Thursday, February 28, 2013

TZN XENNA - Ciemny Pokój CD

Here's a great collection of classic Polish punk from TZN XENNA. Polish punk aficionados will recall their great 1985 single on Tonpress and their killer tracks on the essential "Jak Punk to Punk" comp LP. This collection was originally released as a cassette in 1995, but here's the Cd version from Pop Noise released in 2000 , and including bonus tracks. If you aren't already familiar with TZN XENNA, expect straight forward and upbeat hook-laden punk that will demand you to sing along - whether you know Polish or not. The first 4 tracks are mid-to-low quality demo recordings, then we get 7 offerings from a live set, with an also less-than-desirable recording quality. When I got this, I'll admit I was a bit disappointed up to this point with all the sub-par live recordings. But then when "Guma" kicks in, we're back to a great sounding recording (i think it's live, but would definitely be considered up to standard for a vinyl release!), and a bunch of spunky tracks I had never heard before! More assorted live/demo tracks follow, and the songs speed up and become more aggressive and interesting as you advance through the rest of the CD. 

I prefer Cd collections to begin with strongest/best recorded material, and then have the worse quality stuff at the end. If you're like me, I can understand your loss of interest as you download this and check out the first few tracks, but trust me! Skip to "Guma" and you are in for a solid album's worth of top notch Polish punk treasures. Na zdrowie!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CS-137 Cassette

Holy crap y'all - I usually don't post brand new stuff right after I get it, but I couldn't let this one sit on the shelf for another day! Barcelona's CS-137 have made a fucking masterpiece here - who the hell are these guys? If I had to try to deconstruct this sound...let's start with the insane riffs and perfect d-beating of TOTALITAR and SKITKIDS, some epic but tasteful DEATHSIDE guitar elements, and the sickly growled vocals of NERORGASMO (sometimes growl-sung!), and you're somewhere in the ballpark of CS-137. But don't take the comparisons too heavily - this is really fucking original sounding. No posing here. All 14 tracks are short, interesting, rampaging, and catchy. This is the best new hardcore band I've heard in a looooong time. Fucking Downloooooad!  

Also, buy it from Discos Enfermos or Sorry State  !!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

SO MUCH HATE - Blind Alley LP

I may have previously ranted about my love for classic Norwegian hardcore - and this is one of my top, most highly recommended picks! SO MUCH HATE's second LP is brimming with a unique blend of passion and desperation, while retaining the same intensity as many of it's contemporaries from the UK and the rest of Europe. Songs like "Trapped" and "You" are especially galloping, dark and melodic, with moving and  introspective lyrics, while "Perplexed" is impossible to define by genera. The members of the band already had an impressive pedigree having played in such bands as SVART FRAMTID, KAFKA PROSESS, BANNLYST, STENGTE DORER, and PSYKISK TERROR. This LP has a sort of weird recording, but still holds up as one of the best of the era (late80's). SO MUCH HATE wrote some of the best riffs and arrangements to come out of European hc/punk in the 80's, and many of them are right here on this LP. And of course I can't forget to mention Gunnar's incredible, charismatic howling - he's still at it after all these years in a newer band called BONE IDLES. Oh and Børre Løvik (RIP) may be my favorite punk guitarist. Ever. One of the most important and brilliant DIY hc/punk bands to ever come out of Europe. 

Hey you poor little macho / I sure understand your fear
You can't stand the thought of being not so unique and rare / 
So you fill up your body with steroids / Do you think that will make you a man?
Well you missed out one important point
It's not how you look, but the way you stand.
Hey you poor little macho / you sure seem healthy and fit
Swollen like a big balloon / That'll blow by one little prick
I'll might put you a bit put of balance / and see if you stand for a fall
'Cause if you went back where you really belong
You would hardly be able to crawl

Also, check out this amazing live video - fuck all the 2013 poser-pogoing! This is the real thing! Don't let a band's aesthetic determine how you dance, it should be a natural expression! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

A. INVAZIJA - Protestas Cassette

Awesome debut of dark hardcore from Lithuania! This is their first demo from 1994. Later they dropped the "A" and just went by INVAZIJA, and released a bunch of stuff through the late '90s-2000. Mainly fast hardcore with lots of effects and - throw WRETCHED, any fine old Finnish hardcore band, and a dash of Eastern Euro flair in a blender, and you've got a noisy weekend ahead of yourself. Ya can't go wrong with some groundbreaking, unique, swirling hardcore from Ex USSR! I don't know much about other hardcore from Lithuania, but I don't imagine there was much hardcore coming out of there before this. I will post more rare stuff from the Baltic countries in the future!

A.INVAZIJA - Protestas

Fun fact: In 1990, Lithuania was the the first Soviet republic to declare independence!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

V/A - Graffiti LP

A very awesome and obscure gem for y'all today (I'm originally from Texas, so I say y'all a lot). This is the first comp from the first wave of rock/punk/new wave shit from Uruguay from 1985 on the label Orfeo. I was after this one for a long time and finally tracked it down for a fair price a month or so ago, and boy is it a fucking party! Every second of this piece of plastic could get the punks dancing on DJ night. 

It kicks off with a fairly tame, but heavy wave-pop song by ZERO - but their song later on side B, "Soy Escorpion," is clearly the better jam. On to LOS TRAIDORES, who offer a couple great melodic punk songs, clearly influenced by a mix of RAMONES, CURE, and THE POLICE. I believe they are probably the best known band on here, and their Montevideo Agoniza LP is an essential, and sadly rare piece of South American punk perfection. NEOH 23 electrifies us with one quick cold jolter, and one smoother new wave song.  LOS ESTOMAGOS were supposedly Uruguay's most prized post punk band, which is clearly evident on their angular and upbeat track, "Jugaste Sucio" - but then they strip it down to a catchy, straight '77 punk jam on side B with "Campalache." Then -- oh my god -- ADN steals this comp with my new favorite song to dance/ride my bike to on repeat. I MUST have their LP - if anyone has any leads or info, or even a fucking download of this thing, I'll be your best friend! LOS TONTOS only offers up one track of their nice, sparkly melodic punk. Every song on this compilation is catchy and fun, and you'll be hard pressed to find another place to download it anywhere else, so what are you waiting for? 

AUSSCHWITSS - Απειλή / Χαμένο Κορμί EP

Recently reissued by ειρκτή, AUSSCHWITSS was a dark synthy post punk band from Greece. According to the Greek punk discography feature in the new issue of Mountza zine, they formed in 1981 and released a demo in 1982, which I assume these couple tracks were culled from. Oh, and they were 15 years old! Amazing! Side A opens with a chilling keyboard/bass intro that leads into an upbeat but still brooding tune, akin to early CURE. The B side is in the same style and same pace, but maybe not quite as strong and infectious as the first track. Being a huge fan of  80's Greek punk and dark post punk, this record is a big fat tease, and keeps me wondering if there's more recorded AUSSCHWITSS stuff out there! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

HALCION.25 - Corperation EP

My pal/bandmate Bryan and I were doing some nerdy record chatting the other day, and he brought up old New Zealand punk, which I know very little about. This was the only record I could recall even owning, and it's a complete mystery to me. Such a weird little record - the center labels are larger than normal, and the vinyl is of the lowest quality. The first track is a drawn out, brooding, dark, mid tempo punk tune with a keyboard. It kind of reminds me of some of the early UK anarcho stuff like FLOWERS IN THE DUSTBIN. The two tracks on the flip are fast hardcore blasts, maybe taking cues from the same time period as the aforementioned comparison, but more in the pogo-punk style. It's all catchy, and moves along really well, but the recording quality is really raw, like a rehearsal recording. It would be exciting to hear what else this band did after this, as this feels like more of a promising demo than something that needed to be pressed onto vinyl. Anyone with any more info on this, it would be much appreciated! Ima Hitt Records.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I.R.A. ‎– Atentado Terrorista EP

Raging political hardcore punk from Colombia. Among such a killer crop of bands from this era - I.R.A. was  one of the best (and still play, but with only one original member I believe). This is their second EP, and it originally came out in 1990, but this version and the green cover version were pressed in 1995 (thanks Discogs). This is some energetic, lively hardcore with equal parts teeth and heart. Not to be missed. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

V/A - Jeszcze Młodsza Generacja LP

Happy Valentine's Day blog trolls. May Cupid pierce you with a love arrow and doom you to a life of the often uncontrollably agonizing roller coaster that is "being in love"
Somewhere along my journey of trying to obtain everything Polish-punk related, I acquired this cool post punk/new wave comp released by the Polish state-owned label Tonpress, from 1986. This thing's got good dance-ability - various dark postpunk/wave sounds on here by bands that maybe didn't release much else - the most well known being KULT, T. LOVE, and AYA R.L. But the NOWA MOWA track alone is worth tracking this comp down for to impress your friends/potential lovers on mix tapes - it's the punkest and catchiest, and could stand up next to early CURE or POLICE at their most upbeat moments. AYA R.L.'s track is also a really strong, comparable to THE CHAMELEONS - a cold, dreamy song driven by a marching snare beat and colored with tempered guitar and dramatic percussion hits. A must for cold/darkwave and postpunk fiends. 

And sorry, I know, my LP photos always look like crap. Computer graphics (or computers in general) are not my forte, and I think that's okay. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Polish H-C - Abaddon/Rejestracja Cassette

Two anchors of the 80's Polish hardcore scene on one tape. The ABADDON tracks are recorded live in Poznan in 1985, and sound pretty decent for a live recording. There are only 11 songs listed on the tracklist, but I hear 13. The REJESTRACJA stuff seems to be from some rehearsal session from 1983. Really strong, catchy, fast hardcore with solid drumming and great guitar riffs - but playing with some interesting post-punk elements at times, such as in the song "Armaments Race." REJESTRACJA never did a record, but you may recognize some of these tracks if you've heard the "Tribute To Rejestracja" LP from 2000, featuring members of well know Polish punk bands playing REJESTRAJCA tunes. I also have another REJESTRACJA demo with different material that I will post...eventually. Essential for Polish punk fans. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

SOFA HEAD - Pre Marital Yodelling LP

SOFA HEAD formed from the ashes of the also awesome melodic punk band DAN. This is their first and best LP released by the awesome UK label Meantime Records, while the USA pressing was the first release on Profane Existence. I love the melodic instrumentation on this LP, especially the guitar playing, as well as the craftily sung female vocal attack, making every second of this record sound urgent and infectious. The recording is very strange and bass-y, but I've gotten accustomed to it over time, to the point that it even adds to the charm of the record. There's a great crop of what I like to call "late 80's post-anarcho bands" from the UK like this that I've always really enjoyed such as THE JOYCE MCKINNEY EXPERIENCE, DAN, F.U.A.L., SNUFF, H.D.Q., and probably some others. There are a couple goofy songs on here where they seem to be toying with hip-hop or something, but the good outweighs the bad as far as I'm concerned. Also, the drummer from this went on to join LEATHERFACE. Anyhow, if you love fast melodic punk like me, you need this. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

FLYKTPLAN - Unreleased Recording

Sometime in the mid-00's my friend Stan came back from Europe with lots of great stories and a few new band recommendations. This one was so excellent that I had to make sure and tape it from the CD-R the band had given him. FLYKTPLAN was from Malmö and featured folks from SKITKIDS, DISCO VOLANTE, KONTROVERS, and if my memory serves me right, SATANIC SURFERS. So sad these nine solid hardcore punk tracks never got properly released, because this is some dynamic and raging shit. The woman that sings has an incredible vocal quality exhibiting equal parts throat shredding and tunefullness. The pummeling drumbeats and straight-forward guitar riffs are accented by careful but natural breaks and rhythmic tricks to always keep you intrigued. It's full of those little "magic parts" that you learn to anticipate each time you listen. Hardcore full of hooks. One of those recordings where it's hard to stay seated while listening. Certainly one of the secret best bands from the last decade - do not ignore this amazing treasure!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

PURGEN - Dead Presidents Cassette

Long running, furious punk band from Moscow. As far as I can tell from Discogs, this is their second release from 1996. Crazy stuff here with a good balance of '77 punk, pogo punk, hardcore, and some weirdness. Driving, melodic at times, but aggressive, sung in Russian, and raw from beginning to end. The overtly punk fashion doesn't hurt either...

Friday, February 8, 2013

NULA - Pobjedimo Laz Cassette

Here's a cool cassette from Croatia's NULA. There's a lot of material on this tape spanning from 1993-96. The sound is political hardcore punk with a touch of thrash here and there. Lots of variety, catchy vocal hooks, and furious execution. Maybe DEZERTER is a good reference point? I have a zine that accompanies this tape as well (all in Croatian). I don't really know much about the band, but bear in mind that this shit was recorded at the tail-end and just after the war in the Balkans that tore Yugoslavia apart. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Sorry folks, no downloads today. But here's my 2012 top tens as is printed in the new issue of MRR...

When I first started thinking about my top ten favorite releases of 2012, it seemed too ambitious a list for me. I have this kind of irrational aversion to most bands/releases that get a lot of talk and hype, and often don’t check ‘em out til like 2 years later, if ever! You can call me a snob, but I typically look for a little more in a punk release than what other people are saying about it. I wanna feel something, like a personal connection, or be moved by it. Lots of records are “awesome,” or “raging,” or “killer” or whatever. But many of those, especially the blatantly contrived ones, just get filed and, for the most part, forgotten while we move on to the next batch of new stuff. So, without any further ado, a list of ten releases that left a lasting impression on me:

 SICKOIDS – LP (Residue Records, Hardware Records)
This is definitely the #1 standout hardcore record to me this year. Genera-defying hardcore with the perfect balance of straightforward raging, innovative transitions, and guitar/vocal melodies. The couple brilliant mid-paced melodic tracks, one on each side of the disc, really just tie it all together and make it a perfect LP. These sounds will surely stand the test of time in the way bands like ARTICLES OF FAITH, SO MUCH HATE, or UPRIGHT CITIZENS have.

KALTE LUST – Somewhere Outside The Circle LP (Self Released)
Many of you probably never got to hear this French postpunk record - quite a shame because it’s a masterpiece! They take the 80’s goth/postpunk template and really produce something fresh and memorable with the eight dark movements on this LP. Some tracks are spacious and ghastly, droning on and repetitious in a delightfully rhythmic and haunting way. But tracks like the opener, “Once Bitten Twice Shy,” or “Über Die Grenze” are beautiful postpunk gems that will hook you at every turn. The vocalist exhibits an undeniable Siouxsie influence, but really belts it out in her own way. Fans of all forms of dark punk – if you haven’t heard this yet, seriously track it down!

SADICOS – Self Titled Cassette (Silenzio Statico)
Having already enjoyed all of the members’ previous bands, I knew I would dig this tape. However, the urgent riffs and excellent songwriting pushed this into regular rotation on my stereo and became my favorite release (well, currently) on the always dependable Silenzio Statico label roster.

ILEGAL -  El Aire Libre Fuera De Los Dientes Del Monstruo Tirano Y Canibal LP (La Vida Es Un Mus)
After a demo and a few great EPs, ILEGAL totally blew the roof off with this monster. My turntable was on fire for a week straight after obtaining this LP. I do like their previous efforts, but it seems like they saved up all the best guitar riffs and weird hooks for this one. There are some straight up danceable moments on here (note- I said “dance”able, not moshable), which is pretty rare feeling for a full on blistering hardcore band to create. Every time I play this I discover new cool shit going on. Amazing!

ANTIMOB – Demo 2012 Cassette (Εξωτικός Παροξυσμός)
I have already spilled enough ink raving about this one, so I’ll keep this short. Intense, passionate, brutal, dramatic, and purely excellent hardcore from Greece. You probably won’t be able to find this tape now, but they just released an LP with the same material, but re-recorded and yes I have heard it – and yes, it is fucking brilliant too.

REPLICA – Demo (Self Released cassette, Flexi reissue by Radical Punks Never Die)
A perfect hardcore blend that doesn’t ever seem to get tired. It seems like there’s been a decent buzz about this band, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just local or if they have reached anxious ears worldwide. Well if they haven’t, 2013 should be the year because REPLICA are always on fire. The five songs on this tape are perfect hardcore exhibiting originality, and with just the right touch of the classic Bay Area sound. Instant classic!

DRAPETOMANIA – EP (Silenzio Statico, Todo Destruido)
Another killer Statico Ponk release capturing everything that is punk. Gruff, raw, honest, and fun hardcore punk from the backyards of LA. I cannot stress enough how inspiring that scene has been for me, and I’m always thrilled to hear more new shit from these folks. This 7” also get my vote for “best looking record cover/layout” of the year! I pulled a DRAPETOMANIA t-shirt out of the free bin at the MRR compound – it was huge and white and totally swamped me, and had a big bulldog on it. I put it on one day and my girlfriend said it looked like a rap t-shirt (if you know me, you know this is not how I typically dress), but I said “fuck it” and wore it all day anyway. That’s how much this band rules!

NEON PISS – LP (Deranged, Cut the Cord That…)
This one was a long time coming…That demo got a lot of play on my tape deck over the last couple of years, so I welcomed this LP with anxious open arms. Most punk bands just can’t write such captivating tunes or develop such a unique melodic style the way NEON PISS has, and this LP is the ultimate testament to those qualities of this Bay Area quartet. Chances are if you live in North America or Europe and are tuned in to current punk shit, this band has blown your face off live and you bought this record. If not, pull your head outta your ass and get into it!

DICTADURA - Bajo La Sombra Del Miedo LP (Stomp Records, No Thanks!! Records)
At the tail end of a long European tour, I had the privilege of seeing this Basque band half an hour or so outside of San Sebastian. I remember watching them and thinking that this was exactly the kind of snotty, aggressive hardcore punk I live for. I wondered if I would ever hear of them again, and a year and a half later I got in touch with their vocalist, only to be informed of the new DICTADURA LP! Pure aggressive punk with an incredible snotty vocal attack, a tight solid rhythm section reminding me of ECONOCHRIST, and flying guitar leads in all the right places - and a song about making punk mix tapes!! Top it off with excellent twisted artwork, and you’ve got a “top ten-er” for sure.

ARCTIC FLOWERS – Procession 12” EP (Self Released)
I’m gonna be honest here – though I initially liked it, this one didn’t fully grab me right away like their previous stuff did. And I am biased because they are dear friends of mine, and Stan’s got a distinct way of writing melodic guitar stuff that I have always really connected with – so I guess this one’s more of a personal thing. Anyways, after recently seeing them play again (their live energy is incredible), I spent a little more time with this and really grew to love it. The softer, mellower moments on this record really stand out to me because though they cut back on the aggression, it still retains the “punkness,” if that makes any sense. “The Sleeping and the Dead,” for example, is anything but lively or upbeat, but can’t be described as anything but a moody punk masterpiece – much like a lot of the tough-to-label UK anarcho punk bands from the 80’s. But let me wrap it up by declaring that it bugs me when people simply categorize this band as “Anarcho punk,” or “Goth punk,” or whatever safe labels people use right now, because it’s 2012 and ARCTIC FLOWERS have been on their own path of evolution all along, and to me, this record is far too unique to deserve to be pigeonholed like that.

There were so many reissues of great classic releases from all over the place that I am very grateful for! Off the top of my head:
NEUROOT 12” from Havoc Records, ALL the great Finnish reissues on Svart, INOCENTES and LIXOMANIA EPs from Nada Nada Discos, MISSBRUKRNA discography from Skrammel (finally!), QUOD MASSACRE LP from NE! Records, MARIA T-TA Y EL EMPUJON BRUTAL 7” (Sin Temores Records/ Discos Huayno Amargo/ Rock SVB Discos), ANTI… LP on ειρκτή, STRESS “Athens Burning” I & II from B-Otherside, PARALISIS INFANTIL 1987 Demo 7” from Canal 9, CAMERA SILENS LP from Sydney Town, ABADDON “Wet Za Wet” LP from Warsaw Pact Records

Monday, February 4, 2013

DEUS EX MACINA - Execute/Iraq 'N' Roll 7"

Excellent first single from this Greek band formed in 1989. This band is still active, but I get the feeling they are more a part of the "rock club punk" scene than the DIY/squat scene, though I recall seeing older flyers from the early 90's with them playing at squats with bands like NAYTIA. Both of these songs are strong mid-paced jammers with great guitar leads and gruff vocals. "Execute" is darker and more memorable I think, but the catchy chorus of "Iraq ' N' Roll" keeps me flipping this thing back over and over again. I don't know much else about this band, but I have also heard their first album Motorpsycho, which is also really good and in the same style as these songs. Anyone have a spare copy they'd like to sell for cheap??

Friday, February 1, 2013

ANTI TODO - Nadie Salva Esto Demo 1999 CD-R

Let's kick off February with punk as fuck from Medellin, Colombia. Don't let the pixelated art or the fact that this is a CD-R deter you. Expect nothing but catchy, raw, pogo-able political punk in Español. According to their Myspace page, ANTI TODO formed in 1987, went into hiatus 1991, reformed in 1995 but apparently didn't release anything until this demo in 1999! 

ANTI TODO's rudimentary punk blasts combine simple 1-2-1-2 beats, 3 chord riffs, nods to street punk and oi, and interesting unexpected hooks worked into the songwriting. The recording is raw, but tuneful, not like this noisy nonsense you kids can't get enough of these days. This material is in the vein of classic Colombian acts like I.R.A and BSN, as much as current bands like RAYOS X. This is a mandatory download for fans of punk/hardcore in Spanish!