Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Suburban Voice blog #119


ADVLTS-Black Bile (Toxic Pop, 7")
Baltimore band (and, yes, the spelling is correct) who have apparently revamped their lineup since their first EP and brought in Mike Riley (Paper Dragons, Pulling Teeth) on vocals and Brendan Bartow (Fuses--an unjustifiably overlooked band) on guitar. Driving punk but there's a nervy, semi-post-punk feel to it, as well. Not just straight powerchords, but an edgy jab in the guitar lines, along with a strong bass/drums tandem. The basslines on "Fortune Teller" provide a strong thrust. The most straight-ahead rocker is opening track "Do The Adult," spitting out the facts of grown-up living--losing jobs, wives, kids, hair, teeth and, ultimately, your mind. Not a band soundtrack to listen to while a lot of that inevitably happens. (www.toxicpoprecords.com)

ANEURYSM-Veronica (Tor Johnson, 7")
Dark 'n scary rock that's tick and tumultuous and, yes, there’s a whiff of early 90s heaviness (notice I didn’t say grunge) but it’s more twisted-sounding. “Dio, Priest and Maiden” won’t make you think of any of those bands, as this ain’t no NWOBHM trip unless you want to call it New Wave Of Bashing Head Music. A chaotic mess and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. (www.torjohnsonrecords.com)

BANDAGES-North Carolina Singles Series (Sorry State, 7")
Bandages includes former members of Double Negative and Pollution. Both songs, “All Extreme Measures” and “Tokyo Car Wash” are riff monsters and the former balances the heaviness with a burst of speed. A merger of Bl'ast, Melvins and early Helmet? Maybe. Intense stuff. Their guitarist Scott Williams they've moved beyond this already and also recorded an album that ended up shelved. Curious to hear what follows.

BLOOD PRESSURE-Need To Control (Beach Impediment, 12")
One of the best records and best live bands I've seen so far this year. Nothing complicated—this is just full-tilt hardcore bile with a Swedish/d-beat drive. Savage riffery, full-throated vocals and executed with a single-minded relentlessness without a break to catch your breath, except when flipping the record over. In short, it kicks fucking ass. I think that pretty much covers it. (beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)
COMMANDO-Come Out Fighting (More Power, tape)
Punchy, catchy rocknrollinpunk by this Western NY band, who have already broken up. Along the same lines as the Marked Men, although there's a tougher edge to it. It also doesn't hurt that Brandon Ferrell (Direct Control, Government Warning, etc) is behind the drum kit, because he adds a huge kick to the proceedings. They work in some west coast punk moves, as well. And being from that part of the state, it makes sense they'd have an ode to Genesee. Sorry they came and went so quickly. (*note: this review was written before Brandon's untimely death--R.I.P.) (PO Box 467, Buffalo, NY 14226, morepowertapes.bandcamp.com)

CØNDITIØN-Actual Hell (Iron Lung, 12")
Pulverizing sonic devastation from this LA band. A relentless Dis-inspired frenzy (although you can hear some Japanese touches in there, as well. From the opening drumbeat that sounds like it could be pulled from Disorder's "More Than Fights" and the primal yell, there's no looking back. A wall of thunder and the vocals are buried into the mix a bit. Seven out of the eight songs are fast rippers and the sole slower one, "Indictment," has an otherworldly guitar line--or maybe it's keyboards, I can't tell. And the bombastic conclusion doesn't end until you drag yourself off the floor or away from the wall you've been pinned to after this album's aural bombardment. Yep, 'tis pretty damned good. (ironlungrecords.bigcartel.com)

CRAZY SPIRIT-s/t (No Patience, 7")
Crazy Spirit's first vinyl release since their 2012 album (there was a demo in 2014) and third self-titled 7” release overall. You know the deal by now—nasally vocals and a fuzzy, buzzy punk attack, underpinned by clattering, galloping drums. The tempo actually seems a bit sprightlier than usual. Six tracks that run together (three per side) and it’s not so much any distinction between songs as it is the overall effect—and that’s still plenty ear-messing. (www.nopatience.org; released in US on Toxic State)

DÖDLAGE-s/t (Sac red Plague/multi-label, 7”)
Painful emanations fused to an encrusted d-beat attack. "Stench Of Death"! "Man Made Hell"! "Life In A Cage"! Ten expressions of pure unharnessed rage, done with ruthless precision. What more do 'ya want? Stud it up!(1741 SE Franklin St., Portland, OR 97202, www.sacredplague.com)

DRONEZ-Corporate Funded Terror” (Ryvvolte, 7")
Scandi/d-beat musical terror. Four blazing tracks with harsh/howling vocals with a bit ‘o reverb, a wall of guitar noise and basic drumming getting the job done. Not a lot of variation in song structures here but the four tracks create and fast ‘n ugly firestorm. Their guitarist/vocalist Jay Collins also sent an earlier flexi that features more of the same. Inspired title: “Fuck You and All You Don’t Stand For.” Both of them are tucked inside hand-screened sleeves. (dektalmapunks@gmail.com)


EXIT ORDER-s/t (Side Two, 7") 
Exit Order's debut vinyl features far superior production to their demo and it brings their no-nonsense hardcore punk into bold relief, adding a few other elements. A slight effect on the guitar, along with pumping bass and quick-handed drumming accompanying Anna’s pealing vocals. Exit Order includes members with long resumes--No Tolerance, Leather Daddy, Limp Wrist, Green Beret, Brain Killer and others and not sounding specifically like any of those bands. Closing track “Order” has a slightly more anarcho punk feel and that’s filtered through other songs as well. (6 Wadleigh Pl, Boston, MA 02127, side-two.com)

FANTASY ARCADE-s/t (Too Old To Die, 7")
This San Diego band counts people from Life Crisis and Death Crisis in their ranks and, on their self-titled 7" EP, it’s a heavier, doomier sound. Big riffs and laying down a rhythmic thud, interspersed with bursts of speed, The tongue is planted into the cheek a bit and I didn’t even recognize their piss-take thrashed up version “Poison Arrow” as a cover song from 80s lightweights ABC. Or more accurately, they take the lyrics from that song and add their own music. Unfortunately, all this adds up to something not terribly enticing. (fantasyarcade.bandcamp.com)

FUCKING/INVINCIBLE-I Hate Myself and I Want You To Die (Atomic Action, 7")
Blasting/grinding/lurch on F/I's latest Vicious and savage and the howling vocals express anger and contempt. While there's no denying the music's ferocity, only the relatively straightforward, Swedish-inspired thrash of "Like A Child" makes any sort of connection. (www.atomicactionrecords.com)

KILSLUG/DRUNK IN HELL-split (At War With False Noise/Lupus, 7" 
Kilslug have been kicking around in one form or another since the 1980s and their latest disc is a split 7” with UK band Drunk In Hell, with each band contributing one track.Kilslug’s “Sick Sick Sick” (or “666”) is a rockin’ crusher, with Larry Lifeless’s nasal whine accompanied by a formidable heaviness that also has a groove. It doesn’t hurt they have a strong lineup these days, with John Kozik (ex-Out Cold) and John Darga (ex-Wrecking Crew) in the fold. Drunk In Hell’s track, “Hungry For Blood,” is slow and heavy as fuck, although it gets tedious after awhile. (www.atwarwithfalsenoise.com)

LANDLORDS-Fitzgerald's Paris (Feel It, LP)
Before they were the Happy Flowers' Mr. Anus and Mr. Horribly Charred Infant, Charlie Kramer and John Beers were two of the four members of the Virginia hardcore punk band the Landlords. They released one album called "Hey! It's A Teenage House Party!" in 1984 before, I'd guess, Charlie and John ultimately decided to concentrate on the Flowers, although it turns out they recorded Landlords stuff after the first album (a bit of research reveals there was a 7" in 1987). Anyway, 30+ years later, there's a second Landlords album, consisting of sessions from 1986 and 1987, but not the songs from that second 7".The download includes another '85 session and live set from CBGB. Landlords were ostensibly a hardcore band but worked in melodic touches and some metallic shredding (the liner notes claim an affinity for Tank's "Filth Hounds of Hades" album). There are even a few abraso rock excursions for "Stigmata," "Press The Bar" and "The Strange House" that showed them moving into something a bit darker. Maybe not 100% essential but still worth seeing the light of day. (feelitrecords.bigcartel.com)

METAL URBAIN-Panik/Lady Coca Cola (Alternative Tentacles, 7")
I know Record Store Day is pretty much a ripoff--overpriced, unnecessary reissues, ones that clog the record pressing plants and cause huge backups--but here's one that's worthwhile, if a bit pricey. Metal Urbain were one of the first French punk bands and "Panik," recorded in 1977, is one of the all-time great songs from that period. Razor-sharp guitar, synth washes and mechanized drums and harsh vocals. This song also has one hell of a screaming guitar solo. "Lady Coca Cola" is almost twice as long, repetitive and numbing but, once again, there's an ahead-of-its-time inventiveness. Metal Urbain truly didn't sound like anyone else at that time and still sound fresh almost 40 years later. (PO Box 419092, SF, CA 94141, www.alternativetentacles.com)


MOMMY-s/t (Toxic State, 7")
One of the more entertaining bands I’ve seen in recent months, an animated, raspy vocalist accompanied by drums and distorted bass. Kind of like early Rudimentary Peni filtered through the Crazy Spirit/NYC bung gene pool and that comes out brashly on their five song self-titled 7” on Toxic State. The typical top-notch packaging, including a fold-out poster and lyric booklet that intersperses the words (which read more like poetry than typical lyrics) with mental health reports. That’s the overall concept—someone going through a mental health episode and having to be hospitalized. I think that’s what it is, anyway. I’m not sure if it’s based on personal experiences but I think the Peni comparison is apt, given Nick Blinko’s mental health travails. (katorgaworks.bigcartel.com)

MONGOLOID-s/t (Feral Kid, 7")
Being that Mongoloid are from Portland, hearing the Jerry A-inspired vocals shouldn't come as a shock, although I suppose I'm just talking about geographical coincidences. Three short rippers that do have a Poison Idea bent in spots and it's plenty mean-sounding. The flip is given over to the long, laborious "At The Moment Of Death," saxophone popping up at the beginning and conclusion and it's a not-too-enticing jazzy/rock/punk journey. Would have made a great one-sided 7"! (feralkidrecords.com)

MORAL PANIC-Your Decline (Heinous Fuck, 7")
As I’ve been saying a lot lately, fuck off to anyone who thinks punk/hardcore/what-have-you is just a youth movement meant to be played by young people to other young people. Moral Panic prove that point on their “Your Decline” 7”. With members from Sydney and Melbourne, some of these geezers used to be in AVO and the drummer was in Depression years and years ago. Pure malice and venom on their concise, blink-‘n-you miss it hardcore thrash songs that are executed with on-a-dime precision. And for a changeup, there’s a cover of the old LA punk band Skulls song “Victims.” Play loud and get the hell off my lawn. (www.reverbnation.com/moralpanic88)

MUTANT SCUM-Field Recordings (Handstand, tape)
A concept of sorts... underground slime creatures forming out of industrial waste in a creek (so it says) to play boisterous, hard rocking metal and punk. If you're engaging in tongue-in-cheek schtick, it's always a good idea to have the musical chops and songs to go along with it and these Scum do have that. And read between the lines and it comes across like an environmental cautionary tale. From a musical standpoint, it's not primordial, sluggish ooze, even with a heavier, stomping song like "Sludge Castle." To use an awful pun, don't forget the sewers, don't forget the streets and watch out because these scummy beings are right behind you. (handstandrecords.com)

I was surprised to see a new NSU record show up in mailbox, since I thought they'd broken up. Well, they did break up but squeezed one more release before their demise, this ten song effort. NASA Space Universe have never fit into any easy category. There's an abundance of speedy hardcore but they add edgier, nervier touches, mainly in the sputtery guitar playing, along with the nightmarish vocals. Some of the songs hit a punchier groove, especially "Building," "Infernal Recurrence" and the title track. They've certainly spent time listening to post-"Damaged" Black Flag and early Die Kreuzen, probably while reading books about both bio-devastation and devastation throughout history, as well. The production on this one is rougher than in their recent history and it ups the abrasiveness level. It isn't clearly stated in the lyrics (nothing is clearly stated--they tend to go for something more oblique) but 70 AD is the year the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, including the Temple. It does ask "have things really changed? Has the world shifted?" I suppose the answer to that would probably be no... same shit over and over again. Sorry to see 'em go. (feelitrecords.bigcartel.com)

NO PAROLE-s/t (Mad At The World, 7")
A meat ‘n potatoes oi band from New Jersey and this 7" could have been on Headache Records back in the day. Your basic boot party with tough-sounding vocals and semi-tuneful arrangements. Pretty basic fodder, some catchy licks here and there, especially on “Grey Skies,” but there’s nothing all that outstanding about it. (www.matwrecords.com)


PARASYTES-Straight Jacket (Distort Reality)
Parasytes is the latest band for ex-Hellbound/After The Bombs/Hellbound vocalist Janick Langlais. On their “Straight Jacket” 7” there’s a slight difference from her other bands in that the guitar tone is somewhat cleaner, even adding some phasing for “Frantic.” For the mid-tempo “Paranoid Visions,” there’s a Discharge influence but not so much d-beat as that band’s “In Defence of Our Future”era and that’s the best song of the three. The others follow a traditional early 80s UK route with plenty of speedy burn (distortreality.storenvy.com)

QUANGO-Fatality (Danger, 12")
The story with Quango is it's a band with Richard from Hygiene that started in 2012. There was a four song demo, then three of the songs were pressed on a 7" and now there's this remastered 12" that restores the fourth song, "Viva Il Papa." I think that's the story. The version on this 12" is a different take from the demo. Whatever the case, the title track is a total earworm with the pealing guitar line ala Buzzcocks' "Breakdown" in the verses and an early Joy Division riff in the chorus. You can also hear echoes of the Swell Maps. They just sound old--and that's meant as a compliment. Old as in having a sepia-toned sound, something that could have come out back then. Punk and post-punk mixed together, in glorious low fidelity that increases the bash factor. "Living In A Shithole" and "Quickquid" have a slightly more '77 punk feel, while "Viva Il Papa" (about Pope Adrian IV, the only British Pope) spreads out over four minutes at a sturdy pace, with stinging guitar hook (dangerrecords.bandcamp.com)

S.H.I.T.-i (demo)
It's called the "i" demo because all three songs--"Introduction," "Incorporation" and "Information" start with the letter I. That's my guess and, being that I've been doing this writing s.h.i.t. (sorry) for a long time, I'm confident that's the case. I'm also confident this is another fine effort for this Toronto band. They've had a willingness to fuck with the crust/d-beat formula a bit, such as the introduction that's a fist-pumping rocker with wordless vocal effects. Then it's back to faster, head-fucking thump. S.H.I.T. dole out their music in small portions--several 7"s and tapes and still no 12". Maybe someday. (whatwedoissecrete.org)

SICK WARD-Into The Future (demo)
An 8 song demo chock fulla hearty 'n catchy punk with full-throated, gruff vocals that bears something of a resemblance to Criminal Damage. In other words, this is coming from a UK-82 muse although it's a tougher edge to it. "Outside World" introduces a Blitzy guitar signature, while the speedy "RX Population" careens full-tilt. Deserves a vinyl pressing. (3429 15th Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144, sickward.bandcamp.com)

S/ICKS-Cut Bait/Enemies List (Mind Cure, 7")/Pretty Plastic (Fair Warning, 7")
S/ICKS (or Sicks) are a Pittsburgh band including people from Kim Phuc (an underrated band you should explore), Caustic Christ and others. The two 7”s their guitarist Eric was nice enough to send me—“Cut Bait/Enemies List” on Mind Cure and “Pretty Plastic/Dose” on Fair Warning--came out in mid-2015 but it’s some quality swill. In a similarly nervy vein as Kim Phuc, with stinging and beefy guitar riffs and a solid rhythmic punch to go along with Rob’s cutting vocals, all of it at a steady mid-tempo clip, although “Dose” slows it down a bit. (Mind Cure, mindcurerecords.com; Fair Warning, fairwarningrecords.bandcamp.com)

SPAZZ (1997)

SPAZZ-Sweatin' To The Oldies (Tankcrimes, CD)/Sweatin' 3 (Tankcrimes, CD)
Two CDs, 131 songs, in a shade under two hours. Let's get rolling with a track by track breakdown. OK, maybe not, and I'm not quite sure why Volume 2 wasn't repressed as well. Anyway, these were both originally released on Slap-A-Ham )(Vol. 2 was on 625), run by Spazz's Chris Dodge. Collections of 7"s, splits, compilation tracks and some live recordings, as well. Anyone who's read this space for any length of time know that I'm not a real aficionado of powerviolence, grindcore, what-have-you but Spazz differentiated themselves by their ability to shift tempos effortlessly, going from blastbeats to more traditional thrash to crunchier stomp, sometimes in the same song. And it was done with a strong sense of wit i.e they never seemed to take themselves all that seriously. You can tell these guys grew up absorbing the entire oeuvre of hardcore, from US, UK and other overseas bands. Their various cover versions border are brilliantly-executed, from SOA's "I Hate The Kids" to Youth of Today's "Stabbed In The Back" (my favorite YOT cover ever, part of a trilogy of NYHC covers) to Negative Approach's "Lost Cause," which each musician getting a turn to add his own twist--there's even a funky break in it. All sorts of sound samples and there's even a fucking BANJO on "Spudboy." I know a lot of people hate CDs but these collections justify the continued existence of the format. (www.tankcrimes.com)

SPITE HOUSE-Perfect Vision (No Patience, 7")
Some goth-style punk from this Austrlian band, although the guitar playing has fuzzy touches to go along with the shimmer, particularly on the title track, the best of the four. They definitely take a page from early Siouxsie, with Stina’s vocals having a similar swoop as Ms. Sioux’s. (www.nopatience.org)

STRUTTER-s/t (Beach Impediment, 7")
Strutter are from Austin and have members from such heavy hitters as Glue, Vaaska and Impalers and it’s closer to Glue’s snotty hardcore punk thump, coming from more of an 80s impulse. Four loud ‘n fast rippers and tucked inside a colorful sleeve that would make you think it’s going to be a trippy excursion—well, the sputtering outro has a bit of a damage effect but that’s after you’ve been pummeled by the band’s straightforward aggression. (beachimpedimentrecords.bigcartel.com)


SUNSHINE WARD-Order (Feral Ward, 12")
In case you haven't been told (or weren't paying attention), Sunshine Ward include three former members of Brain Killer and they tear it up mightily on their debut 12" (following a demo that was also pressed onto a 7"). Following a well-worn path with a great amount of success, varying between hard-charging, d-beat infused ragers and medium speed tempos. Jordan has an effective, throaty bray to go along with the band's high-powered flay. The musicianship is sharp throughout, from Ryan Taylor's rumbling bass to Kyle Folsom's powerful drumming to Jeff Poot's arsenal of powerchords and singeing leads. Sunshine Ward on Feral Ward. Makes complete sense. (www.feralward.com)

TOTAL ABUSE-Excluded (Deranged, LP)
Total Abuse are ten years into their career of ear-damaging hardcore, having starting off as a more-or-less traditional-sounding unit but then they started expanding their sound into darker and abrasive realms. Total Abuse’s output in recent years has been real hit and miss but their latest, “Excluded,” marks a return to form. Heavy, barbed riffs are fused to explosive drumming, creating a sonic stormcloud and are paired with Rusty Kelley’s anguished vocals. Needless to say, the sentiments expressed are born of pain—there ain’t a whole lot of happiness in the outlook, the title track bearing that out. “Jealousy” states, at the output, “I’m not a nice person/I don’t claim to be/I have hate anger and jealousy/I fantasize about people under my boot/begging for release.” No, it’s not poetry but it’s sure succinct. Songs like “Eighteen” (not an Alice Cooper cover) and “Jealousy” wield an unhinged ferocity, while the six minutes plus of “Watching The Paint Dry” shifts from a sturdy mid-tempo clip into creeping, meandering territory. Sure, they’ve learned a few lessons from Black Flag and Bl'ast but there are worse influences and it still sounds fresh. (www.derangedrecords.com)


TRIAGE-Power Beat (Larry Tony Produzioni, 7")
On the cover, it says, "fuck hardcore, this is power beat." When I saw them live, their vocalist Lia said they were youth crust. Their set featured the first drum solo I ever saw at the Boiler Room--which, sadly, is missing on this recording. Echo-laden vocals, metallic guitar leads popping up from time to time and there's a slight hint of Sacrilege in their sound. Label it however you want--it's just loud, fast and banging.(faithvoidshop.com)

VARIOUS-Sick Of Things The Way They Are (Atomic Action, 7")
7 band comp, with six of them from Mass. and Rhode Island and one from NJ. It's all high-energy hardcore but not in one style. Wokling, Wound Man, Some Nerve and Razorheads offer bashing takes. Razorheads' song is distorted and nasty-sounding, Symptom follow the Disclose blueprint, World Is Shit have a death metal flavor and Fucking Invincible (as usual) go from stomp mode into blinding speed. No info, except for a sheet giving their Bandcamp pages. Wokling make the strongest impression and their 2014 demo is pretty good. Unfortunately, they've broken up. (www.atomicactionrecords.com)

VARIOUS-The Transcendental Maggot’s Revenge (Tsuguri, 7") 
Some good moments on this 7" comp, although old-timers the Ugly Americans’ mid-tempo “Pony Picture” oozes grunge era rock and not necessarily in a good way. The other veteran band, Flag of Democracy, fare better with their tuneful ‘n hyperkinetic hardcore and they’ve never lost a step. Toe Tag is Blaine from The Accused/Fartz's latest band and they dish out some passable metal-tinged thrash metal. Classhole's track has a bit of a Bl'ast feel and Beige Eagle Boys offer up some butt-shakin’ rock ‘n roll on their song. (9487 Holly Ridge Ct., Hildebran, NC 28637, tsugurirecords.blogspot.com)

VCR-RIP Sportsboy (Murder City Video/Barfbag, LP)
Two of the people in Triage also play in this band, albeit on different instruments and it's quite a bit different. Head-spinning garage punk with whirling organ and playful percussion, to go along with the sarcastic sounding vocals from Sportsboy (aka Scott)--he could be Lumpy's Canadian cousin. Dare I say there's even a bit of soulfulness on the instrumental "Sportsboy 69." And, after the opening track, "Murder City Rules," there are barely any gaps between songs, except when you flip the record over. It's a wild, sometimes silly ride, even a blink-and-you-miss-it cover of the Bad Brains' "How Low Can A Punk Get?" or, more accurately, a snippet of the song. The line on "Shut Up" about pulling down ex-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's pants, along with a zany sound effect made me laugh out loud. I hope the title track, which ends the album, doesn't mean there won't be another VCR release because this one's a lot of fun. (faithvoidshop.com)

VICTIMS-Sirens (Tankcrimes, LP)
Victims are coming up on 20 years as a band and "Sirens," their fifth album, is the first since 2011. Not much has changed. In the early days, Victims offered up Anti Cimex-styled rage. Over the years, the sound got thicker and heavier, while maintaining the speedy thrust and "Sirens" continues in a similar vein. There are a few songs here that up the velocity and trample over everything in its path--"Seven" and "Promises," the latter exuding "Never give up, never give in." Hope in a dreary world? Whatever the case, it's an anthemic ripper. Pro-forma Swedish crust-core but they've got it down at this point. (www.tankcrimes.com)

VIVISICK-Nuked Identity (Tankcrimes, LP)
The latest from Japan's Vivisick is one hell of a wild ride. After a high energy gypsy music intro, the sound is spirited and aggressive. There are the traditional Burning Spirits trappings but they also work in some hearty UK singalong punk ala Peter and the Test Tube Babies, to go along with Sunao's high-pitched yelp. Some great titles (I'd imagine the English translations are a bit loose)--"Why Must I Grab My Penis?" and "Peter Pan Syndrome Melancholy" come to mind.. And the liner notes provide some inspiring reading. It's a statement about how, even if punk can't change the world, it can make a positive personal impact. They also talk about having toured other countries and having their preconceived prejudices destroyed. Nuking identity--destroying the old one and finding something new. That burns mightily through Vivisick's joyous musical expression. (www.tankcrimes.com)

WHATEVER BRAINS-s/t (Sorry State, LP)/North Carolina Singles Series (Sorry State, 7") 
ISS-s/t (Loki, tape)
Whatever Brains were always an odd band (they just split up) and that’s no exception on this 7” or their new, self-titled album (their fourth). The a-side of the 7”, the engagingly-quirky “An Object,” is on the album, the ambient drone of the b-side “My Autumn’s Done Gone,” isn’t. “PUNK” is splashed across the top of the cover, in a font that looks like what you’d get from an old dot matrix printer and it certainly pushes the parameters of what one would consider punk. It’s a mechanized version of it, relying more on electronics than standard instrumentation and sometimes creating a woozy effect. “An Object” is probably the most “conventional” sounding track with “154”-era Wire pulse. Quite challenging—sometimes more than one might have the patience for. (www.sorrystaterecords.com)

In the meantime, Rich Ivey from the Brains did a project with Eric from Brain F≠ called ISS and I actually prefer this two the other two releases, although I suppose you could say it's a matter of apples and oranges. Rich handles the vocals and guitar and Eric the music--guitar, bass, mechanized drums and samples. It's a heady, snappy, minimalist mesh and more accessible than the Brains, and there's also a sly, wise-assed sense of humor. I'm not sure if it's a one-off and the tape appears to be sold out but you can still snag the tracks on Bandcamp (iss2012.bandcamp.com/releases)

WHITE JAZZ-Modern Living (Atomic Action, 7" EP)
Full-on aggro but White Jazz have a few more tricks up their sleeve(s). There are some damaged-sounding twists and turns and some floor-shaking moments, as well. The latter is true for "Peace/No Peace." "Blank Generation" isn't (I don't think) a Richard Hell cover, even though he gets thanked on the record. It's one hell of a rager, though. Six songs that grab you around the throat. (www.atomicactionrecords.com)


ADULT CRASH 2, compiled by Dave Brown (Vicious Circle/Six Feet Under)

The second volume of Dave Brown’s “Adult Crash” photobook has just been published, some 7 years after the first one. And, as with that volume, you get a 7” featuring four cover versions from Violent Reaction (Agnostic Front’s “Victim In Pain”), Barge (Youth of Today’s “Stabbed In The Back), Night Birds (Effigies’ “Haunted Town” with a surfy twist) and Government Warning (Circle Jerks' “Deny Everything”).

As for the book itself, it’s similar to the first one—a collection of photos laid out scrapbook style over a backdrop of flyers, interspersed with reminiscences of various “scene fixtures” musing about how they’re trying to carry on the punk inspiration and ethics in their lives as the years pass and adult responsibilities come into play. Some of the contributors are Kevin Seconds, Chris Boarts Larson, Eerie Von, Thomas Barnett (Strike Anywhere), Chuck Miller (“X-Claim” zine and Temperance Records) and others.

This time around, the photos and locations of the shows are dated and Dave brings in contributions from other photographers (including yours truly). Also, he uses larger photos, just a couple on each page, so they create a more striking visual image. And as you view the interactions between the performers and the audience members, you quickly realize that there’s a certain timelessness to hardcore. You could be cynical and say it’s just the same old shit over and over or take the opposite tack and think that it’s awesome that people continue to discover what’s special about it and it becomes an unforgettable part of their lives. I’m of both minds, depending on the day, but don’t deny it’s something that still means a lot to me. That won’t apply to everyone in those photos but it certainly does to the people who contributed to this book. The package also includes a digital download of the first book and the tracks form the 7” that accompanied that one. (vcrecs.bigcartel.com)



I was recently leaving a show in Salem that featured an all-too-brief 8 song Jerry's Kids reunion set (yes, that was a surprise last minute thing and quite a birthday present for yours truly and I’m sorry I’m gloating about it) and a gentleman by the name of Paolo gave me the two latest issues of his “Never Was Turned Has Been” zine and a homemade cassette compilation, “Section 12.” The two issues are half-size, cut and paste efforts. Issue #3 includes a diary of Paolo’s time spent in a psych hospital, as well as short interviews with Waste Management, Protester and Take Control, along with record, demo, zine and show reviews. #4 has an interview with Chris Wood aka Sid Sludge from Mental Abuse and more reviews.

I do have a bit of a bone to pick about his essay about 80s hardcore and him saying “most old punks are stupid.” And he also goes off on the FU’s “My America,” calling the members “plain ignorant.” Here’s the whole thing with the FU’S and “My America” once and for all. I’d imagine many of you figured it out by now but it was a total wind-up, some button-pushing. They weren’t jocks or rednecks or frat-boys. John Sox and Steve Grimes are both well-educated and quite liberal/left-wing in their ideology and had a wicked sense of humor. This will probably make Tim Yo’s head explode, wherever he is, but “My America” is the second best hardcore album to ever come out of Boston (Jerry's Kids's “Is This My World” will always be #1 in my book). The breakdown in “What You Pay For”? It still makes me want to wreck everything in sight. And they even say you’re fools to look to any punk band as some sort of savior.

Sorry I got sidetracked. Anyway, the cassette compilation is a throwback mixtape of ‘80s US bands, both well-known and lesser-known, with the more obscure Sluggo, Youth Korps and Killing Children sharing space with the likes of Articles of Faith, Freeze, Social Unrest and Die Kreuzen. If you’re interested, contact Paolo at paolojbt@gmail.com.