Thursday, September 17, 2020

V/A - Squirrel

Label: Level
Year: 1995

I think Level records meant to do a whole series based on rodents of North America, but they only got so far as this, the Squirrel, and the previous compilation Hamster. Both feature D.C. and D.C. adjacent bands, spanning the gamut of...a pretty narrow gamut. Although, on this release, the difference between where Tuscadero were coming from and where Bloodnation were coming from is pretty stark. So, I guess they did cover some ground.


Tuscadero - twee pop that does it for some and not others. The whole Teen Beat roster was kinda a bust for me, know, I'm super masculine, basically a fucking beefcake, so... When the song kicks in, it's actually fun, but it drags along for most of its duration.

Chisel - super weird that Ted Leo went from Citizen's Arrest to this, but, here we are. More "twee" that has a sorta mod take on Beat Happening or Vaselines. Not my cup of tea, but, again, blame it on the two gigantic, bulbous, hairy balls that dictate my wants and desires. It's evolution, baby.

Frodus - ok, now we're getting somewhere. Early era Frodus bringing the twitchy, DC heat that you want. 

Bloodnation- let's be clear, the only reason I bought this record was on the promise of this band. Bloodnation was a one-off collaboration between the members Bloodlet and Damnation AD, and this was the only song they released. Two vocalists (Mike DC and Scott from Bloodlet), one guitarist from Damnation (Ken Olden) and one from Bloodlet (Matt Easley), one bassist from Damnation (Alex Merchlindsky) and one from Bloodlet (Art Legere), and the drummer of Bloodlet (Charles King). If I was a betting man, I'd bet Ken Olden wrote the majority of this song, and then had the Bloodlet dudes come in and add some of their descending chord progressions over it to "swamp it up" a bit. Don't know if that's true, but since I just took the time to write it, then I suppose it's as true as you want it to be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Communion - AnythingForYou

Label: self released
Year: 2016

As a much more innocent, sweet, and handsome young man, my youth was spent searching and consuming anything even tangentially related to skateboarding. Which, in the free-wheelin' 1980s, was a full time job. Now, in my advanced age, I am more likely to stare wistfully at the halfpipe in my backyard than I am to actually mount the ole girl and give her a thrill. The decline is real.

Back in those days, I was turned on to a lot a great music via some of the skateboard videos that were coming out. SST Records, in their infinite wisdom, was smart enough to partner with NHS and some of the other distributors to license their music into those video parts. So all the rad Santa Cruz videos, the weird Ohio Skateout, and Streetstyle in Tempe type videos, had killer soundtracks of Black Flag, B'last!, fIREHOSE, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Angst, Minutemen....all that. There was some Eric Grisham video that I think Sure Grip put out, that was essentially the TSOL 'Change Today' album in its entirety. It was awesome! Point being, those videos got me hip to some great music. And I'm certain that young skateboard enthusiasts of every generation are turned on to new tunes and bands via the videos they watch. 

Sadly, I still watch skate videos online, with an alarming frequency. But, it's fewer and further between that one will have a song that gets my attention and makes me seek out the artist. Just yesterday though, I was checking out the new Fancy Lad 'Secrets Of The Clown Box' video (find it on Thrasher if you're so inclined), and wouldn't you know it, but the first part of the video comes straight out of the gate with a tune that grabbed me by my lapel (it was after 6:00pm, so naturally I was wearing a purple velvet smoking jacket), and made me forward to the end of the video to see who was responsible for such a glorious racket!

Turns out, the band was Communion, and the song was "Anything For You", off their self-released cassette (100 pressed...ugh) 'AnythingForYou' (or 'Anything 4 U'). The song was like an an acid fried slow motion freakout. Like, if Butthole Surfers were tasked with covering a Jimi Hendrix song, and they never quite figured out the main riff, but were basically, "fuck it, this works", and then go on to make a squall of overdrive and noise over what is essentially a "feel good" tune. It obviously got me going, cause here we are.

I tried to do some research into who or what exactly the band Communion are (were?), but beyond a Bandcamp there isn't much to go on. They are (were?) from Chicago. They appear to be (have been?) a four piece. And they have four releases you can listen to. Nothing after 2017, so maybe they are gone? 

Some of the other records are a little more straight forward, kinda shouty/punky, but they are all "weird". I like the one linked here the best, as it is the loudest and meanest. But by all means, rifle through them all. And if you have any info on the band, please pass it along.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

V/A - A Compilation For Atonement

Label: Dog Collar
Year: 1996

Dwid and his buddies were nothing if not prolific in the middle if the 1990s. All the Dark Empire, Blood Book, Holy Terror, the splits...there was a lt coming out of Cleveland from a relatively small group of friends(?). Most of it was fascinated with serial killers, Francis Bacon, and Japanese hardcore, and trying to forget about the whole Youth Crew "thing" they had been into.
This compilation is no different. And that's cool.

Integrity - a Humanity Is The Devil era quick hitter. It's got the Melnick's involved, so you're dealing with gold standard Integrity lineup material. Metallic crusty hardcore par excellence.

State Of Conviction - very "Cleveland" sounding, in that it has a distinct Integrity feel, but it also has a lot of Necros-on-half-speed vibes. One of the dudes went on to that weird Mushroomhead band. 

Psywarfare - you get two tracks of manipulated noise from this Dwid offshoot. I can recall when a lot of the hardcore universe was enamored by Merzbow...Dwid REALLY was.

Rape Whistle - surprise; it's another Dwid project! This time he joins up with one of the guys from State Of Conviction to play what could be fairly described as "a State Of Conviction song with Psywarfare playing on top of it". I guess it's technically three songs...but you would never know that.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

V/A - Love & Napalm vol. 1

Label: Trance Syndicate
Year: 1990

Four bands each give you one chance to relish in their particular brand of weirdness on this, the first in the "iconic" (to a very small, but well versed demographic) series focused on the peculiarities of the turn-of-the-decade Texas baked noise rock family. 

Pain Teens go first and do their darndest to grind you into jelly with their punishing drone that marries an industrial relentlessness with a psychedelic noise rock trip. My personal favorite track on the record.
Crust come correct with a warped and disorienting warbler. Imagine looking through a kaleidoscope, but instead of a colorful marble it's been loaded with the shit smeared obituary of your father. Make sense?
Lithium X-mas are up in the number three spot, and decide to take the Harry Nilsson song "Jump Into The Fire" for a fairly straightforward ride. I mean, there's some acid rock wah pedal to give it some noise, but your dad (assuming that obituary was premature) would recognize this one.
Ed Hall close us out with a song that would later re-title and re-record on their 'Gloryhole' album as "Hortense Buttermilk" (for the superfans out there). It's a nasty buzzsaw of a riff that gives way to a bug-eyed mental the best way.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Surgery - Feedback / Fried


Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1990

Surgery were sorta perfect, weren't they? They somehow managed to take the black gutter grime of NYC and craft with it a skuzz rock that took blues damage and caveman pounding and brought forth a compelling, catchy, and musical oeuvre. Holds up today. Check it. I wouldn't lie to you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Man Matters - Man Matters

Label: self released
Year: 2020

Quarantine does strange things to people. The isolation, the tedium, the heavy blanket of boredom thrown atop much needed's not been easy. Stranger than usual anyway. Maybe some of you were fucked up to begin with, and this year has been a welcome reprieve from "normal social expectations"? I don't really know you, and that's probably a good thing. On both ends. Wouldn't you agree?

For Londoner Dave Wortrich, quarantine has given him the gift to experiment with "shitty beats" and craft some demented post-pig-fuck noise. So, for that, we should be grateful. Or at least, I think that's the word. Man Matters has Dave and one of his buddies warping some pretty ugly Men's Recovery Project inspired turbulence, that sounds like the kind of thing you might get if you staged a tug-of-war match between the Skin Graft Records roster and the Riot Season roster, and had the GSL Records roster refereeing. They are "songs", but they are songs that throb and pierce and skitter about. So, not "songs" that your mother would ever commit to memory, more like songs found on the hard drive of a serial killer's computer. Which, should be taken as a compliment ('re mom is a terrible barometer...and she's fat). 

Cover has been censored to keep me out of Facebook jail, not because I don't enjoy the beauty of a flaccid dong or anything. Cause, I do. Ask around.


Friday, August 14, 2020

Shellac - Live In Tokyo

Label: Nux Label

Year: 1994

Recorded in 1993 (November 21st to be exact), released in Japan only, and now here. Have we posted this one before? If so, a thousand pardons. 
As you would guess, the sound quality is superb. The performance is superb. The songs are superb.
I'm not sure what else needs to be said. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

V/A - WMBR Presents: Clear The Room!


Label: No Life
Year: 1992

Who would have guessed the eggheads at MIT's student run radio station would have such good taste in music?
Well, turns out they do. Or did, at any rate. 
This three song 7" collects some live recordings made by the station as a fundraiser (to purchase a full-on live recording truck!), so, you can feel extra shitty about downloading it for free. JK dudes (and that one girl), this thing is decades old...that radio station has already made millions of the sales of the 2000 copies they pressed of this record...they're good. Don't sweat it.
It should be noted the house engineer on two of the tracks is Bob Weston...not bad.
The bands are:
The Jesus Lizard
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Velocity Girl
You know all them, right?

Friday, August 7, 2020

Urge Overkill - Now That's The Barclords

Label: Sub Pop

Year: 1991

A little audio sorbet from our usual fare? I don't know, maybe. I was never a big fan of urge Overkill, and this particular two song 7" (the May 1991 Sub Pop Singles Club installment) is the only representation of their output in my collection, so I'm far from an expert. But I do dig these songs, especially the B-side, "What's This Generation Coming To?". 

By all accounts the band changed with the success of their major label debut and the hit "Sister Havana", which would come out a couple years after these songs, and they maybe dicked over Touch And Go in the process. I don't know.

It's a sunny Friday afternoon where I am, so this one is doing alright by me. See if it do you.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Mercury Players - Hollywood Of Bust

Label: Bovine
Year: 1992

How's about some more Bovine Records goodness?
Good. Cause I got some.
The Mercury Players debut outing is this two song 7" of Chicago born and bred noise rock. 
It's good. Of course it's good, or I wouldn't be fucking around with you, wasting everyone's time, posting it here. You know my good reputation is paramount to this whole endeavor! You think Imma fuck around and besmirch that shit? Fuck that! I ain't besmirching shit! Not on my watch. Not today, Satan. You got another thing coming!

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