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

DESTRUCT self-titled LP (2020)

DESTRUCT •  self-titled LP (2020)

Grave Mistake Records 

Destruct_1

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time. DESTRUCT are from Richmond Virginia and Share the guitarist from ENFORCED. The dude Zack is pretty amazing both as a player and a writer, he seems to be able to do it all. 

Destruct_2

This record is straight up BASTARD worship done pro with some other influences thrown in here and there. For those of you reading this that have never heard the legendary Japanese Hardcore band BASTARD I envy you. I wish I could have my mind blown once again by hearing BASTARD for the first time. Other than BASTARD, I hear DISCHARGE, and most people will snicker when I say this, but I hear early SHEER TERROR vocally.  Obviously, I don’t think that was done on purpose, but I hear a lot of “I Just Can’t Hate Enough” when the singer is screaming along to these vicious tunes. To me everything about this record is perfect. The production is sick, and the drums just pound right through the speakers and keep my head bobbing. The production is spot on.  I can’t imagine I’ll hear another HC record that comes out in 2020 that will have me as excited about it as this one does.  Don’t sleep on this one, hit up Grave Mistake Records or your local record shop to get this one before its gone.  (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 FIGGS • Ginger LP

THE FIGGS • Ginger LP

Two interviews and one LP review! It’s a fan pack of Figg-ary-ness!

I need to let you in on a couple things before we get into the meat of this review:

1. I grab all of what The Figgs release on vinyl, all of it and without question or listening to any tracks first.

2. The interviews are from memory and are more like me saying stuff to members of the band and their reaction.

3. I’m pretty certain that every encounter I’ve had with this band I’ve embarrassed myself.

Interview 1:

In 2012, a pal and I traveled from Michigan to Albany, NY to see the first of two shows that commemorate the The Figgs’ 25 years of being a band, I think. The show at Valentines is over, has been for over an hour. My pal and I are tipsy. Pete Hayes was the last man out and had a car the size of a potato and fully loaded with all of his drums, including the passenger seat.

Me: Pete that was great, really, really great. We came all the way from Michigan for it.

Hayes: Oh, cool. Thanks for making the trip.

Me: No prob. Can you give us a ride to our hotel? It’s a two-mile walk.

Hayes: I would but I truly have no room.

Me: I bet I could squeeze inside your bass drum

(Silent stares)

Hayes: I’mmm gonna to get going.

Me: Cool cool cool cool. See you guys tomorrow. 

The Review:

The Ginger LP is the Figgs first long player. This was originally a cassette only release from 1992. However, thanks to Matto and Peterwalkee Records, it is finally seeing vinyl. I think it is a bold move to start off any LP with an instrumental, especially from a band that, at the time, no one had really heard of. But dang duder, in 1992 these The Figgs guys were onto something. When track 2 kicks in, “Kristy’s Boots” I’m transported back to how I felt the first time I heard The Jam. I have to wonder though, is Kristy a real person and was she really that hard to get along with? And the lyric “and you blow your mind” repeated several times, I wonder if it’s a drug reference or about a woman who’s had too much of the everyday and junk and opted out.  The following “Sleaze” is another nonstop sing along banger. The 4th, “Floored” is where it goes from great Power pop- rock record to “Jesus, what the fuck! I didn’t see that coming.” They toss in an (mostly) acoustic number that is packed full of sorrow and sweetness. And to kill side A ,“Milk Dud” comes in swinging. And it’s just shy of a hardcore tune with a mosh-break-down and everything.

Side B punches in with “Happy” (also released as a 7″ single in ‘92) followed by “Wasted Pretty”, which later appeared on the 1994 LP Low-Fi at Society High. Songs 4 and 5 on this are terrific but, for me, it is the third song on Side B, “Can’t be Cloned” that grabs me and throws me around the room. “Can’t Be Cloned” has all the right rock tricks: lyrical self-pity,  a back up vocal in the verse sang in a different melody, a little choppy break between verses, a self-aware and self loathing/retired to fate memorable sing along chorus,  and a bridge that doesn’t go too far off the pace or feeling of the song. To me, this entire pile is worth it for this song.

In the end, these are great songs with the right amount of imperfection to make this perfect. It’s ambitious and humble. The songs still resonate with early 20s angst and confusions while having a tone of wisdom, sarcasm, and tunefulness that still captivates me. To take a quote out of context form my pal Charles (Gern Blandsten Records, Follow Jean Through the Sea), “There is no bad Figgs record. They range from “That’s the best thing I ever heard” to “Jesus Christ, that’s good.”  This record is solidly in between those statements.”

Interview 2:

November 1997, I only have $20. Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror is working the door at Brownies, NYC.

Me: Hey man, I have a question for you.

Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror: Yeah?

Me: All I have is this $20 for tonight and I wanted to get a couple beers but beers are too expensive for me here. Do you have any ideas on where I could go around here before the Figgs start?

Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror: (hands me back my change, now down to $15) Ya see that yuppie bar with all the lawyers across the street?

Me: (I look and know exactly where he’s talking about) Yes. Can I afford drinks there?

Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror: Ha. No. But if you tell the bartender I sent you and give him some cash, you’ll be ok.

Me: Cool. Thanks.

Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror: (as I’m walking back out the door) I hope you don’t have any allergies.

I walk into the bar and it is totally young NYC beautiful business types in suits and skirts. I clearly don’t fit in. I sit in a dark corner of the bar.

The bartender: Paul Bearer (from Sheer Terror) send you over?

Me: Yes. Here’s all the money that I have.

Bartender: Cool. Sit tight. Do you have any allergies?

Me: No. Well, pollen.

The Bartender begins to grab half drunk drinks and nearly full drunk drinks and pours them into a glass. He walks over to a freshly made martini, pulls it off the bar and asks the young buck in the suit if he’d like another one. The young buck ordered another one. My drinks were the leftover waste of a room full of fancy NYC up-and-comers. Some of the drinks had rosemary sprigs, or orange twists, or muddled mint. One had a couple of those things and an olive with a bite out of it. To me it was like a magical fish bowl, both the drinks and the room of people. It was frigid outside but I was warming up nicely. And just as the thought of how beautiful and wonderful New York is, I remembered The Figgs were about to start.

Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror: There he is. I was about to send someone to go look for ya. They’re about ta start.

The Figgs played super long that night, just killed it with all the hits. After everything was over I was compelled to go talk to them.  Mike and Pete D were the closest to me.

Me: You guys are really great.

Pete D, Mike: Thanks.

Me: Ever thought about covering “In the City” by The Jam front to back?

Pete D: Ummm, no.

Mike: Ahhh yeah, no.

And then I think I went to Burritoville and got a Fogged Out in Oregon to chomp on the L back to Brooklyn.

I belong to top-secret-cyber-basement-room on a popular media platform for the The Figgs fans. Several years ago I found an old tape someone gave me of old the The Figgs songs and I posed the question to the group – (do you think) If I pitched in for them to do a 7″ of  four short fast-ish power pop songs that they would do it? … I was hit back with talk of it being unfair to ask a band to compromise their art and that I should stop living in the past. I get it, however they did write the lyric “an antisocial lesbian said you were dumb.”  Listening to Ginger and reliving these interviews, I can’t imagine that me asking them could turn out any worse than my previous encounters and could either be a redemption or follow my pattern, win-win.  (JD)

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