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.  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

V/A - RAPTUS Compilation LP

A good mix of rough and primitive punk and oi from Italy circa '83. Some of it is a bit unimaginitive, but the spirit is in the sound. Stand-out material on here for me are the fast and early USHC inspired WOPS tracks, the groovy 77 punk by PETROLIO, and of course the early RAW POWER recordings. I'm pretty sure most of the material here was not officially released elsewhere, so listen and learn!

ps - I've been after a copy of Raptus vol 2 for quite some time. I'm happy to pay a reasonable price if anyone out there is selling one!

Saturday, April 18, 2015


A super rarity today - Georgia's (the country, not the US state) first punk record from 1992! I actually don't know much about OUTSIDER, so I'm not gonna act like I do, but it's a great album! I did find some helpful info on someone's Youtube channel though:

Outsider Is Georgian band which was formed in 1989 in Qutaisi by Robi Kukhianidze. Robi doesn't considers himself as punk or alternative musician (so called alternativshik), though his band Outsider has both punk and alternative elements in it. He dislike when someone calls him father of Kutaisian rock or father of Georgian alternative music, moreover he don't likes such conditional titles.
He considers Peter Mamonov, well-known Russian underground musician, as one of his biggest teacher. The Outsider recorded its first album "Inside" in Mamonov's studio, Moscow in 1992.
By the way this album was the first Georgian vinyl among Georgian rock-band albums which was recorded abroad. Outsider was the only Georgian band which took part in 1991 first in Talin and then in Moscow international alternative music festivals.
Front man, vocals and Guitar player of Trio Outsider, Robi Kukhianidze moved from Kutaisi to The capital in the year 2000. Despite this, his music was well known in Tbilisi from 1996 when he won a prize on festival "Margarita 96" as a best Georgian alternative musician.

Monday, March 2, 2015

V/A - Belgrade X · 0 · 19 Tape

Awesome compilation of punk and hardcore from Belgrade circa 1986. 10 bands, 26 tracks. A few of these bands never officially released anything and only appeared on other compilations. Others only are featured here on this tape, as far as I can tell. Rather than typing out a detailed account of all the bands, just download and set aside an hour to get down with some rare, crude ex-Yugo punk excellence. Bands are: FORWARD TO THE PAST (NAPRED U PROSLOST), THRASHAGAIN, CODEX O.D., TOTAL DESTRUCTION, CRIST, K.Z.V., LESSON, N.B.G., WHITE RABBIT BAND, D.L.H.

Friday, February 27, 2015

6000 CRAZY / DETESTATION - You Can't Evict The Spirit split Tape

Here's for all the other Norwegian hardcore completists out there. 6000 CRAZY was a German hardcore band in the 90s fronted by Norwegian punk forefather Gunnar Nuven. Their only other release, as far as I can tell, was the split 7" with ANKER that I posted a while back. I'm not really sure what sort of pedigree exists with other members in the band, but the guitar playing and songwriting is unmistakably heavily influenced by Norwegian bands like SO MUCH HATE, BANNLYST, etc. On here they do covers of NEGATIVE APPROACH and KAFKA PROSESS, as well as a track called "Andre Veiar" that I recognize but can't place where I've heard it. Most of you probably know DETESTATION, as they released a slew of records and toured extensively in the 90s. Released by Trujaca Fala, this tape was released as a benefit for the long-standing Berlin squat KOPI (a friend just reminded me that this year is KOPI's 25th anniversary!) Both live sets were recorded in German cities in 1998, and the sound quality is pretty great! 

Monday, February 23, 2015


First EP from 1985 from this Finnish punk band. The key ingredient to this is the charming reckless and drunken vocal style that demands a singalong, bottle of vodka in hand, at least one time each track. Six songs on a single side, complete with crude drawings. I liberated this lovely record from Dirty Old Shop in Zagreb. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Random Pull: THE VALVES - Robot Love/For Adolfs' Only 45

I don't have much info about THE VALVES, but they were from Edinburgh, Scotland, and this single is from 1977. "For Adolfs' Only" is the more compelling track, though I'm unclear what the hell they're singing about. According to Wiktionary, there are 3 definitions for piss artist: someone who is frequently drunk, someone who claims knowledge or understanding that he does not possess, and someone who frequently ridicules others. Which one is Adolf? All 3? 
"Robot Love" is still at least half catchy, but a bit more goofy and far less driving. But with lines like "we could go drinking with all the stars, but there's no atmosphere in the outer-space bar," how can you go wrong? Overall, this is a nice single to have in your arsenal for your DJ night!

Saturday, February 21, 2015


The posts are few and far between these days. I do apologize, but I've been busy acquiring some really great and rare records in recent months, so make sure and check back from time to time, as I do intend to upload and post them!

Let's get back to it with an EP I grabbed at the MRR/Thrillhouse?Prank Record Swap last weekend in SF. Nowadays it's easy to make a raw noisy punk record. Most punx have access to recording equipment, distortion and fuzz boxes, shoestrings, etc. Many friends love this new era of raw noise punk, but I often find it to be boring, unoriginal, and unimaginative. This 1982 demo session from Brazil's is a different type of monster: a result of their only resources scraped together with their enraged no-frills hardcore attack pumped through the machine. A furious, ugly, and honest snapshot of the early days. Hear the hooks? They are there too. Neck and neck with OLHO SECO for most brutal Brazilian punk recording from the early 80s, and a rare exception to my dedication to music not noize!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Flyerz Not Noize

While flipping through the mounds of flyers I've accumulated over the years, I realized they're not really doing anyone any good smushed between LPs on the shelf. I thought, why not start scannign and share with the world?? So I created a blog on Tumblr called Flyerz Not Noize. Check it. Music Not Noize is not don't, don't worry. Just starting new projects to keep things fresh. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

ŚMIERĆ KLINICZNA - A.s.p. / Jestem Ziarnkiem Piasku

If you ever get the record-digging bug in Warsaw I highly recommend making your way over to a store called Hey Joe. Its a stuffy and cramped space the size of a long narrow window display, and is packed with vinyl. It's a bit pricey, but you an find tons of European punk from the last couple decades - especially Eastern European and Balkan. We all dropped a fat stack of zloty! I was able to cross a couple records off my Polish punk wants, one of which was this cool second single from ŚMIERĆ KLINICZNA. This single sees them frantic and snotty, staying away from any notions of reggae. Complex drum work and a sax on "A.s.p." adds a jazz element to the basic punk structure and attitude. The flip is mostly straight-forward punk, but not forgetting to include some twists to set them apart from the rest. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SKJIT-LARS - The Absolutely Last Shit 12" (one sided)

I hope you all don't hate me for not providing downloads for the "Random Shelf Pull" series. I needed a new format for posting without going through all the treacherous tasks of ripping files, scanning, photographing, resizing, etc. I know, "wah wah." I spent a little time ripping some records today to win you back...

I'm grateful for my sweet and thoughtful friends. Especially when they know my musical tastes well and go out of their way to gift me great rare records! This thing is limited to 100 copies and is a one-sided 12". Despite the fact that I find both of those details to be ridiculous and unfortunate, this record totally kills. If you're like me, you have only heard the disheveled and incoherent SKJIT-LARS track from the Welcome To 1984 compilation. This release shows the Norwegian punk wacko spurting forth 15 amazing, short, and catchy as fuck hardcore punk tracks, all recorded between 1981-1985. It's not so much in the tradition of the Norwegian bands you may be thinking of, but more akin to Swedish punk Gods MISSBRUKARNA. Bits of experimentation spice up the calamity but don't distract from the urgency. Many thanks to my friend Arndt for this! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Random Pull: HONEY BANE "You Can Be You" EP

It's easy to get distracted by how amazing "Girl On The Run" is, but this whole EP is so interesting and solid. "Porno Grows" relies on unconventional rhythms that almost have a Latino flair, topped off by piano tinkling and Honey Bane's youthful perspective of porn in London. We can all relate to "Boring Conversations" - pretty straight-forward. Essential CRASS release.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Random Shelf Pull - ARTICLES OF FAITH "In This Life" LP

I was inspired to do this by my friend Greg, who also does these great blogs - and - as well as drumming in SILENT ERA with me. He started playing every 7" on his shelf, beginning from the end of the alphabet, as an exercise to weed some stuff out, but is taking the time to write a little about each record along the way. It's a really cool project and I recommend you check it out here

Sometimes being an avid record collector/enthusiast makes it hard to choose what to listen to. I'm one of those freaks who requires music to be playing about 95% of the time I'm at home, and the wall of records sort of blurs my ability to choose what to play, so I often just select something at random and throw it on. This trick has produced an array of results, from rediscovering a long-forgotten classic, to a first time discovery of a brilliant record that got filed too early, to a record that I actually just don't like that much and is occupying precious space in our living room. OR, sometimes I simply throw the record on and walk off to go cook, clean, make the bed (which I'm pretty bad at remembering to do), and forget to pay attention to the sounds. What a waste, right? Waste of awesome sounds, I mean. So I'm borrowing Greg's idea of writing a little something about each random pull to engage more with my collection. That's what the vinyl record is all about right? 

First pull is the fucking brilliant second album from 1986 by the legendary Chicago-based ARTICLES OF FAITH. It's quite a bit more melodic and has a "softer" feel that their earlier works, but retains an extremely high level of intensity. I was 3 years old when In This Life was made, but I've done a lot of "research" over the years and it seems to me that this record is an incredible anomaly of its time. The arrangement and pulse of "Doesn't Have To Be That Way" is challenging and curious, but still manages to hook you in and make you believe it's totally natural. I hear pure honesty and intuition, which creates a sound that was a result of a special evolution and can't be copied. Few voices in punk can match Vic Bondi's. This is also one of the key punk LPs that reminds me how important melody is to me, and consistently pulls me away from the atonal and nihilistic end of the spectrum of punk/hardcore. I'd never let this one go!