Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sparkmarker - Parts and Accessories

Label: Final Notice
Year: 1994

It's Thanksgiving, and I suppose Hanukkah too, so let's make some miracles happen, right?
One of the faithful out there, Bob83, has asked kindly for this record to return to the internets, and since he used his "pleases" and "thank yous", and it's a holiday and everything, we are obliged to capitulate.
Your welcome.
Here's the collection of Sparkmarker's 7"s which rule pretty fucking hard in a Quicksand by way of Universal Order of Armageddon way. Lots of chugging goodness mixed with some quiet/loud dynamics, and one of the more unique voices in early 90's hardcore. The follow up to this record had a new singer and a less effective style of post-hardcore, and they feel off the map (mine anyway, and what other map is there really?), a Canadian footnote...a Shawn Scallen photo in a fanzine...a ghost of what could have been.
If you need any further editorializing on the subject, please refer to Phil Fay Fock.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

OFF! - Live - 924 Gilman Street, Berkeley, CA - 04-22-11

Label: Bootleg
Year: 2011

This post is in the wake of Ron "Chavo Pederast" Reyes being unceremoniously sacked from the current incarnation of Black Flag for multiple reasons including "being a fan of OFF!". The paranoia of Greg Ginn knows no bounds, I love it!
So, as a fellow fan of OFF! we offer up this scorching live show from their appearance at Gilman Street  in 2011, chock full of Keith Morris musings, and Demitri Coats' Black Flaggy short sharp blasts of revamped first wave hardcore. It's hard to resist, so don't.
The photo above is used without permission from Peter Angelo Saporito, which we hope is ok. We saw it, we liked it, so we used it. You can see his website here.
For a bootleg of a hardcore band playing a DIY venue, the sound quality is pretty choice. Surprisingly good actually.

Keep yr head up Chavo.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Unsane - Wreck

Label: Alternative Tentacles
Year: 2012

What could you possibly do to improve on the tried and true Unsane formula of abrasive bashing groove? Cover the best Flipper song ever, that's how! Easy, done.
Unsane continue their diabolical reign as the best noise rock kill squad on Earth. No mercy, total destruction, blissful annihilation. There is none higher.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cop Shoot Cop - White Noise

Label: Big Cat
Year: 1991

Mid-career industrial/noise/heavy/damage from Cop Shoot Cop, on an album released only in England, or by an English label anyway, which spelled "import" prices when trying to acquire this record here in the New World. A quaint concern now, but a real deal-breaker when saving lawn-mowing money to make the weekly trip to the record store.
Musically we've been dealt No Wave New York disconcerting weirdness meets Head Of David proto industrial grind meets Scratch Acid bite meets sardonic paranoia begets Cop Shoot Cop circa 1991. Lethal delivery, and some of the best lyrics this side of Steve Albini's spiteful rants, craft a sound uniquely of this era. This oft-missed era.


Friday, November 22, 2013

Shellac - A Rude Gesture (A Pictorial History) 7"

Label: Touch And Go
Year: 1993

Precision engineered for maximum audio efficiency. No part out of place, no disposable plastics were utilized in the crafting of these three songs. And, is there a better Shellac song than "Rambler Song"?
This was the first Shellac record, thus launching one of the more lauded musical legacies (or the continuance of three musical legacies in progress) of our (my) generation.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Misfits - A Walk Among The Dead 7"

Label: Bootleg ("Fiend Club")
Year: 1989

If you don't like Misfits you can pretty much go and move back to Russia or wherever your commie ass is from, and don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split it?
Here's seven studio outtakes recorded in 1980 and 1981. The sound quality is pretty good for a bootleg, there's some warped tape sounds here and there, but ultimately pretty good. And honestly, it's fucking Misfits, so I mean, fuck man.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Inch - This Will Fall On Dead Ears

Label: Headhunter
Year: 1998

A few years back we (the royal was more specifically the less regal "me") posted the debut Inch album, and I gave you my full thought process on middle 90's scam indie record labels, and credibility, and college radio and all that jazz (except we didn't talk at all about jazz as a genre...and probably won't ever...serves no purpose). So, there's no need to rehash that discussion, you can certainly go back and re-read it if you so desire, but don't.
Now, the question is, what happened to Inch? You had some guys who had played out in the greater San Diego music scene (Helicopter and Sub Society). They put out a record on a mock-indie label, which must have gotten enough "spins" on college radio to warrant the full blown major label release of their next full length (which I've never seen, so much as heard). That record mustn't have done well enough (did they ever?) for the label, and they cut ties with the band, who would reappear a year later on local stalwart label Headhunter to release their final output, that is now presented to you.
Will you like it? Depends. Do you generally enjoy the "mellow darkness" of San Diego styled melodic post hardcore? Is that descriptor too vague? And when I say San Diego styled melodic post hardcore, you know I'm not talking about Drive Like Jehu or Rocket From The Crypt right? It's more about Fluf, Creedle, or Chune, not even Boilermaker or Tanner or Black Heart Procession. It's a narrow window.
When it's "on" it's got a good, satisfying Garden Variety kind of feel with a dose of later Verbal Assault even. When it's "meh", it's got a definite Sensefield vibe going on. And when it's not so hot...I'm not real sure, there's a little electronica in there (remember that?), and some ballad-y piano driven thing.
The singer/guitarist for this group unfortunately passed away in 2010, which sucks, I hate hearing that.
See what you think, and get back to me.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Arcwelder - Jacket Made In Canada

Label: Big Money Inc
Year: 1990

Multiple vocalists can be a good thing (see: Queens Of The Stone Age circa "Songs For The Deaf"), or a terrible thing (see: any of the "good cop/bad cop" metal-y hardcore bands, or those nu-metal bands that had a rapper and a yeller), and in the case of Arcwelder...I'm not sure. On this record the different vocalists come across as far more different in range than on subsequent records (although still ALL sounding somewhat like Bob Mould...Minneapolis I guess). So, the first couple tracks might sound like they're not quite bringing the thunder, but then track three, "Missing" comes along, and you're all "yessssssssssss". The band can swing a rock song with a potent accuracy when called upon. Right square onto that memory receptor part of your brain.
Arcwelder seems to garner underdog status among the Touch and Go family (and yes, I realize this was not released on Touch and Go, thank you), and I'm not sure why they weren't "bigger" or considered every bit as good as the other seminal bands on that label from the early 90's heyday.
I also theorize (in my spare time, this is what I do) that Dave Grohl was probably a big fan of Arcwelder, as the first few Foo Fighters songs I ever heard had an Arcwelder undercurrent in them.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

V/A - Shiny Grey Monotone Radio - Show 12

Label: N/A
Year: 2013

These compilations are a lot of fun to put together, and what started out as a group of songs to play on an internet radio show has morphed into a little pet project of mine to see how many of these I can do without repeating artists and keeping the quality level high (to me at least). This will be the 12th one I've posted, of the 21 (and counting) that reside on my computer. And I'll admit, even though there are still lots of bands I haven't included, it's getting harder to mix in the old with the new, as there's a steady stream of new, but as history is a static element...well, those selections ain't expanding. Also, while on the subject of admissions, most of the time when assembling these things I'm thinking about what would work well for exercising (I'm a total jock in case you hadn't heard), and while jogging or bench pressing anything and everything in site, these compilations are generally what I'm listening to (try and picture Richard Simmons, then add 50lbs., and that'll about paint the picture for you, a beautiful beautiful picture).
So, volume 12 of our series starts off particularly hot and nasty (not to be confused with Hot 'n Nasty...Black Oak Arkansas and Humble Pie), working it's way through a series of sludgy, heavy, gnarled jammers, before settling into some noisy hardcore, some noisy noise rock, and then some noisy post hardcore sorta stuff, before getting it's rock's off (or on, if you must), and then ending on a big ugly finale.

The bands:
Fudge Tunnel
Goes Cube
Breather Resist
Kid Kilowatt
The Night Marchers
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Distorted Pony
Festering Rinyanyons


Friday, November 15, 2013

Kittens - Pony

Label: Self released
Year: 1993

Hey, we're back on the air! Or what's the slang term for being "on" the internet? Cyberspaced?
So what? So, let's party!
How's about we have pony rides at the party? And a basket of kittens that you can dump on your head? Sounds so rad!
I hope those kittens don't get into the mescaline punch I made, and end up going spazz and attacking people in a sort of slow motion bludgeoning. That could put a real damper on things. I had better put the punchbowl up high where they can't get their adorable little drug fiending paws into it.

Originally posted here.


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Grey is the caretaker of SGM and SGM Facebook for the most part. He is a unicorn in this befuddled mess.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Janitor Joe - Lucky

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1994

Are we old enough to reference the "classics"? Is this a "golden oldie"? And if so, when will my local classic rock station work it into rotation between Foreigner and Van Halen cuts?
Originally posted back in 2009, you can read that write-up here, but that link is long dead.
If you don't own this, then, c'mon man, what's going on? Grab it, then go to the nearest record store (they still have those where you live?) and rifle through the used bins until you find a copy of this (usually for under $8...a deal), or, use your computer to hunt down a version on the ebay or call Amphetamine Reptile and ask them to check the stockroom. You need to own this album, it's an essential, and you're going to have a difficult time making lasting relationships with other people until you have it filed away on your shelf (or in a box, or whatever you do with your records).


Monday, November 4, 2013

Action Beat - The Condition

Label: Truth Cult
Year: 2012

Instrumental noise that goes from hard charging to twitchy and nervy, and back again, and then back again. Again.
You might hear some of the controlled freak out (oxymoron much?) that Sonic Youth used to deliver, or some of the Kraut-sludge that a band like Hey Colossus can get into. Possibly, if you're an egghead type, there are Glenn Branca comparisons to be made in the careening improvisational assault herein. There could be a case made for a Lightning Bolt split 7" sometime in the near future for a skronking, ear-damaging good time.
But you should hear it for yourself and tell me.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Self-Evident - We Built A Fortress On Short Notice

Label: Doubleplusgood
Year: 2012

Melodic, but mathy. Angular, but emo.
If you can get into that Champaign-Urbana sound circa 1995, the Braid and type Midwest emo jams, and throw in a dash of Slint (a pinch maybe, not even a dash), then you can get down with this.

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