Friday, June 29, 2012

S.D.S. vs. Hong Kong Knife

Come on down to the Rock ‘n’ Rool Show this weekend to check out a pair of Japanese punk bands that sound completely different from one another. Longtime Evil Eye readers should be aware of Societic Death Slaughter (SDS), as we have posted them here before. The kings of Japanese motorcycle crust take you on three rides through the nuclear wasteland, ending with a bizarre Discharge/Disorder mash-up called “Confused Erectoro (Kon-Den).” We know absolutely nothing about Hong Kong Knife, but their sole contribution to this party was well received. They shank you with some solid ‘60s-inspired garage punk that occasionally speeds up to more of a hardcore pace than similar bands like Teengenerate or Guitar Wolf. “She Doesn’t Sxxx (Shinuhodo Decorate Ga Shibui Kawajan)” is a perfectly enjoyable song and I wish there were more. If this Rock ‘n’ Rool Show appeals to you, go here for tickets.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Twenty years ago, my dad and I went to Eide’s Records and Comics in downtown Pittsburgh to do some music shopping. Acquiring at least one Black Flag tape was on my agenda that day. Mind you, I was NOT supposed to have anything to do with punk rock whatsoever. My parents were of the impression that what few punk cassettes I owned were responsible for their son going in a bad direction. However, neither of them could name a single punk band if you asked them to. If anything, I could dodge the issue by saying that I was checking out metal bands instead. Heavy metal was more acceptable because my parents had held founding fathers like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple in high regard earlier in life.

I was unsure of Black Flag album to check out first, but I knew the song “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” and that was a start. Damaged was probably selected via process of elimination. The intimidating cover artwork certainly helped as well. Somehow, I managed to keep my nervous excitement contained while under my dad’s watchful eye. When we got home, my dad went outside to do yard work. I stayed in so I could listen to my new Black Flag tape. Naturally, I plugged in the stereo headphones so my dad would not hear what I was listening to.

Black Flag took that fun feeling of “music I wasn’t supposed to hear” to a completely different level that day. Damaged was as appropriate of an album title as any, for that is exactly what happened to me upon hearing it for the first time. Rather than having fun, I was actually frightened by the album’s violent intensity. These songs declared war on my mind, already winning before I had a chance to fight back. Forget about what my parents would think; I was certain that this music was illegal. Surely, it was on the government’s list of controlled substances. I kept looking around the room as the album played, wondering when the police would kick in the front door. The SWAT team would come crashing through the windows at any time.

I looked out the window, but I only saw my dad working on the garden. No forces of law and order were in sight, but I was still convinced that I had stumbled across something akin to a top-secret document on the Kennedy assassination. I kept Damaged under wraps for the rest of that visit with my dad. Other tapes I bought that summer by bands like Fear and the Exploited could be confiscated, but the Black Flag tape was some revolutionary shit. The planet seemed to shudder on its axis and nothing was ever the same again. There was a new war going on inside my head and I needed weapons to be able to fight it. I felt like it was my responsibility to smuggle the contraband back to California by any means necessary. Of course, that managed to happen with no incident. The idea that punk rock was forbidden had somehow been forgotten about, which was fine by me. Life moved forward.

Black Flag may not evoke those same feelings of paranoia that they did for me initially, but I can still point to them and say that they are the band that had the biggest influence on me personally. Nothing that Henry Rollins or Greg Ginn do in the public eye will ever take that away. If I could recapture their insane work ethic, my life would be relatively problem-free. I suppose you could say the same for yourself too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Absolute Killing Power

Cattlepress was a band that may have tickled your fancy if you were down with some of the heavier strides that ‘extreme’ hardcore took during the 1990s. If you are unfamiliar with them, then you are in for a treat—especially if today’s sludge bands fail to provide your ears with enough raw hatred in their sound. Cattlepress evolved out of the band Sin, whose split CD with Spinewrench can be found here. Their most widely available record would probably be their final LP on HydraHead, while the split LP with Agoraphobic Nosebleed is likely to be considered the definitive Cattlepress release by idiots like us. Thanks to Evil Eye reader Matt Parrillo, we have a Cattlepress demo from 1995 for you to check out. I do realize that all of their info online says that their demo was released in 1993, but this one was definitely recorded in 1995. Perhaps someone can shed some light on this subject. Two of these five songs were re-recorded for their Showered in the Love of the Abhorrer EP, while “My Only Wish is to Destroy” was included on Slap-a-Ham’s Fiesta Comes Alive! compilation. Although they occasionally go off in other directions musically, Cattlepress keeps things centered at a reasonably slow and grinding pace. This is definitely not doom for pretty boy emo-gone-metal hipsters. Cattlepress were about inflicting musical punishment on your sorry ass. Your beard and full sleeve tattoos will not save you from this bloody beating. However, chicks dig scars and you could use a couple of them. Click here to finally become a man.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Trust Gods

Hailing from upstate New York during the early ‘90s, Conniption predated a number of bands who attempted to give hardcore kids in their area something different than the tough guy/straight edge norm that probably still pollutes towns like Troy and Syracuse to this day. This is another record that somehow managed to survive multiple collection purges without my ever listening to it, at least until recently. I do not remember how long I have owned it for, but I do recall that the lame cover artwork played a role in my not taking the record seriously enough to bother listening to it. My mistake, although I imagine that said artwork probably got them some heat with whatever feminist punk sects there were in upstate New York circa 1994. By this point, I think it has been acknowledged that the artwork was a bad choice and everyone has moved on. 

Although they were more of a crusty hardcore band than their future projects, you can certainly hear elements that were utilized later in Devoid of Faith and even more so in Monster X. Since both of those bands were some of the best that ‘90s hardcore had to offer, perhaps you might enjoy taking a trip further back in their lineage. Get your ticket to grind here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Demo Alert: Rhygin HC

Rhygin HC is an on-again/off-again hardcore outfit who offer no apologies for being who they are—skinheads. Of course, they are of the independent anti-racist variety and stand against gang mentalities and wanton violence. This demo was recorded two years ago, but has just recently been made available for your ears. Most of the songs are under a minute long, so I suppose that gives you an idea of what they sound like. Perhaps you will appreciate the lyrics being a bit more progressive than one might expect from your average skinhead band. However, you will have to acquire your own physical copy to see that for yourself. I cannot say for sure what Rhygin HC’s immediate future looks like, but opening for Old Firm Casuals is most definitely not being taken under consideration. Build anticipation for their next gig here. Doc Martens and red suspenders not included.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Murder in the Front Row

Exodus is undoubtedly a legend in the annals of Bay Area thrash metal. Tales of crazed metalheads slicing their own foreheads open with broken glass before diving into the crowd at Ruthie’s Inn had been etched into my mind years before I began listening to them. My formal introduction to Exodus came courtesy of ex-Grimple/Eldopa guitarist Greg Valencia when I was nineteen. While sharing a bottle of whiskey at a party, Greg filled me in regarding what I needed to know about Exodus—namely, which album to pick up. You might guess that Bonded by Blood was that album, a title that he made sure I would remember. Since I was a huge fan of Greg’s bands, I would obviously take that advice seriously when the opportunity presented itself.

Some time later, I was attending Lucky Dawg’s memorial show at a warehouse in East Oakland. Filth and Grimple had reunited for the occasion, but I overheard someone saying that Exodus was also on the bill. That made no sense to me, so I dismissed it. Eventually, I found myself hiding behind band equipment out of claustrophobia when I saw a bunch of metalheads setting up in the stage area. I’ll be damned—this crowded warehouse was about to be under an Exodus attack! Claustrophobia or not, I was not about to miss this. I still had yet to hear Exodus, so this was perfect for me. Paul Baloff was on vocals and his stage rap was in full effect this evening. He was saying some downright hysterical shit between songs along the lines of “WE BELIEVE IN ANARCHY! YAAAAAAH!” in his high-pitched squeal. My hiding place behind the band was a great spot, as I could see the crowd going mental without having to deal with it myself. Nobody cut open their forehead, but I still loved every minute of it. After that, Filth seemed anticlimactic.

Before Paul Baloff’s death, I used to run into him and Gary Holt while waiting for the train at Lake Merritt BART. I always thought about that show whenever I saw those guys hanging out, but I never introduced myself and talked to them about it. As dumb as it sounds, I did not want to come off as a gushing fanboy. However, the fact that I never even tried to say hello is one of my music scene-related regrets.

Bonded by Blood took some time to sink in, mostly because I made the mistake of buying the CD. To these ears, the CD mislaid the band’s guts (it definitely mislaid the cover artwork), but dubbing it onto a cassette somehow corrected that error. Once I acquired the vinyl, everything finally fell into place. Bonded by Blood is just one of those albums that should be heard on the format it was originally released on. With that in mind, enjoy our rip that was sourced from the original vinyl at perfect MP3 quality. Please feel free to compare it to whatever other download you may already have and let us know what you think. Broken glass not included.