity and 70s rock guitar solos. (Listen to it here)  

BRAIN KILLER - S/T 7" (Vinyl Rites/ Framework)
It's definitely not a very creative idea, to play a style of hardcorepunk heavily influenced by Discharge. And yes most bands, who are into d-beat are pretty boring, but this 7" is yet another example for Brain Killers ability to play a fresh, contmporary and totally amazing style of d-beat. The vocals sound pretty unique, but totally amazing. The songs are well produced with a good dose of distortion. Most of them are pretty fast, but Brain Killer also manage to write perfect midetmpo songs. So if you've listened too often to your "Her Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing" LP, Brain Killer are defintiely more than just a good alternative. (Listen to it here)

BROWN SUGAR - LUVLY 7" (Cowabunga)
Another great release 7" from Buffalo, NY's Brown Sugar: They combine 80s style midwest hardcore with slower parts, that are pretty untypical for this kind of music. When it's hardcore, it sounds like The Necros or Die Kreuzen paired with some Black Flag-like guitarnoise. But when it's slow, you can hear hints of folk, rock and Stooges like protopunk. Sounds strange? But it definetely works. The songs are quite catchy with brilliant vocals and lyrcis with a "me against everyone" attitude. Artwork looks great too. (Listen to it here)

DAWN OF HUMANS - BLURST OF BIRDFLESH 7" (Toxic State)
Everyone is talking about Crazy Spirit, but their labelmates are just as great. Dawn Of Humans' second 7" offers frantic, simple hardcorepunk without any frills. The raw recording is the perfect addition to Dawn Of Humans' unpolished approach of playing hardcore. Imagine the first Germs LP played on 45rpm and you might get a idea of how Dawn Of Humans' genuine brand of hardcore sounds like. (Listen to it here)

GOOSEBUMBS - I HATE MY BODY 7" (Burn Books) 
Another New York based band made it in my top ten list: Goosebumbs offer a unpolished and raw style of original hardcore, comparable to Crazy Spirit and Dawn Of Humans or Toxic State releases in general. You get eight short tracks of 80s style US Hardcore filled with noisy Black Flag-like guitars, many slower Negative Approach-like "tough" parts, frantic blasts, gruff vocals and lots of anger and hate.  (Listen to it here)  

KREMLIN - WILL YOU FEED ME? 7" (Hardware)
After two killer demotapes last year, this is Kremlin's first release on vinyl. You get 5 tracks of noisy 80s style hardcore based on frantic fast drumming, creaky guitars and ugly vocals recorded with tons of reverb. The result is a totally devastating mixture of Die Kreuzen, Confuse and classic Finnish hardcore. Highly recmonded for everyone, who's into 80s hardcore.(Listen to it here)

KRÜEL - S/T 7" (Crucificados)
Among the plenty of bands trying to sound like Gai, Confuse, Disclose, Atrocious Madness, Gloom, Disorder, etc Krüel from Los Angeles are defintely one of the most brutal. This is straight forward, heavy distorted d-beat on high speed with harsh vocals and a brilliant noisy recording. You get five merciless slaps. The lyrics are written in Spanish and the hard sound of the Spanish language makes the music even sound more brutal than it already is. Did I mention, that this sounds brutal? (Listen to it here)

KROMOSOM - PARANOID! 7" (Holy Terror)
Beside the hype of the new wave of Australian bands (have a look at my blog. haha), there's also a great current scene of raw punk and hardcore. Kromosom are good example, but there are more bands like Leprosy, Teargas, Last Chaos, Warthreat or Straight Jacket Nation. After their first full lenght, this is already Kromosom's third 7". If you aren't familiar with them: they combine Swedish raw d-beat hardcore from the early 80s in the vein of Shitlickers or Anti-Cimex with heavy distortions and ugly feedbacks influenced by Japanese bands like Disclose, D-Clone or Interismo. If you like your hardcore raw and distorted, this one's for you (Listen to it here)

LAST CHAOS - KILL DICK CONTROL 7" (Hardcore Victim) 
This is some of this year's best old fashioned hardcorepunk. Last Chaos' debut 7" is filled with raging guitar-riffs, pounding drums and gruffy vocals. There are members of Teargas involved here and yes you can hear it, even if the songs are also heavily influenced by classic Finish hardcore. The vocals have this kind of reverb, that we all know from our Kaaos, Appendix or Terveet Kadet records. Jack Control has produced the recording, which means it sounds great. (Listen to it here)

PUSRAD - AKTA DIG 7" (Ken Rock)
This is is one of the best hardcore band from Sweden since a long time: Ex-members from Raped Teenagers are playing manic fast 80s Hardcore with lots of breaks and stop&go's. Sounds like people from Gang Green and D.R.I.(early) were starting a band together, trying to play Protest Bengt influenced hardcore. This onesided 7" features 5 songs with a complete playtime of 75 seconds. Ok that's pretty short, but there's nothing missing. This is just straight to the point short, fast & loud hardcore. They only put the best parts into their 15 second songs without a single second of boring repeats. And they have a great clean and modern recording. (Listen to it here)