Monday, May 27, 2013

FIVE NEW AUSSIE 7"s

BAD VISION - 112/VISIONS 7" (Selfreleased)
Don't let the unispired bandname stop you: this is an totally awesome double a-side single. Melbourne based four-piece Bad Vision play varied melodic punkrock, that merges influences ranging from garage to protopunk, power-pop and late 70s punk. "112" on the a-side carries an early L.A. punk vibe. It reminds of releases on Dangerhouse records. A well done poppunk gem underlayed with plenty of great melodies and excellent short guitar-solos. This is the kind of song you want to listen to over and over again. "Visions" on the flipside maintains the high level. It starts with a super catchy guitar riff, that will stuck in your head after the first listen. The whole song is a immediate, trashy power-popper. It's comparable to The Briefs, if they were good. Bad Vision have toured Europe in April and May, but unfortuantely I've heart about it too late. I guess I've missed a great live show. They've announced a debut full lenght for late 2013. Can't wait for that! (Listen to it here)
 
EX CON - S/T 7" (Bon Voyage)
Ex Con are a new Brisbane based band featuring former Slug Guts vocalist James Dalgliesh on guitar. The frontcover is a bit misleading. It looks like a Circle Pit or Fabulous Diamonds records, but it sounds a lot more ugly. Ex Con's selftitled debut title offers three tracks of super noisy punkrock. The guitar is loud and crushing driven by reverbs and heaviest distortion. The straight and pounding drum beats sound like they've been recorded in a cold cave far away. They are very low except for the banging cymbols. Joanna Nilson's vocals range between ugly growled shouts, that are not unlike Nü Sensae, to a more melodic and catchy style. The recording is lofi and noisy, but it captures a certain kind of coldness, that links to the twang of Sacred Bones releases. The a-side starts with "Cuda 82" a straight no frills punk blast, that sounds like Jesus And The Mary Chain were into hardcore with a noisy guitar wall in the forefront. "Bronzer" is a little bit more varied, but also totally furious and unpolished. "Right Brain" on the flipside is the most memorable track. It sounds like a catchy garage tune under a vail of merciless noise-punk. During the first half of the song the focus is on the fantastic vocal harmonies, then for the last three minutes it turns into instrumental based on a brilliant extended guitar tune, that could go on forever. A highly recommended debut single! (Listen to it here)   

GHASTLY SPATS - WE'RE BREAKING THROUGH THE HYMEN 7" (Heinous Anus)
Sydney four-piece Ghastly Spats nail down four tracks of gloomy 60s inspired mid-tempo noise-punk. Their tunes are underlayed by a scary organ making it sound like it's coming from another far away galaxy. Ghastly Spats combine psych with garage and postpunk, but in the end it's their own highly destructive style. "Flesh Thing" is a pretty catchy short cut, that could have been taken from a HoZac release. It's comparable to the Myelin Sheaths, even that's probably not a very well known reference. "Sordio" is more on the UK postpunk side with a bizarre, discordant twang. The A-side ends with "Kid" a painful, monotic noise-blast with crushing out of tune guitars and fantastic male-female double vocals. "The River" on the flipside is psych-punk gem, that finds the right balance between supportive melodies and dissonant weirdness. "Border Town" the last track is a slow psych stomper, that's raw, ugly and unpolished with a super spaced out guitar and a drug-influenced sound. As a whole this is really an astonishing great debut 7" and Ghatsly Spats have created a totally unique and weird brand of 60s inspired punk. (Listen to it here)
 
SPROT - SUMMER OF SPROT 7" (Wormwood Grasshopper)
After the first few spins I wasn't sure on which speed this single is played on. Then I found a small paper inside the cover sleeve with the correct rpms printed on. Finally I came to the conclusion, that it doesn't really matter, because it sounds good on both 33.3rpm and 45.rpm. Sprot is a noise duo from Brisbane, Australia. The a-side seems to capture a rhythm section doing a jam session in the rehearsal room. The bass plays a cheesy poppy melodie again and again. The drums are recorded in lowest quality with loud crashing cymbls. They add a simple straight beat. In contrast to that the guitar creates a mess of blown out noise, made with reverbs, distortion, feedbacks and effects. It sounds like two different songs were put into one and the guitar wants to destroy everything. The b-side is a ear-bleeding electronic noise attack. I guess they've recorded several different sounds (probably also made with a guitar!?), that were then modified to one big ugly mush of noise. The result is comparable to something that could have been released on Aryan Asshole Records. The single also captures a musique concrete vibe, even if it isn't arty. This is pure painful noise without a spark of hope. (Listen to it here)

VA - REALISTIC PILLOW (Kraak)
"Realistic Pillow" is a four-way split compilation focused on groups from the fifth continent. It features one track by Mad Nanna, Pumice, Kraus and Slug Guts. Mad Nanna, one of the most impressing current Aussie bands, offer one untitled, slow and monotonic live cut. A super primitive song with their typical anti-supportive, jaded vocals in the forefront. You're never sure, if it will break together within the next second. Flying Nun inspired music with an unsigned, hopeless and destructive sound. Kiwi artist Stefan Neville should be well known from his several releases under his Pumice moniker. "Glordinary" is based on a loop of a warm and beautiful piano melody with Neville's low recorded vocals floating somewhere in the background. Kraus contribute a mesmerizing 60s psych instrumental based on a catchy organ line and a groovy beat, which is repeated again and again. The Slug Guts song is taken from their "Play In Time With The Dead Beat" LP studio session. "Creepin' Out" is a brilliant goth meets postpunk tune with their low gloomy vocals and a sick saxophone performance in the forefront. They take the best parts of Birthday Party, Bauhaus and Gun Club to create their own cold and dark style. This is really a totally awesome compilation without a single filler track. (Listen to it here)

Friday, May 24, 2013

TENZENMEN RELEASES

Tenzenmen is D.I.Y. record label from Australia. It's releases cover a large variety of different styles and it's really not possible to determine a typical Tenzemen sound. Whether indie, powerviolence, poppunk or noise-rock label founder Shaun doesn't seem to care about genre boundaries. Tenzenmen puts our records by bands from all over the world with a focus on scenes, that usually only receive little attention in the world of punk and hardcore like for example China or South-East-Asia. You can have a listen to all releases on the label's bandcamp site. The following four records are my personal favorites, but I bet you'll discover tons of more great new music, you've probably never heart of before.

BAMODI - SMELL HEAVEN LP (Tenzenmen)
"Smell Heaven" is the second full lenght by this Perth based trio. Bamodi play hardcorepunk, that goes far beyond what you would normally expect from this music genre. The record is filled with short, tight and frantic blasts. that are played by people, that definitely know how to play their instruments. They throw in hints of free-jazz, math-rock, postpunk and experimental music, while maintaining a no frills punk attitude. It sounds like The Minutemen, Victim's Family, NoMeansNo and the open-minded approach of SST related bands had an important influence on Bamodi's sound, even if their tunes are straighter, faster and just more radical. The vocals sound like something you would normally only expect from a Japanese hardcore group. They are high pitched, totally insanse like an angry Mickey Mouse. Bomodi remind me a lot of The Minutemen influenced Japanese hardcore bands from the early 21st century like for example Breakfast or The Futures. Fuckin' brilliant! (Listen to it here)
 
FUN - 1/3 7" (Tenzenmen)
This is the first part in a trilogy of 7"s. Finland's Fun sound like and the artwork looks like the time has stopped during early 90s. This single features music, that keeps the classic Touch&Go noiserock alive. It's a complete worship to bands like Shellac, Jesus Lizard or Helmet. Their songs are based on a powerful rhythm section. It's characterized by punchy bass lines and a great groove. Both tracks on this single are interesting and varied enough to be more than just a band, that trys to copy this certain kind of style. It really speaks for itself. Fun write sophisticated songs with plenty of rhythm and tempo changes. You never know what to expect next. "Massive on Meat" merges noiserock with a slight Fugazi influence and an undercurrent of melodies. "Into the Void" on the flipside is made with a more Helmet like sound and fantastic vocal harmonies floating through. If you're into noiserock, this 7" is for you. (Listen to it here)

MERE WOMEN - OLD LIFE LP (Tenzenmen)
This is Mere Women's first full lenght after their 12" single from 2011. Equipped with a modern clean production, but rooted in the tradition of classic postpunk groups, "Old Life" is a clarification how to develop postpunk further into a contemporary sound, that fits in the 21st century. This Sydney based trio writes smart, deep and complex songs, that create a gloomy goth atmoshphere. Not unlike Noh Mercy their tunes are focused on drums and vocals. The unconventional, but groovy beats are one of the main secrets of Mere Women's songwriting. There's not a single straightforward 4/4 ryhthm and the drums just go far beyond the norm. The vocal add their own unique harmonies. Amy Wilson's powerful, edgy voice comes to the forefront. The guitar is highly effect loaded and sounds like something you would normally expect from a math-rock or post-rock group, even if the playing is different. It creates a gloomy, atmospheric twang, that's assisted by the occasional use of a keyboard. As a whole "Old Life" is a true modern postpunk masterpiece. (Listen to it here)

YES I'M LEAVING - MISSION BULB LP (Tenzenmen)
"Mission Bulb" is already the third full lenght release by Yes I'm Leaving from Sydney, Australia. It's packed with eleven songs, that find the right balance between straight forward origin punkrock and a more varied musical background. The vocals are pissed off and furious without beeing artifical or skin-deep. They seem to represent the sound of honest hate, rage and mind collaps. Yes I'm Leaving merge ugly 70s rock and protopunk riffs with early 90s noiserock, some hints of dissonant postpunk and just primitive blasting punkrock. Musically they show obvious parallels to The Brainbombs, which should be understood as a huge compliment. Their numbers are based on crushing, full distorted guitars, squeaking Black Flag like guitar noise, pounding drums and a no frills attitude. "Mission Bulb" sounds old-fashioned, but at the same it's not a attempt to just copy a certain kind of style. Instead of that Yes I'm Leaving have definitely developed their own unique trademark sound. A great record with a great artwork and I also dig the record cover's "made to be broken" message! (Listen to it here)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

EXHAUSTION - FUTURE EATERS LP

EXHAUSTION - FUTURE EATERS LP (Aarght)
There's not only a high quantity of outstanding bands coming from Australia, but most of them also play their very own independent and unique music. Exhaustion are yet another good example. This Melbourne based trio shares members with other well known groups like Ooga Boogas, Deaf Wish, Lower Plenty and Keith's Yard. "Future Eaters" features seven epic tracks of grim rock'n'roll, that combines a large variety of different music genres. Exhaustion's tunes are based on loops of driving bass lines and stoic, monotonic drum beats. The captivating groove sounds more crushing with every new repeat. It's best illustrated in "No Place For A Holiday" - an extented eleven minutes journey. The rhythm section shows slight hints of gloomy aussie postpunk simular to Birthday Party and The Scientists, even it's more rock influenced with a colder sound. The guitar adds a wall of reverb-friendly weirdness, mixing blown out Texas psych with an experimental approach, hints of krautrock and a view straight riffs. The focus is definitely on the instrumental arrangements, but even if the vocals are more in the background, their anti-supportive spoken style is one of the characteristic features of Exhaustion's sound. The musical parallels aren't really apparent, but I think the weirdness of the recordings captures simularities to Flipper's "Generic" full lenght. Top notch stuff! (Listen to it here)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

ALL GONE RELEASES

THE CANNANES - HAPPY SWING TAPE (All Gone)
A reissue from the earliest days of this long running Aussie indie band. This tape was originally released on K Records in 1986 and it was recorded with the orginal line-up. I features six tracks. Two of them were recorded in a studio, the other four in the living room. "Happy Swing" is filled with stripped down, but deep songs made with minimal arrangements, lo-fi aesthetics and Annabel Bleach's vocal harmonies in the forefront. "Sunday" is the winner here, a brash, immediate, straight pop pearl made with one great riff and a catchy vocal harmony. It brings to mind The Urinals with a stronger 60s garage vibe. Next we have "Sekeleton's your friend" a quiet and minmal indie tune with an excellent male spoken word part. "Do The Happy Swing" is underlayed with a beatiful trumpet melody. The low recorded vocals are floating somewhere in the background. The b-sides starts with a whistled melody and "It's hardly worth it" keeps up this sunny and melodic vibe with it's catchy sing-along chorus. As the song titles already suggest, the last two tracks "Tear Drops" and "Gloom Turns To Doom" lead into a more quiet and darker direction. Minimal, sad folk-influenced songs with totaly basic drum beats, carried by Annabel Bleach's highly charismatic voice. This is really a well done reissue of a totally amazing cassette. (Listen to it here)

THE INTENDED - LIVE AT EL' CLUB TAPE (All Gone)
The Intended are a new band emerging from the hot current Detroit scene, including bands like Protomartyr, Roachclip, K-9 Sniffies or Tyvek, who they also share one member with. "Live At El' Club" features four raw cuts, taken from a live peformance in July 2012. Consequentially the recording quality is rough and lo-fi, nevertheless it seems to capture the vibe of The Intended's music very well. It's rooted in the tradition of American 60s psych and garage groups. "Time Won't Wait" shows obvious links to Velvet Underground with it's warm sound and it's fantastic hooks. It is minimal, monotonic, but develops a higher effect with every new listen. "The Ineffable" is a straighter garage punk number made with brilliant breaks and a super catchy chorus. A complete 60s retro worship, that sounds like it could have been taken from a HoZac release. "Fighter Pilot" on the b-side is underlayed with darker undertones. The focus is on the jaded vocals and fantastic extended psych guitar-solos. The final track "Dirty Secrets" is based on a straight punk riff and spoken Tyvek-like vocals, but the longer the song lasts, the stronger is the psych influence including spaced out guitar solos. This brilliant tape will make you begging for more! (Listen to it here)

ROACHCLIP - DISCOVERY PARK LP (All Gone)
The LP starts with a misleading, only a few seconds lasting punk blast intro, sounding like it's wrongly played on 45rpm. After this short confusion Roachclip pick up, exactly where they left off with their "El Pastor" 7". They take a 60s psych vibe and push it forward to a higher level, that's a lot more interesting, weird and complex than it originally was back in the 60s. I read about the record, that it "sounds like the Doors if they were good" and this is probably the best way to describe Roachclip's music. In particular the organ playing gets far beyond, what you would normally expect from a common psych group. It's super varied and ranges between beeing totally supportive and sounding weird, unconventional and anti-poppy. The whole instrumental arrangements strike a right balance between an arty approach, dissonance, melodies, catchiness and just pure rock'n'roll. The low recorded vocals seem to be floating somewhere in the background, even if their drawn style is one of the major secrets of Roachclips tunes. The production is a lot cleaner compared with their "El' Pastor" 7", but it's still rough enough to maintain the certain charm of lo-fi cassette releases. Besides the before mentioned 60s psych vibe "Discovery Park" shows obvious links to early Christchurch bands like Vacuum or The Bilders and to British postpunk in the vein of The Fall or Happy Refugees. But in the end this record is really something, that speaks for itself. Which means: It fuckin' rules!  (Listen to it here)

ROACHCLIP - EL PASTOR 7" (All Gone)
Roachclip from Detroit, Michigan play their own unique brand of 60s psych inspired music with a rough production, that captures a strong lo-fi / cassette four track aesthetic and their D.I.Y. spirit very well. "Al' Pastor" is introduced by the babble of aliened, distorted voices, already giving you the rough idea, that it won't feature some kind of standard music. Is it played on 33rpm or 45 rpm? This can not be clarified until the first track "Stuck in Motion" begins - a slower distorto art-rock tune backed with a supportive groove. "Manneqin" pushs the 60s psych vibe way into the forefront. Super fuzzy guitars are combined with fantastic guitar solos and the organ's highly unique style. "Hobo Mojo" on the b-side is a pure psych pop gem based on bizarre organ harmonies. "Glass Garage" is a short, raw as hell garage-punk blast. The slight folk influenced "Everything" introduces the final track "Nude Sitter": The most catchy song and a true power-popper that enrichs the psych vibe with plenty of great melodies floating through. It's comprable with the way Times New Viking are poppy. This 7" would fit in extremely well with stuff on Siltbreeze like Psychedelic Horseshit, Sic Alps, Pink Reason or the before mentioned Times New Viking, even if it sounds at the same time totally independent and unique. The Artwork looks fantastic too. A total banger. (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Interview with DIÄT

Incomprehensibly there was a lack of good bands coming from Berlin, but things have changed during the last couple of years. Diät are one of those great new bands. They are heavily influenced by UK new wave-punk from the early 80s. Chris (bass+vocals) answered most of my questions. Iffi (drums) is responsible for the one about his Static Shock record store and Static Age label.


Who is who and what’s the idea behind Diät?
We were three guys with a history playing hardcore who were pretty jazzed about bleak UK punk like Crisis, The Mob, Crass, Blitz, all that junk. We tried to make some of it for ourselves but found we couldn't strip back the hiss and fuzz enough to replicate the grand masters of grim and went in the other direction instead, adding a second guitarist to add more layers of noise and energy. We are best described as a tough new wave band.

You just arrived from a two week tour. What was it like? Best shows? Strangest and most extreme experience?
The strangest and most extreme experiences occurred daily for about 25 minutes when our travel companions, PUFF, took to the stage. Freaks! The most interesting contrast was playing a Wagenplatz in Luzern in front of some humble Wagenvolk, flanked by the alps and warmed by the local spliff, then days later playing a Vice Magazine launch party to Wien's best dressed in a sausage shop. Before our Monday night show in Zuerich we were given a blessing by the holy mother of Swiss punk, Sara Schaer (of TNT/The Kick fame)... Anton PUFF laid down in human shit while playing Birdman on the side of the Autobahn... Diaet got photographed with GBH...

I read, that you’ve formed to open the Berlin show of Total Control. Is it true?
See MRR for the full explanation but in short, no, we formed independently and when our friends in Total Control booked flights to Berlin and asked for our help organising them a gig, we went one better and booked them a dodgy support band to make their performance look even stronger.

2/3 of you are native Australians. Why have you moved to Berlin?
Life during Australia's current golden age of prosperity and economic growth is too comfortable to inspire the tales of suffering and hopelessness we get off on. This long winter, this frozen March we are experiencing in Berlin right now, for instance, is perfect. We just wrote a song about the police! Jack, our recently acquired second guitarist, also claims to be Australian and sounds enough like it but I am convinced he in fact grew from a glass ash tray cum petri dish containing splashes of bong water, radioactive hallucinogens and cold perspiration sweat by John SPK.
 
What’s the main difference between the punk & underground scene in Germany and in Australia?
People print a lot more stickers in Germany.
 
Iron Lung released your debut 7”. How did you get in contact with them?
Unsolicited email. It was so effective, I just sent another one to everyone in my mailing list asking them to allow me to transfer a very large sum of money from my family's estate in my homeland Nigeria into their account so as to avoid taxes and corrupt government officials. 15% commission.
 
You’ve recorded a 12”. When will it be out and what will it sound like?
We cancelled our plans again and release insted of the 12" annother 7" on Iron Lung. We just did not like the recordings anymore, as well, we are a 4 piece now, a second guitar, so we just want to make it sound better!
 
Iffi you’re running a label and a record store. Please give is a quick insight of both your label and the record store!Yes, thats right, i run Static Shock Musik here in Berlin, not to be confused with the UK one ( who was first, sorry Ellis ... !!! ) and Static Age Musik. It`s great to run it, even if i dont earn that much etc. ... but for me that was always my dream ... gladly my girlfriend pushed me hard enough to do it. Static Age fits perfect to it, so i can release whatever i like ( reissues and new stuff ) and can trade fine records from all over the world to re-sell em at the shop. So far i released a whole lot of different stuff ... for example : Glueams - Discography Lp, Noem 12", Heavy Nukes 7", Ilegal - La Vida 7", The Kick - Reel but Real Lp, Bellevue - Discography Lp, Tremors - Demo Tape, V/A Iron Lung Mixtape,Nerveskade - s/t Lp, Belgrado - s/t Lp, BI - Marks Lp,  Napalm - Discography Lp and some other stuff. Next will be hopefully the Hypnotic Sleep Lp, great stuff from Fabian ( Burial ) !!! And then the new Bi Marks Tour 12" together with Franz from Sabotage.
 
Currently there are many great new bands coming from Berlin. Give us a short report of the most important ones!
PUFF are mostly Berlin natives so are of course completely unbalanced, proper outsider weirdo types who produce intense and great synth punk! Levitations are ladies playing moody, driving punk, Muelltuete are a 2 piece (now 3 piece?) explosion of raw, fast clanging and Piss are the Swedish crust model as viewed through the dregs of a Sterny.

What are your main influences, when you write Diät songs?
Hmmm, we all like early UK Peace Punk, Crisis, Siekiera, Killing Joke and that stuff.
 
A question about your artwork: What’s the idea behind the vintage lesbian erotica on the cover of your 7”?It's like a Mad Magazine fold-in - when you bring the outer quarters of the sleeve together in the middle, you are left with an indiscernible image and the realisation that you just fucked your record cover! So conceptual, right? Get folding.

What do you prefer: music blogs or printed fanzines?
For entertaining and thought provoking critique and review of punk music I'd rather just hear Schotter and Iffi get in a fight over Black Flag's "Slip It In" or the first Skrewdriver 7" down at the shop.

What is on your record player right now?
An Earth Crisis sticker! It's not mine, I promise. Other than that, we only listen to Spanish affiliated bands now. Glam, Una Bestia Uncontrollable, Fracaso, Orden Mundial, Ano, Absurdo, Crosta, Paralisis Permanente, Vulpes...

What are your future plans?
More gigs and some festivals over Summer, a couple of singles, a real LP, a Spanish tour (Spain!) and maybe, just maybe a trip to Seppoland one day.

Something else people should know about Diät?
We can play our instruments.

Monday, May 13, 2013

UGLY POP 7" REISSUES

BUREAUCRATS - FEEL THE PAIN 7" (Ugly Pop)
Ugly Pop specialzes in re-releasing Canadian punk classics. After reissues of 7"s by Hot Nasties, The Spys, Rock And Roll Bitches, Arson and Crash Kills Five here's another essential highlight from the earliest days of Canadian punk. Tracks from The Bureaucrats' one and only 7"  have been included in compilation series like Powerpearls Volume 1 and Smash The State Volume 3. It was originally released in 1980. 1977 records from Japan did a first long sold-out reissue in 2003, but this double a-side single really deserved a second reissue to keep it available for an adequate price. "Feel The Pain" and "Grown Up Age" are both two brilliant power-pop tunes made with an ovderdose of melodies, clear vocals, sweet vocal harmonies and strong guitar riffs. The vocals sound very British and the influence of UK bands like The Buzzcocks, The Chords and The Jam is apparent here, even if it's independent enough to be more than just a complete reproduction. The Bureaucrats wrote catchy as hell songs, that are both poppy and punky with no frills arrangements. Many current Canadian retro-punk bands are into a simular simular brand of music. The funny thing is: None of them sounds as great as The Bureaucrats sounded like 30 years earlier! (Listen to it here)
 
POINTED STICKS - WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO 7" (Ugly Pop)
Pointed Sticks from Vancouver were formed in 1978 and they were one of Canada's earliest punk groups. They've released three more 7"s and a full lenght LP. Some of their later releases aren't that aweseome, but their "What Do You Want Me To Do" debut single from 1978 is nothing but a true winner record. It's by far their best release ever. It orginally came out on Quintessence records and it features two short tracks of '77 styled poppunk. The guitar riffs are made with a few chords only. They sound sharp, punky and prominent, while the vocals are super melodic and catchy. Fans of Elvis Costello, The Undertones, The Boys and Protext won't be dissapointed here. The mid-tempo titletrack with it's amazingly great canon vocal harmonies troughtout the chorus is the slighty better track, even if "Somebody's Mom" on the b-side is nevertheless worthwhile. A one and a half minute poppunk blast, that starts with the repeat of a frantic, interrupted guitar riff, that leads into straighter parts with great melodies floating through and with fantastic short guitar solos. This is just a superb punk single! (Listen to it here)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

KIWI UNDERGROUND REISSUES

DEAD C - HARSH 70S REALITY 2xLP (Siltbreeze)
Dead C were formed in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1986 and are still around today. They've released countless of oustanding records over the past 27 years and "Harsh 70s Reality" is probably the best among them. It also orginally came out on Siltbreeze and it has now been reissued 20 years after it's first release. We're writting the year 1992 - a time when the record industry discovered underground music for the mainstream public. Nirvana and the whole grunge boom created countless of bands trying to be the next big thing. "Harsh 70s Reality" is an uncompromising musical statement without even a slight adaption to the then hyped music. Dead C took the Velvet Underground influenced psych sound of early Flying Nun releases and pushed it to a more extreme level. The focus is on writing highly experimental, atmospheric and epic songs, that are anything but nice. Instead of that their music sounds painful and noisy and it's filled with repeats, reverbs and distortions. Tons of current sludge and doom bands try to write slow & brutal songs, but Dead C played a heavier style 20 years before without those boring metal and Black Sabbath hard-rock influences. That's how they've created their very own style of underground noise-rock. Not matter how often you listen to this LP, you'll discover another fascinating moment with every new spin. This is a true masterpiece and a must have record. (Listen to it here)
 
MAX BLOCK - AIR ACHE IN THE BELLY OF THE LEECH LP (Siltbreeze)
Max Block's selftitled 12" from 1986 is one of the hardest to find Flying Nun releases. They had recorded songs for a second EP, but Flying Nun didn't release it back then. "Air Ache In The Belly Of The Leech" features both EPs, so it's a collection of their complete recorded works including two more live tracks recorded in Christchurch 1987. Max Block developed the Flying Nun sound of the early 80s to a more sophisticated and varied style. Their songs range between 60s garage, Pere Ubu like protopunk and frantic blasting postpunk. Manyrose Wikinson's gloomy and bizarre organ playing underlays the songs with it's very own unique vibe. Some songs are comparable to how Nation Of Ulysses sounded like years later. Max Block were ahead of their time with their impressing mix of 60s garage and art-rock dissonance, but they also throw in some no frills garage punk tunes like "Black Fish" or "Johnny Mneomonic". This totally amazing discography LP is limited to 500 copies, so act fast to get your copy! (Listen to it here)

PIN GROUP - AMBIVALENCE LP + CD (Flying Nun)
The black on dark grey printed frontcover already provides an insight into the twang of Pin Groups music: it's dark, darker than all other early Flying Nun groups. This LP is a compilation featuring tracks from their first two 7"s both from 1981 and their "Go To Town" 12" originally released in 1982. Pin Group took the darkest moments of Velvet Underground and merged it with the sound of equally dark British postpunk bands. The low vocals style and powerful bass lines are simular to Joy Division, Bauhaus or Killing Joke, while the songwriting and guitar riffs link to the gloomiest moments of 60s psych-rock. The result are carefully polished four minute tracks based on amazing riffs and simple, but impellent drum beats. But in the end everything is overshadowed by their own kind of super dark amtmosphere. The LP comes with a bonus CD full of amazing live tracks. I'm usally not very much into live recordings, but this compact disc is on heaviest rotation in my car CD-player. It's really a nice addition to this essential discography LP. (Listen to it here)

VACUUM - WALKING SLOW 7" (Siltbreeze) 
Vacuum were the first underground group from Christchurch, New Zealand. They were the starting point from which arised Flying Nun and tons of influental bands during the early 80s. Members of Vacuum later played in groups like Pin Group, Scorched Earth Policy or Bilders. "Walking Slow" is already Vacuum's second 7" on Siltbreeze. Again it offers songs taken from tape recordings between 1978 and 1979. They are now available on vinyl for the very first time and they were pressed in a limited edition of 300 copies only. You get four frantic and orgin tracks of 60s inspired music with a more poppier sound than most later Christchurch bands. The rough production leaves nothing to be desired: It's heavily lo-fi and that's perfect. This is the genesis of the whole Flying Nun sound, so it's really a great reissue. (Listen to it here

VA - TIME TO GO. THE SOUTHERN PSYCHEDELIC MOMENT 1981-86 2xLP (Flying Nun)
The political situation in New Zealand during the early 80s was dominated by conservative law & order politics, limited free speech and a desparate economic situation. This was the spirit in which a new generation of young people developed initiatives, that were anti-hierarchical and anti-capitalist. Musically Christchurch based record label Flying Nun played a major role for this counter-movement. Founded in 1981 Flying Nun provided an alternative to the hegomony of mainstream music. The label and it's bands were the opposition to commercialism, spectacle, promotion and star cult. The first Flying Nun release was Pin Groups debut 7". Soon later there was a rise of outstanding young bands, that developed their very own typical sound in difference to then common worldwide underground music. The worldwide punk boom had a minor impact on the early kiwi underground scene. Instead of that they took the 60s psych sound of Love, 13th Floor Elevators and Velvet Underground to merge it with UK postpunk groups like The Fall, Wire and Joy Division. The result was one of the most important chapters in independent underground music and this double LP compilation is just a perfect overview of the best period in Flying Nun's release history. All important bands are included: The Clean, The Gordons, The Bilders, Victor Dimisich Band, Scorched Earth Policy, Max Block, The Pin Group and many more. Essential. (Listen to it here

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

THE BILDERS 12" REISSUES

BILDERS - HIGH THIRTIES PIANO 12" (Unwucht)
After the highly recommended "Krypton Ten" compilation, Unwucht Musik from Southern Germany delivers another series of records with a focus on New Zealand's underground scene during the early 80s: A reissue of the first three hard to find EPs by The Bilders and pre-Bilders band Six Impossible Things in a edition of 350 limited copies including reproductions of the original inserts and remastered recordings. The Bilders were formed in 1980. They quit in the early 90s, but reformed a few years ago. They were fronted by Bill Direen, who has also been involved in different other bands like Vacuums, Above Ground, Soluble Fish and a bunch of short-lived projects. The Bilders had various different line-ups with coordinator Bill Direen as the only constant member. "High Thirties Piano" was The Bilders first EP, orginally released in 1982. In difference to the original pressing the Unwucht reissue includes different mixes, longer versions and unreleased tracks, taken from an alternate master, that Bill Direen discovered in 2011. The live in the studio production is raw, lo-fi and heavy. The songs are short, arty and wild. Some of them are fragments only, but you can feel and breath the creativity they are made with. (Listen to it here)

BILDERS - SCHWIMMEN IN DER SEE 12" (Unwucht)
This is The Bilders second EP and it features some of their very best material.  So if you only want to pick up one of those reissue, I would recommend this one. "Schwimmen In Der See" originally came out on Flying Nun in 1982 and it's four tracks are a great example for The Bilders musical variety. It starts with "Girl At Night" a quiet 60s psych-pop tune based on a fantastic organ melody. "Thought I Knew You" is one of my favorite Bilders songs. It combines the darkness of Velvet Underground and Joy Division into a moody, athmospheric composition. Including on of atypical but awesome guitar solo and a brilliant spoken word part. The flipside features "Starry Day" a short and friendly pop song underlayed with a super melodic organ sound. "Russian Rag" the final track is the most complex one. It's extremely varied with the lenght of epics and sick time changes. You never know what will happens next. The Velvet Underground influence is apparent here. This 12" is a true classic of Kiwi underground music! (Listen to it here)

 
BILDERS - SOLOMAN'S BALL 12" (Unwucht)
The Bilders' thrid EP was originally more or less selfreleased by the band. The first press was paid by Bill Direen, then Flying Nun Records paid for the second pressing. In difference to the previous reviewed EPs all music on "Soloman's Ball" is made without drums or only with a few tom drum percussions in the background. "Dead Heat" is a weird organ based tune with a gloomy, but melodic twang. "America" leads to a 60s psych-pop inspired style full of sunny melodies and vocal harmonies. The b-side turns into a much darker direction. "Strange Nights" is a cold, short and dissonant wave tune comparable with Joy Division. The final track "Son Of Cronos" ranges from 60s psych influences to dark British postpunk underlined by a gloomy organ and a lower vocal style than usual. (Listen to it here)

SIX IMPOSSIBLE THINGS - S/T 12" (Unwucht)
Six Impossible Things' selftitled EP originally came out in 1981 as a 7" in a edition of only 100 copies on Sausage Records. So it's one of the hardest to find records of the early Kiwi underground. Six Impossible Things were a pre-Bilders band also fronted by Bill Direen. Their one and only vinyl release captures four fantastic tracks. Six Impossible Things merge 60s garage with UK postpunk, Modern Lovers like protopunk riffs and their very own style of experimental underground rock. Compared with later Bilders recordings this EP sounds a lot straighter with a stronger UK punk influence. Maybe because Six Impossible Things do their music without a organ, so the 60s vibe isn't so obvious here. Their style is definitely not that experimental, arty or lo-fi as most Bilders songs. The focus is on writing short, but varied songs with Direen's vocal hormonies in the forefront. The reissue includes additional band fotos and a text about the early kiwi punk scene and Six Impossible Things. (Listen to it here)

Monday, May 6, 2013

GOD'S WILL - THIS IS GOD'S WILL 7"

GOD'S WILL - THIS IS GOD'S WILL 7" (Signaler Fran Ovan)
Amercia during the early 80s was by far the best period and place in the entire history of hardcore. I'm still amazed about the quantity and quality of bands playing top notch hardcore back then and there are still plenty of bands to discover like for example God's Will from Norfolk, Virginia. They consist of almost the same line-up like Front Line, who's 7" has recently been reissued on Beach Impediment. Back in 1983 God's Will released their "Hey Youre On My Property Now Son!" 7". The recordings for this reissue were taken from the same session and they were unreleased for almost 30 years. Sweden's Signal Fran Ovan Records did a great job making them available for the very first time. God's Will play straight up classic US hardcore. Compared with Frontline the songs are a little bit shorter and faster, but with more time changes and varied structures. Imagine Koro were into early Boston and early New York hardcore. To make it short: This is really an overseen classic, so if you like early 80s US hardcore, this 7" is probably for you. (Listen to it here)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interview with PUSRAD

Pusrad consist of the same two-piece line up like Raped Teenagers, who had a bunch of great releases during the late 80s and early 90s. With Pusrad Packe(guitar/vocals) and Peter(drums) push the hardcore sound of their previous band on a new level, compressing only it's best moments into short but varied 30 seconds blasts. Peter answered my questions. You can find a German version of this interview in Trust fanzine #159. 

 

Who had the idea to start Pusrad? You have the same line-up like Raped Teenagers, so why not a Raped Teenagers reunion? 
Pusrad came about after a Raped Teenagers reunion in the fall of 2010. Packe(Guitar/Vocals) and I discovered that we came up to speed quiet fast during the Raped rehearsals and talked about that we wanted to play HC again though none of us had done that since 1992 when we split up with Raped. So we started practicing just him and me in mars 2011. It went well and we talked about a name. Raped Teenagers would've been easy but since it wasn't really Raped and the name sounded silly plus it would've been kind of boring trying to capitalize on our old band. Both, unaware that we had the same idea, we both suggested Pusrad. So Pusrad we became. 

And what means Pusrad? 
Nothing actaully. It was a word made up when we wrote that song for the first Raped Teenagers 7" EP. 

Have you been in other bands besides Raped Teenagers or do you currently play in other bands? 
We've been in lots of bands since 1978. A few of them where: No More War, Fight Back, Para System, Herraids, Identity, Allena, Prank, Flakes and couple of more. Packe playes drums in TV Eye that just released their debut 7" EP. They play very good 77 inspired punk rock with a twist. I play drums in a power pop band called Vice Versa and drums in another hardcore band with people from swedish HC bands Nitad and Regulations. 

What is the name of your hardcore band together with Nitad & Regulations members? have you any releases out? 
No name yet and no releases. We just recorded 4 tracks the other day. A demo will see the light I guess sometime this spring.

To get an idea what Pusard sounds like can you tell me some of your influences. 
Both Packe and I grew up with the late 70s punk so we're very fond of that. We then followed into HC until it became stale mate after 1985 or so. So our main musical influences for Punk and HC is pre 85. But we don't try rip the sound or style off any special band. We try to make something that we ourselves would like to listen to today. We both have always had a special love for short HC songs: the intensity and the ability to pack a whole song into a short amount of time amuses us.Here's some bands we like: Devo, Dickies, King Crimson, YES, KORO, Deep Wound, Generation X, Germs, Stark Raving Mad, Husker Du, Willful Neglect and so on. 

What is the main difference between punk/hc in the 80s and today? 
I don't think we're really capable of answering that. We're too old and "out of the scene" to have a clue of what's going on ha ha. I try to constantly check out new bands through Bandcamp, Soundcloud etc. There seems to be both easier and bit harder at the same time nowadays. Harder to get recognized cause of the constant flood of bands on the internet. Easier if you want to tour outside your own country. To tour the US for us in the 80s was out of the question while I have several younger friends who've been there and elsewhere several times. 

Are you still in contact with many of the people, you’ve know from Raped Teenagers? Was it easier to start a new band, because you’re ex-Raped Teenagers? 
No. At least not with people from outside Sweden. I've came in contact with lots of old friends through Facebook from the Raped T. era and it's fun to see that they're still interested and active in the music scene. Maybe it was easier to to get some recognition cause we're ex-Raped Teenagers though we never where a big band here in Sweden. The interest in Raped have came about in the last 10 years or so. 

Isn’t it nerving to read in every review “Ex-Raped Teenagers”? 
Not at all. We have ourselves to blame cause we proclaimed that we where ex-Raped Teenagers or the "new" Raped Teenagers when we started. And with a name from our old band it's also to show it's a continuation. 

Raped Teenagers – I Kräftans Klor Flexi 7” was included with an issue of Trust fanzine back in 1988. How did that come about? 
It's was our label CBR(Chicken Brain Records) that fixed that. That's all I know ha ha. 

Have you personally been in contact with any Trust writers back in '88 and how did you get in contact with them? 
Ha ha I can't remember. I guess I was. Wrote loads of letters back then. Had penpals from all over. I seem to have a vague memory of being in contact a couple of times with Dolf but not sure. Maybe Dolf remembers ha ha? 

What are your memories concerning Trust fanzine back then? 
For me, Peter, I liked TRUST a lot cause it was somewhat an answer to a European version of MRR and Flipside. Really nice footage, layout and tons of pages to go through. I bought it even though I didn't knew german. 

Do you play shows? Have you plans for touring outside Sweden? 
Since we're only two people and that we never liked playing live that much it won't happen. This format with rehearsing and releasing records works perfect for us! We talked a couple of rehearsals ago about the gigs we did with Raped T. and we can't remember that many that we really enjoyed playing ourselves back in the days. It was usually quiet boring ha ha. We remember a gig with Missbrukarna, one with Krunch and when we played at the Hultsfreds Festivalen in 1988. There where some great small gigs in Holland too when we where there in 1988. Germany sucked though ha ha. 

Your running the great killedbydeath blog. Please give is a quick insight, what this blog is about! When and why did you start it? 
Glad you like it!It was Packe's idea to start it in mars 2006. I joined and about a year later Packe felt he didn't have the time. So I ran it by myself until Martin(Lögnhalsmotagningen) showed up in 2008, I think, and filled in the gaps with swedish stuff I don't have. Now he post more than swedish stuff like the more obscure non-european, non-us stuff. My main focus is US and European stuff. The idea is to post rare/out of print records that falls somewhat into the "Killed by Death" category but it ranges from Punk, Hardcore and Power Pop. We scan and rip everything ourselves for people to hear stuff that they normally won't come across on other punk blogs. Or so we hope. 

Do you own all the records you're posting on your blog? 
Yes, I own all the records/tapes I post and so do Martin. We only post stuff that we own ourselves.

I like Swedish punk/ hc, but in my opinion too many current bands from Sweden try to play music, that is hip and trendy. You know, all this retro punk stuff etc. What’s your opinion about the current Swedish scene? 
You're right about the retro, hip stuff. Of course people should play what they like thought I find it boring to hear and play copy cat punk. Though I think some bands manage to carve out a sound of their own while being influenced by the old stuff. Packes band TV Eye comes to mind. They don't try to copy the old sound, just get inspired by it and add their touch. Bäddat för trubbel and Red Doves are two others. I don't have too much insight about what's going on now but from what I hear there aren't that many bands that really gets me going when it comes to Hardcore. I really dug Henry Fiats when they where around. 

Your lyrics are all in Swedish language, so please tell us what they are about! 
Nothing to talk about really ha ha. Well they're kind of your typical punk lyrics.  With that said I think they're more sort short poems. 

Will there ever be a Pusrad song with a playtime over 1 minute? 
Ha ha good question. I highly doubt it. If we ever have one I think it's time to quit. On the serious side we don't think about it that way. We don't aim at having short songs. We want to play songs that we like. Sometimes we add something to it cause we think we need it but most of the times we take away stuff cause we don't think it adds anything extra. We always been fond of short songs when it comes to hardcore. 

Your 12" could have also been released as a 7". Playtime is short enough. So why a 12” and not a 7”? 
Cause we wanted to do a 12". We've always dug the first TSOL and Jealous Again 12" with Black Flag. They're about the two best 12" EPs I can think of. They're both between 6-7 minutes long. They're short and sound great. Perfect recipe to never get bored so we wanted to do that too. And there are other classic 12" EPs like FU'S-Kill for Christ, My America. Stark Raving Mads both 12"s and so on. 

Is there a difference between playing in hardcore band as a teenager and at the age of over 40? 
I've been thinking about that and the only thing that comes to mind is that I wish I could play the way I do now when I was a teen. Packe and I have also questioned ourselves why we never did it this way with Raped that we now do with Pusrad cause we really dig what we do now. Another thing that's good is that we don't have to practice so much now as we did as teens. 

“Errare Humanum Est” is probably the most untypical Pusrad song. Are there more slow songs planned for the future? 
We have to slow songs on our upcoming 9 track EP. But they just happened and nothing that we planed. So who knows? If too many bands comes around doing what we do and have a similar sound we might shift to playing slow poppy 30 second songs. 

Your second 7” came out on Ken Rock. It’s a untypical release for this label, since it’s more focused on punkrock. How did you get in contact with Stefan? 
I just wrote Stefan out of a whim when recorded our first practice of the year 2012 and asked if he wanted to release the 5 tracks we had recorded. He dug it and wanted to do it. 

Which current punk/ hc bands do you like? Or are you more focused on bands from the past? 
Well you got to choose where your focus has to be and with so many bands around today and so many(so it still seems) old bands still to be discovered, I still get to hear old bands that I never knew existed and that blows my mind, the focus is on the old. But with that said I constantly try to check out new bands but it's not too often that I get really excited like when hearing an old band that I never heard before. Old stuff tends to have that certain freshness that can never be repeated when a genre was new. There are new bands that sounds "good" but lacks originality and that turns me off quiet often. I dig Career Suicide a lot. And there was Das Oath and Failures and other bands on the Youth Attack label that I dig. Jay Reatard was/is the most important discovery for me in the 20th century.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

BIG EYES - DEMO 2010 7"

BIG EYES - DEMO 2010 7" (Grave Mistake / Evil Weevil)
There has been a hype about this band (at least in the small world of punk), that I couldn't really understand, until I've picked this repress of their demo 7", that has been unavailable for some time. It features the very best four tracks, I've heart by them so far. Their songs are rooted in the tradition of US east coast punk and protopunk bands from the 70s. Influences from The Stooges, Ramones, New York Dolls and Dead Boys are apparent here, even if they combine it with a more contemporary style of poppunk comparable with current bands on Dirtnap records like for example White Wires, Mean Jeans or Sonic Avenues. Plenty of fantastic melodies are floating through their guitar-driven numbers. The female vocals are totally outstanding, because they are made with a highly charismatic style. "You Ain't The Only One" is my favourite track. It's rotates heavily on my record player! It's one of those songs, you can not listen often enough to. But this whole 7" is top notch stuff without exception. I definitely need to get a copy of their latest full lenght, that recentely also came out on Grave Mistake! (Listen to it here)

TWO TY SEGALL RELATED REISSUES

TRADITIONAL FOOLS - S/T LP (In The Red)
The Traditional Fools were a short-lived San Francisco based band featuring TY Segall. Besides two singles this LP was their one and only full lenght release. It originaly came out in 2008 on Wizard Mountains and Make A Mess and as a tape on Burger Records. It was sould out for a long time until In The Red made it available again for good reasons. Songtitles like "Party At My House", "Snot Rag", "Shredstick" or "Kill Someonse You Hate" illustrate that The Traditional Fools don't take things too serious. Their selftitled album intends to be nothing but a pure party record filled with simple surf-punk tunes. Equipped with an brlliant lo-fi production including crushung, full distorted guitars  they nail down thirteen origin rock'n'roll blasts, that are catchy as hell. Think of The Reatards meets Crypt styled punkrock in the vein of Thee Headcoats and Dick Dale inspired surf riffs. It's pretty hard not to associate this record with beer, partys and pre-partys. Fuckin' great! (Listen to it here)
 
TY SEGALL & MIKAL CRONIN - REVERSE SHARK ATTACKS LP (In The Red)
TY Segall and Mikal Cronin are two masterminds of the huge San Francisco neo-60s scene. Segall should be well known from his varios solo releases, his collaborations with Sic Alps, White Fence or Thee Oh Sees and from his participation in short-lived bands like The Perverts or Traditional Fools. Cronin has been a member of The Moonhearts and Okie Dokie. Since 2010 he has released two full albums and two singles as a solo artist. Segall and Cronin also worked together several times: Both were in the hardcore band Party Fowl and in the garage punk band The Epsilons. And they've supported each other during the studio sessions for their solo recordings. In 2009 Segall and Croning joined the forces to release this LP on Kill Shaman as well as another 7" on Goodbye Bozzy. In The Red has now reissued their long sold out full lenght. If you dig any of the previous mentioned bands, you'll probably also digging this album. "Reverese Shark Attacks" is filled with well written 60s punk tunes. Super fuzzy guitars and effect loaded vocals are paired with sweet melodies and Mikal Cronin's astonishing great harmonies. They throw in slight surf and psych influences for good measure. The a-side features seven straight blasting numbers including an amazing cover of Pink Floyd's "Take Up They Stethescope And Walk". The b-side contains only one epic song. The record's titletrack is probably the first 10 minutes lasting 60s punk tune in the entire history of music. It'scone of the most memorable tracks, because it's various and fascinating enough to keep it interesting for the full playtime. (Listen to it here)