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Reactionary 3 in Philly, photo Joshua Peach

In Memory of Travis Fristoe

Travis Fristoe was a friend to punks everywhere, whether you hung out with him in ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #389 • Oct 2015

Incoming: Maximum Rocknroll #389, the October 2015 issue! On the cover we've got SICK THOUGHTS, ...

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“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info ...

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Top Tens from MRR #388 • September 2015

By popular demand, we present our reviewers' Top Tens from the current issue of Maximum Rocknroll! Here are ...

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Record of the Week: Basement Benders

Record of the Week: Basement Benders

BASEMENT BENDERS – “Native Tongues” EP Sometimes when you hear that a handful of your favorite ...

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Record(s) of the Week: Violence Creeps

July 29th, 2015 by

VIOLENCE CREEPS – “I’m Broke/Gridlock” flexi
         “I’m Broke” is one of those songs that is so immediately catchy, punk and destroyed that I thought it was a cover song. The band lurches through two chords while their singer Amber screams her fucking head off about all the shit she can’t afford. The band ramps up their energy through the two paltry minutes of this ripper until it’s on the verge of falling apart. It has an instantly classic sound that feels pure and raw in all the best ways. Without a doubt, it’s easily one of top five favorite songs of the year. That’s a hard act to follow, but “Gridlock” is also a ripper about being stuck in traffic. VIOLENCE CREEPS is lurchy, slow, destructive, pissed-the-fuck-off and perfectly raw. The soundtrack to losing your goddamn mind. This flexi (the worst format, my only complaint) comes with issue #16 of Degenerate magazine. (Greg Harvester)

I don’t know what to tell you. Yesterday I woke up, ate a shitty fucking West Coast bagel (masochism rears its ugly head), sat down at this computer and didn’t stand up except to piss and refill my coffee for thirteen or so hours. This music is the soundtrack to that. Today I went to my low-paying job and my boss bought me lunch at the organic taqueria that is probably owned by white people and there was some sort of Instagram photoshoot going on involving fish tacos and a hot pink longboard and this was the soundtrack to that. Tomorrow I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. and get on a plane to Minneapolis to see my family which will be nice but we will probably get in a fight over my new finger tattoo and someone will get too drunk at dinner and we’ll all feel terrible about it but it will also be kind of funny and this will be the soundtrack to that. Last night I had an unending stream of maddening interactions with a series of punishers and this was literally the soundtrack to that. It was the record release show for this fine platter in the basement of a completely mystifying club and if you live in the Bay Area and you weren’t in attendance, you’re a poseur and a loser and an idiot. Too strong? I don’t care. Fuck you. This is the best band in the Bay Area. They make me wanna flip over tables and punch people in the face, but they also make me laugh like a maniac and wanna hang out and make weird art with my friends. It’s funny, it’s intelligent, it’s infectious and instantly classic. Watch the music video for “On My Turf.” You’ll get it, if you’ve got eyes and ears and a semi-functioning brain. Watch it. Now. Do you get it? Who needs John Brannon when you have Amber? There’s acoustic guitar and sax freakout and bass skronk and slow FLIPPER-esque sludge but also good old fashioned ’core and hooks for days. (“Drop Out,” you’re moshing!) This is a band that is getting better with every release and this record finds them at the peak of their powers, powers that don’t look quite like anything else out there. For fans of the “catchy-but-weird” hardcore du jour:if you like it tougher, meaner, smarter, catchier, more depraved—you’re a punk, right? So the answer is yes, right?—get this. Wake up, sheeple. (Grace Ambrose)

Record of the Week: NO

July 22nd, 2015 by

NO – “Treating People Like They Don’t Exist” MLP
These Londoners have really outdone themselves this time. While I whole-heartedly enjoyed the self-titled 12” on Static Shock, this record is definitely the next level. The recording here is much akin to “the lunatic ravings of a one-off man-mental!” Somehow the guitar has this brittle clean tone clarity while still being completely overdriven. The bass and drums are heavier than an anvil dropped onto a baby grand and still retain precision and punchiness. On top of all that is this completely feral, animalistic, snarling vocal. All of this alone would make a good record, but it is the totally inventive songwriting that makes this a great record. One more reason UK hardcore is back on the map…with a vengeance. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor. (Jon Kortland)

(La Vida Es Un Mus)

Record of the Week: Downtown Boys

July 15th, 2015 by

DOWNTOWN BOYS – “Full Communism” LP
This is a seamless melding of so many punk touchstones. It’s X-RAY SPEX raised on hardcore and these saxophones (double fucking saxophones!) sound so LORA LOGIC and the rage in every moment is palpable and focused. It’s cathartic and faces the worst a capitalist, racist, sexist, classist (and so on) society can shit onto the world and finds joy in the action of confrontation and discussion and standing up for shit. The world is bleak and the subject matter of these songs is bleak but this record definitely isn’t bleak. This manages to be triumphant without being anthemic and heavily opinionated without being preachy. The lyrics fluctuate between Spanish and English, there are moments that speed up to breakneck paces and then moments that have enough space to dance in, cherry-picking the best sounds of punk and blending them into something purely exciting. This record is incredibly fucking good, an undeniably perfect punk record. (Marissa Magic)
(Don Giovanni)

Record of the Week: Gas Chamber

July 8th, 2015 by

GAS CHAMBER – “Stained Hands” EP
Though I must confess that I’ve personally slept on them for far too long, these progressive Buffalo punkers have been turning a lot of heads recently (pun intended) with their left-field take on hardcore, and this record makes it all too easy to see why. The titular track starts out as a meandering, sunbaked slice of anarcho-psych, taking its sweet time before cascading into a cacophonous whirl that is at once ripping and dreamy. The B-side is just a fierce, with desert vibes that would make the MEAT PUPPETS proud, and they even manage to pull off an instrumental track on a hardcore 7”! Getting more mileage out of a chorus pedal than just about any band in contemporary punk (R.I.P. LIFEFORM), I could see this getting filed under the ever-so-saturated banner of “melodic crust,” but this is simply too fuckin’ weird to squeeze into any generic microniche. Cheers to GAS CHAMBER and SPHC for another solid fuck off to hardcore conformity. (Will Blomquist)

Record of the Week: Black Time

July 1st, 2015 by

BLACK TIME – “Aerial Gobs of Love” LP
All hail BLACK TIME, architects of the brutal and arcane…Transporting the listener to the collapsing concrete shopping centers of London, in which girls and boys as informed as much by the Medway Sound as the Situationist ideal hack out a new / old existence in the ashes of commerce. What other group could summon thoughts of HUGGY BEAR, SWELL MAPS, early Michigan garage sounds, Musique Concrète, girls in bootleg Mary Quant / Bridget Riley get ups reading Sheila Delaney’s teenage works…BLACK TIME is the way and the truth. The sound of irate bedroom masterworks—when Lemmy Caution shouts he’s got no expectations you can feel that tool Jagger’s smug sprawl of expectations slowly eating away at the earth… Janey Too-bad’s voice on the title track makes me wanna grab a Silvertone and join the WHAT FOUR (or the MOD 4). Anyway this is a piercing, shambling, devastating view into two years of bedroom recordings by London’s only garage band (who no longer exist, but word on the street is the MIDNIGHT MINES is a new and related endeavor). Tascam truths for sped up troublemakers. (LG)

(Fobjudna Ljud)