Monday, April 29, 2013


The other day my boss informed us that there was a stack of vinyl and a box of tapes up for grabs upstairs (which is really random, considering we make silicon sex toys). But we have an extremely laid back work environment, so over the years as people have come and gone, the place has accumulated a lot of people's random personal things. This particular stash seemed to contain mostly LP's rescued from the curbside (though I did snag some ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN LP's, a cool Goth LP from Oakland called FADE TO BLACK, and a few common 80's new wave pop gems), and a box of cassettes. I took some cassettes that seemed to be recordings from a radio station - sturdy old maxell tapes, perfect for recording over - and then this mysterious one marked "Siouxie?" Now, it doesn't come up in conversation as often as Eastern Euro punk or Norwegian hardcore, but I'm a huge SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES fan. Not like in an obsessive "collect everything and know every bit of Siouxsie trivia" kind of way...I just really love their music. A lot. And I've noted that there are so many cool alternate recordings and special sessions of SATB stuff out there, so I grabbed this hoping it would contain something like that...and I was in luck. I got a pen and paper and started listening, jotting down the names of the songs I recognized (it opens with my FAVORITE song), and checking the Discogs database for a match, and it looks like the recording is from a rare bootleg double live LP called "All Creatures Great And Small," but it's recorded onto the tape in reverse order - starting with side D, then C, then B, and then A. The recording is from St. James Church London, April 10th 1985 and is pretty decent quality, though it's a taped version of a bootlegged live record, so keep that in mind. Now, if you dig SATB as much as I do, you NEED to get this because there are a few songs that I had never heard before, and some searches lead me to believe that they haven't been released ANYWHERE else! And they're goooooood songs. They are called "Dance For Me," "Take Me Back," "Drink the Water," and "The Sound." Also there are a couple teasers on the tracklist that first appeared to be unreleased, but are just later released songs disguised with different names: "Judgement Day" is "The Sweetest Chill," and "Herald In the Rain" is "Cannons." 19 tracks total. I could go on about how incredible her voice was (it's actually kind of pitchy on this particular recording), how pumped I get about the guitar lines, how beautifully all the layers of melody interplay with each other in their songs, or how my jaw drops watching Budgie hit the drums on old live footage, but you already know how great SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES were...

Sunday, April 28, 2013


TB are one of my all-time favorite live bands - they were one of the distinct joys of my 15 month residence in Los Angeles. They made my hair stand on end, and my blood rush like roaring rapids. You rarely see hardcore bands brimming with such energy and honesty, while coming off totally unpretentious and real. Chances are many of you picked this up back when they were hot, but don't we all need a refresher sometimes? Perfectly executed and original-sounding hardcore punk compositions, vitriolic female screams calling out all of our oppressors, a surging bouncy beat that was always ideal for the dancing "ponks"...their sound always brought SVART FRAMTID to mind, amazingly, if they were from LA and had a woman singing. They were that good, and only did this tape and a 7", and I used to want them to do a full length SO bad. But upon reconsideration, I have my memories and vivid recollections of being moved by their live shows, and I think that will suffice.

I should mention that TB members are still active in the LA punk scene doing great bands (DRAPETOMANIA and SADICOS to name a couple), hosting shows/benefits/events, releasing on their label Silenzio Statico, and who knows what else - I suck at staying in contact with old friends. But I still see them every few months, and they always report that they've got something exciting and new in the tubes.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Here's an nice melancholic German punk EP to brood to on a Saturday morning, before the sun comes in to burn off the fog (though I confess, the sun appeared before I could finish this post). I've been listening to a lot of this kind of signature dark German punk lately - mmmm, why does this somber stuff feel so good?? MY EDEN DIES only did this one EP, as far as I can tell, and then became SERENE FALL. On these three tracks they manage to hypnotize with low and droning vocals and repetitive guitar dirges, never failing to pull me into a spellbound state. The third track, "Maria," picks up the pace while retaining the same dispirited tone, making it the standout track. File with FLIEHENDE STURME, EA 80, BOXHAMSTERS, DIE STRAFE, and the like.

Oh, and this one was plucked out of the dollar (or, euro) bin at the Zorro squat record store along with the previously posted FLIEHENDE STURME single, and a few other goodies that I may post in the future (excluding the CROSSED OUT/MAN IS THE BASTARD split). 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

CONTRAZIONE ‎– Cineocchio! Storia e Memoria LP

Awesome anarcho punk from Torino, Italy - circa '85. They managed to cover a lot of ground on this 12" stylistically, which certainly helps them stand out among the vast amount of stellar hardcore bands from Italy of the time. That signature Italian hc churused-out guitar sound, dual male/female vocals, and fluctuating and pulsing rhythms all make for a unique and unpredictable classic. Oh, and great artwork helps! I first took note of CONTRAZIONE upon hearing their amazing track form the P.E.A.C.E. compilation (one of the best on the comp!), and they also did an incredibly rare and rad split LP with fellow anarcho-punkers FRANTI. Like the BEDBOYS EP? You'll definitely like this. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

KOKOSHA GLAVA - Punk Anarchy Nihilism 89-95 Cassette

About this tape, taken from the Aon website:
"It was the Maria Luisa pub in Plovdiv, where i met Petko, the vocalist for Kokosha Glava and it took only 2-3 weeks to arrange releasing this tape, that is surely one of the Bulgarian punk rock cornerstones! Believe it or not, they started in 1988 in a small town near the Turkish border and they still play! The material inside is raw demo or live recordings off various concerts and there is even a rare studio session. Punk, punk and PUNK! and nothing else. They appeared on countless compilations worldwide and they are still eager to play live, if you invite them..."

This is rare, raw, often out of tune punk from a corner of Bulgaria near the Turkish border. It may sound inferior and inept in the context of the massive amount of punk music being released all over the world today. But in the context of a society transitioning from a Soviet-controlled communist state, and just on the cusp of Western influences creeping in, this is an important document in punk history. Seekers of easily digestible and familiar punk, you have been warned. Personally, I find this riveting... 
The first 3 live sets from '95, '89, and '91 are decent enough quality to introduce you to KOKOSHA GLAVA's primitive and tuneful UK inspired punk. The '93 demo is a much sharper sample, but employs clean guitars, giving it a unique quality. The two tracks from the '95 studio recording are really bizarre - not so much because of the drum machine, but the instrumentation, which is composed with keyboard guitar presets. Have you ever heard the "guitar" setting on those old Casio keyboards? Totally weird. The closing live set from '91 is certainly the noisest and hardest to listen to, though the amount of crowd enthusiasm makes it more fun, and you can still always hear all the instruments. For those who don't understand Bulgarian, I made any in-between song banter over 30 seconds it's own track. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013


When I first moved to the Bay Area, my partner Noelle and I were staying in a suburb with her family until we could find an affordable place in the city. We drove into SF everyday to look for jobs, apartments, and a  do a little shopping or get food. One day we split up and I was walking on Valencia St. (a fucking nightmare now) near 20th St. and among the usual sidewalk vendors peddling random second hand wares and crafts, I saw a crate of CD's. I leaned over to have a peek, and it was full of CD's by ESKORBUTO, LA POLLA RECORDS, and some other non punk stuff - what the fuck? The nearest vendor did not appear to be punk, nor did any other on the block. Well, I'm not particularly interested in collecting CD's, so I kinda just let it remain a fun and random story to tell people. A few minutes later I went to get the car and go pick her up - she had wandered into a shoe store right next to where these vendors had been set up, but they had all left for the day - but there was that crate of CD's, the only item left abandoned from the lot! I quickly called her as she was exiting the store -"Hey, grab that crate of CD's on the curb!" 

This is the fourth album from these Basque punks, whose name is slang for "penis." Sixteen tracks of upbeat punk in Spanish with a fun vibe, and a very refined sound. Due to they're charismatic singer, they're sort of comparable to DEAD KENNEDYS , but through a classic Spanish punk filter. They formed in 1979 and existed in some form or another until the last decade, releasing many records as LA POLLA RECORDS, and then dropping "Records" and just becoming LA POLLA in 1992. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I know my last few posts haven't been obscure 90's/80's ex-Soviet or some other "exotic" releases, but I want this blog to encompass more than just that stuff. I promise there is no shortage of that stuff on my shelf, and will continue to unleash them from time to time. I want the contents of this blog to be a well-rounded collection of sounds that represent all of my musical tastes (though I probably won't be posting stuff like THE CURE, BATTALION OF SAINTS, or THE MISFITS, because you shouldn't have too much trouble finding it, or you already know it through and through)

For now, here's a great new dark post punk band from Brasil! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this of this in my box at MRR a month or so ago (and surely need to thank either Pato or Matteus for this, but don't have either of your contacts!!). Housed in a spooky clear plastic xeroxed fold-over sleeve, this flexi puts Brasil on the dark-punk map! Five tense compositions, accentuated with great gloomy and scratchy guitar slashings, and amazingly awkward vocals. Equal parts UK DECAY and THE MOB. Features at least one member from the blazing Brasilian hc band SPEED KILLS. Drown in the darkness..

Friday, April 19, 2013


I admit I don't know much about this French punk band, but this is a great EP. Apparently they had folks from SHERWOOD, and this record features more than a touch of the more interesting side of the French Oi sound, but executed at a speedier pace. Memorable melodies, catchy choruses, and plenty of fist pumping vocal hooks. This is a total killer! Their following LP from 1987 carries some of the same elements, but enters more into the hardcore/thrash realm. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

SELF ABUSE - (I Didn't Wanna Be A) Soldier CD

Quick post tonight, cause I don't have many words....I just saw the best current bay area hardcore band and I'm exhausted. 

This Cd was released by Grand Theft Audio in 2006, and compiles SELF ABUSE's rare EP and 3 demos from 1982-1984. Super catchy and punchy UK punk with good melodies - sort of bridges the gap between the sounds of the anarcho bands and the typical UK punk sound. Thanks to my pal Mackey for lending me this.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

FLIEHENDE STÜRME - Kaleidoskop/Blauer Mond 7"

I love finding a record in its country of origin. There's a neat little record store in the Zorro squat in Leipzig, and I was delighted to find this single along with a few other goodies there.

Fliehende Stürme formed out of the classic German hardcore outfit CHAOS Z, intending to mix dark wave elements in with their style. They've been at it since 1988, released an album back in 2011, and presumably are still playing. This single comes out of the gate with a stabbing synth line that slowly fills out into a full on dark deutschpunk dance-floor hit. On the flip, "Blauer Mond" reminds me of a more punk version of a JOY DIVISION song - droning, and depressing, but it still gets your blood flowing and you can still bob your head to it. This is just a small taste of the massive amount of awesome material FLIEHENDE STÜRME has released over the years, much of which has been repressed, all worth tracking down (though I haven't heard some of the new stuff). Some recommended albums to start with are An Den Ufern, Fallen, and Die Tiere Schweigen. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

FUAL - Fuck Up And Live! LP

Another brilliant punk LP from the Meantime Records archives here, this time from Belfast. This ones got all the grit and intensity of bands like DIRT and TOXIC WASTE, but carrying loads of melody and character. The songs are tied together with relevant sound-clips, and vary in tone and style, from fast and propulsive, to subdued and dreamy, all the while getting their messages across. CHUMBAWAMBA definitely comes to mind a lot too, and not just because the LP opens with a clip from their first single. This is an often overlooked gem for anyone interested in anarcho-punk, woman-fronted melodic punk, or punk from N. Ireland. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Absolutely brilliant socio-political post-punk from Skopje, Macedonia! I received their new album the other day, along with an info-sheet with their three months of euro tour dates, so I felt compelled to share their last album with you with the hope of helping turn some new ears on to them while they're on the road.. 

I owe my knowledge of this band to my lovely Noelle, who met them during her travels over there. "My Personal Holiday" is their second album, and is a non-stop dynamic, angular dance-a-thon. Expect infectious drumbeats, choppy and catchy bass and guitar lines, and the voice of a phenomenal frontwoman - this thing just keeps moving, as will you if you're not too cool to dance around your bedroom. I really really really wish I was in one of the European cities of their upcoming shows, because I long to see a band like this right now (tired of fake aggression!). Fun fact - one of the folks in this band was in the hardcore band F.P.O., but this is far from that - think more in the vein of GANG OF FOUR or DELTA 5, but a bit more melodic. Oh, and mostly sung in Macedonian, of course. Check out songs from their brand new album here, and check the scan I made of their tour dates at the bottom, and go see them! (and then write me and tell me how they were!)

Note to Sf/Bay Area residents - I saw a copy of this LP at Thrillhouse records for 5 bux the other day. 2 incentives: great cheap import LP, and great record store to support! Go get it!

Monday, April 8, 2013

KBO! - 1988 Self-Released Cassette

Back to former Yugoslavia today, Serbia to be exact - I give you a fun tape from KBO! Following a split with INCEST, a tape called "Tama," and a live tape, this appears to be their fourth release. The opener is a goofy cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young," and maybe would have been better situated as a closer or buried at the end of side A. If you can hang through it (or just skip to track 2), you will be immediately rewarded with some fast, raw punk with simple but memorable guitar lines and choruses. The songs are consistently catchy and straight-forward punk, with some variety in the form of a couple instrumentals (2 of which are great!), and a nice ballad thrown in. I want to compare them to QUOD MASSACRE from Ljublanja, since they both have that upbeat melodic 80's thing going on, but KBO! is maybe a little less aggressive. Great stuff, and I would love to track down their other cassettes and LP's!

There seems to be an extra track that's not on the track list, followed by a segment of recorded American pop radio that I decided to include for the sake of completeness - and just cuz it gave me a nostalgic feeling. I did however remove the segment of Bowie's "Heroes" from the end of side A because you can all find that elsewhere...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

AGEN 53 - Ich Wünsch Dir Für Die Zukunft Etwas Mehr Glück Junge Welt EP

I just got back from a walk to the market, and it's a rainy and dreary morning here in the SF Mission. I'm a huge fan of clear blue skies and warm sun, but sometimes the gloomy grey climate feels appropriate for my puffy-eyed morning mood, especially when paired with the right punk EP. AGEN 53's sole EP has just the right amount of coldness found in many of my favorite German punk bands from the 80's, but with upbeat driving rhythms to keep it from being considered anything close to deathrock or gothy. The instrumentation is superb - bumbling basslines rumble up front while the guitar is set back in the mix, sort of creating a dark backdrop for the whole sound. The vocals are rarely tuneful, mostly a constant monotone blabbering, but not without a strong hook here and there. Overall it's a really interesting and overlooked EP. They also had a couple tracks on the totally essential Keine Experimente II compilation, and a 12" in 1988 (that I'd like to hear!). This one just feels right today, until the fog burns off...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

V/A - GRAD IZOBILIJA - Yugoslavian Punk Sampler Cassette

Today I present you with a great tape-trader comp of early punk from Ex-Yugoslavia. Unappealing cover, I know, but the music is a great taste of the diverse punk/new wave movement in the 70's-80's in former Yugoslavia. Interestingly, the first thing I noticed is the absence of more well known bands like PARAF, PEKINSKA PATKA, and PANKRTI. This of course is exciting to someone like myself who wants to dig deeper and hear the lesser known stuff! Here's the rundown:

PRLJAVO KAZALISTE does 3 youthful 70's rock'n roll punk tunes // MRTVI KANAL play 3 incredible upbeat punk/postpunk jams with driving keyboard lines. Extremely dynamic! Easily the winner on this tape for me - "Oglasi" is an instant classic! // ZENEVSKI DEKRET does 3 solid mid tempo punk songs and a cover of "Chinese Rocks" // more mid-paced late 70's styled punk from ZONA RANE MASTURBACIJE // and one catchy and mysterious track from GOLA JAJA - you must check out their other astonishing demo material from the excellent Degenerik blog here! // a couple softer, but catchy and crafty punk tunes from ZABRANENO PUSENJE (NOTE: "Stanje Soka" has a painful stint of skipping halfway through the track, presumably because the material was dubbed from a heavily partied CD) // one cool post-punk track and one scorcher by PROBLEMI, the second track being one of the best on the tape // two interesting and weird post punk/wave tracks by BELINSKI ZID // GROUPA 92 do two great punk songs nuanced with flourishing keyboard lines, much like THE STRANGLERS! Another standout band on the comp. // SVE PO SPISKU does 2 catchy RAMONES-ey punk jams // N.B.G with 3 quick-paced punk ragers with memorable choruses, regardless of your grasp of the language // and last but not least, GOBLINI from Serbia plays 3 tracks of melodic and poppy punk with a great driving quality. They also sound like they maybe came a bit later, judging by the recording and style...but who knows. 

I should also note that I totally fucked up when I ripped  this cassette and accidentally started with side B, and am not knowledgeable enough with Audacity to fix this - so the files are sequenced as such. Doesn't really matter, right? 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

THE APOSTLES - Blow It Up, Burn It Down, Kick It Till It Breaks EP

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I have a life too ya know...

What better way to make a comeback than with the brilliant first single by THE APOSTLES. They were one of the the best and most overlooked anarcho bands from the UK. Mastermind Andy Martin participated in countless great releases throughout the 80's and 90's with other projects like ACADEMY 23 and UNIT. Essential download for fans of stuff like ZOUNDS, THE MOB, or other melodic and potent anarcho-punk.