You know you can always count on Bad Transfer to be timely. Set your broken clock to it, and it will be right twice a day, guaranteed! Here it is April 2020, and we are now bringing you our (well, two of us) top ten best of 2019 lists. Dig in, make comments, and write some comments to us as well. We’re lonely, and in need of cyber companionship.
In order for me to move to Brooklyn, NY in 1998 I needed to get rid of a ton of stuff to be able to pack my life into a Ford Econoline van. The van was named Tom. Some of those things I gave away, some I threw away, and some I sold. Of all things that I regret getting rid of none are bigger than dumping nearly all of my cassettes. Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find some of the things I tossed out as well as keep up with the new, great things that are coming out. Home recording is killing the music industry, thankfully! Without further ado, here are 10 tapes that I picked up in 2019 but not necessarily from 2019.
1. Flush Productions Comps – 1986-1990 (ish)
If I was a third grade teacher I imagine this might happen:
Billy Boogerface – Mr. Dratson do you like Flush Productions tapes?
Me – Billy, I love Flush Productions tapes!
All the Children – Why don’t you marry them?
(Then the children burst into giant laughs)
Me – Shut up you little fuckers! You can’t tell me how to live or what to love. Keep your grubby shit stained hands of my body and my Flush tapes and go eat some dog shit you little space taking disappointments.
Ok, maybe not exactly like that but somewhere in that ballpark. I had them all, or at least the 18 I knew about. The tapes started coming out around 1986, during the height of the “send well concealed cash or money order to…” era and, to me, captured a perfect slice of underground music going on at the time. Many of the bands on those tapes became some of my favorites. For example; Christ on a Crutch, Dissent, Sewer Trout, Pink Lincolns, Corrupted Morals, Humidifier, No Fraud and many more. For full transparency, this number 1 encapsulates 13 tapes. I poked around and found a guy that was in one of the bands and he was happy to rehome them. I’m currently hunting for 1,2, 5,6 and 9. If anyone is holding these or can make copies please let me know!
2. Neutrals – 2016-17 (cass) 2019 LP
I can’t remember how I stumbled on to these. I’m certain it was some dumb late night internet dive that led me to Bandcamp, wherein I clicked a track and thought that the duder’s voice reminded me of the duder from Giant Haystacks. These tapes are fuggin’ terrific but here’s what’s even better, these were combined onto and LP and released as an LP on Emotional Response records in 2019 and reviewed here by our very own Matt Average. Also, guess what. It is the dude from Giant Haystacks.
This came out a while ago, 2017, but I didn’t open it and listen to it until 2019 and I completely missed out. I should be slapped on the mouth. This is great UK/anarcho/HC but what catapults this to the next level is the singer’s voice. Her speech is clear, crippling, distinct and the driving force that tips this over the edge from average to incredible. I’m such s jerk for waiting 2 years to play this tape.
I’ve heard their guitar player can be a real jerk sometimes. There is even a rumor that he was a stage manager for Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid and they got pissed off at him because he wouldn’t let them snort coke off his ass. Whatever, I don’t judge. There isn’t much to say about this that you probably don’t already know. This cassette captures some of the most frenetic, intense, impenetrable wall of sound of one of the HC essential band of mid 90s HC. They definitely carved a path for many others to follow. Although I have bunches of this stuff on vinyl it is nice to have it all right here so I don’t have to keep getting up and flipping over plastic. 25 or so tracks and a rad fold out poster with lyrics and the whole shebang. The only thing to remember is, at all costs, avoid the guitar player.
I’ve loved the song “Jam on It” since I heard it in 1984. I still love it today. Sometimes me and my friend Curt will play the song and sing all the words. I found this tape for $1 in Columbus, OH. I’m hoping that by the end of 2020 that our band No Bails will learn this and play it out at least once.
I Love Kissing/Shattered Dreams. If I’m remembering correctly, my pal Nate knows these Albany, NY dudes and he told me that he thought I’d like it. He was right. It sounds like it came from the 80s mod revival/power pop era. Think Pointed Sticks and Exploding Hearts and you’d be hitting the target pretty dead on. They have a couple vinyl eps too. Maybe I’ll get around to reviewing those at some point.Buy Mystery Girl – I Love Kissing here
These last three are from Michigan, my home.
8. No Bails – No Baios. 2019
I know it’s not the usual to talk about your own band on a review blog but fug it! I’m in this band and I think this thing we did is pretty darned OK. I was going to post a review from another site but maybe I’ll just send a tape to one of the guys on this blog and they can tear it apart. We made 3 different covers.
There was an amazing and horrible band from Tawas City, Michigan named Afterbirth. There has been a ton written about Afterbirth however not many know about Anarchy. You see, Anarchy is the same band as Afterbirth but they started to get “better” at their instruments and decided to try and make it as a band. The music sounds sort of like if the Dictators were super drunk and out of tune and had drunk baby quadruplets with the band Kiss and then made those drunk love babies be in a band and play for their supper before they were locked back under the stairs. I couldn’t find any Anarchy songs but I have linked the Afterbirth EP. Please use the “Show More” on the link.
I was walking through a local record store and from 20 feet away the words “THE SINATRAS” caught my eye. The Sinatras were West Michigan’s answer to Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Twin/Tone etc. They’d been around since 1985 and even put out a record 5 years ago. This came out a few years before their Imaginary Singles Collection tape they put out in 1992, to which I’ll mention that they cover a Latin Dogs tune on that tape. All I could find on the internet was a song off the Imaginary Singles Collection that was written in 1985 and originally recorded in 1987 by Paul Mahern of the Zero Boys at the same session as the songs that made it on this. So at least you get an idea of what they were about. There is an earlier tape called Tater Tots that I’m desperately searching for as well.
That’s it. Send me things to have an opinion about and maybe you’ll get on my 2020 list.
Top 10 of what I experienced in 2019.
Aero Horrorthon: I remember reading about the Horrorthon in the LA Weekly when it first started happening, but for some reason didn’t go until the 9th year, and last year was the 14th one. Why I waited so long? I have no excuse. However, I’m fully committed to going to these as long as they have them, and I hope that is for years to come. Old horror films all night long with strange skits and trailers in between. A recent fond memory is watching Anthropophagus with Devon, and his response during the scene where George Eastman takes the baby out of the pregnant woman and begins to eat it, “Brutal.” I imagine Devon likes how the waitress at the vegan bakery across from the Aero thought I had an attitude problem last year when we stopped for breakfast after Horrorthon let out. “Do you have a problem?” she sternly asked with a glare. My favorite night of the year.
2. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue at Beyond Fest : Most people go to Beyond Fest for the newest genre films, I go for whatever Cinematic Void programs. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is one of the big highlights for me of 2019. Fully restored. See it by all means.
3. Godzilla movies at the Vista : Summer mornings watching Godzilla movies on the big screen is good living. Devon and I met up many a Sunday morning to see things like Godzilla v Hedorah, Destroy All Monsters, Mothra v Godzilla, and others. There was also a Godzilla marathon at the Egyptian back in May as well. Great times they were.
4.The New York Ripper at the Egyptian: One of Fulci’s last great films. Kind of strange to say something as sleazy as The New York Ripper is great, but it is. A movie you will never forget.
5. Pink Flamingos at the Aero: It’s one thing to watch Pink Flamingos at home, it’s an entirely different experience in a movie theater at midnight. See it in a theater if you ever get the opportunity.
6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the New Beverly: The New Beverly is the place to see this movie. So the screen’s small, however, they try to make the experience more immersive with the BOSS radio broadcasts playing over the house PA before the film starts, trailers and ads before the movie are from the time the movie is set in, and there’s also set pieces in the lobby. The movie is pretty good as well. I would love to see movies, or books, expanding on the story of Cliff Booth.
7. The Tom Atkins triple feature and Q&A at the Beyond Fest: Outside of the Cinematic Void programming at the recent Beyond Fest, this was the other high point. Three movies: Halloween III, The Fog, and Night of the Creeps. Then there’s the interview with Tom Atkins afterwards. Dom Atkins also made an appearance. A truly historic moment in genre cinema history.
8.Dolemite is My Name: I expected to hate this movie. However, I have rediscovered that Eddie Murphy is great, and it was time Rudy Ray Moore was given some much needed attention. Hopefully when the quarantine is lifted we can get to paying visits to the last remaining sites where his movies were filmed.
9.Phantasm, Three O’Clock High, and 10 to Midnight at the Aero: This triple feature celebrated three years of Cinematic Void. Don Coscarelli was also there signing his book. Phantasm is one of my all time favorite films, and I see it every chance I get. It’s that good. Then you add in Three O’Clock High, and Charles Bronson in 10 to Midnight (featuring the men’s room at the Aero!), you can’t go wrong.
10. Repo Man at the Egyptian: I may have missed out on the Severin secret movie marathon in the Speilberg, but I was able to see Repo Man and a great Q&A with Alex Cox instead.
I wasn’t really going to buy into the hype of this Richmond, VA band. My buddy Telf has been going on to me about how awesome they are for the last year, and how the guitarist Zack is one of the best writers of extreme music in Richmond. Well, after listening to this LP only once I was sold. I immediately flipped the record over and listed to side one again….I’ve spun it many many times since then.
This is a total top notch recording for this no nonsense metal/hardcore band. People always seem to compare them a lot to Powertrip…I don’t hear it. What I do hear is a lot of Slayer. Yup… Slayer, Slayer, and more Slayer. Seriously, some of these riffs could be sold to Slayer to finally make a decent new record (donate those riffs Zack). The dive bomb solos and wanks are perfectly positioned in these songs, and are not overdone. What I do hear beside Slayer would be Sepultura, LeeWay, Ringworm, Integrity, Excel, Madball, and a little bit of the Cro-mags. But honestly, I think this stuff just stands on its own… totally tough sounding music to pound one another as your pals are running around the pit being wacky. I love this record and am very excited to hear what else these guys are capable of. (NW)
Available through Vinyl Conflict and Autoreverse (see Bandcamp site for e-mail address)
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.
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)