Wednesday, January 29, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 4 OF 6

THE JAY VONS - NIGHT (WAS STEALING FROM THE SUN) 7" (La-Ti-Da) 
Brooklyn, New York’s The Jay Vons feature former members of Reigning Sound. This four-piece embodies the spirit of 60s American soul, taking classic influences from Marvin Gaye and The Four Tops, and colliding it with their punk and rock roots. Their second vinyl single offers two tracks of upbeat and unbelievably catchy soul music. This double a-side 7" seems like an overseen legendary Motown release. Things are based on a funky groove, great melodies, catchy vocals and warm, central organ harmonies. "Night (was stealing from the sun)" is a faster paced, immediate smash hit and "Day Undone" keeps the quality high with it's astonishingly great saxophone melody throughout the chorus. I’m defenitely not a fanatic of soul music, but I totally love The Jay Vons. (Listen to it here)

THE #1S - SHARON SHOULDN'T 7" (Alien Snatch!/ Sorry State)
The #1s are the new star in the powerpop sky. They are a Dublin based four-piece featuring members of The Pacifics, Strongs Boys, Cian Nugent & The Cosmos and Cheap Freaks. Even if they are from Ireland their music sounds like it was written in the Northern part of the island about 35 years ago. The band's sonic blasts recall the classic sound of The Undertones, Rudi, Protex and Victim. The #1s play an incredible hybrid of sugar sweet melodies, catchy choruses and the primal energy of '77 punk. The lead vocal delivery is just as brilliant as the harmonizing background vocals. "Sharon" is a true smash hit and a kind of song you want to take right to the next part. "Boy" on the b-side is another straight on powerpop blast, while "Girls" is a solid, slower ballad. Don't miss this powerpearl!  Alien Snatch! has put out the single in Europe and Sorry State is responsible for the US pressing. (Listen to it here)

MOVING FINGER - SMOKING THE CRACK OF DAWN 7" (Goner)
Hailing from the influental Memphis punk and and garage scene Moving Finger are a new band with members from Ex-Cult, Nots and Noise Choir. They play a primtive and raw style of punk that fuses the nihilism and the cheap production of '70s killed by death punk with '60s psych-rock influences. The titletrack is an ugly, nasty and primal punk cut based on a few chords, some short squeaky solos and a cheap singalong chorus. This track sounds like it could have been taken from one of the "All American" kbd volumes. "P.O.W. / M.I.A." offers faster-paced, short and noisy punk with spanish lyrics. On the flipside Moving Finger push their psychedelic influences way into the forefront. "Tres Dolares" is a slow and destructive tune, that ends with heavy delay-effect guitar freak outs. In short, this single is something you should not miss! (Listen to it here)
 
THE NOVICE - S/T 7" (Dirtnap) 
The Novice were active between April 2010 and August 2012 when Jeff Burke (Marked Men, Potential Johns) lived in Japan. Musically they continue where Jeff Burke left off with Marked Men and If you dig them, you'll also be digging this. This two track single fuses poppunk, powerpop and garage roots with great melodies, catchy choruses, distinctive vocals and a brilliant songwrting for an intense, high energy sound. "What you want" is a guitar-driven straight blasting tune made with nice guitar licks and Marky Ramomes inspired drum beats. "Your Crime" on the flipside delivers fast, upbeat punk on a equivalent level. If you've liked Marked Men, you shouldn't miss this 7". (Listen to it here)

RADIOACTIVITY - BACK TO ME 7" (Alien Snatch) 
Radioactivity sounds like a typical Jeff Burke band. Don't get me wrong, I like all his bands, but no matter what's their name he plays the same kind of music again and again. This time he joins the forces with Mark Ryan (Marked Men, Mind Spiders) and two guys from Bad Sports and Wax Idols. This three track single still stands out above a lot of mediocre music, but compared with the band members other bands it's not their best material so far. The a-side delivers two solid, short and frantic poppunk gems, that find a good balance between poppy melodies and raw punk energy.  With "Silent" on the b-side Radioactivity contribute this single's most memorable tune. They slow things down, add some melancholic undertones and use a guitar riff, that sounds a bit like it's stolen from a Wipers record. (Listen to it here)

Monday, January 27, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 3 OF 6

EAST LINK - ANGEL GUN/ ANSETT  7" (In The Red)
Melbourne's East Link feature current members of bands such as Total Control, UV Race and Straightjacket Nation. Their second vinyl single offers two tunes and both are well known from their selftitled cassette release, that came out in 2012 on Creep Dreams and Little Big Chief. East Link use three guitars and consequently their music is driven by a loud guitar driven wall of sound, that's characterized by a ear bleeding mixture of heavy fuzz, crunchy distortion, straight blasting punk riffs and noisy freak outs. The song structures are very repetitive. The vocals capture the same kind of monotony with lyrics consinsting of one or two sentences. These different sounds coalesce into a painful, urgent, destructive and noisy brand of music. Think of a product of "Filth" era The Swans, Birthday Party and Flipper. (Listen to it here)

MAD NANNA- I WANNA SEE YOU 7" (Soft Abuse)
Here we go with a brand new single by one of my favourite bands of the last few years. Mad Nanna from Melbourne know how to make a lot out of a little. Their musical performance professes to a certain technical incompetence. It sounds like they improvise their songs in sporadic sessions. Mad Nanna play stripped down tunes based on one riff and some simple accompaniments. The music is anything but tight and complex, but that's just one of it's main secrets. They serve a minimalistic and highly unique version of early Christchurch bands like The Victor Dimisich Band, The Bilders and Pin Group. "I wanna see you" is an immediate, short tune, while "The Nectarine Tree" on the flipside leads into a more dissonant and broken musical direction. If you dig Mad Nanna's previous releases, you will also be digging this 7". (Listen to it here)


MULTICULT - JAWS / LUXIRY 7" (Reptilian)
Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland Multicult recall the sound of 90s noise-rock groups like Shellac, Unwound and The Jesus Lizard. After two full LPs and one 7" this new single released by the long running Reptilian label offers two equally magnificent tunes. If I didn't know it better, I would think these songs were recorded about twenty years ago. The loud, tight rythm section with heavy bass lines and groovy beats forms the basis for the unconventional and refreshing guitar playing. The mumbled vocals are another reason, why Multicult are more than a copy of some old Touch & Go releases. Instead, this band has developed their own original interpretation of classic noise-rock influences. Great! (Listen to it here)

PC WORSHIP- PREACH UNDER COOKED 7" (Sophomore Lounge)  
In the last couple of years Justin Frye has put out countless of releases with his PC Worship project. All band members live in a house in Brooklyn, where they've gathered several different instruments they can use at any time. The main thing all PC Worship records have in common, is their unconventional sound. They create a style of music, that's impossible to be labeled. That being said the latest PC Worship output once again expands the bounds of post-punk and psych-rock in an absolutely unique way. The titletrack is an urgent and psychedleic instrumental made with an acoustic guitar. "Mellow Moon" on the b-side is a more "typical" PC Worship song sounding like a aimless and arty slipstream of oscillating ideas and fragments. The band's improvised approach is somewhat reminiscent of Dead C, even if their music sounds different. (Listen to it here)

SLEAFORD MODS - JOBSEEKER 7" (Kraak)
Very few current bands can claim to play a original brand of punk. Sleaford Mods are one of those exceptions. This British duo suceeds in creating something fresh and new. They are active since 2007, but it has taken some time until they've gained the attention they've deserved. Equipped with some pumping bass-riffs, cheap drum-beats and stripped down electronic sounds Sleaford Mods play a mixture of punk and hip hop. With a quite heavy British accent the spoken vocal style is highly distinctive and the angry, pissed off lyrics full of swear words are nothing but brilliant. Sleaford Mods combine the groove of The Fall with the minimal sound of The Normals and hip hop influences simular to The Streets. The titletrack is taken from their "The Mekon" album from 2007, but both tunes on the b-side are so far unreleased. This is something you have to hear. Fantastic! (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 2 OF 6

CHURCH WHIP - FINAL 7" (Vinyl Rites)
In the last couple of years there have been countless of brilliant punk and hardcore groups like Cult Ritual, Dads, Merchandise, Neon Blud and Slavescene emerging from the scene of Tampa, Florida. Church Whip feature members of all mentioned groups. That alone is of course no guarantee of quality, but this 7" really sounds as good as you might expect. After two 7"s and one full LP Church Whip crank out two epic hardcore tunes both with a playtime of 3-4 minutes. They find a good balance between raw d-beat and melodic power-metal influences. Fast, ugly and noisy hardcore not unlike Mauser and Ectoplasm is paired with plenty of fantastic metal guitar solos and bizarre intros. The gruff vocals show simularities to G.I.S.M. and they deliver a kind of weirdness, that you would only expect from Japanese hardcore. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

DIE - S/T 7" (Sonic Terror Discs)
Don't let the bandname and the cover artwork fool you. This is not some kind of blackened hardcore. Instead, Die's vinyl debut sounds like a fresh and contemporary interpretation of classic 80s hardcore. The songs are driven by a loud, distorted and devastating guitar and they are completed by some really potent vocals, short sqeaking guitar leads and an overall tight musical performance. The six tunes take the best parts of SS Decontrol's ripping midtempo parts and Ripcord's blasting energy to make it their own fresh style of hardcore. After No, Violent Reaction, Stab, Perspex Flesh and The Flex Die are yet another very promising new hardcore group from the UK and this 7" is nothing but a true winner record from the start to the end. (Listen to it here)

PUSRAD - MODERN ANATOMI 7" (Signaler Fran Ovan)
Following their highly recommended "Dömd" 12" my favorite current Swedish hardcore band is back with their third 7". Pusrad blast through ten wild and frantic cuts of manic fast hardcore. The music is made with plenty of breaks, stop & go's and variations, that keep it fresh and exciting. Even if the songs are all short and to the point, there's nothing missing and there's not a single second, that feels wasted. Pusrad' take the sound of classic 70s punk and powerpop and combine it with the speed and shortness of hardcore. That's how they create their own subliminally melodic style of hardcore, that really seperates them from the rest. With the final track "Maskineri" Pusrad don't even shrink from adding a poppunk number. And it's also the first Pusrad song with a playtime over one minute. Great! (Listen to it here
 
SGURD - S/T 7" (Adagio830) 
SGURD are new band based between Berlin and Italy consisting of former members of L’Amico Di Martucci, La Piovra, Smart Cops, and Ohuzaru. Their vinyl debut offers six short and wild blasts all with a playtime of only about one minute. A mix of heavy feedbacks, crushing yet squeaky guitars and frantic drums is what you can expect from this raging 7". The songs vary between uncontrollable, fast hardcore and stomping midtempo parts. They are fronted by some really manic screamed vocals. Everything is rooted in the sound of early 80s US punk and hardcore. Imagine The Germs were trying to sound like a mix of Void and SS Decontrol. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

TRIGGER / ATTACK OF THE MAD AXEMEN - SPLIT 7" (Abekeit)
I like grindcore, but I hate most current grindcore bands. Grind should be like punk on high speed. All those technical, mathy and metallic shit with it's partly very questionable lyrics just fuckin' sucks. So it's really nice to hold a split 7" in my hands, that's titled "Fuck Porngrind Sympathy" and that revibes the sound of grind in the way it was meant to be. Trigger from the east of Germany consist of drums, bass and vocals only. This brings to mind Bizarre X and Godstomper, but Trigger have definitely developed their own unique style of grinding powerviolence. Even if the line-up is small they create a full sound with blast beats and a driving, effect-loaded bass in the forefront. Attack Of The Mad Axeman from Hamburg like to perform while beeing dressed as animals. Also their lyrics about animals rights and saving the nature leave the impression, that they've been huge "Captain Planet" fans during their childhood. Musically they dish up six merciless cuts of brutal blistering grindcore played with unhuman speed. Think of a product of Napalm Death, Gadget and Cyness. (Listen to it here)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 1 OF 6

GREEN BERET - THE CULT OF STATE 7" (Side Two) 
After their last year's highly recommended debut 12" Green Beret from Boston are back with a brand new 7". It offers six more cuts of rough hardcore-punk led by heavy blazing guitar riffs, gruff vocals and a under-the-surface punk sensibility. Featuring current and former members of Social Cirkle, Blank Stare, Confines Bloody Gears, and Missionary, Green Beret bring classic American, British and Scandinavian hardcore influences together. They call to mind the d-beat driven rawness of Totalitär, the directness of UK'82 and the poltical hardcore of Crucifix. Most tunes are fast and blasting, but Green Beret also succeed to write crushing midtempo songs. This is seriously some of today's best hardcore. (Listen to it here)

IMPALERS / VAASKA - SPLIT 7" (Beach Impediment)  
The two bands on this split 7" continue the great tradition of Texas hardcore. After a demo tape, a 7" and a full LP Impalers crank out two more destructive blasts of driving metallic hardcore-punk with super gruff vocals. Evil metal brutality in the vein of Celtic Frost is paired with d-beat driven hardcore spirit and dirty Motöthead inspired riffs. Vaaska have put out plenty of brilliant records during the last couple of years and their side of this split is another high quality release. This band takes the Discharge influenced sound of 80s Spanish hardcore in the vein of MG-15 and IV Reich and merges it with catchy and melodic punk undertones. Both bands contribute some of their best material to date, so you know this small piece of vinyl is nothing but a must have! (Listen to it here)

OBLITERATION - WAR IS OUR DESTINY 7" (Beach Impediment)  
Obliteration from Boston, who should not be confused with the Norwegian death-metal band of the same name, consist of members of Mind Eraser, Rival Mob, Knife Fight and Waste Management. After two 7"s that already came out in 2008 and 2009 here's the final release by this allstar-group. They dish up four own pieces of raw punsihing Scandicore plus one brilliant cover version of Saint Vitus' "War Is Our Desitiny". Obliteration recall the classic sound of Anti-Cimex, Avskum and Svart Parad, but the songs are played with a higher precision and tightness. This harsh sound is underlined by rough throaty vocals and it's spiced up by hammering beats and fantastic guitar-solos. Obliteration play pounding no frills hardcore, that needs no darkness and no strong metal influences to be great from the first to the last second. (Listen to it here)

THE REPOS / SPINE - SPLIT 7" (Bad Teeth)   
Some years ago The Repos renamed to The Ropes. Lately they have been forced to use their first name again, because there is another band called The Ropes and they have a trademark on the name. The Repos are easily one of the best hardcore bands of the past decade. They merge classic US hardcore influences in the vein of Negative Approach and early Boston bands to make it their own unique style. Things are based on a mixture of wild blasting hardcore and crushing midtempo parts, but the focus is on the distinctive gnarling vocals. Spine from Kansas, City feature members of Weekend Nachos. They sound like something, that has been recorded in the late 90s. Super fast blistering hardcore is paired with heavy grooving slower interludes, that offer a slight youth-crew flavor. The music is short and to the point and it's all delivered with raging intensity. The vocals gnash and gnarl, while the band cranks out every song as fast and as hard as they can. You get five songs by each band and they are all killer, no filler. Get this 7"! (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

HEARTFIRST RELEASES

DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE / PEACEBASTARD - SPLIT 7" (HeartFirst)
This is a great European split 7". Building on the strengths of their previous releases, Dishonarable Discharge from Oslo, Norway keep the intensity on a high level and give you three cuts of groundbreaking hardcore-punk. Not without reason they contain the word "Discharge" in their bandname, but they add a healthy dose of classic Norwegian hardcore  to their Scandinavian d-beat influences. On the other side of the split Peacebastard dish up d-beat driven hardcore-punk. This bands consists of former members of M.V.D., To What End? and Reactory. Their music isn't really in line with current trends and hypes. It's too clean to be some kind of noisy d-beat, it's not filthy and metallic enough to sound like Swedish crust and it's not dark enough to be another Tragedy clone. Instead, Peacebastard have maintained a straight on. raw punk feel based on loud, blazing guitars and snotty shouted vocals. Great! (Listen to it here)

MÜLLTÜTE - DRITTE 7" (HeartFirst) 
A few years ago, there were only a very few good punk and hardcore bands coming from Berlin. But now there are Diät, Levitations, SGURD, Fluffers, Pig//Control, Peacebastard, Crack Under Pressure and so many more. Mülltüte should also be included in this list. Their third 7" is yet another frantic blast of fast, negative punk. They are a duo consisting of drums and guitar only. That is why their tunes are straight and simple, but not stupid or boring. They take the sound of late 70s and early 80s German punk simular to KFC, Mittagspause, S.Y.P.H. and fuse it with the speed and power of hardcore. It's all delivered with great, negative lyrics and some really, top notch vocals. This 7" truly shows how Mülltüte both musically and lyrically standout above a lot of mediocre music these days. (Listen to it here)

PIG//CONTROL - TRAUMA 7" (HeartFirst) 
Pig//Control are another new killer band from Berlin. They consist of people, who have been involved in Bombenalarm, Family Man and A Bit Of Braindead. After a great demo and a debut 7", Pig//Control gives us "Trauma", their second 7". This band plays hardcore-punk in the way it was meant to be. That's not really something new, but Pig//Control succed to sound fresh and exciting. They find a good balance between speed and noisy midtempo parts. The four tunes are suprisingly varied and they are played with straight blasting power and intensity. Things are based on potent vocals, heavy pounding drums and a oustanding guitar playing, that busts the typical genre limitations. I party feel reminded of Cult Ritual, but don't get me wrong: this 7" absolutely speaks for itself! (Listen to it here)

VAASKA - CONDENADO 7" (HeartFirst)
Texas punks Vaaska know how to do a lot with little. This four-piece from Austin plays basic d-beat driven hardcore punk. Their songs sound original and outstanding, even if they need no crazy tempo changes, no plenty of breaks and no walls of feedbacks and distortion. With a 80s Spanish hardcore influenced base, they offer a fresh and unique mixture of d-beat hardcore and powerful punk. Huge guitars are paired with pounding drums, potent vocals in Spanish and fist-pumping riffs, but they're constantly filling their songs with hooks, short guitar-solos  and an undercurrent of melodies. Vaaska really expand the typical norms of d-beat hardcore in an intersting and more catchy way, but without losing their rawness and aggression. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

Monday, January 13, 2014

RUINED FAMILIES LP

RUINED FAMILIES - BLANK LANGUAGE LP (Adagio 830)
Besides some rad garage and psych bands like Bazooka or Acid Baby Jesus, there are also some great hardcore bands emerging form the current Greece underground scene. Ruined Families are probably the best example. This band from Athens melts only the best parts of modern hardcore into a mixture of dynamic riffing, potent vocals, hard hitting blast beats and sheer power. The songs are made with varied different influences and ideas showcasing a hybrid brand of black metal, modern hardcore, powerviolence and  emo-hardcore. Since their debut LP and their 7" the band has progressed itself. "Blank Language" is the album that shows a band that has stepped forward, up and beyond themselves. Ruined Families merge blasting violence with heavy darkness, unorthodox melodies  and chaotic complexity into their own dynamic brand of hardcore. There are some simularities to bands like Coalesce, Cursed, Left For Dead, Ceremony, Wolves In The Throne Room and Comadre, but with the help of their diversity they add a own unique spin on the genre. (Listen to it here)

Friday, January 10, 2014

HOMELESS RELEASES

GENTLEMEN - SEX TAPE 12" (Homeless)
Gentlmen are yet another great new band from Melbourne, Australia. Together with Cuntz they are the brightest star of the Aussie noise-punk landscape. The seven tunes on this 12" have previously been released on a demo tape and now Homeless has put them a piece of vinyl. The songs sound angry and they are all pretty infuriating. Gentlemen made a record that's noisy, tweaked and distorted. They play ugly punk that lands somewhere right up to the edge of the full-blown, raw rock'n'roll sound of 90s Crypt releases yet at it's heart, is closest to the nihilism and dirtiness of Flipper, Brainbombs and Stickem With Rayguns. Gentlemen leave listeners in a blur and self doubt as they power through their set of anxiety ridden songs made with blazing, repetetive riffs, squeaky guitars and rabid vocals. The production sounds raw and filthy, just like this whole brilliant record. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

THE STICKMEN - S/T LP (Homeless)
THE STICKMEN - MAN MADE STARS LP (Homeless)  
Homeless has reissued two LPs by The Stickmen from Tasmania. This band was active in the late 90s and they only put out these two albums. They were both orginaly released as CDs-only with a different (worse looking) artwork. Honestly I haven't known this band before, but they fuckin' rule. With a mix of strong, ferocious instrumentals and vocals ranging from restrained to some screaming, The Stickmen create a fresh and unmistakable brand of music, that separates themselves from the pack. The songs are quiet, atmospheric and moody for large parts of the record, but at the same time they explore a wide range of dynamics. The influences range from guitar-driven 90s indie-rock to postpunk rhythms with a heavy sense of groove, driving blues & psych riffs and some nervous noise-rock breakouts. Think of a really unique product of Dinosaur Jr., U.S. Maple, Birthday Party and 70s Aussie rock. Their selftitled debut from 1998 is a bit more dissonant and punchy, "Man Made Stars" is more on the gloomy side, but both records are true masterpieces. Great stuff! (Listen to it here and here)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

DINGLEBERRY RELEASES

DEUIL – ACCEPTANCE / REBUILD LP (Dingleberry)
When you hold a LP in your hands, that includes only two songs, it's rather unlikely to expect some kind of blasting hardcore. That being said, Deuil from Liege, Belgium play a slow, dark, and atmospheric brand of music. Their debut full lenght sounds like a heavy mush of post-rock, sludge, doom and black metal. Both songs have a epic lenght, but they don't turn into pure monotony. They are made with plenty of different ideas and influences. Fast hardcore is paired with droning doom, dark metal melodies and effect-loaded wall of sounds. Deuil create a somber atmosphere of despair and hopelessness, interrupted by sudden outbursts of sheer fury. If you like heavy and sludgy hardcore, this one's for you. (Listen to it here)

GRAND DETOUR – S/T 12” (Dingleberry)
Why the hell do bands release one-sided 12"s? In my opinion it makes much more sense to release a 7" or to wait until you have enough songs to record a full LP. But of course the quality is more important than the quantity and without doubt this 12" by Grand Detour from Toulon in the south-east of France offers five top notch tunes. Like so many other bands before they merge influences ranging from post-rock to post-punk, post-hardcore and emo, but they've maintained a really pleasant straight on punk feel, that turns the songs into something special. All tunes are instrumentals based on a really fresh and creative sounding musical interplay. While most other post-rock groups are focused on creating a thick atmosphere with the help of effect-loaded guitars, Grand Detour keep their music straight and crushing and it's all delivered with power and intensity. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

KUMULUS - S/T LP (Dingleberry)
This is the first full LP by this band hailing from Cologne, Germany. Kumulus are one of the many current bands, that are into post-rock. The five songs sound fresh and creative and they sort of flow together and build into one another. This band creates epic instrumental music, that ebbs and flows. Things are based on plenty of great melodies, driving rhythms, crushing soundscapes as well as an exploration into 80s wave music. Kumulus need no massive riffs and no heavy sludge and no doom influences. Instead, they play a harmonic style of instrumental music. The delay driven guitar and the unique, clean production gives the recordings a very special touch. This is music in the brotherhood of Explosions In The Sky, This Will Destroy You, God Is An Astronaut, Mogwai and Russian Circles. (Listen to it here)

THE SOLEXINE CHAPTER / CHEVAL / I WAS A COSMONAUT HERO – SPLIT LP (Dingleberry)
You can hardly be dissappointed by a three-way split LP. Even if one band isn't that interesting there are two more bands to compensate it. In the case of this split LP all three French bands are worth to check out. Each band contributes two tunes. After the first listen it's hard to distinguish which song is written by which groups, because they all play a very simular brand of music rooted in the sound of post-rock, screamo and post-hardcore. The Solexine Chapter combine atmospheric guitar melodies with really innovative, heavy pounding drum beats and grim screaming vocals.  Cheval sound a little bit straighter and more punchy. Their heavy style of hardcore with it's hints of Botch like mathcore shows some simularities to Achilles. Last but not least I Was A Cosmonaut Hero nail down two more tunes of screamo and emo influenced hardcore. Think of a product of Aussitot Mort and This Will Destroy You. A very good three-way split LP. No filler, all killer! (Listen to it here)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

CUT THE CHORD THAT... RELEASES

BLACK TOWER -  S/T TAPE (Cut The Chord That...)
Black Tower from Ottawa, Canada feature members of Crusades and Visitors. Musically their demo cassette offers a prettty unique mixture of death-rock, power-metal and punk influences. Despite a playtime of three to five minutes the four tunes are all fast and straight forward. The music is first of all rooted in the sound of classic punkrock, even if the guitar adds plenty of dark metal melodies. The mixed-gender vocals are catchy and heavy rocking. Songtitles like "Dark Lord" or "The Dragon Flies" already illustrate, that the lyrics deal with gloomy fantasy topics. Imagine members of Christian Death and Grave Digger were playing together in a punk band. Sounds strange? And yes it's a bit strange, but in a very positive way. (Listen to it here

ISOLATION - S/T TAPE (Cut The Chord That...)
Hailing from Münster, Germany are a hardcore four-piece consinsting of guys who have been or are involved in Short Fuse, Annotation or Beneath The Wheel. After their debut 7" here's their latest cassette release, that delivers four brand new tunes. This band plays a really primal brand of hardcore, that's all about anger and frustration. Isolation are the opposite to the modern sound of intellectual post-rock and screamo influenced hardcore. Their songs are fast, but not too fast and they definitely know, who how to add groovy and crushing midtempo parts. The recordings offer a slight Oi! influence and they are fronted by some super gnarly vocals. If you dig Iron Cross, 86 Mentality und Sheer Terror. you'll probably also be digging this. (Listen to it here

LEVITATIONS - PARTNERS IN CRIME 7" (Cut The Chord That...)
For quite some time there are again great bands coming from Berlin. Levitations are my latest discovery and their debut 7" is probably one of the best German punk records of the year 2013. This four-piece plays melodic indie-punk, but with a fresh and unique sound. If I wouldn't know it better, I would think these four tunes were written in Australia or Brooklyn, because they somewhat sound reminiscent of Super Wild Horses, Golden Staph and Vivian Girls. At the same time Levitations don't forget to add their own special flavour with some hints of postpunk simular to Slant 6, Kleenex and The Slits. The multi-voiced vocal harmonies are absolutely outstanding and they are one of the main secrets of this highly recommended 7". Don't miss it! (Listen to it here

PROTESTER - S/T TAPE (Cut The Chord That...)
Protester are a new hardcore group from Washington D.C.. The five tracks on their demo tape have been recorded in a one-man-line-up. Connor from Last Words and Abuse is repsonsible for vocals, guitars, bass, and drums, but for the future he plans to perform the songs with a real band. You get four own songs plus a well done cover-version of the Last Rights classic “Out Of Our Minds”. The recordings are fast, but with a focus on brutal grooving midtempo parts. Protester take influences from classic American hardcore groups like S.O.A., SS Decontrol, D.Y.S. and The Abused. Things are based on pissed off, throaty vocals and tons of simple, but really crushing guitar-riffs.  This demo-tape sounds like Protester's first vinyl record will soon be out on Painkiller Records. Fans of Prisoner Abuse, Boston Stranglers, Violent Future and Knife Fight won't be dissapointed here! (Listen to it here)

REPLICA - S/T 7" (Cut The Chord That.../ Prank)
After a demo tape, that has also been released on a 7", here's the first regular 7" by this new band from the bay area. Replica take the heavyness of typical Prank style hardcore and mix it with a healthy dose of blasting powerviolence and some hints of 80s thrash. The five tunes deliver a really powerful fusion of blazing riffs, occasional blast beats, pounding drums and some really pissed-off vocals. that combine for a merciless, hardcore 7". They've got a huge sound, an incredible energy and it's all fast, tight and complex. Think of the product of Antichism, Talk Is Poison, Infest and Artimus Pyle. This 7" leaves nothing to be desired, if you're looking for well done raw hardcore-punk. Strongly recommended! Prank brings the US version, Cut The Chord That... is responsible for the European pressing. (Listen to it here)