Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Arteries - Brought Up Not Dragged Up (No Label, 2005)

Hey, I'm still alive! Are you? You don't have to answer that.

Sorry about the long delay, gentle readers. Since my last entry I moved back to the US, got married, trained and competed for the World's Fastest Tator Tot Eating Competition (got 5th place), had 10 babies, finished my musical adaptation of "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" and overhauled the tranny in my Z-Roc 524.

Okay, the first 2 are true. Now I'm just a lazy American again who never updates my blog. Until now!

And boy do I have a humdinger for ya! So anyone remember a little punk outfit out of Swansea a few years back called The Arteries? They raged it something fierce with their hard rockin' style of punk. They put out a bunch of eps, some limited 10"s and 2 albums. Dead Sea was probably their highlight with melodic hardcore vocals over bulldozer rhythms, but tempered through a pop/skate punk sensibility.

Well, it turns out these guys were hiding a couple old releases, one of which I luckily learned about and then won on "the ebay." That CD I present you is actually their 2nd release entitled "Brought Up Not Dragged Up." They have one other release that I'm still trying to track down called, I believe, "More Books, Less TV." (If anyone has this, holla at ya boy. Yeah, I'm bringing that back.)

This album isn't far off from their next offering, "Blood, Sweat And Beers," just not quite as well recorded. It's not bad at all though. 8 songs of driving punk with a touch of metal that owes from the early days of Fat Wreck and skate punk without sounding like a copycat. There's even some weird horn playing on a track or two that's, uh, interesting.

The members have since gone onto Pale Angels (meh) and Hot Mass (whee).

The Arteries - Brought Up Not Dragged Up (R) (vbr 0)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Best Of 2016

Well, it's February 8th of 2017, so this list is a bit overdue. As usual in part to do with my laziness. But partly because I can't be arsed (yeah, I have British friends) to come up with descriptions of a bunch of albums that I'm not sure I'll be listening to in 3 years time. Yeah, not to be a killjoy, but 2016 didn't have a huge musical impact on me. Maybe I haven't let some of the albums sink in yet, but there wasn't too much that bowled me over besides maybe 5 of the albums listed below. Wild Animals was definitely my fave of the year though. And of course I missed seeing them a couple weeks ago because I preferred getting drunk with my friends than sitting through a hardcore fest with 3 decent bands. So jaded, man.

So this year I present a list. Then I'll get back to posting way better bands from 20 years ago.

Did I mention jaded?

* Albums *

Accidente - Pulso

Bad Future - Bad Future

Bob Mould - Patch The Sky

The Celetoids - Pupal Stage

Chestnut Road - LP2

Dark Thoughts - Dark Thoughts

Death Pedals - Meat House

Descendents - Hypercaffium Spazzinate

Direct Hit! - Wasted Mind

Duncan Redmonds - Honkypingpongseijinattack!!

Ekebuba - Rat Bite

Hot Mass - Nervous Tensions

Lumpy And The Dumpers - Huff My Sack

The Montell Jordans - Sweater Puppies

Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are

Nerf Herder - Rockingham

Not Scientists - Leave Stickers On Our Graves

Tiny Moving Parts - Celebrate

The War Goes On - The War Goes On

Warsong - Control

White Lung - Paradise

* Eps *

Bikini Cops - Two

Dag Nasty - Cold Heart

Dangus Tarkus - Binky Boy

Pizzatramp - Two Quid Ten Minutes

Red Death - Deterrence

Red Hare - Lexicon Mist

Rendez-Vous - Distance

Shoplifters - Believe

Silent Era - Silent Era

Snuff - No Biting

* Reissues *

Dow Jones & The Industrials - Can't Stand The Midwest 1979-1981

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

This Is My Fist! - Everything Else

Through doing music reviews and living in a city with Amoeba Records for about 13 years, I accumulated literally 1 million CDs. I started to slowly weed them out through my extremely well designed Geocities site and sold maybe 1/10,000th of them. 1 of those CDs was sold to a local who sent me a CDr of her new band. I think I listened to it once and filed it in my shoebox full of promos with no artwork. Admittedly, I didn't give it much of a chance because I wasn't too keen on CDs missing more than a notch in the spine or hole punch. Call me shallow.

A few years later I started to see a band name around the Bay: This Is My Fist! Hmm, sounds familiar. When they popped up on a couple compilations I had, I realized this was the same band whose CDr I had packed away. I located the CDr again and was stoked to discover that besides being really good, it contained the 8 songs from their first 2 vinyl only releases.

I somehow never caught them live, but I managed to track down all of their material. And of course, they released everything on Bandcamp a few years ago. But I've cleaned this all up, remastering everything to the same volume, taking some of the hiss out of some releases, and adding a couple songs to the demo that aren't available on Bandcamp.

So if you've never heard This Is My Fist!, imagine Joan Jett singing for a classic Lookout! Records band. If you have heard them, you're welcome!

I Don't Want To Startle You But They're Going To Kill Most Of Us 7" (2002)
   01) Voice From Occupationland
   02) Story Of Reconversion
   03) I Realized My Error On Harrison Street
   04) Last Of The Ammunition
VA - Letters From The Landfill (2004)
   05) Yank Fiction
   06) Your Filth, My Fury
   07) Stiles The Dog
   08) Biblethumpin'
VA - To The Bitter End (2004)
   09) Wine & Cheese (Ambition Mission)
VA - California Thrash Demolition (2005)
   10) Jesus Plus Nothing
Dutch Oven Demos (2005)
   11) Gun Crazy Explosion Noises
   12) Wooden Bullets
   13) Wretched Of The Earth
   14) Country Time
   15) Hooray For The Home Team
   16) I'm Not Even Trying
   17) Skyscrapers
   18) You Sank My Battleship
VA - We'll Inherit The Earth: A Tribute To The Replacements (2006)
   19) Beef For Breakfast (The Replacements)
Fifth Hour Hero Split 7" (2007)
   20) Davy Crockett's Dead, You Know
Giant Haystacks Split 7" (2007)
   21) Gun Crazy Explosion Noises
   22) Love (Q Factor)
Marked Men Split 7" (2009)
   23) All That Is Wrong
   24) Bad Seed
Previously Unreleased
   25) Crash (The Primitives)

This Is My Fist! - Everything Else (vbr 0)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Gang Green - AA Sides

Probably the band I wish I had seen in their heyday the most. And unlike every (other) hardcore fossil on the internet, I consider their heyday to be their late 80's crossover years. If you've ever seen the video for "Born To Rock," that's how I imagine their shows were back then. And apparently their You Got It tour was supposed to look like that, with walls of speakers and skate ramps, but the production costs were too much and that idea had to be scrapped.

Gang Green started out as a 3 piece, playing rough, fast hardcore similar to their fellow peers in the Boston Hardcore scene. At some point, the hard rock bug bit Boston (alliteration and shit!) and bands like DYS, SSD and the F.U.'s tried their own take on the sound, with mixed results. I've never been a fan of any DYS or SSD material really, but I think their rock stuff was especially bad. The F.U.'s morphed into Straw Dogs, but retained some of their later punk sound. Jerry's Kids probably pulled off the transition best, with a fast and powerful followup adding better production and more guitar solos. And The Freeze pretty much stayed constant and awesome throughout their entire career.

But Gang Green will always be my favorite of the bunch. They're basically my AC/DC, covering the essential rock themes like sex, drugs and rockin' out. But add skateboarding and a faster hardcore sound to the equation? Sign me up! It's hard to pick a favorite album of theirs. Of course "Alcohol" and "Skate To Hell" are awesome. But "Bomb" and "LDSB" from You Got It, or "Flight 911" and "Ballad" from Older...Budweiser are just as classic to me.

So I've compiled their non-album tracks here, mostly from their aforementioned heyday. I thought they were following up their 2011 7" with an eventual album, but haven't heard anything about that in a while. They recently canceled a tour of Barcelona where I was hoping to see them. I was working in Pittsburgh one time and they were supposed to play, but that show was canceled as well. I'm not sure if they're the most reliable band. I remember reading about their exploits in Thrasher a long time ago, touring with DRI and getting thrown off planes. But I like to imagine that Chris Doherty still cancels shows due to being hungover or spraining his wrist skateboarding. I'm happy just to have the music all these years.

VA - Drop The Needle: Boston Hardcore Anthology (2013)
   01) Let's Drink Some Beer (Original Version, 1985)
Another Wasted Night (Funhouse Records, 1989)
   02) Another Bomb (Original Version)
Living Loving Maid 12" (1987)
   03) Living Loving Maid (Led Zeppelin)

I81B4U ep (1988)
   04) Bartender
   05) Lost Chapter
   06) Rent
   07) Put Her On Top
   08) Cum In U
King Of Bands (1991)
   09) Thunder
   10) Rub It In Your Face
Back & Gacked ep (1997)
   11) You Tucked It To Me
   12) Deflect And Swerve
I Fear 7" (2011)
   13) I Fear
   14) The Other Place

Gang Green - AA Sides (vbr 0)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Youth Brigade Vs. West Side Story

Haha! I was just looking for a live version of Youth Brigade's "Sound And Fury" because that bass line kills it and found this instead. Genius!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hunger Farm - First Demo/Radio Tokyo (1988)

Getting the job of your dreams, winning the lottery, your baby being born; pft! Not EVEN as joyous as an old sought after release popping up on bandcamp!

I think I already mentioned how I mail-ordered a bunch of stuff from Cargo Records, including most of the Nemesis Records catalog. Nemesis was mostly known for hardcore, but there were a few wildcards on there like Fishwife, Pitchfork, The Offspring and a band who put out a couple of my favorite 7"s: Hunger Farm.

Their music is a little hard to describe, basically an awesome mix of indie rock and punk. A description that would also suit another of my faves: Treepeople. Hunger Farm popped up on an old Flipside Records compilation in 1991 that seemed a good fit for them (and appealing to me) with bands like Big Drill Car, Monsula, Green Day and Bad Religion alongside some of Flipside's weirder roster and tastes.

I never learned much about the band, but I loved everything about their 2 7"s; cool artwork, strong vocals, weird lyics and a great rhythm section. I learned later that they were featured in an old Gullwing skate video that I still haven't seen to this day. (Not sure I'm nostalgic enough to sit through an hour and a half of that.)

They released a CD that didn't quite live up to the 7"s, but is still pretty good. But at some point I found out that they had an earlier demo with a couple of amazing songs. I got a crappy copy of it and eventually tracked down the singer of the band who sent me all their stuff on cassette. Unfortunately, he cut off the beginning of one of those awesome songs. It seemed like I would never get a quality version of that stuff. When JGoon and I talked about starting a label many years ago, a Hunger Farm discography was one of the first things I wanted to release, just so I'd have a decent copy of everything.

But in my sporadic search for them on the internet, I found that someone has put up all their old stuff on bandcamp, including the 2 demos that feature all of the songs from their 7"s. Now admittedly, the bandcamp versions of the last 2 demos still don't sound too great, but I will rip the 7"s eventually.

This demo sounds great though for a cassette transfer. I did clean it up a little, matching the volumes a little better and remastering it a tad to the volume of their album. I've been wanting a decent copy of the song "Circles" for a while and now I finally have it! If you've never heard them, that's the song to start with. It's like some kind of new wavey, post punk, dream pop punk hybrid.

The singer has some more recent solo stuff up on ReverbNation under the name Trash Martyr that's pretty good too. He sent me a CDr of songs that I'll have to dig up the next time I'm at my parents' place.

Hunger Farm - Radio Tokyo Demo (1988) (R) (vbr 0)