Special Duties 77 in 83 7"
The A-side isn’t quite up to their usual standards, but “Too Much Talking” wails with an amazing guitar, and makes it all worthwhile. Pick it up.
The A-side isn’t quite up to their usual standards, but “Too Much Talking” wails with an amazing guitar, and makes it all worthwhile. Pick it up.
Oddball stuff, not unlike SWELL MAPS or the early TV PERSONALITIES. It’s not different, but it packs a bite, especially “Family Traditions.”
Three modern bands that revive the roots of punk. The MILKSHAKES have that early KINKS or Merseybeat sound; the STINGRAYS belong to the METEORS/CRAMPS school of psychobilly; and the CANNIBALS hearken back to the ’60s punk of the early PRETTY THINGS or maybe the SEEDS or maybe the SHADOWS OF KNIGHT. These aren’t just copies—they reflect the genuine spirit of those eras. Great record.
Three songs here, all thrash. There’s no new ground broken, though it’s got some great drumming and excellent lyrics. Let’s see where this young band goes.
This Dutch band has evolved from the remnants of the NITWITZ into a more intense outfit capable of delivering many kinds of punk—classical, thrash, heavy metal punk, etc. All the tracks here have tremendous power, and some of them actually show an MDC influence. Very good indeed.
Raw and aggressive, and two of the three tracks have real coherence and power. It’s pretty fast-paced, but not quite thrash. The A-side is slower and more rock-oriented; obviously, I prefer the flip. Look for this one.
Brazil’s version of DISCHARGE meets Finnish hardcore. Actually, they do have a few slower “classical” punk songs that are really great, too. Good, intense stuff.
Much like their first EP, but recorded better. The music is raw and fast—like the DREAM POLICE—but the poppy, SIOUXIE-like vocals sort of put me off. Fortunately, the instrumentals by this Danish band carry the day.
Put this band right up there in the European thrash-king sweepstakes. With this entry, Germany finds itself well represented. Awesomely powerful music that puts their earlier stuff to shame. Also, any doubts about O.H.L’s alleged “fascist” politics are again disclaimed here—one of the band members has the Jewish star of David on his leather jacket. Good news.
From the looks of the cover, I thought this album would be Oi. Nein. It’s powerhouse thrash, unlike their previous amateurish garage material. Wunderbar! Another amazingly strong release from Rock-O-Rama.
The obvious comparison is DOA. Slower, metalish, anthemic punk with traces of the WHO! The lyrics are sharp.
This tape features ten bands from Italy, some of them punk, some fo them thrash, and most of them Oi. My favorites are FALLOUT and 5° BRACCIO, who totally cut loose. The WOPS and NABAT bash out some Oi, if that’s your cup of campana.
This young band was pissed when they were described last issue as FLIPPER-like. They do have some similarity in the distorted, raunchy bass lines and vocals echoes, but they are much more spirited and furious in tempo. Sort of like the CHURCH POLICE (just kidding, guys).
Now down to a three-piece, this outfit has tightened up considerably, producing a classic guitar-highlighted tape with good hooks, a thick sound, and plenty of tension. Not as funny but better produced, the Unaware sound good at slower paces and thrash speed.
Five songs from some of the former FARTZ. They still maintain the mania of the past line up, but combine it with a slightly more metal sound that sometimes reminds me of BLACK FLAG, sometimes of DISCHARGE. Excellent.
More heavy-metallish horror rock from LA. Not as bad as some, and the title cut is pretty good, but still…
According to the lyric sheet, Youth In Asia recorded this after one rehearsal. I can tell, but it’s still OK. The lyrics are excellent, especially in “Used” and “No More Middle Class.” Keep working at it!
Eight groups from the Berkeley area, all very young and in various states of existence or non-existence. The tape quality is very garagey, and the material includes some thrash and some pet rock or “mind rot.” The whole thing was recorded by Aaron and Jesse, those two youngsters who put out Tedium fanzine, and all other teeny zines that you literally need a microscope to read.
There’s quite a conglomeration of styles and sound quality on this South Bay compilation. It’s got thrash, heavy metal punk, garage punk, pop-punk, old punk, etc. The eight bands featured are FACTION, GRIM REALITY, RIBZY, EXECUTIONER, the BRUCES, WHIPPING BOY, the UNAWARE, and LOS OLVIDADOS.
This Albany, NY compilation is like the ones that used to come out two or three years ago. It’s got a bunch of local bands playing diverse styles of music—’77 punk, punky pop, punkabilly, post-punk, etc. There’s a lot of so-so stuff, some quality stuff, and one thrash outfit (CAPITLE). A sampler in the truest sense of the term.
Just when I thought SoCal was getting a bit stale, along comes this great 4-song EP with one cut each from KENT STATE, MODERN INDUSTRY, MOSLEM BIRTH, and MANSON YOUTH. All four present intense, unusual, and diverse styles of contemporary punk, tinged with deep cynicism. This isn’t LA schlock horror rock, but the real thing—the horrors of living today. Buy and die.
They picked up the pace a bit since their debut 7″. Although the riffs sound alike on all three of these songs, they’ve tightened up enough now that it’s not much of a hindrance. Good English punk ’ere, lads.
The A-side is from ’81 and is post-punk similar to that of their former sister band GANG OF FOUR, minus the funk. The ’77-period flip is a trashy, amateur treat which makes this 45 worthwhile.
This album contains at least one track from each of their three previous 7″s. ONE WAY SYSTEM focus on the more traditional punk styles, which they handle well, but they also play a few thrashers. A pretty good record, though not exceptional.
This 12″ sounds simultaneously over-produced and under-recorded, but the good music still makes it through. There are a couple of dragged-out mid-tempo numbers, but there’s a find dirge (“Holocaust”) and a few real kickers.
A Welsh band whose tastes run a whole gamut of punk styles, but seem to focus on the US hardcore approaches. The songs, which are much longer than the typical American ditty, are rather rough and have a charm all their own.
Despite their antics and posturing on stage, the SUBS are a good band. But not a great band by any means. All three songs here are solid rockers and represent some of the best aspects of ’77 Britpunk. A tip of the hat to Charlie Harper for keeping the faith (energetic), but so much has since changed.
Here is more proof that the Midwest is where things will be really happening in the near future. The CLITBOYS have the lyrical strength and commitment of the TOXIC REASONS, but are more thrashed-out. Watch for an EP soon.
Here, a former member of Reno’s party band, the THRUSTING SQUIRTERS, joins with members of 7 SECONDS and SECTION 8 to put out a rockin’ rolly four-song tape with scatological lyrics that would make Tesco Vee wince. The classic here is “There’s a Scientific Name for Your Dick.” Retarded to the max.
Mix together the early CIRCLE JERKS, early BLACK FLAG, MDC, MINOR THREAT, SSD, TERVEET KÄDET, and GANG GREEN, and you have something approximating these DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES (so-called by their parents). What can I say—this is manic, intense, tight thrash with great lyrics, and I can’t wait till these Houston boys unleash themselves upon the rest of us deprived people. 22 songs.
This group hails from down near Monterey, and the music is fairly standard NorCal stop-and-go thrash. Pretty energetic, but not really original. The words are similar in all fifteen songs, expressing a desperation and emptiness that must make the writer a real joy to be stuck in an elevator with.
Another new Houston band slugging and thrashing its way up. This is a five-song release with the kind of intensity and drive that epitomizes Texas hardcore. A good one.
This is the second release on the X-Claim! label, and it’s no letdown. Some of the songs here are reminiscent of the super-fast sound associated with Boston; the others are slower, more distinct or melodic, but still rough, raw, and tight. Snap it up.
A seven-song effort from this new Philly group. They play very fast thrash with pizazz, similar in some ways to the NEOS. It sounds real good, but I can’t tell what the hell they’re singing about.
This band has been around for a long time—that’s the good part of this review. This EP isn’t as bad as their last 7”—that’s the so-so part of this review. This records isn’t as good as their earlier releases—that’s the bad part. The pop-punk sound and almost falsetto vocals here are too close to new wave, but there are some good lyrics and a couple of cuts that rock out pretty hard (“Punk 1301” and “What Am I Living For?”).
This slice of American Oi drags a lot but the drill press guitar sound is hot. The lyrics are about fighting and at face value seem confused if not downright reactionary. Vocalist Sab told me that aside from ex-bassist Wendel’s “Psycho Skin”—a retarded homophobic diatribe—most of the other songs are based on specific incidents and advocate self-defense not mindless violence. Unfortunately that isn’t at all clear from the enclosed lyric sheet. When dealing with sensitive subject matter, it would be helpful if bands included more information on what it is they’re trying to say. After all isn’t the object of music to communicate feelings and ideas?
Some heavy metal licks laid over really powerful thrash. The songs are short and well punctuated, with strong drumming. I can’t hear many of the words, but if “Nuclear Threat” and “D.F.Y. (Drug Free Youth)” are indicative, they’re fine. Highly recommended.
This is sort of a poor man’s MINOR THREAT/MDC. Actually with a bit more fine-tuning and imagination, they could be right up there, because they have great lyrics and spirit, and aren’t musical slouches, either.
A totally hot, well-produced tape from this previously unknown bunch of kids from SF’s suburbs. It features very tight stop-and-go thrash, sort of like early CIRCLE JERKS.
The thing I like most about both cuts are the vocals, which are eerie but not pretentious. The A-side is the song I like musically; it sort of reminds me of the more upbeat, listenable side of PERE UBU. Great bass runs.
Oh no, the FLIPPER crud has spread to the heartland of straight-edge country. Actually, it’s more like FLIPPER meets early CABARET VOLTAIRE. The funniest song title is “Quincy Fights Punk Rock.”
Much better than their earlier tape. The sound is fuller, there’s more attack, and the lyrics are every bit as good. NOTA remind me a bit of ARTICLES OF FAITH, so drop them a line and order this tape.
Two people from thrash band ANTI combine with two others to produce a more experimental effort. It’s a 50/50 proposition. Some of it sounds like the earlier LA punk sound with its classic female vocals; other songs are in a post-punk or arty vein. Good change of pace.
Totally! Great bass-drums-guitar-vocals. This is one time that I’ll use the term “shreds,” because it says it all. As they say on the lyric sheet, “Play loud in math class.”
I reviewed their demo tape two issues ago, and now I have a chance to rave again. This soon-to-be-released EP has thirteen thrashing songs that run into each other at breakneck speed. Keep your ears peeled.
If you had the good fortune to come upon their EP, you know what this new four-song “live” cassette is like. If not, it’s not too late to pick up on this bone-crunching attack. Note, as go the FARTZ (now 10 MINUTE WARNING), so go the REJECTORS. This means that there are some heavy metal guitar licks on this tape.
Really cool. This band does a cover of the SONICS’ classic, along with other tunes ranging from straight-on thrash to thrash meets power-pop (in the good sense of the term). Great hooks, sharply delivered, and more gas than a bowl of Boston beans can produce.
This is bound to be one of the best releases of ’83. Dischord has really got their production down—it’s the best in punk. An unrelentless record, musically and lyrically, containing powerhouse thrash with great hooks, choruses, and vicious guitars. I don’t care much for the few reggae-ish cuts, but otherwise I can’t say enough good about this one.
ANTISOCIAL sound more like an American outfit on their second single. One side is stop-and-go thrash, less DISCHARGE-like than most English thrash. The other side is slow, but also excellent.
Jello says that DISORDER has a live sound not unlike the pet-rock of FLIPPER. Maybe, but on record they continue to be a rip-roaring thrash band. The only trace of “pet” is in the screaming choruses and periodic yells. Cool.
An excellent release with varying punk styles and tempos, all the way up to thrash. It’s very tight and features good choruses, but the real strengths here are a great drummer and a guitarist who really cuts loose with some unusual licks and great, swooping chords.
This band must be the Finnish equivalent of DISCHARGE—metal meets thrash at 120 mph. There can be no winners of a nuclear war at that speed. Seriously, one side of this tape is studio and one side is live, but both are excellently recorded. Propaganda strikes again.
LIXOMANIA sound a bit like some of the better new English bands, but with an edge and vocal rawness more reminiscent of Finnish groups. There’s one thrasher and a bunch of mid-tempo punk songs covering themes like punk not dying, massacres of innocent people, etc. The lyrics are in Portuguese, the language of Brazil.
’60s punk meets the GERMS meets thrash. It’s pretty fast stuff, but with an earlier punk feel to it, not unlike many current British bands. An excellent debut from this very young Dutch group.
A four-song release by a young Dutch band. There’s a lot of different styles here, including a semi-post-punk track with a synth, a punk cut with a strong ’77 influence (“Heroin Child”), and a thrasher or two, “Crazy Sod” being the fastest. Pretty raw and catchy.
This sounds like earlier-style British punk and, although Dutch, has English lyrics. It’s funny how stuff that sounded so great three years ago now sounds so restrained, but “Electric Chair Execution” is fairly effective.
This falls into a pop-punk category. There’s poppy back-up vocals and hand claps, cut the basics are all solid older-style punk. I like it a lot.
Six songs from this sparsely recorded Dutch thrash band, combining some English sounds with U.S. and Finnish influences. The great insert has a weird picture of about 40 guys with mohawks sitting around in army clothes.
A 12″ with all the songs on one side. Once again, I’m forced to rave about Finnish thrash. This is one of the many bands from that country which inspire amazement. I hadn’t heard of these guys before, but they’ve obviously been practicing to achieve such power.
This album features two new Dutch bands, one punk (RIOT), the other skin (N.V. LE ANDEREN), but I can’t figure that out from the lyrics or music. Both play similarly fast punk or thrash, and both have intelligent songs about similar subjects. An excellent release, but I’m still confused. The beautiful cover doesn’t help matters.
A very well produced record by a band heavily influenced by CRASS. The punk herein is sometimes slow, sometimes frantic, but always political. Most of the songs have that well-known militaristic sound, but a few are downright melodic. The multi-colored sleeve is unusual for a Crass-related label, and there are some real musical moments here. Don’t miss out.
Four very well produced tracks of slower, more powerful British-style punk, without the Oi posing. At first it didn’t do much for me, but after seeing them live I like the tape a lot more. Watch for wax.
Musically, this is sorta like early TSOL or BAD RELIGION, which is nothing to complain about. Lyrically, it has your basic punk themes, but there are a few lines that almost negate the sentiments because of the ignorance displayed. For example, on “Achtung,” a don’t-drop-the-bomb song, they say, “The Russians say they don’t want war, but that’s because they’re on top.” They then go on to say that you can’t believe anything the government says, so why do you believe the Russians have military superiority, which most experts deny. Also, in the anti-police song (“I Hate Cops”), the line “cops are all niggers” comes up. Huh? Then how come they’re always busting and hassling Blacks? Wise up, guys! A little knowledge is dangerous, but the record still sounds good.
As unlikely as the name of the band is, their music turns out to be really cool modern day thrash, albeit quirky. Seven songs which are a bit under-recorded, but that is more than compensated for by the fun and energy put out.
A young band hailing from the Philly area. Their sound falls somewhere between some generic English punk bands and 7 SECONDS. As they’re pretty new, I’m sure they’ll be refining that shortly.
A 15-song demo from a wine country band whose influences are M.A.D. and CODE OF HONOR, among others. They’ve got a real right, thrash-oriented attack. It’s not too distinctive yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them develop into something special as time goes on.
This LA garage punk group bids farewell to vocalist Milo. Well-produced and snappy-fast, they are as tight and fun as they come, somewhat reminiscent of the DICKIES. The songs cover teenage problems like conformity, parents, drugs, and suburban life. One disturbing note—in “I’m Not a Loser,” they resort to the all-too-prevalent “you fucking homo” name-calling. Maybe these teenage insecurities will ease up after graduation.
The DKs are the only group around whose new releases I approach with the same expectation, apprehension, and critical ear that I did for each new STONES record 16 years ago. You just know a lot of thought, work, and possible innovation will be invested in the grooves. Whether a self-appointed or media-chosen representative of “punk,” Biafra must be carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders. As for the record, side one is more like their live selves and more like their earlier recordings. No real let-down, though there are no immediate “classics,” either. Side two contains longer, more dramatic, and varied pieces that, while bravely breaking the norm, can be very trying. I’ll try more later. Meanwhile, the DKs keep subverting middle America. Keep it up.
Minimalist art-noise meet hardcore attitudes, with some Japanese musical influences. Huh? They sound a bit like early TUXEDOMOON, the SCREAMERS, or maybe a rawer UNITS with intense lyrics.
A strong, driving thrash sound with interesting twists and great lyrics. Another fine young band emerges from the South Bay, which was the home of punk rock in the ’60s. Tim Tonooka said they were excellent; he’s right.
Eight-song release that captures their older sound (somewhere between FLIPPER and CRUCIFIX) and a faster-paced raging style. Very tight, with lots of distortion, lyrics of a vague, cryptic, humorous, and sometimes dubious nature.
Medium-fast punk, FLIPPER-ish drone, sharp lyrics (“Reaganomics”), funny lyrics (“Gotta Piss”), and really dumb lyrics (especially in the xenophobic “It’s Time for the Bomb Again”). They also throw in the kitchen sink, and have a ’zine called Corrugated What.
A 44-second ditty that sums up my feeling about the depressing “holiday” season. The B-side is for the radio.
A very hard-to-come-by EP by this San Diego group. The music is medium-paced punk with occasional rapid-fire outbursts. The production is very powerful and English-like, and the words are really good, covering cliquishness, religion, paranoia, and intervention in Central America.
More “Boston-paced” music from this Cape Cod outfit, no letdown from their previous material. The playing is solid, tight, and inspired, with good hooks all around. As the liner notes say, “this record has been inspired by warmongers, social pressures, police oppression, and rednecks… their necks are getting redder.”
From the foothills of Northern California’s Sierras come JUSTICE IN AMERICA, blazing a trail with great thrasing lyrical assaults on the contradictions of life in the USA today. Very tight, very powerful, and the sentiments are right on the money.
This is it! The HÜSKERS have finally come up with a great studio album, and if it doesn’t put them right up there with the top bands, then everyone’s lost their hearing listening to too much FLIPPER. The LP has got the power of their live performances, combined with a clean, crisp recording quality. Even if they can’t play Risk too well, they sure can play music.
The A-side has a very long slower punk song that rags on working; the B-side has three thrashers, the best being a great anti-drug song called “Mind Control.” They also do a breakneck speed version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” But guys, why “just another bitch?” Are you just another bunch of “punkers?”
The Mormons must be shitting! This young band combines thrash pacing with elements of jazz, pop sensibilities, and intelligent lyrics to produce a clean (too clean?), distinct sound that you’ll hopefully soon find on vinyl.
Musically, I like it better than their LP, but the words are, uh, confused, to say the least. They put it best in one of their own songs, where it’s admitted that they “haven’t the faintest idea what [they’re] trying to say.” And they prove it—”666 Head” contains some retarded racist shit; “Revolutionary Worker” attacks the RCP for all of the wrong reasons; “Vampire Lady (Coke Whore)” is just plain stupid. I could go on, but it might be contagious.
A new East Bay band, including ex-INTENSIFIED CHAOS person Brad, Jake, and Jake’s mom on guitar. This is real good bone-crushing hardcore with a British feel. I’m looking forward to seeing them live.
This group from Connecticut decided to move to the sunny climes of SoCal, with its recording advantages. Their new release is a five-song effort that with a sound somewhere between early SHATTERED FAITH and the DREAM SYNDICATE. It has the edge of punk, the vocals of pop, and the structure of more melodic rock. A good effort.
The long-awaited debut of this medium-fast metal punk band. The songs are positive, spirited, and catchy, with lots of power to ’em.
Remember NEGATIVE TREND as they appeared on the old Tooth and Nail compilation? Well, Rik L. Rik was a member of that seminal outfit, and now he’s back with a new single. The A-side is an overproduced, almost syrupy psychedelic number. The B-side is better though, sounding like a cross between the early SLEEPERS and late Iggy.
These guys get “worse” all the time. They even make DEMENTED YOUTH and LENNONBURGER look good. If you don’t love the thrashed-out noise these jokers make, then you better go back to ’77. Armed with psychotic stuff like this, I’m ready for the future.
The TOXIC REASONS finally have their own LP after two 7” EPs and cuts on various compilations. Here, they re-do their first single, cover MAX FROST & THE TROOPERS’ “Shape of Things to Come,” and rip through the whole gamut of their live set—punky reggae, punk, and thrash. The liner notes are great and there’s a glossy magazine included. A must.
I think this will be out on an album soon. It’s very sparse and bass-heavy thrash. I’m not sure I like the signing that much, but the words are all great, and, given time, I’m sure their sound will become more cohesive.
From Chainsaw fanzine, this collection ranges from hardcore to hard noise. On the noise side, we have SMERSH (a lot like the SCREAMERS), SENSELESS HATE, BLIGHT, and ATTRITION. There’s slower punk by ROACH MOTEL and the BAD SEEDS, and a few cuts that have already been out on record (CRACKED ACTOR, ANGRY SAMOANS), but the hit for me was Canada’s SUBURBAN MENACE, a totally great group.
This sounds like UK-’78, not FLA-’82—you know, that slow-paced Oi sound. The best part is the totally fuzzed-out guitar.
Live recordings, ostensibly taken from various shows produced by Paul Rat around the Bay Area over the last six years. This contains cuts by the DKs, FLIPPER, DOA, CIRCLE JERKS, BLACK FLAG, TSOL, BAD BRAINS, CRUCIFIX, and the late, great DILS and AVENGERS (though the latter two’s cuts are from past their prime). Most tracks are good quality, so this album should do well.
A compilation of Arizona bands. One side is arty/experimental, which I’m not competent to comment on. The other side is a mix of thrash, punk, new wave, and experimental. Probably an up-to-date anthology of Phoenix today. Faves are JODY FOSTER’S ARMY, SOYLENT GREENE, and the MEAT PUPPETS.
Three new releases of ’60s punk reissues, à la Pebbles. Volume 1 focuses on California bands like the BROGUES and the OTHER HALF; Volume 2 has mostly Chicago-area bands, including the DEL-VETTS and the great SHADY DAZE; Volume 3 is a potpourri and includes the MYDDLE CLASS and the classic BALLOON FARM cut, “A Question of Temperature.” These are the lesser-knowns, the equivalents of 90% of today’s punk bands, who managed to put out that one great single before fading into obscurity in one flash of purple Owsley. The sound quality on these records is stupendous, somehow enhanced to today’s standards. Now you can compare these old gems to today’s neo-psychedelic bands, and guess who pales in the comparison? Rave on!
A potpourri of Minneapolis-St. Paul bands, all on the punk side to varying degrees. My faves are GROUND ZERO and WILLFUL NEGLECT. Thank HÜSKER DÜ, who also appear here, for this project. Unfortunately, the tape is already out-of-print.
Yet another LA compilation, and like most of the others, this is well worth the cash. The sound quality is mostly good, and it features well-knowns like REDD KROSS and JODY FOSTER’S ARMY, barely-knowns like the SINS, YOUTH GONE MAD, and SIN 34, and unknowns like MORAL DECAY, CRANKSHAFT, SADIST FACTION, the DEMENTED, the NAUGHTY WOMEN, and DEAD YOUTH. My faves are JFA, SIN 34, and REDD KROSS.
Four groups—COLCOR, NO LABELS, NO ROCK STARS, and CORROSION OF CONFORMITY—share this effort to show the world that hardcore lives in the American South. Well, if this is representative, it not only lives, it thrives! The cassette’s cover sums it up: it shows a Rebel flag being burned.
Like the earlier volumes, one side is punk and one side is pop. Lots of the bands are new to vinyl, including KENT STATE, ILL REPUTE, CATCH 22, and RED SCARE. The vets are CH3, JFA, NO CRISIS, PARIAH, and RUDI from Ireland. Most of side one is anthemic, melodic punk. I won’t deal with the flip except to say that the BANGLES track is much rawer than their EP.
A follow-up to Is That All There Is?, and from start to finish, it’s a blitz. Made up mostly of Ohio bands like ZERO DEFEX, the AGITATED, STARVATION ARMY, the URBAN MUTANTS, the OFFBEATS, the DARK, and the IDIOT SAVANTS, it’s a total joy. For only $2, you’re really a jerk if you don’t send away for it.
God, a real disorienting week. First, an intelligent record from the EXPLOITED, and now this—a strong pop-punk single with halfway decent lyrics from the biggest geeks around. Both sides benefit from good English production, have good hooks, and stick with you. I give up.
A 50-50 proposition. The strongest tracks are the ones with the cool back-up soccer chants—really powerful punk. And then there are the others, either too sparse, over-produced, or just plain lame (like their cover of LOU REED’s “Vicious”).
On one hand, it’s slow, repetitive UK punk. On the other, it’s so raw and weird that the instruments seem to turn into vacuum cleaners and electric saws, while the vocals become eerie PiL-type drones. Definitely odd. It might even grow on me.
A fairly unremarkable follow-up to their pretty decent first LP. It would help a lot t have a lyric sheet, especially since a couple of songs (“Sewage Worker” and “Jailbait”) are not even clear enough to tell whether they’re serious or not. If they are serious—note the sexy/sexist cover—it would contradict their otherwise progressive views.
This sounds like the better side of VICE SQUAD. I’ll just leave it at that.
A lot’s been said about this band being a bunch of moronic yahoos, much of it probably justified, but on this record there’s evidence to the contrary. “Computers Don’t Blunder” is a great anti-militarist song about the possibility of technology-induced holocaust. The B-side is as strong an anti-drug song as you’ll find. The music is fast and powerful.
The title song shows lots of promise on this, their third 7″. Pretty s-punky stuff, but the B-side cuts are pretty unexciting.
The A-side is a standout powerhouse punk song, instrumentally. I can’t say much about the lyrics (as with many of their songs) because I have no idea what they’re singing about, even after reading them printed.
A great, great record. Both sides start with long slow punk intros, then launch into powerful thrash. This is especially true of the A-side, which breaks on through into the manic. I love it.
Back for the fifth time with their distinctive sound—medium paced, ’60s fuzz guitars (almost folk-rock), plaintive vocals, real melodies, and personally outraged lyrics. This band is sorta like a punked-out cross between the old MODERN LOVERS and CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL.
The best release yet by this Oi group. Both sides are faster than their norm, and the record is well-produced with a really full sound. This is British punk at close to its best.
I can’t believe this is a new band, and not some undiscovered reject from 1977 that someone decided to put out now. Actually, the lyrics are politically strong (anti-NATO, etc.), but the music makes the first MEKONS single look real professional.
Totally great, both sides. Truly energetic, exciting thrash with cool guitar punctuation. It’s nice to see this kind of attack spreading in England.
The A-side sounds too much like IAN DREARY to me, but the three cuts on the flip are great funnypunk, combining Oi with some innovative vocal and guitar interruptions.
“Ultra Hardcore” is what it says on the cover, and that’s what it mostly is—straight ahead thrash, much like DISCHARGE, with little variation. The songs have anti-authoritarian, anti-war, and apocalyptic themes, except for “Stuttgart über Alles,” modeled after the DK’s classic.
Eric Hysteric from the VOMIT VISIONS in a new but equally abrasive and frantic group. For further info, read the VOMIT VISIONS review below, but this time the lyrics are in German.
This band’s second 12″ offering sounds like a cross between LA thrash circa ’81 and DISCHARGE. From the glossy 12-page booklet enclosed, one can surmise that the songs are your basic anti-war, anti-police themes.
A mixed back of songs recorded in ’81 by this now defunct Canadian outfit. A lot of older-style punk, some with good hooks, but rendered largely obsolete by recent stylistic changes. However, one song, “Malcontents,” is as powerful and driving as anything going, and makes me sad that they decided to call it quits.
An amazing, original, manic, tight, intelligent (and I could go on and on) release. And I thought their first EP was great. This one puts that one to shame. There may not be too many of these, as they’re financing it themselves, so buy as soon as you see it. Oh yeah, it’s got fourteen songs.
Three songs that are as raw and basic as possible. They make G.G. ALLIN seem M.O.R., combining a totally non-commercial sound with equally acidic social satire. They’re German but they sing in English.
An 8-song effort, sort of metal punk. It reminds me a bit of PERSONALITY CRISIS and BLACK FLAG. They’re gonna put out other bands too, like the MANIC DEPRESSORS and LAST GASP. Good job, lads.
Five groups are featured here. FASAGA and COTZBROCKEN have a ’77 sound; Fluch have a CRAMPS feel; OHL are semi-thrash; and STOSSTUPP must stand 1″ tall and record in a matchbox. OHL rule this roost from a musical standpoint.
A really great thrash outfit from the Toronto area. The instrumentation is more than competent, but the lyrics are what really stand out—intelligent, committed, positive, and deliberate. Excellent!
Four hardcore bands from Bologna share this raw record. R.A.F. PUNK sounds like a cross between CRASS and DISCHARGE; STALAG 17 are a bit more primitive, with tremendously course vocals; ANNA FALK SS sound more like a typical Britpunk aggregation; BACTERIA make FLIPPER sound wonderfully melodic. A great EP.
Do I really have to describe them after they’ve put out so much vinyl? No radical departures here, as their whole style is a continuing radical departure. You’ll know if you like them by now—I sure do.
Another Touch & Go Midwest classic along the lines of the FIX and the NECROS. All then songs are manic, even when they aren’t totally fast, but, uh… the lyrics will make you understand their name, because they’re sick sick sick of all this pressure pressure pressure or something something something.
Too bad—the music is really tight and furious, and some of the songs are well taken, but this young band is plagued by the same lyrical problems that many other hardcore groups have in the area of regressive sexual attitudes. Punks have gotta get beyond stupid sexual stereotyping and homophobia. Those are the predominate values of the society we supposedly despise, so why carry them into our own? Fortunately, there are some positive ideas expressed here, especially in “Abort the Mission.”
OK, you’ve been reading in these pages how great Finnish punk is, so order this compilation of almost all of the best bands (save RATTUS, LAMA, KOHU-63, and a few others). That’s all the proof you’ll need. One band after another comes charging at you and demonstrates why this relatively small and out-of-the-way country is the tops in European thrash. Includes cuts by the BASTARDS, ANTI KEHO, KAAOS, NATO, TERVEET KÄDET, RIISTETYT, 013, MAHO NEITSYT, APPENDIX, SEKUNDA, and DACHAU. A must.
One side is all American bands, including BLACK FLAG (their first EP), BAD BRAINS and SACCHARINE TRUST (previously released material), and the ANGRY SAMOANS (one oldie and two unreleased cuts, including the infamous “Poshboy’s Cock”). The German side contains four strong hardcore bands, including TOXOPLASMA, RAZZIA, CHAOS Z, and the NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES. This is a great idea for linking international punk scenes. Bravo!
You know something is happening when it penetrates the South. This har’ is a Tennessee band that really rips, sounding a lot like 7 SECONDS to my ear. Rednecks retreat!
ESPIONAGE SABOTAGE SUBVERSION presents mostly stop-and-go thrash tracks here, but there is also one long arty song with tense dynamics. Continued proof that hardcore can grow in any climate, even the sandy soil of Arizona.
Detroit drives in with an intense thrash band that incorporates a synthesizer sound à la SCREAMERS and vocals not unlike that great LA group. These guys have a better idea.
Heavy metal intros that blast wide open into rather unusual thrash, though we’re at the point were there can’t be anything too innovative in the hardcore scene, aren’t we? Anyway, it’s the emotion and enthusiasm that count, and this has it.
This new release lacks the dirty, manic feel of their classic debut album. Maybe it’s the production, loss of bass player, or more country twang, but the magic only happens on a few cuts. Second Album Syndrome strikes again.
Real intense debut. The A-side shows the standard thrash sound mixed in with some weird rock guitar, but my favorite cut—“CCTV”—features some great fuzzed-out guitar that has a wonderful prolonged feedback ending. Good noise!
Punk and thrash from NONE OF THE ABOVE. Mostly slower songs, but great crashing guitars and lyrics.
Ferocious like MINOR THREAT or SS DECONTROL, only they come from “mellow” Oregon. Can’t wait for some vinyl.
Five songs by this San Jose group, consisting of two women and two men. Great snarly vocals in the snotty tradition of ’60s punk and Darby Crash. The arrangements are snappy and the sound is distinctive, maybe as a result of their five-string guitars. Look for a record soon.
Five new songs in REALLY RED’s very distinctive style. After four 7″ records and one LP, if you don’t know what they sound like, you’re really blowing it. Great driving, rocking, hypnotic songs with political lyrics as sharp as they come.
This is the Northern Cal SCREAM, not the better-known DC band. It’s a four-song release with two god-awful songs that show their not-too-distant heavy metal past, one decent thrasher, and a totally great and refreshing stop-and-go classic called “Gov’t Primer.”
Pretty standard thrash, although sometimes it breaks the norm. What really stands out here are the lyrics. They’re standing out right now… from my garbage can! It’s where they belong, sexist, homophobic macho goon-squad bullshit better left to the rockers and metal crowd.
This band from upstate New York used to be called the MISFITS but changed their name for obvious reasons. Their vocalist sounds all the world like Pauline Murray from her PENETRATION days. The band combines punk, thrash, and rock and roll.
Some thrash classics here like “I Hate My Toes” and “I Wanna Be Beaver Cleaver.”
This record has that distinct modern LA sound, at times reminiscent of TSOL, GUN CLUB, and the CIRCLE JERKS. All in all, an enjoyable, upbeat debut.
A totally great debut. It’s not thrash tempo (unless played at 45, which sounds good, too), but it has very powerful, driving songs with doom-filled scenarios of the deterioration of human values. unfortunately, it’s all too true—this is the real “horror rock.” Too bad there’s no lyrics sheet.
Akron and Cleveland hardcore including ZERO DEFEX, URBAN MUTANTS, and the OFFBEATS. This stuff exemplifies why the Midwest is fast becoming the center for intense music.
Great compilation of upper midwestern bands (except Boston’s F.U.’s). Some have previous releases—TOXIC REASONS, ZERO BOYS—but most are vinyl virgins (SLAMMIES, BATTERED YOUTH, DELINQUENTS, ARTICLES OF FAITH, REPELLANTS, LEARNED HELPLESSNESS, PATTERN, and DIE KREUZEN). More volumes are planned for the future. These regional collections of little-known bands are extremely important, so give the ZERO BOYS credit for organizing this project.
The follow-up to Charred Remains. This compilation features 26 bands, including JFA, the CRUCIFUCKS, RED SCARE, MOURING NOISE, BATTALION OF SAINTS, MECHT MENSCH, RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED, SIN 34, NEGATIVE ELEMENT, the MOB, REBEL TRUTH, and on and on… You can’t go wrong here.
A hot little tape put out by Oops! fanzine, featuring some great garage thrash by Clevo and Akron bands like the BEATOFFS, the OFFBEATS, LOUD AS FUCK, the DUMBSHITS, the DEFNIKS, the DISSIDENTS, and ZERO DEFEX. Only midwestern bands could come up with song titles like “Turds with Corn in ’Em.” Great.
Mostly re-issues, but with a few unreleased cuts from the What label vaults, one of the earliest LA labels. This contains gems by the GERMS, DILS, SKULLS, CONTROLLERS, EYES, and later stuff by KAOS. A must for those who missed these older California punk 45s, now impossible to find.
Pretty uneventful outing. The A-side sounds like a ’78 US punk band imitating a ’77 UK band; the B-side is more modern-paced, but unimaginative.
Pretty good—I’d give it a B-, as the drums drag a bit. Sounds a lot like GBH, with themes to match.
Excellent, powerful release. The A-side is slower with classic soccer chants, and the B-side is a real killer.
Eight tracks from the best of the UK post-DISCHARGE thrashers, though this new stuff isn’t as amphetamine as their earlier releases. That should give you a good idea of their sound. If it doesn’t, stick your finger in a socket for similar results.
Surprise, surprise! This record sounds just like DISCHARGE. Actually, only “Doomsday” does; the flip is much slower, but structurally the same. You either like DISCHARGE and can’t get enough of them, or you say “never again.” They sound a lot better on record than they do live.
Psychobilly, that unique blend of rockabilly style, punk energy, and modern sound has produced a few outstanding records—some CRAMPS, GUN CLUB, PANTHER BURNS, and METEORS cuts. This latest single is a continuation of their great LP. Boss.
An American release of this, the second in the series of England’s best and most current independent singles. Contains cuts by VICE SQUAD, DISORDER, GBH, the EXPELLED, RIOT/CLONE, the ABRASIVE WHEELS, and many, many more. If you can’t afford to buy all the import 45s, this is the way to go.
Powerhouse drumming seems to be the hallmark of this band. The songs on this EP tend to be in the older punk style of ’78, but it’s delivered with great intensity and commitment.
LAAHAUS and KAAOS have four songs each that shred to the max. (I’m getting desperate for adjectives here.) Really rad. VAPAA PÄÄSY, on the other hand, pale in comparison due to their wimpier sound.
Swedish thrash—sounds like WAR ZONE to me. Crude, abrasive, raw guitar and vocals. Definitely US-influenced.
The band now includes Joey and Dave from the other line-up, plus Dimwit and Wimpy Roy from the “other” famous Vancouver band, the SUBHUMANS. This record isn’t as frnatic as Hardcore ’81, but it’s more typical of DOA’s live rock ’n’ roll, somewhat reminiscent of the old MC5. They also do some reggae, and covers of “war” songs by EDWIN STARR and the DILS.
Oi in one country is enough, nicht wahr? Boring.
Nine songs that absolutely rip. Very much in the DISCHARGE vein, as are many of the European hardcore bands. This one’s from Holland.
A live recording from this German group. It utilizes a sax, but it’s not “arty.” The A-side has a hard-driving, sparse, “Peter Gunn”-like sound; the B-side is punkier and even stronger. They’re coming to the US in January.
Cockney kids from Hamburg? Jawohl, mates! German teens from that city were highly influenced by the Brits in the ’60s—the BEATLES played the Star Club and the RATTLES emerged. In the ’80s, it’s NAPALM’s turn, right down to the accents and soccer chants.
This West German band plays tight, hard, powerful punk and hardcore. Great record, along with all their previous releases.
Four songs, each with a different style. One is in the UK post-punk style, one is a surf standard, one is CRAMPS-ish, and the final one tears it up. Good female vocals, but unfortunate intrusion of the synth.
Nine-song debut from NYC. Furious-paced hardcore laced with heavy metal guitar solos and extremely short songs, much like the first CIRCLE JERKS LP. And like the latter it has confused lyrics which condemn much and beg for unity—but around what and for what? All in all, enjoyable.
Hey, it’s punk rock that sounds very much like the Canuck SUBHUMANS, even down to the Wimpy Roy-style singing. Most the punk bands in the US either wimped out or went thrash, leaving the last bastion of the older sound in England and the wilds of Canada, whence this group emerged. Fellas, it’s ’83, but your record is darn nice in a nostalgic sort of way.
Nine songs from this German group, mostly sung in English and sounding very English, too (ca. ’79-’80). They even do a cover of CRISIS’ “Holocaust.” The lyrics are great and the material is fine and dandy. An excellent debut.
This LP by an ex-ADOLESCENT has all the pitfalls of the decaying rock scene of the early ’70s—overproduction, solo instrumentation, sappy love songs, and self-indulgence to the max. I hope this doesn’t bode ill for the future direction of the LA punk scene. The lyrics are either romantic, tragic, or suicidal—Leonard Cohen, move over. The weakest release on the normally strong Frontier label.
Mostly stuff you could find on other 45s or compilations, but nice to have with the 12″ sound quality. Title track is the only cut with vocals and is more contemporary; other three cuts—“Mr. Moto,” “Pipeline,” and “Miserlou” are Surf City Specials.
A dozen songs—highly produced punk with pop overtones. Not as frantic as their first EP (two songs are repeats). Southern California suburban angst.
7-song tape for a mere $2.50 from this Arizona HC outfit. Female vocals fronting some really ripping music that doesn’t let up at all. Great value.
A-side is very reminiscent of the earlier DK’s sound—words you can hear, slower but extremely powerful and clear instrumentation. B-side is more thrashed out, and again very strong production. The excitement generated by them at live shows comes across on both cuts. Great graphics too. Should be out domestically on Faulty.
Nowhere as garagey and psychotic as their first EP nor as arty as their cassette in a can. Highly produced with background soundtrack, raw guitar, catchy rhythms.
The two songs on the B-side didn’t do much for me, but the A-side by this NY group is pretty neat. Slowish post-punk, off-beat production, anthemic vocals, a Chris Stamey production.
Really good new LA band. Stop and go thrash style. Great to see a female singer—they used to be real common before macho goons took over. Anyway, a refreshing five-song debut with strong, intelligent lyrics.
Variety pack of styles—one thrasher, two DK’s-type songs, one power-chord rockabilly, one new wave-ish. Mostly political themes.
Brave lads these, hailing from the heart of klan country—Crowley, Louisiana. Real garagy punk, great lyrics, different sound. Front cover has a rebel flag twisted into a swastika, which says it all.
Great, great BYO follow-up release to their sampler LP—thrash with hooks and melodies, plus lyrics urging action, unity and spirit. Influenced by Oi, Dischord bands, SOCIAL DISTORTION, 7 SECONDS, but ultimately this is LA not DC.
Follow-up to This is Boston, Not LA LP. More great raves from JERRY’S KIDS, GANG GREEN, and F.U.’s, and some slower material by GROINOIDS, PROLETARIAT (great put-down of Reagan called “Voodoo Economics”) and the FREEZE’s classic “Refrigerator Heaven” that schizophrenically jumps from slow ’70s rock to thrash.
More medium-paced songs with double-tracked female vocals. Good production, but not real exciting.
Four songs—one hardcore shorty and three more post-punky sounds, none of which are lightweight at all. Very raw, choppy guitars, raspy vocals; slightly dissonant. Along with CHAOTIC DISCHORD, one of the few new UK bands to break the mold.
OK, medium-tempo songs, a bit repetitious, but great lyrics.
Nothing special, not bad either. Basic ’77-style punk.
VICE SQUAD-ish—three medium-paced songs, one fast ‘un. Got the picture?
Generic English punk, but compared to 97% of what is released in the world these days, it’s OK. Everything is relative, right?
Eight songs that combine Oi choruses and DISCHARGE-like lead vocals and guitars with a really fast-paced tempo. Songs are short and sweet. Good first effort. Not to be confused with LA’s infamous MAU MAUS.
Excellent four-song effort, great, powerful sound, fast-paced, what punk is all about. Get it!
No to be confused with the South African punk band of the same name, but will be confused with just about every other recent UK punk band. Know what I mean?
In ’64, Liverpool ruled, but not anymore. Boring.
Second release, pretty ordinary power-chord punk. Bring back early STIFF LITTLE FINGERS.
One cut each by EXPLOITED, CHRON GEN, and INFA-RIOT. All I can say is, “Bring back SHAM 69!” Secret must have the worst taste in punk.
This compilation from the Netherlands features seven bands, the hottest being the OUTLAWS, NITWITZ, and AMSTERDAMNED. Runs the gamut from ’77 punk to full-tilt thrash.
Another one for collectors. Sound quality varies a lot, but contains some unobtainable punk from Poland, Germany, Italy, Finland, etc. Including incredible hardcore from Brazil’s OLHO SECO.
Twelve groups from Scandinavia presenting punk and thrash, including the great TERVEET KÄDET and KAAOS. Finland rules, OK?
26 hardcore punk and abrasive post-punk cuts from Sweden, Finland, Italy, Brazil, Norway, England, and the US. Sound quality varies. A must for those who want to keep up with the worldwide spread of the punk plague.
Doom with a very fast beat. Don’t say that these guys didn’t warn us if someone drops the big one, because this is the second LP (they also have four 7″ers) that hammers away without mercy at the potential hell of nuclear holocaust. The songs here tend to be a bit similar (repetitive riffs and some heavy metal guitar), but the delivery is so powerful, the words so convincingly committed, that it’s a winner. Much like watching a huge fire—horrifying, but riveting at the same time.
Lots of really fast HC stuff here, but you can’t tell what they’re singing about—no lyrics sheet. But maybe it’s better this way. I’m afraid to know what these “geniuses” are saying. Cover says it all.
It’s got those UK punk choruses OK. Straight-ahead delivery, but not as supercharged as their first release.
Your basic English punk here—steady beat, drone guitar, political protest lyrics. B-side “Working Class” is catchy. Good-looking sleeve, but best part is the name of the label.
A better-recorded 11-song follow-up to their first release, but loses speed and rawness in the process. A bit more post-punk influence here, and a bit more repetitive, but still strong.
Cuts by UK groups VICE SQUAD, ORGANIZED CHAOS, ABRASIVE WHEELS, COURT MARTIAL, CHAOS UK, DEAD KATSS, RESISTANCE 77, HAVOC, MAYHEM, EXPELLED, TDA, UNDEAD, LUNATIC FRINGE, CHAOTIC DISCHORD. A few previously released tracks, most not. Pretty good collection. Favorites are by HAVOC and CHAOTIC DISCHORD.
This band successfully combines punk and hardrock, much like early GENERATION X and SUICIDE. Some tasty guitarwork and nice fuzz, one of the few bands to make longer songs tolerable. B-side is weak.
We’re in no position to be objective about this one, since we compiled it. All we’ll say is that it features 47 Northern California and Nevada bands (a few known elsewhere, most not), and ranges from hardcore to garage. All cuts previously unreleased. Comes with 48-page zine on the bands.
An anti-violence compilation from the kids at Better Youth Organization—the folks that put on shows at Godzillas. Features tracks from LA, Santa Barbara and San Diego bands SOCIAL DISTORTION, JONSES, Youth Brigade, AGRESSION, ADOLESCENTS, BLADES, BATTALION OF SAINTS, and BAD RELIGION. Strong album, but not as thrashed-out as one might expect—tending more toward the melodic, but still hard. Great production. Pick it up.
A side of BLACK FLAG’s most commercial song, and features current drummer Emil. B-side’s “I’ve Got to Run” and “My Rules,” sound more like the LP, with fill-in drummer Bill. Production is even cleaner though. Bring back Robo!
Yes, they do have a lot of GANG OF FOUR influence, which often becomes boring. Such is the case with the two B-sides. But the A-side is blessed with a much more raw and aggressive sound—the redeeming side of “post-punk.”
Glad SICK PLEASURE bit the dust, this being a posthumous release—too heavy metal for my taste, with lyrics of equal mentality. CODE OF HONOR side is much better—still traces of metal (Mike Fox being guitarist in both bands) but the thrash cuts are tight, with interesting variations. Jonithin Christ’s (ex-SOCIETY DOG) lyrics and vocals make all the difference here—he’s graduated from nihilism to advocacy of peace, unity, and political action.
Mediocre ’77-style punk, including one song (“White Boy”) about a dumb white guy trying to be as ignorant as some dumb low-rider types. Unfortunately, it’s not a satire, as singer Bob Noxious constantly finds new ways to act out his insecurities and aggression in public. Ignore.
First release from them in two years. Side 1 presents the better aspects of the current line-up: more thrash out songs with good social commentary lyrics. A pleasant surprise. Side 2, on the other hand, is a live recording, and is more typically heavy-handed and nihilistic. At least most of the good songs are all on one side.
This is the obligatory slag review. Basically, this new BAD RELIGION album totally sucks, unless you like slickly produced early ’70s wimp rock. After playing it, I hurled it out the window, into the unknown.
BETTER LIVING’s vocals verge on the psychotic, and they’re enhanced by frantic, spastic instrumental outbreaks. I’ve got to say that this stuff is absolutely berserk and wonderful!
Another Philly area band that provides evidence that a lot is going on in the City of Brotherly Hate. They offer somewhat unoriginal thrash, but perform it well for a young band. The music here isn’t nearly as goofy as their picture in MRR #8.
There’s some genuine sickness here, kids. Some of it’s slow, some fast, some jazzy, some thrashy, but all of it combines BEEFHEART-type weirdness (with slide guitar, even) and twisted punk humor to produce classics like “The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave.”
Totally crude and psychotic garage stuff here. They’ve got amazingly primitive drumming, raw guitars, and lots of super-short outbursts of madness called songs. A delight for NEOS and early HALF JAPANESE fanatics.
A very interesting record. Musically, it’s mostly well-done thrash, with some slower, lighter touches thrown in. It sounds good. Lyrically, it’s an odd combination. There are progressive anti-capitalist (unite against the rich man and his power, manipulation) and anti-racist (don’t let them divide us by color) sentiments. But then there are some glaring contradictions too, such as religious fervor—the blaming of man’s evil (including homosexuality) on Satan, the apocalypse as predicted in the Bible, our need to accept “Him.” Anyone for the People’s Temple?
DEAD HIPPIE present highly produced punk in a variety of styles familiar to Angelenos. Some of their material approximates thrash, some is metallish, and some falls into the horrific death cult genre. I suspect that these people have been around for a while, because there’s more here than can be found on a typical vinyl debut from a previously unknown band.
Hardcore that reminds me a bit of early SOCIAL DISTORTION, CH3, or YOUTH BRIGADE, while still retaining its distinctiveness. The DETONATORS use harmonies and what appears to be an acoustic-sounding guitar in their medium-to-fast-tempo songs, yet they have a lot of power and a certain edge. This album contains the classic “Do You Understand.” Great lyrics, too.
The title song here is a minor classic, and it sets the pace for a very high-speed record. Most of it is pretty good, although the drummer can’t quite seem to keep up with it all.
A blistering thrash attack, matched by very intelligent lyrics. These guys really shred, and their material belies the current clichés about “mindless anti-government” punk rock that are bandied about in some circles.
A very well-recorded and interesting release. Some of it is thrashed-out, but it mutates into several styles—heavy metal, jazz, power pop—without falling apart at the seems. The title song is a real standout.
The second EP from this New York group, and it’s really quite powerful. There are only three songs, but each is delivered with strength and seeming conviction, with lyrics of a positive but militant nature. Dynamite.
Solid medium-to-fast-paced punk. The song titles are also in the older idiot punk mold—”She Won’t Cum,” “Jerk Off,” “Bust Yer Face,” etc. Hmmm.
Pretty intelligent stuff from this Modesto, CA band (no relation to North Carolina’s NO LABELS). Their music is bass-heavy, slower, and fuzzed-out. Interesting.
Well-done—but fairly standard—thrash. NO DIRECTION’s lyrics cover a wide range of subjects and, compared to what’s generally available in America’s stifling heartland, they’re a breath of crisp, cool air.
These two Seattle bands have a side each to get across their points. Live, the REJECTORS are the stronger band, but on this record they lack a certain explosiveness and come off a bit generic. On the other hand, the ACCUSED seem to have more snarl, zip, and variety here. Oh yeah, you’ll also learn why all Seattle punks say “do the Frog.”
This band contains some former members of Y.I.A. The vocals and lyrics are the most noteworthy qualities, as the music tends to lack a certain zip. “Sid Is Dead” is a classic cut, though.
Not as dumb as the title might indicate. Most of the lyrics are typically “hardcore,” as is the music, most likely due to the fact that this is a brand new band (featuring Orlando on vocals). There’s one hilarious song here called “Maggots,” which is a real horror show.
These L.A. STAINS have been around for quite awhile, but they’ve only now gotten around to putting out vinyl of their own. It’s hard-hitting thrash with a lot of metal influences, including sledgehammer rhythms and lead solos. I was expecting more of the slower metal-type songs, but this record kicks ass. Not to be confused with the Texas STAINS (now MDC).
Slowish punk in a CRASS-like style, done exceedingly well. Their sound is minimal and cleanly produced, and there’s some great moody guitar work. For more info on TRIAL, see the report under “Northern California” in this issue.
The psychedelic sixties, maaan. These guys are from the slightly goofy school, mostly in the SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET/SYNDICATE OF SOUND mold. They have Americanized Jagger vocals, psych guitar, and then lots of bubbly percussion, which gives the record a lighter sound than the punkier stuff I love.
Although the sound quality varies, this is one of those must-have regional compilations. There are plenty of keen tracks here from the likes of DIE KREUZEN, SACRED ORDER, the TAR BABIES, NO, MECHT MENSCH, the CLITBOYS, S.U.M., the CRUSTIES, and many more.
In general, this is much stronger than the first Eastern Front compilation album, especially in the production department. There are good performances by WASTED YOUTH, JFA, CH3, the FARTZ, CIRCLE ONE, BATTALION OF SAINTS, FREE BEER, the LEWD, and England’s CHRON GEN. The only drawback (again!) is the lack of an info sheet on the bands.
Nine bands from all over the US are featured on this compilation tape from a new alternative label. Most of them are in the thrash vein—the CLITBOYS, VIOLATION, the VATICAN COMMANDOS, POISON CENTER, the SKOUNDRELZ, EAT THE RICH, and CULTURAL BREAKTHROUGH—but MR. EPP appears to provide some humor and variation. Good show.
Bizarre! Who is this? The METEORS? The liner notes create a mystery, stating that this is a genuine ’60s band that just happened to do songs later covered by the CRAMPS, but I doubt that. Whatever, this modern psychobilly release definitely outdoes the CRAMPS by presenting even more frantic renditions of “Love Me,” etc. Great!
I was about to term this drum and vocal combination as a real innovation in punk till I remembered SF’s NOH MERCY, who did it years ago. Actually, I think the latter’s approach was more exciting than this, because D&V’s drumming tends to be quite repetitive, and the vocals are too poetic and even in their delivery. Still, it’s refreshing because it’s different.
Mostly all mid-tempo punk (save two thrashers), this album contains several tracks off their 7″ers, and some new material. None of it immediately grabs me, perhaps because of the accent on production, leaving a sterile-sounding product devoid of real commitment and excitement.
It’s not always fair to make comparisons with well-known bands, but in this case the sound is just too close to let it slide. The fast tempos, metallic guitars, lyrics, and vocal delivery all add up to… GBH, so decide on that basis.
The A-side reminds me a lot of something the SOFT BOYS might have put out. It’s almost the punk equivalent of folk rock, which is not to say it’s no good because it’s actually very catchy. The flip is sort of a poor man’s WIRE—stripped down post-punk with a bit of tension, but lacking enough build-up.
Powerful slow-to-medium-tempo punk. Some of the music almost ranges into rock, but OMEGA TRIBE always retain their distinctive guitar riffing and overall impact. Lyrically, they are in the “Peace and Freedom” school of punk, constantly stating their amazement at mankind’s total idiocy. The great “Man Made” exemplifies that logical standpoint.
A whole LP’s worth of this veteran group’s pop-punk style. It’s got very melodic singing, classic early punk power-chording, and incredibly incisive lyrics, all of which add up to a refreshing change of pace. I can’t help but like them.
Slow-to-medium-tempo stuff with no special spunk. “State Control” has a great memorable chorus, but the sluggish drumming holds ONSLAUGHT back.
Trad punk bands like this are best taken in small doses on 7″er instead of entire albums. “In the Future” is weak, “Society’s Fodder” really picks up the pace, and “Friday Night Hero” tops it off with great power. All the songs express progressive and hopeful sentiments, though.
There’s a little bit of everything here. First, there’s a little punk, some acoustic “pretty” music interspersed throughout, and some moodier post-punk stuff too. Some of it reminds me of pre-punk rock groups like the STRAWBS. In any case, the punk material here is mostly mid-to-slow-tempo, rhythm-oriented, and not very fiery.
This GEPØPEL tape is a one-man production. Niels de Wid played all the instruments on these eight songs, and also made the booklet. It’s interesting high-speed thrash (not unlike CRASS), interspersed with all sorts of weirdness and effects. Now, he’s found more band members, so the next GEPØPEL release should be even more solid.
Eleven more great songs from this Canadian unit. With their wicked delivery and tight, imaginative arrangements, these guys constitute one of the more talented young bands around today. Most of the songs are thrashers, but there’s some real weirdness in the vocals.
A weird juxtaposition of thrash and post-punk styles can be found within individual songs here. Sometimes it works well; at other times, it seems a bit awkward, especially when they lapse into an almost folk-rock style. Still, SILENT MAJORITY comes up with a new angle, and that’s what makes them interesting.
An excellent skatepunk band from Sweden. SLAM delivers solidly produced medium/fast thrash with bone-crunching guitars. Real cool.
Another compilation tape from Italy. This one includes material by I REFUSE IT, the CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS, PUTRID FEVER, INDIGESTI, CHELSEA HOTEL, PSA, NABAT, and RAW POWER. Tape compilations seem to be the rage over there, presumably due to the high price of pressing records. Not surprisingly, the quality varies considerably.
This tape has some wicked shit from seven hot Italian bands, including PRAVDA, SOGLIA DEL DOLORE, I REFUSE IT, WARFARE, IMPACT, OBSESSIONE, and the WRONG BOYS. Truly excellent.
A live recording of what must have been an incredible show. The bands that appeared were the WRETCHED, TOXICAL WARFARE, PLASTIC SURGERY, UPSET NOISE, EU’S ARSE, ISOLATION, 5° BRACCIO, and IMPACT. The sound quality is predictably spotty, but the excitement comes through.
Side 1 of this compilation EP features RIVOLTA DELL’ODIO, who are sort of a sparser version of CRASS; the flip presents CRACKED HIRN, who have a fuller sound which is nevertheless extremely raw. Both bands share an anarchist/pacifist outlook, as have all the other bands on this label’s two earlier releases.
Four thrash bands at various levels of proficiency, recorded live at Ljubljana’s first-ever hardcore gig (see the Yugoslav report for more details). STRES D.A. are particularly awesome. A collector’s item, to say the least.
Though released by an American label, this tape features some of Italy’s most awesome bands. There are plenty of cuts each by 5° BRACCIO, RAW POWER, the WRETCHED, INDIGESTI, STAZIONE SUICIDA, RAPPRESAGLIA, and CRASH BOX. A great introduction to a lot of hard-to-get material at a cheap price.
Another Italian compilation on vinyl. It contains a few great thrash tracks by the WOPS, RAW POWER, UART PUNK, and the WRONG BOYS; DRULL, the U.D.S., PETROLIO, and LAST CALL provide some less interesting older-style punk. All in all, it’s pretty good, and it’s worth buying just for RAW POWER’s songs.
Fourteen different bands demonstrate that Sweden has become one of the most intense centers for hardcore music in Europe, along with Finland, Holland, and Italy. There’s some killer thrash here from the likes of HUVUDTVÄTT (the HEADCLEANERS), DNA, MISSBRUKARNA, ANTI-CIMEX, and others. It’s also got a neat folding sleeve, so order it today.
A historical curiosity more than a musical necessity. This band went on to become CODE OF HONOR with the addition of a new singer, and evolved out of the TOOLS and X-ILES. SICK PLEASURE’s vocalist is now in VERBAL ABUSE. The music here is metallic thrash punk that sings the praises of shooting speed, killing parents, and mental breakdowns; the dark side of the SF scene.
A Chicago-area compilation with lots of styles represented. There’s plenty of thrash, some experimental stuff, and some punky pop. The sound quality isn’t the best, which tends to hurt the impact of some of these groups, but garage outfits like EVIL EYE benefit thereby. The other bands are BLOODY NAILS, NEGATIVE ELEMENT (now defunct), END RESULT, POLITICAL JUSTICE, VERBOTEN, the SEISMIC WAVES, KGB, GROAN BOX, ROTA, AOF, the ANTI-BODIES, BLOODY MURDER, NO RELATION, and ONO.
The third in the Life Is series. This one’s got two live GERMS classics to its credit, plus neat stuff by the MINUTEMEN, MODERN WARFARE, ANTI, MOOD OF DEFIANCE, HARI KARI, SIN 34, ARTISTIC DECLINE, and MODERN TORTURE. REDD KROSS disappoint with their “metal” number, and SHATTERED FAITH is so-so. Then there are nine more bands that get into electronics, folk, jazz, etc., for the adventurous.
An insistent, demanding political thrash attack that seems to come from the heart. Releases like this remind me that high-quality stuff can still emerge from England. Get it today!
This record is better than a lot of the LPs being produced by the most recent generations of British punk bands. The guitar-enhancing production here is up to the usual UK standard, but these guys have more energy than most of their plodding contemporaries. On the other hand, the lyrics aren’t too interesting.
“Toleration Street” is barely tolerable pop/punk/rock; the B-side isn’t at all tolerable. Enough said.
Both sides have a slight HEARTBREAKERS rock ’n’ roll feel, with punkier drumming and some sharp guitar work. Unfortunately, the lyrics would make Johnny Thunders look like a paragon of enlightenment.
A four-songer, much harder and more thrashed-out than their first excellent release. Once again, it’s well done, but also somewhat on the metal side of punk. My favorite cut is “Genius as Thief,” a real bone-cruncher.
Three songs in the old Texas ’60s psychedelic vein. This could be either a reissue or boot of a vintage group, or a new band with a great sense of history, but it sounds really cool. Musically, it isn’t the frantic punky stuff; it’s more of a DOORS-type sound, organ and all.
Snarly vocals over slower, nasty punk. There’s a tinge of “horror” rock here, mostly satirical, as well as some fine, intelligent lyrics. Once again, a nice change of pace from Toxic Shock.
You’ve got to know by now what SOCIAL DISTORTION sound like—those distinctive vocals, the harmonies, the rockin’ guitars, and melodic hooks galore. Their album is filled with more of the same. Nothing here is too frantic except “The Creeps,” which really blazes forth. There’s precious little exciting punky-pop around these days, but this is one of the rare examples of it.
Wicked! A totally ferocious thrash attack, enhanced here by the poor sound quality. Sometimes that special garage quality is a plus, as with SUBURBAN MUTILATION. The lyrics here are also delivered with commitment and intelligence, making this an all-around treat.
Slow, intense, fuzzed-out hardcore with lots of feedback, sort of in the FANG or FLIPPER vein. There’s something really menacing and cool about this tape, which contains fifteen songs recorded live.
Hey, are these guys selling out? On this latest tape from Norb and company, you can actually hear the music and stuff. And it still sounds like shit! No, actually it’s still manic, noisy, and psychotic Midwestern thrash with real class. Get a copy today!
Latest from one-time MISFIT Bobby Steele. The line-up on this release is now defunct, as Bobby moved to SF, linked up with Olga of LEWD, and is moving to LA. A-side is pretty powerful punk, of the mid-tempo variety, right up Jack Rabid’s alley. B is even slower.
A new bootleg-quality release of a vintage VELVET UNDERGROUND performance in Cleveland. The VELVETS are undoubtedly my favorite group of all time, so I can’t be too objective. Suffice it to say that this record contains some real rarities—songs unreleased in any form—and some of Lou Reed’s most manic, dissonant, and nerve-wracking guitar work ever.
Some old-fashioned ’77-style garage punk with dumb lyrics and everything. Totally ridiculous and enjoyable.
To quote Pushead, the music here “storms out detonating gusts of energetic exertion, wild euphoria flailing in rapid determination waiting to explode.” The lyrics, on the other hand, tread a fine line between obnoxious satire and mindless reaction, and after conducting an interview with them in which they stated “America rules” in all seriousness, adding that immigrants entered the US because they were “too dumb to run their own governments,” it’s all too apparent that theirs is a regressive mentality better suited to fraternity jocks than so-called punks.
This six-songer varies from great to exceptional thrash. Well, maybe one cut drags a bit (“Society”), but the rest really rip. Unconditionally recommended.
GG apparently has a new band this time around, and I can’t say I’m particularly crazy about them. Instead of his earlier ’60s garage punk sound, he now has more of a late ’60s metal sound, solos and all. Idiotic and poorly recorded.
Jeff was blasting this from his room the other day while I was trying to sleep. Next day I asked him what that was, cause it sounded great, even though I should have been pissed. He felt it was pretty generic, so I went back and listened to it. Generic or not, this fucking wails! Guess he needed the sleep!
The new RIOT SQUAD release features mostly faster songs. The super raw guitars are the best part; unfortunately, the drumming seems to hold back their momentum a bit. Not bad.
Fast punk and thrash that’s well-produced and snappy. The guitars sound great here (as they do on most English recordings), and the songs have that little extra something that makes them memorable. A pretty good album from the UK.
Eighteen previously unrecorded young bands that range from ’77-style punk to thrash to current Britpunk to Oi. The quality of the material and sound varies, but most of it is absurdly predictable. I like SOLVENT ABUSE, the ABORTED, and DEVOID the most, but there certainly aren’t any classics here.
Well, hardcore thrash it’s not! KOSILI play older-style punk that’s quirky and sort of funny-sounding. The lyrics are probably funny too, but they’re in German and Italian so I don’t know for sure. That’s probably to be expected though, because these guys hail from the rarified atmosphere of the Swiss Alps.
Two bands share this 7” slab. EU’S ARSE, who have a previous release, combine breakneck DISCHARGE-like repetitive riffs with unlikely-sounding vocals that suggest a poet gone berserk. IMPACT add a bit more variety, including fuzzier guitars and raspy vocals that mesh better.
Medium-to-fast-tempo punk, with a bit of thrash thrown in for good measure. This live record is well recorded, and the band displays good musicianship, some neat guitar work, and strong vocals. On this record NO TAG succeeds in shedding their previous Oi approach, a change for the better.
Hard-driving melodic rock meets punk. The NILS remind me a bit of the WIPERS, in terms of the vocal qualities, the heavy guitar orientation, and the hooklines. A nice change of pace.
Highly political hardcore with a raw edge. The sound quality on this tape is pretty mediocre, so it’s not the best opportunity to judge this band, but they sound pretty repetitive here.
God, how many hot hardcore bands can there be in Italy? Here’s another ten-song power release, mostly in an American-style stop-and-go thrash mode. The lyrics are overtly political.
Ten songs of a political nature, most of which are pretty long (perhaps too long). The music is eclectic and rockish, incorporating funk, pop, jazz, etc.
One of Germany’s better bands follows their 12”er with another mixture of thrash and punk. All of it is competent, and some of it is especially moving. I love the cut entitled “The End,” which is moody and scary until all hell breaks loose. As the UPRIGHT CITIZENS say, “fuck their wars.”
Eight bands from Ottawa and possibly Quebec. Some are thrash (OUTBREAK, HERGS CORPS), some are punk (RANDY PETERS, MODERNES PICKLES), one is garage (the LAST PRAYERS), and the rest are experimental or HALF JAPANESE-type noise bands. Another eclectic regional compilation for the archives.
From 1977-79, the AVENGERS were the quintessential SF punk band. Fronted by the electrifying Penelope Houston and powered by Greg Ingraham’s amazing guitar playing, they were far ahead of their time and, like many others in that situation, unable to stay together. Finally, this 14-song memento has been released for those poor unfortunates who never saw them live in their heyday, never got their first 7″ EP (included here), and/or never got their 12″ EP (alternative versions included here). Other tracks include unreleased studio outtakes and an incredible live version of “Fuck You” that totally destroys. A must.
Nine bands, only one of which—ZMIV—appeared on the Als Je Haar… compilation reviewed last issue. Yet all of these bands are terrific as well, and indicate the depth of the new Dutch hardcore scene. On this 70-song tape of varying sound quality, one can hear the SQUITS, LÄRM, ZWEETKUTTEN, the VIKINGS, STANX, GLORIOUS DEATH, KNAX, and LA RESISTANCE.
From the City of Brotherly Love comes this great compilation. It features a few songs from ten bands (see the Philly scene report for a list), and includes all kinds of modern punk sounds. There’s out-and-out thrash, quirky punk, slower punk, faster punk, jazzy punk, etc. Mandatory listening.
Double-LP, to be exact. Out at last, seemingly a year in the making, it features 19 bands, most from the Midwest, and a few from the East. There’s some great stuff, so so-so stuff, and lost of variety in aggressive, abrasive punk styles. It’ll take too long to run down who does what, but you’ll undoubtedly find out for yourself, as it’s really affordable, and definitely necessary. But it’s murder on disc jockeys (finding the correct tracks).
This great band from Japan has been putting out records since 1979 (five 7″ers, one 12″ EP, and two LPs), but they’ve somehow escaped notice in the West until now. Their latest picture disc album is amazing, like those of the best Finnish bands. The slower songs are wickedly powerful and tuneful, with great wrenching guitar work, and the more numerous thrashers are awesome. Plus, Japanese production is the best in the world, so order them when Rough Trade begins distributing them.
The STILLBORN CHRISTIANS, NO LABELS, BLOODMOBILE, and COC contribute about three songs each to this exceptional testimony to the variety and power of the North Carolina hardcore scene. Don’t miss out.
Mediocre production hurts this otherwise intense thrash attack. There aren’t any musical surprises, but it’s delivered with exceptional power, and that makes all the difference. Good debut.
Thrash with a weird metallic sound to it, almost like an electrified acoustic guitar or bass. Sometimes it seems overcrowded—too much noise at once, too repetitive. The slower thrash numbers have more impact on this new cassette, but personally I like their first tape better.
A fine tape’s worth here. It reminds me of what a cross between 7 SECONDS and the VANDALS would sound like. I really go for it in a big way. DERANGED DICTION is originally from Missoula, Montana, but they’ve relocated to Seattle.
I seem to be having a flashback. Is this early PINK FLOYD? The WATCHBAND? No, it’s a current band that’s gradually become more original and biting than those LA copycat psych groups. The guitar etches notes green and purple inside my brain. Please shut the window.
These guys might be punk’s answer to FRANK ZAPPA. The music ranges from garage punk to heavy metal to metal-punk to rock to thrash to experimental stuff to just plain ridiculousness, and is interspersed with talking, interviews, and blank space. This album is simultaneously imaginative, challenging, and dumb beyond belief.
Five varied hardcore bands appear on this Nevada sampler. SUBTERFUGE play mid-tempo British-style punk; TWISTED MORALS OF AMERICA have a slow hard sound with a wicked raw guitar; the infamous MIA (who’ve recently reformed) employ their furious thrash attack; F-8 sound primarily like full-on DISCHARGE; and SELF-ABUSE attend the 7 SECONDS school of tuneful thrash. Great!
There are eleven bands on this latest compilation from Chainsaw fanzine, mainly from New York state and Pennsylvania. It contains a lot of thrash, some punk, and some art/noise material. The musical competence varies from band to band, but most are good. They include the REVENGERS, NO THANKS, SOCIAL DISEASE, WASTED TALENT, the FATALITIES, SUBURBAN AGGRESSION, SMERSH, CRACKED ACTOR, NOTA, and others.
The second BOMB SQUAD release really kicks ass. It features some killer older-style punk and some more thrashed-out numbers, all of which are delivered with zeal and commitment, as are the lyrics. This semi-obscure band does it right!
This sounds like a live recording because it’s hard to pick out much detail. Nonetheless, B.I.U. deliver a strong thrash onslaught with thoughtful political lyrics. I’d like to see these characters get into a studio.
Eight new songs from the band that previously released the classic All Rock Stars Should Be Drafted EP. Side one features six short, punchy, creative thrash-style numbers, while the flip has two longer, slower, and more experimental songs. A creative outfit.
More of that pop-punk sound so characteristic of LA’s Poshboy Label. The production quality contributes to CH3’s powerful overall delivery, and the songs are as catchy as usual. I’m not too thrilled by the romantic themes that appear here, and it’s depressing that another new band is covering a sexist STONES song, but this album is pretty entertaining.
Now these San Jose guys really shredded. They were among the kings of ’60s raunch rock, excelling at straight-on ’60s punk, psychedelic freak-outs, and atmospheric folk-rock. Whatever, this album is all super-cool (except for “Misty Lane” and “Tender Trap”), sort of like the early STONES. Go out and get it.
Three songs, three styles—rock ’n’ roll punk on the title cut, folk-heavy metal-punk on “Communisty,” and thrash on “California.” All are produced well and performed well, though they might be a tad too clean for THE END’s garage approach. A good basic release.
Like their cool debut EP, JFA’s album is chock full of super enjoyable thrash tunes. Their songs, whether high-speed blasts or the occasional surf-style instrumental like “Baja,” are perfect for hot fun in the sun—skateboarding, surfing, drag racing and, of course, slamming and skanking. The main improvement here lies in the area of production—the guitar has more edge this time around. Even though they’re from Arizona, JFA are the California beach band of the ’80s.
This tape contains fourteen songs that shred musically and lyrically. It’s an all-out thrash attack that I highly recommend.
Garage punk (the instrumentation) meets early SoCal surf punk (the vocals), drops acid (the production), and voila! I really like this seven-song debut.
A good tape with original, intense thrash. The lyrics are pretty dark and depressing, but somehow they don’t crush you down, maybe because they’re obliterated by the screaming fuzzed-out guitar.
As with their first record, the sound here is tight and raw, and the vocals rip. And as with the first EP, there are some good lyrics and some real losers—“Portland” and “Full of Hate” are sound critiques of politics, but “No Ⓐ” perpetuates the common misinterpretation of anarchy as a lack of order, and “She’s a Slut” exemplifies the old double standard at work.
Four new songs that come enclosed in a well-researched and informative fold-out sleeve. The music is in MDC’s intense, complex, stop-on-a-dime thrash style, but the vocals have developed into an amalgam of rap and hardcore phrasings. This latest assault by one of the world’s leading political bands, in terms of both beliefs and commitment, is strengthened by excellent production.
This sounds like ’79-style US punk with Debbie Harry singing. Most of the cuts put me off, mainly because of the poppy vocals, but I do like “Gimme More Distortion.”
Great tape! Some of it is slow, painful FLIPPER-ish noise, and the rest is manic. There’s a helluva lot of feedback, whether droning or thrashing, and the vocals are cool. And how can you hate a band that loves to bowl?
A strong three-track outing that displays more ’60s punk influences than I’ve heard in them before. The title song and “Not Now Generation” are hammering metal punk efforts that remind me slightly of what the STOOGES might sound like today; the other number (CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL’s “Fortunate Son”) is the most obvious ’60s connection.
The usual excellent Poshboy production adds to the impact of this Northern California punky-pop band. They have a powerful clean sound in the CH3 vein. The songs aren’t real short, but they don’t drag at all. All in all, a fine album.
The GANG OF FOUR is the obvious reference point, but these guys add a more powerful and raw guitar sound to the funk rhythms, and occasionally break into more thrashy structures. The recording is excellent.
It’s garage tape time. That term applies to both the sound quality and the thematic humor. SOCIAL REVENGE isn’t real tight, but they’re fun.
A mixture of fast and slow hardcore from a Wisconsin aggregation with a close relationship to the TAR BABIES. The arrangements are fairly complex, like those of DIE KREUZEN, and my fave cut is “Land of the Brave.” Watch for an upcoming TAR BABIES disc.
More varied and experimental than their previous outings, and it suffers for it. Overall, it’s not nearly as powerful or rocking; there are several bluesy or countrified numbers in place of their standard raw blasts. The standout cut is “You Lose,” which is great, infectious, and innovative rock ’n’ roll, with a bassline right out of the MOVE’s repertoire.
Instrumentally, SECRET HATE utilizes an interesting variety of thrash tempos, although two songs have a Latin or funk influence. The lyrics are appropriately vague and cryptic, a New Alliance trademark.
Competent thrash with a quirky edge, but the lyrics… yuk. “4 X the Fun,” like the cover art and the band name, revolve around the joys of gang rape. I suppose it’s just another punk “joke,” but in the offensive 6th grade style.
Flying in the face of the anti-political, anti-peace reaction, ANTI fearlessly display a peace sign and a V-symbol on the cover of their second album. The lyrics continue the counterattack, meshing both general and personal politics to form an intelligent complement for their attack. The sound here is more refined and harmonic than that on their last outing, sort of like early CHANNEL 3.
An excellent album by this long-standing Austin band. Solid production enhances the many musical styles this group bashes out with ease—thrash, funk, punk, pop, ballads, you name it. The words are barbed and confrontational, and Biscuit’s singing reminds me a lot of the UNDERTONES’ raspy vocalist. It’s a good ’un.
This is a bit better than the other UK records I was assigned this time. It contains some thrash and some older-style punk, all of which is delivered with considerable power. Personally, I like the live tracks best—they have a totally industrial quality to them, sort of like hardcore meets THROBBING GRISTLE.
A pretty unremarkable release. All three songs are in the ’78 UK style and, though they’re adequately performed, no real enthusiasm is displayed and no cuts really stand out.
Good latest effort by this metal-punk outfit that’s quickly gathering a bad rep as having an advanced stage of “Rockstaritis.” The B-side is especially strong and well produced.
Oh yeah? You must have lost it all before you recorded this. Actually, it’s not that bad at all—I just couldn’t resist. There are a few decent “skunk” tracks here, but most plod along with no special spark.
Now here’s an English band and record that I do like. All of this material has that special feel of intelligence and commitment, whether the rock ’n’ roll of the title track, the thrash of “Not Me,” of the power-chording of the unlisted track. One of the best, no doubt about it.
A well produced yet raw rhythm-heavy band with a garage feel, not unlike their fellow countrymen, the SUBHUMANS. The lyrics are all political, and are best summed up by their name, which means a “renunciation of previous beliefs, religion…”
Another new Dutch band that seems to be more influenced by American thrash than UK punk styles. Although the recording quality isn’t the best—there’s one studio side and one live side—it’s good enough to reveal the ASPERITYS as a fine group with a lot of potential.
Some plodding German punk and then—wham!—some super-frenetic thrash. Two singers share vocal duties, and the woman really wails. There’s some great stuff here, and I highly recommend over half of this record.
This Canadian LP has been out for a while, eh. But it’s finally gonna get the distribution it deserves, eh. Mostly, it’s great, tight thrash with a few slower metallic DOA-type songs, eh. But the real joy of it is the totally satirical and retarded nature of the words, lampooning just about everyone, eh. Get it, eh.
Six songs that rage at the listener. There’s a lot of MINOR THREAT influence here, in that the songs are delivered with incredible force but have melodies and hooks galore. Great stuff that must be heard.
Two of these songs by Iceland’s ÞEYR are pretty lightweight experimental numbers, but one (“Positive Affirmations”) makes this EP worth buying—it’s real fast-paced post-punk with raw guitars, great drumming, and THROBBING GRISTLE-like industrialized vocals.
New material from some of the people formerly in South Africa’s RIOT SQUAD. Once again, the songs are vitriolic critiques of that country’s apartheid police state regime. The music consists of older-style punk and reggae, and the five RIOT SQUAD songs from the EP are also included.
This band is aptly named—they’re one of the best I’ve heard from Europe. They present a tight all-out thrash assault with powerhouse instrumentation. Go for this today!
Four songs in the thrash/Oi style, faster than most but not as fast as the EXPLOITED. Two songs are in English, and their titles—”Riot in the Street” and “Abuse of Power”—give an indication of ROUGH’s thematic concerns.
Jeff, the next time you assign me to review some so-so ’77 sounding UK stuff, you better make sure it’s a 45, or I’m gonna force to sit in your room and listen to it at full volume.
When STAZIONE SUICIDA thrash, it’s a wicked noise they make. Unfortunately, they get bogged down too often in horrific post-punk depresso stuff that doesn’t do much for me. Great singer, though.
A 12-song debut that showcases a basic thrash sound. In this instance, the fast cuts work a lot better than the ones that start slow and build up. There’s something lacking here, like a spark, but it’s still worth a listen.
23 songs by eight of Holland’s many great thrash and punk bands. The bands include PANDEMONIUM, the HAEMORRHOIDS, ZMIV, the OUTLAWZ, NULL-A, the LAST FEW, the AMSTERDAMNED, and BGK (who have an incredibly hot debut LP of their own out), and there isn’t one lame track here. Get this today!
Side one is real mediocre, with DIOXINA’s standard slow UK punk and a ska tune by ARRM, but side two is killer. ARRM returns with some blistering stuff, NABAT showcases some fast Oi, and RAPPRESAGLIA rips out strong thrash.
Seven bands appear on this compilation put together by Finland’s Kaaos fanzine. It contains some studio demos and some live recordings, and includes both better-known bands (TERVEET KÄDET, the BASTARDS, RIISTETYT, KAAOS) and newer up-and-coming groups like PROTESTI, TAMPERE SS, and FUCKING FINLAND. Uneven but worthwhile.
This isn’t as musically thrashed out as their great 7″ debut, but it’s still powerful as hell; in that sense, it parallels the direction that SS DECONTROL are charting out. The production here is also much improved. I’ve got a feeling that WHITE CROSS will never be as good on record as I hear they are live, but this is still a necessary addition to anyone’s hardcore collection.
One of the most powerful new groups I’ve heard from SoCal. It’s head-on thrash meets SOCIAL DISTORTION. The production is great, and it doesn’t hurt that their lyrical commitment matches the intensity of the music.
Uncompromising lyrics from this band that contains former NO THANKS guitarist Rob Urie. The music is disjointed thrash.
Medium-speed thrash, with an occasionally quirky guitar. The vocals sound a bit like YOUTH BRIGADE and X. Good challenging lyrics.
A great, great tape. I hope they release it as a record ’cause it’s as good as thrash comes. By now, you should have picked up the No Core compilation, so you’ll have some idea what they sound like.
An awesome Austin band that includes ex-MDC bassist Mike. Their music reflects that to a certain degree, but there is also a classical thrash/punk feel to this tape, not unlike MINOR THREAT and 7 SECONDS. It’s much faster than their earlier single, so watch for new vinyl this summer.
Minimal production and instrumentation set the tone for this garage release. It sounds like classic ’77 material, dumb lyrics and all. Charming, in a retarded sort of way.
An unusual band. Amidst the thrash, there’s some post-punk influence, but not the lightweight, arty type. This tape features interesting, driving arrangements; tight, innovative playing; and a male/female singing combo that is very different.
A five-song debut by this Metropolitan-area thrash outfit. Musically, it’s not exceptional, but it has a high level of intensity that’s enhanced by a tough female singer who spits out some challenging words.
This thrash band’s main distinction is that they take old songs (like “N.S.U.,” the title cut, and “Do You Love Me?”) and thrash ’em out to the max. Entertaining.
SIN 34’s long-awaited debut album is finally here, and it’s been worth the wait. There are some serious songs and some hilarious ones, but the main difference between this release and their debut EP is the vastly-improved production. At times, these characters remind me of what the AVENGERS might have sounded like had they encountered thrash. Real neat.
An eight-song effort by this new half-male, half-female band. The vocals sound like those of the WRECKS; musically, it’s a mixture of garage punk and thrash. There’s lots of potential and great lyrics here. Plenty feisty.
The metal side of hardcore, with occasional ventures into thrash. The guitar and drums are “heavy,” but it moves nonetheless.
Three songs, sometimes FLIPPER-ish, sometimes minimalist post-punk. The lyrics are in the depressing JOY DIVISION vein.
BURNT are out of the contemporary BLACK FLAG mold, but even more metalish.
Former members of KARNAGE team up with new people and strike out in a new direction. It sorta reminds me of the new SoCal psychedelic bands, with some PiL, FLIPPER, and ADOLESCENTS aspects.
Not quite thrash, not quite punk, not quite rock ’n’ roll, not quite identifiable, but strongly delivered. Jello says they’re great live.
Sixteen tracks from yet another group with this name. Like the Boston version, this one plays totally vicious, manic, and tight thrash, the kind associated with the East Coast. Amazingly, these guys hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
This is one foot out of the heavy metal graveyard. It’s like a cross between FEAR and the DICTATORS, both instrumentally and vocally.
I don’t share Jeff’s fascination with scatological humor, but I really do like the music here. Side one is a remixed and remastered version of their Blud Sausage EP, and it’s powerful as hell. The other side, which features live cuts, is also of superior production quality. All in all, not bad for an “old man” like Tesco.
“Neutron Bomb” and “Forces of Law” are both OK, the first being the stronger of the two. The mix is really weird—the vocals and snare drum are way up front, while the guitar is in the background. “Wild Thing” is… well, you’ve probably heard that song by now.
A five-track 12″ of classic garage punk. You don’t find too much of this stuff around anymore. Retarded, melodic, and real raunchy. The cartoon cover is cool.
Good-sounding record. One side is highly produced thrash; the other is post-punk, but with an edge. The female vocalist screeches out songs that mostly assert that life is ugly.
Older-style punk, aggressively done with inflections of thrash, Oi, and metal to break the overall medium-tempo feel. The vocals are literally spit out, and the high quality production gives the power chording a PISTOLS quality.
There’s nothing exceptional musically here—just OK thrash. The lyrics, unless intended as satire, have a naive quality that evokes ’60s optimism. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting jaded.
A four-song demo from a young Berkeley band. It ranges from thrash to classical punk, all done with flair and originality. Great start.
Garden-variety thrash from the Sacramento valley region. There are some sparks of originality, and “Tim’s in the Marines (And He Can’t Get Out)” is done in such a regimented, repetitive manner that you can fully understand his plight.
Pretty good fast thrash, with some funny songs like “No Swimming in this Pool” and “Smoke Pot and Die.”
This album features a lot of thrashers, but there are a few metallish and/or mood songs, and one bluesy thang. The lyrics are very provocative, covering nukes, parents, society, genocide, computers, and in-scene backstabbing. It’s even got gut-wrenching liner notes by Malcolm X (no relation to Geza). Go for it.
Another classic. A five-song thrasher that’s delivered like a one-two punch. The lyrics are good, whether political or just downright ridiculous. Check out “I Hate My Toes” because “they’re dirty, they stink… they’re ugly and pink.” Really hilarious.
A 15-song tape that isn’t for sale. At times, it reminds me of Fresno’s CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, with its extremely gruff vocals and all-out thrash attack. Unrelenting and excellent, so wait for future releases.
Sorry, Mykel, but at best (worst) this record is so-so. G.G. ALLIN is good, the FUCK-UPS are the FUCK-UPS, ART is interesting, and the experimental and pop cuts could have been a lot worse. Even the liner notes didn’t incite me to slag. The best part may be the plastic barf on the cover. (Note: half of the material here has already been released.)
A compilation of ’60s Texas punk and psychedelic bands. There’s lots of good stuff here, including some real obscurities like the GREAT BELIEVERS, A-440, the THINGS, etc. If by chance you’ve already picked up Mindrocker vol. 4, then pass this up because there’s only a four-song difference, and the sound quality isn’t as good on this.
Seven NYC bands cram cuts into this 7″er put out by Javi of Big City zine. All are either current, or recently split-up, and all thrash out to the max. The bands include XKI, the BETRAYED, ULTRA VIOLENCE, NO THANKS, the ARMED CITIZENS, FATHEAD SUBURBIA, and SAVAGE CIRCLE.
Columbus, Indiana, that is. There are four bands here, KILLING CHILDREN being the most proficient and thrashed-out. The others—the PATTERN, ANDROPOV’S ASSASSINS, and studio group COLBY—are definitely on the garage side of life. They have that unmistakable Midwest flair, best exemplified by the PATTERNS’ classic “Burger Palace of Death.”
A great collection of San Diego-area bands. Some are current, some are long gone, some are punk, some are thrash, all are raw. The bands include 5051, CATCH 22, BATTALION OF SAINTS, SACRED LIES, the MORAL MAJORITY, the INJECTIONS, the SKULLBUSTERS, etc.
An excellent follow-up to the Life is Ugly… LP. I like all of the punk side, which begins with a great old BAGS cut, and continues with ANTI, SHATTERED FAITH, CHINA WHITE, M.I.A. (not the group on the Last Rites LP), ILL WILL, and a live GERMS track. The B-side contains some experimental stuff by Gary Kail, as well as the B PEOPLE, VOX POP, the MINUTEMEN, and POWERTRIP. Good variation.
A very atypical eight-song 12″ with a garage feel. It sounds more like a cassette of a band’s first practice than the standard polished UK product. Medium-tempo punk is the ACCURSED’s stock-in-trade.
The SATELLITES are sort of PISTOL-like, at best; at worst, they’ve got a weak post-punk sound. This EP isn’t as good as their first, the production by Rat Scabies being one of its few saving graces.
I’m surprised to see this mostly British band on a German label, but it’s great to have an album from them. This is strongly delivered thrash with perceptive lyrics and powerful production. Recommended without reservations.