CAPITLE • Why 1981 – 1986 cassette

CAPITLE • Why 1981-1986 cassette

Cacophone Records

2019

Capitile

This band might not mean to much to anyone from outside of the Albany NY area… but there is so much I can to say about Albany’s first real hardcore band. These dudes formed out of the ashes of The VERGE (the guitarist and drummer). The VERGE were great, but more dark punk rather than a hardcore band. In 1982 the VERGE got back together and that left CAPITILE trying out other players to keep the momentum going.  Both versions of the band are great. 

Capitile tape_1

The first I knew of these guys was from the graffiti I saw on the corner of Lark Street and Central Ave in Albany. This must have been around 1983. I’d go to Fantaco Comics and Worlds Records with my parents every Saturday, and would see that graffiti on every trip.  Right there, in huge fucking letters on a wall was written CAPITILE. It was scrawled all over Albany in the early 1980s right up until around 1992 when it was finally cleaned up.  Back then, I had no idea what it meant or who the band was (it was 1983 I was still just a young metal kid). I just thought it was a political statement in regards to Albany being you know… the capital (misspelled). It was in either 1984 or ’85 when these guys played Lark fest. Some work friends (Todd Smith) and myself went to see what Larkfest was all about. We saw a few other really crummy bands playing outside on Lark Street. When Capitle played I had no idea what I was seeing, and didn’t fully grasp what they were doing. I, to this day, still can’t recall much because I was drunk and stoned. What I can tell you is that it was outside, and the sound really sucked. They played on the back of a truck bed, or something.  Larkfest later turned into an annual community festival that still happens to this day.  

Capitile tape_3

Fast forward to maybe 1990 after I’d moved back to Albany from SF, and somehow found the now legendary Erl Records. Immediately, Dave (the owner) and I realized we went to the same high school together and even rode the same bus.  I was the guy sitting in the back of the bus shooting spitballs in Daves afro. At any rate, hanging out at Erl records I became friends with Phil Samuels who was the bassist of Capitile.  We’d hang out at the shop while these guys drank, smoked and talked good music.  Phil told me many stories of those early days of punk in Albany. Unfortunately, Phil (the Surgeon General) passed away a few years ago from lung cancer. He was a super sweet guy and is missed by many of us.

Capitile tape_2

For those of you that have never heard CAPITILE, I just have to say that I have always heard elements of BLACK FLAG, SUICIDAL, MINOR THREAT, and yup, I even hear some AGNOSTIC FRONT in there. Some of the songs are super short bursts, and that was pretty unheard of in Albany back in those days.  

This tape compiles everything these guys ever did between 1981 to 1986.  Twenty five songs from two demo tapes and some compilations. It’s of my opinion that this tape is all you need to hear by this band. Any reunions or re-recorded songs for records are useless to this old dude. Buy this shit! (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 Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

GAME • No One Wins LP

GAME • No One Wins LP

2019

Beach Impediment Records

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It’s kind of funny… because as soon as I put this slab on my turntable the first thought I had was that of the 1980’s Heavy Metal act, ACID.  I proceeded to turn the record cover over and the first song on side two is called Acid.  Maybe I’m not that crazy after all!

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This is nothing like I expected it to be. I expected some U.S. sounding hardcore punk ala Boston for some reason.  Instead it has a great catchy heavy metal feel to it, and I’m guessing that was not really the intention?  Then again I’m way the fuck out of touch with current hardcore/punk.  If this is what hc is supposed to sound like in 2020…well then sign me up, things have definitely progressed and changed a lot for the better because to me it’s really just melodic fast metal (which I’m 100% okay with).  Yes, metal is normally the lane I prefer.

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This music is pummeling with low end aggression, super melodic riffs and vox that are equally as catchy as the riffage.  The lyrics could also be mistaken for some metal lyrics.  Everything about this record is done with professionalism and beauty.  I really love this and have listened to it three times in a row so far tonight.  My only complaint is that the record feels too short, and left me wanting a lot more.  I guess that is the point though, right?

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Jonah Falco is the guitarist in this band, and for those who don’t know he plays drums in FUCKED UP (this obviously sounds nothing like F’dU).  Ola Herbich from Arms Race and Quality Control HQ plays bass and keeps things rumbling along with the drummer who just loves playing beats on the toms.   Great Metal from the land of great metal… England! (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 Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

AN UNEASY PEACE • self-titled

AN UNEASY PEACE • self titled 7″ EP

Dirt Cult Records

An Uneasy Peace

I was taken aback when I heard Lance’s voice on the An Uneasy Peace E.P. Have you ever found a note, or heard a message from someone that you were certain you’d never hear from again? It was strangely both transportive and comforting, while being haunting and sorrowful. An Uneasy Peace is a project of Lance Hahn’s that was aimed at being a hardcore band. Musically it is standard, catchy, SOCAL style HC. But it’s really a Lance record and if you’re reading this then I’m certain you already know what I mean. Lance had a way of turning anything he did into a very definable “Lance Hahn” entity by way of distinct guitar style, lyric phrasing, and voice. I don’t remember where I was when I’d heard that Lance Hahn had died. I remember it was 2007 and maybe Fall. We’d been pen pals from the later years of Cringer through the birth of the internet and onto electronic mail. The last time I’d seen him was outside of Brownies in Hoboken, NJ and I hassled him about records he owed me. It was the first time someone I knew, with a connection to the underground community that I really respected their song writing and art and who was a friend to everyone, had died. I’m happy that this has found its way from an idea to its vinyl home, the way I’m certain it was originally intended. (JD)

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

 

YOUTH ATTACK bundle

YOUTH ATTACK bundle

I first met Marc McCoy when he was working in a hut outside of a TGI Fridays punching holes in coed spring breakers’ punch cards. He ate a lot of steamed vegetables. I think that was around 1999 and he’s since then, as far as I know, he’s continued to put out music/media artsy projects as well as continued to eat bland steamed foods.

Below is a run down of my thoughts on his most recent releases:

Snarling Hate EP

SNARLING HATE • How To Kill EP

This has a nice little head-bobbing groove to it. The first tune, “Takeover”, is a call to arms of sorts to our under appreciated sanitation workers. The chorus repeatedly shouting, “Keep the Streets Clean” over a hooky little melody, I think, proudly reinforces how we tend to overlook some of our truest heroes. The second number, “Asphyxia”, starts with a straightforward bass intro to set the tone. The song quickly turns to reflect the seasonal allergies that many of us tend to go through this time of year. The lyrics “I need, scratch till I bleed” and “the bloom, build yourself up” is clearly about the struggle of man’s imprisonment by pollen, well done and very thoughtful. The title of the E.P., How To Kill, at first seems misleading since it isn’t so much as a manual on how to kill something, but rather an example of how to do something well. As the kids say, “you killed it” meaning you’ve done a terrific job at this thing you’ve tried.

Mangled State EP

MANGLED STATE • Stigma EP

The first thing I noticed was that this record is smaller than other ones. I think this one is around 6 inches versus the standard 7 inches. Really, not even kidding. I bet you’re wondering if the smaller size affects the play? Let’s find out together. There are 5 songs on this little thing and are all straightforward, powerful and aggressive hardcore. It is the no frills quality that I dig about this but what about their lyrics? Let’s dive in. “Stigma” lyrics start off with “believe in your own shit”, so I like the message but not the potty mouth. Song 2, “Scowl”, lyrics kick off with “take back my life, ripped to fucking shreds”. Hmm, there’s that potty mouth again. Let’s look at the song “Price You Pay”, track 3, “Call yourself a man, conceited, self serving fuck”. Well we almost made it through without the gutter words. “Cast Cut”, on the B side has no potty words. However, the final song “Façade” does. In the end, this is a raging 5 song, 6 inch, record that any fan of straightforward, unabashed hardcore will definitely love. Just be warned though, if your mom hears it, she might wash your mouth out with soap.

Arts EP

ARTS • Graveside Summoning EP

Wow, this is spooky. The very first line of the very first song, “Daemonomie”, is “I am in the grip of evil”. Heavy. However, it takes a boyish and sparkling look into the world of fantasy like the Tale of King Arthur. The packaging in remarkable and if you look at the picture I’ve included, I think that the inside of this envelope is Marc McCoy himself doing some cosplay as the Wizard of Greenpoint. This record has equal parts fiery swords, dark and damp chambers, a thing with scales and eyes, celestial crypts and more. I’d say that this Arts release is a very uplifting record that skips down a little boys dream journal. Sure, there is some scary ass metal-death-creepy-dark-core (MDCDC) but it is creative in a way that doesn’t come off as goofy as some of this style often does.

Life Support EP

LIFE SUPPORT • Die Like A Man EP

First off, this is an incredible looking triple gatefold package filled with artwork of wizards and metaphysical healing crystal imagery. However, Life Support band couldn’t be further away from chakra energy points or what your aura color says about your study habits. This is a tornado of sound and hostility and even has a few slow down “mosh- able” parts. This isn’t going to be an awakening for anyone but is most certainly worth checking out and spinning a few times a year. I just wish I knew what they were so angry about.

Combat Force EP

COMBAT FORCE • Never Stray EP

The cover drawing is of a helmeted knight with sword and shield. I have no idea what to expect but I’m enjoying the TSR arc to this batch of Youth Attack releases. I drop the needle and was hit with a the sound of a fun-time-in-a-bar-crowd that breaks cleanly into a catchy guitar rock-n-roll riff with the memorable and sing-able repeating chorus of “never stray, this is the way.” This record has a thuggish and almost pub-rock/Oi feel to it. Don’t get me wrong. This is, as these all are, a hardcore record. This is a bit more mid tempo and even has a “whoa whoa” part in a song. I thought that with the cover that this would be more about slaying dragons and love potions and a path to become a master of beasts. The song “Breached” touches upon an epic battle on a great field. The final song on the 6 song EP weighs heavily and sits clearly on their feelings about people that prey on children and I’m right there with them. If you’re curious as to the direction they’re leaning on that song, the answer is in the title, “Give ‘em the Chair”. This is a great record.

Well, that’s it for this plop of Youth Attack stuffs. (JD)

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

 

GREY C.E.L.L. • Self-titled LP

Grey C.E.L.L. S/T LP

King Of The Monsters Records

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Eleven scorchers on this beautifully colored 12” slab. The songs go by super quickly mostly due to this being a 45 rpm record.  These dudes weren’t on my radar at all until very recently.  This is harsh as all hell Philadelphia hardcore/punk. But it still has some weird quirkiness to it that keeps me interested, and also manages things from getting to generic. This record does have a massive 90s hardcore feel to it which I think works well for them.  There is some really cool guitar stuff happening with Janis who played (plays) guitar in Citizens Arrest. The drums and bass are spot on and are just rolling together and keeping the madness together. I love the harshness of the vox, they sorta remind me of San Diego’s Run For Your Fucking Life. If you like Citizens Arrest I’d imagine you’ll dig this as two of the four members are in CXA.

The lyric sheet apparently can be cut out to be turned into a zoetrope that becomes animated if played on a turntable at 45 RPM.  I am NOT going to be trying that with my insert, because it looks really nice and it would mean I no longer had a lyric sheet.   (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

 

THE ELDER GODS • A P.O. Box Bomb and a Fire Hat 10″ EP

THE ELDER GODS • A P.O. Box Bomb and a Fire Hat 10″ EP

The Elder Gods

In short, the Elder Gods are pure id.

What in the world is this? Oh, it’s from Kalamazoo Michigan. Now it makes sense.
Kalamazoo was/is home to such bands as Violent Apathy, Thought Industry, Phil A. She-ohh & the Wet T-Shirt Contest, No Bails, etc. The Elder Gods fit perfectly into that family tree of the city’s underground musical heritage.

Of the six songs on here, two of them are covers (Circle Jerks “Red Tape & DOA “The
Prisoner”). Two of their originals (“It’s Good For You” and “1981”) are straight forward early 80s style punk hardcore whereas the other two (“I Am Satan” and “You Should Gnaw Your Own Neck Off”) lean more toward Th’Inbred or almost NOMEANSNO’s faster songs. The best part is that these six songs clock in at under 10 minutes total so you don’t even have time to get bored before one is over and another begins. The song “1981” sounds like it is from 1981 and fits perfectly onto any of the Master Tapes or Charred Remains comp(s). Also, the last line of the song leaves you on a positive message to never quit trying to do your best, “You might never be Lee Harvey Oswald but you can still be someone’s hero”. Keep this in mind, just because they do a couple classic 80s punk covers this band is not a retro rehash of the glorified good old days. I think it is pretty clear that they have a sound that reminds me of that time because it’s honest and they wouldn’t be able to do anything differently. In short, the Elder Gods are pure id.

They have a facebook presence but their band link shoots you somewhere creepy so if you want to pick up this 10inch you have to hit them up on Discogs. I think there are only 3 or 4 left, so act quickly. https://www.discogs.com/seller/zenandpinyin/profile

(JD)

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

RAW BREED • Collected 7″ EP

RAW BREED • Collected 7” EP

Trip Machine Laboratories

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Man from the minute I put the needle down on the wax I knew I was in for a delicious treat.  The intro song on this slab is totally boss and makes me think a little about the CRO-MAGS…hard and heavy (but with raw as hell production).  The rest of the EP might not have you thinking of the Mags so much, because the vox are so goddamned harsh…I love it!  Also the music can be pretty blazing.   

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A couple of their tunes have some of the catchiest mosh parts I’ve heard in a while. You can catch the influence of some old Boston in those parts. 

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These guys are from Denver, Colorado which seems to have a thriving HC scene these days.  At any rate, this totally reminds me of some of the cool stuff that was happening in the 90s (that tended to be more on crustier side of things) meets LIFE’S BLOOD, but with a hesher screaming for them instead of O’Toole. Hearing this was refreshing for this old fuck. (NW)

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

UNDER ATTACK: Through the Blade 7″ EP

UNDER ATTACK • Through the Blade 7” EP

Iron Lung Records 144

August 2019

Under Attack cover_1

Six scorchers on this slab to debut this Richmond, Virginia bands first release on vinyl.  Some might be familiar with their demo that was released by Bobby over at Vinyl Conflict earlier in the year.  The recording on this EP is a little better in my opinion (has more low end in the mix).  If I were a RVA band I’d be heading over to ID Zone to have those boys record my band for sure.   

UNDER ATTACK is comprised of local RVA dudes and long time hardcore lifers.  Yup, members and ex members of MUNICIPAL WASTE, SUPPRESSION, LIMP WRIST, EUCHARIST, HUMAN REMAINS,  DISCORDANCE AXIS, DEATHSQUAD, etc.  You know this is going to be heavy…

It’s hard to not take notice of the throwback crusty writing style that was so prevalent in the 90s hardcore scene in this band’s music.  Everything about this screams of what was going on around 1995-99…..that is except for the lyrics.  Alex Copeland is not writing about the typical political “I hate the pigs” , “Fuck Trump” stuff that we are all so familiar with.  Instead, Alex is writing personal lyrics about pain and suffering (no its not emo). 

Under Attack cover_2

This gets me primed and excited to hear the next release they have coming out which is a split 7” with SEEIN RED.  

Through The Blade comes with a digital download, some stellar artwork and blood red vinyl.  A cool release, by cool people all around. 

Under Attack record

Songs:

Human Spawn

Through The Blade

Mental Collapse

Blood Soaked Eyes 

Dirt Nap

Nothing To Win

(NW)

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

OBEDIENCE • MMXIX LP

OBEDIENCE • MMXIX LP

Fair Warning Records

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Obedience gets their washing done while blazing through a live set . Photo: Jack Blackmon

Obedience are back with a full length of ripping hardcore punk that does not waste a second getting down to business. From the opener “Abuse of Power” to the closer “Divide” it’s a relentless ride the whole way through with zero detours. Pedal the the metal! Get on or get mowed over. The songs are as catchy as they speedy, which is no easy feat. Check out “Snake Oil” and “Wall Me In” (a song that sticks in your head for days) for a couple of very good examples. Catchy doesn’t always mean tepid pop punk. “Empty Words” is blazing full on number that can slow the tempo down in a flash and lose none of the intensity set up by the main hammering pace, and Dave Ackerman’s vocals have this gnarled and strained quality about them that effectively conveys the urgency of the moment. I’m also hearing some Tony Erba influences in the delivery. “I Won’t” is wound up and white hot frantic that somehow manages to stay focused on the mission of crushing your head with sonic force. That short guitar solo from Kevin Alexander pushes it over into the roiling chaos that swirls around it. There’s also a good dose of East Coast influences with breakdowns throughout the record, giving the music more power and more impact to the fast full on assaults. Band personnel consist of folks from Tear It Up, Concrete Elite, Severed Head of State, Criaturas, Breakout, and Signal Lost, but don’t come into this expecting to hear snippets of those bands. Obedience is its own beast, seamlessly melding the past with the present, and creating something that doesn’t need to rely on past endeavors. Get with the times, and get this. (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