THE BLACK BLACK • Careful on Your Way Out LP

The Black Black Careful On Your Way Out LP

Ewel Records


I’m going to start this the same way that I started the Groupie review because I got this record on the same day so… First things first, I’m a total jerk. Hands-down, I’m not covering anything, I’m not going to hide behind the pandemic, I’m not going to hide behind the fact that someone nearly stole my identity, I’m not going to hide behind guns shipped in my name across the United States, I’m not going to hide behind any family illness, I’m not going to hide behind moving, I’m not going to hide behind anything. I received this record over a year ago and simply due to my laziness I have not addressed it in the respectful and proper way that should’ve been addressed. So, without any further ado, let me tell you about this the The Black Black Careful on “Your Way Out” record. Let’s start with the cover of this the The Black Black record, is a drawing of the backs of two young lawless lovers, or at least early crushing on each other, handcuffed with a cop standing over them and all of life’s little needles and pushes and prods trying to collapse in on this little spark of life these two kids are sharing. These two kids seem perfectly content to be handcuffed as long as they are next to each other. My guess is that this is a pop punk record. I’m stoked to spin it because New Jersey New York has had some grotesquely overlooked melodic bands that have come out and those areas. Dang duder, I dropped a needle and I could not be more wrong. This is post punk dance amazingness. This could fit right in with Talking Heads, Television, Medium Medium, APB and more recently NYC’s Radio 4, the Flesh, Lost System with a nod to goth (in a good way). All of this while managing to carve out their own sonic lane. “No Satisfaction” the first song on the LP is great but they had the perfect opportunity to reclaim the lyric “why can’t I get NO satisfaction” to “… any satisfaction”?  Meh, moving on, when the fuzzy bass starts the song “Guilt Free Genocide” I’m hooked. Lines like “where do we put the poor people once we don’t need their labor” and “guilt free genocide, rich people for climate change” I think it’s creepy because of its accuracy. The record itself is the color of sand but not beach sand. It’s the color of the sand you find on a long dirt road, dusty, hard to clean off, staining clothes. Ending side 1 is “Fun Police” with an infectious chorus of “ Who made you the fun police, did you always want to grow up and be a narc” and that line is a total crack up. “2Kool2Dance” has a rad Love and Rockets feel which brings a pleasant familiarity to the entire record. These folks aren’t afraid to throw it all out there. “Vansanity” closes out side 2, grabs onto the grizzly reality of vanity, narcissism, a life without consequence, and doing whatever it takes to be where you want to be. This is a really terrific Ewel records release and leaves me hoping to hear more from the The Black Black.  (JD)
Preview a tune and then buy the whole dang thing here!

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW MA: Matt Average

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH… DON’T MOVE HERE compilation LP

Cruel Noise Records

Welcome to Pittsburgh… Don’t Move Here compilation (Cruel Noise Records)


I love Pittsburgh. That’s it, I love Pittsburgh and I appreciate that they’re asking me not to move there and I respect that. One of my favorite times and first time(s) ever going to Pittsburgh was coming into the city from the South and cutting into a mountain, going through a tunnel, and being barfed out into the center of a huge metropolitan city. That feeling was felt like living in a sci-fi movie as if I  was docking a ship and walking into a secret moon colony. From that second forward I loved to visit Pittsburgh. My second time in Pittsburgh that stands out was a time I was driving in from the North, as I grow closer to the city, the four-lane highway is, on each side of me, completely empty. This is the middle of the day. I first I thought it was just an odd unique traffic happenstance but then I started to worry. I started to think in ways that a brain does when things are so beyond the norm that you completely think the worst has happened; an airborne toxic event, a mass aeromedical evacuation, did I miss an air defense warning condition alert, did I drive into an active decontamination area of military significant fallout, was I in a blast wave diffraction, a cataclysmic global life removing quirk that I somehow avoided when I stopped for Thai food, an earthquake, a plague. I drove into a parking lot, went inside the nearest store and found all of the store customers and the employees around a tiny black-and-white TV watching the Steelers play. It melted my heart and further increased my love for the city of Pittsburgh. Why did I tell you those two seemingly unrelated stories? Well, it’s because I think that those two stories go hand-in-hand with the theme of this compilation. This compilation is moving, from outer space seemingly, terrifying, and charming. The mix of music and styles from the city is unique and perplexing and certainly fits in line with the complex life we have here in the rust belt/middle west. The desperation that each of these bands have as well as a camaraderie and a uniqueness that really makes me wish that they would let me move to Pittsburgh. Starting off with Heavy Discipline the song “Lockstep” really is a perfect tune to set the pace of this record. Living World is pure brutality and mayhem. Loose Nukes pop in with “Roundhouse“ and it’s a pretty great straight up hard-core song with a nod to New York 80sHC and lyrically focused on the injustices of the justice system. Speed Plans is next with another forceful song. I’m betting that Speed Plans are a band that everybody’s friends with considering the picture on their page of the booklet is a dude just holding a beer. He seems like he’s the life of the party.  Peace Talks with Tyna’s vocal delivery is really pushing this song over the top. Rat-Nip and Necro Heads close out side one with two blasts of chaos.  Detainees hit us with a snotty hardcore brilliance similar to Career Suicide. Invalid jump in with “Stupid Pills” which is a scathing look at society. De Rodillas come in with powerful tune similar to Peace Talks. No Time is an Oi mid tempo stomper that toss in a little bit of Sheer Terror. Chiller is off the map with an unstable kinetic energy. White Stains with “Let’s Die” plop in for some nihilism in a 77 kind of way. And closing out the LP is S. L. I. P. with “Daddy‘s Little Girl part two“ and it’s a herky-jerky weirdo creepy terrifying song and I love it. 

The only setback I have with this is that only 5 of the bands contributed lyrics to their page in the booklet. Whatever, right? Their call but in lieu of me aligning to what they are angry about or position on issue or what have you, I’ll have to make their absence of vocal clarity bend to what I want so I’ll decide to assume that every line I can’t make out must be about eating boo-berry cereal and farting on their bed pillow before they go to sleep…. works for me  ¯_(ツ)_/¯  (JD)


Don’t buy this here because it’s sold out. Try discogs or some junk.

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

FOXES (1980) / SUBURBIA (1984)

FOXES (1980)

Directed by Adrian Lyne

Starring Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Scott Baio, Kandice Stroh, Sally Kellerman, Marilyn Kagan, Randy Quaid

SUBURBIA (1984)

Directed by Penelope Spheeris

Starring Chris Pedersen, Bill Coyne, Jennifer Clay, Flea, Timothy O’Brien, Wade Walston, Maggie Ehrig

HEADCHEESE • LP

Neon Taste Records

Headcheese • LP (Neon Taste Records)

Holy crap! Stay off my lawn you little snot-nose kids! I am pretty certain that these guys are dads that are just fucking frustrated with the day today of all the banal globs of garbage that we go through. Their music is refreshing and nuanced hardcore that harkens back to the early days when it was cool to go outside the lanes. “I Don’t Care” starts off with ripping guitars and then the chorus “who are you?, I don’t wanna know” I feel it and agree. I was talking to my pal Will last night and I told him I have enough friends. I don’t really want to meet or make room for new people and somehow Headcheese was able to fit that entire sentiment of that conversation into 52 seconds and capture the tone and emotion perfectly. By the time they get to cut 3, “Po Po”, all bets are off, all guard rails have been removed. It just explodes with an amazing and ridiculous and Animal-esque TM perfect drum intro which feeds right into “you got a dad, and he’s the best, he got you ice cream, when your aced test, he’s wit the Po Po, that’s a no- no”. “12 years of working fucking hard, and the only thanks I get is when I manicure a yard” from the song “Invalid” addressing school and jobs and the lies we’re fed as children and adults wherein if you work hard you’ll “be the best”. Here’s the thing about this that put it a cut above a lot of hard-core and music in general right now. It has an aggression to it that is rooted in the despondent and boring life. The energy of the music is the chaos of the universe and the lyrics are arranged in a way that is self conflict between wanting to do more /be more and also giving in to your life as the arc of time decides where you’re going to be no matter what you thought in the beginning. It’s as though the endless boredom has given way to a biped stumbling from a dried riverbed’s alluvium on its way to harness the dim power of it’s larval pin sized brain funneled into “day in and day out” to feeling that it can be more and bigger but in the end, it is
what it is.  Seriously, I got this record and I heard it and I loved it so much that I ordered another one for my buddy Derek. I feel like Headcheese would be best buddies with the Thee Elder Gods from Kalamazoo, MI. 


If you’re reading this and you are a citizen of the United States do yourself the most patriotic thing you could possibly do and buy this Canadian record. HERE. (JD)

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

MALIGNANT (2021)

Crowd forming outside the Aero in Santa Monica for Sneak Preview of Malignant, September 9, 2021. Photo: Matt Average

MALIGNANT (2021)

Director: James Wan

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White

GROUPIE • Ephemeral LP

Handstand Records

First things first, I’m a total jerk. Hands-down, I’m not covering anything, I’m not going to hide behind the pandemic. I’m not going to hide behind the fact that someone nearly stole my identity, I’m not going to hide behind guns shipped in my name across the United States, I’m not going to hide behind any family illness, I’m not going to hide behind moving, I’m not going to hide behind anything. I received this record over a year ago and simply due to my laziness, I have not addressed it in the respectful and proper way that it should’ve been addressed. So, without any further ado, let me tell you about this Groupie Ephemeral LP. For starters the cover has me completely perplexed. I can’t tell if these are dried little mushroom caps, flower petals or over priced healthy beet chips from your local over priced grocer.  They are maroon and bruised in color and it’s haunting and compelling at the same time. The record itself (as you can see from the photo) is also maroon. Here’s the juice of it, the music is haunting and unique but familiar. Calling this post-punk, although accurate, does a disservice to all the other things that it’s not and all the other things that it is. This LP has a mid to late 80s 120 minutes feel to me with a little bit of mid era DC crossover stuff like Jawbox. I get a little bit of a feeling that they think of themselves as rockers but in my opinion they are far better than that. They are not dazzling or overpowering with riffs. They just belt it out, earnestly, with passion filled and uniquely poignant lyrics. Groupie starts right in and blamo! gosh, I don’t know who exactly is singing (is it Ashley or Johanna) but regardless, when they get to the lyric “give up on perfection“ it socks ya right in the chest. By the time you get to the song “Industry” they’ve taken on a slight swagger, an almost Patti Smith feel in the cadence and delivery. We’re still on the first side when “Thick as Glue” comes on with a haunting guitar and lyrics that seem to cut to the heart of misguided macho and hipster male worship that comes at young women. It’s partially because I have a young daughter that is continually subjected to this type of junk but also, it’s because Groupie is quick to leave the fashion hero worship garroted in a pile that I like this sing so much. This is certainly worth a listen and who knows, now that shit is getting back to normal, we might get the chance to see them live somewheres.  (JD)

Buy this by simply clicking this fuggin’ link.

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA Heath Row: HR

REGIONAL JUSTICE CENTER • Crime And Punishment 12″ 2021

Closed Casket Activities

Well the wait is finally over. This is the second 12” from these Seattle pounders and it has me nodding along to the really slow sludge parts, then playing air drums to the ripping fast parts.  The drums are what really make this band/record for me. Dude is a machine. Vox are stellar as well… I know I should really read the lyrics but I literally don’t care what this cat is screaming about, I just know it’s angry and mean.  At first listen I was a little bummed on how short this 12” 45 is, but I’m on my third listen (to digest it and review it) and I feel like it’s the perfect length for a band of this style. I know a lot of people hate the term in which the style of music these folks are playing, but its pretty much PV that does not completely rip off or steal a sound from a specific band. Yes they probably like Crossed Out, MITB and Infest but it isn’t a direct rip. I’d really like to see them live someday if the world of shows ever opens up again. The label that put it out is from my old ‘hood of Albany /Troy NY so I’m proud that Closed Casket Records got on board to make this record happen. More kick ass art work from my brother Mark McCoy, the images are perfect for this platter. (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA Heath Row: HR

NUART – reopens!

Places are starting to reopen here in California. I have no idea how long that will last, or if we will ever close down again at all. With the vaccines getting around, and after a year of “we’re turning a corner” only to see the numbers rise it’s tough to be positive about much at the moment.

That said, the Nuart opened it’s doors up last Friday, March 19, 2021. No idea when the midnight movies will return, but I’m looking forward to that moment when I can sit in my seat, finish my soda and candy before the trailers finish, and watch whatever classic horror is projected onto the big screen. It will be epic. (MA)

HARD FOUL • demo tape 2020

HARD FOUL demo tape 2020

625 Productions

So cool to see Dan from Spazz, Funeral Shock, etc., still doing HC and being productive after years and years. Other band members also come from Plutocracy, Agents Of Satan, and Funeral Shock. Eight raging tunes that seem to be heavily themed on NBA basketball. I love this shit, and wish there was a lyric sheet so I could get the full scope. The tape starts off sounding very East Coast HC… then by song 2 and forward the true powerviolence starts to kick in. Loud bass riffage, Dan’s killer guitar riffs and fast blasts and bursts keep it fun. I’m sure Dan prolly hates the term PV by now and cringes when it’s used to describe his projects… but you can tell by his playing that it’s just stuck there in his blood forever. The other side of the tape is a really well done live set from a radio show. Oh, and the demo side is recorded at none other than Bart Thurber at the legendary House Of Faith.  Cool stuff. Support. (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA Heath Row: HR

NOTA • Moscow 7″ EP

NOTA • Moscow 7” EP

Artcore

Being from Oklahoma NOTA is like Black Flag or Agnostic Front for me. They were/are that important, and had a huge impact on me and my friends. I didn’t really start paying attention to punk until around 1981, after all, everyone was saying it was dead. I knew of the Sex Pistols, I caught the news story about their show at Cain’s Ballroom on the local OKC channel 5 10pm broadcast, and it was the craziest thing I had seen at that point in my life. As the teen years started to come on, and the need to define myself among the masses, The Clash was the first punk band I got into. The whole notion of punk happening in a place like Oklahoma seemed inconceivable to me. That would soon change though. By 1982 I decided it was time to get off the fence and be punk, thinking I was probably the only one in the state. My best friend down the street, Dallas Vickers, got on board, so that made two of us. A short while later we discovered KGOU one night while looking to see if there was anything else on the radio other than the crummy top 40 stuff. We suddenly discovered we weren’t the only punks around (though we were not dressing the part at that moment in time). I stayed up listening to see what else there was, and discovered shows like My Tunnel, which played hardcore punk, and would inform listeners of shows in the area, and what local bands were up to. My mind was blown. There was a punk scene happening in Norman, just south of me, and in Oklahoma City, and Tulsa. Local bands like No Direction, Brown 25, Diet of Worms, Death Puppy, and others. On top of all that, there was this band from Tulsa, None of the Above, or more casually, and shortened, NOTA (pronounced No-duh, but say it quickly so you don’t sound like you’re saying, “No duhhh…”). All the previously mentioned bands were great, but NOTA were on a “whole nother level.” They had an intensity that blazed like no other. They’re on the classic Welcome to 1984 comp with bands like Rattus, Stalin, Raw Power, Upright Citizens, BGK, Crucifucks, and Terveet Kadet , so that’s says something of the level they were at. I’m of the opinion that everything this band did is worth picking up. Their output from Live at Crystal Pistol (you can get the vinyl and CD versions through Prank) on to that first album on Rabid Cat are essential.

Moscow was their first release on vinyl, and it wastes no time getting down and getting loud. Kicking off with “This Country”  and keeping it at 11 all the way through “The Enemy,” “Taking Away Your Rights,” and the title track (check out that guitar riff!). It never lets up for a second! The guitars roar and snarl, and the vocals match. The bass is heavy and dark, while the drums are surprisingly catchy, despite the speedy tempos. I remember the day I got this and listening to it over and over, and my friend Dallas coming over and we cranked it until my mom pulled up in the drive way. There’s a reason we adorned our clothes with their name, and copped the art from Rusty Short to put on the back of our jackets and Oxford button up shirts. Timeless music right here. 

Artcore fanzine fortunately rereleased Moscow, remastered from the original tapes. The sound is more full, and somewhat heavier than on the previous pressing(s). The packaging is pretty sweet as well, with a history of the band, some flyer art and photos, as well as lyrics and the back cover art for the original Unclean pressing included (though slightly altered). It’s part of issue 40, which includes interviews with Strike Anywhere, The Chisel, Vicious Dreams, and Septic Death, Jawbreaker, and Iconoclast in the Vaultage section. You gotta get this by all means.  (MA)

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Justin Dratson:JD Nate Wilson:NW  Matt Average:MA