Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rig Time War review

Rig Time!
Innerstrength Records
RELEASED 20 October 2017
Review by hutch

The big difference from their prior output, last year’s full-length, Sick of It and two EP’s, Awful and Devout, is low end. Whether they tuned (even) lower or just amped up the post production. The other material had the spirit, but War is delivered with bombastic terror. Rig time’s sound on War is ugly, writhing in fetid disdain. Coming from La Crosse, WI, I am sure the scene is scant and pushing them to be heard. War will create waves towards both coasts, especially now as they debut on Innerstrength Records.

One interesting aspect of Rig Time! is the relationship of the members. The fluid communication of husband/wife Bryan W. and Rebecca Fleming (vocals/drums and guitar, respectively) drives the music, rounded out by Mark Trueman (bass/vocals). Again, calling out the production and of course the mastering, it is no surprise to find the sonic genius of Brad Boatright at Audiosiege. But first, War had the fortune to be recorded/mixed by Pete Grossman at Bricktop Recording in Chicago, IL (WEEKEND Nachos, Harms Way, Like Rats). The album was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege in Portland, OR. Whatever approach Grossman took, it was the correct channel. Songs are written drenched in vitriol and tension. The explosive breakdowns pay off. But songs that linger are ooze hit the mark as well.

Rig Time! nail it with tracks like “Garbage”, “Succumb”, “Blister” and “Cleanse”. Puncturing their blend of sludge and hardcore – with a tight embrace on powerviolence – the band kicks fast and dirgy tones, manifesting unbridled hatred. War is dripping with rage, vocals are strained and emphatic. The rhythmic pummeling of a more atmospheric “Discomposure” or “Deserve” show a propensity to manipulate mood and not just the strings of an instrument. The trio push many two-step parts spurring ill breakdowns with a groove. Noisy tones and ugly sentiment. While, going back to “Succumb”, Rig Time! have blastbeats charge with that double bass hammering away to the howls of “We bow to no one!”.

RIYL: Xibalba, Harms Way, Weekend Nachos, Balaclava, Lowered AD, Eyes of the Lord

Squalus The Great Fish Review

The Great Fish…
Translation Loss
Release 9.15.17
Review by hutch

First things first. Squalus is 4/5 of the band, Giant Squid. Giant Squid were self-proclaimed “prog” sludge metal. Those elements all remain here on The Great Fish... as Squalus paddle forward. Pertaining to the absent fifth member, Squalus does not fill the guitar slot. Rather, the band doubles up on bass guitars and rolls with keys and drums. From Giant Squid to the moniker of Squalus, a type of dogfish (sharks), these four chaps illustrate their fiery affection for the foreboding dangers of oceanic depths. The Great Fish... exhibits certain strengths while calling a niche audience to listen.
Upon first listen, the eschewing of six strings hones attention to the other instruments; especially the keys which protrude from each track. And when the word “keys” is utilized, the plural is intentional. There are synths and straight piano key sounds on deck. The odd configurations of rhythms and time signatures throughout elicit the prog-rock feel. But the execution illustrates a (deceptively) simpler, more direct instrumentation which conjures eclectic influences. While most likely not an influence, the Florida swamp sideshow orchestra, Viva Le Vox, comes to mind with The Great Fish... emanating a weirdly alluring circus vibe and a cautious bog of peril. Also, we hear some aspects of sonic schizophrenia akin to Faith No More; not in sound but approach. But the roots are filthy riffs of raw rock and roll.

Parts of The Great Fish… evoke Giant Squid’s Minoans but instead of gentle tangents we get quirky. Again the foundation definitely harnesses sludge elements. But the piano – while most doom or garage bands striving for an eerie sound would defer to a traditional Hammond B3 sound – this cleaner piano sound (still probably on a synth) adds a macabre atmosphere. “Eating Machine in the Pond” distinctly pulls from the churning dark synth reverb (layered with the normal piano) of John Carpenter as it births a pummeling rhythm section; grinding, bellowing.

Instead of squealing guitar leads, the keys reel and spit. “The USS Indianapolis”, although it started out with funky jazz diversion, almost calming, certainly hypnotic, eventually dives deep into the fathoms of torment. The beginning is Smooth and perky – and then the, well, squall crashes into the track with big movements. Noise and confusion drown the listener in a barrage of low end splendor.  
The successive openers – “The Great Fish” and “Flesh Bone and Rubber” – are engaging and promising. Gnarly, jangly bass riffs and provocative drums charge along with growling vocals. The quick (under 3 minutes) duration of “Town Meeting” swirls in a chaotic deluge. The repetition of chainsaw synths, banging; ripple out with early Murder City Devils type rock and roll.
If you have not pieced it all together from the song titles, The Great Fish… is about Spielberg’s 1975, JAWS. I would assume the lyrics are of “Town Meeting” are Quint’s proposal at the town meeting, screamed; especially since the track ends with the vocals stating the Mayor’s unsteady reply of the film. Tracks dedicated to the Cassie Taylor autopsy by Hooper, “Jack the Ripper” - a reference from the film to the English whore slayer, and other aspects of the film are exciting for any fan of the leviathan of summer blockbusters; when art and craft could be hooked to mainstream money maker, luring in thrill seekers and cinephiles.

“The Orca” proves that chaos is a fine instrument to wield. The cacophony and rage emanate from the track, relentlessly churning. A sweet 90 second melody on a piano ushers us into the lapping thumps of “Swim Charlie, Swim”. The bass line and synth wrestle for dominance. It’s a cool instrumental. 
Ultimately, for a doom/sludge/stoner/noise fan, The Great Fish… has to be compared with Akimbo’s Jersey Shore. It’s impossible not to do so. In 2010, Akimbo released a stellar noise rock album of 6 tracks about the 1916 bull shark which menaced New Jersey, killing four people. Matawan (July 12), Spring Heaven (July 6), and Beach Haven (July 1).

The Great Fish... doesn’t adhere that strictly to such a concept, more just singing related songs inspired by JAWS. There is not a three act structure or anything. But The Great Fish… is a fun romp, flailing and splashing; disturbing any notions of security like the opening scene of JAWS. A detractor, in my opinion, is that Squalus reiterate narration and quotes from JAWS instead of sampling. While most certainly a monetary decision, the replacement is distracting to me because with speeches or quotes from such a recognizable film, it is confusing to hear it spoken in a new voice, especially one recalling Billy Bob Thornton from Sling Blade.

The vinyl is fitting and damn gorgeous, boasting two choices of oceanic blue or blood splatter red on blue. The packaging is stellar with a cover of a painting by member, Aaron John Gregory, uncomfortably inspecting a close up of a great white. Again, this record is fun. And it is a concept album but it is not precisely chronological or regimented as a dramatic arc. Which is fine. It doesn’t try to be. It’s dirty metal fueled by adoration for a great film.

RIYL: Brain Tentacles, Ahab, Akimbo, Intronaut, Maserati, John Carpenter, Goblin

The Lillingtons Stella Sapiente Review

The Lillingtons
Stella Sapiente
Fat Wreck Chords
review by hutch

Once upon a time, The Lillingtons were content to admire the Ramones and write music in that vein. And ain’t nothing wrong with that. The Lillingtons, since 1996, were damn good at melodic, hook-soaked punk rock and roll. Simple songs, yet infectious as hell. The Lillingtons released four albums. As they progressed, they developed their own signature sound, which held an ominous portentous vibe. 1999’s Death By Television is a classic. Their 2006 release, The Too Late Show, boasted two classics, like genre transcending; “Vaporize My Brain” and “All I Hear is Static”. And then The Lilllingtons decided rest was needed. The band was decommissioned. 2017 sees the unholy resurrection and a welcome rejuvenation. The band has taken their foundation of melodic punk, but approached Stella Sapiente with an ardent ‘80s adoration, infusing more dynamics into their songs.
Stella Sapiente maintains the foreboding presence which The Lillingtons’ albums have cultivated. And then the band doubles down. Utilizing many echoing ‘80s guitar lines, a new dimension is explored in The Lillingtons’ music. The lyrics are all about the eerie and haunting as usual, but a specific focus on secret societies and mysteries are the focus. The opener “Golden Dawn/ Knights Templar” is a stark declaration. “Night Visions” is a concrete 80s infusion, huitars swirling in a miasma of reverb. The surfy pluck is cool and offsetting. Let’s not forget, an October Friday the 13th is Stella Sapiente’s release date!

The dissonant guitar of ‘80s somber canon; especially, Joy Division, The Cure, The Church, The The, a little Television; think Tiger Army’s infusion of The Smiths into their rockabilly on Ghost Tigers Rise. “Night Visions”, again, holds the feel of a drum machine, but still gives that extra spark, that snap, that live drums provide. Swirling and repeating guitar lines are the foundation, but layers grow within the song so it builds and builds.

The darkness of Death By Television and The Too Late Show fashioned securely, Stella Sapiente still packs quick punches with fast punk songs., The second Track, “Insect Nightmares and “K6” are killer tracks. The gem – and first single, “Zodiac” is a brilliant trek; a classic mid paced, melodic Lillingtons. All the aspects of my favorite song, “Black Hole in My Mind” are there. Toward the end of the LP, the one fast one for side B, “They Live”, is fast and frenetic. This one is a real punch. This is dark and classic Lillingtons. These tracks are still clean, polished punk; well written and engaging. Just more familiar to old fans. The production does give the sound a large, grand presence. All elements are mixed cleanly and give separate attention to each instrument.

Another stand out is “London Fog”, which is a courser, fiercer track with sharp riffs and a pounding chorus. The Lillingtons are always employing “whoahs” and harmonies. Whether you call it melodic pnk, pop punk (which I would resist), or simnply “catchy” – never read that as “soft”. Even the slowest track, is dark and subversive. The melodies are undeniable. But the dominant feeling for the listener is that of finding a peephole into a clandestine meeting. One’s spine is tense and fraught.
Lillingtons are delving into 80s, staying quiet for side B. Or rather the play with tempo and energy. They temper certain sections while letting free of fetters at other times. And this is within the same song. For “London Fog”, they bandy between more aggressive instrumentations after quieter openings. All of which are under melodic singing. The dichotomy plays well after laying low. “Cult of Dagon” is just slow and atmospheric, it’s a cool break. While what follows, “Villagers”, is the sound of Scandal, Pat Benatar, and an emulation of Billy Idol; a straight ‘80s pulse with bells and momentary guitar chord strums. It grows into a rougher approach by the bridge. “The Walker” follows and does the same – a strong, dirgy riff is sporadic while the verses grab the Echo and The Bunnymen approach except for a gritty riff which simmers and surfaces.

Stella Sapiente boasts the depth of Death By Television with more thoughtful songwriting and cleaner production. The cuts are slower and deeper; less three chord romps, more songs constructed from crisp guitar lines. Stella Sapiente is a great addition to The Lillingtons’ catalog with a step in a tangential direction.

RIYL: Ramones, The Queers, Teenage Bottle Rocket, Tiger Army, Misfits, (early) The Cure, Ceremony (L Shaped Man), Damned (but which era?)

Iron Monkey 913 review

Props for the Jerrys Kids shirt.
Iron Monkey
Relapse Records
Released Oct 20th
Review by hutch

The term “cult band” is usually relegated for lesser known or underappreciated bands. With Iron Monkey, the term more likely is to denote their likelihood of spawning an actual cult. I’m not sure of their record sales but their reputation is revered. And their two albums are in regular rotation in on my turntable. Ain’t one aspect under appreciated. Iron Monkey cultivated disgusting and abhorrent sounds and attitude while still manifesting a groove. On par with Eyehategod, this UK trio repelled listener’s from 1994 until 1999. A band that channeled repulsion, seclusion, and nihilism could never be expected to function for too long. And then their singer passed in 2002.

Now it is 2017. Somehow, Satan’s ugliest children have found themselves spewing further music. Relapse Records released their third full length, 9-13. It stands with the classic two, self-titled, 1996, on Union Mill and Our Problem, 1998, on Earache. Staggeringly savage, riffs and growls perpetuate every insecurity in the listener. The members are listed simply and unimpressively as J - Vocals/Guitar, B – Drums, and S – Bass; recalling John Paul Morrow as “JPM - Rest In Noise”. 9-13 is a stellar tribute to JPM’s legacy. Jim Rushby and Steve Watson both were in prior iterations with others, Rushby in all, while drummer, Brigga (ex-Chaos UK), is new. But the sound is as killer here. There is no gap in synchronicity.

Rushby’s vocals are beyond growls, not low in tone like a guttural Death Metal band, but beyond growl in terms of delivery and audibility. Take “Toadcrucifier”. Rushby snarls like a spastic pitbull, reacting to a violation with a fevered unraveling. His vocal approach comes from a genuine disassociation with human kind. The feral evocation is the thread throughout 9-13. The songwriting is tops, production balancing the ugly with the execution. “Destroyer” driving riffs of the first section coupled with the fast charge of the middle relishes in deep focus and nasty tones. But we hear all instruments pushing and pushing.

There is a palpable rejuvenation between Rushby and Watson in these despondent harvests. While certainly skilled musicians, they keep it simple. And that’s where the honesty is allowed to shine. It is why I think hardcore fans can latch onto Iron Monkey’s qualities. They repugnant emotions of isolationism and self-destruction, the disgust with the world, the visceral trigger is worth more than any guitar solo or ethereal orchestration. Give me the sweaty clamor of basking in plodding snare hits and feedback of “The Rope” any day. Not saying it is all feeling, they sit and write songs. But they know when to ride a riff, a groove, an emotion – and simply let vocals spatter wretched noise. “Doomsday Impulse Multiplier” swoons and smashes as its twisted riffs deliver on its catastrophic tile promises.

9-13 is constructed of eight 4-5 minute romps with a 10 minute closer. The beginning of the album, 
“Crown of Electrodes”, “Omegamangler”, and the title track, “9-13” are all bruisers. So, let’s address the obvious. Detractors will say – shit, have said, on a youtube comment – “no Greaves, no Morrow, no Iron Monkey”. And I am a purist with some bands – believing certain bands should have just taken a new name (Sepultura, Misfits, and a thousand hardcore bands). Missing Greaves is a loss, in a nostalgic way. But Brigga kills it on 9-13. Justin Greaves, whose talents saw him in many bands; including, Borknagar live, Crippled Black Phoenix (still does), The Varukers (which is a precise parallel to Chaos UK) and most notably, Electric Wizard for three years. This perched Greaves to record on EW’s gnarliest (not best or most classic, but noisiest/ugliest), We Live. Steve Watson is back here, and played on IM’s first self-titled LP. The detraction may be in comparison that Iron Monkey recorded as a five piece for their two albums and the EP. Here they perform as a trio. I don’t hear an outcry for missing Doug Dalziel. He was on all three records. And hell, if you’re lamenting an absent drummer – you should really being lamenting his partner, the bassist. Watson moving over certainly delivers the essence of Iron Monkey. Rushby, however, has always been in the band, every iteration. As far as vocals, while missing Morrow is a punch to the gut, Rushby does his job. It doesn’t have that same black metal, goblin raspy slither; but Rushby has the same spirit, and certainly the toxic tenacity in his exasperated excoriating of mankind. And with all the years slinging axe for the band, he knows the approach that works and exceeds his duties. Shoes filled. Would Morrow have given the thumbs up? Only the band members know, not some sentimental fan.

RIYL: Fudge Tunnel, Grief, Church of Misery, Eyehategod. Weedeater/Bongzilla, Buzzoven, Unsane, if GG Allin made good music.

current metal rotation

Iron Monkey, 913, Relapse

Malleus, Storm of Witchcraft, Blood Harvest

Rig Time!, War, Innerstrength

All Pigs Must Die, Hostage Animal, Deathwish Inc

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Malleus Interview Storm of Witchcraft

Storm of Witchcraft
Blood Harvest

Interview by hutch
Boston’s Malleus self-released a tape in 2016. Blood Harvest now resurrects the ornery seven tracks and commits this vile violation to tape, CD, digital and, of course, vinyl, on October 25th. Answering by email, The Hammer acknowledges an excitement of finally rereleasing Storms of Witchcraft. Blood Harvest has been great. We were actually pretty familiar with Rodrigo from his punk label Putrid Filth Conspiracy in the early 2000's. So when we made the connection that he was behind Blood Harvest as well, we were pretty psyched. Feel like he knows where we're coming from as far as our background and inspiration goes.”

Known professionally as The Hammer, the Malleus member reminisces about the origins of the mysterious Boston trio. “At that time, everyone we knew in the Boston punk scene was obsessed with Discharge and really raw D-Beat. So, all these uninspiring dis-clone bands started popping up everywhere which only fueled our discontent with the current state of punk. I was absolutely obsessed with the Satanic Rites tape (Hellhammer) and Discharge as well and decided that instead of just doing another boring D-Beat band, I'd take my obsessions in a different direction.”
That obsession spawned Storm of Witchcraft. “We spent a few years writing, really pouring over every little detail of the songs and trying to make the best possible demo we could.” The Hammer’s reluctance to spew retreads of worn paths has resulted in a classic release. Malleus’ sound embraces Discharge’s legacy of low-tuned sonic exuberance with crushing riffs which summon Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, and Bathory. The Hammer takes pride in this release. “A lot of time and effort went into making Storm of Witchcraft what it is.”

The sound is brutal; low and gritty, but mixed and mastered well. Clear, clamorous and, well, not shitty. Too many d-beat or black metal bands think crappy production is a hallmark. I hate that antithetical thinking. Be gnarly, be subversive – but still sound good. The production is thorough, elevating each component while keeping the music raw and crusty. Hammer reports, “We recorded with Chris Corry of Magic Circle at his practice space and we had our friend Ryan (Side Two Studios) do the final mixing and mastering. The whole thing took 2 days to record. We did the music on one day, vocals on the next. CC was recommended to us by a mutual friend and although we didn't know him personally at the time, we were familiar with him through growing up in the same circle of the local punk scene. We did know that CC was obsessed being able to emulate tone and capturing the same sound of bands from the past so we thought he'd be able to nail early Hellhammer/Frost, and we think he did with Storm of Witchcraft.  We wanted to avoid a lo-fi sounding demo at all costs but still come out with something that was abrasive, raw, and energetic. The music itself is super riff-driven and we try to vary the tempo as much as we can and all that would be completely lost if we decide to record this with one mic and a 4-track.”

The opener, “Winds of Wrath / Ire” aurally depicts a chilling wind, gathering intensity, leading to a panning of eerie sounds. This two minute seduction is quickly interrupted by a crashing of a grinding riff, punching and punching. The final minute of the “Ire” portion is a flogging mid-paced riff that pounds away. “Blackened Skies” begins harkening an epic, but quickly charges forward with purpose. A twisting, belligerent riff in the middle, for the chorus, is malevolent and bold. While many have emulated the aforementioned forefathers of black metal, Malleus has remarkable accuracy in combining homage and originality. In a genre where the majority of ideas are simply reworked executions of the masters, Malleus take the Discharge model and apply it to the Satanic ferocity of Bathory and Hellhammer. Again, even I grow weary of citing Tom G and Quorthon’s early work; pining to infuse a wider reference spectrum. But these just fit so perfectly. The music is invigorating in two ways. The pure spirit of the music but also the refreshing aspect of new takes on this style.
Hammer advises when looking to forefathers to be sure to inject one’s own fluid into the mix. And do it well. “Just keep the focus of the band very specific rather than drawing from all these various sub genres and convolute the sound and direction of the group. Nowadays, it's so easy for anyone with a computer to record their own demo and everyone needs instant gratification so instead of taking their time to create something worthwhile, they rush into making a demo and posting it on the Internet. Then they complain when it gets passed over and people move on to the next shitty demo.”

Besides the redundant riffs of d-beat clones, The Hammer also complains of uninspired metal lyrics of vapid party anthems. “I would hope that Storm of Witchcraft and anything else Malleus does evokes more emotion or provokes deeper thought than just wanting to party or get fucked up. If people can listen to our music and gain some sort of enjoyment or satisfaction from it, that's great. But for us, metal has always been more than the soundtrack to heavy drinking. As far as Storm of Witchcraft goes, It's obvious that we take direct cues from the likes of Quorthon and Tom Warrior for our sound but in the early 80's, bands basically had Overkill (Motorhead), Lightning to the Nations (Diamond Head), and Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing (Discharge), and look what they came up with so what can we do with those records? And that's always been our approach. Just keep the focus of the band very specific rather than drawing from all these various sub genres and convolute the sound and direction of the group. Nowadays, it's so easy for anyone with a computer to record their own demo and everyone needs instant gratification so instead of taking their time to create something worthwhile, they rush into making a demo and posting it on the Internet. Then they complain when it gets passed over and people move on to the next shitty demo. A lot of time and effort went into making Storm of Witchcraft what it is.”

The Hammer reports Malleus’ plans to finally spread their unholy gospel. They are embarking on their first tour of the West Coast with Witchtrap from Colombia, whose 2015’s, Trap the Witch, is equally carnivorous. They join Hirax, Xoth, and Witchhaven for Seattle’s stacked Famine Fest, Day 1, Sept. 22nd. Hammer continues, “We will support Merciless from Sweden on their only East Coast show in Brooklyn on October 20th with Antichrist Siege Machine. February 16th, (2018) we will be supporting Morbosidad and Blaspherian in Baltimore, MD.” Other shows aren’t booked, but Malleus is ready to mesmerize when they do. “We're going to continue to play anywhere people will have us. Hoping to get in the studio again by this fall/winter to record a couple tracks for a 7 inch.” 
The back to back tracks, “Demonology I” and “Demonology II” combine to last over nine minutes. Part I drags through its parts in a true Celtic Frost atmospheric sludge. Slow and ringing guitars set the pace. The thunder rhythm section dutifully obliges within a few minutes. We then are treated to a stomping bridge with a solid groove. Part II again delves into a long strain of feedback before a speed-fueled riff propelled by unrelenting drums. “The Wolf” follows the same pattern for its three minutes. “Act of Faith” is a slower, heavier jam. The Celtic Frost vibe resurfaces, that same tone and distinguished guitar sound CC extracted to emulate Tom G Warrior. The low end and bass drums weigh in, boasting a sinister gravity to the track. The imagery and lyrics all tie in with wolves and demons and faith.

Snarling all this demonic terminology, Malleus have a platform to share their views. The Hammer is concise and candid. Again, The Hammer eschews clich├ęs and token references for an opportunity to expose his deeper beliefs. “True evil doesn't actually exist. All people are slaves to their needs and desires and only act in a way to satisfy them, even "good" people.  Altruistic people are motivated by innate feelings of empathy in which they feel pain when others suffer and feel good when others feel good. In the end, everyone is motivated by internal selfish desires. If evil was only used to describe actions that cause more harm than good, I could get behind it but too often evil is just a word used to describe others whose actions conflict with one's own. That being said, many groups such as Christians truly believe in evil so the word can be useful if you're trying to antagonize them.”

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Madball Wisdom in Chains Family Biz review

Madball / Wisdom in Chains
Family Biz
September 25th

Two of the hardest working bands in hardcore are releasing a tantalizing split 7” just to let you know they are still coming hard. Honest. Sincere. Commited. Consistent. Madball and Wisdom in Chains are holding it down with a track each until Madball’s full length comes out on 2018.

Madball’s side comes packed with their revered energy. The track, For the Cause is also the name of their impending full length. This track continues with the firestorm they have been unleashing. The Mitts era is a gallery of classics; Legacy, Empire, Infiltrate the System, the three eps; and most recently Hardcore Lives. This feels right off of any recent. Only news I can find is that the full length will be on Nuclear Blast, no word on release date or producer. The tough, crisp track sounds like the prior ones – hopefully meaning Erik Rutan is behind the boards or even Zeuss. “For the Cause”, is vicious. Slamming track.

The flipside is blessed by the PAHC champs, Wisdom in Chains. As a bonus, Mad Joe shares the mic with Freddy Madball on “Someday”. Mad Joe’s gift to the hardcore community has always been raw, personal lyrics. We get emotionally open lyrics, contemplating what a man’s legacy will be, with solid melodic guitar lines over rough, beastly rhythms. WIC’s low chug is savage and will incite any crowd to point, swing, dive and stomp. It’s a fast, forward focused 4/4 beat with ripe time changes for cathartic pauses and two-steps.

Vinyl Pressing Info:
100 - OPAQUE GREY w/ 14 CLOUDY CLEAR (color in color)
100 - OPAQUE GREY / BLACK (half & half )
100 - TRANS BLUE w/ ORANGE (a side / b side )
200 - GOLD (Coretex Records Exclusive )
200 - OPAQUE BLUE (Reality Records Exclusive )
700 - BLACK
 or Nuclear Blast (their new label) has pre-order of NUKE GREEN VINYL

My interview with Roger Miret for My Riot Book

Roger Miret Interview
I want New Noise to get the traffic so please hit the above link. Roger is always a chill dude to talk to. Humble and low key. The book is a fantastic read. Highly Recommended.

Also - CVLT NATION has a good Q&A with him.
CVLT interview

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Iron Monkey release new video 2017

One of my favorite all time sludge bands are returning despite all doubt. Hailing from Nottingham, their two LPs in 1994 and 1996 are certified punk-doom metal classics. One of the most repugnant to commit their vile rants to wax, Iron Monkey have returned. Check out their new video. Ugly.

"Cult UK doom/sludge outfit IRON MONKEY has shred the official video for “9-13”, the title track of their first new full-length in almost two decades. Watch the Jack Atherton directed video now via Decibel Magazine HERE 

9-13 is set for release on October 20th on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital orders are available via Relapse.com HERE

After disbanding in 1999 after the death of their original singer J.P. Morrow, IRON MONKEY has reformed for phase two of their mission. Recorded in their hometown of Nottingham in Spring 2017 A.D. with producer Johnny A. Carter, 9-13 is 9 songs and 48 minutes of total nihilism. Now older, more cynical and more isolationist, IRON MONKEY are back to usurp the scene, then crush it’s skull. Without question, their most focused, aggressive and direct material to date, 9-13 is an all-out assault of violent hatred and nightmarish negativity. Recommended listening for fans of pain, suffering, and misanthropy."

Burn Do or Die review

Buy Vinyl at DW
BURN bandcamp

Do or Die
Deathwish Inc
Sept 8
Review by hutch

Burn has peppered their history with releases. Do or Die adds to their one album and three EPs since 1990. They may not equal much output over 27 years, but each has triggered myriad inspiration for many bands. Gavin Van Vlack (Absolution) and Chaka Malik (later of Orange 9MM) joined forces to fuse one of the most unique bands in the NYHC scene. Others would run with this style, but these dudes were first. Two graf writers ignited turntables in 1990 without looking back on their self-titled, four track Revelation Records debut. 2001/2002 saw a one-two punch with Cleanse LP (Equal Vision) and Last Great Sea EP (Revelation). But that eleven year gap was second to their 14 year gap until 2016’s …From the Ashes (Bridge 9). Seeing every major player label ha been chasing them, DO or Die follows that path releasing September 8th on Deathwish Inc.

But the last few years, Burn have been doing shows and gathering momentum at a faster pace than other spurts. Chaka looks fit and spews wisdom as fiery as ever. Their live presence is electricity barely contained. Chakas intensity transmits wonderfully here. The vibrant performance is classic. Gavin Van Vlack’s bizarre guitar work exhibits a unique approach to hardcore, noise, and rock. Now equipped with the rhythm section of Tyler Krupsky and Abbas Muhammed, this frantic melee dancing on taut piano wire births a sharp record with Do or Die. Chaka has a feel of every word being profound and prophetic. Audiences pay attention, clinging to his tense, engaging delivery.
Burn’s characteristics shine here. Their calling cards of off-beat tempos leading into bouncing NYHC rhythms are bountiful. The guitars often seem to contradict each other with a ‘contrasting as complimentary’ approach. Burn presents tough, crunchy riffs that are infectious; melodic guitar lines balanced with respites of stability. All of which delve into noisy rough tangents.

“Fate” opens and blazes” through. “Ill Together” sliding groove is enticing. Muhammed’s snare is precise and holds the chaos together. “Dead Identity” howls of anger over a caustic riff. The title track has layered vocals; some just frantic repetition. The drum pummel and charge in a constant rolling beat. But Van Vlack holds back with a sparse, slow guitar line. The push is phenomenal and tears the listener in two ways. This is the mantra for either a mental collapse or an incendiary chant before changing the world. Explosive. “Unfuck Yourself” continues the challenging lyrics. Krupsky’s bass is allowed a loose leash and revels in the opportunity. Mixed up front, it is glorious. A quitter tune, it still is stirring.

On Deathwish Inc this time, the Converge fam reps hard here with production by Kurt Ballou and a slick montage of eclectic clip art collected by Jake Bannon. Howie Weinberg mastered Do or Die. His experience is eccentric (google him. Rush to Lester Young to Slayer to Tom Waits). Burn have returned. Even if they lay dormant for another decade, a gem is here now. PMA flowing, sitting idle after listening to Do or Die is not possible.

RIYL: Candiria, VOD, Bane, 108, Quicksand, Fahrenheit 451

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cold As Life Suffer EP review

Cold As Life 
Suffer” b/w “For the Few” 7”
 Demons Run Amok

What do you say about this legendary group? Reflecting the attributes of Detroit since 1988, including all its detriments and its resilience. “Cold As Life is Detroit and Detroit Is Cold As Life”, Jimmy Gestapo (of Murphy’s Law) once said. Cold as Life embody Detroit and its inherent violence, stubbornness, incarceration; but most of all, survival and fortitude. Continuing after the death of original vocalist, Rawn Beauty, they moved on to make some killer records. Born to Land Hard defined metallic hardcore equal with Set It Off and Satisfaction is the Death of Desire. Born to Land Hard is an intimidating and revered LP; respected for it honesty, aggression and rage. Sole consistent member and drummer, Roy Bates now carries the famed hardcore band with hardcore flyer/album artist, Craig Holloway (and ex-Cold As Life from years ago), rejoining on bass; also adding guitarist Matt Martin and new vocalist, Jesse Adkins. This EP takes the digital tracks from last spring and commits them vinyl via Demons Run Amok.

Two killer new songs help anticipate an LP later this year. They ride that blend of Detroit / NYHC groove and brutality equally. Negative vibes, tough as Hell riffs and breakdowns; Detroit hardcore purity that is still punk at heart. Forever sanctioned (and self-imposed) to DIY with touring and pressing records, Cold As Life only know how to do it their own way. Here, “Suffer” begins with that feedback rising, like the mythical feel of Born to Land Hard; triggering sweaty anticipation. Adkins spews callous vocals over the ode to addiction. The chorus is classic Cold As Life writing, although recorded more straight forward than that Born to Land Hard metallic crunch sound. We still hear their defining thick hardcore pummeling and banging sound. “For the Few” draws us in again with that cold feedback and a thick strum, gauging the audience’s readiness for the impending melee. A bouncy mid-tempo song warns of backstabbers, traitors, and snakes. This anthem is a bonding rally cry for hardcore purists. Heavy and Detroit in each growl and chord, this is a pit inciter.

Vinyl is yellow (/100) (exclusive to RevHQ). Coretex carries Blue (/222) and Black (/512). Also, catch the white (/102), mint (/98) (only through Fastbreak!), and 20 test presses.

Fireburn Don’t Blame the Youth review

Don’t Blame the Youth 
Closed Casket Activities

As if it wasn’t enough that Bloodclot’s Todd Youth (Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, Warzone, Danzig, etc) returned to a short, fast, loud ethos and catapulted John Joseph of the Cro-Mags back into writing original material and is crushing it on a national tour with Negative Approach, Todd Youth has a band called Fireburn. Not only is the striking art, by tattooer Tim Lehi, triggering some Bad Brains worship, the music is a direct ode to those originators of hardcore punk, once banned in DC. Tight, fast, tough, angry; Fireburn does it all here. There is even a reggae jam, the closing fourth track (after a 45 second ripper), “Jah Jah Children”, mixed by the legendary Jamaican dub master, The Scientist. Oh and Youth went and got Israel Joseph I, formerly of the Bad Brains. As if this wasn’t enough, the equation expands by getting Todd Jones (Nails, Terror, Carry On) and Nick Townsend (Knife Fight). The vocals, lyrics, and music are distilled Bad Brains of the ROIR era, fiercer and rougher. Only wish there was more material, especially at $13 for the vinyl.

The savage opener "Suspect" rips pleading against corruption and bigotry of our authoritarian figures. The songs speeds through, eviscerating with conviction and "Break It Down" is slightly slower (it's all relative) but pound like a track off of Rock For Light. Packing much oomph, this track employs some back up vocals to add punch. A short lead carries us as we approach the final chorus. At 2:45, the conclusion of the track leaves you gasping. "Let This Be" is a :45 spastic rant. The wailing switch to growling vocals s the HR we've missed since quickness. The band transitions easily into the reggae which closes the EP. 

Closed Casket Activities delivers 1,500 12” vinyl EPs; 250, Metallic Gold (CCA Exclusive); 250, Blue with Black Smoke (Band exclusive); 500, Red with Black Smoke; 500, Green with Black Smoke

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Ditch and The Delta Hives in Decline Review

The Ditch and The Delta
Hives in Decline
Battleground Records
Review by hutch

Salt Lake City. Arid and barren. A salt lake; a contradiction in thought. Blistering out of this plain, is The Ditch and The Delta. A heavy doom band that incorporates myriad influences to spew original ideas; all soaked in the blood of noise rock. The new full length, Hives in Decline, has been out this summer and harvesting stellar reviews. The trio is touring most areas of the US, 8/15 through 9/02
Switching from thick and ugly one measure into a crisper more calculated attack the next, TD&TD’s songs balance various approaches meticulously. Their sound is loose and pulverizing, but with forethought. I tend to find the fuzzy belligerence more appealing but appreciate the respites of TD&TD pulling it in. Sandbars bring relief in rough waters.

“Fuck on Asphalt” is a chilling rocker, moving forward and using speed as a weapon as much as low- tuned thick chords. Halfway through its six minutes, the track reels back and becomes a reticent volcano of cymbals, toms, feedback and solo squeals. Other reviewers, and the band, will call influences such as Melvins and Eyehategod. I feel one can look to contemporaries like Black Tusk and Kylesa as well; TD&TD is the visceral to ISIS’ cerebral.

A Godflesh-like machine timed attack with real instruments as “Sleeping Dogs” or “Til Body Quits” begins. “Til Body Quits” soon picks up pace though. This has a succinct drum beat with a gliding, guitar line that refuses to let the listener sit still. Some explosive screams over mountainous riffs bring climactic proclamations. Heavy and defiant, this may be my favorite track. The dusty echo in the winding guitar of “Dry Land”; a two minute dirge that kicks up dust and the introspection of solitude, exhibits strong songwriting. This track does with inward sparsity what the rest of the album does with volume and low tones.

A piercing riff is the pith of the five minute “Mud”. Its high note wail which Eliot Scerist (guitars) pushes to charge forward is a conduit for each section of the track. It is a great send off point for the quieter discovery of the middle of the song which relishes a subtle tangent. The jazz infusion (think Pelican and Maserati) allows the trio to play and wander in a settled environment. But that’s one minute; the bulk of the song is still here to eviscerate. A violent thrash moves the song through its life, still with that guitar line pricking and needling the listener.

Hives in Decline pull sludge/doom and jazz breaks and together to relay a pounding execution. Angry bellows ride on discordant riffs which garner depression and regret. The ugliness of this society breeds rants and contemplation which TD&TD give us space and time in which to revel here.

RIYL: Melvins, Neurosis, Black Tusk, Maserati, ISIS, Earth, Godflesh, Intronaut.

Bandcamp - you can stream or buy vinyl

8/15/2017 Triple Nickel - Colorado Springs, CO
8/16/2017 Barleyscorn - Wichita, KS
8/17/2017 The Deep End - Wichita Falls, TX
8/18/2017 The Lost Well - Austin, TX
8/19/2017 Boom Boom Room - Lafayette, LA
8/20/2017 TBA - Atlanta, GA
8/21/2017 Slims - Raleigh, NC
8/22/2017 TBA - Baltimore, MD
8/23/2017 TBA - New York, NY
8/24/2017 Great Scott - Boston, MA w/ Rozamov
8/25/2017 Space Bar - Columbus, OH w/ Rozamov
8/26/2017 Reggies - Chicago, IL
8/27/2017 TBA - Sioux Falls, ND w/ Rozamov
8/28/2017 TBA - Billings, MT w/ Rozamov
8/29/2017 TBA - Spokane, WA w/ Rozamov
8/30/2017 El Corazon - Seattle, WA w/ Rozamov
8/31/2017 High Water Mark - Portland, OR w/ Rozamov
9/01/2017 The Shredder - Boise, ID w/ Rozamov
9/02/2017 Crucial Fest - Salt Lake City, UT w/ Rozamov

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Empty Hands Podcast 005 is up online

New Episode of Empty Hands Podcast is up here

Jay Johnson came through with RI new canning wonder, Tilted Barn; DIPA and Sour. We talk Re-Issues on vinyl. Some new garage, hardcore and a splash of HipHop. Recorded June 6, 2017. Label and release info stated in audio.
Ultra-Violent "Dead Generation", "Where the Angels Dare Not Tread"
Really Red "Too Political", "Teaching You the Fear"
Life's Blood "Not For the Weak" *(not from reissue)
The Cavemen "I Hate Art", "She Ain't My Baby"
Control Freaks "Control Freaks"
Walk the Plank "Sea of Scenes"
Dark Blue "Tired of the Poor"
Alpha Faktion "System Shutdown"
end beat instrumental by hutch.

Loyal Until Death interview for Remain Defiant

Loyal Until Death
Remain Defiant
1732 Records

Greg Lebeau – vocals; Nakia Romero – guitars/vocals; Lance Martin – drums

Interview with Nakia Romero

Loyal Until Death. That’s a bold statement. It is honorable to be able to predict your bonds and values decades down the line. One listen to Remain Defiant and all will be convinced of this trio’s solidified convictions. Enmity is released with tsunami level impact. The dual vocal approach, heavy riffs and blistering drums secure that only the most vicious audience will relate. The Florida based band, which Nakia Romero, vocals/guitars, and Greg LeBeau, vocals, began in 2012, just added their new drummer, Lance Martin. Loyal Until Death brings their second full length, out now. The LP is a heavy, energetic, vital album.

The furious message starts with contempt. “Loyalty in anyone is extremely rare these days. People are really narcissistic these days.” That repulsion spawns the disgust in the opener, starting: “Remain! Defiant!” Fuck the law, fuck the system, fuck the church, fuck your religion.” As Romero’s growl continues, more superficial concepts are decried. As the album moves, the lyrics get deeper and more challenging. Each song has Greg LeBeau, with a screamier voice and condensed lyrical content, bandy with Romero’s lower vocals and succinct phrasing. Romero, handling guitars and bass along with vocals, as he did with their debut, Born of Violence, is a beast juggling his responsibilities well. This focused energy continually pushes and propels the frenetic pulse of Remain Defiant.

Fans of First Blood (especially), Hoods, Hatebreed, 100 Demons, Ramallah and Strife will find familiar ground. But coming from the South, metal definitely is an enormous influence. Romero cites death metal and Crowbar. Crowbar is also a visual inspiration. Romero tapped Eliran Kantor, who did Crowbar’s The Serpent Only Lies; and Hatebreed, Testament, Sodom, Hate Eternal. The Belgian artist paints vivid, saturated images of Roman war and decimated landscapes; illustrating emotion, gravity and depth not usually seen on a hardcore cover. Remain Defiant is on 1732 records, which Romero started just for this album. The transparent vinyl versions are a vibrant companion to the striking cover.

The music embedded in the wax is staggering as well. A continuous flow is present and captivating throughout the eleven tracks. Inspired by NYHC’s crushing weight mixed with bounce, Romero is proud of the organic and dynamic ability of the band to adapt the songs.  - hutch

1. First, I love the art work. (on Born of Violence too) It’s cool to see atypical subject matter on a hardcore record. Tell me about the specific painting and why you chose it.

I have ALWAYS been a fan of actual album cover artwork. You know, real sick oil paintings and things like that. I would just stare at them for hours on end. I wanted to be sure the artwork was really eye-catching and profound for this record; something really special and memorable. I am a huge fan of the older dark Renaissance type oil paintings from long ago, as you can see from our previous releases album covers. I wanted it to be original only to us; not a copied picture from the internet. So, I started doing some research on album cover artists. We really started writing the record around 2015. I had seen the artwork for Hatebreed’s Concrete Confessional album which was done by Eliran Kantor (You can read my 2015 interview with Eliran here! – hutch) and I was like “Damn! That’s sick”. So, I went through his portfolio on his website and knew this was the guy. Then, time passed and we were getting closer to finishing the record. We were at the point where we had working titles and lyrics for most of the songs and the music was already recorded. Then, the artwork for Crowbar’s The Serpent Only Lies came out. I was like, “Holy fucking shit! This is the sickest album cover I've ever seen in my entire life!” I mean, it had the old Greek statue looking guy, the fleur de lis, the snake, and those color tones were out of this world. So, right then and there I (contacted) Eliran. That’s when we started communicating back and forth about our album artwork. I sent him some rough takes of most of the songs without the lyrics. It was just music. We didn't even have the vocals recorded yet. And I emailed him copies of lyrics. And once we set the definitive title as “Remain Defiant”, I sent that to him and kind of described what that meant and what the record was basically about and he took it from there. And the final result is it’s just one of the most amazing paintings I've ever seen. The color scheme that he used on there was a little different from his previous works. He stated that to me and he said he made it a point because he wanted it to really stand out. I mean if you look at the record you have the whole rainbow in there. It's an absolute beautiful piece. So, it was specially made for the record.

2. How have you – as a band, and personally - spent time in between albums?

Well, personally, we spend the time working our jobs like dogs. (Haha) As a band, we've spent the times between records at a warehouse that we used to have in Fort Lauderdale for about 5 or 6 years. Writing more songs and playing local shows. When Lance joined in 2014, we literally lived in that warehouse for 4 - 5 days a week hours and hours and hours at a time. Just jamming and writing riffs and parts of songs. We clicked so well. I mean it was like I could play three chords and he would play 4 different beats and we would have a song. I mean it was ridiculous how fast we were just churning out songs. Some were good, some were just there. Some didn't make it on the record and most of them did. We probably, between us wrote 40+ songs for this record. I think the hardest part was narrowing it down to 11. (Hahaha) But we chose the more aggressive, relentless, unforgivable, and punishing songs to put on this record as with the lyrics. It's a little tough now because I just moved to Franklin Tennessee, so we haven’t gotten together and jammed in a while like we used to.

3. How did recording do? Producer? Duration? Studio?

The recording process went very well. It was smooth and natural. It was our first time recording at Iceman Studios with Daniel Colombo. It was really amazing. We recorded pretty much live. I would play guitar standing in front of Lance, playing in his ear and he would just play. We basically just played 3 - 4 takes on all the songs and just went with the best take. Old school style. We wanted the more natural feel. We didn't want to play to a click track. We didn’t want the quantifying, robotic feel. We wanted the hardcore push/pull energy and emotions felt throughout the record. We recorded drums first and I think it took like a day and a half. We originally recorded thirteen songs and narrowed it down to eleven. And, then, I went in and recorded all the guitars and bass tracks. Then, we sat on that for a while because there were a few songs that we didn't have lyrics to. So, we had to write lyrics. We went back in about 6 or so months later and wrapped it up. There's actually a couple of songs that we're changed right on the spot live. The second track of the record “What Never Dies” which is kind of like the sing-along anthem. The original ending riff was really slow and heavy and sludgy. It sounded good, but to me it just kind of cut your legs out from under you coming from the chorus and to that break. So, I looked at Lance and I'm like “Man this song is so moving but you know, it just, your legs get cut out from under you at the end. We have to write a different riff. We have to write a fucking extreme, old school, fucking New York style sounding, fucking beatdown riff.” We ran through it a few times. The new riff was written right there. Then, we ran with like two or three takes of it and the rest is history. We also changed the ending riff to “The God To Your Repentance”. The original riff kind of almost sounded like the verse part. So, again, me and Lance are like “We got to change that riff”. I actually took an ending riff with the lead guitar parts from one of the songs that didn't make it on the record because I really always liked that riff. So, we played it a couple times to see how it would fit going into it and it fit good. We played like three or four takes of it and that was it. It was kind of weird at first going back listening to those songs and hearing different riffs at the end when you originally wrote it with other riffs. (Hahaha) Daniel really got some killer drum tones in the room that he set it up in. We then dialed in the guitars and bass tones and I mean the production on this record is just to me, it sounds incredible. I mean, we're really happy we went with him. It was very relaxing, easygoing, and we didn't feel rushed.

4. What is the Florida scene like these days?

The Florida scene is pretty damn good. For years South Florida has produced some incredible hardcore bands. Most of your influential early 90s bands like Strongarm, Tension, and Culture (huge fan of all three! – hutch). I mean they used to have killer shows there every weekend. Between metal and hardcore, there endless talent there. I mean Florida is the death metal capital of the world. So just a breeding ground for great bands from metal to hardcore. This day and age the music scenes definitely are different from back in the 90s and early 2000’s. But there's always going to be some kind of scenes in Florida because it just nonstop harvests musician. It's like a hatchery for bands. There’s always going to be something going on. You have Miami. You have Palm Beach. You got Orlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville. You can literally do a week tour just in Florida with all the different cities and scenes. (hahaha)

5. Growing up, what bands got you fired up and influenced you?

It’s funny. Growing up I was the biggest KISS freak when I was like five or six years old. My mom bought me all the records. My sister used to dress me up like them on Halloween. My first concert was Kiss in 1979 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My mom brought me. I was like 5 or 6. I was always into music. Growing up in Louisiana, there’s always some Zydeco playing at the fair or on the weekends somewhere. My parents always had some kind of music on the radio. I used to go spend the weekend at my grandparents’ house out in the country where my two cousins used to live and they had a record player with some vinyl records. I must have been around 7 or 8. Something like that. They had Ozzy and Sabbath records. Some Skynard. They were a little older than me. Like teenagers. I would just sit there and listen to the records and stare at the album artwork. The one that really captured me was Black Sabbath Mob Rules. To this day it is my all-time favorite album. I think that album has definitely changed my life. I used to just play that record over and over and over again, ironically, and stare at the artwork. Once, we move to Florida. I started getting into band like Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth. I was into skateboarding. So, I started getting into the punk and crossover bands like The Exploited, Misfits, and DRI, things like that. I really got into death metal once I heard Death’s Leprosy. Death was one of my favorite bands. Chuck Shculdiner was huge influence on me. Obituary. Massacre. All the good Florida death metal bands. And then my buddy gave me a cassette tape and that tape pointed me in the direction more of the street style hardcore. That tape was the first Biohazard. That's when I heard the mixture between hardcore and metal. I was playing guitar since I was 13. Heavily into Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, and Sabbath. So, hearing that NYHC style for the first time was eye opening. The groove and aggression was undeniable. Then, through skateboarding and hanging out, I met Greg. We would go to his house and his sister was a little older. She had a bunch of Old School hardcore vinyl. He would play those records. That's when I first heard Agnostic Front and Judge. We would go to each others’ houses and all we would listen to would be either Agnostic Front, Sick Of It All, or Biohazard. When Agnostic Front One Voice came out - it blew me away. Hearing Matt Henderson mixing those stylish leads over the music was amazing. That to me is their best record. It can't be matched. Then, from there, I got into Madball and most of the old New York style hardcore bands and the straight bands. Bands like Strife. Being from Louisiana. I have always been into Crowbar. They have been one of my all-time favorite bands ever since their first record. Loyal Until Death tunes in B standard basically because of Crowbar. I got that from just jamming along with Crowbar songs. So, that's also another band that has a huge influence on me and you can hear in some of the riffs. Especially, the last riff in “The Molding Of A Man”. As far as noticeable influences in the music writing, I would have to say that Crowbar, Agnostic Front, and Strife are the most prevalent.

6. What does rest of 2017 hold?

Now, that I live in Tennessee it's going to be a little tougher for us to get together. But, I'm communicating with a killer hardcore band from the UK who is supposed to do a US tour early next year. We're trying to see if maybe we could jump on that for 10 to 12 days and possibly follow them into Europe. I would like to book a small tour for the South East U.S. for this fall/winter to support the new record. I have started communications to try and put that together.

7. The digital is on Spotify. Have you gotten good feedback (album is sick!). And then vinyl is coming out 7/7. 150 gm virgin vinyl, limited colors. Did you guys or label push for this (or both)? Are you guys vinyl dudes?

Unbelievably, we have been getting more feedback than I ever expected. It's really starting to catch some traction. We've done a few different interviews with other magazines and there's a lot of sites out there that have reviewed the album. And so far all the reviews have been very positive. We knew it was going to be kind of a special record because of the focus that we took in the album, the songs, the lyrics, and the direction we took with the music as far as the emotional standpoint and just really putting everything into this. And it's really amazing to hear some of the comments that we get from the record. Hearing that from other people on the outside looking in really means a lot because it’s hard to look at it that way and judge and comment on your own creation because you've played the song hundreds of times and you’ve heard lyrics a million times. So, you know, I really respect and take to heart people's opinion when they hear it hitting them in the face for the first time. Because that's the way I do as a music lover and a fan of a ton of bands out there. When I hear their record for the first time hit me in the face and it's good, it's just an unbelievable feeling. As far as the vinyl, that was something that I brought up to the guys and I really pushed for. Because the label is my label that I started specifically for this record. So, I really pushed to get the vinyl and even though it's so fucking expensive to make these days. (hahaha) We decided to do it just to have it. Especially with the killer artwork and how good the recording came out I thought it was only fitting to just go the extra mile spend a few bucks and get some vinyl and some killer colors to offer to people that would appreciate it. And I’m glad I did. They are moving fast! I just started collecting vinyl again. When I was younger, I had bunch of records but just over the course of my life moving thousands of times you know, they got lost somewhere along the way. So, I started back collecting a couple years back. Greg has a killer collection that he inherited from his older sister passed away a couple years back. I'm talking priceless 7” pieces from the old school New York hardcore days that are probably irreplaceable. If I were him, I would take out an insurance policy on them. (hahaha)

8. Being a band in 2017 with Social media, merch sales dependent, and less big label support – more left to the band’s hustle. Would you agree? How is it compared to when you started?

Success this day and age definitely depends on how hard you grind and hustle. DIY can't be any truer of a statement. I mean it's hard enough trying to book your own shows and get on shows with other bands in other cities. It's not like the old days where you have a huge label behind you who has booking and promoter connections. But hardcore has always been about the harder paths of life you know, so. Definitely depending on how hard you hustle. Social media can definitely work into your favor. It's thousands of hours of ass-time sitting in front of the computer, but it's endless. There's endless possibilities. Through Facebook. Through online marketing. I mean if you have a great product and you market it the right way through social media, you never know. People could get behind it and next thing you know you’re somebody. It happens every day.

9. What does it mean to remain defiant in 2017? What can one do?

The title for us means that we haven’t changed throughout our life. We are all still the same mother fuckers that listen to the same music and are brothers to the same people since we met and started this shit in 1991. We don’t change with progression. We don’t participate in fads or trends. We fucking hate that shit and that’s what we write about. Our way of life and thinking in this day to younger kids is incomprehensible. We don’t buy into the social justice bullshit. We don’t need fucking safe spaces. We are grown men that can handle our fucking business anytime, anywhere, with anyone. We don’t call the fucking police. We don’t film crimes with our phones and post that shit on Fuckbook and try to snitch on a mother fucker. We mind our own fucking business. We carry a sense of pride and we don’t give a rats ass what people think of us. As far as what one can do to remain defiant, one first has to know what to defy.

10. How common or rare is Loyalty to find in others?

Loyalty in anyone is extremely rare these days. In family. In friends. People are really narcissistic these days. They think they’re the most important piece of shit on the planet. I’m fortunate to have some pretty solid brothers that I’ve known since high school. We’re all friends with the same group since back in the day. But I think the most important thing is to be true and loyal to yourself.