December 27, 2012

Best of 2012

Now that the year is just about over I figure it's about time for my best of list for 2012.  I decided to do my top 10 EP's, top 10 LP's, top 5 splits, top 8 demos (because putting 8 in the image looked better with sizing than putting 10), and top 5 non-hardcore/metal releases.  These aren't in any real order.

Note: I haven't posted about of a few of these on the blog for several different reasons.  I may have them in a backlog to be posted, I may have gotten them before starting the blog, or I just didn't get around to posting them for some other reason.

Top 8 demos of the year:

1) The Rival Mob - Mob Justice promo tape: This tape contains some of the band's best material and is a precursor to what will probably be record of the year for me of 2013.

2) Hard Stripes - Demo: Really solid hardcore from Richmond in the vein of Urban Blight, 86 Mentality, etc.

3) Oblivionation - Demo: Straight up hardcore from members of Out Cold.  Fans of that band will not be disappointed with this one.

4) Paranoid - Demo: One of two tapes that I released on this list.  Am I biased because I released this?  Maybe, but that doesn't change the fact that this demo is really good.  FFO: Think I Care, Shark Attack, Tarpit.

5) MFP - Demo: Another Boston band showing why that region produces some of the best hardcore in recent memory.

6) Violent Future - Demo: Toronto band playing stripped down hardcore.  Featuring members (and for fans) of Urban Blight.

7) World War 4 - Demo:  Floorpunch and No Tolerance come together to create Breakdown influenced hardcore.  NYHC/Boston hardcore perfection.

8) Skinfather - Atheos Demo: The second tape that I released on this list.  Swedish style death metal with some hardcore leanings.  Think Dismember meets All Out War.  Their new stuff drops the hardcore and goes for pure death metal.  I'm sure the new EP (once released) will top my list for next year.

Top 10 EP's of the year:

1) Violent Reaction - S/T: This is my favorite release of the year.  Hard hitting straight edge hardcore out of Leeds.  Check this out if you haven't.  New LP on Painkiller in 2013

2) Stick Together - Surviving The Times: Taking influence from the harder styled youth crew bands (Judge, Brotherhood), Stick Together is one of the best straight edge bands going.

3) Spine - Subhuman: Fast, heavy, pissed off.  The way hardcore should be.

4) No Tolerance - No Remorse, No Tolerance:  This may have technically come out last year, but I didn't get my copy in the mail until 2012.  One of my current favorite bands.  Boston straight edge band leaning on the harder side of things.

5) Purity Control - Coping: Blasting hardcore/grindcore from Toronto.  Grindcore that's heavy on the CORE.

6) MFP - S/T: A continuation of the demo.  Very solid first EP from this Boston band.

7) Goosebumps - I Hate My Body: Scummy, degenerate hardcore out of NY.  Fits right in with the current crop of bands releasing music on Toxic State Records.

8) Green Beret - Violence Is Their Currency: Raging D Beat hardcore out of Boston.  This band came out of nowhere and blew me away with this EP.

9) Rot In Hell - Termini Terrae: The band's first release with Lecky of Voorhees fame on vocals, and this thing smokes.  Some of the band's finest material to date.  Can't wait to see what's in store for them next.

10) Hounds of Hate - No Redemption: Old NYHC styled straight edge.  I wasn't super impressed with their demo but this EP is a huge step up.  New LP due on Painkiller in 2013.

Top 10 LP's of the year:

1) Prisoner Abuse - S/T: Early 80's Boston hardcore done right.  Another one that came out of nowhere and blew me away completely.

2) CREEM - S/T: NY band playing early Boston/NY hardcore.  I can't explain why I love this record so much but it's one of the best (obviously) I've heard this year.  New EP due on Triple B in 2013.

3) Mindset - Leave No Doubt: Seeing as how I'm only an hour away from Baltimore, I've watched this band grow and progress as musicians over the past few years, and this LP proves that they are here to stay.  Perfect debut LP from this Baltimore straight edge band.

4) Boston Strangler - Primitive: Early 80's Boston hardcore done perfectly.  Does anything need to be said about this band at this point?

5) Homewrecker - Worms and Dirt: Heavy metallic hardcore from Ohio.  I may have spun this LP more than any other this year.

6) Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind: The band proves why they've been one of the best in the genre for over 20 years.

7) Like Rats - S/T: Scathing metallic hardcore done by members of Weekend Nachos.  The vocals on this record make it for me.

8) Shipwrecked - The Last Pagans: Early 80's Boston styled hardcore with some Oi! influence.  After staying quiet for a few years, the band released one of the best LP's of the year.

9) Sick Fix - Vexed: Heavy, fast, straight edge hardcore out of DC.  Featuring one of Chris Moore's (Magrudergrind, Coke Bust) best drum performances.

10) Six Brew Bantha - S/T: Grindcore done right by this Canadian band.

Top 5 splits of the year:

1) Coke Bust/Vaccine: Two of my favorite current bands belt out some of their best material, respectively.  Fast angry straight edge hardcore from both bands.  New LP from Coke Bust forthcoming from Grave Mistake Records and new EP from Vaccine due out soon on Painkiller.

2) Integrity/Gehenna: My favorite band teaming up with another of the Holy Terror elite to show that they've both still got the chops to produce some killer stuff.

3) Lack of Interest/Weekend Nachos: LOI show that they've still got it after many years on this split.  More solid jams from Weekend Nachos as well.  New Nachos LP out soon.

4) Sea of Shit/Water Torture: Scummy discordant powerviolence up against bass/drum powerviolence = one hell of a release.

5) Masakari/Grin And Bear It: Masakari has to be my favorite band currently playing melodic crust, and Grin And Bear It shows a huge step up from their previous material with their brand of fastcore.

Top 5 non-heavy LP's of the year:

1) Gypsy - Giant's Despair: After not paying attention to this band for too long, they dropped my favorite indie/pop punk/punk/whatever release of the year, besting their contemporaries.  I love this LP.

2) Basement - Coulourmeinkindness: The UK band's swansong.  This one is a bit different than their last LP and took me a while to get into it, but after a few spins I found myself loving it.  RIP.

3) Make Do And Mend - Everything You Ever Loved: A lot of people have said they don't like the cleaner, less-gruff recording/song-writing on this record.  Go into listening to this without any of that bias and you'll see that not only is this a great record, but it contains some of the best songs the band has ever written.

4) Pentimento - S/T: After an EP and split with Young English, Pentimento dropped a really good debut LP. Due to legal issues the band couldn't do a physical release so they offered it for free.  Read all about it and download the record HERE

5) Title Fight - Floral Green:  Another LP that took a few spins to really sink in, but once it did I was hooked.  There's a reason that Title Fight is one of the most hyped bands of the moment.

In addition to these I also had a list of honorable mentions prepared, but this has already gone on for too long.  To those that read the entire thing, thank you.  To those who didn't make it all the way through, I understand.

December 23, 2012

Goon Life

The most recent Painkiller update brought two highly anticipated records for me; the Violent Future demo pressed to wax and MFP's debut EP.  I already owned (and loved) the Violent Future demo tape but when I heard that it was going to be released on the superior vinyl format I couldn't resist.  The band plays pretty basic HARDcore similar to Urban Blight - I believe they share members with that band actually.  I've heard a lot of people say that the drumming on this demo is bad and I agree, but it's bad in a good way if that makes sense.  The best way I can describe the drumming on this demo is 'dumb.'  He can keep a basic beat and keep time for the rest of the band, and that's about it.  You may think that this detracts from the songs but I think it actually makes them better.  Stoked to have one of my favorite demos of the year on the proper format.


December 19, 2012

Say You Love Satan

Looking at my last few posts, it's been a while since I've designated one to an A389 release.  Previously I seemed to post about records released on this label fairly often, and here's yet another.  Following their debut LP Tutti il Color del Buio, and a split with Finnish death/doom metal band Hooded Menace, here is Ilsa's new LP entitled Intoxicantations. This band plays crusty sludge/doom metal and there are some really heavy riffs on here.  Couple that with horror-themed lyrics and you've got a winner.  I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the genre but I do enjoy bands that fit the description, and I'd say that this band can hold their own with their comtemporaries.  I love the artwork on this record too.

Came with this cool poster too.  The label appears to be sold out of copies on red vinyl but you can still grab it on standard black.

December 18, 2012

Useless Leaders

Anti War is the newest EP from Boston's Bloodkrow Butcher.  Raging Swedish influenced d-beat hardcore. This being my first exposure to the band I can't comment on their earlier material, but I've heard from several sources that this is far and wide the band's best material.  These are some seriously pummeling tracks.  I don't have much to say about this except that if you're into d-beat at all check this thing out.  Just in time to make my end-of-year list.

December 17, 2012

When Will It End?

I've posted BEFORE about my love for Waste Management.  I've finally managed to secure a color copy of their first EP Get Your Mind Right for a fairly cheap price.  There was a Buy It Now auction for this listed on eBay for a measley $20 - I guess the seller didn't realized that it generally goes for twice that?  Or maybe he didn't care?  Whatever, his loss is my gain.  Early 80's Boston hardcore is the order here and this band delivers.

December 14, 2012

Termini Terrae

This post is a big deal for a few key reasons.  Firstly because this new EP, Termini Terrae, by Rot In Hell marks the band's first recorded material with their new vocalist.  For those who don't know Lecky of Voorhees fame is now handling the vocal duties, and any reservations you may have had about the band with the new frontman can be thrown out.  His vocals are a perfect replacement for Nate and this band as a whole.

Another reason that this record is a big deal is that it is the first release on Dark Empire Records since the 90's.  The label was started by Dvvid of Integrity and went to release some awesome records, but was put to rest a long time ago.  Here we are in 2012 and Dvvid's son has started up the label again.

The third and final reason that this is a big deal is because I love the shit out of this band.  Pure metallic Holy Terror style hardcore at its finest.  This band is second only to the mighty Integrity when it comes to this style of music.  The four tracks on display here are some of the band's finest material to date.  This record has arrived just in time to make my end-of-year list.  I'll have to drop something else from the list since I've pretty much finished it but this will definitely be in there.

December 12, 2012

Throwing Bricks

Here's a record that I've been meaning to pick up for a while now.  I've seen later pressings of this record come and go but I held out for a first press because I'm an idiot and I care about dumb things like that.  I'm sure everyone knows about this band by now but if you don't, Ceremony (used to) play a style of fast angry hardcore that was fresh at the time the band first started.  Their later recordings would show the band drastically changing style but their first few records still really hold up.  The Ruined EP would have to be my favorite of the band's material - the songs here are fast, angry, and some have some heavy mosh parts.  What more could you want?  I've given their newest LP, Zoo, multiple listens all the way through and I just cannot get into it.  I want to like it, but I just can't.  I'll have to stick with their older recordings like this EP.

December 11, 2012

Pound of Flesh

Few tapes for today.  First up is the new promo tape from Hounds of Hate.  I believe these are songs from the upcoming LP due out on Painkiller early next year.  This band plays early 80's NYHC in the vein of Sick Of It All, Warzone, etc.  One of my current favorites for sure.  If these songs are any indication, the LP is going to be a straight up ripper.

Next is the Not Dead Yet Mixtape from Chicago's Skrapyard.  80's Boston/NYHC with some major Oi influence.  Included are both a Negative Approach and Cocksparrer cover, if that's any indication of their style.

Last but certainly not least is the demo tape from Boston's MFP.  They play, you guessed it, Boston hardcore with an emphasis on the HARD.  I've ordered the new EP from them that Painkiller just released, so I should have that one soon.  A good haul of tapes.

December 10, 2012

Sound the Alarm

Procured through a recent trade, here is the second full length from seminal NYHC band Agnostic Front.  Cause For Alarm has the band making a rather drastic change in sound.  While still having a good amount in common with their first LP, there is a much more metal feel to this one.  I'd be willing to say this record is just as influential as their earlier stuff, but it's just more influential to a different crowd.  This is the original press on Combat Core Records.  I believe it was recently reissued by a German(?) label.  I may be wrong on which country though.  I love the artwork on this one.

December 3, 2012

Government Issue

Green Beret is a band I hadn't heard until recently.  I saw a post on a message board by one of the members of the band/guy who runs Side Two Records about it, so I decided to check it out.  And I'm glad that I did.  After sampling two songs on Bandcamp I knew I had to jump on a color copy of their newest effort, Violence Is Their Currency.  The label description of this record nails it perfectly: "10 Tracks of Discharge meets Totalitar inspired hardcore. Building from the 2010 demo, Green Beret return a heavier and speedier band while still focusing on catchy songs and staying away from current noise core trappings. Essential for fans of hardcore."  Couldn't have put it better myself.

Clear vinyl, limited to 100 copies.

November 30, 2012

From Spain, With Love

Spain's Nashgul is a band I've been following for a little while now.  I got a copy of their 'El Dia Despues Al Fin De La Humidad' LP a while back and have been a fan ever since.  They play old school grindcore akin to early Napalm Death, Terrorizer, etc.  This is a copy of their recent split with fellow Spanish grinders, Malpractice Insurance.  Nashgul offers three tracks that sound like a continuation of their LP that I previously mentioned, and Malpractice Insurance offer up five tracks that are of a very similar style, with a little bit of mincecore influence.  Solid output by both bands, plus the artwork is awesome.  I believe To Live A Lie still has copies of the limited color left, so grab one while you can.


November 27, 2012

Grind The Pigs

There aren't too many bands that have an original take on a genre of music anymore.  This holds especially true for a genre such as grindcore, however I feel that +HIRS+ succeeds in being original, for the most part at least.  The band recently started up a Kickstarter to raise funds for their 'First 100 Songs' LP.  While I generally think Kickstarter's are completely stupid and bullshit in general, this is the best use of one I've seen thus far.  If you're unfamiliar with the band (like I was until recently) they are a two piece queer, cross-dressing, cop-hating grindcore band from Philadelphia.  The band is made up of a vocalist and a guitarist, and all of the drumming is done with a drum machine.  Seeing as I'm a drummer I generally frown on drum machines, but the programming here is so good that I can overlook it.  You'd be hard pressed to find a live drummer that can pull off this stuff perfectly.

As I've said already, this is the 'First 100 Songs' LP, which compiles all of the band's material up to this point.  The packaging for this thing is nothing short of spectacular so let's get started.  Both the front and back cover are screen printed, as well as the inside cover.

The dust sleeve that holds the record is screen printed on both sides as well.

Included are some stickers and a full color insert that has a collage of covers from all of the band's previous releases.

Lastly there is a screen printed poster that was included.

Finally, here is a picture of the entire package all together.

All and all this is one of the most well packaged records I've ever seen.  The music on this thing smokes too, so I'll be keeping up with the band more closely from now on.

November 25, 2012

Keeping Control

'Coping' is a hell of a vinyl debut by Toronto's Purity Control.  Released on Chris Colohan's label, High Anxiety Records, the band plays a very hardcore influenced style of grindcore.  Raw, stripped down grind played by hardcore kids - you won't find any hyperblasting technical shit here.  At least that's my take on it.  I know the band has released a few tapes prior to this 7" and have another 7" forthcoming, so I have some catching up to do.  The tapes are currently unavailable, but I wised up and preordered a copy of the upcoming 7" on the band's Bandcamp page.  I've listened to this thing multiple times a day since receiving it.  It's really well written and original (as far as grindcore goes).  Seriously check this band out if you're into grindcore, powerviolence/fastcore, or hardcore in general.

I was lucky enough to be one of the first 150 orders, so I got a copy on white vinyl.  The remainder of the press is on black.

November 21, 2012

Empty Void

What I have here may be the split of the year.  The recent(ish) Coke Bust/Vaccine split that was released by Refuse Records out of Europe.  The only thing that gets me more excited than when one of my favorite bands releases new music, is when two of my favorite bands are on the same release.  Such is the case with this split, as both Coke Bust and Vaccine are two of my favorite active bands.  If you're unfamiliar, Coke Bust plays DC hardcore, but at a lightning pace.  Vaccine plays a similar style, but has a more powerviolence influence.  On this split both bands bring some of their best material to date.  I seriously can't get enough of this split right now.  The U.S. press is due out soon on Drugged Conscience, and if the layout/art is any different I'm sure I'll grab a copy.  Limited to 210 copies on blue vinyl.

While I'm on the subject of Coke Bust I figure I'll post another of their records that I've acquired recently.  This is the band's demo pressed to wax, released by Headcount Records.  As far as I know there were a few different cover color/vinyl color combinations.  Mine is clear vinyl with a pink cover.  While I do like this demo, I like their later material a whole lot more.  The songs on display here aren't as fast or angry, but it's still really good.  This copy is hand-numbered out of 29/100.  Is this a record release version or something?  Does anyone know?