I've been pretty broke this summer, so I've missed just about every single show other than the ones my own band has played. We've played with some great bands, but I know I've been missing out on a lot. I recently came up with a few bucks, and decided to sink nearly every penny back into punk/hardcore records. I decided to concentrate on finding records by bands that I'd recently missed on their way through San Francisco.
Cult Ritual - Guiltless 7"
Packaged with a fantastic silk-screened cover, and a 6 page lyric zine. The music is insane right out of the gate. A couple of lyrical samples from the first track -
"Mass death by human hands" and the closing verse, "We're all animals!"
The lyrics are as dark and violent as the music itself. I can't recommend this record enough.
Brain Killer - Demo 7" & S/T 7"
This shit is pretty chaotic. Lots of really harsh feedback squealing at all times and heavy rhythms pounding your eardrums in. A very successful combination of d-beat and noisepunk.
Dear Landlord - split w/ Off With Their Heads
Great pop-punk. DL was recommended to me by a friend of mine, and they're just one in a long line of great bands that he's gotten me hip to. I recently met this guy in April when our bands went on tour, and I think I asked him about a dozen times "who's this?" whenever he was in control of the van's stereo. Dear Landlord is definitely one of my favorites that I took away from my incessant questioning.
Heavy on the melodies, and very reminiscent of earlier Dillinger 4 songs. The b-side features OWTH, which is good, but I'm not hooked yet. Better than most stuff, and all my friends are into it, but I'm still yet to be convinced.
Last weekend I played Sound & Fury festival in Oxnard, CA. This gave me an opportunity to see a lot of newer bands and pick up a few records. This year's roster was pretty diverse, and I think my purchases reflect the variety of bands at the fest. I missed out on a few key records that I was looking for, but hopefully I'll track them down soon enough!
Trapped Under Ice - Secrets of the World & Stay Cold
TUI is a band from Baltimore that really nails the whole East Coast street style sound. Their music channels the best elements of Madball and Biohazard, and features some pretty good lyrics - certainly more introspective than most tough-guy bands.
"There's a kid, just like me, he's gonna get a gun, because the truth is harsh"
It's a simple statement – not about glorifying a "my hood is tougher than your hood" kinda deal, but more so an acknowledgement of social circumstances that incubate criminality and violence. Poverty and a raw deal just lands in the laps of a lot of people. What's the difference between them and somebody that grew up with comfort and advantages? Less options for survival and harder choices.
Knife Fight - Crisis
I hadn't seen Knife Fight in years, but their performance at S&F reminded me of why so many people love this band. If you're not familiar with them, they play pretty straight forward hardcore that sounds like a collision of Agnostic Front and Discharge. Lyrics about being disgusted with shallowness and apathy. Great stuff, plus, you can't beat a $5 LP!
Iron Lung / Hatred Surge - Collaborative 7"
Some of the best material from either band, and a cool concept. Personally, I'm not aware of many bands that have sat down and presented a unified concept between two bands as opposed to simply splitting each band's output into separate sides on a split. I guess it's easier when your two bands are comprised of three people total, but whatever. This shit is cool. Fast and grinding songs give way to sludgy, industrial rhythms. A very brutal combination!
Hatred Surge's set was one of the best at Sound & Fury, and it was cool to see them get a decent reaction, considering that they're not the sort of band typically associated with a fest like Sound & Fury. In a live setting, Hatred Surge's braintrust, Alex Hughes, plays bass and sings, and has a really intense stage presence for somebody who's largely trapped behind a microphone for most of their songs.
I haven't seen Iron Lung yet, but I've heard that they're great. If you're into crusty, grindy, power-violence, or if you're familiar with one band, but not the other, then these are two bands to check out.
Trash Talk - East of Eden
This band has come a long way since they first started out as a scrappy little outfit from Sacramento! A lot of people hate them, and talk shit on them or whatever, but I'll stick by them. I remember a time when literally nobody gave a fuck about them. No one would show up to their shows, and frankly, their music was garbage! Fast forward a few years, and they're unbelievably popular.
Dedication to doing their thing is commendable, and thankfully their music has improved a lot. I'd categorize it as power-violence with a little bit more polish on it. Really great lyrics, and a sick guest vocal appearance by none other than KEITH MORRIS.
I missed the first press, so I made sure to pick up a copy from the second press. It was just released and is probably sold out already.
Naysayer - No Remorse
A lot of bands have attempted to retread the whole Madball sound, and completely miss the mark. Naysayer's No Remorse has an undeniable Set It Off/Demonstrating My Style vibe to it. The vocals take a little to get used to, they're kinda sneered and hissed. It didn't hit me right away, but I'm feeling it now.
Live, these guys go hard. I saw them at the Balazo Gallery in SF earlier this year, and they brought it. Another big plus to this band is that they know how to keep it short and sweet. This genre often suffers from overly-long songs that go nowhere at the hands of incompetent song-writers. Not the case here - I was surprised to find 6 songs on one 7"!
Lighting 103: Developing a Framework
1 day ago