Record of the Week: QLOAQA LETAL Nunca, Siempre LP

26 08 2014

QloaqaLetal_LP

Recorded in 1983 in Valladolid, Spain, mastered 30 years later right here in California, and released shortly after by the Mallorca-based Metadona Records, this legendary punk tape has finally been properly dignified in the vinyl format. Like their contemporaries in Spain, you can tell their sound resulted from simultaneously digesting both first wave punk and proto-hardcore, recalling a bit of CICATRIZ and KANGRENA, but also the gloomy side of PARALISIS PERMANENTE. However, while exuding darkness, QLOAQA LETAL is not campy, just genuinely creepy and candidly cynical abouttheir social reality: “Life spits on me, luck deceives me, glory avoids me, death grabs me.” While becoming a classic of the Punk Ibérico repository, they definitely developed their own sound here and it’s amazing! The bass pulsing percussively over a crudely fuzzy guitar tone, Rouky’s warm and gritty vocals, as well as the intriguing electronic sound of the manual drum kit are all elements that make this stand out in their time period. Furthermore, they often infused their live shows with elements of theatrical plays. The package includes an insert with lyrics and photo clippings from the period showing their wonderful freak aesthetic, and prompting me to shudderthinking about what it must have been like walking around conservative Valladolid in the early ’80s looking like that. Possibly attributable to LA BANDA TRAPERA DEL RIO, the word cloaca (sewer) and its associated imagery became a Spanish punk signifier, which one could interpret as a message reminding the new pseudo-democratic regime obsessed with cleaning its own image that the shit still has to go somewhere. Awesome record and a cool artifact. (Metadona Records)

—Lena Tahmassian

MRR is putting together an especial Punk Ibérico issue to come out in January 2015. If you have anything to contribute, please send it to mrr {at} maximumrocknroll(.)com. Thanx, punx!

August 26th, 2014 by MRR


Record of the Week: CONTORTURE/AHNA split EP

19 08 2014

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Handle with care, this is fuggin’ deadly. Göteborg’s CONTORTURE goes straight for the jugular with their raging feminist käng, expertly toeing the raw/melodic line that has come to define Swedish crust in the last decade. Lyrics revisit familiar themes of autonomy, rape culture, and watching those around you age out of punk, but with a personalistic approach, and the lead vocals remind me of Kate from SCHIFOSI in all the best ways. On the flip, leading Canadian powerviolence freex AHNA lays out two more doses of their noisey blackened filth, sounding yet again like they’ve managed to record in one of the lesser pits of hell. This is actually a lot less blast-centric than their older material, with crusty rhythms offsetting the murky metalloid gloom, and the opening sludge of “Living in Fear” channels the headbanging glory of BOLT THROWER to perfection. Already a serious contender for my favorite split of 2014, this is nothing short of mandatory for all you metalpunx.
(Active Rebellion / Into the Abyss / Neanderthal Stench / What Is Making Us Sick)

—Will Blomquist

August 19th, 2014 by MRR


Record of the Week: S.H.I.T. Generation Shit EP

12 08 2014

SHIT_GenerationShit

Originally intended to be together on a LP, this is the second of two EPs S.H.I.T. has released in 2014, and boy, is it a scorcher. Furiously driven as much as it is restrained, this manic hardcore outfit sucks you into their realm of downstrums, metronomic drums and shrill squeals as they spew their branded way of making punk in your face. Two guitars with the fastest picking imaginable, making sure you hear the full extent of each riff, filling out the sound perfectly. The drums pierce through the high frequencies of the guitars and vocals, keeping hard time better than you ever thought possible. As with the first EP, the sleeve is a full-size poster with artwork by the very underrated Jaybo. Get this, own this. (Lengua Armada)

— Kat Smith

August 12th, 2014 by MRR


Record of the Week: TAULARD Les Abords du Lycée LP

1 08 2014

Taulard_LP

After my recent fascination with ’80s French Oi! and coldwave, here comes something equally interesting, one to add to my list of grande musique de France: keyboard-, drum- and bass-driven synthpunk right out of current day Grenoble! I love everything about this release: the mixed bag of influences (punk, post-punk, electro, hip hop, Renaissance music!) the subtle cinematic orchestration, the layout of the inner sleeve and silk screened Miró-esque cover. The almost church organ-like keyboard tunes steal the show, sounding like they’re coming from some busted up old ’60s synth, wafting and weaving through the tight, minimal yet animated drumming (kick, floor tom, snare and hi-hat), the soulful rhythms of the bass (that fullness of jazz, that spike of punk, that slight funk edge) and the attitude-filled vocals (with that poeticism that the French language inherently possesses). The backing vocal harmonies leave a ’60s psych garage aftertaste, but the keyboard and vocals really manage to set a multitude of tones and moods to real-life settings (suffocation, depression, drunken mirth, traveling, crushes, loss, sexual mistakes). There is a sense of humour (even mockery) to the performance, and the A-side almost sounds as if a bunch of punks got together in a brick basement (upon Roman ruins for all I know) to write a soundtrack to the urban comedy/drama they call life. Don’t let that playful attitude fool you though; the darker B-side ends the show on a morose tone, where disappointment and disillusion abound; a bad trip confession set to music. Bitter yet sweet, magical yet haunted, vintage yet moderne. Fucking brilliant! Get it!
(self-released)

Listen/download here

August 1st, 2014 by Lydiya


Record of the Week: FEMACOFFIN Dismal Twilight EP

22 07 2014

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Following their excellently abominable 2013 demo, FEMACOFFIN continues to break new crust ground with anguish, crux and blood-curdling sincerity. What I most appreciate about this band is their no-fucks-given tempo. The overall haplessness of this recording does not give a shit what you or your scene expects from a punk band. There is that kind of awesome respect when you hear FEMACOFFIN live, as well. If I may: hear this risen from the ashes of STORMCROW as AXEWIELD was spewed from EFFIGY. As if either needed be improved upon, yet here they are. Side one dooms the mood with “Dismal Twilight,” a four-minute bulldozer. Side two: “Trinity” quickens the pace with additional metal riffs. You can’t get much better than the vocal dynamic between Brian and Tony. A ghostly, brief, guitar solo depresses further into their music void of optimism. This is truly saturated, septic crust punk. A spaced-out sample mid-side reminds me of AMEBIX “The Moor,” straight into the best ICONS OF FILTH cover ever: “Midnight.” Absolutely ripping drum fills here. Holy shit, this cover fucking rules! Beautiful stipple artwork by Stiv of VISIONS OF WAR, hand lettered insert, profound lyrics, great production; this is a must have debut EP for any crust resurger out there.
( Brainsand Records)

— Jason Ryan

July 22nd, 2014 by MRR