Monday, October 26, 2015

EYES ON YOU - Received With Thanks 12"

I consider Record Store Day to be mostly problematic, but that doesn't change the fact that the independent and volunteer-run stores we love get a significant spike in sales on that day. Thus, I attended a Record Store Day show at the Bay Area's best and only all volunteer-run record store, Thrillhouse Records, and this is the only record I bought. I had never seen it before, but Children Of The Revolution is a reputable label, and it was cheap, so I grabbed it. Totally cool stuff from the UK circa 1987 with the melody and punch that defined many other bands of the time and place. The bass is out of tune, but it doesn't detract much from the cool songs. It's similar to stuff like HDQ and INSTIGATORS, or DC stuff like GRAY MATTER and MARGINAL MAN. A short mention in Ian Glasper's book about UK hardcore, Trapped In A Scene, tells us that this band became FILLER, who I recall not really digging too much. Maybe it's time to revisit? The last cut on here, "Chance You Missed," is my top pick, even though the intro is a near copy of that long epic track on IRON MAIDEN's Powerslave album. Surely coincidental, right?

Friday, August 7, 2015

SEXBOMBA - To Niemożliwe LP

I bought this in Portland a couple years ago simply because it was a Polish punk record I didn't have. I'd say it's about half good, meaning half of the songs are pretty cool and the other half are forgettable. I had to check with a Polish buddy to see what this band is all about, as I'd never heard of them before, and with a name like SEXBOMBA it's hard to imagine them being on "our team." He told me that they are more or less a '77 styled punk band who achieved some sort of commercial success later on. Goofy, but not sketchy or anything. This is their first LP from 1990. I dig a lot of the songs on here. There is a pop element, and the drums sound programmed, but there's no denying their songwriting talents. Sometimes they remind me of DEZERTER, but maybe a little safer sounding. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I am rabid for 80s German punk. There's so much awesome German punk, varying in so many different styles. Some of my favorite bands - SLIME, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, BLUT + EISEN - are German. One of my recent collecting goals is to acquire all of the EPs from the Pogar label out of Berlin (except for the VARUKERS EP they did...I don't really feel like I need that one). I've been slowly achieving this goal, most recently pulling together tough finds like the killer HONKAS and HARNRÖHRER EPs, via the simplest method: Ebay. The old-fashioned method of "digging at record stores" is not totally obsolete though. I recently attended a show at local Oakland record store 1234 Go, and while scanning the 7"s across the wall above the tapes I spotted a slightly crinkled, vaguely familiar pink xerox-style sleeve - you know, the kind that gets your attention, but once you get closer it may just be some shitty 90s dollar bin fodder. Low and behold this time it was this DISASTER AREA / DIE SCHLIMMEN FINGER split EP on Pogar records! Twenty bucks. I scoured the place for more, but as expected, there weren't any more 80s German punk records to be found there.

The DISASTER AREA stuff is fairly mediocre skate-punk stuff, though not bad. But it was the DIE SCHLIMMEN FINGER side that totally caught me off guard. I'm instantly enchanted by the huge singalong choruses and ringing guitars they display on here. It's almost like the COCK SPARRER side of Oi, but still unmistakably German punk. 

In case you're looking to unload them, my top priorities on the Pogar EP list at this time are VORKRIEGSJUGEND, VELLOCET, and MARPLOTS,  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

AURORA - Viszlát Iván LP

One of the few early Hungarian punk recordings to make it to vinyl, AURORA's debut album is a non-stop barrage of melody and drive. Virtually all the songs on here clock in over 3 minutes, breaking the supposed 2:20 punk-song rule, but it's still a strong listen all the way through. I still haven't managed to track down their EP on Empty Records out of Germany yet, but I've been told it's even better. I've heard earlier demo recordings on Youtube that sound really cool as well. The early Hungarian punk and hardcore stuff seemingly hasn't gotten as much reissue treatment as stuff from most other places. The bits of stuff I've seen, heard, and read are all really compelling and interesting. I'm sure it's only a matter of time, right? In the meantime, enjoy this classic LP. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

OSTIA PUTA - Un Cuento Particular / La Caja Tonta

Sometimes when I spot a record I've never seen before, my gut says "buy it." As long as the price is low, of course. I came across this single on my first day of record shopping in Barcelona last fall and my gut ordered me to pick it up. Turned out to be a pretty good find thanks to some nice singalong choruses and the urgent and snotty a-side. Maybe comparable to other Spanish bands like LA POLLA RECORDS, especially in the more light-hearted sounding moments. Don't know what to make of the cover other than they must not have taken themselves too seriously. 

Friday, June 12, 2015


Reviewing records at MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL has it perks. Sometimes I get stuck reviewing awful and soulless modern clone bands with a mere penchant for regurgitating aesthetics. Sometimes it's a long lost demo limited to 30 that no one cared about then, and frankly no one should care about now either. Other times I get assigned reissues of brilliant but little known bands such as BRZYTWA OJCA. Just when I think I've collected up all of the best Polish hardcore there ever was from the 80s, I'm reminded that I don't know it all. These guys formed in 1984 and this recording is from their 1988 tape. Liner notes explain they shared the stage with the likes of DEZERTER, THE CORPSE, ARMIA, KSU, NADZOR, etc... Their sound is bouncy and urgent punk very much in the tradition of their aforementioned contemporaries. Being introduced to bands like this is definitely a huge upside and privilege to being on the MRR reviewer team, but the downside of that is many times foreign submitters can't afford to include a copy for the reviewer (I  get assigned a lot of the Eastern Euro stuff). Luckily I made it to Poland last fall and kept a keen eye out for this reissue, and thankfully it wasn't too hard to find. Recommended for fans of Polish (or just good) punk!

Monday, May 25, 2015

V/A - H'ARTCORE Compilation LP

Another great compilation from the early 80s, this time from the German label H'art Musik, which was responsible for classic albums by UPRIGHT CITIZENS and HASS. This one contains many exclusive tracks and many bands that don't seem to appear anywhere else. Right off the bat CORNY VARIOUS lights things up with a blazing bass-chord ripper, leaving me wondering what else they may have left behind to be discovered. German punk enthusiasts will no doubt already be familiar with the likes of BLUTTAT and UPRIGHT CITIZENS, both of whom contribute memorable rippers here. More pleasant surprises are brought by CLOX, N.D.R., and the charming SUFF, who makes me think of the Dutch band THE NIXE.