Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wake Misery Rites Review

Misery Rites
Translation Loss
Out Feb 23 2018
Review by hutch

Wake has been lingering in the background of larger bands for a while, continually astonishing grind fiends. Coming from Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2010, Wake has released something each year (save 2015); including three LPs, one EP, and three split EPs. From the first release, the 2010 LP, Leeches, I was hooked. Almost all have been on separate labels, including respected mainstays such as Sentient Ruin and Give Praise. Here on Misery Rites, Translation Loss (on an amazing streak) presents a blistering example of how grandiose yet compact and succinct grindcore can be. Wake deliver atmospheric haze over the tightly produced material. Wake decimates with speed but also taut precision; adding chaotic elements that all synergize to a punishing product.

Guitarist, Rob LeChance, spearheads the writing and Wake’s direction. When handing Misery Rites to production, the band decided to streamline by having the album recorded, mixed, and mastered with Dave Otero at Flatline Audio (Khemmis, Primitive Man, Cobalt). This process, and a larger vision, has added to this band’s impactful canon. While Wake has proven repeatedly that they can crank out the relentless hammering of grind/death with stunning results. On Misery Rites, however, Wake grasps at more. The opener, touting lyrics, “the cycle starts”, prepares the listener and Misery Rites maintains a ravaging atmosphere until the seven minute closer. Having played the album on repeat in succession many times, I can vouch for the intended cycle of pacing. In between, Wake plants a treacherous mid-section of slightly longer tracks (“Paradigm Lost” at 3:38; “Exiled”, 2:49p); as they plod and stew and fester. Even the shorter blast-driven tracks writhe in a much heavier, stagnating, burdensome and miserable miasma. This salient vibe lends to Misery Rite’s cohesion.

Song titles definitely follow (or implement) a chronological flow to the album. Adding to the lyrics mentioned, referencing the “Cycle”; the death related journey ushers the listener with: Exhumation, Misery Rites, Embers, Rot, Paradigm Lost, Exiled, Rumination, Bitter Winter, Burial Ground. “Burial Ground” lays Misery Rites to rest in two parts. First, Wake gives us a black metal scorcher that speeds through with tragic implications. Then, a climactic proclamation stands, with slow rhythms, for the final four minutes. Ball’s declarations of regret, “I never change” echoes and repeats. The audience is dragged down, descending into filth, blackened loathing and madness. Josh Bueckert’s dynamic control on his drums is impressive here.
The grandiose appeal of the production, the low tuning, and the apocalyptic mastery all add to aiming higher in songwriting and fucking nailing it. In about 26 minutes. 7/9 tracks are 1:30 to 2:30. Blastbeats and thunderous fills from Bueckert on drums carry this monstrous album to victorious heights. “Embers” has a cool 10 second reprieve with a looming angular guitar string twitching in the middle, but mostly the track bangs away. Penultimate track, “Bitter Winter”, which leads to the meandering, foggy final, ends its duration with a minute of mid-paced pounding. But let me not relay a slower Wake. This album rips and tears with hammering riffs from Arjun Gill and LaChance under Kyle Ball’s commanding vocals.

Playing in headphones for over a month, Misery Rites has not grown weary. The one-two punch of the title track and “Embers” tantalize each play. Even after two hours of consecutive plays. It is impossible to not think of recent Napalm Death with music, production, and vocal delivery, but that is some reverent praise! This brutal gauntlet of riffs and beatings, Misery Rites should move Wake across the States and Canada (they tour 3.10.18 to 4.11.18) to pulverize welcoming eardrums.

RIYL: Napalm Death (especially last 4), Rotten Sound, Nasum, Lock Up, Kill The Client, Implore

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Jan 2018 Splits Reissues Compilations EPs


Holy Terror Total Terror Box Set Dissonance Productions
Holy Terror Terror and Submission Back On Black BOBV512LP
Out Now
Holy Terror was a Los Angeles band that savagely represented thrash. Their two first albums are legendary. Submission (1987) and Mind Wars (1988) are heralded in the cannon of US thrash, although mostly to the passionate fans that dare to dig beyond the common names. But, that hunt just became easier. Dissonance Productions presents Total Terror which will be available to North American headbangers on February 9th, 2018. Holy Terror’s entire catalog is on 5 CDs. Terror And Submission (1987), Mind Wars (1988), El Revengo (2006), live album Live Terror-Live In Dendermonde, plus a rare DVD featuring multiple live shows and videos. called the band, "faster than Slayer, heavier than Exodus, and more melodic than Megadeth." Terror Submission comes on vinyl in white and red splatter.

The Ocean Precambrian Pelagic Records
Late Feb 2018
The Ocean's Precambrian was released in November 2007. An impressive post-metal trek, a la Neurosis, Converge, Gojira, and ISIS, The Ocean presented a challenging album packed with tense riffs, looming heaviness and angular guitars played concise and sharp. The schizophrenic dynamics of this milestone mock any attempt at classification beyond ‘metal’. Strapped with vocal conviction over chunky bass lines, Precambrian relies on intellect as much as grit. Seven albums deep, tours with peers like Mastodon, BTBAM, Opeth, and Kylesa show The Ocrean’s growth and impact. The Ocean refer to themselves as a “collective” leaning on a constant rotation of contributors and artists.
Precambrian cherishes the metal tech wizardry as much as raw emotion and delivery of hardcore.  Precambrian itself embodies variety with guest appearances by Caleb Scofield (Cave In, Old Man Gloom), Nate Newton (Converge), Tomas Hallbom (Breach), Eric Kalsbeek (ex-Textures), and musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. This tenth anniversary edition of Precambrian (released on March 16th, 2018) relishes in a re-recording of ten-minute "Rhyacian"; played by the current lineup of guitarist Robin Staps, vocalist Loic Rossetti, drummer Paul Seidel and bassist Mattias H├Ągerstrand.
To celebrate, The Ocean will play the entire Precambrian with a headlining set at Doom Over Leipzig Festival on April 21st, 2018.
Each of the three packages is limited to 250
LP1: ultraclear w/black and orange smoke; LP2: beer w/ dark red smoke; LP3: transparent orange w/ black and dark red smoke.
LP1: silver and clear, A-Side / B-Side w/ black splatter; LP2: brass & beer, A-Side / B-Side w/ black and red splatter; LP3: gold and clear orange, A-Side / B-Side w/ black & red splatter
LP1: beer in ultraclear; LP2: transparent orange in ultraclear; LP3: transparent red in ultraclear

Unearth The Oncoming Storm Metal Blade
Jan 26, 2018
Metal Blade Records will re-issue The Oncoming Storm. This was the album that propelled Unearth into the forefront of the resurgence of American metal. As the band’s (and the scene’s) writing was growing beyond the formulaic (but still loved!) metalcore. This went beyond beatdown riffs to start a pit in a local venue. Metal was shedding its dirty word status and embracing the dynamic song structures, melodies, solos, and musicianship of the records the hardcore kids had back home. Massachusetts sure spat a few out of note. Unearth have always kept it humble and honest. On The Oncoming Storm fans can revisit the classic sound that saw them transition into the revered beast of later days.
VINYL: 180g black; orange-brown marbled, 300; "flame" splattered, 200; pumpkin orange marbled, 300; root beer marbled vinyl; 300; gold / black split, 700.

ALESTORM Captain Morgan`s Revenge – 10th Anniversary Edition Napalm Records
January 26, 2018
In 2008, Alestorm secured a large fan base with their mixing of storytelling and catchy metal. Sharp guitars and clean production and rowdy lyrics ensured waves of attention. Here, Captain Morgan`s Revenge is resurrected with “a fresh remix and remastering by original producer Lasse Lammert at his LSD studios plus rejuvenated artwork.” The Live At Summer Breeze bonus disc is included as well. Alestorm combine meaty riffs and raging rhythms with folktale aesthetics and symphonic metal grandiosity. Their tales are alluring when paired with punctuated production and mesmerizing guitar leads revisit the beginning of Alestorm!

Let it Burn
Jan 26, 2018
400 on yellow transparent w/ multicolor splatter; also, black vinyl/ Digipak CD/ Digital

To The Center
Feb 16, 2018
400 on red transparent w/ multicolor splatter; also, black vinyl/ Digipak CD/ Digital

Dos EPs
Mar 02, 2018
400 on transparent w/ multicolor splatter; also, black vinyl/ Digipak CD/ Digital

In 1997, Nebula was spawned in Los Angeles when guitarist, Eddie Glass, and drummer, Ruben Romano, left Fu Manchu. Arguably, their final sound would not be much of a departure. But, in fact, audiences can hear the rise of the musicianship above just riffs. Romano and Glass revel in a freedom and exuberance that, whether roiling or simmering, allow each to mark their artistic territory. Capturing the essence of psych/stoner rock, this power trio (after recruiting bassist, Mark Abshire) encapsulate the volume and songwriting of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, and Hendrix; but also cite The MC5, The Stooges (check the cool strut of “I Need Somebody” on To the Center) and bands like TAD, Skin Yard, and Mudhoney. The unfettered expressionism resort in variety, such as laying back for seven minutes (“Fly On” on Dos EPs) as well as the reserved Hammond on “Smokin Woman” (Dos EPs). Nebula lead you through expanding your third eye (“Fields of Psilocybin” on To the Center) or trudging heavy riffs on “Dragon Eye” and “Devil’s Liquid” (both scorchers on Let It Burn). Nebula’s three releases here utilize the silky leads and fuzzy bass and raucous drums of stoner rock; plus instruments like the sitar, piano, and organ. They expand the impact of their songs with the usual psychedelic filtered effects; soaking in flange, delay, panning, reverb and wah-wah to lead an audience’s mental and aural attention. Each reissue presents the full album Dos EPs being the split and on gatefold (or 6 panel digipak on CD) plus two unreleased tracks. This is a gorgeous way to celebrate twenty years of Nebula.

Windhand/Satans Satyrs split 12” Relapse Records
Feb 16, 2018
Richmond, VA present two of their macabre darlings. Windhand resurface after the glorious 2015 LP, Grief’s Infernal Flower. Clayton Burgess’ brainchild, Satan’s Satyrs, have not released anything since 2015 either. This 12” positions its balance on Satan’s Satyrs’ raw riffs and gusto with Windhand’s musicality and challenging of paradigms. The five tracks demand a 12” format. Windhand, always prolonging their heavy psych-doom, open with “Old Evil” at six minutes. Afterwards, the extensive, 14 minute (ain’t nothing new for them) “Three Sisters” is unleashed. Dorthia Cottrell’s vocals are pushed more forward than usual, above the swirling dense tones; drenched in emotionally draining hooks, hammered slowly. The heavy droning riffs are coupled with a haunting organ, riding slow waves of plodding drums.
If lulled by Windhand, Satan’s Satyrs side is a jolting slap. While still sinister and ominous, Satan’s Satyrs uses rambunctious rhythms and raucous ‘70s riffs. This is big volume contained under four minutes. The closer, “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby”, is a stripped down rocker, echoing the opener “Alucard AD 2018”, with its glam-inspired strut, The mid jam, “Succubus”, is darker depending on atmosphere and a gritty tension.
VINYL: 2500 on black; 400, metallic gold; 300, baby pink with mustard; 300, bone white and purple splatter; 100, black and metallic gold merge with white and gold splatter.

Endorphins Lost / Osk split 7" Rotten To The Core Records/ Delusions Of Terror Records/ Agromosh Records/ You All Die Records/ New Age Pyrate Punks Records
Feb 1, 2018
Seattle’s Endorphins Lost captivated fans with their punishing grindcore just over a year ago, in November 2016. A caustic debut, Choose Your Way, on Six Weeks Records, portrayed Endorphins Lost’s version of old school crusty powerviolence. Done with bombastic, crisp production, this fevered punk is served again with four new tracks on this split 7” EP. Spanning from 12 to 90 seconds, Endorphins Lost kill tracks in the vein of Napalm Death, Spazz, Despise You, and Phobia. “Mercy for One” is a beast and its fits of rage into a slowed down thick groove breakdown is explosive. This is grind or powerviolence whatever to perfection. The sound and unrelenting power is one of the best of recent years.
Canadian grind/hardcore band, OSK, add three crushing tracks. The vocals are more abrasive. OSK fly through minute and a half long spurts with some contagious fervor. “Let’s Play A House Show” adds a slight groove to its crunch. All three songs are handled with a pummeling low end, emphasized by big punches from the bass drum. Tough as nails stuff here.

Fistula Splits with –(16)- + Come To Grief Patac Records
Out now
Fistula / Come To Grief split: Ooof. Come To Grief’s “Take Me in My Sleep” is six minutes of bludgeoning, low-tuned, sluggish despair. Jon Hebert’s raspy growls relay the song title’s desperation. This is not a frantic, sweaty desperation, but one profusely embedded in hopelessness and defeat. “Take Me in My Sleep” is a brutally miserable onslaught of loathsome attrition; chiseling at faith in restitution. Fistula follows CTG’s pace with their track, dragging in at six minutes as well. “There is no hope, there is no reason why – we should go on – we should not die” are the lyrics sung by frontman, Dan Harrington. Fistula distinguish their imprint by sectioning their duration. At two minutes, the riff changes slightly in tone and tempo but not pace. The growls still spew vitriol at “fakes and liars, hypocrites”. Then at 3:25, a distinct crisp groove enters the picture; with a –(16)- or even Helmet or Fudge Tunnel (Creep Diets) type stomp. Heavy as hell and twisted and misanthropic. Bad ass song of fetid fury.
150 copies of silver metallic cassette; 100, Clear Vinyl; 150, Transparent Red/Black Smoke Vinyl (PATAC exclusive); 250, Black Vinyl

-(16)- / Fistula split: Here –(16)- grabs a classic Killing Joke track from their debut LP and extracts the spirits but churns the track with its own imprint. –(16)- utilizes their sludge stamp but highlights the melodic guitar line for contrast against the driving, fuzzy bass “Complication” becomes darker and more sinister than its parent song. Fistula hone in on Devo’s punk pith for their cover of “Mongoloid” and nail it. “Mongoloid” fits Fistula’s oeuvre all too well. And they conjure the inner spite while eschewing any pop or electronic elements. Heavy reverb bass and down tuned riffs, strengthened by Harrington’s screams shape the ugliest beauty. “Mongoloid” becomes a tarnished, twisted track of rocking punk. 
100x Clear Vinyl; 150x Aqua Vinyl (PATAC exclusive); 250x Black Vinyl
Fistula will unveil four more splits with Hemdale, Bloodsick, Fister, and one final band to be announced at a later date. Additionally, the band will issue a vinyl version of 2016’s Longing For Infection with a bonus etched seven-inch from the recording session.

Iron Reagan / Gatecreeper split LP Relapse Records
March 2 2018
Stomping into 2018, Relapse Records give the world two raging bands on one slab of wax. Iron Reagan’s scalding crossover and Gatecreeper’s punishing death metal have impressed fans globally. Relapse Records cemented classic status by having the two bands attend the same studio, the lauded GodCity with Kurt Ballou producing. Both bands are hitting the road with one off shows and fests immediately in January 2018. Relapse posted a track from each on YouTube: Iron Reagan’s two minute “Paper Shredder” is one of their five tracks on side A; Gatecreeper’s “War Has Begun” is one of their three which pummels eardrums for four minutes. Unique shirts with both bands logo and the artwork are available in black or white. Available on CD and vinyl: 100 on bone white and blood red merge with black splatter; 300 on bone white with blood red + black splatter; also, black vinyl. 
Flytraps Outro Records
Out Now
The Flytraps have been a quartet of all female, with a surfier, reverb sound. Now, with three ladies and a dude, the band is darker and faster and more straight-up garage punk. Whatever the formula and combination, this new 7” captures their snarling swagger with three punchy tracks. The L.A. quartet gives us “All Talk”; “He's Been Around” - a fast-paced, jangly lo-fi classic- and “Doin' It Right”. The Flytraps play dense garage punk rock with slithering female vocals and attitude that flaunts meandering bass, tight guitar licks, and rugged drums. 100 on red vinyl; rest on black.

Hell Bent Demo EP (Cassette) Self-release
Jan 12, 2018
Rhode Island’s Hell Bent spews three-ish minute tracks that combine searing elements of thrash, d-beat, crossover, and hardcore – if you need a label beyond “whoah”. Hell Bent boasts the menacing vocals of long time screamer, Aaron Badger, of Straight To Hell, Ulcer, and Paindriver. Other members have spent time in Dropdead and Neon Bitches. This demo was released last year on a very limited cassette version aside from digitally. Kicking off the New Year proper, they are repressing with a more expanded run on cassette.
Hell Bent execute furious, dark metal. Six tracks here exhibit speed-driven riffs with catchy time changes and powerful bass. The brash guitars and pounding drums push and push behind the experienced lungs of Badger. “Yeast” is a blistering opener. These are hardcore thrash songs with taut riffs and more dynamic parts in the songwriting; blazing tracks anchored by breakdowns for the pit. “Bastard Curse of Abraham” starts with a slower, trudging pace which gains momentum, then ebbs into the mid-tempo, building the anticipation. After 90 seconds the final minute, spazzes forward again with tight thrash riffs. Rest of the demo has infectious, energizing tracks that move into dark, down-tuned thrash. See these dudes live if you get the chance. Killer honest metal/hardcore with a voracious hunger. And the bite to match
Silver print on black cassette, deluxe edition comes with an embroidered patch and sticker.

Pissed Regardless Feed the Birds Creator Destructor Records *(Earsplit PR)
February 16th, 2018
San Diego-based thrash purveyors, Pissed Regardless, are releasing their dark, negative take on hardcore based crossover. Feed The Birds is thick and powerful. The condemning ferocity of the vocals match the brutal music. Incensed vocals and frenzied drum patterns switch on dimes to bring pulsating respits and breakdowns (bordering on grind at times). Heavy riffs accompany slick chops and relentless double bass drums bellowing disdain for a rotten world. Pissed Regardless call to influences like 90’s Earache and 80’s NYHC to currents like SSS, Ramming Speed, and This Is Hell. Again, heavy.

Gnaw Bone Scorched Earth Auris Apothecary
January 15th, 2018
Indiana’s malevolent trio create treachery and devastation with a new four track EP. Their names and duties are recorded simply as B, Rhythm & Voice; R, Thunder & Voice; S, Noise & Voice; the mysterious aspect adding to the chaotic atmosphere of their blackened doom sludge. Enmity and sadism are instruments as much as any guitar. Four to six minutes each, tracks like “The End” (which begins the EP) revel in noise and sonic abstraction. Thick and pounding, the EP conjures spiteful snarling and disdainful cynicism. Limited edition vinyl is on ultra-heavy 180 gram vinyl, on crystal clear transparent vinyl, a double-sided insert, and a heavyweight 24pt jacket. Deluxe edition includes crushed bones pressed into the wax. *Includes digital download

Americas Hardcore Vol 4 Triple B Records
Ships Jan 26, 2018
Continuing its beloved series, Triple B – who had a spectacular 2017 – deliver Volume 4. This installment visits us with upstarts, Brother (New Bedford, MA) – Negative Approach-style female fronted hardcore with new bassist, George Radford (She Rides, F.I., Dropdead); Krimewatch, old school, abrasive, punky hardcore with a mix of NYC and Japanese members and lyrics (3/4 female as well); Line Of Sight, DC SXE revival with mosh friendly two step rhythms and ferocious guitars; Glory, infectious Boston Youth Crew Hardcore; Pure Disgust, punishing DC thrash; the metallic frenzy of Primal Rite (LP coming on Revelation 2018); Free, new track after their stellar 2017 7” of eclectic influences; and big wigs like hardcore super group NYHC style, World Be Free and Baltimore’s titans, Trapped Under Ice. 
“Each band also designed and submitted their own pages for a 20-page, 12" x 12" insert booklet included with each record. LP includes digital download. These will ship in January. All copies come with a free immediate download.”

Aqua Blue, 700; Purple with White Swirl, 500; Red White Blue Tri-Stripe, 300.

Hell Bent Review

Hell Bent
Demo EP
Self Released
Dewar PR Haulix
Releasing on Jan 12, 2018

Review by hutch

Hell Bent hail from Rhode Island. This band conquers by spewing three-ish minute tracks that combine searing elements of thrash, d-beat, crossover, and hardcore – if you need a label beyond “whoah”. Hell Bent boasts the menacing vocals of long time screamer, Aaron Badger, of Straight To Hell, Ulcer, and Paindriver. Other members have spent time in Dropdead and Neon Bitches. Their demo, which is this, was released last year on a very limited cassette version aside from digitally. Kicking off the new year proper, they are repressing with a more expanded run on cassette.

Hell Bent execute furious, dark metal. Six tracks here exhibiting speed-driven riffs with catchy time changes and powerful bass. The brash guitars and pounding drums push and push behind the experienced lungs of Badger. “Yeast” is a blistering opener. The one and a half minute scorcher is just fast; powerviolence/hardcore, again, if you need to slap on a genre tag. “Desert Death Lord” follows with all the same aspects except leaning toward more a thrashy jam, with taut riffs and more dynamic parts in the songwriting. Still blazing. “Canis Lupus Superion” also travels at blinding speed with a crossover nod in the riff; repeating and charging. Badger’s growls are beefy and penetrating. The breakdown ¾ way through gives a good chunky space to embellish in its two minutes. Made for the pit. 

“Bastard Curse of Abraham” starts with a slower trudging pace which gains momentum, then ebbs into the mid-tempo, building the anticipation. After 90 seconds the final minute, spazzes forward again with tight thrash riffs. The great titled “Condemned to Life” follows, with an infectious, energizing into that moves into dark, down-tuned thrash. Badgers commanding vocals are gnarly.  This is a catchy hardcore feeling track, damaging and angry. Pounding fast, the closer, “Scythian Horde” rides that trash gallop for the verse while other parts utilize a sharp charge forward of hardcore speedy riffs and double time drums.

This is a great demo I have been enjoying for over a year. Happy to see it get some wider distribution. The bands mixing of genre attributes are invigorating. I do look forward to a tighter production on a proper release to pull off the trashier parts (I sometimes want the drums to be more crisp, succinct). But this is raw and vicious. It’s a minor criticism that could be fixed on a non-demo release. See these dudes live if you get the chance. Killer honest metal/hardcore with a voracious hunger. And the bite to match.

Silver print on black cassette, deluxe edition comes with an embroidered patch and sticker.

85 incredible metal albums of 2017


Fucking hell. It was a ridiculous for metal and all its hyphenated, nerd arguing, split genres.  This is no order. And i didn't want to split hairs in comparing genres - but then did not want to pick 5 from each.... Basically this is 100 awesome metal albums of 2017. maybe more. i lost count.

I even broke up the spoitfy lists: Part A and Part B

NOTE: if forced to choose a top 10 or 50, I’d have to whittle down and that would leave some great shit out. Also – I am not a musician – sometimes ‘best’ to me means impact and energy; not technical proficiency.

Craven Idol The Shackels of Mammon Dark Descent (next level noise evil gritty metal)

Malleus Storm of Witchcraft Blood Harvest - Boston madness! Probably my #3 of the year.

Midnight Sweet Death and Ecstasy Hells Headbangers -  little different, slower songs, still amazing

Goatwhore Vengeful Ascension Metal Blade - another banger from them! Just flawless

Tombstalker Chaotic Devotion Boris 7” - only wish there was more. Black metal foundation with Thrash Rock – well produced. could be my #2!

Implore Subjugate Century Media - drums are like if Jerrys Kids played satanic metal. Caustic delivery, BM riffs.

Moral Void Deprive Translation Loss - straight forward, no frills. Stripped down brutal ugly metal. Fast as fuck. Songs like “Bereft” and “Dust”: clear black metal, but its thicker and more captivating to me

Wormwitch Strike Mortal Soil Prosthetic – again just such a great blend of styles. Punches hard

THRASHDbeat and Misc...whatever i can't keep up with all these distinctions: 10
Kreator Gods of Violence Nuclear Blast *brutal from the best

Power Trip Nightmare Logic Daymare - #1 with Loudwire, MetalSucks Readers + Writers, BangerTV Viewers; #37 Decibel – below Converge, Integrity and some others. I have loved these dudes from day one. Cuz i love hardcore and metal and all in between.

Iron Reagan Crossover Ministry Relapse – infectious and energetic after many listens – simple formula that works. Momre hardcore than thrash. Took a friend who hadn't heard them yet. He's 43 and said "this is the new DRI! This is perfect." I prefer this to new MW.

Lurking Fear Out of the Voiceless Grave Century Media played this frequently. Swedish supergroup (holy fucking line up) that grabs its opportunities and nails it.

Vallenfyre Fear Those Who Fear Him Century Media side project get d-beat/swede Death fusion – loved it all year.

Blood Feast The Future State of Wicked dirty underground – blackened thrash stood out to me Love this album after repeated listens

All Out War Give Us Extinction Organized Records - Decades ago, hardcore guys unabashedly made a Slayer record. No one matched their ferocity. They are back. Classic line up delivers best LP in years.

Wilderness Dream Paralysis Rise Creator Destructor  raw sludge USDM with vocals llike Human Fuirnmace of RIngworm - i listen to this a lot. Great band.  2-3 min songs. Probably one of my favorties, i just know it is not technically superb or whatever. But actually it is rather fucking sick! Good hardcore feel like Ringworm or All Out War.

Odious Icon Planet of Immense Decay Negative Vibe - new thrash but not too clean, little darker smoking tracks. I love the tuning and tone. Just uh, again, not ground breaking. Maybe it's not thrqash and I want it to be more thrash. It's not polished enough or guitar focused to be 'pure thrash' which IS WHY I LIKE IT. Still worth a listen or five. @ - 3.5 min songs and a heavy hardcore sound, just with death metal vocals.

Havok Conformicide Century Media - little choppy for me – but when the go forward, they do it well. Been a band I liked for awhile

Warbringer Woe to the Vanquished Napalm

Witchery I Am Legion Century Media -- very like a Skeletonwitch – just blends thrash and black metal so well.  Produced clean and fierce.

DOOM:  14
With the Dead From Love Rise Above - droned out cavernous despair, Lee Dorrian‘s nihilistic perfection. Triumphant!

Spirit Adrift Curse of Conception 20 Buck Spin - glorious. Better than Pallbearer to me. Clean Vocals; spot on 70s riffs with crafted intentional doom

Loss Horizonless Profound Lore - painstakingly slow – but gorgeous. Epitome of melancholic funeral doom

Paradise Lost Medusa Nuclear Blast - back. True doom, growled lyrics. Continue their upswing of the last few years.

Beast Maker Inside the Skull Rise Above - from the look to the hook; riffs and lyrics and aesthetic make this one the best records in years on a stellar label. 

DOOM Hon Men:
Demon Eye Lies and Prophecies Soulseller Records - NC's finest hit the target with their third brilliant LP.

Elder Reflections of a Floating World Stickman 4x 11 min songs then 2 9 min. Crafte dwell – great rhythms and guitars. Bluesy at times – like early Graveyard… Lots of layers of sounds. Smart men

Bell Witch Mirror Reaper – always liked these dudes – and now a 83 minute one track. Epic (a duo) – with drummer/vox guy died – Adrian Guerra and got a new, first time drum/vox guy Jesse Shreibman

Temple of Void Lords of Death Shadow Kingdom - monolithic plodding but death metal riffs

Unearthly Trance Stalking the Ghost Relapse - another staggering return.

Northless Last Bastion of Cowardice

Tongues Hreilia I, Voidhanger Records

Omotai A Ruined Oak Ruined Carnage - AZ trio of dirgy punk-doom; rebellious, smart, weighty

Ditch and The Delta Hives in Decline Battleground Records – killer sludge doom – about to tour w/ 

DEATH:   12
Cannibal Corpse Black Before Red Metal Blade - a fuckin monster. thank you, CC

Necrot Blood Offerings Tankcrimes - yep. nailed it. Dark and evil.

Acephalix Decreation 20 Buck Spin - another great one from all these Necrot and Vastum related people.

Dying Fetus Wrong One to Fuck With - Relapse Nasty. Powerful. Genre defining; heavy but clean production with the weird guitars (not a musician but that high pitched noodling)

Obituary s/t Relapse - mid-paced, hardcore like - and fucking great. Listen to it a bunch.

Exhumed Death Revenge Relapse *Concept album of drunken serial murders. Great LP

Cannabis Corpse Left Hand Pass Season of Mist - call them a joke or whatever. But as ecibel review said - other bands lauded as genius rehash (pun intended) subjects of war or Satan again and again. SO their thing is weed. The music is bonkers.

Incantation Profane Nexus Relapse - just a personal favorite. so grimt, just down and dirty death metal. More on thick riffs and loos production than tech wonder.

DEATH Honorable Mentions:
Decapitated Anticult Mystic *tops Blood Mantra, killer record overshadowed by horrific claims - now vindicated.

Extremity Extremely Fucking Dead 20 Buck Spin 3 chicks & a dude; member of Vastum (Shelby); Swedish style. 

Entrails World Inferno Metal Blade  - down to the logo, this is intentional Entombed worship – handled flawlessly. (Gruesome: Death / Entrails: Entombed)

Black Dahlia Murder Nightbringers Metal Blade – Death Metal that the HC kids love

GRIND:   6
Haemorrhage We are Gore Relapse - From Japan. Been around awhile but this is their most realized release.

Friendship Hatred Southern Lord - scary shit from Japan

Expulsion Nightmare Future Relapse *literally Exhumed Matt Harvey + Repulsion Matt Olivo. Add Danny Walker of Exhumed, Intronaut, and Phobia. Damn find grind.

Phobia Lifeless God Willowtipclassic road dawgs snuck in the under radar to gift us this gem

Lock-Up Demonization Lifeless  - All Star line up (Nicholas barker, drums, Shane Napalm, Kevin Sharp – brutal Truth, VC) this is when Death/grind gets fun and invigorating. Angry and political. Big death metal stomps and breakdowns.

Complete Failure Crossburner Season of Mist - sludgy dark spazz grindcore. Nasty

Ledge Cold Hard Concrete Translation Loss - Heavy Chicago shit, tough plodding like Harms Way – dude from Spine/Weekend Nachos – doom/industrial hardcore. Heavy and ugly and depressing suicidal shit.

Primitive Man Caustic Relapse. Sometimes I am in the mood – sometimes it’s unlistenable. Ugliest doom out there.  Misanthropic

Iron Monkey 9-13 Relapse - reconstituted with new/old members as a trio – but captures the spirit and sound. Gnarly.

Livid Beneath Shroud The Earth Erodes Prosthetic - oomph. slow as molasses. and fucking good.

Rig Time! War Innerstrength - pretty much straight hardcore (like this year's great Left Behind) but they like Eyehategod too. Smart social lyrics.

Blackish:  Note the "ish" 5
Low Estate Covert Cult of Death Flenser – best new surprise for me. Chaotic metal + splashes of AmRep/NY noise. Unsane meets black metal; rough n tough and low-fi.

Cloak A Venomous Concept Season of Mist - this split a lot of people this year, but most endorsed and gave at least a 7/10. I enjoyed this immensely and they are getting big tours now. Well deserved on a well crafted album. Good production. Not first wave black metal, but not that symphonic shit. Thick riffs still played with well rounded production. But structure is often black with a classic metal feel. I like it much.

Chaos Moon Eschaton Memoire Blood Music/Fallen Empire - 6 - 10 minute tracks, produced not tinny but still with early black metal aesthetics. Grandiose atmosphere with muted production, i guess. Ebbing and flowing song structures. Dandy. Double bass insanity with high tones meandering - i have it as background music and i suddenly realize how depressed I feel.

Tombs The Grand Annihilation Metal Blade - another bomb ass record by these Brooklyn dudes. SO full. It takes many listens to appreciate, I feel they are one of those bands who set the bar so high early - that in their 4th and 5th LP you're like "yeah, of course it's awesome". But then you don't dive into it. I need to dive into this again.

Scour Red Housecore - I don't really know if the TRVE KVLT BM scene poo poo these cats as tourists - but i think it's amazing musicians killing black metal. Phil Anselmo [Vocals] (Ex-Pantera, Superjoint, Down, Arson Anthem), John Jarvis [Bass] (Fulgora, Pig Destroyer), Chase Fraser [Guitar] (Animosity, Continuum), Derek Engemann [Guitar] (Cattle Decapitation, Unmerciful, Covenance) and Adam Jarvis (Misery Index, Pig Destroyer) on drums. Jarvis is one of my favorite drummers. I think its big and focused and fucking dark.

Livid/No Funeral Live Fast Die Recordings - ugly satanic doom
BLK OPS/Cave Bastard accident prone - black metal doom noise
Hands of Orlac/Wandering Midget Cruz Del Sur - 15 min doom songs but super good)

Summoner Beyond the Realm of Light Magnetic Eye - dudes can write. Big bendy riffs with thundering delivery. Witness the madness. 4 - 6 minutes tracks with clean vocals mixed evenly. It ain't pop. It ain't Mastodon or Sword - but hella approachable. Solemn and heavy shit.

Here Lies Man Here Lies Man Riding Easy – riffs, fuzz; stoner rock with afro-beat rhythms. One of the most original albums this year. Thin Brown Sabbath doing original tunes.

Atomic Bitchwax Force Field Tee Pee Records Stoner Rock per se but done on hyperspeed in 2- 3 min songs. Killer riffs, guitars blazing leads, spaced out 70s jamming.

Duel Fears of the Dead Heavy Psych Sounds - dusty desert tunes for muscle cars and Harleys. Love it. One of my faves this year. More 70s rocking than others in this list. If Earthride didn't growl or tune as low at times; then they switch to boogie a la Trouble / The Skull. Dark and occulty.

Honorable mentions:  16
Integrity Howling… Relapse expanding their sound. Solid LP, love the addition of Dom Romeo. I loved it. Then I was bored. Some straight USBM stuff, some hardcore, then the slow and 'profounbd' spoken shit. Metallic. Felt like a collection of songs rather than one cohesive album. But ya know, divebombs.

Unsane Sterilize Southern Lord - what an album! great stuff. could use slight more variety - but still a crusher. This sits in this list more becauseit does not have peers, less than its quality.

Darkthrone Arctic Thunder - pretty good. I'd like better production. I like their classics of course. But I also love FOAD, Sardonic Wrath, Cult is Alive, Dark Thrones and Black Flags. I like variety and their experimenting. So with this, i just wish it packed more of a punch. But I will certainly throw it on.

Taake Kong Vinter Karisma - its hard to top Striden Hus

Pallbearer Heartless Profound Lore - a damn fine record. may be i am just have a stick in my craw over the hipster hype. But i also get kind of bored. and it's super polished music and clean singing. Again, i am not a musician so maybe i miss the genius.

Ufomammut 8 + Godlike Snake Neurot – Italian doom guys; psych mind expanders. Samples, electro, noise static and riffs. I know it's amazing but after 7 LPs of this (and EPS) you have to be in the right space. And again. more elctro shit in this one. Still brilliant.

Rope Sect Personae Ingratae + Proselytes Caligari Records / Iron Bonehead – dark, macabre rock

Godflesh post self Avalanche - I loved the return last year with Lit - but i just didn't get tiime for this. Still growing on me.

Sepultura Machine Messiah Nuclear Blast - best Derek Green yet; trashy, gnarly. I just wish they would just change their fucking name. But Machine Messiah is a great album. I definitely appreciate the cerebral lyrical shit; I liked A-Lex and Dante concepts. This is cool too. Often i just want them to play faster - like it needs to move forward, sometimes they reside in the stale bounce too frequently ("Alathea"). But i do like the layered percussion on "Resistant Parasites". Andreas and Paulo still kill. New kid on drums is nasty. Green's voice is commanding.

Cavalera Conspiracy Psychotic Napalm surprisingly good – old tight chaotic thrash – better than average – better than expected still a 3/5. Max's lyrics are still that of a ten year old tho. I love him in Sepultura - never git into SOulfly - i liked Nailbomb - i liked last CC and this one.

Converge The Dusk In Us Epitaph - meh, another genre challenging, boundary pushed milestone. meh.

Full of Hell Trumpeting Ecstasy Profound Lore - aggressive. and different. sometimes just too abrasive for me. And i was on that early bandwagon, i ain't fronting. It's good as fuck.

Old Iron Lupus Metallorum Good To Die Records - Bad Ass sludge. Really good, just not ground breaking

Belphegor Totenritual Nuclear Blast -  Love these guys. Back again. satanic thick Blackened Death Metal; super fast drums with staccato plodding riffs on the opener. Then others are just thick USDM.

Shambles (Thailand) Primitive Death Trance Blood Harvest 

Quicksand ? not for me... yawn... 25 years later and it's an indie shoegaze album. Best part of QS was the dense tension, the pressure  and frustration. I would not expect them to make  QS part III. Use a new name!

Electric Wizard Wizard Bloody Wizard Spinefarm  - fine 60s rock but decidedly average

Melvins A Walk with Death & Love Ipecac - I will always love the Melvins. Best part is if you don't like this one, next year will be another installment in their supreme legacy. Still rocking this as i work once in awhile. But doesn't grab my nuts. I'll try again and maybe change my opinion. Again - just did not give it enough time yet.

Best of 2017 Hip Hop

HIPHOP - not in specfic order - but pretty damn close.

Check this Spotify list - 3+ hours of tracks from these and many others - including singles from favorites not listed here.

OC + Apathy Perestroika Dirty Version – My best of. Hands down Aps rapid delivery of complex bar structures contrasted with OC's laid back, casual style plays beautifully. Ap made 90% of the beats - find samples and quotes and that continually support the Perestroika theme. It's a genius boom bap album. Plus, guests like Slaine on "Tomorrow is Gone" with all telling 3 stories of their Northeastern homes is genuine. The opener is the best, an unstoppable banger, killer beat with AP's nastiest verse. But songs like "Whats It All About" addresses society's and personal stress over a seductive piano solidiofy the sincerity of this project. Peppered with classic Boom bap like "Soviet Official" (a soulful head nod) , "stompcrushkillmode" w/ Celph, and "Covey Leader to Raven" just as bragadocious gold. "Winter Winds" is relelntless with Ap's verse and the vocal loop for the verse and ODB sample in the hopok.

Slaine + Termanology AntiHero Brick/ST records: ..probably #2 for real. vicious lyrical ability by both and multiple syllable schemes. When you have been doing this for as long as these two - as skilled as these two - you cultivate killer support: Preemo beat with Bun B and Everlast; Evidence beat; Statik beat with Madchild + DJ Revolution; and that's tracks 2, 3, and 4. Other names include beats by more Statik, Willy Loman, Psycho Les, Arcitype, and DC the Midi Alien; MCs include Chris Rivers ("Bringing Much Terror" - Oooohhh!!!! pure banger), Ill Bill, Nems, Ea$y Money, and Ras Kass. But Again here you get mind bending wordplay of Slaine and Term on top of their vivid storytelling.

Blu + Exile In the Beginning: Before the Heavens FatBeats
Classic, funky, west coast hip hop – sample driven and bluesy. Multiple instruments sampled here, piano, strings, and horns. Blu embodies smart lyrics passed through sick flows. His lyrics are descriptive (with a phrase like "takes more than water for a flower to grow" while still talking drugs and guns in community; so not hippie shit. Just insightful. Gives mad respect to old school). Great to here new Compton stories what aren't rehashed from what we grew up with. "On the Radio" is a classic jam that will get you nostalgic while appreciating a fresh breath. 

Sean Price Imperius Rex My favorite rapper. riP! At first i didn't deep dive because it felt like a posthumous release, kinda clunky. I still think a few songs in the middle with avg guests and beats i would drop; but considering sentimentality and P’s bars, i have been rocking this frequently! Beats by Nottz, Stu Bangas, 4th Disciple, Alchemist and Marco Polo. plus some new dudes.

MC Eiht + Brenk Sinatra + DJ Premierwhich way iz west Year Round Records
We have all waited for this for years, it was disappointing to hear it would not be all preemo beats (feels like this happens.) But I was a huge fan of the Brenk EP Keep It Hood. So here he get hood legend, Eiht, banging over dope beats with great guests like Bumpy, WC, DAZ, Chill (CMW), and the greatest surprise, Lady of Rage murdering her 16. Amazing LP here.

Planet Asia + Apollo Brown Anchovies Mello Music Group - Apollo reinvents himself while still concocting tracks with his formula. Samples galore but this exhibits a minimalist approach from Apollo; sparse elements as the foundation is perfect for PA's flow. Planet Sia is in my top 10 - and i never tire of his lyrics even as he bangs out 2-3 LPs each year. "The Aura" is sublime. "Panties" is the jam. "Deep in the Casket" kills. Fly Shit.

Kool G Rap + MOSS Return of the Don Clockwork -smooth '70s soul with a GOAT top5 telling gangsta stories.  

Muggs + Mayhem Gems from the Equinox Soul Assassins -spooky, dark; classic Muggs with killer bars by Mayhem. I have loved every Muggs collabo and this solidifies the legacy.

KOSS Born to Live Slice of Spice …obviously. Ad for this read: “I just use turntables, vinyl and an MPC, That's it." Belgium producer with a soul drenched touch. Guest include Masta Ace, Keith Murray, Blaq Poet, Craig G, Ruste Juxx, and Torae. even more.

Pawz One Pick Your Poison Pawz One Music / Dopeshit Music actual guitar bass and drums here - playing funky tunes with energy and punch. "Wish You Weren't Here" is great specimen, add his Pawz bard, a redman sample for the hook and ill scratches. Love hearing Mykill Myers on a track - so cool. "Front to Back" bangs as the album's opener. Loved Pawz' Face the Facts and Def by Stereo. The dopeness here is pushing the boundary like 90s Too $hort, MC Breed, and even NWA. Remember real instrumentation? Goats? Roots? (discounting intro, interlude, outro) There are 12 tracks only 5 have guests. So Pawz shows he can carry an LP. But when gets the guests.... hot damn. Shabaam Sahdeeq (jazz soaked trumpet and guitar), El Da Sensei, King Magnetic + Cheif Kamachi, Talib Kweli + Main Flow, and the Myers track - which is a rollicking funk fest with horns and piano over the best and a sick hook with Das Efx and Artifacts' sample. 

M-Dot Ego and The Enemy EMS Produuctions - Boston vet delivers the full package here. Check my review here

Blacastan + Stu Bangaz The Uncanny Adventures of Watson & Holmes Brick Records / Brutal Music - whether on his relentless mixtapes - Master Builder Patr II - or Blac Sabbath or on AOTP or DGZ - Blacastan stands out with storytelling, bars, and personality. Having a consistent producer on an entire LP helps this cohesive project. Great follow up to the first installment. Stu's style of MPC chop and loop sampling gets heads to respect his game.

Your Old Droog Packs oooohhh, I love his laid back style; smokey and jazzy. His EP hooked me. This full length begins with a bold track, "GKAC". It's brilliant. Then "Bangledesh" and "Grandma Hips" back to back - is way too fonky. Dude can rap.

Edo G Freedom 5th & Union - The lord of Boston just keeps doing Edo; nasty flow and social commentary with multis. Great beats. I'll buy everything this man ever releases. 

Roc Marciano Rosebudd’s Revenge Marci / Fat Beats 15 tracks - only 2 guest verses. Roc has been doing this! From The UN to his solo work like Reloaded, Marcberg and Marci Beacoup, his unique style - like he needs a translator and demands repeated listens - he creates worlds and one of the most original styles. Plus, his beats are ridiculous - matching his sparse and minimal wordsmithing. No one here is a super name, but he exploits each opportunity to spit straight fire.

King Magnetic Everything Happens 4 a Reason King Mag Music - AOTP and solo vet from Philly, comes with a captivating album. Not the best rapper, but King has bars and killer beats which are thick and funky. Sampling the trinity, horns, keys, strings. This is east coast boom bap for 2018. This road dawg's subjects are heartfelt, down to earth, while still being hard.

Thirstin Howl III Skillmatic (self) 2018. Are you kidding me? TH III returns with a full on classic. You have to adjust to his flow and delivery style -  but beats bang and he’s entertaining as fuck.

Fokis Underground with Commercial Appeal
Madchild The Darkest Hour
Rock Rockness AP
Ruste Juxx International Juxxe – grimy and gritty – boom bap – all collabos with varied MCs from the world)
Masta Killa Loyalty is Royalty
Heavy Metal Kings Black God White Devil - Ill Bill and Vinnie Paz return with metal themed tracks putting Goretex on most tracks. 
Skyzoo The Peddler Themes
Showbiz + AG Take It Back
WuTang The Saga Continues 
Raekwon The Wild  *"Can't You See" is top5 single of this year.
Wordsworth Our World Today
Nutso REDSunday
Local Mu12 comp Everday People
Milano Constantine The Way We Were
Alpha Faktion Creative Control
PMD Business Mentality
Phat Kat + DJ Dister The S.O.S. Project

Friday, February 2, 2018

EHPC Best Of 2017 Oi Punk

It is in a relative order but i am not (again) scrutinizing the top 5 or whatever. These are all killer records. I definitely did not get to hear all the resurgence in real Oi! had to offer. Bet we try. I  think our list is solid.

Fuerza Bruta Verdugo Foreign Legion Chicago youths took the over world (literally - with shows in Europe) with their first LP. This bastard piece of wax sold out in minutes, instantly demanding a second press - which then sold out. Great shows in NYC and Minnesota and Chicago assert their brash fast style of gritty Oi the respect it des\erves. Sung en espanol. amazing debut.

Templars Deus Vult Randale/Pirates Press The Lords of the Sword return with a collection (of unreleased tracks) of their signature sound recorded over the prior decade. Cool vinyl packages and a flexi companion helped this fucker sell quickly. I had thought we would only hear from the mighty Templars on split 7"s . But thank christ the vaulted these tracks and gave us a proper LP. Fantastic.

Short Days s/t Destructure/No Glory Records beauty of an LP coming from Lille, France. Find on bandcamp and download for free. It's the one with cover art from Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train. Melodic punk with a tough back beat; like sped up French Oi. Produced just enough... Many repeated listens. Solid back catalog too. Stellar work.

DDC Unite and Conquer Rebellion big sound, superb production. These dudes definitely stepped it up considering I have enjoyed there prior EPs and splits. The guitars have a metallic crunch; add that to robust drums, and the songs are fast and tight. You get riffs, leads and catchy parts with gang vox. Adult lyrics push this beyond any token tropes of the scene.

Concealed Blade s/t Beach Impediment - played this frequently. noisy and rough - fast tunes.

Roadside Bombs Rise Up Pirates Press - catchy and passionate Cali punk. Loved it. One of this year's best. "War on Love" and "45" are brilliant (catch those 7"s for some added vinyl love). Also peep "Nowhere CA", title track, and "Don't Bother"

Duffys Cut Killers on the Dance Floor Oi The Boat - sweaty mod, max R n B, punk Oi! whatever. Another brazen record that gets you moving. Love this.

Sweet FA Mission Accomplished Rebellion Records - stripped down Us Oi! like the late 80s/early 90s. Side project here, members of Legion 76 and Thunder and Glory. I fell in love with this one quickly.

Victory SOS Pirates Press Records, Longshot Music, Oi! The Boat Records, Rebellion Records
Tops of 2017.  Hard charging Oi!, they keep the speed of their other releases

The Abductors Coming Home Arrest Records - They pull back on the Negative Approach style but remain angry and tough. They had some more writing and musicality to their rambunctious cynicism. Good mix of CT hardcore and punk. Working class venting, done quite well.

Concrete Elite Iron Rose Rebellion / Longshot - I have been a fan since day one. They kill live. Their records are great. Little bit weird on the death metal growl for vocals, but once you adjust you realize these cats have stepped it up again. Best material to date.

The Struggle Endless Pirates Press - Experience and grit from members of Major Accident, Gimp Fist, and Crashed Out give us a smarter, mature Oi album. Very listenable, solid Oi Rock and Roll from elder statesmen.

(Not OI PUNK):
Cloak/Dagger I Want Everything Self Release - One of my favorite bands return. Not sure why it's self-released but thank christ they got this burner out. Taut, frantic paranoid punk.

Exit Order Seed of Hysteria Side Two - ex-vox of Leather Daddy, this sonic chaos is played searing and sincerely. Packs a punch!

Piss Test s/t Dirt Cult - dark and twangy, some twisted pop hooks but mostly just ominous punk a la Night Birds, Adolescents, OFF!.

Career Suicide Machine Response Deranged Records - look who's back! suprise punk hardcore fast and dirty from these Canadian fuckers. Blazing record.

Moral Panic Moral Panic Slovenly Records - Punk rock n roll. Greasy and low-fi, snotty and catchy. Grab it.

Razorcut Common Enemy Longshot / Contra
Al and Brod deliver another solid LP - with two ladies in the band. Strong Australian Oi here.

Toxpack Schall & Rausch Napalm Record – they brought a grand sound through stellar songwriting and big production. Interview here. It’s a metal album by skinheads

Grade 2 Break the Routine Contra - hadn't quite listened to their prior stuff, just seemed like young punk. I was wrong. This is clean and crisp production, but also these dudes have grown older and better; mature and thoughtful songwriting and stellar musicianship. Powerful punk even if a little polished. Spain.

Gimp Fist Never Give Up On You Sunny Bastards - not quite uo there with the classics of theirs - but they announced they were done and we've gotten two LPs since. Still solid songwriting (a la Cock Sparrer) for these guys. Always something to like.

Lillingtons Stella Sapiente Fat Wreck Chords - Wow. Way beyond the years of simple (intentional) Ramones mimicry. This has mood and atmosphere driven by new angular guitar lines. Dark and some Joy Division influence. Follow me here... Parallel to third Tiger Army in that bring in new influences to their prior routine adherence to said sound. After repeated listens for a review, this album grew and grew on me. I genuinely enjoy it. Spooky; lyrics of secret societies and conspiracies. I was watching a lot of X-Files this fall when this dropped between Halloween and waiting for season 11.  And some great fast tunes too. try "K6" "Night Visions" "They Live" "Night Crawlers"

OLD GUYS: i don't know if they're 'top' but it's good to here from tall these guys.
GBH Momentum Hellcat; Varukers Damned & Defiant (2016 had new Discharge End of Days)

Legion 76 Banners Fall Contra/Longshot - my top EP from the year.  Straight genuine Oi! that is passionate and well written.

RIXE Bapteme Au Feu La Vida En Mus - 3rd 7". rough and tumbly trio (w/Victor from Lions Law). brutal.

Shipwrecked s/t 7” Pretty Shitty Town - one could argue this hc, but whatever. It's mid-paced and there are strong guitar lines and melodies. Well, two songs are and then a tough ass Boston Hardcore (1982 style)  track. Amazing new shit from a phenomenal band. I hope Klas and co. give us more soon.

Battle Ruins 3 Song Cassette (self) - No Brainer. 3 new tracks from the best show of 2017. Soundtrack to annihilation. 

Epic Problem False Hopes Brass Neck Records moving beyong their Leatherface worship, they add to two of my favorite releases of the last decade (All Broken and Lines). Solemn punk that just chips at your soul. Catchy writing but meloncholy sound. Tugs at you. Loved it.

Junto Live To Tell Contra, Longshot - Back to this many times. 4 tracks from these Seattle guys. 

Lions law / Stars and Stripes Heritage Contra, Longshot - was a favorite; Lions Law covering "The Power & The Glory" and SnS doing "Heritage. plus additional track from each. brilliant.

RAS Pas Le Temps De Regretter Contra / Dirty Punks Classic French band reborn. tight.

Cliches Divide and Rule Randale Always will be on my lists. love these swedes.

Litige Fuite En Avant Destructure Records (Syndrome 81 / urban savage) blazing french oi/punk from Lyon. Female vocalist over jangly basslines and punchy drums. good riffs and leads. Time changes add some drama. 8 tracks on bandcamp

Petite II self *listen to podcast 010 to get my opinions. buy on bandcamp

45 Adapters They Call it Justice Pirates Press - title track is a+ plus two more. little shaky on the production but seeing it live made me realize how much i love it.

Anvil Strike Tales from Border City Crowd Control Media
Unruly Boys 7” Crowd Control Media
Bromure A La Roquette Une Vie Pour Rien Vinyles – great French oi with Sax – surprise: Victor from Lions Law!,
Burden repress 7”, No escape 2016- cd; vinyl 2017

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Best of 2017 XXX Fanzine book Mike Gitter Interview

One huge pleasure which I had in 2017 was great interview with Mike Gitter. Here  is the print version. I will have the audio up at one point. Also i made a Spotify PLAYLIST I did not make it of the anthems necessarily. I rocked the songs that rep the era of the book 1983 - 1988. Plus i like to choose the not obvious songs. Enjoy!

Buy at Bridge Nine