Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cop Shoot Cop - Release

Label: Interscope

Year: 1995

The final Cop Shoot Cop lp, the first to include a guitarist, and some would say their more accessible (i.e. worst?), which of course you should take with a grain of salt. "Accessible" Cop Shoot Cop is still...well, Cop Shoot Cop.
The production is a bit crisper, the songs might be a bit more traditional in structure, and someone might have mentioned something about adding choruses, but it still exhibits the hallmarks of the band's previous works; throbbing, bass-centric, musicianship that was touches of piano and brass, wry lyricism, and an undercurrent of demented sexiness beneath it all (like, maybe Girls Against Boys were always taking note of Cop Shoot Cop).


Snake Nation - Snake Nation

Label: Caroline
Year: 1989

Woody Weatherman and Mike Dean go together like chocolate and peanut butter right? Right (my apologies to those with peanut allergies). The history of Corrosion of Conformity will bear that truth into infinitum. It's just one of those things you should except sooner rather than later in life.
So what happens when Corrosion of Conformity are in between records and touring? They've just released the scorching Technocracy 12", and little does anyone know, they are reworking their sound by bringing in Pepper Keenan and Karl Agell, and preparing to mine the depths of those sticky Black Sabbath riffs they all had rattling around in the backs of their heads (which, P.S. is thee most underrated C.O.C. record in their entire canon...fucking Blind slays all over the place). Well, in the case of Woody and Mike, they recruit Raleigh, NC transplant Brian Walsby, formerly of Oxnard hardcore heroes Scared Straight, and future member of Shiny Beast, The Patty Duke Syndrome (with Ryan Adams...who?), Double Negative, and even Polvo, to drum on some fucking gnarly My War side 2 style freakouts. You can sorta see where C.O.C. was heading if maybe Pepper Keenan never joined and set their collective dial to "southern rock holocaust". It's got the elements of Corrosion of Conformity (duh), the late period Black Flag slow swing, early Melvins sludge damage, and early American style doom in the vein of Saint Vitus. Nothing wrong with any of that.
If you're enjoying the new Corrosion of Conformity record they just put out (admittedly, I'm on the fence I hate to say), then this Snake Nation album will be right up your alley.

*Originally posted 03.06.12 - re-up'd 06.27.12


Monday, June 18, 2012

Line Drive - Unreleased 7"

Label: Unreleased
Year: 1995

Well Phil, you asked for it, you got it.

After releasing two unpopular 7"s on the New Start and 1124 Records labels, Line Drive decided the world was in dire need of a full length version of their (truth be told, 'our'), brand of hardcore. So the band decamped to Sleepless Nights Studio in Atlanta, Georgia to record the first batch of songs for that effort. During that session the three songs included here, plus a cover of Chain Of Strength's "True Til Death" (re-christened 'True Til Jeff', as it was to be included on a Jeff-J-Jawk covers compilation that never saw the light of day [predictably]), and an instrumental jam were put to tape. None were ever mastered, but the first track was later included on a cassette compilation that accompanied a copy of the fanzine Inside Front put out by Brian Dingledine of Catharsis and Crimeth Inc. fame, and also had songs by Integrity, Catharsis, and others. Good luck tracking that one down. There was a rumor of releasing these three songs as a 7" once we realized that the album was either a) taking too long, or b) never coming out because we were on the verge of breaking up, but obviously that didn't happen.

So, in celebration of Line Drive playing a show this coming weekend, and since they (again...'we') are going to be playing two of the songs off this unreleased record, so please commit them to memory prior to June 23rd.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Face Value - Price Of Maturity

Label: Conversion
Year: 1991

I promise, I'm not turning this into a full-on early 90's hardcore circle jerk, but for a moment let's keep the hardcore hot hand going.
Face Value came down to our little city, to our little illegal, DIY club, and proceeded to annihilate all who had come before. Their live shows with that original lineup were beyond intense, they were epic. The band didn't get a lot of love from the hardcore scene at the time, they weren't straightedge, they weren't good looking, they didn't have "pretty parts" to their songs, and they weren't afraid to mix Motorhead in with their SSD assault. It was a lethal combination of straight ahead, blazing hardcore with dirty rock-n-roll, and on top of all that Tony Erba's vocals cut through it all with a voice completely unique in the genre. Seem like only now that you hear the name Face Value mentioned alongside the bigger names of the era, and it's well deserved. Go listen to "Outside Looking In" and tell me it's not as good as anything on the Gorilla Biscuits lp.
This record is their first lp (including some re-recorded compilation tracks), and the first 7" included at the end.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion vol....something

Ok, so truth be told, the flurry of early Nineties hardcore posted here (and there's more to come), is a segue into my latest bout of self promotion.

Saturday, June 23rd in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the birthplace of the New Start hardcore scene, we will be "getting the band back together", for a one night only event, as part of a benefit for a local W-S guy who has been hospitalized following a particularly gnarly bike/car accident (guess which vehicle he was on/in).

The original lineup of Line Drive (the third or fourth best North Carolina straight edge hardcore band ever), and the subsequent lineup will be running through a full set of our greatest "hits", along with some other choice cuts. We will be joined by the spiritual leaders of the New Start scene, the Naked Angels, who will also be taking a trip down memory lane, hitting their high points, and Life Support, the band made up of ex-Line Drive, and ex-Naked Angels personnel tasked with "bringing it back" when hardcore was on the ropes.

There's a bunch of other bands playing, there's an art auction, and other curiosities to behold, but more than anything, it's a chance for a bunch of old friends who never get to see each other to get together and have some fun, and revisit an important time in our collective lives. It should be fun.

If you're within 300 nautical miles of downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina USA on Saturday, June 23rd, I expect to see you at Ziggys...more the pit at Ziggys.

Downcast - Downcast 7"

Label: Ebullition
Year: 1990

Another early 90's hardcore gem, and coincidentally, another really strong 7" (that's what she said) followed by a lackluster album. Both Headfirst and Downcast disappointed with albums that didn't quite live up to the intensity of the ep that preceded it.
That being said, this record is essential to any survey of third wave hardcore, there aren't many ways to better spend 9 minutes of your life.
Historical sidebar: Downcast played my local DIY, all ages, illegal venue in 1991, and as was the norm, when the hardcore got to rockin' the kids started to slam dancing (predating "mosh" by a couple seasons). Downcast singer Kevin Doss, reached out and targeted the most egregious dancing offender with a big, long, uncomfortable bear hug as the band continued blazing through whatever jam that had been previously blazing through. That was my first encounter with the "anti-dancing" factions that would soon wash over hardcore in an effort to rid the pits of America of "tough guys", and allow all those...tens...of women (excuse me, 'womyn') of the hardcore scene to return to their rightful place front and center (instead of in the back...holding my coat! [zinger! {but I jest}]), undulating just as awkwardly as the dudes were music that is scientifically designed to elicit a more physical response.
Good ole days?


Friday, June 8, 2012

Headfirst - Back In Control

Label: Workshed
Year: 1989

Alright...90's hardcore (technically 80's but what the fuck?) served up on a platter (7" platter mind you).
O.C.H.C. band Headfirst was as far as I'm concerned one of the best, and this 7" is an absolute essential gem in the genre. They took the best elements of the second wave west coast hardcore sound (think Haywire), and added more metal, more muscle, and more roar, sort of the same way Judge did on the east coast. It's a big, burly record...the best kind.
It was released on Dan O'Mahony's record label if that means anything to you (should), and the members of the band ended up in Smile, Downer, 411, Farside, Chicano Christ, Triggerman, God Forgot, and the like, if that means anything to you (should).


Nudibranch - Automaton

Label: Self released
Year: 1995

A few weeks ago I had a hankering to digitize some records I've had sitting around being all analog and not being digital, so I asked my friend James Joyce (yes, THE James Joyce) if I could come over and listen to records, digitize them, and drink some beers. Not a bad night huh? So first off, we gotta big up Double J for the hospitality. Then, we gotta talk about this particular 'lil gem. When I was flipping through my 7"s, this one jumped out as the quintessential Shiny Grey Monotone candidate. It's a little known 1990's band that hailed from the once-and-future hotbed of Richmond, Virginia, that came along and blitzkrieged anyone lucky enough to see or hear them before splintering off into a hundred fragments (or in this case an equally mysterious/great band called Gingwin) before anyone even knew what was happening. Certainly you can hear the influence of hardcore in here (I would hope they had moshed their balls off at a few Four Walls Falling / Shadowman / Elizabeth Herz triple bills prior to forming this band), but they take it in a very distorted and blown-out direction, not unlike Pachinko, or someone else...who would also be characterized as "not unlike Pachinko". The vocals are a wash of muffled groans and bellows, the guitar cuts across rhythm section's pounding stutters as they drone, stop and start again. Noise-punk?
I only saw them play once (where upon I purchased this very record) and they were an unstoppable train that belted the sparse crowd across the face from start to finish. I also clearly remember the drummer absolutely staring a hole through my girlfriend (now wife, thank you very much [and yes, I'm sure she was thrilled the be there...I was "that guy" who drug his poor girlfriend to shows...and why she stuck with me I'll never know]) for the duration of the set, which somehow didn't make either of us uncomfortable, more like, "I wonder if that guy can hold this up the whole show?". It added to the overall strangeness of the band, in a good way, and made the performance all the more memorable (obviously, right? it was almost 20 years ago).
Highly, highly recommended.

*Originally posted 08-22-11, reposted 06-08-12

Sweet Diesel - Wrongville

Label: Velvel
Year: 1997

This record was in the hopper to be posted, and then old friend Jay Smith requested some "90s hardcore", maybe something he "hadn't heard before", and I figured this album is a good shot to met those criteria.
Calling it hardcore might be a stretch, as this album is more "rock" than "hardcore", especially in comparison to the band's earlier work, but if you liked the band Pipe out of NC in the mid 90s, or Surgery, or Seaweed, or maybe even The New Bomb Turks, then I think you can get behind this. It's good music for a Friday, which today happens to be, or if you happen to find yourself at a T.G.I.Friday's casual dining establishment.
I will get to some actual, legitimate "hardcore" soon. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ed Hall - Motherscratcher

Label: Trance Syndicate
Year: 1993

Sticking with the Texas noise rock from the last post, here's another great example of how consistently good the Trance Syndicate was for a few years there in the early to mid 90's. Ed Hall took some cue's from label owner King Coffey's band, Butthole Surfers, in that they blended their bass-driven low end attack with moments of psychedelic guitar squalls. Another notable influence would be Flipper, in that the band seems to relish in drilling a rhythm into your head, and coating that rhythm with scratching vocals and venomous, prickling guitar. They even manage an homage to Flipper's "Ha Ha Ha" in opening track "White House Girls". 
If you like your noise rock a little weirder than normal, I'm thinking Steelpole Bathtub, Cherubs, and the aforementioned Flipper or Butthole Surfers, then you'll certainly be into this trio. 
I chose this record because it's probably the most straightforward of their releases (although their final lp "La La Land" strides mostly the same ground), and I think the best introduction to the group. I will post some earlier records though eventually so you can get a real overview of the acid backed psychosis that was Ed Hall.

* Got numerous requests to re-up all the Ed Hall albums, so that I'll's the first one.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Into Another - Soul Control

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1997

Here's the unreleased, final Into Another record that circulated around many years ago after the band had gone their separate ways. The story goes, the band was in England working on the follow-up to Seemless, the material was becoming more "electronic" and the band seemed to disagree on how to move forward. So, instead of finishing the record, they decided to do the noble thing and break up the band. Singer Richie Birkenhead wanted to finish the album, so he took the incomplete songs and fleshed them out using drum machines, samples, loops, etc.
I've yet to find someone who thinks this was a good idea, or that the resulting record is worth a shit.
That being said, I have a friend who asked me about this yesterday, and it turns out I had a copy, so I figured that as long as I'm uploading it for him, I might as well upload it for you too. Right?
Maybe you will be that one guy (or girl...but doubtful...girls don't read this blog, and they certainly don't listen to Into Another) who "gets" the concept behind this album. Maybe. Good luck.

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