October 1, 2015

Open Mind

Free Spirit out of Boston was quite the hyped band a few years back (I'm sure their shirts still go for a decent amount).  Having an affiliation with Lockin' Out Records will do that.  That being said, their music was actually pretty good, with the "Free Yourself" EP that was put on on LOR/Triple B being their best material.  Free Spirit kind of spearheaded the recent lot of Straight Ahead rip-offs that have been popping up the past few years.  In all reality Free Spirit sounded almost exactly like Straight Ahead, and I'm okay with that.  This is a really solid EP.  Clear vinyl was limited to 300 copies.

September 28, 2015

The Protocols of Anti-Sound

I (like I'm sure everyone else) go through phases in music.  Meaning right now I'm pretty into grindcore, and other times I'll listen to mostly death metal, or hardcore, etc.  Having said that I figured I'd post about a record that I acquired while the blog was on hiatus.  I'm speaking of the self titled LP from DC's Magrudergrind.  I had a clear (third press) copy of this LP for quite a while but decided that since it's in my top 5 grind LP's ever that I'd track down a first pressing.

Up until this release I was lukewarm on this band but when I heard this LP it blew me away.  I think that's partly because their older material had a different guitarist, coupled with the beefed up production on this LP.  Three-piece punk-oriented grind from the nation's capitol.  This shit is pure gold.  If you're into this I'd also recommend checking out the Crusher EP they released after this one.  It was announced a few months ago that their new LP will be released on Relapse, so I'm looking forward to that.  This vinyl version was put out by Six Weeks Records and the CD version was released on Willowtip.

September 25, 2015

The Fashion Parade

Knife Fight is (was?) a killer early 2000's band that plays early 80's influenced USHC - namely Negative Approach.  While I like all of this band's material, their first few releases are definitely their better output, with this demo being among the top.  Four originals and a Nihilistics cover on a one-sided 7" played at 45 RPM.  Fuck yeah.  I believe Painkiller had this vinyl version of the demo pressed to go along with the Isolated EP that was put out on that label.  For those who missed the first few Knife Fight EP's Painkiller is said to be putting together a compilation 12" of them at some point, but that was first seen/heard of quite a while ago so who knows when that will actually surface.

September 22, 2015

Paper & Steel

NYC's Ajax are one of the top current USHC bands in my opinion.  They play a combination of early 80's driving hardcore punk with Totalitär influenced riffs thrown in.  That's the best way I can describe it.  This is the domestic pressing handled by Beach Impediment, with a euro pressing available from Static Shock Records.  Definitely one of the best 7"s to drop this year.

September 21, 2015

Hell to Pay

Concealed Blade out of Pittsburgh, PA released one of my favorite demos of 2015.  I passed on a cassette version (since I've decided to not buy many/any cassettes anymore because I don't listen to them) so I was quite excited to hear that the demo was being pressed to vinyl.  Released in the US on the always reliable Beach Impediment Records (and Hardware Records in Europe) here is the clear version of said demo, limited to 100 copies.  For those unaware of how this band sounds, they could best be likened to a faster late 80's NYHC type band.  Really great stuff all around.  Members of Hounds of Hate, Blood Pressure, etc.

September 8, 2015

Give Us the Truth

Lip Cream were among the first wave of Burning Spirits bands from Japan in the early-mid 80's.  This is their first proper LP, "Kill Ugly Pop" released on Captain Records.  For those unfamiliar with this band, as previously stated they have that Burning Spirits sound, albeit a bit thrashier than some of their peers.  One of my favorites of this wave of bands for sure.  I believe a lot of copies of this LP either didn't come with an insert initially, or at this point no longer have one.  I was lucky to score a copy that does include the insert.

September 2, 2015

Conditioned and Dehumanized

I've posted about DC's Genocide Pact HERE and HERE so it should come as no surprise that I was looking forward to the band's debut LP, 'Forged Through Domination,' when A389 Records announced it a few months back.  Continuing on in the same tradition as the band's demo and the teaser 7" this LP houses 7 tracks of what is essentially Bolt Thrower worship, in the best way possible.  I'd say this is easily the band's best material to date, containing a lot of their best riffs, and definitely their best drum parts.  To be fair, I haven't listened to many death metal releases this year but even if I had this would still be among the top of those releases.  My only gripe is that this is only 7 songs instead of 10-11.

August 31, 2015

Drunk With Power

Here's a band that shouldn't need any introduction.  Discharge from the UK is still being directly copied to this day by new bands that start up all over the world, so their influence on punk and hardcore cannot be understated.  This is the band's second LP 'Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing.'  Originally released on Clay Records in the UK in 1982, this is the Japanese pressing on Vap released in 1983.  This is the promo version with white center label and an obi strip.  It also includes a lyric insert in Japenese that I apparently didn't take a picture of.

August 26, 2015

Permanent Exile

Here's the debut LP from the UK's Obstruct.  I posted about their No Life EP a while back, and loved it.  'Loss of Blood' is more of the same Boston influenced hardcore as that EP, but falls a little short of that release.  After several listens of this LP it's definitely growing on me but I still prefer the band's previous release.  I think it may have to do with the production on 'Loss of Blood' being a bit more clean than that EP, because it's not an issue of song quality here.  The songs are all up to par for this band.  Members of Violent Reaction, Blind Authority, The Flex, etc.

White vinyl, limited to 100 copies.  Released on Carry the Weight Records.

August 17, 2015

Broken Chain

The demo from Boston's Death Injection was easily one of my favorites from 2014.  No frills early Boston crew worship done right.  After that release came a promo tape with three songs from an upcoming LP.  Again, the songs were killer on that tape and I couldn't wait for the LP to drop.  The band's debut LP, 'Hate For Myself and Everyone Else,' continues in the same fashion and it's a stomper through and through.  Clocking in at under 20 minutes this LP is all killer, no filler.  I love a good negative straight edge band.

This is the clear vinyl version, limited to 100 copies.  This is definitely an odd pairing for both Triple B Records and the band, as neither one seem to fit the other that well.  I assume it's because the label is based and Boston and so is the band?  I'm not hating on it, just thought it was an odd choice on both parts.  The cover art was done by Marc McCoy (Youth Attack Records) and it is killer as well.  Definitely in the top 10 LP's for this year for me.

August 14, 2015

Crust Fund

By now everyone has heard this record.  If you've been sleeping, this is the second LP from the UK's Violent Reaction, titled 'Marching On.'  More of the oi influenced hardcore this band is known for, albeit more oi than their last LP.  A strong second LP for sure, and one that's bound to top a lot of year-end lists.  I'm hoping that since this LP is on Revelation Records the band starts to get even more attention.  They deserve it.  I believe there were 300 on clear, but I'm too lazy to look it up for confirmation right now.  Does it really even matter anyway?

Side note: the labels on this record are really low resolution.  Look at the B-side X label.  Woof.

August 7, 2015

Mental Shock

Another day, another post about a Boston band.  I'll stop posting about bands from Boston when they stop producing some (a lot) of the best hardcore and punk that is coming out.  This is the debut EP from 2X4 which features members of just about all the other good bands from that city that are currently going.  What you get here is fairly similar to the Chain Rank LP, but the early Boston:The Abused ratio is a little more evened out on this one, whereas that LP had a bigger Abused influence.  Eight songs of very solid raging hardcore punk.  If you're a fan of that Chain Rank LP (which of course you are) I highly suggest snagging this EP as well.  Twerp Records.

July 25, 2015

How Low Can A Punk Get?

The Bad Brains from DC (later NYC) are arguably one of the first hardcore punk bands.  That's not really up for debate.  Because of this, their early releases are held in very high regard, and with good reason.  I'm not going to describe what this band sounds like, or their importance on punk in general, because if you've arrived at this blog I'm assuming you're in-the-know on them, as they're a pretty entry level punk/hardcore band.

This is the band's second full length, "Rock For Light."  This is the first press on PVC Records and it includes the printed inner sleeve.  I just didn't take a picture of it because it's literally just the lyrics on the sleeve - no images or art or anything.  A classic that is essential to any punk's collection, be it vinyl, CD, or digital.

July 19, 2015

Fuck Your Life

Here's a record that is related to my previous post, as in the drummer has played in both bands: the sole LP from Boston's Blank Stare.  The band existed from the mid 2000's until about 2008/2009.  Boston straight edge that sounds like a mix between the OG Boston Crew bands and Black Flag.  This LP is beyond good.  It dropped in 2008 and I've been listening to it regularly (at least once every few weeks) since it came out.  It was pressed in the US by Third Party Records and in Europe by Refuse Records.  This copy is a tour press that includes a special cover in addition to the standard one.

For those who don't know, Ryan (the drummer for this band) also plays drums for No Tolerance.  I saw him at Damaged City Fest this last year and asked when we would see a Blank Stare reunion.  He said, 'never, because the singer isn't straight edge any more.'  That was a bit of a bummer to hear.  I mean, how can a guy that wrote a song called, "Fuck drugs, fuck you," not be straight edge any more?  Life goes on.

July 18, 2015

Social Climber

Here we have the hardcore LP of the year.  'Up Against the Wall' by Boston's Chain Rank.  Featuring members of Green Beret, The Combat Zone, Blank Stare, Social Circkle, and about a million other bands, Chain Rank plays early 80's Xclaim! hardcore with a heavy dose of The Abused in there.  Everything about this LP is perfect, from the length of the record (under 14 minutes) to the production.  I think this was technically self-released by the band but it's available through the Side Two webstore as well as Twerp Record's webstore.  I highly suggest snagging a copy of this before it starts fetching high prices, which it's bound to do.  Instant classic.