Mittwoch, 20. August 2014
Montag, 11. August 2014
Greetings all! I finally finished the third No Funeral PodTape while maintaining that brutal production schedule of once a year. In this episode, we explore the brutal end of the metal-punk spectrum with The Simpsons as our tour guides. Yes, all of the samples for this podtape were extracted from the world's favorite show. Bands include Enabler, Skinlab, Iron Reagan, Origin, Fallujah, Rise Against, Hammerhead, Deicide, Secret Cutter, and more. Enjoy!
Samples (in order; all samples are from The Simpsons):
Apu, Simpsons theme song (intro), one of the KBBL DJs, COL. Hapablap, Dr. Nick, Mr. Burns, Dr. Nick, Carl, Krusty, evil witch from the Treehouse of Horror, woman in Springfield, Groundskeeper Willie, Chief Wiggum, a Springfield paramedic, Ned, Lenny, Ned, Moe, Krusty, Barney, Apu, Bart, Bart & Lisa, Bumblebee Man, Mr. Burns. the clock at the Duff factory, Grandpa Simpson, Homer, Homer, Homer, Homer, Kent Brockman, Marge, Marge, Ranier Wolfcastle, Barney, Apu, Homer, Groundskeeper Willie, Homer, Apu, and the Simpsons theme song (outro).
Tracklist (in order):
Agoraphobic Nosebleed - "As Bad As It Is" - And On and On (split LP with Despise You) - Relapse
Enabler - "All Hail the Void" - All Hail the Void - Southern Lord
Skinlab - "No Sympathy (for the devil)" - Disembody: The New Flesh - Century Media
Iron Reagan - "Cycle of Violence" - Worse Than Dead - A389 Recordings
Origin - "The Absurdity of What I Am" - Omnipresent - Agonia Records
Fallujah - "Carved from Stone" - The Flesh Prevails - Unique Leader
Rise Against - "I Don't Want to Be Here Anymore" - The Black Market - DGC
Hammerhead - "Brest" - Into The Vortex - Amphetamine Reptile
Deicide - "In the Minds of Evil" - In The Minds of Evil - Century Media
Secret Cutter - "Mirror, Mirror" - Secret Cutter - self-released
Trash Talk - "The Hole" - No Peace - Trash Talk Collective/Odd Future Records
Cephalic Carnage - "Endless Cycle of Violence" - Xenosapien - Relapse
Oceans of Slumber - "Remedy" - Aetherial - self-released
Cold World - "Never Knows Best" - How the God Chill - Deathwish Inc.
Anal Cunt - "All of Our Fans Are Gay" - Defenders of the Hate - Menace To Sobriety
Morbid Angel - "Existo Vulgore" - Illud Divinum Insanus - Seasons of Mist
Chest Pain - "Moron" - Weltschmerz - To Live A Lie
Deadwater Drowning - "My Fist, Your Face" - Deadwater Drowning - Black Market Activities
Mittwoch, 6. August 2014
Some of you may or may not remember; One of the first posts I did on this blog was Tension* from Long Island. The brutal in your face hardcore still worth it's weight in gold today. Meanwhile, members of Tension*, Outrage and Pitfight formed a new band. Named 1776 This is the: One Nation Under Attack
More importantly Tension* Have a completely new album. Those of you in NY can already buy it @ Looney tunes in West Babylon or Two Kings Barbershop in Smithtown
You don't wanna miss this!
More importantly Tension* Have a completely new album. Those of you in NY can already buy it @ Looney tunes in West Babylon or Two Kings Barbershop in Smithtown
You don't wanna miss this!
Donnerstag, 31. Juli 2014
It Came From Flipside! is a new column on 99 Miles of Bad Blogs where I go through old zines (not specifically Flipside, there are plenty of others to go through), analyze the content, and relate it to our current predicament. This week, I'll be pawing through Flipside #89 from May 1994 and I'll be concentrating on this issue's advertising. Here's the cover and, yes, this is coming straight from the No Funeral library. (Click on the pictures to get a better view.)
First though, let me give you the long-and-short on Flipside magazine. I'm assuming that if you're even on this website at all, then you've heard of Maximum Rock and Roll, the long-running DIY punk magazine based out of San Francisco. Well, Flipside was it's Los Angeles-based counterpart, even though it started four years earlier (1981 vs. 1977). The important point to remember is that, throughout the 1980s, MRR was the Northern California zine and Flipside was the Southern California zine. Then in 1994, during the heart of the grunge era, things changed drastically when a trio of ding-dong California punk bands known as GREEN DAY, RANCID, and THE OFFSPRING all went platinum. MRR responded by kicking out all of the major label bands as well as anything not explicitly punk; like metal, surf, and garage rock. Nirvana getting kicked out of MRR was a personal blow to life-long reader Kurt Cobain. While MRR took the hardline stance, Flipside kept dealing with the majors; the only caveat being that no major labels bands were allowed on the cover. It's hard to tell who took the "right" course of action. Flipside had more fun and had a better grip on the popular zeitgeist. Of course, they went out of business in 1999. MRR stuck to its guns and still exists.
Those punk bands going platinum is a major theme of this article. We're going to see the ads of the very records in question here. More importantly, we're going to see how this wave of bands from 20 years ago really set the table for what's going on today, for good and bad.
First up is the full-page ad by Slash Records for Magnified by FAILURE. In 2014, Failure is best remembered as TOOL's buddy band. In 1994, Failure was also considered Tool's buddy band. These two were thick as thieves during their local band days. So much so that Failure opened for Tool at the Cedar Park Center back in May. Current QOTSA guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen was an original member of Failure but he is not participating in the reunion. The only real hit Failure ever scored was a cover of DEPECHE MODE's "Enjoy The Silence." Magnified, the band's second album, produced the single "Undone" but otherwise it failed to make a splash at the time. Even now, these guys are considered a musician's band. Great stuff from a band that never quite clicked on the national level.
This is the half-page ad for Pledge of Defiance, the Epitaph debut from TOTAL CHAOS. As you're about to find out, Epitaph dropped a small fortune on advertising back then. Hell, they probably still do. As far as Total Chaos goes, I never really had much use for them. Meat-and-potatoes punk rock dressed like it's 1977. If you're going to wear period costumes, why not dress like pilgrims instead of Sid Vicious?
This is a full-page label ad from Taang Records. SPORE and GODSTAR are giant piles of "whatever" but SAM BLACK CHURCH, now we're talking! Sam Black Church was (and still is) a devastating metallic hardcore (but not metalcore) band from Boston. I would describe their sound as a New England version of what SHEER TERROR was doing during the same time period. Sam Black Church was one of the most popular Boston bands during the 90s, if not the most popular. Since reuniting in 2013, Sam Black Church played a sold-out Boston show with their long-time tourmates/homeboys THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY BOSSTONES and the band also played the 2014 New England Hardcore & Metal Festival. Keep your eyes out for these guys, especially if you missed them the first time around.
Here's a full-page label ad for Sympathy For The Record Industry. This is just a flimsy excuse to post an illustration by legendary hot-rod artist Chris "Coop!" Cooper. You've been in a cave if you haven't seen Coop's artwork before. Sympathy For The Record Industry did quality work and released some killer stuff in its time. Fortunately for us, founder Long Gone John reconstituted Sympathy For The Record Industry in 2011. The hits produced by this label include HOLE, THE WHITE STRIPES, and THE DONNAS. Other bands of note included THE DWARVES, MAN OR ASTROMAN?, SKULLFLOWER, THE MUFFS, and ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT.
Fat Wreck Chords shelled out the cash for a full-page LAGWAGON ad promoting the band's second album Trashed. Personally, I've seen Lagwagon four or five times but never NOT opening for NoFX. Those two bands were joined at the hip. Hell, they still are.These weirdos are so bonded to NoFX that ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES is comprised of members of both bands. Lagwagon was a key part of the California punk explosion of the early 90s. Still on the road. New album this Fall.
This is a half-page label ad from BYO Records promoting (then) new releases by YOUTH BRIGADE and JUGHEAD'S REVENGE. Youth Brigade's Stern Brothers were the founders of BYO so it's no shock that Youth Brigade has spent its entire existence on BYO. Elimination was the BYO debut of Jughead's Revenge. The band would remain on BYO for another two years before moving over to Dexter Holland's Nitro Records. In 1999, Jughead's Revenge was sued by Archie Comics and the band folded in 2001 due to the emotional and financial straits. I guess Archie Comics lightened up in recent years because Jughead's Revenge reunited in 2010 and have been releasing records ever since.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that Flipside didn't take the hardline stance with the majors? Here's the proof. This is a full-page label ad from DGC a.k.a. the David Geffen Company. It's doesn't get any more corporate than this. Although, for a major label, DGC had a pretty good ear. They signed SONIC YOUTH, WEEZER, and some band from Seattle. What matters here is the album in the top-left corner of the ad. Yep, that's Mellow Gold by BECK. This is a case of the major label signing everything and anything and accidentally signing someone good. The same phenomenon is how HELMET ended up on Interscope.
Here's the ad we all came here to see, Chris Dodge's power violence powerhouse Slap A Ham Records. The Baser Apes 7" by RUPTURE is killer stuff but the CROSSED OUT/MAN IS THE BASTARD split 7" is absolutely mandatory listening. Honestly, you should have this already but, if not, GO GET IT NOW!
This is a half-page label ad from Dr. Strange Records. In this ad, Dr. Strange is pushing the reissue of GUTTERMOUTH's debut LP and the Chicago EP from THE BOLLWEEVILS. Both the label and the brick & mortar store in the Bay Area are still going strong. Give Dr. Strange a chance!
Here's a quarter-page distro ad from Realization Records. Yeah, I've never heard of them either but there are two records of note listed here. One is a rare KK NULL LP. The world needs more ignorant Japanese destruction. The other record of note is Lament by SCORN. Scorn matters to metalheads because this is former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris's EDM project. Scorn matters to EDM people because your precious freaking dubstep was essentially invented by this guy. Scorn is a major influence on SKRILLEX and countless others.
Sub-Pop's quarter-page ad for La Mano Cornuda by the SUPERSUCKERS.
World Domination's ad for STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT's debut LP. Killer noise rock. Be warned! There's some poser deathcore band running around calling themselves The Stanford Prison Experiment instead of Stanford Prison Experiment. Demand the real deal! Accept no substitutes!
Half-page Dischord label ad for the Summer of 1994. This is the one ad in this old Flipside issue that should be familiar to everyone. Dischord still uses this layout for its current advertising.
Here's another half-page Epitaph label ad. This one features RANCID's debut LP, Unknown Road by PENNYWISE, Pablum by CLAWHAMMER, Something Green & Leafy by SNFU, and the reissue of Ignition by THE OFFSPRING. It's too bad that Nemesis Records never got a big pay day from The Offspring. Epitaph sure as hell did.
Half-page label ad from Shredder Records, notable for releasing the debut LP from wildly influential emo-punks JAWBREAKER.
This is another half-page ad from Dr. Strange Records. This one is promoting the debut LP from Latino ska-punks the VOODOO GLOW SKULLS. While this record listed for $7 back in 1994, Who Is, This Is currently fetches $20-$50 on eBay, depending on condition. At least, it didn't go down in value. Tried selling a CREED CD lately? Good luck.
This is a full-page ad celebrating the 20th anniversary of California's oldest punk label Bomp! Records. Founded by Greg Shaw in 1974, Bomp! started as a booking agency allowing bands to play concerts free from the clutches of legendary dirtbag Bill Graham. Although Shaw passed away in 2004, the label has since been run by his widow Suzy Shaw. Still going strong. Three cheers for the 40th anniversary of Bomp!
Here's a half-page ad from Epitaph for one of the records that brought punk to the masses.Who would have thought back then that Smash would go on to sell 20 million copies worldwide? THE OFFSPRING sold over six million copies of this record in the U.S. alone.
Here's yet another half-page Epitaph label ad. All of these records showed up in other Epitaph ads elsewhere in the same issue.
Here's a half-page ad for the other record that brought punk to the masses. Much like BECK, WEEZER, HELMET, WHITE ZOMBIE, and other bands that crawled out of the underground and somehow ended up on major labels, GREEN DAY was an afterthought to Reprise Records; until this twerp punk band from Berkeley started moving units. Now, it's 20 years later, Green Day are now referred to as "Multiple Grammy Award-winning classic rock band Green Day", and Dookie has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Unlike THE OFFSPRING, Dookie sold over 10 million copies in the U.S., meaning that Green Day has one of 36 diamond records in music history.
This is a half-page ad for Chicago hardcore label We Bite America. Notable bands featured here include CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, MURPHY'S LAW, and SLAPSHOT.
This is a full-page ad from Virgin Records (yep, that Virgin Records) promoting Rock Animals by SHONEN KNIFE. I've got to be honest, I've never had much of an interest in this band. I know that Shonen Knife is an all-female Japanese pop-punk band, the band was a favorite of Kurt Cobain, and Shonen Knife opened NIRVANA's last show in Houston at the AstroArena. I hope that I've been helpful. For what it's worth, Shonen Knife is playing Austin's Red7 club in October.
I warned you that this wouldn't be all fun and games. Here's a half-page ad for MCA's fake indie label Radioactive Records. Like most of those fake indie labels from back in the 90s (looking at you Red Decibel/Sony), Radioactive largely failed but, wait... What's that in the bottom of the ad? Yep, that's Throwing Copper by LIVE. Dear Lord, I hate LIVE. This stupid record sold over eight million copies. Now I'm depressed.
Quarter-page ad from the long-forgotten Megalomania Records promoting the second 7" by Cali-punks STRUNG OUT.
Quarter-page label ad from Reservation Records featuring legendary Georgia weirdos HARVEY MILK. I can't recommend this band enough.
This is a quarter-page ad from Boner Records promoting legendary San Francisco weirdos STEEL POLE BATH TUB. When Jello Biafra fronts them, they go by the name TUMOR CIRCUS. On their own, Steel Pole Bath Tub is the harshest listen this side of MERZBOW.
Here's a quarter-page label ad from Allied Recordings. Founded by artist John Yates, Allied specialized in harsh, experimental, and unusual hardcore bands until the turn of the century. This particular ad features the almighty BUZZOV-EN's classic LP Unwilling To Explain. If you don't know Buzzov-en, then I don't think there's any hope for you.
Quarter-page ad for the final record from THE GITS. R.I.P. Mia Zapata. Click here to learn more.
Not sure about you guys but this next one is the whole reason I'm here doing this at all. This is a half-page label ad from Victory Records back when Victory was on point. While HI FI & THE ROADBURNERS were a perfectly fine psychobilly band, those other two records are total fucking classics. Firestorm by EARTH CRISIS and Lookinglasself by SNAPCASE. Let me say that one one more time. Firestorm by EARTH CRISIS and Lookinglasself by SNAPCASE. That felt good. No explanation needed. If so, you are on the wrong website.
Alternative Tentacles is in the running for greatest record company ever. As if the DEAD KENNEDYS weren't enough, AT has been kicking out the jams for four decades now. This half-page label ad features some killer stuff like the Prairie Home Invasion LP by JELLO BIAFRA & MOJO NIXON, another solid VICTIM'S FAMILY release, and a glimpse of things to come with BRUJERIA's El Patron EP; but the real jewel here is Enemy of the Sun by NEUROSIS. Enemy of the Sun was one of the best records of the 90s. It's in the running for the best record ever. If you think the Neurosis material on Relapse and Neurot was something, then you need to stop what you're doing and go listen to this NOW!
I honestly didn't mean to stack all of the good stuff at the end but it just kind of worked out that way. Our final ad for this edition of It Came From Flipside! is a half-page label ad from noise rock masters Amphetamine Reptile prominently featuring the HAMMERHEAD masterpiece Into The Vortex. This is another one of those "best record of the 90s" situations. HAMMERHEAD was a major influence for everyone from the DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN and CONVERGE to bands like QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. Due to not playing rock-and-roll reindeer games, HAMMERHEAD got shut out of commercial radio and MTV, just like a million others. The difference is, if the suits had their shit together back then, Into The Vortex could have been a major hit. Instead, it's occupying that space where everyone who listens to Into The Vortex wants to start a band. That's an alright gig to have.
I hope that you enjoyed this trip down amnesia lane as much as I enjoyed writing it. This will be a regular feature from now on and I'm open to any suggestions or requests that you have. Hit me up at the No Funeral Facebook page.
This is the new media. We're doing things different from now on.
Mittwoch, 23. Juli 2014
Dienstag, 22. Juli 2014
Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014
Donnerstag, 3. Juli 2014
Hola, weirdos. Brian No Funeral here with a quick blast before I head to work. Today, I've posted the Tumor Circus LP. For those not in the know, Tumor Circus was a short-lived side project band featuring members of Grong Grong and Steel Pole BathTub with the legendary Jello Biafra on vocals. Tumor Circus played late 80s/early 90s style noise rock with splashes of the classic grunge sound and literate, demented lyrics.
The VILLAGE VOICE recently asked Biafra about the Tumor Circus record and he said that it's the most criminally underrated album of his career. I agree. Check out the song "Take Me Back or I'll Drown Our Dog" for further proof of this album's radness. If this had been released by AmRep instead of Alternative Tentacles, then people would have eaten up at the time. Well, it's not to late to discover a ground-breaking record.
Tumor Circus - Tumor Circus
Montag, 30. Juni 2014
Deep Six Records
Bueno, que tal? It's Brian No Funeral and, today, I'm reposting the INFEST discography CD for a number of reasons.
First, I'm still not sure if this CD has actually been released or not. It was delayed for over a decade by both the band and the record company (as you can imagine, finances are an issue for these Southern Californians). I think it has been officially released by now because Infest is back as an active, touring band. The fact that this discography has been circulating on the internet for so long has directly contributed to the Infest revival.
Second, did you hear me a moment ago when I said Infest got back together? Well, if you're fortunate enough to live near Dallas, Infest is going to play its only Texas show this year at the Diablo Ranch next month. Check out the show flier...
WEEKEND NACHOS, MINDLESS, and CHEST PAIN are also playing this show. Click here for more details. I know that caravans from Austin and from Houston are being planned. You have no excuse if you live in the D/FW area.
Finally, if you claim to be a fan of brutal metal and hardcore, then Infest is mandatory listening. This band was (and still is) a major influence on a whole generation of weirdos and, alongside MAN IS THE BASTARD, changed the perception of what's possible in DIY underground rock. Download this now!
Samstag, 28. Juni 2014
Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014
Nothing But The Whole
Dark Descent Records
Greetings, weirdos. It's been too long since I dropped knowledge on you all so let's get to it.
Nothing But The Whole is the bizarre and disturbing new LP from Belgium's Emptiness. Like anything from the land of Marc Dutroux, Nothing But The Whole is morbid, uncomfortable, and inappropriate.
So, who is Emptiness? As previously mentioned Emptiness is a strange metal band from Belgium that formed in 1998. For those that care about pedigree, Emptiness shares two members with black metal band Enthroned. For those interested in the sound of this band, where do I start?
It's blackened metal but it's not black metal. There are no Varg-style, Hot Topic moments to be found on Nothing But The Whole. Emptiness may be down with the evil ones but this record sounds closer to what the Swans and Psychic TV were doing back in the 80s than any kind of blast attack. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of awesome riffs and killer drum beats but the point of the record is not to pound the listener into submission with riffs. Rather, Nothing But The Whole is designed to make you feel uncomfortable.
If Tony Iommi's goal was to make scary records in order to freak out people, then Emptiness has finally perfected his model. If I had to describe the band's sound (and I do), I'd qualify it as a mixture of Big Black and Red Harvest with touches of Black Sabbath (duh), Whitehouse, and Abruptum. Basically, if you've ever heard of any of these bands besides Black Sabbath, then this record is for you.
For everyone else, take a chance on something new. Keep in mind that this is not good-time party music. Nothing But The Whole will make you feel like you got beaten after you got a sunburn earlier that day, but it's worth it.
Emptiness - Nothing But The Whole
Montag, 2. Juni 2014
Greetings all. Brian No Funeral here to make you boogie every chance like ants in the pants. How am I going to do this? With the Summertime Sandness mixtape! This is the first in a series of digital mixtapes and this one in particular features new music released within the last 12 months or so. There's no dipping into the past on this trip. We're blasting off into the future. Also, I make no apologies for the ludicrous amount of bands from Texas on this mixtape.
Below is the tracklist, followed by a few notes on each of the bands, followed by the download link. In the notes, each band's Facebook or Bandcamp page is linked in each band's name. Click on that hate and support these bands! As always, feel free to hit me up on Facebook with any questions, comments, or stock tips.
Summertime Sandness Vol. 1:
1. Dead Earth Politics - "Dos Cuerpos"
2. Iron Reagan - "Cops Don't Like Me, I Don't Like Cops"
3. ABRAMS - "Limped Off"
4. Weekend Nachos - "You're Not Punk"
5. Destruction Unit - "Slow Death Sounds"
6. Twilight - "Below Light"
7. Trash Talk - "The Hole"
8. Oathbreaker - "No Rest for the Weary"
9. I.E.D. - "Intestinal Fortitude"
10. Silver Snakes - "All Your Eye"
11. Secret Cutter - "End of Sylvan"
12. Ringworm - "I Recommend Amputation"
13, Pretty Little Flower - "Blistered Dejection"
14. Southern Front - "Pale Face"
15. Misery Index - "Colony Collapse"
16. Psalm Zero - "The Drain"
17. EyeHateGod - "Agitation! Propaganda!"
18. Boddicker - "Gun Walker"
19. Mammoth Grinder - "Wraparound Eyes"
20. Incarceration - "Forsaken and Forgotten"
21. Enabler - "Arise" (Sepultura)
22. DSGNS - "Denial of Service"
23. Body Count - "Pop Bubble"
24. Dead In The Dirt - "You Bury Me"
25. ACxDC - "Death Spare Not the Tiger"
26. UglyTwin - "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" (Smashing Pumpkins)
27. Abuse - "Cold Sweat"
28. Backstabbers Inc. - "Sound the Alarms"
29. Trap Them - "Lungrunners"
NOTES (same order as the tracklist):
Dead Earth Politics (Austin, TX)
"Dos Cuerpos" taken from the The Weight of Poseidon LP.
* Five-man Austin kill team uses the combined resources of the governor's office and the University of Texas to prove, once and for all, that combining Iron Maiden's harmonies with Lamb Of God's riffs is not only repeatable under laboratory conditions but it also stays crunchy in your headphones.
Iron Reagan (Richmond, VA)
"Cops Don't Like Me, I Don't Like Cops" taken from the Spoiled Identity EP.
* Former Darkest Hour personnel team up with current Municipal Waste members in order to unleash a hurricane-force thrash attack. This band is beloved here in Austin. Iron Reagan recently signed with Relapse. Let's hope that they stick around for decades to come.
ABRAMS (Denver, CO)
"Limped Off" taken from the February EP.
* ABRAMS is a new band from Denver that plays a bizarre combination of stoner rock, grunge, and Jesus Lizard-style noise rock. When I say recent, I mean that ABRAMS formed in the Fall of 2013. Highly recommended for fans of Ken Mode, Daughters, and the entire AmRep roster.
Weekend Nachos (Chicago, IL)
"You're Not Punk" taken from the Still LP.
* These Chicago manics are keeping the Infest/Lack Of Interst/Deep Six Records style of power violence alive and well in the 2010s. This song was taken from the band's Relapse debut. Speaking of which, Weekend Nachos is opening for Infest this July in Dallas.
Destruction Unit (Memphis, TN)
"Slow Death Sounds" taken from the Deep Trip LP.
* This band plays psychedelic sludge metal. If that sounds weird, it's because the band sounds weird. Another band that's in Austin all the time. Destruction Unit played last month's Austin Psych Fest and played this weekend's A Weekend In Austin.
Twilight (Chicago, IL)
"Below Light" taken from the III: Beneath Trident’s Tomb LP.
* I could be glib and refer to this as Thurston Moore's black metal band but Twilight is so much more than that. Closer in spirit to Xasthur than Emperor. This song is from the band's final album.
Trash Talk (Sacramento, CA)
"The Hole" taken from the No Peace LP.
* From the land that brought you the Deftones and Kevin Johnson, Trash Talk returns with another killer album of power violence-influenced thrash punk.Constantly on tour, often with Odd Future, Trash Talk is embarking on an ambition free tour this summer. Check it out.
Oathbreaker (Ghent, Belgium)
"No Rest for the Weary" taken from the Eros/Anteros LP.
* On the surface, it would appear that Oathbreaker is more of Deathwish Inc.'s blackened hardcore a la Deafheaven but Oathbreaker has better riffs, a better singer, and isn't nearly as hipster-ish as that other band I mentioned.
I.E.D. (Chicago, IL)
"Intestinal Fortitude" taken from the Deathdealer EP.
* Self-described "full-auto, 5.56 mm Chicago deathcore" annihilates eardrums as well as human life. Deathcore done right. Imagine an Operation Iraqi Freedom-themed version of Xibalba. Recommended for prior service military.
Silver Snakes (Los Angeles, CA)
"All Your Eye" taken from the Year Of The Snake LP.
* One of the most unusual records ever released by Bridge 9 Records (home of tons of straightedge, beatdown hardcore bands) is in reality a fairly conventional sounding record but these guys have the skills to pay the bills. Imagine a combination of Far, Only Living Witness, the original lineup of the Smashing Pumpkins, with a dash of Tool. Outstanding.
Secret Cutter (Bethlehem, PA)
"End of Sylvan" taken from the Secret Cutter LP.
* Like Toki Wartooth, I has confessions to makes: this Pennsylvania three-piece has released my favorite record so far this year. Criminally underrated. Support this freaking band!
Ringworm (Cleveland, OH)
"I Recommend Amputation" taken from the Hammer of the Witch LP.
* Hatecore legends and last-men-standing from the old days of Cleveland hardcore, Ringworm return with their Relapse debut and best album so far. Makes Deicide sound like Katy Perry.
Pretty Little Flower (Houston, TX)
"Blistered Dejection" taken from the Devious Persecution And Wholesale Slaughter LP.
* This long-running H-Town grind band unleashes deadly riffs and dangerous ideas on its latest album. Still pissed. Still living that Richmond Ave. life.
Southern Front (Austin, TX)
"Pale Face" taken from the Seasons of Hate EP.
* Southern Front proudly continues the Texas metal tradition without falling into the trappings of that certain band from Arlington with a deceased guitarist. Seasons of Hate is cut from the same cloth as Dead Horse, Rigor Mortis, Pissing Razors, and the like. Killer stuff!
Misery Index (Baltimore, MD)
"Colony Collapse" taken from the The Killing Gods LP.
* The band that started life as an entire former Dying Fetus lineup, Misery Index returns with another album full of caustic social commentary backed by blistering death/grind. Think of a death metal version of DRI.
Psalm Zero (Queens, NY)
"The Drain" taken from the The Drain LP.
* Two-man weirdo band from NYC. Psalm Zero kind of sounds like David Gahan from Depeche Mode fronting Godflesh. Alternating between ambient passages and soul-crushing sludge. I can't wait to hear more from this band.
EyeHateGod (New Orleans, LA)
"Agitation! Propaganda!" taken from the EyeHateGod LP.
* The band that rose from semi-homeless drug addicts to cultural icons is back with its first new album in 14 years. This song, the album's lead single, is a circle-pitting good time. This is the most focused EyeHateGod has ever been. Maybe the band's best record, maybe...
Boddicker (Indianapolis, IN)
"Gun Walker" taken from the False Flag EP.
* Part d-beat, part grindcore. Boddicker is here to tell you how unpleasant life is in the Midwest after The Great Recession. This is what blind rage sounds like. New album later this year on Profane Existence Records.
Mammoth Grinder (Austin, TX)
"Wraparound Eyes" taken from the Underworlds LP.
* The move from Relapse Records to 20 Buck Spin didn't affect these Austin weirdos at all. If you ask me, Underworlds is the band's best material so far. On tour constantly, often with Power Trip or Hatred Surge, catch them live before they party to death.
Incarceration (Hamburg, Germany)
"Forsaken and Forgotten" taken from the Sacrifice EP.
* Originally from Brazil and now based in Germany, Incarceration plays old-school death metal in the vein of Possessed, Repugnant, and Metal Blade-era Slayer. Switching continents didn't affect the evil emanating from your speakers.
Enabler (Milwaukee, WI)
"Arise" taken from the Flies EP.
* Enabler is a one-band subgenre name-game mindfuck. The band plays D-beat/death metal/hardcore/punk rock/grind brutality. They sound like everything at once. I was going to use a song from the new record but I couldn't resist throwing a Sepultura cover on this thing.
DSGNS (Austin, TX)
"Denial of Service" taken from the LXCN EP.
* ATX noisecore titans (who, by the way, opened for Between the Buried and Me last night) rearrange your psyche and your soul. Recommended for people who think Deadguy should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Absolutely essential for people who think of Botch in the way that normal people regard The Beatles.
Body Count (Los Angeles, CA)
"Pop Bubble" taken from the Manslaughter LP.
* America's greatest black metal band returns from a lengthy break with its best album. I heard Ice T say that he'd rather play metal right now because, even though hip-hop is his first love, hip-hop is too fucking whack right now. He uses this album to explain why.
Dead In The Dirt (Atlanta, GA)
"You Bury Me" taken from the The Blind Hole LP.
* From the city that gave you Richard Jewell and Todd Chrisley comes Dead In The Dirt with filthy grindcore that owes as much to GG Allin as to Napalm Death. The Blind Hole is the band's Southern Lord debut and demonstrates how thoroughly unhinged this band actually is.
ACxDC (Los Angeles, CA)
"Death Spare Not the Tiger" taken from the Live: TBFH Session #003 cassette.
* They call themselves AntiChrist DemonCore but, to me, they're still the Anti-Cop Dorner Crew. Either way, LA's harshest and most controversial grind-violence band is back after a short hiatus. On tour everywhere. This song was record live somewhere in Southern California.
UglyTwin (Austin, TX)
"Bullet With Butterfly Wings" taken from the DSGNS/UglyTwin split CD.
* Austin's UglyTwin is a fascinating band. This is a harsh metal band that can't be placed into some easily defined category. I chalk it up to UglyTwin being one of those rare bands that actually uses its imagination but don't take my word for it. Check out how they discombobulate this Smashing Pumpkins hit.
Abuse. (Raleigh, NC)
"Cold Sweat" taken from the Abuse. LP.
* Another one of my favorite records of 2014. Abuse. is the band with a period at the end of its name because there are 900 bands out there named Abuse. Anyway, this Abuse is equal parts Nasum and Insect Warfare. Of course, they broke up as soon as I discovered this band, dashing any hopes of seeing them live.
Backstabbers Inc. (Portsmouth, NH)
"Sound the Alarms" taken from the Missing In Action LP.
* The former band of Trap Them members Ryan McKenney and Brian Izzi reunites years later without them and turns in a high-quality record that doesn't reek of nostalgia or "the good old days." I wish it could have been a full reunion but Missing In Action is still really good so I'll take it. So, if Backstabbers Inc. is back up and running, what happened to those other two guys?
Trap Them (Boston, MA and points beyond)
"Lungrunner" taken from the Blissfucker LP.
* This is what those other two guys have been up to lately. It's been three years since Trap Them dropped Darker Handcraft on us and that's entirely too long to wait in between Trap Them records. I have nothing but good things to say about this record and this band. You should too! Full review soon.
Summertime Sandness Vol. 1
More to follow. Stay tuned...