THE WORLD • Reddish mini LP

THE WORLD Reddish 12” mini LP

Lumpy Records

The World Reddish LP

Excellent follow up to their debut LP, First World Record, which rocked me on my heels with their post punk style akin to Family Fodder. The World are a bit of a “super group”, consisting of members from Andy Human and The Reptoids, Beatniks, and Blues Lawyer. They have combined their creative super powers to make one of the best bands going these days. I predict that in twenty years a younger generation will be looking to The World discography for sound inspiration. I also predict that if you skip on getting this today you will live in crippling regret until you right the wrong. Just imagine being out somewhere, say a party with friends, and you hear a song that comes over the stereo, or hi-fi, as the millennials like to say, a song so good that all conversations stop until the song ends, like “Jackson 5” for instance, with it’s shuffling beat and vocals that are otherworldly. You cannot deny the saxophone that takes it next level. You know you’re hearing one of the best songs you’ve heard in a long while. One of your friends in the know (the only kind of friends one should have, really) informs you that its The World, and song is on the second side of their Reddish mini LP, or 12” EP in record collector parlance. Regret hits you like a brick as your mind hurtles back to 2019, and you recall having had the chance to attain this much wanted record for a fair and decent price, but in your youthful foolishness you passed on it and opted to get the latest generic Exploited clone band, the kind of band, that in five years tops, you will forget having ever existed in the first place. “Last Rhodesian” chops it up with a primitive beat that never grows old. The delivery is frantic until it calms towards the end before one last fit. There’s also the to the point “You’re Going Down,” which burrows into your brain, deeper and deeper, until it becomes part of your genetic make up. “Kill Your Landlord” comes on smooth with it’s dub stylings, and the vocals channel Ari Up at times, and just like that, it’s all over.

Be sure to get this record. (MA)

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

DARKTHRONE • Old Star LP

Darkthrone – Old Star LP

Peaceville Records 2019

Darkthrone_review_1

I just picked this up on vinyl today after listening to a streaming version that a buddy sent me recently.

What’s incredible to me is that these guys are still at it and have 18 LPs to their credit now. In my opinion this record took a lot of courage to make. Dudes straight up have let their 80’s hair metal roots shine through on much of this beast. In the riffage I can hear the likes of Motorhead (the first song), Wasp, Crüe, AC/DC, Kiss, Armored Saint, Ratt, etc.. I think a lot of black metal fans might not get it, and the only saving grace to them might be the vox (which have a very strong Celtic Frost vibe cutting through). Don’t get me wrong, this is still heavy… just has some other influences I haven’t heard by them in prior releases.

What I love about Darkthrone is that they could give two fucks if they lose or alienate die hard BM fans (or any fans for that matter). They seem to only care about what they like or would want to listen to at a particular moment in time. I think thats pretty awesome. You can tell that both these gentlemen are super open minded when it comes to music and life.

Darkthrone_review_2

I love the first four albums, and for that time period they were radical innovators of that second wave of BM. As odd as it might sound to some I would rank this album right up there after the first five (coming in sixth). Its so catchy, and daring that I haven’t been able to stop listening to it or get the tunes/riffs out of my head.

As I stated earlier I think that it took a lot of courage to play/write riffs like these when they know that their fans can be a pretty closed minded group of individuals. It seems people who follow the genre will usually just want more of the same, and you don’t get that here. You don’t get the rawness, crudeness, or hate that the first four have going for them. You don’t have the crust punk element that seems to have influenced them over the last ten years. This is big sounding (those fucking drums). The production is unbelievably good and I think Fenriz and Ted are able to prove that they are still innovators with this full length. I love everything about it. (NW)

 

DEAD OF NIGHT self-titled 7″

DEAD OF NIGHT – self-titled 7″ single

Red Menace Records

Dead Of Night

Getting a random record in the mail is like answering a phone call from an unknown number; that call could be a long lost friend wanting to catch up or a person trying to get you to do a survey about your insurance. In the end, it’s all a bit doomed but one of them is easier to stomach and the other you fuck with or hang up on (you decide).  However, that wasn’t the case on either side with this Dead of Night 45. I really needed this stamp right now. It hit on all the sorrow and anxiety I was already feeling. It amplified it and then calmed me in knowing that these fellas are sad, too. Musically it sorta reminds me of that one Amebix LP that’s really sorrowful for the past lyrically and drags you from ditch to ditch in with a concussive sonic attack.

Here’s the thing though, it is so heavy and hopeless that I want to find these fellas and pet their hair and tell them that everything is going to be OK. You know what I mean? Like maybe just a hug, some eye contact, and a sincere “I like you, you’re worth it”. But if I do that, they could lose the thing that makes this so great. Also, let’s be honest, if you listen to this it is pretty obvious that these guys are adults. To be clear, I’m referring to the misery that comes through losing a parent or child, a car crash, losing a job, having friends OD, no longer living in a punk house and having to pay bills, break ups, back togethers, realizing your vote means nothing, ideas and dreams crushed under the yoke of everyday life, prolly growing up going to church for a while and having an internal conflict over being in a country that is on the Lord’s side but also responsible for so much suffering, having a kid and not knowing how to protect her/him from what you know is coming… or whatever, all cool. So on and on, I guess. I’m just saying that I felt a connection. Those Amebix folks were young and they made a record around what they thought the world was, wherein Dead of Night is living through that world and their commentary isn’t hyperbole or fiction, it’s truth.

Look, Dead of Night, I’m headed to Maryland Death Fest this week with my pals Will T, Keith H, Kyle H, Mario T, and David M.  If any of you from Dead of Night are there too, I’ll give you a big hug, tell you it’s all going to be OK and then I’ll pull you close and whisper in your ear something like “in these 30 seconds we took to meet, 1000 puppies were gutted and twice as many children lost their fingers in machines making shoes for you” just to fuel the fire for your next record.

My only critique, and it might be the style that I’m not familiar with, but for anyone that gets this melancholy heavy banger, it’s cut a little quite and bass heavy so I turned up the treble a bit and cranked the volume.

Side A The Culling
Side B The Scourge
(JD)

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

PINOCCHIO self-titled 7″ EP

PINOCCHIO – self-titled 7” EP

Toxic State Records

pinocchio cover

I’m turning 50 at the end of this month, and I’m jaded, cynical, and grumpy for the most part, but that’s how life plays out. Despite all that, every now and then I hear or see something that makes me believe that things aren’t all that shitty. Things like this Pinocchio EP. Sure, the cover is pretty bland, and easy to overlook, but get past that and you will be far more than pleasantly surprised. When I listen to this record it makes me think we’re on the cusp of some great era in punk. Maybe we’re in the midst of it already, I don’t know. What I do know for sure is this is one of the fucking best punk records I’ve heard in years, possibly the past couple decades (not like there’s any real stiff competition, but let’s not split hairs in my excitement). Listening to this EP gives me the same rejuvenating rush I felt when I latched on to punk in 1981. A new world rife with possibility, and everything sounded fresh and great. It makes me want to be involved, instead of standing at the back or on the sidelines. I listen to this and wonder what their live shows are like, and I would love to had been there when they were writing and recording these songs. Every song on here is inspired. Pinocchio inhabit a sound somewhere between punk and post-punk, but they’re not nailing their feet to the floor to stay in one place. It’s in doing so that gives them life and keeps them from being a reenactment band. The woman who sings has a great voice, and never delves into histrionics. Her focus aids in the sonic impact with the rest of the band. Imagine the Slits and the Delta 5 without the reggae influence crossed with early American hardcore. “My Time Vol.1” reminds me of the Talking Heads with its walking beat, minimal instrumentation and lyrics. They wrap it up in the second volume on the second side by cranking up the energy before reverting back and turning tables with the close “Your Time.”

The “Light Speed” trilogy brings the faster tempos into the fold and tilt towards mania at times. “Behind You”, which sits in between volumes two and three, floors every single time. The tempo is at a boil, a catchy as hell beat, and the vocals are in fine form. “Trick Plane” is godhead with the tribal percussion, confrontational attitude, and it’s brevity leaving you wanting more. (MA)

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

JACKAL self-titled 7″ EP

JACKAL – self-titled 7” EP

Pain Killer Records

Jackal cover

Jackal (current hardcore band from Florida, not to be confused with the chainsaw wielding rock from the 1990s) don’t mess around! They come out with both barrels blazing and do not let up until the very end. Their sound is heavily influenced by the early 1980s USHC bands like White Cross as well as some of the East Coast bands of that era for extra punch. It helps to have a breakdown thrown in to alleviate the sonic pummeling they deal out. The guitar has a thick sound, while the drums have a rumbling style that gives everything a solid base, and hints at the chaos roiling underneath. Lyrically, they vent their frustrations with life, and fighting, and fighting. There’s no pretense here. My one and only complaint with this record is it’s only four songs and I want to hear more. First world problems (currently)….  (MA)

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

MIRACLE DRUG / PIECE OF MIND split 7″

MIRACLE DRUG / PIECE OF MIND– Split 7″

Available on a few different color vinyl options and with a download code to boot!

 Available through Trip Machine Laboratories

miracledrug.:pieceofmind

 I have to start this review with a few clarifiers:

 

·      I purchased all 3 versions of this 7in (see pic).

·      If you are a fan of hardcore, then you should grab this.

·      Split records, for good or bad, are a contest of which side is better.

·      Sorry to anyone in Piece of Mind but…well…you were outgunned. 

 

I file my split LPs, 10ins, 7ins at the end of the alphabet but I’ve found I’m in the minority.  I was in NJ this past week visiting some pals and the consensus was that any split is filed alphabetically by the band you like better. An example being that the Faith/Void split rarely sees the F section of a record collection (FYI, mine would be in the F section so that may automatically go to the credibility of this review). 

With that, had this just been a Piece of Mind (PoM going forward) record review I would have gone bananas for it. They are very competent and hit all the right marks to make me throw a fist in the air while sitting in my chair reading along to their lyrics.  But here’s the thing, the folks in Miracle Drug (MD going forward) have each been in bands and playing and recording since the mid ‘90s (C.R., Mouthpiece, Supertouch, By The Grace Of God, Enkindle, Mouthpiece and on and on and fucking on… uhh, an exhausting amount of stuff). And, if I’m any good at math at all, that’s around 300 years of combined experience. Furthermore, with over a century’s worth of experience, MD have a “fuck you(ness)” about them that only comes with that. I’m not talking about the “fuck you” of being in a band in your 20s where you pretend that shit rolls off your back but if there is one missed note at a show, the entire band sends a palpable wave of embarrassment over the crowd. And then a band meeting ensues where an entire hour is spent saying things like “we gotta get tight before our next show”. The “fuck you” I’m talking about comes from adulthood. I imagine that if MD messed up a song at a show it would be an exchange of smiles among the band and their band meeting, if they even would have one, would be them giving each other shit and bustin’ chops. Also, as far as Hardcore goes, I’d be surprised if these guys listened to a lot of hardcore at all these days. I’d put money on that a few of these fellas dig Steely Dan as well as Black Sabbath.  There are a couple changes that took me by surprise and pulled me in. Who knows, they might also all be assholes.  

In the end, this is a great record with two great bands but maybe not the greatest combination. It wasn’t a chocolate and peanut butter tasty combo, but it wasn’t a toothpaste and orange juice one either. Maybe it was milk and Pepsi, complementing but not peer to peer. However, I did do this. I ordered the PoM demos and recent cassette to check out and maybe review. Look, PoM were just outgunned on this release and I bet they’d agree. Regardless, go grab one before they are gone. I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.  (JD)

MUTILATED TONGUE Fuel the Flame LP

MUTILATED TONGUEFuel The Flame LP (2019)

Armageddon Records

mutilatedtongue_1

I’m pretty out of touch with what has been happening in the DIY hardcore/punk scene for a few years now.  I can tell you this though..this shit is straight up fucking refreshingly awesome.  Total C.O.C. Animosity worship vox happening here…It’s blatant, and great!  Who doesn’t love Mike Dean 80s era Corrosion Of Conformity?

I  mean almost everything about this record is godly, and almost perfect (I’ll get into the almost perfect part later).  

The musicianship on this is stellar, and you can tell when dropping the needle onto the wax that these folks are vets.  The drums don’t stop pounding, this dude is able to do it all.  Heavy toms, fast beats, slow beats all caught on a totally raw but pro recording.  It almost makes me wish I lived in Oakland to take some drum lessons from this hero (I said almost).  The song writing is ferociously brilliant.  I love the short little melodic Discharge guitar leads that are thrown in.  This record flys by and is almost over as soon as it starts.  

mutilatedtongue_2

It is hard to imagine that this can be pulled off live due to the fact that they are a three piece, and the guitarist sings.  Thats always a tough one to do.  Again though, these folks are vets, and they are probably pulling it off.  

I mentioned “almost perfect” at the beginning of this review. Well the almost for me is the band name… It has had me standoffish about whether this could be good from the moment I heard of them. Guess what? After three listens now, I’m starting to warm up to the name a little. I’d love to know the origin of it or what it really means to the people involved. Not a band shirt I could wear to pick up my daughter from school. I guess thats the point though, right?

I’m not going to get into all the ex bands that this group have on their resume. The music speaks for itself and really doesn’t need that hype. Just go buy this and support the people involved in making this happen. (NW)

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

SLEEP Live at Third Man 4 x 12″ box set

Sleep – Live At Third Man Records 4×12” Box Set

Released in March of 2019

Third Man Records

Sleep box set

For those living under a rock for the last couple of decades Sleep is a three piece stoner rock/doom band who worship the almighty Black Sabbath.   I, like many folks, am a huge fan, and pretty much like and own their entire discography.  

From the get go upon hearing of this release I some how got it in my head deciding that I wasn’t going to order/buy this because it was ridiculously expensive and gimmicky (a club edition).  It seemed like a cash grab to me.  From the moment I heard about it I just wanted to hate it.  Four records, all different colored wax (Blue, Green, Purple, and Orange).  Locked grooves… packaged in a box jacket,  live songs recorded at Jack White’s venue in Nashville.  It all just seemed like utter nonsense.  Like a RSD product that nobody needs.  

Well I did not buy it as I previously said but I managed to get a copy to review.  I immediately fell in love with it.  This, of course, after a build up of me wanting to hate it for months and months.  I went into this thinking it was going to somehow suck.  It doesn’t suck, its very well done.

The reality is that it’s so beautifully put together that its hard not to just spend time looking at every aspect of the packaging and being mesmerized by the quality of the product as the music pounds through your speakers.  

Sleep box set details

The recording is straight up dope.  I’ve seen them live and this sounds like being in a room with them while they mosey through their set.  I cranked this while doing late night mailorder, and immediately had my wife came down stairs and reminded me that we had a sleeping baby in the house.  Uh-oh!!  

The sound quality is killer.  It was recorded in front of a bunch of dirt heads.  They used a direct-to-acetate system and then mixed/mastered in real-time.  I don’t fully understand what all that means, but it is pretty insane sounding.  

At any rate I don’t think this is a necessary part of their discography that one needs to own.  After a few listens I’d guess I’d become fairly lazy with being able to get the right records back into the right sleeves, and into the box.  It seems like a lot of work to basically listen to one or two songs per side, flip it over and then go through the same process over again through all 4 records.  

The tunes…

A
Leagues Beneath 

B
Dopesmoker (Part One) 

C1
Dopesmoker (Part Two) 

C2
Holy Mountain 

D1
The Clarity 

D2
Aquarian 

E
Sonic Titan 

F1
Marijuanaut’s Theme 

F2
Giza Butler 

G1
The Botanist 

G2
Dragonaut

(NW)

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

ISOTOPE SOAP Monitored by Zu Tze 12″

ISOTOPE SOAP – Monitored By Zu Tze (17 track 12″, played at 45 nonetheless)

Compilation of two EPs and a 12″ EP

Available through Emotional Response Records

isotopesoap

I should start by saying that I pick up everything that Emotional Response Records puts out. Jen and Stew, in my opinion, have created a label that doesn’t follow a particular sound but rather a level of creativity and freshness. I blindly order everything they put out.  Sometimes it’s hardcore (Lögnhalsmottagningen), or twee (Ginnels), or an incredible comp (Typical Girls Vol 1-4) or even an odd recently discovered tape of some 70s punk bloke doing Beat poetry over a kazoo and a person making animal noises (not joking, I think I have a record like that they put out). The short of it is that they don’t get stuck in a genre so I know what comes inside the package is something that I won’t expect.  And, to be clear, I’m not grizzled, grumpy, jaded, etc., I buy new records by new bands almost weekly. However, it does take something unique to pique my ears and this Isotope Soap 12 inch does that perfectly. This record is frightening. It could as easily be aliens on meth or a Scandinavian teenage cult. It pulls on ropes of early Devo and then goes sideways into swirling keyboard mayhem. Everything about this is challenging in all the right ways. I’m continually fascinated with people that can create such oddball amazing things without sounding contrived but rather compelled to create this chaos.

When I put the needle down on side one, I jumped as the frantic pace of disjointed keyboards, and straight ahead fast drums hit me square in the face. Before I could flip the sleeve over to read the name of the song, “Pussy Riding Cowboy Buddhas”, it was over in 39 seconds.

Seventeen songs clocking in at under 22 minutes and ranging in length from 33 seconds to under 3 minutes.  

Six songs in, I was just getting used to their structure and direction, I thought I’d figured these guys out and then I’m hit with “Magnetic Abortion of a Black Hole”. I’m terrified once more. The vocals are working some creepy pitch shift machine and by the time the song was over I thought I was in a dark torture movie and was about to be kidnapped.

“The WOW! Signal”, track 9, would have to be the most familiar song but only because I’ve been listening to a lot of Tones on Tail lately and this could be an instrumental B-side on one of their 12 inches. But that is it.  Just a 2:48 long song sorta sounds like a dark post punk instrumental band from of the 80s and no other comparison. Oh, also the Feederz.  Something about this is Feederz-ish, maybe not so much in sound but for the call to chaos.

The people that are in this band have done a decent job of hiding their identity. I have searched and found that there is a connection with the mid 80s band Raped Teenagers, Pusrad and I’m sure a bunch of others. Here’s the thing, I don’t think they kept their names off it because they are embarrassed. I think they kept their names off of it because they don’t want to be named as a co-conspirator when world starts to crumble.

 Hit the link at the top to check it out or just grab one while you still can.

1.      Pussy Riding Cowboy Buddhas

2.      Frontal Disorder Post Mental Border

3.      Hate

4.      Fancy Inbred Humans

5.      Circle Jerk

6.      Magnetic Abortion Of A Black Hole

7.      Dad Attack

8.      High One Wildlife

9.      The Wow! Signal

10.  I Saved You From Jesus

11.  Reversed Big Bang

12.  The Roof

13.  Human Invasion

14.  Trump Des Willens

15.  Pinata Chaos

16.  Radiated Head

17.  Emdrive Thruster

 (JD)

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

UNDER ATTACK

UNDER ATTACK –  Demo

Tape (and Bandcamp)

Available through Vinyl Conflict and Autoreverse (see Bandcamp site for e-mail address)

underattack
Under Attack. Photo by Mike Thorn

As much as I love to hear new bands who sound like old bands, I find I prefer to hear a band that isn’t looking backward and chooses to be firmly grounded in the present. That said, there is something about Under Attack that reminds me of the very few straight up no frills hardcore punk bands from the 1990s. Maybe it’s their heaviness, relentless riffs, and dirty sound. No real clue, and I’m not terribly interested in getting bogged down in figuring it out. Too busy living in the moment.

Under Attack is an all-star band with a pedigree that will make the most jaded sit up and take notice: Hail Mary, Limp Wrist (the first album and EP – the good records), Discordance Axis, Human Remains, Suppression, Eucharist, and some other bands I’m momentarily forgetting.

underattack demo
Under Attack demo is known to send apes on a violent rampage. Photo by Nate Wilson

Five songs that clock in just a little over 6 minutes total, Under Attack crank out a heavy and semi dark sound that goes all out from the opening of “Drained” to “The Comforting End” (the longest of all five, at 1:35). Alex Copeland has a strangled vocal sound that works in tandem with Mark Telfian’s guitar mercilessly raking across your ears, while Witte bashes the hell out of his drums, and through it all, as much as these songs are nasty sounding, they are also catchy (don’t come in to this expecting a grindcore Discordance Axis 2.0).

“Through the Blade” is my favorite cut here, with a opening riff that brings to mind the Battalion of Saints, and then Jason Hodges and Witte come in the with low end to give it any more punch. The vocals also sound stronger here as well, bellowing out “I just want a reasonnnnn!!” and then going into the rest with urgency.

A new band to be excited about, and particularly if you’re part of the burgeoning AARPcore scene. Very much looking forward to hearing what they have next (and hoping they find themselves out west in the not too distant future). (MA)

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Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA