Thursday, November 27, 2014

I Excuse - Burn The Empty To The Ash (Snuffy Smile, 2002)

Snuffy Smile Records seemed to have a small cult following for fans of Snuff, Leatherface and British pop punk. The kind of label where people tried to seek out every release, as difficult as it was for those outside of Japan. Even as a huge fan of those bands and the pursuit of rare records in the 90's, that following didn't include me for some reason. I had some early Snuffy Smile releases and was always hoping for straight up Snuff derivative punk, but I guess it was too original for me. Well, I won't sugarcoat it: the bands weren't that great.

Until I Excuse. Veeerrrrrryyyyy derivative, but of Leatherface instead. With an equally "interesting" singer. The pretty much unintelligible vocals sound like they're going to give out at any moment. Or like he'll need the same voice surgery as Blake from Jawbreaker.

But the key draw of the band is the music. Like Leatherface, the 2 guitarists weave awesome guitar parts together, trading off on rhythm and more intricate melodies. They're not trying to hide their influence and I'm not going to pretend that they're completely original. But the world can't have enough Leatherface or clones, in my opinion. I will say that they do have a slightly harder edge though, maybe akin to Articles Of Faith, who they cover on this album.

Basically, if you want a Japanese take on Leatherface, this is the band for you. I actually prefer listening to their 2 albums over most of the post 2000 Leatherface albums.

I've also tacked on their 2 tracks from the compilation I Hope The End Is Always The Beginning. I did manage to track down all of their other 7"s and compilation songs, so hopefully I can post those at some point.

I Excuse - Burn The Empty To The Ash (vbr 0)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Offenders - Fight Back (Bitzcore, 1981/1989)

Since the other Offenders material has recently been reissued on Southern Lord, I thought I'd add the final piece of recorded material from them.

The Offenders' 2 albums are right up there with fellow Texans DRI and MDC in terms of ferocity and technicality. If you enjoy the thick basslines on Dealing With It, then you're enjoying the Offenders' own Mikey "Offender" Donaldson. And to come full Texas circle, he also played in a recent incarnation of MDC before dying in a Barcelona squat a few years ago. I'm curious if it's the squat that was recently demolished nearby.

The fact that they didn't tour as voraciously as DRI and MDC probably kept them from being appreciated for so many years. It's not for a lack of reissues though. Their albums have been reissued in various formats about 4 times before the recent ones, most of the time omitting this 7".

Fight Back was released by Bitzcore in the late 80's and combines their first 7", Lost Causes, and 3 more songs recorded during that period. This 7" contains the only material with their original singer, and their music at the time wasn't quite as hardcore as it became on their next release, the We Must Rebel LP. While not as "classic" as their other stuff, this is still a great punk EP, closer to early SoCal punk, or even The Clash on the last 2 songs. But it still features Mikey's trademark bass tone, some catchy tunes and an early version of one their classics, "I Hate Myself."

I took this from the Bitzcore CD version of We Must Rebel, remastered it a bit and took out a couple weird noises on one of the songs.

They also have a demo from 1983 that was included on the Died In Custody reissue on GTA Records. I believe that's out of print at this point, so if anyone needs that, let me know.