Tuesday, November 30, 2021

V/A - Squat Or Rot - vol. 3

Label: Squat or Rot
Year: 1992

Unfortunately I no longer have the issue of Squat Or Rot that came with this 7", but if you close your eyes and imagine, I bet you can picture it in your minds' eye in all its crusty glory. Or smell it.
Five bands...here's the rundown:

Crawlpappy - this is what you came for, the almighty Crawlpappy doing what they do best, laying down a gnarly, noisy take on hardcore that keeps the tempo to a swagger most of the way, and keeps the riffs at a muffled roar. Great stuff. 
Summers Eve - primitive and essentially a novelty, but five ladies doing what they wanted to do, which I respect. Not good stuff.
Maggot - sounds like a mix of a bunch of old Blackout Records bands (Outburst, Breakdown, and Maximum Penalty most notably) with a dark take on what was going on at Lismer Lounge circa 1989. Good stuff.
War - points for original name, War plays a real crusty metallic version of hardcore with death-adjacent vocals. Pretty good stuff.
Rejuvenate - a (way) lesser known hardcore band that had Tommy Rat (Trip 6 / The Psychos / Warzone) on vocals and the guy from Animal Crackers on bass, playing a very Trip 6-esque rough and tumble version of NYHC. My favorite version, if you were to ask. Good stuff.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Beige Eagle Boys - You're Gonna Get Yours

Label: Reptilian
Year: 2014

Listened to this earlier today as I was building an outdoor table for my back deck. Not really from scratch, mind you, more that I was re-appropriating a set of old table legs that had a frame braced in place. So, it was a nice a square to begin. Then I ripped down some 2x8"s to make an outer frame, and a stiffer base to attach the table top. Those 2x8"s were bracketed together and attached to the existing frame. So far so good. Next I laid a nice, smooth piece of marine grade 3/4" plywood atop the frame(s). 4'x8', so it can serve as a dining table (not to be confused with a "dining room table" of course...it ain't that quality) and more importantly an outdoor ping pong (just shy of regulation tournament dimensions, but I mean, it's fucking ping pong, not table tennis. I'm not a Chinaman you know [and no offense to my Asian bros and sis']!) table. The top was screwed into the underside of the frame, and now we got ourselves a level and relatively sturdy table.
Then the dang Beige Eagle Boys come on as I'm preparing the final phase of construction, trimming out the edges with 1/2x1" strips. And this is where it goes south on me. Nothing is matching up...my mitered joints are laughable. Dangerous even! And I can't "blame" this album really...but at the same time...I can't blame myself right? Could have been the volume, or the involuntary head banging, or the combination of raucous screaming with a chop saw buzzing...don't really know. But, bottom line, these dudes owe me. They have put my outdoor entertaining in jeopardy, and that's something I just cannot let stand.

If you would like a combination of Whores. and Hammerhead and Cherubs, and Born Against, and KEN Mode, then I think you too will enjoy ruining a potential family heirloom woodworking project by listening to this album just a hair too loud (fucking neighbors giving me the stink eye...so jealous). Basically hardcore as executed by a noise rock band, with big, burly swing, and heavy duty low end punch. Total Amphetamine Reptile wheelhouse. Essential deck furniture building music. Look for this in Home Depot or Lowes next time you're purchasing varnish or whatever. Plus, bonus, they have an "ode" to Katy Perry, and I'm here to tell you, I fucking LOVE Katy Perry. Also, second bonus, they strangle Don Henley's 'Dirty Laundry' into submission and warp it almost beyond recognition. Play that one for your dad and watch his face wrinkle in disgust.

*originally posted 11.20.16, reposted 11.28.21

Sebadoh - Bakesale

Label: Sub Pop
Year: 1994

In a world of mixed bag Sebadoh records, ‘Bakesale’ has got to be the most consistent, the most accessible, and maybe, just maybe, the most bestest. The initial lo-fi ramblings of their first couple albums were trimmed down and amped up here, still damaged pop songs at heart, but now flirting with the grunge mania of the day, to great success. While I’m sure there were grumblings of “selling out” and whatnot at the time, Sebadoh was never in danger of becoming The Lemonheads or nothing. Too weird and too abrasive.
This was the final batch of songs to include the O.G. Sebadoh two piece, drummer Eric Gaffney only appears on four tracks here and was out of the band before the record’s release. Eric’s replacement in the band, Bob Fay, plays on a few songs, and ex-Rodan member Tara Jane O’Neill plays on a few. Bob Weston recorded the first batch of songs at Steve Albini’s house, and Tim O’Heir recorded the rest at Fort Apache in Boston.
Sometimes calming down is the best thing. Not always, but, you know what I mean.

*originally posted 01.17.18, reposted 11.28.21

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunny Day Real Estate - Empty Set Demo

Label: One Day I Stopped Breathing
Year: 1992

Historical archive alert! 
Here's the first demo by the band Empty Set, who would very quickly change their name to Sunny Day Real Estate, and later go on to be a big deal to some folks (myself included). The two songs included here may or may not have been recorded at the same time as the two other pre-Jeremy Enigk songs which would be released as the "Flatland Spider" 7" the same year. But if they were, then the two on the 7" got a little extra love in the studio, as they sound much more "finished", which leads me to believe it was two separate sessions. But, then there is visual evidence of a four song demo cassette with these two songs and the two 7" songs, which would lead me to believe they were all recorded together and two got selected for official release and were polished up. 
I can't say for certain, and I'm sure there are lengthy internet articles explaining it, but who has time to "read". Certainly not me.
So whatever the case may be, here are the two songs that are most commonly referred to as the "Empty Set Demo" which was a three piece band: William Goldsmith, Nate Mendel, and Dan Hoerner. I think this is correct. There's another demo after this one under the name Chewbacca Kaboom, which I've never seen or heard. Then they changed their name to One Day I Stopped Breathing, and then they finally pulled their shit together and became the band they became. 
But don't quote me on any of that. Please.

Cave In - God City Demos

Label: Bootleg
Year: 2001

Long time, no see. Sorry about that, but...you know...stuff.

Back to blogging (has a a worse sentence ever been uttered?), and coming in hot with potentially controversial pick. Controversial only in the sense that nerds might either deride any Cave In that isn't the Slayer-spazz Converge first version of the band, or nerds who deride Cave In as a band only knuckle heads would love, or nerds who are simply nerds, but not in a "good nerd" way. You know the type.
Myself (absolutely not a nerd, in any way. Ask anybody, they'll tell you), I was not a fan of Cave In in their original incarnation. Just not my cup of tea (I'm very refined). It wasn't until they came through San Diego in 1999 with Isis, who I wanted to see, that I heard the second version of Cave In. The 'Creative Eclipses' version, and on that night it clicked. It was still heavy, but no longer relied on throwing a million heavy metal riffs at the wall. There was space involved. Atmosphere and tension and a more nuanced song writing. That 'Creative Eclipses' 7" stayed in pretty heavy rotation until the 'Jupiter' album came out, and then that one took over the stereo. I was even on board with all the side projects, I was in to the entire thing. I still think Stephen Brodsky is an immensely talented musician, and I applaud that he is willing to stretch out and take risks (and I'm sure he appreciates me saying so).
Well, then Cave In did "the unthinkable" and signed to a major label (a weird one at that...RCA? Who does that?), and released 'Antenna', a record that didn't have the immediate hooks or appeal it's predecessor did. It felt flat. At least at first.
But, given time, I've gone back to that record a lot over the years and have found a lot that I like about it, the balance of big rock swings with the Failure influenced space-pop. It's good.
The songs being shared here are demo versions of some of those Antenna tracks, but being recorded at God City with Kurt Ballou means there is nothing "demo" about them. They sound phenomenal. Big, warm, and rich. The other tracks are versions of songs that wound up on the 'Tides Of Tomorrow' and 'Epicenter' eps, And a Nirvana cover for whatever reason.

If you like rock music...

Members on this record were also involved in: Old Man Gloom, Zozobra, Pet Genius, Doomriders, Goatsnake (for a minute), Nomad Stones, 27, Kid Kilowatt, Clouds, New Idea Society, and Mutoid Man.

*originally posted 03.01.17, reposted 11.21.21

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The Felon Wind - The Felon Wind


Year: 2008
Label: Alaska Records

We (me, I) posted this record back in 2014 (January 7th, per my records), and at that time the band had already come and gone, but I still felt the album (technically and ep per running time) was important enough to you (us) that I even offered a rare (and worthless) money back guarantee for any and all who dared claim that they did not approve of the music.
No refunds were requested (not that they would have been granted anyway...I'm not only a cheapskate, but a notorious liar to boot).
It was recently that one of the members of the band, who is currently trafficking in the equally magnificent group Mtn Isl, posted a link to The Felon Wind, and that got the ole winds of nostalgia rustlin' (not to be confused with "the ole winds of regret" which is what I say when I pass gas), and got me reacquainted with this gem of a record again. And I've been listening a whole bunch over the past few weeks. 
So, I wanted to come back here and repost this thing as it seems to have a new home on Bandcamp and potentially it was released in physical form after the original digital release back in 2006 (again, consulting the records, I have it having been birthed into the world in 2006 via an outfit called Money Pit Media), but more importantly; THIS RECORD IS THE EPITOME OF THIS BLOG.
Here is a record that came and went, and scant few people heard it, certainly not many outside the band's circle of friends (we can assume family as well, but chances are they greeted the release with polite "well, that's great that you and your buddies are making...music?") or music nerds in and around Atlanta, Georgia. But this record is as good, or better, than 90% of the records that came out when it did. Hell, it's as good, or better, than most records that have come out since. If you like the type of shit that I'm pretty sure you like (you're here, right?), then this shit is some shit you'll love. A total bulldozer of a record...perfection.
I think I my re-up the money back guarantee...that's how confident I am that you will love this record. (but I still will never give you a single red cent...store policy)

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Vaz - Hey One Cell b/w No Leaf Clover 7"

Label: Reptilian
Year: 1998

Here's where we heard Vaz come out of the gates for the first time. The debut performance. Which is to say, the metaphorical gates of the loved and lost Hammerhead legacy.
At the time it sounded like a pretty linear transition from the nervy Hammerhead hardcore to the two man champagne jam of Vaz. They kept the twitchy propellant of their former endeavor and on this record merely streamlined the delivery.
No frills, but no frills needed, nor should any frill even be entertained at this juncture. Vaz comes straight at you frill-free and at deliberate pace. And while once they reach you, they might have broken into a sort of Ian Curtis-esque jittery dance to disarm you, you'll still wind up missing a tooth, or at the very least with a patch of hair missing.
Only two songs, and they blow by pretty quick, but an essential record nonetheless. Vaz has developed a fairly extensive discography since this record, and with it a sound of their own, but for this 7" you hear the band just emerging from the shadow of their previous mistress, still reeking of her perfume.

*originally posted  02.16.16, reposted 11.11.21

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Burn - The Last Great Sea

 Label: Revelation
Year: 2002

Is it true that these three songs were recorded as a demo for Roadrunner Records (and not Hawker Records?! Blasphemous!) just as the band were to splinter for the first time? Somebody should ask somebody.
Regardless, these three songs mark the final showing of the original lineup of Chaka, Gavin, Alan, and Alex. Chaka would pop back up in Orange 9mm, Gavin in Pry, Alan in Quicksand, and Alex…somewhere. Probably. I don’t know. Musically, Burn could manage to weave together bits and pieces from every corner of underground NY to forge an unmatched amalgam of traditional hardcore, disjointed noise rock, heavy rock and roll, groove driven metal(?), and far flung exotic flavors, but kept the whole thing tight as a drum. Still doing it now, as good as ever…mixing and matching different elements into a signature style, that is…they even made the highly coveted Shiny Grey Monotone ‘Best of 2017’…basically the highest honor in the game. Ask around.
Glad Revelation got around to releasing these tracks 10 years after the fact, since apparently Roadrunner wasn’t biting (should of gone Haaaaaaaawkerrrrr).

Karp - Suplex

Label: K
Year: 1995

This was posted years ago on this blog and subsequently disappeared slightly less years ago from this blog.
So here it is again. In all it's glory. A classic of Melvins worship that equals and/or surpasses Melvins at times in their sludgy thud damage (with a side of wink and nod). Not that they were a one trick pony, but to ignore the similarities would be disingenuous. Their Pacific Northwest DNA was inevitable, but they also got weird the same way some of their friends on the Wantage USA label did (Early Humans, Last Of The Juanitas, Vaz), with ample doses of warped noise rock pulse and dirt rock skuzz. It's a near perfect marriage of all the good things about terrible music. Loud and relentless and strange and fun.
I love this record so much, that if it were legal, I would make her mine in a Biblical sense (by having sexual intercourse with it).

*originally posted 05.25.08, reposted 07.26.17, posted again for the last time 11.10.21

Monday, November 8, 2021

Bad Brains - Live - Wabash Hall, San Diego, CA - 10-11-85

Label; bootleg
Year: 1985

Pretty impressed that this audience-sourced bootleg does such a commendable job capturing (that you could) the whirlwind of blurred heat that was this era of Bad Brains. Certainly not "pristine" in terms of a recorded artifact, but, it's far better than it should be.
Did you (and I suppose technically, you still could) see Bad Brains? And if so, what was the general reaction when the band went from breakneck ass whipping into hackneyed reggae noodle? Mass exodus (pun intended) to the restrooms? Yeah. Were you ever lucky enough to catch the Bad Brains on a full irie mellow toke night? I was. So lucky. I count my blessings every time I think back on it. Either way, as per the deal, the set chronicled here gets a bit wonky in spots when the band take their foot off the gas and #blessup (historical footnote: I believe that marks the first ever hashtag in this blog's illustrious run. We've hit a new low). Soon-to-be-released 'I and I' jam "Hired Gun" takes some of the momentum out of the night, which they rescue, but then torpedo again with some extra Jah luv, but ultimately rescue again with also-soon-to-be-released 'I and I' stomper "Re-Ignition".
So, like every Bad Brains show ever, you roll the dice and cross your fingers that things go ok for at least 75% of the time, and on October 10th, 1985 in San Diego they seem to have.

*originally posted 04.25.17, reposted 02.20.18, reposted for the last time 11.08.21

Zeni Geva - Disgraceland

Label: Alternative Tentacles
Year: 1993

Precision mechanics, maximum overdrive, unflinching dedication to pain administration. That's the Zeni Geva doctrine.
Only two songs, but it's more than most bands could handle delivering. Not for those with heart conditions or weak constitutions.
This version of Zeni Geva has Tabata from Boredoms and Acid Mothers Temple, alongside drummer Noro, and Zeni Geva mainman K.K. Null. Brutal.

*originally posted 02.17.06, reposted 11.08.21

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