Friday, May 27, 2011

Shöüt at the Demös

Let’s get an 8-ball and gö back tö the days in the lives öf Mötley Crüe beföre members öf the band were förced tö mainline whiskey because they ran öut öf döpe. Mötley Crüe had tö find time tö wörk ön Töö Fast för Löve and Shöüt at the Devil in between anal sex with strippers and snörting enöügh cöke tö finance the Bölivian army. This böötleg compiles prödücts öf that time, which was well spent if yöü’re a fan. These demös are like an afternöön at a strip clüb, whereas the albüms are a füll-blöwn evening öüt. A bit röügh aröünd the edges and lacking the pölish öf the albüms, büt nöt cöming üp shört in the dirty and sleazy vibe. I imagine that this is clöse tö höw they might have söünded in the envirönment öf a small clüb ör dive bar back then. Nöt bad tö these ears, büt Girls, Girls, Girls was the first tape I ever böüght back in 1987, sö there’s söme histöry there.

If yöu’d like tö have sex with wömen like Heather Löcklear and Pamela Andersön in their prime, click here for möre infö.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Demo Alert: Decay

While catching up with my friend Jeff before his band Catheter played at Hazmat in Oakland last week, he handed me a CD-R compiling two demos of a side band he has going on back in Denver. Having heard some of Catheter’s other bands, I was expecting some sort of variation on grindcore when I put it on. However, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there is not a single blast beat to be heard in either of these demos. The guitars are tuned down and the vocals sound carcinogenic, but that is as far as their grind influence extends. Decay covers some interesting ground in the process. Their more metal moments remind me of an old Necropolis band called Deathwitch, who I vaguely remember doing a modernized take on mid ‘80s thrash. Other times, they get real catchy and punk it up. I dig that the most. Check out the song “Mad at the World.” Tell me that is not street punk filtered through a metal lens. Decay probably won’t blow your mind or anything, but some of these songs are growing on me. Perhaps they will grow on you too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Macho Man" Randy Savage R.I.P.

Personal Affair

For a long time, Japanese hardcore of the late ‘80s variety came dangerously close to eclipsing my love for dirty Bay Area punk. That’s not so much the case now due to shifts in my musical tastes, but one record that still stands out is Brain Death’s Personal Affair seven-inch from 1987. While Nintendo set up their corporate headquarters in their hometown of Kyoto, Brain Death kicked up a racket loud enough for Selfish Records to hear. Personal Affair was their only offering to the world, showing that they were more than capable of delivering high-octane thrash in a vein similar to that of S.O.B. or Gudon. Unfortunately, they never issued a follow-up and faded away into obscurity.

Personal Affair was bootlegged some years back to reintroduce it to the modern generation of Japanese hardcore fans. Not sure how much it caught on, but one can hope that at least a few people out there threw this in with their Effigy records. If not, you have another chance to crank up the volume and enjoy Brain Death cutting a frantic pace fronted by the high pitch of a lady named Sachi. Get into your own personal affair here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Demo Alert: Badr Vogu

For the past six months or so, Badr Vogu have been playing shows around the East Bay and even completed a tour up the West Coast in January. Of all the bands I have heard these guys play in—World Eater, Strains of the Apocalypse, and Hotblack Desiato, to name a few—Badr Vogu is certainly their best effort thus far. Their “West Oakland blues crust” tag line isn’t the most accurate one to these ears, though. When I think of the term “crust,” bands like Amebix, Deviated Instinct, and Hellbastard are a few that come to mind. I don’t hear much of that when I listen to Badr Vogu. What I do hear is some potentially toxic sludge influenced by early ‘90s bands from below the Mason-Dixon Line. Of course, I am referring to the likes of Eyehategod and Buzzov-en here. Maybe I’m just nit picking, since anyone who has spent a substantial amount of time in Oakland’s heavy punk/metal scene knows that the lines between crust and sludge have always been blurry in this neck of the woods. It will be some time before Badr Vogu can comfortably lump themselves in with older Oakland bands like Eldopa, Skaven, or even Stormcrow. Personally, I don’t particularly care for the outright stealing of riffs from bands that are still around, which Badr Vogu does to Brainoil on their song “S.O.B.” Other bits and pieces also sound familiar. “S.O.B.” just happens to be the one that stands out in its appropriation/thievery. Mind you, this isn’t to say that there is no potential for Badr Vogu to get better. The potential is there and they will certainly improve on their craft. For now, their ideas are still in the formation stage. When Badr Vogu gets to where they want and need to be, you will pretend you were on the home team from the beginning. Get off to a running start here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

No Grounds for Pity

If there ever was a hardcore band that captured hatred in their music the same way Negative Approach did in the early ‘80s, Sheer Terror would probably be that band. Along with fellow tough guys Breakdown, these urban rednecks stood against the rising tide of posi-core douchebaggery in the late ‘80s NYHC scene. Somebody had to, after all. Sheer Terror weathered that storm and became a NYHC institution in the process. To some degree, every hatecore or tough-guy hardcore band owes them a debt of gratitude.

I remember when the new milennium hardcore kids dropped loads in their Jncos over Blood for Blood—who were, of course, heavily influenced by Sheer Terror. Eh, whatever. Maybe I’ve got the wrong impression, but I always felt that Blood for Blood tried too hard to let everyone know what ultra-negative white trash losers they were. Their hatred seemed so exaggerated that it actually came off more comical than legitimate. Sheer Terror vocalist Paul Bearer didn’t need a gimmick when he lived the existence he wrote about in his lyrics. If you go by appearances, Paul was the construction worker who walked into a hardcore show after putting down a few cold ones at the local tavern. After he liked what he saw, he decided to sing about how shitty his life was too. No way could some clean-cut youth crew pipsqueak relate to that vibe.

Released in Europe shortly after debuting on MCA with
Love Songs for the Unloved, No Grounds for Pity compiles Sheer Terror demos recorded between 1985 and 1988. It’s hard to argue with people who say that this is their best work. These demos find Sheer Terror’s blue-collar hardcore at its most raw and guttural, with a LOT of Celtic Frost in the overall sound. Hell, you’d almost swear that their guitarist broke into Tom G. Warrior’s house and made off with his gear.

A year after recording “Twisting and Turning,” Sheer Terror went back into the studio and issued their classic
Just Can’t Hate Enough LP, but that’s a story for another time. Listen to the first chapter here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Demo Alert: Negative Standards

Apparently, this is NOT a demo, but a “cassette EP” release. Excuse me. Anyway, this special demo post is the third in a row regarding an Acts of Sedition-related side band. That is pure coincidence, by the way. The third time is indeed the charm, as Negative Standards have proven to be the best of the trio. Little did I know that they have been at it for a couple of years now, which shows you just how much I have been paying attention. Negative Standards is about as generic of a hardcore band name as it gets, but there is more to them than their moniker. Threaded together by various sound bites, one could say that their sludgy doom-and-gloom hardcore picks up where Artimus Pyle left off. War is the sole lyrical topic here, but it is examined in a more introspective fashion than standard practice. Instead of “bombs fall from the sky, shit explodes and people die,” these five songs are about being forced to scrutinize and re-examine one’s views on the military. It is one thing to call yourself “punk” and claim strict political beliefs, regardless of your affiliation. It’s another thing when your black-and-white worldview is put to the test by real-life circumstances. Life is not that simple. The author of these lyrics is coming to terms with examples of that fact. Most excellent.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Trust in Technology

I admittedly know very little about this early San Francisco artpunk outfit. One thing I do know is that I enjoy this record a whole lot. “Trust in Technology” is a demented synth-driven ditty that might be even more relevant now than it was in 1979. Modern punk bands like Tragedy have expressed similar sentiments about the rapid speed at which technology advances, just in a more sternly serious manner. Something tells me that “In the Slot” was written from personal experience. It’s an ode to San Francisco’s seedy side; namely the various peepshow booths and strip clubs of the city’s North Beach district. Regardless of how you feel about the subject matter, the song does a fine job capturing the spirit of “old” San Francisco—freaky, sexy, dirty, and with a bit of a sinister underbelly. I wish I knew more about the Adaptors, because both of these songs are fantastic. Trust in technology and put another quarter in the slot here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Demo Alert: Pills

You know something? I am sick and tired of hearing you complain about the eight million kinds of medication that you have to take just to get through a normal day. All day long, you’re popping these fucking things like they’re in a goddamned Pez dispenser. If your doctors knew half of what they were talking about, they’d prescribe this brand new wonder drug out of the Bay Area: Pills. There are only three of them in the bottle. Take them as needed.