Summer Reviews

Things have been slow around here lately. Some of it is lack of motivation, a lot of that stems from a decent downswing in readers/listeners, but also in content. I have not had a lot to say lately for some reasons that, maybe, I will write about sometime.


Real Cops

Excellent NJHC that reminds me of bands like Full Speed Ahead and Tear It Up (who members of this band were in). I see a lot of potential here.


Sucked Dry

Wow, another band that sounds like Cold Sweat is a big influence on them. Obviously, other bands like Crossed Out and Rorschach are also big influences. I want to hear more from this band.


Won’t Belong

Spazzstic hardcore that reminds me of power violence bands like Charles Bronson. This isn’t really my thing.


Violent Future

Early harDCore influenced stuff from this Australian band. I hear a bit of The FaithArtificial Peace, and Deadline in this band. This is really good.

Sectarian Violence
Self Titled 7″
Grave Mistake Records

This one will definitely make the year end top 10 list. This international band, which features the dude who does Third Party Records amongst others, remind me a lot of Fit For Abuse and Knife Fight. Angry 82 style hardcore with excellent political lyrics. They are touring this summer and I am hoping to check them out.


Dream Punx LP
A389 Records

A bit of a different direction for this label, but this is pretty good. Anne are from Portland and remind me of something between My Bloody Valentine and The Catherine Wheel. Despite being only 30 minutes long, this does drag a little in some parts. However, I think this is worth tracking down for Shoegazer enthusiasts.


Negative Approach
Nothing Will Stand In Our Way CD
Taang Records

What is up with the cheesy artwork? That is some Grand Theft Audio level crap. Anyhow, here we have another Negative Approach compilation. Personally, I can’t get enough of any Negative Approach odds and ends, but I can understand how others wish this was all just dumped online. In fact, this collection doesn’t have a lot of new material. Their first recording session is something new to me, and is fairly interesting. A few of the live sets here I have had for a number of years, but the complete, I think, Clubhouse Demo is worth it here.


NYC Mayhem
Crossover Days CD
Hell’s Headbangers Records

Of course, history will document that NYC Mayhem evolved into Straight Ahead, but this material can also stand on its own. This band moved away from longer, more metallic, songs, to the devastating speed machine they became as time went on. This CD combines their demos, some live recordings, and an unreleased ep that was new to me. I think this is fairly essential material. Now, will we be getting a Straight Ahead discography anytime soon? Remember when Krakdown and Straight Ahead discographies were supposedly coming soon about 15 years ago?


The Boston Strangler
Primitive LP
Fun With Smack Records

Not surprisingly, The Boston Strangler are heavily influenced by early eighties Boston area bands. Musically the biggest influences are The FU’s and SSD, with Dickie from Impact Unit influencing the vocals. After an excellent demo, this is a great progression for a band that I see a lot of potential for in the future.


Various Artists
New Breed Compilation

Of the big three late eighties NYHC compilations, it’s hard to rank this and Where The Wild Things Are in second and third place, but I definitely listen to this one more. There are so many bands on here, most pretty classic, some fairly obscure, This reissue sounds good, with some minor complaints, and I am thrilled that a new generation can hear this again. Ah, fuck it, let’s go band by band:

Absolution-Holy. Shit. I had only heard the seven inch before this song back in the day and I was floored by it. The seven inch is really heavy and kind of slow and powerful. Never Ending Game is heading in the direction that Burn would go in (Didn’t Burn cover this song in 1998 when they played Philadelphia?).

Life’s Blood-Incredible live stuff from CBGB. Life’s Blood were always so hit or miss with their live material, but they are on fire here. That is Sean Murphy from Collapse on vocals. I have this entire set.

Outburst-Two demo songs plus a live cut that has the intro edited out for some reason (???). The demo stuff is kind of slow, but they got it right on their seven inch.

Our Gang-I have always loved these songs a lot. Their other material is hit or miss, but these Our Gang songs are a nice blend of Youth of Today speed and Breakdown mosh. Someone from this band hooked me up with a lot of ill stuff a long time ago.

Collapse-This short lived band was another one that blew me away the first time I heard. Heading towards post hardcore, like Quicksand, whom this band shares members with, but still filtered through NYHC, Collapse only recorded a few songs with this being the best one.

Pressure Release-These speedy Youth of Today style songs are fine and all, but you need to track down their incredible Prison Of My Own 7″ for the real Pressure Release. That record is sick, sounding like if Die Kreuzen was a NYHC band. I wish there was an LP of that stuff.

Breakdown-Just how many times did Breakdown record demos during the eighties? This is yet another session. I love the shouted backups on Don’t Give Up. I remember a time in hardcore when people didn’t like Breakdown.

True Colors-Pretty generic posi hardcore here. This band had a bunch of demos as far as I remember. Members of this band would go on to be in Citizens Arrest.

Show of Force-This is another one sort of heading away from straight forward hardcore. Some of the breakdowns remind me of Crown of Thornz or something like that. Did they record anything else?

Direct Approach-Like many late eighties NYHC bands, I love the bass work in these songs. These are pretty generic NYHC songs, but that isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, one of my favorite genres of music is “third tier NYHC.” I don’t think this band ever played out and I am pretty sure members of Inhuman were in this band, right? The second song, No Respect, is really good.

Raw Deal-Whoever thought to have a scream before Wall of Hate is a genius. This shit sends a chill up my spine. The Raw Deal demo is up there with bands like Siege and Raw Power for best ever.

Abombanation-When I first heard this compliation back in the nineties, I think the band that stuck out to me the most was Abombanation. In the middle of all these heavy NYHC bands was a band that sounded more like 7 Seconds, except without the surupy pop soaked melodiousness. If 7 Seconds were from New York, they might sound like this. What about the mosh part is Disinherited? The song is going along and just stops on a dime for this great breakdown. I love the lyrics to Not Kosher!

Beyond-Is that recording of Seasons different from the demo? I remember in about 1995 hearing ABOUT Beyond so much…they were this legandary band in the time before mp3 blogs and things that give bebs easy access to music. A friend got a video of them playing and I remember they seemed really fast and sloppy and just kept screaming BEYOND!!! over and over. The demo got booted around 1996 and we were floored by it. Then, a few weeks later, we were in the apartment of the older brother of a friend and he had No Longer At Ease, their LP, sitting in the corner. I borrowed it and went home and literally stared at the vinyl as the feedback began in Save Ourselves. My first semester of college, I think I listened to that record on my commute about 100 times.

Direct-I think this band became Reach Out, right? Reach Out’s demo is awesome. Memebers of that band would go onto Beyond, Inside Out, 108, etc. These Direct songs are in the vein of Beyond I think.

Uppercut-That Am I Clear? song is pretty shitty. It drags on forever and “moderation” is some corny bullshit. A member of this band was also in Judge later on and I think I want to listen to Judge now. Sami Reiss loves this band; their LP is decent.

Fit of Anger-As Porter said at the last Floorpunch show: “Great mosh parts!” These songs come from their demo and are probably the best ones on there. chunky NYHC ala Raw Deal, Breakdown, etc. They did a second demo that is more metally and then a CD when they got back together in 2000ish with some of these songs and others. Great stuff.

Discipline-A quick thrashy posi jam from this band. Did they record a demo?

Bad Trip-This band stuck around for awhile when I got into hardcore I think…I have never really liked them that much. This song is fine alongside the rest of the compilation.

Stand Proud-Pretty standard NYHC. Is angel dust still a thing outside of Law & Order reruns?

Under Pressure-This song is weirdly melodic in some parts. Pretty decent ending to the compilation, but it is no Searching For The Light obviously.


Live At Generations Records 7″
Vice Records

This was released for the idiotic “Record Store Day” last year. Off! are a fine band, their music is decent, but I want to puke when I read douchebag wash outs who make claims like “these guys are doing it right!!!” and “this band will show the new kids what real hardcore is!!!” Oh, just fuck off. There are a hundred bands these days filled with kids that are way better than this shit. Keith Morris is in the band? Who cares.


New York Terminator 7″
Painkiller Records

A slightly less awesome seven inch after their full length last year, but still pretty great NYHC stuff from this Canadian band. I hear a little less Krakdown this time, but some older influences from NY Trash era bands. This is great.


Darker Days Ahead LP

There were a few years where I didn’t listen to a lot of hardcore during the early part of the last decade outside of Black Flag and Discharge. Why? Well, tastes change and the scene certainly changed a lot. My interests swayed in other directions, but came back of course. Tragedy was one of the bands that really peaked my intertest during this time. Their album Vengeance was on constant rotation in my truck as I eased my way back into checking out new bands. I became a big fan of their seven inch and split with Totalitar. Their 2006 album Nerve Damage was one that slowly grew on me more, but I did not like as much. Six years later, Darker Days Ahead continues away from the straight forward sounds, that was always still loosely based in His Hero Is Gone and the mighty Cop Out to me, towards a sound more influenced by bands like The Mob and Amebix. This is heavy, plodding, music that lives in between crust punk, hardcore, and more metallic influences. Personally, I like it, but it has, again, taken a few listens to really grow on me. As always, Tragedy records are well worth at least giving them a listen before deciding how you feel.