Dienstag, 23. August 2016

Zero Tolerance - Bad Blood 7"


 Band: Zero Tolerance

Label/Year: Hi-Impact Records No 2 / 1989

Everybody seems to prefer label-mates Turning Point. I never got that into TP, but this one is a little bit different and is right in my books - sounds a bit like good old SOIA. Good record.

Pressing Information:
This is the more limited version /100 on gold vinyl. There are also 900 on black vinyl.

Reviews and Links:
VinylNoize: Hailing from Buffalo, New York there was a band known as Zero Tolerance. There were other Buffalo bands playing while this band was around, but according to a lot of people during ZT’s heyday, they were THE Buffalo hardcore band. Their single vinyl release while they were a band “Bad Blood” was put out by the infamous Hi-Impact Records.  Although, a little bit of a different sound than the Turning Point 7″ the”Bad Blood” 7 inch is a great release and a must have for any Hi-Impact or Buffalo Hardcore collector. 

Also check Doug´s Blog for more info.

Donnerstag, 11. August 2016

Descendents - Hypercaffium Spazzinate LP

Band: Descendents

Label/Year: Epitaph / 2016

I don´t really feel able to say much to a Descendents record nowadays, as the only two Descendents records I own are the Milo goes to college and the Liveage LP. From which on the other hand the Milo LP is one of my all time favorite LPs and I count Bikeage and Marriage to my all-time top 20 Punk songs. So all I can say is that this record is a good one, and catchy as hell. I wouldn´t say they sound like Milo-area Descendents, and I doubt I would have identified them if randomly played, but definitely one of my favourites so far this year. Notice the fine reference to the periodical system of elements on the backside.

Pressing Information:
According to Discogs there are already 10 different pressings so far with more than 10,000 pieces pressed:

Black - 7,000
Coke-Bottle clear / clear light blue - 1,150 (hot topic exclusive)
White - 1,000 (US indie stores)
Glow in the Dark - 500 (US kingsroad)
Opaque red - 500
Translucent blue - 500
Translucent green - 2,200 (US kingsroad)
Clear/Black swirl - 1,000 (EU kingsroad)
Green/Black swirl - 1,000 (greenhell / flight13 online)
Silver/Black swirl - ?? (EU indie stores)

That makes a lot!! My copy is green/black swirl /1,000 and I bought it from Greenhell Records as I do not order records from the US anymore, and I wanted a more limited version. Saved me a lot of money, and Greenhell is anyway a great store which I at least visit once or twice per year.

Reviews and Links:

"Von den markanten Gesichtsfalten und grauen Haaren sollte man sich nicht täuschen lassen. Die Urväter des Melodic-Punk haben es nämlich immer noch faustdick hinter den Ohren. Auf "Hypercaffium Spazzinate" brennen die Descendents ein regelrechtes Pop-Punk-Feuerwerk ab. Das ist zwar ziemlich kurz (31 Minuten), leuchtet dafür aber um so heller am Branchen-Firmament.
... Auch zwanzig Jahre später zieht man auch noch seinen Hut vor der nicht enden wollenden Energie einer Band, die auf Fotos mittlerweile eher an eine Sparkassen-Führungsriege als an eine Punkrock-Combo erinnert. Nach zwölf Jahren Studiopause hauen die mittlerweile überall in den Staaten verteilten Bandmitglieder dem Genre mit "Hypercaffium Spazzinate" wieder ordentlich einen vor den Latz.So spielt beispielsweise Drummer Bill Stevenson selbst nach einem Gehirntumor-Drama noch jeden Punkrock-Kesseltreiber der neuen Generation an die Wand. Auch Leader Milo Aukerman schüttelt noch immer Melodien für die Massen aus den Ärmeln. Bassist Karl Alvarez steht ebenfalls seinen Mann. Und Stephen Egerton? Der bringt nach seiner Songwriting-Pause endlich wieder Ecken und Kanten mit an den Start.
Das erste Epitaph-Studiowerk seit zwanzig Jahren ("Everything Sucks") hinterlässt sowohl lyrisch als auch musikalisch große Spuren. Inhaltlich zwischen sozialkritischem Ernst ("Limiter", "Testosteron") bandtypischem Nonsens ("No Fat Burger") und Ironie Deluxe ("Smile", "We Got Defeat") pendelnd, legen die Ur-Punks musikalisch wieder einen Zahn zu. Alles kommt irgendwie ein bisschen knackiger um die Ecke.
Die ganz großen Harmonien rattern zwar nicht mehr im Nonstop-Modus durch die Boxen. Aber das stört nur am Rande. Die, die sich zwischen polternden Drums und rotzigen Vibes ins Freie kämpfen, trumpfen dafür um so mehr auf ("On Paper", "Shameless Halo", "Fighting Myself").
Mit "Hypercaffium Spazzinate" melden sich Descendents eindrucksvoll zurück. Hier präsentiert sich ein halbstündiges Drei-Akkorde-Paket mit allem, was das Pop-Punk-Herz begehrt: auf den Punkt, ohne viel Schnickschnack und mit reichlich Schmackes auf der Pfanne."
"The Descendents didn’t set out to become heroes of punk rock–if anything, they came together to earnestly troll it. The California group seemed innocent enough when they formed in the late ‘70s: four guys from Manhattan Beach playing cheeky hardcore songs about coffee, crushes, and hating your parents. Compared to their macho peers in the then-booming Golden State scene (Black Flag, TSOL, Fear, and the like) the Descendents struck most punks as unthreatening, maybe even a little bit soft–and that was the point, as frontman Milo Aukerman so passionately argued on a song titled (wait for it) “I’m Not a Punk:” Show me the way to conformity,” he sneers, smirking at the beefcakes, “Try to be different but it’s always the same.” The self-proclaimed outcasts went on to achieve great success, releasing a slew of great albums over the next three decades that proved, once and for all, that the loser always got the last laugh–and more importantly, outlasted the competition.
Rumors of a new Descendents LP began to surface in 2010, when the band reunited for a set at Fun Fun Fest, followed shortly thereafter by a smattering of shows. At the time, frontman Milo Aukerman insisted that the gigs were mere “one-off shows” assimilated into into his summer vacations—one of the many perks of his lesser-known career as a biologist—but the the hype machine had already left the station. Before long, Aukerman put his academic pursuits on the back bunsen-burner to pursue music full-time. The quartet finally confirmed their reunion this past June by formally announcing Hypercaffium Spazzinate—their first LP in over 12 years, as well as the follow-up to 2004’s Cool to Be You. As with all Descendents records, the 16-track effort avoids over-aggression or extensive political chatter, instead relying on humor, honesty, and personal experience to power their musical and thematic engines, with considerable success.
The Descendents have come a long way from the spastic hardcore (??? can anybody please explain that to me - massivewaste) of their Milo Goes to College days—and not just because all four members are in their fifties. Even after over three caffeine-fueled decades of shouting himself hoarse and belittling the elitist attitudes of his fellow punks, Aukerman remains tethered to the band’s sonic and thematic cornerstones: reliability, universality, and of course, satire. Fortunately for the diehards, Hypercaffium Spazzinate is devoid of the stylistic overindulgence or inflated self-importance often associated with hiatus-ending efforts; the Descendents continue to focus on food, friends, family, and just about everything besides perfunctory political tropes—the only difference is their unprecedentedly mature perspectives on these topics, informed by the members’ experiences with aging, fatherhood, loss, and illness. ...

Sobering lyrical themes aside, Hypercaffium Spazzinate is hardly the work of a band with their brows frozen in a collective furrow. It doesn’t matter if they’re grappling with self-hatred (“Fighting Myself”), toxic masculinity (“Testosterone,” which sees Aukerman railing against “fuckin’ dicks who beat [their] chests”, only to request a shot of the titular chemical so he can prove that he “has what it takes” to be a man), or intolerant Bible Thumpers (“Shameless Halo”)—the band charge through the pain as if it’s an excuse for pleasure, or at the very least, rudimentary, sugary pop-punk that puts the Warped crowd to shame. Stephen Egerton keeps his guitar riffs jagged and melodic, buoyed by Karl Alvarez’s staccato bounce; behind it all, Bill Stevenson wields his drum kit as an invaluable dynamic tool, switching between leisurely 4/4 and pugnacious double-time in order to emphasize his bandmates’ carefully-calibrated fury. Aukerman’s piercing tenor has withstood the test of time; apart from a slightly more limited range and a raspier delivery, he’s as impassioned as ever, pushing himself to the brink on lead single “Victim of Me” because he’s got absolutely nothing to lose.
Like the Descendents themselves, Hypercaffium Spazzinate has zero interest in flashy instrumentals or thematic grandeur. The album’s closer, “Beyond the Music,” frames the Descendents’ existence as an offshoot of a timeless friendship, rather than a career: “Frustrato-rock or chainsaw pop/Or whatever it is we play/This is our family/And it will always be this way.” Whether the track’s intended as the band's pre-emptive eulogy or a statement of renewed commitment is up for debate, but such postulation’s besides the point. Even for a bunch of brainiacs, these four Californians have always stressed the importance of living in the moment, sticking together, and keeping it simple—nothing more, and nothing less."

Mittwoch, 3. August 2016

Rampage - Heads in a vice 7"


Band: Rampage

Label/Year: Lockin´out Records #9 / 2004

First release. Seems like nobody cares anymore about them and the label. Yes, at some point there was a hype around Lockin Out, but nowadays ... OK, they released some good new stuff, but I think you can´t call it "hype" nowadays. That´s the way it goes. But that just means you can grab their stuff quite easily, and so did I with this color variant, which  I was looking for quite a long time.

Rampage is heavyly 80´s style NYHC influenced. While most people would prefer their 2007 one and only LP, I don´t want to make any comparison, I just like this record a lot, too.

Pressing Information:
I don´t have any pressing info on this. The red version is /350, and this white vinyl version seems to pop up a lot less frequently than the red vinyl, so maybe this variant´s pressing number is less.

Reviews and Links:
Couldn´t find something really good - here´s a label info to their LP, which sums up their style

"Unabashedly wearing their New York hardcore influences on their sleeves, Rampage seem to channel the energy of Breakdown and Straight Ahead without blatantly lifting riffs or stealing ideas from either of these seminal NY bands. Unlike many bands influenced by this style, Rampage remembers that speed is one of the most important ingredients to the recipe of good NYHC - breaking from many prevailing hardcore trends, "Limit Of Destruction" opens with a drum blast that is as reminiscent of the Crumbsuckers or Ludichrist as their less crossover influenced NYHC brothers. This twelve track full length flies by at eighteen minutes, and is a reminder of the old hardcore adage "loud fast rules."

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

Youth Brigade - Sound and Fury 12"

Band: (Cali) Youth Brigade

Label/Year: BYO /1982

First album by California Youth Brigade. Who does not know the story of them being unhappy with the sound and message of this first recording, thus rerecording it, rereleasing it one year after (1983) under the same album title, but with a completely different sound? Yeah, it´s a cool story. To be honest, I am really biased with Youth Brigade. I always liked their music, but what turned me off a little bit is Shawn´s way of singing which sounds sometimes a little bit too cheesy. So in my eyes the later pressing is a bit more consistent, whereas this version does not always work. The difference between the more crude Oi!-sound and Shawn´s vocals is just often too big. So you can count me to the fraction of people voting for the repress.

Pressing Information:
800 of this original pressing. Beware of bootlegs, some are real hard to detect. 25,000 pressed of the 1983 version.

Reviews and Links:

"Legendary first version of the LP whose distribution was stopped after a few hundred copies to re-record it completely and exchange most of the tracks ... This version is rougher and "dirtier" than the redone version which at times is too slicky and poppy. Most songs here have a strong Oi/streetpunk edge, unfortunately some of the lyrics propagate violence in a rather dumb way - probably the reason this version has never been rereleased officially (7)". (Flex # 2)



Montag, 11. Juli 2016

Chaos Z - Abmarsch 7"

Band: Stuttgart Punks Chaos Z were active around 1980-1983 and then morphed into the more Dark-Wave-inspired project "Fliehende Stürme".

Mülleimer Records / 1981
Beware of bootlegs, check Discogs.

Mandatory early German HC ripper. Way better than their first LP. These guys were within the first wave of German HC bands. Discharge goes depressive - rage and despair, stomping rhythm, rudimentary chords. On a side note, notice the embarrassing seal the record label put on the cover as a selling gag "Ultra-Hardcore-Power" - which goes in line with the remark on the backcover (Achtung! Nicht geeignet für Leute mit Herzbeschwerden which means "Attention! Not suitable for people with heart problems").

Pressing Information:
This here is the original 2nd pressing, first pressings have white center labels - I think some boots have also white center labels.

I don´t have any figures on the numbers, but I guess 500-1,000 for all pressings. 

Reviews and Links:



Review from Goodbadmusic: 
"... CHAOS Z are in a way the opposite of what I post last. Whereas SIEGE are tight and to-the-point with their energy, CHAOS Z are sloppy and maltreating their instruments. The drummer sounds like a very, very cheap ass drum computer running low on battery, the bass has more distortion than the thin guitar and the singer is monotone yet dripping acid with his voice. But these blokes manage to crank out an atmosphere of – yeah, of what? Insert the typical adjectives you’d hear from me in about every post [here] and still, CHAOS Z have more to their music. But I don’t know what it is. Every damn song has practically the same drum beat, the same scheme is used and the pure reptition is it maybe, that gets me so excited here. The first three songs are almost identical. “Harte Zeiten” and “Zwang” almost get me on my knees, but when I flip the plastic over, “Rational Mensch” and “Militär” rip me to shreds! “Rational Mensch” especially has an almost surrealistic brutality – all is so stripped down to the minimum that the song seems to implode and result a maximum of power and expression. You can hear that this is not just simple Hardcore Punk. Compare it to the first ANTI-CIMEX 7″ and you’ll probably hear similarities, but CHAOS Z are way more interesting in the end. Simplest musical forms of expression transcending into something more: This is what my dreams are made of! Although I’m pretty sure that not too many of the readers will dig this, I’d say give it two or three rounds and listen to some ABWÄRTS first. This should get you in the right mooooood.
The lyrics … well, “Bildungs-KZ” and such. I dunno. Maybe some other time I’ll sit down and try to over-read what I don’t like.

After this, the band had some comp tracks and one LP. The LP is kinda boring, if you ask me. Maybe the Mohjocks were referring to the LP, haha. The band later became FLIEHENDE STÃœRME of whom I have nothing, but reliable sources keep telling me “You’d love them!”

Sonntag, 3. Juli 2016

xRepentancex - In Violation of Asa 7"

xRepentancex - UK vegan straight edge band 2013 - 2016. No reunion shows - that´s what they say on Facebook.

Atonement Records, Carry The Weight Records (Coke Bust, Sectarian Violence, etc.)
This is their first vinyl output from 2013.

I noticed some "hype" around these guys and they received very good reception. They have a 90´s "Metalcore" sound, which is usually not my cup of tea, but I like listening to this and they do it well, although I can´t arrange with some of their lyrics but that´s another story. Others might have a more qualified opinion - I´ll leave it to them. They broke up in 2016, so track down their stuff or wait some years and buy it cheaper then. This is the clear vinyl first pressing /200.

Pressing Information:

From Discogs
UK Vinyl release (Atonement Records/Carry the Weight Records)
100 on black vinyl
200 on clear vinyl

2nd Vinyl Press (2016)
250 Blue
250 Yellow

Reviews and Links:
stuckinthepast blog: “For fans of”…the classic line that is thrown around in hopes of getting plays, new fans, or especially “likes” in this day and age. I usually tend to overlook things like this, but this particular one I couldn’t ignore. After reading “FFO: Unborn, Arkangel, and Morning Again,” I felt the need to immediately check out the band that was being advertised. That band is xRepentancex, a seemingly random breath of fresh air in the hardcore scene that truly impressed me. When listening to the band’s 2013 demo, entitled “In Violation of Aša,” I couldn’t help but think that it sounded like something straight off the Good Life Recordings “The Way It Is” compilation that came out in 1996. They play a perfect blend of 90s vegan straight edge metalcore that we all know and love. I was able to get a quick interview with Pat, their guitar player, to talk about the band.  ... " (Now go and check that interview)

Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

Primitive Pact - Injustice 7"

Primitive Pact

Total Fucker Records # 8 // Nightrider Records # 1
This one´s from 2014.

I remember listening for the first time the "4 old 7inches on a 12inch" compilation from Dischord in the second half of the eighties. I was totally blown away by the sound. And unlike many others, my favorite band were The Teen Idles. You know, back then, no internet, no information besides the lyric sheet allowed us I would say to concentrate more on the music. No hype ("they were the first..." blablawahwah) around it, and it was the snottyness that immediately spoke to me. Now, combine this snottyness with some heavy UK 82 feeling ("´82 in ´14" as the label states) and you have an outstanding Punk record, this one.

Pressing Information:
500 pressed, 100 green 400 black

Reviews and Links:

Terminal Escape: "This burner is all about the guitar. Rarely have I heard a guitar recorded that so perfectly suits the style. Hollow and piercing, it bites through the rest of the band with pure ferocity and I confess it was near the end of the demo before I stopped focusing on that one instrument and actually realized how searing the band is. UK82 energy harnessed and ramped up several notches - these New Yorkers are clearly on a fukkn mission, and they are succeeding."


Unbelievable, but while searching for some links in the internet, I found this stating that Teen Idles influence I also felt - makes me thinking I just can´t be that wrong, haha:

Sorry State Records: "Debut 7" from this new UK82-style punk band out of new york. This thing is a total banger... it's got a slightly wonky, up front bass sound, weird effects on the lead guitars and vocals that are endearingly off-key. The vocalist actually sounds like Nathan from Teen Idles, so while most people will point to the obvious influences from the Partisans, Red Alert, etc., I think this also has just a little bit of an early DC vibe a la Teen Idles or SOA. If you've dug recent UK82-style stuff like the Savageheads or Contingent demos add this to your pile... it's definitely up there with those in terms of quality."