Friday, March 30, 2012

Living & Dying

Shortly after we began looking at music through The Evil Eye, we tried to explain that judging Scorpions on “Rock You Like a Hurricane” was akin to judging punk rock based on your opinion of Green Day. We did this by posting Virgin Killer; a great Scorpions record released eight years before Love at First Sting. You probably didn’t listen to us the first time, so we’re gonna make another attempt to get you on the right path in life with the record that the Scorps released in the previous year.

In Trance
is an interesting album. I don’t know if this was a concept they had in mind or anything, but the first half is darker and more melancholy sounding than anything else Scorpions recorded with whiz kid guitarist Ulrich Roth. “Living and Dying” is probably the most depressing song I have ever heard them do, at least as far as this era is concerned. Side B’s vibe perks up with “Robot Man,” although Klaus Meine still manages to add a negative air by sounding completely sarcastic during the chorus. By the time the instrumental “Night Lights” closes out the album, everything seems all right in the world again. If Virgin Killer is great, then In Trance is fantastic.

This is your second chance to re-introduce yourself to Scorpions and hear their earlier material that laid the foundation for the stadium rock monstrosity they became in the 1980s. Stop dying and start living, you stupid asshole.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Negative Hardcore, Destructive Youth

For years, Scumbrigade was just a band with a cool name that I read about in Profane Existence once or twice. That changed in June of 2000 when they made the pilgrimage from Sweden to the Bay Area, tearing up Gilman Street with Dystopia. Nobody will believe me, but Scumbrigade owned the Gilman stage that night. Their set was high energy and it was obvious that the members were beyond stoked to be there. I was beyond stoked that Scumbrigade far exceeded whatever expectations I had of them. Dystopia were out of practice and ready to call it a day by that point, so your dumb ass failed if you got drunk outside while Scumbrigade played. Too bad us ugly Americans usually get only one chance to see those random Euro bands.

Five hundred copies of this twelve-inch were pressed for that tour, complete with silk-screened covers and a lyric booklet. The above graphic is actually from said lyric booklet as we are not able to scan LP covers. We have never seen this record in the blogosphere, so we at The Evil Eye decided that it was time for you to become acquainted with it. Enjoy some crusty hardcore that is played with the right blend of speed and power. Scumbrigade’s faster moments forgo the standard crustcore beat for a more thrashy, aggressive pace. When they slow it down, you can hear that they’re grooving out on this crust thing in a way that most bands don’t. Get baked and groove out with them. It’ll be fun.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You are No. 1

Quite some time ago, we attempted to introduce you to the all-female Japanese hardcore steamroller known as the Gaia. You can read what I have to say about them there, or you can check out their best record here. You will probably do neither; in which case your failure at life will be complete. Don’t say we didn’t try to help.

Friday, March 9, 2012


You think your hometown hardcore scene sucked in the 1990s, eh? Somehow, I would be willing to bet that your town was a veritable paradise compared to the bullshit burgh of Bradford, England. The bands documented on this compilation came out of a small hardcore scene that gathered around the 1 in 12 Club, which I believe was run under the same semi-anarcho/syndicalist principles that drove Gilman Street and ABC No Rio. Each band resides under the ‘90s hardcore banner while bringing something of their own to the table. Voorhees is the one band that most of you are familiar with in some capacity. “Pressure” sounds a bit generic to these ears now, but it was a favorite of mine earlier in life for its lyrical content. Naturally, this song is a perfect start to the compilation. Kito gets gruff while Stand Off probably had some Go! and Half Off records in their collections. Their song “Growing Concern” was another one that I always enjoyed. Nailbomb is decidedly not the band that I think is related to Sepultura, but they are one of the more metallic bands on this comp. Ironside continues to keep it on a heavy/mosh tip, but Submission brings a faster pace and an anarcho vibe. A more emotive sound emanates from the grooves as Understand takes a “Poll” to end this record on a high note. Out of these seven bands, they are probably the most technically interesting.

It is entirely possible that my enjoyment of Consolidated is a product of my need to catch up with contemporary hardcore when I was younger. Those of you who are of the “hardcore sucked in the ‘90s” opinion should probably avoid it. However, others disagree and would appreciate some of what was going on in Northern England nearly twenty years ago. Don’t be a douchebag. At least give the Voorhees song a chance.

Friday, March 2, 2012

God Hates Baptists

One of our earliest posts was about Scurvy Dogs, so feel free to go read up on what we had to say about their tenure in the Bay Area punk scene and come back if you want to. The rest of you can check out their debut seven-inch, which is their best material to these ears. Unfortunately, this record didn’t get around as much as it should have. These six songs are more varied in their approach, with more catchy and danceable moments than your average hardcore band. Songs like “God Hates Baptists” and “Procrastination is the Mother of Invention, Cynicism is the Bastard of Progress” should have inspired wild circle pits and old school creepy-crawling to ensue, but they had stopped playing every song on this record by the time a lot of people caught up. Subsequent Scurvy Dogs recordings concentrated more on straightforward hardcore punk at a consistently driving pace. They continued to be one of my favorite local bands, but I still felt that they could have been even better had they retained the variation that was previously in their songwriting arsenal. I always come back to this record for that reason.

When (if) the story is told, it’s likely that Scurvy Dogs would be remembered as one of the more underrated bands during the Bay Area’s “hardcore resurrection” period. Even when heads had turned in their direction, it never seemed like they got the same respect as others that had not worked as hard…or for as long. May you see the error of your ways here.