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

DROPDEAD • Dropdead LP

DROPDEAD – Dropdead 2020 LP Armageddon

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Dropdead both musically and as long time friends. Interaction with them helped change my life for the better and helped form some of my opinions in the 90s. Yes, I will forever gush about them (and this new album). I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I’ve been a pretty apolitical person for a good few years now. I must say though that this is maybe one of the most raging of political records I’ve heard in forever and I fucking love it! Lyrics are printed big enough for old timers like me to be able to read ’em (unlike the past). This shit is so catchy.

I’ve often worried about Bobs vox for a little bit (sounded like he was really straining and losing them). Whatever has happened to them has made them have a great metal crossover feel to them. I love the idea of metal heads picking this up and it changing their musical outlook forever.

This might be their best album to date. I know this is blasphemy to say, but the songs, the production, the layout… everything about it is just tops. It’s not a short 45 rpm LP, it’s straight up 33.

Don’t snooze on this. This will def be a top 10 for me and 2021. (NW)

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

LMI • Excess Subconscious LP

LMI – Excess Subconscious LP
9 songs
Handstand Records


This is LMI’s third LP (first two were CD only, but whatever) and I feel that this band is at a very intriguing point in the ark of where the band started and where they are now. This is a style of hard-core that has a crossover metal tinge with some surprisingly great upbeat hooks and LMI do a very good job of it. I feel as though they’re at a point where if they stay exactly where they are, with the slightly muddy production, great bass playing and dual vocals that they will add fans. However, if they decide to overextend themselves and get a little more technical and add clarity to the production, they might collapse from rising start to black hole. Lyrically, it’s the sort of angry poems that a kid would write in high school and the delivery is dependable. Here’s where I struggle, it’s a great record, there’s no doubt about that. However, compared to some of the other Handstand Records releases I’ve heard, and combined with the overall latest batch of stuff that I reviewed, there’s nothing about it that stands out. This is a very good record to put on while you’re doing stuff and it will definitely keep your heart rate up and moving through the day. If you’re trying to get your 10,000 steps in or you have to prep for a dinner party and you just need your chopping skills amped up a bit, then this is the record for you. Conversely, if you’re looking to sit down with something and read along and feel like you’re part of the experience, this doesn’t quite have me connected in that way. Some of the guitar lines are melodic and catchy for the style of music and for a power trio, it’s uniquely complex. Let me be clear, I’m not an expert on this but I do know what I like, and I think a very simple thing that could connect me to this are the lyrics. I like to sit down and read along with the record and with the vagueness of some of these, it’s hard for me to really find an attachment to the band. Musically, I think that they are great and if the singers could just maybe consider adding something personal about themselves, their day, or to be more precise, identify a theme of a song whether, specifically what you don’t like, what you do like, the way a tree looks in winter, a crush on Jessica Rabbit…I dunno. It’s that the constant anger and sorrow pushed off in vague ways with the standard adjectives isn’t quite grabbing me like it usually something like this would. I felt that somewhere along the way there wasn’t really that suffering and anger they are trying to express but moreover they are trying to stay within the sonic guardrails of the music is that they are making. Again, this is a great musically thoughtful record but could it have been more moving and captivating as an instrumental record for me, maybe. I like words and I appreciate when lyrics are authentic even if they are silly or hurtful or uncomfortable.

I do recommend you check this band out and decide for yourself. The musicianship is terrific and it’s entirely possible that I’m being overly critical considering I am well aware that overall lyrics in hardcore have become uninteresting and less evocative. (JD)

Pick up the LMI – Excess Subconscious, LP here!

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

KISSED BY AN ANIMAL • self-titled LP

KISSED BY AN ANIMAL – Kissed By An Animal LP

Handstand Records


The gatefold cover, the printed inner sleeve, the download code card and the he creamy yellow of the vinyl are all visually stunning. I feel like this record should have come with a set of game pieces, rules and directions to uncover the mysteries held within the elaborate artwork. I was so distracted with the gatefold that I didn’t look closely at this record and put it on at 33. I was so struck by the opening guitar that I had to sit down. My first thought was that their opening song was a cover of “Mercy Seat” by Ultra Vivid Scene. What a way to start a record, with an obscure
cover of one of the best Shoegaze songs ever written and with both bands being from NYC, it made perfect sense. However, as the song played on I realized that it was similar to “Mercy Seat” but the song was their own. No matter, I still liked it. It was around the last song on side A, “Animal” that I started to think that the singer was dragging a bit and there could be two reasons for this: 1. The dude drank a bottle of Robitussin and it’s starting to kick in. or 2. I have this on the wrong speed. Sure enough I looked at the spinning 12 inch record and saw a bright red 45 spinning at 33.


Restarting from the beginning this record now has a completely different feel and it’s catchy as hell. Imagine taking all the great Shoegaze songs and speeding them up to a Buzzcocks velocity and whamo! you’ve got Kissed by an Animal. Now that these songs are at the proper speed and have the hooks hitting in time doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and flowers. There is a subtle sorrow and darkness to a few of these tunes, a longing and lamented mistakes vibe, yet playful at the same time, as if to reassure the listener that mistakes are ok and keep making them. There was a label called Plan-it-X Records in the mid-90s (a little research shows that they are still a label…well what do you know … ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ) that filled out their catalogue with
bands that parallel the sound of Kissed By An Animal. However, where the difference lies is that, well, let’s say a bunch of Planet X bands found a pot of gold, they would return it to the leprechaun and ask him if he wanted to join them in a meadow to play kickball. I get the feeling that if Kissed By An Animal found that same pot of gold they would ring the doorbell, leave it on the porch of the leprechaun, watch and giggle from the bushes as he realized that all of his lost
gold had been peed and farted on. This is another Killer release from Handstand Records and if you mix up the speeds, like I did, you get two records for the price of one! (JD)


Kissed By An Animal pretty gatefold link

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

DRILLING FOR BLASTING • Fingers Are the Best LP

Drilling for Blasting – Fingers Are the Best Eyes LP
This record knocked my socks off. I’ve been a fan of Doug Ward since, I guess, 1986 when I heard the song “Bella Lugosi’s Not Dead (You Are)” on a mix tape from my cousin. After hearing that, I couldn’t find flaws with anything he’s touched and that includes a collaboration with Ben Weasel, from the band Screeching Weasel. The times I saw 8-Bark left me staggered but let’s get to the band at hand, Drilling for Blasting. 

There is a recurrent problem with people who stay in a music community for a long period oftime. A.) Staying relevant. B.) Keeping the same level of torment and fury that you had in your teens and have it be authentic and compelling. Drilling for Blasting manages to do that with a message and delivery that hits with each note and syllable. Doug’s guitar is at times, very direct (what you’ve come to expect from a punk veteran) however, at other times, there is a blues influence that jolts in, adding to the angst and anger of the lyrics. For me, what gives this superiority over peers and the general quagmire of music these days is the drumming of Kammy Lee. Her drumming has me on the edge of my seat. There’s a mountain of weighted tension waiting for things to fall in line but she’s staggering her rhythms, adding punch precisely where it’s needed and not backing down. She lets off the gas enough to let you know she’s in control of this ride. The song “Run Out” has my favorite drummer rock trick of all time and that’s the sound of clicking wood on metal. Then this bass line that’s seems to be from outer space drops in (although they have no bass player, like The Doors). Lyrically it’s encapsulating everything I’m feeling right now in these peculiar times; sarcastic, dumfounded, hollow, unsteady, bored, busy, anger, confused, etc. There are a few more surprises on this but I want you to enjoy your own discovery. I’m floored by this record. Please go buy all the copies.  (JD)


Drilling for Blasting link to MP3s and where you can get a beautiful smokey blue vinyl copy

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Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: 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

COME TO GRIEF 12″ EP

COME TO GRIEF • Pray For The End 12” EP

Grievance Records #4

2020

Come to Grief_1

I’ve been following everything Terry Savastano has done since I fell deeply in love with his band Disrupt back in the early 90’s. Disrupt played furiously fast hardcore and I was lucky enough to see them at least 4-5 times. His next band Grief played the opposite of fast and they went on to be one of the innovators of East Coast Doom metal. I once saw them open for Man Is The Bastard and I recall their entire set consisted of one Sabbath song that was slowed down to almost nothingness. I was once again hooked to another Terry band. At any rate if you don’t know… Grief broke up in 2001. Terry got the band back together for a few reunions, but in 2014 with the original drummer on board they started playing gigs under the name Come To Grief (yes it’s a Grief LP title). They just started from scratch and did a new band with new records. It’s exactly what you’d expect if you followed Grief.  Slow, droned out harshness that just drops to the depths of someplace where most people don’t want to be. Me… sometimes I like being there. This is the band’s newest release, and features three beasts that just stay in the heavy lane. It’s perfect for the Covid-19 times we are living in. Terry Savastano for President! (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

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

 

MINOR STARS • Through Pinholes in the Sky LP

MINOR STARS  • Through Pinholes In The Sky LP 

2019/2020

Minor Stars LP_1

By the looks of this LP -the record the isn’t something I think I’d typically listen to or try to seek out… but after I threw it on my turntable and cranked the volume I was pleasantly surprised by the heavy fuzz of these North Carolina psych-rock vets. It reminds me of some Sabbath minced up with some 90’s indie shoe gaze. “Cavepainter” the first song on side 2 really should have been the opening track. It’s super heavy with killer dragging Sabbathy doom riffs and some great vox. I’d maybe compare parts of it to really really early Soundgarden. The production and mastering is really stellar making it super pro. You can tell much time and effort was put into this record, and these guys really tried to make the perfect product for themselves. The bass sustains all the way through the record.  

Minor Stars LP_2

My only complaint would be the sequencing…. Side 2 should be side 1. I think the songs on side 2 are way better/heavy and might get people who might not typically listen all the way through to actually flip the record over with some real excitement. Guys, if you read this get at me next time for sequencing advice (har har har). I’m really glad I got to experience the band’s record… Like I mentioned earlier it’s nothing that would have come across my radar but I’ve listened to it four times in two days. I’d dig seeing them live to see if they can pull this full sound off live.  (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