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

CORRUPTED MORALS • Chet 12″ EP

CORRUPTED MORALS – Chet 12″ EP

Lavasocks Records 

2020

This is a reissue of the 1988 CM chet 7″ ep that originally came out on Lookout Records, but with 5 extra songs from that same demo session.  This version came out on Lavasocks Records. It’s been remixed and remastered and somehow nobody fucked it up. These guys were hands down my favorite Bay Area band ever.  Yes EVER!  They were able to cross metal and hardcore in a perfect way that others were trying way to hard to make work. It was organic, and didn’t reek of trying too hard.  They were formed out of the Bay Area metal band Desecration with Bob Yost (RIP) on vox.  CM was basically Desecration without Bob on vocals. 

 I was lucky enough to see them a ton and got to know Joel Wing (the bassist) a little while helping to build the stage at Gilman street in maybe 86-87?  This stuff sends shivers down my spine, and thirty years later I still know all the lyrics. These dudes were super political, and really helped to change a crossover metal heads way of thinking a little.  I traded Joel my old band The Romper Room Rejects demo for the first CM demo.  

The only thing that ever bummed me out about these guys was that about five years ago I’d tracked down the singer (Rik) for an interview. He said he’d do it but he just kept stiffing me to the point where it felt as though I was harassing him. Oh well… Still a fav for sure. Track this down if you can, it is great. (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

THEE ELDER GODS • Kill ’em All

the THEE ELDER GODS – Kill ‘EM All LP
17 songs in all!


Do any of you remember the 1990 movie Night Breed wherein a bunch of misfit friendly monsters are living underground, terrified of humans, until one day they boil over and take a stand against us…the dreadful standard humans? There was more junk going on than that, but at the core of it is how I feel about the Thee Elder Gods. The Thee Elder Gods are nice monsters trying to coexist, but folks just keep pushing them until blamo!! And the wreckage they leave in their wake is beautiful, unsettling, and compelling.

Lyrically and musically they hit the 80s classic HC but with nods to Th’Inbred, NOMEANSNO, Rhythm Pigs, and even a little bit of Schlong. It’s easy to follow along with the lyric insert and then a surprise musical uppercut just floors you. Starting off the LP with the song “Don’t Have a Cow”, “Senators in Love”, “I Am Satan”, into “Well-Heeled Baron” sets the pace for a truly one- of-a-kind experience. The lyrics are frightening and poignantly filled with a palpable and beautifully and sometimes misguided rage. Most of the time you’ll hear a band shout out some vague angry shit like “I’m broken and I’ll take you to the crusher” or some junk like that. However, when the Thee Elder Gods belt out “I got so mad when they remade Ghostbusters, that I went outside and burned down a cop car” you can really feel it. Eloquently putting a face to something that actually is irksome (like remaking a classic) vs someone yelling some vacuous junk like “my anger is a cancer to destroy your rules”. Take into consideration that we’re all trapped in this very peculiar time, an album like this swoops in and carries the precise amount of first human “thump thump” thinking and acting without consequence eg. “there are two reasons to go out after dark, first reason is to make the neighbor’s dog bark, the second reason is to turn into shark and eat up all the girlies selling hand jobs in the park”. Follow that up with “You might never be Lee Harvey Oswald but can still be someone’s hero” from the song “1981” and that gives you a reasoned sense of where they land on issues. “Well-Heeled Baron” starts right in with the gut kick of “A circumcised and well heeled baron, had it sweeter than a blowjob from the ice-cream man’s mother” and then the song takes a dark(er) turn. I won’t even get into the lyrics for “Octopus Hands” because I don’t want to give anything more away.

This album is the most unabashed, yet unpretentious, and the quintessential grey skied Middle West record I’ve heard since maybe Negative Approach’s “Tied Down” and an essential addition to everyone’s plastic stacks. This is going to be one of those records that in 20+ years you are going to say you had….but, in truth, you didn’t because you slept on it because you weren’t comfortable stepping outside your box.  Look, give it a shot.  If you get it, play it, hate it, shelve it for 5 year and try again, and do that 4 times and if it still hasn’t connected with you then in 20+ years you’ll be able to sell it for a ton of cash to someone much more musically evolved than you. (JD)


Contact them through Bandcamp if you’d like a physical copy of the LP
Contact them here for a hard copy of the actual vinyl!


Download from their bandcamp
Thee Elder Gods – Kill “Em All, Side A
Thee Elder Gods – Kill ‘Em All, Side B

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

MALE PATTERNS

I first learned of Male Patterns a few years ago when I was assigned their split EP with Scuzz at Razorcake. Had no idea what to expect, and then when I listened to their side of the split I had no idea why they weren’t getting a lot of coverage or rabid fan declaration on the social media platforms. A year or so later I listened to their LP and was even more blown away. They’re definitely worthy of your fandom when it comes to music of the short, fast and loud variety. They crank out abrasive blasts of hardcore punk with a certain heaviness that gives them a sonic edge over many.

They have a split with Executors that has just come out on Shock to the System that you need to check out.

Below is a short interview with Brendan conducted by Matt Average

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

Who’s who? What other bands were you in in prior to Male Patterns? 

I’m Brendan. I yell into the microphone and I was in Neutron Rats. Mike “Moaky” Moak plays guitar and is still playing in Postage and After the Fall. Dan plays drums and was in Boston’s No Sir I Won’t and Libyans while KC who plays Bass used to play in Cancer from Albany.

Who’s idea was it to start the band? 

Moaky got together with Dan and started playing around. They recruited Jamie, our original bass player, who later moved to Detroit and now plays in Immaculate Conception. Moaky asked if I wanted to sing and I went to his basement and they played the songs that they had written already and I thought they were great. I knew Moaky and Jamie before from shows in the Albany scene and we had worked together at a screen printing company. I had never met Dan before because he had been living in Boston, but he was in a slew of great bands and he and I connected quickly.

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Grey Valentine

What is the name referencing? Anything in particular?

When I asked if they had a name yet, Moak said, “Male Patterns, ‘cause we’re old dudes.” We were all in our late 20’s when the band started in December 2013 and he thought it was funny. I took the name more about being a certain age in punk and the routines of human beings but I think I’m probably stretching it with all of that. No one was thinking too hard about the name. Unfortunately, when we first started, a couple of people here and there have been offended by the name and misinterpreted it as some kind of macho chauvinist thing and we couldn’t be further away from that. We didn’t get that at all. 

Musically, when I listen to you guys I hear bands like Econochrist, and some of the heavier Boston bands of the past. Am I out of my mind thinking this?

Not at all. I’ve never heard us compared to Econochrist but I’ll take that. We definitely take a lot from old school hardcore punk. Negative Approach, some Poison Idea, SSD, but also from bands like Cut the Shit, Born Against, The Zucchini Brothers, and The Chemical Brothers. Especially the last two. 

Yeah, I can hear The Zucchini Brothers in your sound. What albums of theirs do you recommend for the uninitiated? 

Great question. All of them. 

Is there an “Albany sound”? 

I think when people think about Albany they think about its past punk and hardcore scene with bands like Monster X and Devoid of Faith. Nowadays Albany has a very diverse scene of music that’s all over the spectrum. Albany has bands that play hardcore punk, rock n roll, power pop and post punk dark wave type stuff. Today’s Albany sound is a great mix bag.  

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MALE PATTERNS photo by Sarah Winner

What is “Help Ourselves” about?  

Alcohol and drugs are big in the music scene and they’re prevalent in punk too. By no means are we saying that you can’t have some fun but it’s also a serious issue that often gets overlooked because no one wants to stop the party. I’ve been to too many wakes and funerals for friends and I know I’m not alone. Punk is liberating and awesome but it can also be really self destructive. We can’t change anything unless we change ourselves first and too often we’re our own enemies. I go into that more on the new record in the song “Self Abuse”. It’s a song that I think unfortunately too many people will be able to relate to. 

Despite everything being shut down for the moment, are you still working on new songs? If so, how? 

Our guitarist has written some new riffs, he records them with his phone and sends them to us. We’re hoping at some point we can get in the same room again and play em out and put them together. Since we have no idea when we’ll be able to play shows again because of Covid, we’re mainly just trying to do what we can to get the word out on the new record. We’re just trying to do what we can with what we can control. It’s a weird time.

Can you tell us about the new record? When will it be out? Who released it? How much have you progressed sonically since the LP? 

The new record came out August 1st. It’s a split that was put out by Shock to the System Records with our friends Executors from Beachwood, New Jersey. We have three tracks on it, and they have two.  I’d say our new songs are a continuation of the LP. Lyrically we continue to cover more social issues than big politics or things like that. Similar style and straight forward structure. I think my vocals might be a little bit rougher on this recording because I have no idea how to control how I sound.  I’ll go ahead and say that if you liked the LP you’ll love this split. If you hated the LP you’ll love this split even more.

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What’s your favorite movie, and why? 

School of Rock with Jack Black. I can watch that movie anytime. The music in it, the message, it’s good for everyone. 

If they made of Male Patterns movie, what type of movie would it be, and what would it be about? 

The Male Patterns movie would be terrible. No one is reading this right now thinking that our origins would make a good movie. There’s nothing special about how we got together, just how we do the things we do now. No one is a complete mess or falling apart either so that’s not movie material. You know what I mean? I mean, our drummer is his town’s historian. Male Patterns would go great in a movie where we played ourselves in it. Like playing a show then showing up later. Like Cannibal Corpse in Ace Ventura or Billy Idol in The Wedding Singer. We’d be playing somewhere the main character would go and then we’d help the main character get their love or save them from the bad guy somehow. Maybe after the show they go to some diner where we’re eating and right as the bad guy is about to clobber or draw his gun on the main character, our drummer Dan hits him with his snare drum. Why did he bring his snare drum into the diner? That’s for the people at Hollywood to decide but after he’d be like “Check please!” or maybe he’d say “This guy’s paying!” and then the main character could get on and win the day or whatever. It could be an action movie or romantic comedy or drama. We could do whatever. 

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MALE PATTERNS  photo by Sarah Winner

What are you doing to stay sane in this moment of time? 

My wife and I just built a pirate bar in our garage that we’re really proud of, so we’ve been spending a lot of nights in there. It’s a tribute to the golden age of piracy.

First thing you plan to do when we’re able to get back out in the world again? 

Set up a release show for this record. Invite people over to my pirate bar for drinks and play more shows. That’s three things. Haha!

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Listen to Male Patterns here.

To get their new EP, as well as LP, and more music from Albany (and elsewhere) go here.

DARK THOUGHTS • Do You Dream 7″

DARK THOUGHTS • Do You Dream 7” 45

Peterwalkee Records

Dark Thoughts cover_1

This Philadelphia band gets love from all around the world. If you’ve never heard them and are like me (semi out of touch), but love that East Bay Lookout Records sound then you need to grab some of their shit immediately. I think what does it for me with them is that they get it. They understand that the production is super important, and if these songs were produced in a modern way they might just be another generic pop punk band. But, like I said, they seem to get it, and always make sure that the recordings have that late 80s early 90s rawness that isn’t polished like many bands these days go for.  I think the bands recordings might be the most important thing about them. Sure, the songs are super catchy and melodic, but if they didn’t have that DIY sound I know that I’d have no love for them.  The shit doesn’t sound digital at all.
At any rate this is a single for the Must Be Nice album.  One of the two songs, “It’s Too Late”, on the B Side,  is exclusive for this here record.
(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

Dark Thoughts cover_2

GREY C.E.L.L. • Self-titled LP

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

King Of The Monsters Records

GREY CELL cover_1

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

 

MAPLEWOOD NJ RECORD FAIR 11/24/19

Maplewood Record Fair Sunday Nov 24th 2019

Maplewood New Jersey

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Ok so this is a great record convention that takes place in the town I live in and is put on on by an older punk couple who love our community (and NJ in general).  This is Jenn and Charles second show, and they seem to be trying to do two a year at this point.  It’s organized very nicely. They’ve figured out how to make it work. I mean, who can argue with a $3 entrance fee with kids under 18 getting in for free?

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I had so much fun at this event, and I was there all day. Usually I can’t stomach something like this for that long. But I was able to catch up with friends from within the community of Maplewood to those who traveled afar. I even bought some records!

The fair had well over 40 dealers who were selling everything from vintage stereo equipment to records. Michelle and Cedar Ridge cafe come fully stocked with vegan baked goods.

Some of the cooler stuff I saw being sold there were Metallica Justice promo posters of some sort. They were def in some dudes basement for the last 20 years.  Dude busted 50 of them out and was selling them for $10 a shot, they are very cool.  Saw some really neat guitars, and amplifiers. Dave Golgano is a NJ staple who always has great Metal records for sale. I watched him sell a Razor Armed and Dangerous rarity for big bucks.  Folks were selling boom boxes, cassette tapes, 8 tracks, cheap CDs, turntables, vintage clothing and more vinyl than you can imagine in this very cool old room called the Woodland. I mean this is the kind of convention you dream of with older punk dudes who have gone kids book artist selling off their entire collections to those of us lucky enough to be there.  Do you need the entire Neurosis back catalog on colored vinyl? Well he had it.  You need some Pushead Bacteria Sour releases? He had ’em. 90s emo, hardcore and punk 7”s? My man had ’em. You looking to buy your old bands 10” record back? Well I did it… he had it.

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Its so awesome to see the young kids from the record collecting community involved as well.. sitting behind the tables wondering why their fathers and mothers are so excited about something you can actually hold in your hands as you listen to the music crackle and pop.

Seriously this was a great time, with basically every genre of music on every format imaginable available to people who are interested. I can’t wait for the next one in June.  If you live in in NJ, NY, or Philly don’t sleep on this event. (NW)

To find out about future fairs, contact: soundselusive (at) gmail.com

 

THE MIDDLE AGES • Self-titled LP

THE MIDDLE AGES • Self-titled LP

Ripe Records

THE MIDDLE AGES cover

You say you like the punk rock? If so, you’d be wise beyond your years to pick this long player up. It’s so good, or should I say great? I say great, because like any great punk rock this record makes you believe in all that is good about the music and everything that surrounds it.

The Middle Ages don’t crank out blazing fast punk, but that’s not to say they don’t rock and roll with abandon. It’s just they don’t bludgeon your skull with riffs and frantic speeds. Their power lies in super tight songs that bounce and careen around the room lodging themselves into your mental faculties for later recall hours after listening, and have a way of making you fiend for more. Give “Whoah Yeah” a spin and hear what I’m getting at. The dual vocals give these songs an extra punch. But they’re not delivered in an X way, or even a Nausea way. The Middle Ages have enough class to be their own band.

THE MIDDLE AGES_record

The vocals are clean and direct, and they sound so good together as when they go out on their own. The guitar stings at times, and rips like a saw blade other, and that bass sounds f’n sweet, as it holds the whole unit together, and the drums are undeniable. The guys are a perfect union. It’s down right life affirming. (MA)

Please send me your releases for review, and zines, if you have one. Thanks. PO Box 25604, Los Angeles, CA 90025

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

CASUAL BURN • Mean Things 12″ EP

CASUAL BURN • Mean Thing 12″ EP, 9 songs

Handstand Records

Casual Burn
I was pretty stoked to get this Casual Burn 12inch. The cover alone was intriguing to me because it reminds me so much of the cover of the “Smashed Hits” comp of singles by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. I thought that if this record heads down the same path as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s early singles then I am in for a treat. Besides, other than Lost System, I haven’t heard a good goth band in a while. I put this 12 inch on and it’s not a treat. Look, it’s actually really good but I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around it. If it weren’t for the distinct vocals of Monet Maloof, I would think that this was a compilation of bands or a compilation of all the bands that she’s been in. If you are a fan of Goner Records, Neck Chop Records, and some Emotional Response Records then this is definitely your tea bag. Sonically I’d say they sound mostly like they are influenced by the bands on those labels and Brain F≠ (Brain Flannel). In more detail, it’s a mix of garage and angular post punk. The vocals are hollowed and coated in reverb and there are some kinda hardcore parts, too. I can totally see why folks would love this but I just don’t have the ear for it today. What will most likely happen is that I’ll go to a friends house and they will be playing this EP. An exchange like this will happen:
Me – Wow, this is cool. What is it?
Friend – The Casual Burn 12″. I got it because of your succinct and honest review. I really like the way you did your best to not tie any emotion or disinterest in the music to the record and still managed to frame it in a way that made me want to find out more.
Me – I should dig this out again. I was probably having an off day.
Friend – Fair.
Check out more here.
https://handstandrecords.com/store/items/casual-burn-mean-thing-12-inch-lp/

(JD)

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

HOLY SHIT! • Not My Tempo 7″ EP

HOLY SHIT! • Not My Tempo 7”

A split release with Snuffy Smile ‎& Vinyl Smash ‎

Holy Shit_1

These guys have been around forever with out any real recognition.  I think I first heard their What the Fuck 7”EP in 2005-06, and loved it for its speed, quirkiness, and nerdism.  Its crazy too me that they’ve put out another ten or so 7” EP releases since then.  By now somebody should help to do a proper LP release with these Milwaukee, Wisconsin quacks.  

Holy Shit_2

One of my favorite things about this record is that I don’t think any of the eight songs on this ripper even hit 1 minute in length (er…well maybe the last song does).  You get the picture.  Musically this stuff is super jazzy and intricate while mostly played at ferocious speeds.  Goofy as fuck lyrics have you giggling along to this thrashy punk rock.  I do think these guys owe a little something to STIKKY.  I’m glad shit like this exists in 2019.  (NW)

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