Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Harm's Way "Reality Approaches" Organized Crime Records
Chicago. Straight Edge. Hardcore. Metal. Fast. Armageddon in a blender. OCR never disappoints. HW 1st 7", "Imprisoned" was insane. about 3 years ago it was released and i thought: H8 Inc, Coke Bust, Infest, Strong Intention (later), and the like. Blast beats and quick thrash hc.
Now this gem drops and we have slower music. But years pass and time changes. The "Intro" is just drums (like Sepultura "Roots" by one dude). The 2nd track "Code of the Huns" comes in as i described the 7". Then "Repression" comes in much slower. as the songs continue, i think of Palehorse. A lot! Yeah, others like Rise and Fall, Shipwreck, Rot in Hell, and Trapped Under Ice; but, mostly Palehorse. And i really missed that band. So, this is good.
These tunes are epic and feel like the apocalypse was engraved from wrathful gods into my home speakers. A big sound from the production punches these tight, fierce riffs home. I have been playing this a bunch. Angry, tough vocals are screaming and you should listen. The mosh will be brought to your doorstep. Double bass and progressive chords build tension and the ride cymbals bounce along as if hanging from the four horsemen. And when the breakdowns come (check "Warrior Will Reign"), holy shite!, the earth splits and lava spews. "Humans will Hang" has a good Ringworm feel; and again, a sick breakdown.
All in all, if you need heavy hardcore with some great metallic appreciation that will make you shiver, pick this up.
Just in case you were unsure what i meant by tough and heavy
Harm's Way MySpace
OCR with DigiDownload
Those LA homeys are back. With guitarist (Martin) in touring machine, Terror, and his brother, Dre, playing roadie for big bands; the output of Donnybrook! is sporadic. But when it hits, it hits like a friggin' brick. Stemming from that LAHC fam directly with Skare Tactic, Blood Stands Still, Through This Defiance; you know what music to expect. Madball and Terror type shit. Fast riffs with a hip-hop bounce; a tough street sound.
This came out 6 weeks ago. And i have rocked it rather frequently. It holds up. I get excited by this brand of hardcore, while others may dismiss it as "Tough Guy" slandering it as generic. I mean, when you want to exorcise some frustration, this shit is dependable. It gets me energized and ready to throw some fists in a pit.
If you are a fan of past DB shit, expect the same; with some solid representation. Still tight, still solid. Still tough as fuck. But different enough to cop the new shit. The riffs and double bass pounce is going to to get you moving on the floor quickly. And when that breakdown comes; prepare for kung-fu theater.
"Accept the inevitable. This world was not meant for peace!"
The lyrics are not self-aggrandizing, they remain down to earth. They are negative, hateful; a stark warning. They for the core, for the crew. But not dumb, generic words. Check "Concrete Speech" - which praises the verbal weapon. "Something Awful" addresses the betrayal issue when someone mistakes "kindness for weakness". "The pain is not something to fear". A fun song, "What's a Little Blood", is dedicated to the mosh. But really why we sweat it up with other bald dudes, taking our lumps. "forget everything in the outside world and release the aggressions inside. but respect each other and have a good time." No tough guy posturing, just an acknowledgement of the physical manifestation of our venting.
I will say - there are clear vocals, strained but not screamed; even, raps once in awhile. And there is actual 'singing' for lack of a better term. Different, but it works (not like KSE or anything). The guitars are tight and crisp; heavy. Dive bombs here and there, 1 solo; but mostly just straight up riffs crashing forward to pounding drums.
For anyone that dismisses this style of hardcore, i simply ask: "is its spirit any different from AF and Cro-Mags, or WarZone?" i think not. And you have to understand that what you may interpret as "tough guy"; these dudes have been down since day one and the "take no shit" attitude is empowering to some kid who has been down and out and now wants find urgency and purpose in this new found scene. ("i will not lose!")
While you can claim "For Fans Of" DBD, Death Threat, Furious Styles; even, the Trapped Under Ice, Forfeit, Bitter End stuff; this really takes 90% of its cues from Terror and newer Madball. Which i love, so this gets respect from me.
Dude – "Big Lu! Waddup? Be-el-zizzy. Meph-id Man, mah homey. Someone's calling you again."
Satan – "ugh, who? I can't give any more Lohans 'fame and money', it's eroding my reputation. … and I put a friggin' block on all area codes from Jersey and Rhode Island!"
Dude – "Nah, du. Some dudes from England, yo."
Satan – "Wait – do they start with:
' Lucifer, I summon you to my black mass. I call upon you to complete my evil task.
My heart is black, my soul is dead. Hear my words of hate, give me strength.'?
Dude - "Yeah, Yeah, that's it. That's them shits."
Satan – "Aw, no worries. Man. That's just the new Electric Wizard. They dropped the new bomb-ass album and like, everyone is rocking that shit. My shit is blowing up 24-7. 'Black Masses', its called. It's nice to get some props in the one-oh."
Dude – "Fo' realz? How is it? Them dudes kinda growing stale on me."
Satan – "What?? You better get yo' ears checked, fool. This shit is off the hook. It is so good. They ain't proclaimed 'Heaviest Band in the World' for Nathan, b. I mean, don't get it twisted, this shit is different. Well, a little. It's more akin to 'Dopethrone' or "Witchcult Today' part II; than say, 'We Live' or 'Let Them Pray'. This one is not as heavy or down-tuned. And the production does not discern specific instruments in the mix as much. 'Black Masses' really sounds like 4 dudes in a room; jamming. I mean, they never sounded like they were meticulously creating epic songs with tangental moments; but this more sounds like 4 dudes jamming in a room on a riff. Then, tweaking it to some lyrics and structure type shit."
Dude – "aiight…I'm listening…"
Satan – "Yeah. And there are more elements of drone and even slight psychadelia in this one. I say 'psych' cuz of some wandering leads and lots of atmospheric extras in the tracks. But the drone is at the forefront through a lot of this; rather than a crisp, solitary riff to pick out. And the mix, again, not as low tuned; the bass sits back, as well as the drums. The vocals and ambient filters have a swirling effect like I am in high school tripping again. Speaking of….. grab the 4-footer, yo…"
Dude – "word?"
Satan – "Word. I got some Blueberry Kush, some Haze, and some Sour D, son. Take your pick; load this bitch up and let 'er rip. I am going to put on this jam. 3 of the songs are at 6 minutes – and they are the shortest. Now let's rock the 2nd track, 'Venus in Furs'. A sweet, deep, rumbling beat and dark tune. Here's the Sabbath adoration! Speaking of, are they fucking here, yet? Seriously? Mr. Osbourne was scheduled like 3 fucking decades ago….anyway. Lost my train of thought."
Dude – "you want in?"
Satan – "Course! Nah, give me the other lighter. Now what was i….yeah, like, this sounds like those new kids, Earthride, but quieter. Or like my OG homeys, Saint Vitus, but way dirtier and faster. But not really either, ya know? Electric Wizard really stand on their own. That's why they the big boys in this game. But back to this song, hear it pounding?. Listen to this, man! Hear the wandering, wavering lead guitars in the back ground. Not all up in your grill, but they seep into your brain, yo. And all the time, that repeating riff of the bass and guitar just rock, man!"
Dude – "well, see (cough, cough…) that's what worries me. It seems lighter at first listen; and when you use the word 'drone'; like I can't do Sunn 0))). I mean, I know sayin' that is like fuckin' blasphemy and shit – i know Sunn 0))) are mutha-fukin' Gods- I mean, 'heroes', muthafuckin' heroes! but it is just damn boring! Nah, mean? …. But this song...Woah!!!"
Satan – "Yeah….. this is the third jam, dawg. 'Night Child'. Comes in with heavy and with that hardcore bounce, right? This shit ain't boring. I mean, I say 'drone' only in contrast to like a Cough or a Black Cobra. But this is doom and boom, son! This has the perfect rhythm. If I was one of them hardcore kids, I would start moving on the dance floor. Speaking of moving, can you fetch me that bottle of water over on the table? But, yeah, this is glorious. 'I am a Night Child!' This shit is mad evil, son. So fuckin good."
Dude – "aiight, aiight. You are makin a believer outta me yet."
Satan – "Not yet fully converted? Shit, man. Check out 'Turn off Your Mind'. It takes awhile to punch in. There's like samples and feedback and weird shit happening; but halfway through this jizzam, that main riff is ridiculous! 4 minutes in, and all comes crashing down. That part is sooooo cool."
Dude – "yeah, this shit is tight"
Satan – "yeah, I mean, they slow it down for this last jam. But you get 8 tunes – well, 7, really. That 'Crypt of Drugula' is just noise and cavern-like ambience; water dripping and echo shit over a bed of fuzz. I like it cuz it's all spooky. And Danzig ain't given me nothing good in like 15 years. But it sounds like all cold and lonely; some iron shackles in a wet shire basement type shit. But the 7 songs here, dawg. These shits will tear you apart. Some downright nefarious, soul-ripping, morality eschewing, scruple molting, self-indulgence on this mutherfucker!!!"
Dude - "yeah, you right; you right."
Satan - "Now go fetch me a virgin. I heard that Miley Cyrus just turned 18. Snatch that shit. Her 15 minutes have expired. Tell her dad that I will re-up her shit for some of that ass."
Monday, November 29, 2010
Big Ups to John at Dead City, Brian at Fesno Media, and, of course, Steve Karp and all of Yuppicide. Thank you for 10 years of great punk and 10 in-depth answers. Cheers!
Yuppicide Interview Questions:
Photo by Markus Shaffer 2010 at Santos
1. How have reunion/reforming shows been; specifically B’n’B Bowl (May 15th, 2010) and European Tour?
Steve: BnB was tough; we knew it wasn't our crowd per se, and that stage was enormous! We're used to playing little ratholes like Continental...but, all that aside I think we played well. It was difficult going on after H2O because those dudes OWNED the Ritz that day! When we came on, the front of the stage cleared out and this knot of folks who either knew us or who came specifically for us came out, and they had a blast and we did too. Other local shows were good; each one getting better as we tightened up live and more and more people remembered they liked us 50 years ago! Now Europe was a whole other can of worms: people were amped on us. Tons of old faces from the '92 and '93 tours- people going bonkers, stagediving, singalongs, circlepits..the whole shebang- it blew us away, because we were not expecting that level of enthusiasm in 2010, to say the least. It was the exact opposite of the lukewarm reception we got at home- not that we're not grateful for the folks here in the NY area who came out and had some fun with us.
2. Yuppicide lyrics dwell on the dark side of humanity. What experiences in life brought you to be interested, like, appreciate, obsess over this perspective? Does this vantage point still hold 15, 20 years later? Specific songs?
Steve: Once we started playing the songs again, it was funny how many stood up, musically and lyrically. Of course, there were some old songs that made us cringe at the lyrics and music, but it's easy to excuse some of those due to how amateur we were at that time. But the dark(er) side(s) came easily to us; it was the stuff we were listening to and reading, as well as everyday life in general. Let's face it: there's a LOT of heavy and grim aspects to life, and by writing about these things, I think we were getting stuff out of our systems, as well as telling stories about things without coming right out and preaching about a subject. For the lyrics I wrote personally, there was a fair share of stuff about failed romantic relationships- I mean a million bands write 'love songs', people can rely on Yuppicide to write "UNlove songs'. And, humanity is still dark- a lot of rotten things still happen to good people.
3. Does age or “adult perspective” put your name (‘yuppicide’) or any song subject decision into a category of regret/shame or the like? *(if no, why does it/do they still have meaning/ ring true today?)
Yuppicide at ABC No RIO by James Damion
Steve: I think the word 'Yuppicide' definitely dates us, the word and concept of 'yuppies' or 'yuppie-ism' is very 1980's; but railing against that mindset never goes out of style. Greed and materialism are still wayyy too prevalent today, and right-wing-religious kooks who want to shove their crap down everyones' throats are even more of a threat than ever. But, no real regrets per se..well, maybe one. One time, I tried writing a sort of 'love song', and hearing that one now makes me want to kick my own ass inside-out. Overall though, I think we wrote about stuff that resonated with people pretty well, and hopefully we did it in a way that inspired people, or at least amused them. Some of the stuff on the 1988 demo is pretty cringe-worthy from the perspective of a 41-year old, but nothing too painful. It's kind of nice to hear people tell you what they took away from the lyrics or how they interpreted them, and they ask "is that right? is that what you meant?" sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't; but their own take on the song is more important then mine. I'll hear a certain song i wrote and it'll bring me back to the exact time and place and set of emotions i was writing that particular song from, so it's sort of an 'audio scrapbook' to listen back to the songs.
4. Musically, I would say – while boasting familiar influences – your sound is quite unique. And while heavy and dark, still can be catchy (not like Green Day or even Vision, but I a rap/bounce Madball way). While there are distinct ska riffs in 3 songs. Any clearly the foundation is punk. Do you guys set out to have a particular sound? Is it democratic? Like if 1 dude says, “no”; does a riff or song get trashed?
Steve: the music-writing part was always a group effort of sorts.. I'd sort of show the band the basic riffs, and then everyone would add their own flavors, unless i had a real specific thing in mind for the drums or bass or vocals to do. But we really always wrote what we wanted, the only real test it had to pass was if we thought it was good. I think that comes from not being afraid to have diverse influences, or go against the grain. Sure, some of our stuff had a groove; i may have gotten inspired by 'santana' or 'black sabbath'; and there was always an effort to have a good melody; something that the voice or instruments could work with to add some spice. Hell yeah we liked 2-tone and ska and reggae, so we saw no reason not to have some of that creep into the songs. Even though we lived in NY and were active in gigs there, we liked all kinds of bands, from all over. I was really into a lot of the late 80's DC stuff, especially Dag Nasty and Marginal Man and Grey Matter and Swiz; I loved the hell out of Naked Raygun too; especially their lyrical stylings. People can hear the Clash in there, but also Negative Approach and the Effigies, as well as Cro Mags too. A big buffet of all kinds of good stuff, including metal, coming together to harass your eardrums. And it shouldn't be forgotten that Joe wrote music for some great songs himself, like "Have Fun.." and "Tumble".
5. How do you feel about being in a NYHC category – and what the hell is NYHC (to you)? In scene, spirit, and sound?
Steve: it's where we're from, but not who we feel we are/were really? I mean, we played plenty of gigs with bands that fall squarely under that banner, but we ourselves didn't, at least music-wise. We were playing shows with the Radicts and Lunachicks and Devil Dogs, as well as Token Entry and Murphy's Law; so we were kinda all over the map, music-wise...which is what we kind of wanted all along: not be one dimensional and easily categorized. So, it was great that people would put us in the same category as AF or Cro-Mags, at least in terms of where we were from and playing, but i don't know if we were embraced the way a lot of 'classic nyhc' bands got embraced or are spoken of today. it's funny now to see what people thought of us, looking back: some people thought we were an 'abc-no-rio band' and other people thought we were a 'cbgb's band'...i think really we were just a punk band from new york. as for the 'nyhc sound'...i'd have to say that would be a lot of the bands we were seeing at cb's matinees in the late 80's: new york hoods, and sick of it all, and token entry, murphy's law, underdog, AF..but also the older NY bands like reagan youth and kraut and urban waste and antidote. if anything, it's variety: it's shows at squats, or the ritz or little dive bars; it's crust bands and oi bands and ska bands and garage punk bands..it's great people and great times!
6. How do you feel about your recorded output, as you stand back and look? And the “Anthology CD”?
Steve: It's a little surreal to see the sum total output of 10 years of work add up to those 58 songs! One cool thing about the way the songs are laid out is that it's easy to follow the progression of the band from start to finish. I'm stoked on what we accomplished; I'm the luckiest guy in the world to have been a part of something that cool. Joe and Jesse are amazing people, and the string of folks we had on drums were all great and unique guys. The anthology CD still blows my mind- Jesse sweated bullets putting the graphics together for that, and it's just an amazing work of art. When we started playing the songs again, I was amazed at how so many of them really stood up, at least in our eyes. I don't know if someone fully into the 'new hardcore' would be bothered with such simplistic stuff, but what's cool about the anthology is it's an homage and a snapshot of a time and place in our lives.
7. Favorite memorable shows played? Band you played with? Bands befriended?
Steve: So many great shows- too many to mention. One thing with getting back together to play again is that we find ourselves really savoring the gigs and really appreciating them- i think we took so many things for granted when we were young, but time and distance from playing sort of has us taking the time to really enjoy that time on stage now. We managed to get friendly with so many amazing bands; early on label mates like SFA and Bad Trip were always awesome, locally. When we were first playing out we became great friends with The Radicts and The Devil Dogs; so shows with them were fantastic, and it influenced our own fierce sense of diversity and independence. On tour, we met so many great bands, and it kind of blew our mind that many of the European bands we played with on tour were incredible, and rightfully they should have been headlining over us. This last time around playing with Hammerhead was awesome- those dudes know full well how to destroy a stage. And Deafness By Noise absolutley KILLED it- and really nice guys to boot. To this day, it still blows my mind that DI opened for us, in 1995. I mean, DI for god's sake! With Casey Royer! Not only were we playing a gig with them (Wetlands), but they were opening for US? Crazy! We all have a special place in our hearts for the Bouncing Souls- to see how far they've come is great; those guys are the epitome of dedication.
8. Why comeback now? What does the future hold for “Yuppicide?
Steve: Realistically, we started playing again to support the release of the Anthology- that's pretty much the beginning and ending of it. I mean, we all really missed each other and missed playing together, but the release of the Anthology and the re-release of the LP's on vinyl finally really gave us a concrete reason to coalesce and to get out and promote the Anthology. We have some upcoming local shows in December of 2010 and maybe 2 more shows in January of 2011, but that's probably about it for the forseebale future. We 3 (Joe, Jesse, and myself) had always strongly felt that if we 3 weren't solidly 100% into it, then we'd just walk away from it, and let it go. Leave on a high note, with a great back catalog of music and a legacy of great gigs under our belts. There's plenty of folks asking about new material and more shows and more tours....and while I'd never use the word 'never', I will say it's not looking too likely. Let's be honest about something: we 3 are in our 40's now, and to try and put out something new now would almost amount to 'starting over', and we're not sure that's something we want to do at this point in our lives. Also, it's been 12 years since we recorded last, and our lives and our tastes in music have evolved considerably since then. So, hypothetically, what if we were to come together and try to put something out- what style of music would it take? how would what we created be taken in this age's music scene? On one hand, if we were to do something that say was more 'doom' or had more of a 'garage' feel- would it be fair to still call it 'yuppicide', if the music no longer fell under the banner of what yuppicide was known for: 'hardcore punk'? And on that same token, would it be fair to us to try and write material that did indeed fall under the banner of what we thought people would be expecting of us- if we ourselves no longer felt connected to that music form? In other words, would it be right to try and write 'punk' songs if our hearts and heads were no longer 'punk'? These are the tough questions we asked ourselves and discussed at lenght, because we really care about the music we made, and the shows we played and the people who invested time and money and emotion into yuppicide over the years. over the years we all saw bands that tried to stage kind of half-assed, half-hearted 'comebacks', or released an album that bore no resemblance to their earlier material (the material that put them on the map initially)and then turned their back on their earlier material (and fans); and we didn't want to be like that. and the nice thing is that we don't have to: we had an amazing run; we have tons of great songs and great shows to be proud of, and we always wanted to leave on that proverbial 'high note'. the world's moved on, and we're all cool with that.
9. Why is going on in the world (or England/US specifically) today that will provoke Yuppicide’s lyrical wrath? Are you disappointed you weren’t putting out songs ’99 – 2009? There was a lot of fodder for HC.
Steve: If we were gonna play and write again, one of the things that might find its way into the lyrics would be life for us in our mid 40's, and how different it is from where our heads were at when we were doing the band full-time as younger version of ourselves! Outside of that, i think the rise of the religious right in america is pretty scary stuff; but you'd find the usual stuff in the lyrics i'd imagine: corruption in politics, the cheapness and artificiality of modern life, things like that. Blatant colonialism, (though now it's called 'exporting democracy') and empire-building is sadly alive and well, and the rise of corporations as political and military entities capable of bringing untold amounts of death and destruction is pretty frightening stuff. But, i'm not disappointed we weren't putting out music from 1999-2009, because at the end of the day you really have to wonder how much effect a song or a lyric has on the vast forces at work in the world. if on the other hand we could influence people to vote, to take action, to seek answers and ask tough questions, to become politically and socially aware of their world, then i'd think maybe we were affecting some sort of change, even if it's on a microcosmic scale.
10. And how did you feel about punk and hardcore’s representation in the last decade? In general….and any specific favorite bands?
Steve: Philosophically, I gotta wonder at this music form's place at this point in time. Seeing the blatant and outright commercialization of punk in the last few years has sucked for me- the fact that society just assimilated this counter-culture and spit it back out and commercialized it is discouraging, but that's what happens. Life goes on! I think punk and hardcore were created as a reaction, and as such they were very spontaneous...it was meant to burn hot and fast and bright..but not to linger, maybe? But at the same rate, the music forms evolved and cross-pollinated with other music, and that's always a good thing. It is nice that punk and hardcore, especially the pioneers, are getting some recognition finally, even if some of it is just nostalgia. Now that it's been 30 years, I think people can look back at this stuff and see what it's done to and for people, and see the vast number of people who came through punk and hXc and are now part of 'society'. People are even examining this stuff academically now and really looking at the music and people from an anthropological standpoint. I think for people doing this music today- it's very safe and very easy; and i hope people look into the roots of this music and see that it wasn't always safe or easy. In fact, it was dangerous and difficult, and that was part of the coolness of it that's gone now.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Well, the new Coke Bust has been out for a minute. And you know what to expect. 6 songs almagam of Infest, Tear It Up, DFA, Slang, Tri-State Killing Spree style hardcore. No frills, no bullshit, no rest. Somewhere between thrash and crust lie these guys. No non-sense hardcore. and you can still bob your head now and then. 5 songs between 40 seconds and 1 minute; with the last tune at 1:48. It will take you longer to read this praise filled review than it will to indulge in the distortion of the gods that forged Coke Bust.
Coming off two great releases ("Line in the Sand" and "Fuck Bar Culture") that solidify these tour machines as one of todays fiercest and focused hardcore outfits. These DC boys carry out Siege/YDI/NA/Poison Idea style hardcore and get a lift from the Crust love of late 90's/early 2G's.
These 6 ragers from a July 2010 Recording session capture this bottom heavy, low end behemoth pump out their mach speed love in the same vein as they have all along. The new songs are worthy of the Coke Bust brand. So, throw on an old Six Weeks shirt, "X" up, and hit the basement for some DIY fist pumping.
***STOLEN FROM MY BOYS AT HARDBOILED***
US press of "Degradation" 7" will be out some time later on Grave Mistake Records -
1.Another fucking problem
3 test presses
75 copies of special tour edition, different cover, hand numbered, orange vinyl (available only on Coke Bust European tour)
120 copies of limited edition pre-order version, orange vinyl w/ tour poster
347 copies on green vinyl.
Limited orange vinyl w/ tour poster 5 euro // $6,50 + postage
Regular green vinyl 4 euro // $5 + postage
Shipping dates: 2-7.10.2010
(shipping from Germany)
check mailorder list: refuserecords.prv.pl
The early Arresting Officers (sound, people; talking about the sound), Hated and Proud sound is undeniable. This disc gives a thick sound and is well produced. The mixing is even and you pick up on nuances of well-crafted songs. So, take '80s US Oi! and make it sound, well, "good" (production wise) and you get Usual Suspects. A solid tough mid-tempo, rock and roll sound. A beefed up Anti-Heros, (especially) Moonstomp, early Patriot, and Condemned 84 is a good way to describe these guys.
They also know how to write the crowd participation, sing a-long bits that make these guys a live powerhouse. They also get some great catchy bridges and choruses, so that punk influence gets in there and evens it all out nicely.
Eschewing politics for lyrics that are scene cleansing, working class, drunkenness, and a little revolution coalesce into a strong 9 song output of originals.
Choice Cuts: "Drunk & Disorderly", "How Ironic", "Brick Through a Window", and "I am Providence"
as i spelled out in my prior post, there are guidelines to a memorable live album. (here)
Well here we have the NYHC gods of self-destruction at the Dynamo club in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
SOUND: the sound is spot on. Heavy, thick guitars; clean drums, crisp snare and pounding bass and toms; discernable vocals. Lots of the songs get the dual vocals done on them, bringing back the extra energy of the old days. Volume is perfect. The band is tight. While i Miss some ex-members, the band is a well-oiled machine here. The drums are ridiculous. The guitars are tough riffs and fast bursts. You can here the elements in total synch. And that another prize of live albums. You here a band take older songs and put them down after years of practicing and playing live; rendering them better then when recorded.
SONGS: These dudes go thru it all. They open with the timeless "More Tattoos". Hard and charging. They go into probably my favorite NRSV song, "Wake Up". I was surprised to hear them still do "Fabio and "Guido" and "Microwave" and it was pleasantly. I forget how good those songs are. The new tunes of "Still Drinking", Beer == Fun", and the massive "Drinking is Not a Game". My theme song "I Hate Everyone" is here in all it's glory. Classics like "Chicken, "New 64", "Olde E", "No Regrets", "Skinheads Rule" all show up on this disc. Two covers get the NRSV treatment; "Drunk at YOT Reunion" (blowe, roaw!!) and "Raining Blood".
VIBE: you get the full NRSV experience. so good. Lots of comments and banter. The total fun, buzzed up vibe of a NRSV show comes through. I am picking up change alone in my room as i listen; fondly recalling the one time i saw them come to Providence (Met Cafe). Wish i had more memories to dance to. Their schticky campy comedy stylings intro the songs and the NRSV personality shines through.
INLAY: a nice pair of boobs grace the cover in a leopard bra. some cool pics, live and goofing off; lyrics to each song - just in case, somehow, you do not have the other cd's (dummy). Full credits and props for the tour. A healthy incentive to buy the hard copy.
basically, this gets thrown in with the legends. i will quickly reach for this disc as i would any other NRSV disc; and any other live cd. The sound is perfect; the performance is true NRV. impeccable. Clear, top-notch sound quality capturing the cavalcade of 20 years of music form this blast of a boozed up band. Fast metal riffs to tough guy breakdowns to funny in between babbling. Energy and the feeling of the live show, sing a-longs, all get you swept up in the moment.
I am tired just listening; yearning to be soaked in beer and sweat.
No Redeeming Web Site
Dead City Label - Buy the CD!!!
Core Tex Label (Euro)
JukeBoxxx Label (Japan)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Still, the live album is a tough maneuver. As much for a major label band; hence, a rarity in hardcore and punk.
So, we must first define how we will judge the merits of a "good" live album now that we know that this was fully intentional. We need great sound first of all. Crisp clear cymbals and snares; pounding bass and toms. You must capture the sound of the guitars as they were intended. Tough or subtle or thick or quiet or whatever. The bass should have a dominant presence in the mix. And lastly, the fucking vocals should be distinct.
Second, it should span the catalog of the band. Mix it up. I just paid $15 for a bunch of song that I have already. That said, they should sound like I expect them to sound, but have enough of a variation to make them newly interesting. Also, there should be some stage banter. Here is a chance for the band's personality to be exposed. The album additionally should be a capture of where that band is at that night.
Lastly, it ahold have the brilliance or ferocity, and especially the energy, of the band's stage show. We should feel as if we were there and make us pine for when the group will return to our city.
And covers. we should get 1 or 2 covers.
Ok, with that paradigm established, which live album do I love? in which, i mean still put up in rotation regularly?
First, when I hear 'live' album; I think of the Bad Brains. While I like the expansive song list on "The Youth are Getting Restless" it does have that "big" sound (as opposed to an intimate, raw feel). But it was '87 and that was the production style of the time. And to be fair, Bad Brains were playing big venues then. I love it though. You get a great mix of new and old; reggae and hc; and the vibrant performance is undeniable. And if you want that lower key, confined, frenetic Bad Brains experience you can go to "live" from SST capturing just a year later; but a charged set with only the last two songs slowing it down. Hell, for 6 songs, some from Providence, you can fo the "Spirit Elctricity" EP on SST. Quieter to spastic, quickly. Point is Bad Brains bring it.
Number two, Sick of it All "Live in a World Full of Hate". One of the few albums Lost & Found put out with a band's blessing, here is an lp that captures a band at an interesting juncture in there career. First off, this is after "JLA" but before "STS" and its major label release. As i bought it when it first came out, it was my first introduction to Craig being in the band. *(it was recorded in September '93; i had seen them just before them in July at The Paradise with Slapshot, Are We Dead Yet?, and Stompbox. i honestly cannot remember if Craig was in the band or not.) Anyway. You get 24 songs covering most of their recorded output. The opening of this disc, with the lingering feedback behind him, finds Lou saying, "This is not just our stage, this is your stage too. This is my mic, and these are your mics....so, sing along." And they explode into the barrage of sensory pummeling from Armand's drums and Lou's ripping screams of "Injustice System". The bass rolls right into "Clobberin' Time" and right into "Violent Generation". It was like i was at Babyhead on a Saturday afternoon fr $5 for right in my empty room. This was (and still may be) my favorite band at 16 and the no ego, pure love, intensified indignation was everything i wanted. You cannot touch this album. Oh, and it ends with "Betray" by Minor Threat. Whew! and of course, track 4 is my tied favorite HC song (with "Nothing" by NA), "Alone". *("all their lives fill me with anger and hate...i'm content to live a life of solitude...all i want to be is left alone! disappoint was all you got from me!") This song, to add to it great lyrics and sound, have Lou introducing it with "Here's our little message to the outside world, for all those who wanna diessect and analyze and all that: Fuck You and leave us Alone!".
Third Agnostic Front. While "live at cbgb's" from '88 has an amazing sound and meets the criteria (I mean this is a great live album) I got to go with "Last Warning". The solid line-up of Craig, Will, Matt, Roger and Vinnie at their peak is astonishing. You get a slew of old and new. The sweat from the enthusiastic crowd seeps through the speakers. The passion which Roger screams for what he thought would be his last show (right... 20 years later) with is the pith of this lp. Anyone that dismisses AF after '86 needs to listen to this. And the shouts going on to Raybeez, Choke, Ezec; Evan singing, bring it all home. It is an emotional disc.
Cock Sparrer "Runnin Riot Across the USA" is up at four for me. Killer performance from first us venture is captured nobly. They have a blast and you can tell. The sincerity ghat they deliverto the crowd is admirable. The sound is spot on. And The songs covered hit all the highlights - Shock Troops' gems; Mid- career stuff like: Teenage Heart, A.U., Because You're Young, Runaway Johnny; ...even Sunday Stripper!
While it maybe the worst line-up to bear the Slapshot moniker (no "maybe", it is), and was released next to the nadir of their creative output - the sound, energy and crowd interaction of "Live at SO36" is fucking killer. I listen to this a lot to get a pick me up.
Kill your Idols - "Live at CBGB's" on Creep Records is another one that gets regular play. The energy, fury, speed and fire released on this is emblematic of one of the NYHC greats. This is a band that embodied hardcore for me and helped refuel a scene worldwide; linking gritty NYC bands to UK and Euro and Japanese hardcore, thrash revival bands. All while channeling the blunt yet poetic honesty of Paul Bearer (despite actually loving "the scene"). This album is incredible.
This is becoming more than i anticipated. My brain keeps going.
Misfits: "Evilive" fast. pounding. frenzied. i only wish i was there. 7 songs that have strong sound quality, while still relaying that feeling of the chaos of an 1981 Misfits show. "Night of the Living Dead" opens with "You missed sucker!"; an assumed response from a bottle being thrown at the antagonistic group. Well, after all, this ain't no love-in. Thern a sped-up British punk fueled version of "Horror Business" is malicious, especially when you hear "one more fucking time, you asshole! You're gonna fucking die." Did he not listen to the words? "I'm warning you. i'll put a knife right in you!" "All Hell Breaks Loose" closes right before you hear "Henry, from Blavk Flag..." as they go into "We are 138" with their guest.
So, I would also, include Sheer Terror "Beaten By the Fists of God", the live cd that comes with the DVD documentary. The sound is perfect. the run the gamut of the discography. The feeling of the line-up enjoying each other after being apart under nonsense for s decade plus is undeniable. From what is my favorite musical group ever, i do not need to go into details. every song is fantastic. They even do "Close My Eyes" which always was underrated to me. But the sound is professional; and their age shows experience not wear. After years of the Paul saying "fuck off" or "for $10,000 and a keg of Old Foghorn" to anyone who asked "when do we get a reunion?", it was a nice closure to the career. *(which has been resurrected again...)
Black Flag Who's Got the 10 1/2"? is a classic to me.
Minor Threat "Live at Buff Hall" 7" ...just watch the video.
Dead Hearts "All things Must End" 7"
"California Takeover" Earth Crisis/Snapcase/Strife
Slugfest "Live" 7"
Never listened to the new DK releases. i just can't give them my money ("Mutiny on the Bay" and another one).
Dicks some album releases have live stuff on them; especially Dicks/Big Boys "Live at Raoul's"
Negative Approach - "Total Recall" and "Ready to Fight" have good live sets
Murphy's Law - "Bong Blast" - good for sentimental reason. Live in 1983 with Harley on Drums, Uncle Al, Adam Mucci and Raven.
A live album that i go to frequently is "Creepy Crawl". Every band is great. It has a fun vibe. It was recorded in '96 in released in '97. Every track is strong. Sound quality is impeccable. Jimmy G, Toby2O, Ezec get nice banter. Killing Time; ..'Fuckin' rock star dis!". Merauder, i saw them right before "God Is I" came out (peace to my man, Monsta!) and they asked what song did we want them to play...and i quoted this intro: "Let's Take this Motherfucker by force!". For a pounding rendition of "Taken by Force". and the crown jewel is Raybeez and Warzone doing "DFTS, DFTS". Underrated NYHC like Downlow and Rejevenate get sweet tracks. Ensign, 9 lives (with their best song), Maximum Penalty, Coldfront get in there. SubZero doing "Fuck MTV" bring it home. Skarhead with Toby rock "Skarred Love". Just the total package. Not one weak track.
another beauty is "Oi the Gathering" with Anti-Heros, Patriot, Templars, The System, Lager Lads, and the mighty Pist 'n' Broke. Timeless. (try to find it...)
The Agnostic Front/SOIA/GB audio disc that i have from their live video is dope too. good collection of comments and live music.
Hawker Record "Free For All" Rest in Pieces, Wrecking Crew, Token Entry, and No For An Answer. Live, 04.89, CBGB's, 3 tracks per band. Pretty alright, my friend.
While i enjoy "Oi/Skampilation"s for Wretched Ones or Mephisapheles or a rare Johnny and the Too Bads....i rarely go back.
Nawpost put out "Satisfaction Guaranteed" in 1996. Highlights include 25 ta Life, Awkward Thought, NRSV, Rejuvenate, Yuppicide with 2 songs a piece; the sound quality does vary. Some other bands i had not heard then; Terminal Confusion, Setback, Final Warning. But ending the CD with The Pist, Sheer Terror ('92), and Killing Time; this was strong representaion of Hardcore a la 1996.
The audio capture of the NYHC Documentary was classic, too. Interview footage and comments (from Roger Miret, Freddy MB, Jimmy G, John Joseph, Kevin Gill, Chris In Effect, and the included bands) and killer live stuff from the cream of the crop of NYHC of those days (1995) covering the span of sonic representation: 25 ta Life, NRSV, VOD, Madball, 108, D9, and Crown of Thornz. Now the CD came out in '96, i think. Course the actual documentary did not get released until 2000. But i emailed a bunch to the director, as i was an AVID editor at the time, and his interest was sincere. And it gets seen in the film. Madball has the "Set It Off" line-up. VOD is vicious and searing. NRSV bring the fun and the heavy riff. D9 do a intense version of "Victim" - boom! I was never into 108, but they seem intense as hell in these versions. Crown of Thornz rock out. It is ll good. And can i just say; that whenever Roger Miret gets interviewed - he is so compassionate and considerate. The man hesitates to insult hospital food, for christ's sake! i do wish SOIA, Breakdown; Raybeez, Civ and other people got in there - especially, instead of that idiot Virginia (sorry if i am insulting someone's then girlfriend). But Ezec is hilarious, - so, it is. and Roger has the quote of the film: "Who started New York Hardcore? ...Tommy Rat" word up.
and Portishead Live NYC. mind blowing, seductive.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Dead City Records.
Alright. First of all - i heard of these dudes from In Effect #5 that i would get in the mail (still stapled xeroxes, at this point). It had Sheer Terror and SOIA on it - my 2 favorite bands (along with Bad Brains and Slapshot). They graced the cover with to behemoths of nyhc and then additionally caught my attention with THE GREATEST NAME EVER! especially then - in my teenage years; aw, fuck, now too... I hate "yuppies". whatever the fuck that word means, their extinction would make me happy. Anyway. This is late '94 in the zine, so early '95 it would have come out. SOIA was fresh off "Scratch the Surface" on EastWest and Sheer Terror had dropped "Old, New, Borrowed and Blue" and were prepping to release their MCA debut. So real hardcore bands were finally getting on major labels to have complete financial backing and all would be right in the world. (right...) Chis B (EGH) did art for this zine with Chris In Effect doing all else; and bands like 25 ta life and NRSV and Awkward Thought were establishing their first releases.
So i checked out Yuppicide. "Shinebox". Found it in Newbury Comics in Harvard Square (where else?). I was in love with the clear vocals, sincere lyrics for the scene, but witty, sarcastic lyrics for the money fueled system. The music was fast but differenn. Catchy and varied, i founf it hard to neatly place a "hardcore" label on it. But hey - i grew up in the Boston scene in the early '90s; so color by numbers HC was nil. And with PVD close by; i listened to Tree, SBC, Only Living Witness, Honkeybll, Toe Tag, Shed,and Stompbox; so this was easy to swallow. It was heavy and not pop.
THE ANTHOLOGY or Re-Issue(in general):
as a collecter, i love re-issues. And there are plenty abound; and a wide range of approaches. But let's talk HC re-issue. The biggest of recent history that i can think of is the Bridge Nine AF "Victim In Pain/United Blood" re-issue. I had owned the "Raw Unleashed" (Grand Theft Audio) since it came out. And, christ; thank god for iTunes. You can look at and separate depending on your mood. Because otherwise, that bitch is tough to get through. All the "pre-mix" and "alt" mixes of the same 12 songs to total 62 songs - for fuck's sake. who the hell sits through that whole cd? Anyway - at least it had pics and lyrics and thoughts and a retrospective and that zine interview with Raybeez. But the B9 shit had lyrics. that's it. This is AF!!! this is "VIP"!!! You're fucking B9 - with that FYE money. C'mon? Get the big names of Hardcore to give opinions and old school giants to recount when it was released. give me some perspective. Even the Unbroken and OLC re-releases got that treatment. Nothing on this one. and the sound was not that much improved.
THE ANTHOLOGY (Yuppicide, specifically):
Well, this rubs me in all the tingly spots, fer sure. FLYERS? check. LYRICS? check. DISCOG? check. HISTORY? condensed, but check. PICS? check. CREDITS? check. ILLUSTRATIONS? check.
Sound? Remastered by the legend, Don Fury. If you wanna fuck with that, homey, be my guest. I had the 3 main LPs on my iTunes and i loaded up the "Anthology" - and played songs comparing one by one and i can definitely hear a difference. Not anything major to alter your favorites - but louder, crisper, fuller. Fantastic job.
All is included here. You get 2 dics crammed with everything these dudes punched out in their span. Remember that Dope "SICK BUT SLICK" 7"? It's here. I never had the first 7", "Squat or Rot" comp, or "You've Been Warned"; so, this is great. All here digitally and easy to travel and produced and mixed at the same level.
If you aren't that familiar with Yuppicide, let's review chronologically.
Demo 1988: DEMO
it sounds like a demo. if i was in 1988, and i heard this, i would be stoked. each song appears later (and better) in th discog; save "Ska Army". But in an Anthology, it is always good to hear the progression. and it is a CD - so press "skip", dick. The vocals are the best aspect - and they are quite clear. The sound, again, if i was in '88 at the height of NYHC Youth Crew, i would feel a refreshing breeze across my flat top under my Champion hoodie. It begins with the stomp of "Fistful of Credit Cards". The line "We are here for the overthrow!". Oh, god. so good. One of their best. i guess i would think elements of Breakdown (it's faint...), Crumbsuckers, SFA, Sheer Terror in retrospect. I don't know, it's different. But as the songs continue, you get punk riffs and that NYHC bass-line that is catchy and tough. Sometimes I think Naked Raygun and Effigies; but then it switches too a tougher style. It's simply good. "Roots of Scorn", "How to Hat", "Bang, Bang" and "Yellow Journalism" are standouts. Again - all these tunes are revisited in a stronger representation.
So here they come with five songs; "FFOCC" and "Roots of Scorn" get re-done and beefed up. New Songs; "Be A Man (and Slam!)" came in next, under 2 minutes. Musically, this has a punk bounce, with breaks of lingering stomps; lots of start\stop before the breakdown which is written well. I'd say with some years of playing together and better production, this could be devastating. Reading the In Effect Zine interview, Jesse explains this song as a mocking of the violence in the NYC scene. And his following opinions on what should be used to bring us all together at a hardcroe show (vs. people going that do not truly care about the music and just show up to hurt people and be 'the man'). Which of course, is the re-curring theme in all our scenes through the past 3 decades, every 5 years or so. "Envy": this is 90's NYHC song a la Outburst or Underdog. The last half really takes off, Lyrically: green = money; green = envy; money is envy. "Jesse Helms" ska type riff and wandering bass-line anti-censorship song. poppy.
Squat or Rot 2 Comp:
"Ourselves" is a fast song - insane hc-punk bass-line is the crux of this. "We're all different...think for ourselves...but we STAND AS ONE". Warzone-esque breakdown in the end. Straight NYHC song. One of the best of their songs.
Again, some re-do's from the demo; but a great sound here. "All or Nothing" is the epitome of the Yuppicide sound and it's re-working here brings it home nicely. Moves forward but has that NYC bounce. "Bang-Bang" gets a "Colors" sample about cops; a solid creepy crawl kind of vibe. "Difference" has a mid tempo, kinda of pop bounce. "Have Fun", "Identity", "Knife" are not catchy or poppy - but faster, more approachable hc-punk; like Vision or (early) Ignite. "Albatross", "How to Hate" come off as darker, scathing, cynical romps.
at this point, i wonder how early '90s NYHC scene took them. They seem too punk for the metal-core scene becoming solidified; while too harsh or structured for the snotty or crusty punks.
You've Been Warned:
Here is where their sound gets honed into a focused arrow. and i see them fitting right into their Wreck-Age Records home. Not as metallic as Sons of Abraham or Milhouse; but with a cross pollination of Stillsuit, Neglect, Die 116, and Indecision; i can see where that label housed the unfittable. The first song, "I Wish" is a tirade on self-image and is spoken word really over a bobbling bass and funky drums while the lead guitars squibbley-doo along the verbal rants. ("all you see is a hole"). these guys may be a little too cerebral on the social critique tip for this crowd; where as the thinkers are sitting still at a Fugazi show. it's a 5 minute journey. Odd one to peg down. "True Love" comes in with an indie vibe, but turns into more of a noise repetition type song. Then the last third of the song let's the dancers get down with a groove. "Out of Style" has some samples about 'society' for 30 seconds - then just a distorted charge to the end - save on slow middle part.
SICK BUT SLICK Comp:
love this 7". i still remember getting it and playing it over and over. And Yuppicide's contribution, "Socialization", comes in like comp-mates Awkward Thought. a NYHC mixed with UK heavy punk. Great song!
ah. here is the pith of the collection. Probably most well-known and my first dive into the amalgam of influence that is the beast, Yuppicide. And as if the music wouldn't give you a bump in the knickers, they open with the Good Fellas sample that renders the obscure monikor. "Lucky 13" bass-line comes in not unlike early SOIA. The song then takes on a life of it's own - with plenty of sing-a-long chorus. The song has a roiling tension that enables Jesse to scream over it deservedly. "Tail Mouth" is another defining Yuppicide sound song to me. The guitar sound and its flow; peppered with simmering bass-line standout parts; defiant vocals shouting non-conformist lyrics. "New Jesus" is a mid-temp tune; somewhere between punk and skate thrash. Suicidal would be proud. "Follow the Leader" is a ska riff tune. "Right" and "Whispers" follow with climactic declarations supported by the guitars and building drums. "Whispers" ends with that new school ('94) rap bounce feel. "Stranded" comes out the gates with charging punk rock. If Bad Religion eschewed melody and turned on the distortion, it would sound like this.
"Tumble", "Slumber" are solid tunes. "Six Bullet Plan" ends the lp with another musically eclectic background, samples, and a spoken word trek of how if you had six bullets to exact revenge; what would you do - while balancing that with the fact if everyone else got one - you would be on someone's list as well. *(In Effect #5).
Dead Man Walking:
sounding like Discharge, the opening riff of my absolute favorite Yuppicide song ever, kicks in your teeth before even saying, "Hello". This blistering tune does not let up for a minute. Well, one minute exactly. then you get 30 seconds of letting the frustration build. Then it adds a level for another 4 measures. Then "Meatpacker!" gets shouted over rapid double bass thumps. We return to the menacing UK82 feel. phew. so intense. "NGFL" continue the tempo. Straight forward guitars in the verse; and sing-a-long chorus over well balanced cymbals, toms, riffs, and vocals; this song is harsh and sweaty. "Thief" is my 2nd favorite tune from the 'Cide. and this darker Awkward Thought/UK atmosphere over wicked fast drums and taut riffing stabilizes the menacing presence. The mid-tempo ending adds to the crumbling victim of the song as the drums roll around as the suffering would. The opening riff of "Twelve Steps" can be heard again in V.O.D., Indecision, One for One, One King Down, Strife. And this bass-line intro is a Snapcase kind of feel, but fiercer and more condensed. The lyrics are another leering into the mind of the self-serving, self-absorbed, frothing feral fiend. Alright, now; let's break up the disc with a vicious cover of "Tied Down" by NA. perfect! The sound of the original and Yuppicide and their other influences coalesce superbly. "Cleaner"'s ominous tones and intoxicating feedback and rotating riffs fit the subject matter of the hired killer well; caught in his detached, narcissistic mind. "Fuse" comes in fast again. This is their most consistent sounding album, song to song. And the mashing of NYHC and UK punk rock is so epitomized in this song. You know it has a nod to older days, but the flexibility and agility of the songwriting screams - 1995, as only this time would allow for all the nuances. It ain't Dog Eat Dog or New School, but there are bouncy rap parts. There are great breakdowns. And of course, just sheer speed. There are metal tweeks of Leeway and thrashy parts too. The drums and bass are always the centerpiece of the songwriting to me; and there variations allow for the unique sound and complexity. "Four Letter Word" is anther rant over a ska song. "2 Cents" has more of rock groove. and we end with a twisting of an old R.E.M. song. it of course turns into a deranged lyrical manipulation.
we end here. with Dimi-roc (Stillsuit, COT, Skarhead e.p., etc) on drums. i know i had "Azazeal". i am not sure where i got it. But here is the 4 song swan song - definitly demo quality - "Azazeal" is metal. Slower. it still feels like Yuppicide, but they are tuned differently and somewhere between Darkside NYC and Inhuman and a thinner All Out War - that bridge riff, is pure metal riff. The musical components still sit cleanly and discernable, but just more metal. and it is about serving a demon, so, what you want? (I just think of "Fallen" when i ea of "Azazeal".) "Obsolete" and "Destroyer" get back to the speed. But still tuned and produced in with that metal filter. Again, Yuppicide writing, but sifted through some metal meshing. The speedy thrashy riffs are cool. i wish this was produced in better quality. The guitars are too noisy, the drums are low in the mix and a touch tinny. But it is a demo. If i was label, this would have gotten me quite excited and paid for their studio time. no doubt. we end on cover of The Specials' "Concrete Jungle". Starting off with the opposite vibe of the Specials' good time jaunts,we hear Ejected's Oi chant "You're gonna get you're fuckin head kicked in!!". Which fits cuz instead of the throwaway ska vibe i thought they might apply - they make this a two fingers in the air snotty punk version; culminating in a crazy breakdown. this would have made all the skins and punks go into a frenzy live. nice.
So. let's soak it all in. It was a long haul. But, for a band that kicked ass for 10 years, it is quite an impressive output. This 2 disc collection is one worth of admiration. Glossy strong pages, bursting with color and personality. This has the imprint of the Yuppicide members all over the pages.
As far as the sound...
To first address the "ska" sound, remember these were in the early 90's, before "third wave" was soiled by ignorant college kids on caffeinated drinks wearing dumb plaid suit jackets and ripped shorts and Vans of varying colors. The late '80s and early '90s had great ska bands; Scofflaws, Toasters, Slackers, Pietasters, NY Citizens, Busters and more. The ska sound in this is akin to Murphy's Law or Vision on "Predictable". Good shit. And really, it's only 3 songs over a decade. But it blends in well.
The predominant sound is a combination of late '80s NYHC, involving a lot of the transitional sounds between '87 to '93. NYHC is a large umbrella; a wide spectrum. some of which cradle an innate dichotomy. The inherent contradiction of NYHC sound would certainly infuriate the fickle sub-genre labeler. I mean, Locked in a Vacancy to Two Man Advantage; Billy Club Sandwich to Most Precious Blood; SOIA to Underdog; Youth of Today to V.O.D.; Sheer Terror to The Mob; Fed Up! to Killing Time to Kill Your Idols to Breakdown to Backtrack; AF "VIP" to "One Voice" to "Riot Riot Upstart" to "Another Voice". go figure. some throw All Out War, Urban Waste, Psychos and Rejuvenate, Murphy's Law, Into Another, Quicksand, GB, Burn, Outburst, Uppercut, Stigmata, Sworn Enemy in the same bin. And i guess they should. Awkward Thought, NRSV, 25 ta Life, Madball, DMize, Bulldoze, Vietnom, to Crown of Thornz to Black Train Jack back to Cro-Mags. Reagan Youth to 108 to Tripface to Civ to Merauder. It happens. I like (almost...could never do Into Another)every band there. And Yuppicide has a bit of each; and yearns for a day when you could get a show with varied bands and all were unified under the same banner. we're all at the show for the same reason, right? to vent. to escape. to build our own thing.
so this puts Yuppicide in a unique slot. Definitely comes from the punk side of "hardcore punk" but not afraid to let their heavy side show - or even a thrash riff in there sporadically. The creeping bass is more prevalent in the majority of there first 7 years. It is what propels the glorious trance-like splendor of Jones' vocals as he speaks with eerie confidence and disdain. Whether direct or sardonic, his lyrics provoke the listener's complacence in what is a quagmire of a system. Punk in spirit and hardcore in judgment and resolution; the lyrics help not just to question the generic aspects of "the man" but the minutia of an Ian Mackaye - like being a "man" or a "consumer" in this world, etc. But Jones' strength also lies in the exploration of humanity's dark side. Much like Poison Idea or Negative Approach. Gangster's, spree murders, and torturers, and serial killers and hitmen and psychotics are his twisted subjects of choice.
Great band. Great history. Great output.
and the story has a good ending. They were going to call it quits after 1998, as they did not want to continue with different members. So these four got together to play the Black n Blue Bowl on May 15 2010. They now have even done a 2 week European tour. Hope i get to catch them.
props to Yuppicide for saying something to great punk rock music;
and for having integrity.
props to Don Fury for blessing this re-master with his Midas like fingers.
props to Dead City for putting it all together and delivering a fine collection.
Steve Karp - guitar, Jesse KFW Jones - vocals, Joe Keefe - bass, Kid Lynch - drums (1989 - 1992), Pete Guinan - drums (1993 - 1997), Dimi Douvas - drums (1998), Gringo Star - drums (2010 - ).
Frequency Deleted Records.
New Mass hardcore from that idyllic pastoral land of bliss, Brockton. They say "BFB and Ringworm in a head on collision" in their myspace description. I can see that...BFB more for lyrical inspiration, but there are some punk gallops; a la "jaded" and the band's namesake. Actually "Thick and Thin" is playing as i am typing - and yeah, i hear it. Also, as far as "For Fans Of" - i would add - Dead and Buried, DBD and Death Threat. and i am sure bands from other areas of the alphabet (like Clenched Fist, Hoods, Shipwreck or good Euro Tough Guy stuff - Dead Reprise, Down My Throat...plus, other non-"D" bands again).
Fast Parts, ill breakdowns, intense mosh parts, accented with some metal tinges and gang vox. Super tight riffing and crushing drums bring this baby home. Negative lyrics abound (BFB, Neglect, DBD, SFA). "Can't get ahead" "I hate my life" stuff; which i am a sucker for. SO stand up, think of your boss, backstabbers, poverty and bitches and point to the godless sky and curse the empty, cold world.
This is good shit. Beat down hardcore that varies it up enough to stand out. "Life Sentence" is a little more metal; "Thick and Thin" is a little more old school. "SHD" is blazing fast and then switches to a 2 step jaunt with style. "Can't Heal" has sweet bridge based around agreat riff, into a nice breakdown with double bass.
The end is worth a hc hall of fame nod - They take OLC's insanely mosh friendly "Violent Few" and put a FSU twist on it - yep - "The True Violent Few FSU" is fuckin awesome. And that goes into the Stigma penned, Bruiers' classic: "Iron Chin".
Guest vox from Aaron Death Threat, COA, and Frankie DBD let you know this is the real deal. do it.
this part starts of with a song called "Paradise Lost" and the darker more metallic droning of the intro fits the name. The religious theme carries through with titles like "Sin City", "Exodus (Eye for an Eye)", and "The Plague".
This beginning is slower, mid-tempo beatdown core. The drums really are the center of this in my ears. The fills and small bursts of double bass keep me stoked. "Illusion" jumps in with speed and fury. Nice time change to the bridge, which brings in a brutal chorus. Again, 'salvation' talk and other 'redemption' type lyrics.
Short, 2 minute hc songs here; while the last song "Sin City" comes in with death metal type guitars and faster riffs for a 3:39 song. But the middle bandies between a mid-tempo speed and the fast stuff.
All and all, a great spewing of songs from Reckless. Darker, evil stuff. More metal. Evil, seething hardcore wrought with sinister riffs.
IN THE END:
both of these bands bring it hard. They sound enough alike that you will dig both; but definitely different enough to separate them in your brain and feel variety.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Well. I had never heard of these dudes, and the cover caught my eyes. The font and the skin look of the dude; plus, it's hot! And when i heard the first strum, i thought, "oh some Strokes wanna bes". but noooooo..... i Think The Jam, SLF, Cock Sparrer; Adverts and Adicts. Upon peeping their myspace, The list the usual suspects: Jam, Kinks, Stooges, Bowie, Roxy Music, Clash, Stones. All those are appropriate. But i will be damned if i do not hear early Anti Heros, Templars - christ, the 1st 2 songs...take a gruff drunk voice and they are American oi songs.
Take a healthy appreciation of Krays, Red Alert, Nips, Joy Division - well...Warsaw, and even a slight nod to a lo-fi Fratellis; and you get Fi;lthy Nights. More pub-rock than garage; it doesn't have that pop snap (if you will; that repetitive head jerk).
All in all, this is a fesh combo of all these influences. It is amazing Brit Rock - with love for late 70's punk/pub-rock, garage, and good songwriting. This is not pretentious. This is mid-paced, intense rock and roll.
They are not on a label yet. and i can hear their maturity and their hunger. so, i hope if they get signed they do not get swindled into sounding more "garage" or "brit-pop" or something else that would hinder their originality.
"Cover Up" is between Menace and Adverts and the Stones. Brilliant.
"Stevie" has a ska beat that speeds up into that American Oi sound i am finding. Mid paced punk, with a tough chord.
"She's Free" open's with a bouncing bass line. Again, the sound is anoi-ish romp for the verses. The chorus is catchier, with gang vox. The singer has an Ian Curtis hard-on.
But that bridge riff is so oi!
"Die Young" could be a Joy Division song with a bigger rock sound, somehow.
"San Diego" i can hear the Bowie and the Stooges; but that bridge gets a bandying notes reminding me of Templars. But the chorus lows to get that Editors/Fratellis groove.
This is not all over the place - all these influences melt perfectly into catchy British punk. So good. Pick it up.
Celph-Titled & Buckwild "19-90-Now" Review
lots of mc's and rap fans miss the hiphop style from the 90's. It has bee referred to collectively in the culture as the Golden era of Hip Hop *(like '87 - '92..'94). Well, some have made songs about it (Dooley-o, Pumpkinhead, Eso, etc.). Well, Celph did to one this lp. But what separates this album from the others is that Celph-Titled raps over an entire album of Buckwild beats. Yeah, he makes beats for DITC clique, kinks of the NYC boom-bap. But these are not just beats from a 90's producer - these are beats from a '90s producer FROM THE '90's!!! these were in Buckwild's vaults, never used elsewhere. so, prepare to drool.
Do you miss the gritty beats like Blahazay Blahzay, DasEfx, Diamond D, Black Sheep, Tribe, Kool G Rap, Nas, Redman, Boot Camp, Kool G Rap, Marley, Jinx, CL Smooth & Pete Rock, Artifacts? all that. This is the jam.
"The Fresh Prince of Hell's Lair"
and Celph on the mic? well, the 1st line of the album is: "I hold the record for the most ignorant rhymes said". He may just talk bragadocious on himself, his skills, girls and guns; but he does it with more talent and originality than any other. The man is prolific. Whether it's on DemiGodz, AOTP, duo disc with Apathy, Boss Hog Barbarians, or his 4 disc "Gatalogue" release, Celph pops up everywhere. His subject matter may be honed, but his ways to describe them are infinite. "You can't come close, My discography is the one with the most/ cuz i appear on more tracks the Dale Earnhardt's ghost/ if you approach, i'll murder, tho' - / flip more shells than the ninja turtle show". Damn.
Those lyrics are fro the opener, "The Deal Maker", and if you had doubts about this cd, this 1st track IS the deal maker to have you keep going. The beat is a bouncy jazz bass with staccato brass and popping snares.
Want to be '90s, get Treach on a track! "Out to Lunch" Yep, have no idea where he has been. but he shows u to wreck a verse with his tongue flipping versatile style. a dusty berak is behind the rhymes, with creepy piano and crawling bass and blaring horns. A nice chaotic call back to 90's flavor.
"Eraserheads" is strictly gun talk over a slow womp of drums and some dreamy, wispy chimes and strings. and if you talking guns, bring Vinnie Paz along for the ride. "..ripping the tec, put a hole in, your neck out for a permanent T-Pain vocal effect". They don't just spit a verse - they spit a few lines and trade back and forth - recall when groups did that? "Your video had the best special effects i ever seen/showed you in the projects in a car on a bluescreen" The are going after the fake rappers who talk gats and don't live it. These two claim to be the toughest rappers and i believe them.
Ahhh, Celph's soft side. This one ones for the ladies, we get a visit from his alter-ego, "Fuck Master Sex". holla. Actually - it is not an alter ego; "no split personality here, i go from pimpin' to weird, like Outkast's career (FMF: "oh my goodness")". The song is interlaced with FMF shouts and quotes. Hilarious and genius. Smart sex rap. Buckwild's beat is laid back, smooth track with "la-la-la"s and high toned keys.
"Swashbuckling" We hear a ringing warning sound like an "illmatic" memory, the Buckwild comes in with snare claps and and a low guitar groove looping. Apathy mesmerizes fans with his tongue twisting turn. The beat switches up to a stand-up bass and a string snare and jazzy for RYU. A familiar Artifacts bass line and sleigh bells came in for Esoteric to blow you away. A finally switch in the beat to a dark loop with trumpet and keys for Celph. "where's the catering service, i need to feed my ego".
"I Could Write a Rhyme" has Celph go through his love for his rap and parallel it with his career arc. A nostalgic, dreamy synth and flowing bass guides us throughis trip. The samples of the hook with trumpets tug at the yearning heart strings.
By this time you get the point. Killer, layered beats that harken a time when people spent time on a beat (and made it music...) and didn't just press three notes on a synth or computer and write a hook hoping to be the next hot ringtone.
These beats have all my favorite elements: hard snare hits, boom bap bass, horns, keys, strings, organs, relevant samples, scratches, and the sum of all these parts
adding to an atmosphere.
Every song is a hit. Some Highlights: "There Will Be Blood", the beat alone. it is the same song as in the RZA/ODB classic - "All In Together Now". SO, we got the funk. Now throw in Celph lines like "i bring bitches back to the pad like mentsrual cycle". Then for guests; Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, OC, & Diamond D. Peep AG: "My grind is unparalleled; while you keep horsing around like a carousel"
"Miss Those Days" another nostalgic beat, including a chick singing, and Celph cleverly goes through the decade musically and culturally. "RZA rocked them all those beats/Sega had the Altered Beast/ and its unsafe to wear Jordans on any street".
Al Roker, K-Solo, Benz vs Lexus, "before the perfected hydro", Magic, p-h-a-t, Wayans Borthers; but my favorite: "Kids bought cd's from Biohazard and Anthrax; ate lots of fast food - what the fuck is a trans-fat?!?"
"Hardcore Data" and "Step Correctly" have Celph on his best over some amazing beats. "I'm all about biscuits and trees like some Keebler elves" Celph loves the goofy, too. from lines: "i was a stick up kid, it was fucked up but fun (why?) cuz i used a Nintendo Duck Hunt Gun" to a song called "Wack Juice" ripping on how every dude and his mom, thanks to youtube, facebook, myspace, macbooks, home programs and every other reason that every fan has a rap and asks everyone to listen - in tight jeans, scarves, messd up hair, and auto tune. Riiping on "hipsters in Wiiliamsburg" to the hook of Can-I-Bus, "You're dripping with Wack Juice and you can't get it off."
An older single that gets the lp treatment Style Ain't Raw is smack yo momma good. Apathy and guest on it. Ap opens up saying "yeah, you know, we came up in an era when everyone had to have their own style...now everyone wants to sound like everyone else". SO apathy shows what the perfect amalgam of style and talent and delivery that sounds like in an astonishing alchemy of verbiage and flow. The beat is a bubbling xylophone-like dreamy loop over rough bass hits and strings off in the left ear. Roots in the hook before Celph drops it sick. Then we close with the man, Chino XL.
and really, hoe can you gt better than that. you can't.
The two closers bring it home. "Where I Are" has a nice tribe feel with Q-Tip in the hook and more xylophone and bass bumps and flutes and occasional horns. Phat. Dope. Fresh. all that. He name drops Data from The Goonies, Heavy D, and Heather B. He spits how we forget what rap sounded like. not with this track, we won't. Then, "Time Travels" closes the lp out with an introspective flow. A good feel. As an album that is all about the past, here we have a way to look at ourselves and what the future holds.
If you love hip hop - get this. Smart, clever, funny; intricate flows that are imaginative and funny. If you loved the nineties with guns and forties you can dig it; if you just love battling and clowning, Celph got that too. Dope.
buy it at UGHH
A) Smaller gov't
B) NO wasteful spending
C) more efficient gov't
D) progress; moves forward
E) executing the people's will
IS THIS REALLY THE WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS? self indulgent waste productsGOP promises 7 hearings week for 40 weeks
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
7L & Esoteric "1212" Review
7L & Esoteric are of my favorite groups, hands down. Love that it's from Boston. Love the references; barely any guns and bitches talk (course I love Celph, Ap, Kool G, etc); beats bang like '92; and the wordplay, punchlines, and metaphors are unparalleled in this rap game. That said, the electro of "New Dope" bugged me. I love the 1st two lp's; DC 2 was okay. Again, that being said, ECA blew me away. My favorite shit of the decade. Eso nixed that lazy slurred flow; came with angry, energetic, clever shit. Beats banged. Flip it to the solo, concept of "Saving Seamus Ryan"; home run. So, What would Eso do when re-teamed with the mighty 7L?
Flawless. This album is the apex of rap. No doubt. Beats to make your head nod with smart raps and multi-syllabic rhyme schemes. Whew! On fire like habaneros hoisted from Mt. St. Helena. Every song is a banger. Turntables and scratches. Drums. Horns. Strings. Organs. INS, Sadat X, Ap, Celph, Vinnie Paz, Ev & Alchemist, Ill Bill, Reef, and Statik Selektah for guests.
The collabos are fun and on point. He calls in friends and his Army boys. But they are icing on a moist, fluffy cake, not the delicious pith. It's the Eso solo joints that bring it hardest. Songs with a story like "I Hate Flying" and "New Rapper", a rant on up and coming rappers that expect an Esoteric guest spot for free.
"Retrospects" jumps in with Esoteric reviewing his career over a beat bumps. The hook is over a guitar squeal. and the ascending synths of the verses gets you amped.
"Run This" is a joint with Celph Old School stand up Bass loop provides the boom bap. Eso comes into establishes why he is the man. Some Horns come in. "Our RPG's ain't the same - i'm a Rocket Propelled Grenade, you a Role Playing Game. Hail Ceasar! only gun charge you got is a SuperSoaker on your Visa" - Es.
Celph rocks his gun love and does it well. "Spray your frame, not an artiste - You shop at Kanye's Boutique - wash your hair with Garnier Fuctis" ends with a Tim Dog quote. Boom!
"Aneurysm" the weakest beat in my opinion, ("I made this beat in 10 minutes, yeah i cooked it up...") but the old-school drum clap, scratches, and the samples raise it notch. And of course the rap is ridiculous - all comparison battle rap. - "I'm air traffic controlling, even if you were a Boeing; you couldn't show up on my radar with flowing.
"12th Chamber" great beat. Horns and strings to a smooth, but energetic beat, with some girl moans in the back. Maybe akin to "Iron Flag" or "The Movement". INS comes in first and delivers a fresh rhyme ("you're wounded in the war like "Medic"; no anesthetic, plus no medal for your effort"). Catchy-ass hook. Then Eso comes in and slays it. I mean, this rhyme id just machine gun pace of rhyming at a frenetic pace. You'll be hitting rewind with wide eyes. He conquers this beat. why even try to snip a quote. you just need to hear it.
"The Handle" is a blast. Eso and Sadat X kick '80s Basketball rhyme. Droppin' knowledge. Fun memories over a somber organ shifts over peppy hi-hat hits. "DeeBrown pumps" word.
"For My Enemies" - The catchiest, slow swagger, spit off the dome; this beat and rhyme were forged in mountain sides from the gods. Just amazing. it starts - "everyone has a clone, mine is God on a throne". The catchiest beat and sample with a refrain of "Ooohh..." integrated into his rhymes. Untouchable. This beat is in my head all day. I end up talking to this beat to others who just do not get it. And with lines like: "everytime the pen hits, they wanna get forensics, haul away bodies like Christina Hendricks ... if your flow is sick dog, I'm the veterinarian/ not a nazi no not a veteran Aryan o'reilly killer, try to say I'm unamaerican/call me double-Zero, cause these rappers keep on (Parishin)/ i bring it to your door, like i' Christmas Carollin'..." or "...louder than arena rock - you were raised on "SpeakerBoxxx"; i was on a speakerbox"!
"Drawbar 1-2" This is The Dilated and Alchemist joint. A sweet rolling Hammond loop with a slow bass bomp lays behind each mc. This is a Alchemist beat and has a DP feel. and Eso comes correct. "I lock myself in the studio session like it's jail. it's ironic, cuz the ink's fresh out the pen daily. You only poppin shit when your crew's around - you only hit the pen when Google's down". This song is a slow mix of East/West hip hop.
"No Shots" this is my other hook in the head all day. i spit this refrain constant. The old Doug E Fresh organ loop and the '80s drums and clavs, go damn. and the hook "Yep, you know this". "I grew up on DOC and Tim D-O-G; how the fuck can i respect groups like 3OH!3 ?" ..."Guru passed we were in mournin' still Travis Barker got the cover of The Source and..." .. oh god - one, more. "Me and you shouldn't be in the same sentence of rap music. as a matter of fact. my name should have a period attached to it." This song is a call to real hip-hop. not just by the late '80s beat, or simple whining or reminiscing - but by Eso flexing sick skill setting the bar to what fans should demand as he criticizes current crap the passes for 'rap'.
"Bare Knuckle Boxing" is the AOTP joint. A dope Stoupe slow dragging tuba stomp comes in a haunting dark song that lays out the typical stage for Esoteric, Bill, Vinnie, and Reef. The best dudes come out and rep the East with thuggish, bravado, violent declarations. The master of the multi-syllable rhymes confirm their throne.
"I Hate Flying" is just about that. Esoteric is at his best when story telling. And here he brings us through a process of what goes through his brain as he is on a flight. A lamenting flute and girl's voice chant produces the perfect bed for this anxious, nervous rant. This is really good.
"The Most Rotten" This has Statik Selektah on the Boards, "7L on the cut". Fast, multi-layered rhymes that i cannot even keep up with is the flow or Mr Ryan on this one. The beat is good. Not awesome, but good. a steady beat of keys while synth horns wander around low in the mix and electro drums bounce all over do come together well. just not the 90s shit i love. Eso gets a little deep here, eschewing the simple self-proclaiming rap It's nice to hear, even at 2:20
"New Rapper" One of my favorite songs on the lp. The samples and multiple beat formulas show time, talent, and discerning editing. The music is this album at its peak. The story is the Esoteric seeking on local, new rappers wanting him to lay a verse for free.
"All i hear is "esoteric, will you rap with me?"/ When i was 18, i used to rap for free/ but now i'm 30-something/My words are worth something/You got to come up with some dough for me to murder something/ as far as your reputation, i never heard of nothing/give me website or a link, let me refer to something..."and he keeps going with this same rhyme pattern. He points out "you wouldn't ask a dude to paint your fence for free". As someone who is friends of lots of tattooers (and other artists) it makes sense. Anyway, pretty inventive rhymes and stories in this one too. Great song.
The "1,2;1,2" is referring (in my eyes) to the old boom bap. the so most of these beats are simple loops - Which is why the previous two songs stick out so much as far as composed songs. But - each beat is banging. So i would say the simplicity of the beats, are when you would just loop a beat and spit off the dome. This a session of Esoterics; where once in a while a fellow rapper knocks on the door. It has an organic feel. But 7L goes into each and eadds scratches and samples and breaks that exponentially enrich each track.
This calls back to Early 7L & Eso; and early '90s hip hop (the golden era; blah, blah, blah). But it's true. No guest seems like an add on for the sake of having a guest. INS is a cal back to "TSP" and everyone else is clearly part of the fam. This maybe the hip hop album of the year. so good. This is the smartest punchlines and metaphors; the most complex rhyming patterns; the freshest beats. So you can't touch the flow. You can't wteak the beats. Do it.
A "digital exclusive" track "ZOO" appears at the end; but i bought the CD and i got it. whatever. It rocks too. Pumping up, akin to "Most Rotten". And as far as the inlay for the album - you get explanations for each song. Which, if you care about hip hop as a culture, is enough to sell you on buying the hard copy. well worth the space it will take up in the dwindling shelf space you dedicate to CDs these days.
i can't recommend this album enough.
order at ughh