Thursday, February 24, 2011

Failures - Failures

Artist: Failures
Genre: Thrashcore/Fastcore
Country: United States
Record Label: Youth Attack!

Another excellent Mark McCoy project, Failures spastic thrashing breakdowns are reminiscent of what a more mature Charles Bronson would've sounded like during their later, more powerviolence influenced days. This is personally my favorite vocal performance from him (aside from his work in Arts) and overall the music is really great on this release.

Cheer Up

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gentle Art of Chokin' - Discography

Artist: The Gentle Art of Chokin'
Genre: Thrashcore/Fastcore
Country: Germany
Record Label: ???

With only 3 releases so far (a s/t 12", and two splits) The Gentle Art of Chokin' has certainly made a name for themselves with not a whole lot of material. Dissonant, violent The Gentle Art... at times almost reach powerviolence levels of aggression but always maintain a firm stance in hardcore derived melodies and grooves, a great combination that makes listening to their relatively short discography nothing but a pleasure. Great instrumentation, great vocals, and overall just great everything, it would be a big mistake not to pick this up.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

What Price, Wonderland? - It is True, It is Shakey (2009)

Artist: What Price, Wonderland?
Genre: Emo
Country: United States
Record Label: ???

Don't have too much time, but for a quick description until I can get something more substantial together, this is basically post-hardcore influenced emo that fucking rules. Great instrumental work!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Torch Runner - Locust Swarm (2010)

Artist: Torch Runner
Genre: Hardcore/Sludge
Country: United States
Record Label: Closed Casket Activities

Yeah sludge is one of the few musical genres left yet to be tainted with a syndrome I refer to as "suckage". Adding elements of sludge to your music, no matter the genre, instantly elevates the quality of material you output above the level of shit. Torch Runner made a good call, incorporating it into their sound in a tasteful, elegant, innocent manner. Fast songs, slow songs, man these guys have it all: down-tuned guitars, a drummer who uses more than just his snare, a vocalist who has a least three different screams (blaaaagghh!!! raaaaaaghh!!! wraaararar!!). It's called variety brother, and these bros from North Carolina dish it out in ~20 mins.

Sweet serial killer van dudes I know it's what I would drive.


Monday, February 14, 2011

SQRM - Rodeo (2010)

Artist: SQRM
Genre: Hardcore
Country: United States
Record Label: Youth Attack!

Pretentious as it is, stating that SQRM may just be the band to herald the next generation of hardcore music is made all the easier, even after just one listen of group's sophomore effort entitled Rodeo; adorned by the glassy-eyed gaze of a clown who by looks of it is about to trade in his big, red nose for a noose (perhaps a subtle jab towards hardcore's fun-loving spirit), the album's cover is simple yet jarring, the perfect visual to represent the schizophrenic madness held inside. Self-loathing, outwardly loathing, SQRM may not be trying to change the world. but their well-spoken dissatisfaction with well, everything, is not only compelling but dangerously addictive, a bad habit that will leave you on a Rodeo binge daily

While their cover may sneakily be attacking the scene they were spawned from, that is where all subtleties on Rodeo end, with both the lyrics and music of SQRM aiming for nowhere but the jugular. Utilizing a suitably filthy production, SQRM's minimalistic version of hardcore is the perfect means of conveyance of their rampant hatred of all. Fittingly, one of the best examples of the Western Massachusetts deranged style would be the album's title track, where SQRM's vocalist (who like the rest of the band has made his identity annoyingly difficult to discover) with his raw howl rolls off visceral verse after verse, almost psychotically delivering the devastatingly straight-shooting lines;

"Your fucking scene, your fucking face, your fucking looks, you're a fucking disgrace! Call me a freak! Don't like my cloths, don't like my hair! I'm a fucking freak, spit on me, just sit and fucking stare!"

Enlightened lyric writing skills? Definitely not, but coupled with the seething fervor of his delivery juxtaposed against the band's slow and droning tempo, his scornful words somehow manage to transcend genius. Not only is the album lyrically abusive with songs like " I Can't Find My Knife" recalling the story of an obviously troubled individual (maybe the clown!?!) who (luckily!) can't find his knife, or the excellently titled "Cut My Strings", a pessimistic message about everlasting stagnancy, but musically Rodeo reciprocates the same intensity in a fashion just as captivating. "You Still Can't Live" depicts SQRM's energetic side, where the band mashes more traditional hardcore elements with their own perverse take on the genre, crafting stop-and-go guitar lines that as ugly as they are surprisingly memorable.

As a "hardcore" band part of makes SQRM so damn good is just how original and different their hardcore really is; rarely adopting the genre's usual breakneck pace ("I Can't Find My Knife", "You Still Can't Live" and closing song "Waste" are really songs that approach hardcore's standard speed), SQRM's down-tempo assault is what truly separates the boys from the men. "Upsidedown Cross" (bet you couldn't guess, a song about bashing Christianity and their lord and savior Jesus Christ!) showcases the group's thinly distorted guitar tone play slow, anger infused dirges of sloppy power-chord passages, accented a steady, simple drumbeat, a perfect accompaniment to the rest of the music. SQRM's drummer doesn't flaunt his skills often, but on tracks like the aforementioned "Waste", the faster paced tempo allows for him to shine, performing powerviolence-like blasts and thunderous drum-rolls with an astute sense of timing.

Whether SQRM's intentions were to ever change/improve the time-tested hardcore formula or not, the notion (probably originally started by fans anyway) has become something of a reoccurring themes within reviews and assessments for the band even since their first album, with Rodeo inspiring even more confidence in all those who support them. Deservedly gaining new fans by the truckload, SQRM you may mega-loathe us, but we can't get enough of you.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Mata Mata - Mata Mata (2010)

Artist: Mata Mata
Genre: Raw Punk
Country: United States
Record Label: Crepusculo Negro

Raw punk that actually belongs to the Black Twilight Circle, a group of black metal musicians who as of last few years have been crafting some of the best USBM ever to come from the country. Mata Mata (like their black metal contemporaries) are an extremely raw outfit, taking the distortion of metal and feeding it through simplistic outbursts of punk aggression.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Salvation - Mortality Interactions (2010)

Artist: Salvation
Genre: Hardcore
Country: United States
Record Label: Youth Attack!

Salvation is a great hardcore band coming from Pennsylvania and their latest album Mortality Interactions is a great continuation of the fuzzed out, uber aggressive hardcore Salvation has become known for. For a hardcore album, Mortality Interactions is actually quite a dark record, containing some pretty twisted moments that give this album a great deal of personality. Also the vocalist is absolutely awesome, with a really distinct, raspy voice.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Strong As Ten - Strong As Ten

Artist: Strong As Ten
Genre: Hardcore
Country: France
Record Label: ???

Great, fun and fast hardcore from France. These guys have a great sense of humor about them yet it doesn't detract from the quality of the music at all in fact gives them a good deal of personality. Great dual vocals for variety, Strong as Ten has some sick instrumentation that includes some cool thrashy inspired moments, but is mostly pretty straightforward hardcore that is just played insanely well.

Play Fast or Apple Pie

Sinat Hinam - Sinat Hinam (2008)

Artist: Sinat Hinam
Genre: Stenchcore
Country: Israel
Record Label ???

Israeli stenchcore, Sinat Hinam for the most part play pretty straightforward and crusty music that also happens to have some pretty strong metal overtones. Songs like "Self-Holocaust" and the untitled seventh track definitely are good displays of the band's heavier side, showing off some of the band's excellent riff writing capabilities while other songs such as "Existence Apathy" rage with crust's blind simplicity, pure unbridled aggression that completely breaks all restraint. Overall this album is really enjoyable and a great pick up.


Face The Rails - Face The Rails

Artist: Face The Rails
Genre: Hardcore
Country: United States
Record Label Tank Crimes

Coming from the Bay Area, Face the Rails play hardcore that brings to mind The Descendants with jangly guitar tones and a guitarist that absolutely fucking shreds. Sun kissed Southern California punk melodies, snarled vocals and music that slips between happy go lucky punk bliss and frantic, instrumentally adept yet incredibly sincere hardcore madness, Face The Rails is a record that should be owned by every punk and hardcore fan.

Trash Talk

The Cancer Kids - The Possible Dream (2006)

Artist: The Cancer Kids
Genre: Thrashcore/Fastcore
Country: United States
Record Label: Youth Attack!

Easily one of my favorite Youth Attack! releases, The Cancer Kids' The Possible Dream LP is an absolutely fantastic slice of thrashcore madness. Featuring members from Bucket Full of Teeth and Failures, this now sadly defunct act from Western Massachusetts swirled the melody of eighties hardcore with blast beats played at a grindcore tempo, also generously throwing in some fantastic mid-tempo breakdowns to boot.