NYC's Ground Zero for Hardcore Punk. Undisputed. Since 1981. End Of Discussion.
NYC's Ground Zero for Hardcore Punk. Undisputed. Since 1981.  End Of Discussion.

**********MUSIC REVIEWS**********

This is the online version of GIVE EM THE AX - the review section of here's something we want to remind you about, ok? IF YOU DONT SEND US YOUR MUSIC, IT ISNT GONNA GET REVIEWED!!!

Simple enough?? Now we are clear - so if your stuff isn't here? Then don't moan and bitch....

Inmates/Creatures Of The Night

(Non Commercial Records [second pressing]


Somehow this record wound up in my box to review, a piss take on punk if there ever was one.  The record has a fresh uniqueness to it that reminds me of early hardcore punk when each band had its own distinctive sound and wasn’t afraid to step out of the proverbial box.  Songs have enery and drive and no holds barred lyrics that at times can be as offensive as the likes of GG Allin and the PC might want to cover your eyes and ears ‘cause this one def ain’t for you…Thumbs up! -- wje



Iron Cages/Indulgence

(Society Bleeds Records/Hog Wild Records)



Musically, the songs on this ep are good fast paced, ass kicking hardcore but the shrill screamed vocals lack the power behind them to keep pace with the tunes.  Maybe the addition of some back up vocals might fill out the sound. –wje


Future Fables/ S/T  [comes with download card]\


If the psychedelic cove isn’t a dead giveaway, then the first few notes surely will.  If surrealistic slowed down wannabe sixties tunes are your schtick then by all means go for it. As for me, I still can’t fathom why anyone would send this slab of vinyl to a hardcore zine…maybe I should drag out a copy of Strawberry Alarm Clock next.--wje

Don’t Sleep/Bring The Light

(Reaper Records)


This 3 song ep, Dave Smalley’s new venture into the edgy hardcore scene comes across as a more melodic harder edged side of Down By Law. The vox, especially on Bring The Light still bear the imprint of Dave’s old DC roots.  Not a bad try, but definitely not on the level of Dag Nasty.--wje

Wilding Incident/Prey For The Wolfpack  [comes with download card and lyric sheet]

(Reaper Records) 


 With Danny Diablo aka Ezek (Crown of Thornz) and Jimmy William (Maximum Penalty) on drums you pretty much know what you’re in for before this slab of vinyl even hits your turntable.  This four song ep is at it s best when it sticks to that  tried and true fast paces 90s style hardcore that these guys are known for.  When the music slows down during some of the breakdowns it only acts as a distraction from the lyrics and energy of the songs.  The segue between songs on the B side is strikingly reminiscent of the first Madball seven inch Ball of Destruction.  A must for fans of that old beatdown style. – wje

Hot Blood/Fear of a Unified Public (Gruesome Twosome Records)

In the tradition of fast thrash bands, starting the early 80s with DRI, Hot Blood gives us a record that is guaranteed to blow you away.  The music is hard and heavy, hitting you with a one, two punch.  The album ends with a curve ball, an acoustic number that mellows you out, making you reach for that last roach sitting in your ashtray.  These guys have all current events covered, with some amazingly insightful lyrics, of the quality of early Bad Religion.  From “Nuclear Summer” to “rising Tide”, the words bombard you with the frightening saga that has been bequeathed to us all in 2019.  An extra bonus is he toxic colored vinyl that looks like a post nuclear fallout imprinted onto a 12” slab of music that is thoughtful,  informative and worthy of inclusion in any hardcore collection.

Deviant/Loading The Gun  (Grave Mistake Records)

(includes sticker and lyric sheet)


After recently seeing this foursome at a basement show at Brooklyn Bazaar, I was anticipating placing this piece of vinyl on my turntable and getting a good dose of fast 80s style hardcore – the kind that saw its most recent revival with bands like Government Warning and Social Circle over a decade ago.  Of course, since Deviant hails from Virginia and the ep was released on Grave Mistake’s label, it is no surprise that this music continues to pick up the baton of aforementioned bands and wields it proudly.  Vocals are raw and the music a fast and furious blast of tunes guaranteed to wake up your neighbors from their Sunday morning stupor.

The Fight/The Master Is Calling  (Reconsider Records)

                  (A side only 12” ep)


Hailing from Smithtown, Long Island, The Fight is an early 80s style hardcore band that actually sounds like they were from that period, both musically and recording style.  No posi core here, they have that angry angst that LI bands like the Nihilistics made into a trademark, and this is perfectly driven home with the likes of “Nuke Long Island – playfully turning the “strong” into the “wrong” Island.  I  particularly liked the “fuck you” on the lyric sheet, aimed at the “summer soldiers” of hardcore.  And, I imagine, if you are one of the fortunates to read this and buy the record, that this doesn’t include you.  Great sentiment.  Great ep. – it gets the OG seal of approval.

Ecstatic Vision – Under the Influence (Heavy Psych Records)


6 brand new slabs of positively filthy Monster Magnet style riffdom.  Reminds me of being in a garage with local stoners, the smell of weed, stale beer and mold mixing with high energy overamped 70’s rock blasting thru the air – so loud it makes the local girls next door wanna stop by and see what all the noise is about…They even BLAST thru the MC5 classic “Come Together” for good measure. Definitely top down, windows open pedal thru the floor kinda riff and roll that doesn’t come around often these days – if you cant grab a copy? Steal one.  Seriously!!!

Sleep –

The Sciences (Third Man Records)


Weedians, hashishians, and lungsmen of the overpopulated sphere called earth – your day has arrived!!! On the holiest of days, 4/20/18 – a new SLEEP album has appeared. The only clue was on the bands website – IN MORSE CODE. Stoners then rose from their fogged states, flooded the cyberspace airways, and scrambled to grab the green vinyl and /or alternate cover versions of an album 20 years in the making. So, you ask… was it worth it?? Let me toss my hat into this debate, if I may…. 2 of the tracks here (Sonic Titan & Antarticans Thawed) are the studio versions of songs played live for eons…the leadoff track is just Matt Pike making sonic toggle switch noises, leaving 2 totally new cuts, and an outro/instrumental. Otherwise, it’s a grand total of 6… But yes, it is worth the time to spend your cash on – if they tacked on “The Clarity”, it would be an even BIGGER reason to grab a copy. So yes… proceed, Weedian!!

Monsternaut – Enter The Storm (Heavy Psych Records)


Straight outta Finland come Monsternaut with their second release…and usually I dig the stuff from Heavy Psych – but while the LP is dark, sludgy and heavy as fuck? Sometimes a band draws TOO HEAVILY from bands whom they are influenced by. Vocals sound like Scott Hill on downers, while the music sounds a bit too much like… uh… ya get where this is going? I’m sure some will love the fuck outta this LP, but it’s not my cup of tea…

Two Man Advantage – Bar Down


After about twenty some odd years, Two Man Advantage still hold the title of the KISS of Hockey  Themed Punk… if anything else is the fact that they’ve been nothing but consistent. Beer. Hockey. Hockey and beer. Beer and hockey. And any and all things relating to the 2 after mentioned items!! So, with this 6 song release we know we wont be dealing with political, social, economical or any hot button issues whatsoever. With titles like “Winter Classic”, “Stickboy”, et al – you know EXACTLY what time it is. Fast paced action with melody to spare, yeah you know where you are, kid – no time for sippin’….so go 2 Man or go home!!


The Freeks –

Crazy World (Heavy Psych Records)


It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Ruben Romano and his tone bending , cage rattling high priests of assorted sonic mayhem, the Freeks. Thankfully, we’ve been gifted with 8 new tunes that cover lots of aural acres for you to soak up between your ears, and take it from me, you WILL enjoy the journey!! From the balls up opener “American Lightning” (with Mr Ray Hanson from Thee Hypnotics guesting with some shotgun guitar riff-o-rama ) to the 70’s cinematic style closer “Mothership To Mother Earth”, there’s lots on your plate to choose from – so don’t be shy, indulge yourself – Freek Style!!! Also available on limited purple vinyl, for extra added grooviness.

Tons -  Filthy Flowers Of Doom         (Heavy Psych Records)


Now THIS is something you folks out there will either love or hate…but you CANNOT deny its groove, power or intensity. Vocals have that extreme thing going on (high, raspy heavy duty screeching, versus low bowel shaking Cookie Monster stuff)and this release will have you grasping to figure out how to describe it – but relax. Don’t attempt to figure it out – just enjoy it for what it is – well crafted heaviness with all the twists and turns to keep you listening!!

Black Rainbows – Pandemonium (Heavy Psych Records)


Well, folks…the newest sonic slab of darkly frothing fuzz doom from the Italian band Black Rainbows is now upon you… led by Gabriele Fiori (also the head honcho at Heavy Psych), this new release  continues the journey of all things fuzzed, furious, and somewhat otherworldly. You got 9 cuts of unyielding yet tuneful density to steamroll out of your speakers – so prepare yourself! Matter of fact, I can smell burning buds in the distance…

Fu Manchu- Clone Of The Universe  (At The Dojo Records)


At this stage of Fu Manchu’s existence , they’ve pretty much written their own ticket, and have thus proven the band has staying power in spades…and if there was a point to prove, its been proven. And although there is a certain member of this group that needs to chill with the arrogance -that’s a whole other story – lets talk about the music here. 7 tunes here of filthy, heavy Fu style rawk – n – roll , but on the final track (consumes all of side 2 on the vinyl edition) we get the bonus of having Alex Lifeson of Rush (yes, you read that correctly) playing some added guitar which adds some wicked nuances not normally seen on a Fu album…and the results are nothing short of outstanding.  So overall? Fu Manchu has taken the genre they helped enable and given it some serious maturity – while sticking to the familiar themes we all know. Last I checked?? That was still a good thing.

Info Riot – Old & Angry


After 30 or so years, Infa Riot gives us a brand new LP. I have to admit, this LP put me in a great mood – upbeat, uptempo and downright hilarious at times…definitely a down the pub to have a few soundtrack! 13 tongue thru cheek street rock chestnuts, worth your dosh – so open yer wallet, son.

(V) – The Bronx


Hailing from California way, the latest release from The Bronx is short, sharp and quite barbed – but also quite palatable and non threatening. An odd combination at best, but it totally works! To these ears, it was a lot like when labels like Epitaph were establishing themselves, and bands that sounded like this were turning up like stop signs on every other corner.If that’s your sonic road, than here’s your newest vehicle to ride it with…

Flamin Groovies – Fantastic Plastic


Yes, the old geezers have returned, wry humor intact!!! Playing a touch slower than your average MOR type band, the songs are delivered concisely as you would expect from these elder statesmen…12 harmless tunes that go easy on your ears and psyche – but if your expecting long awaited sequels to Shake Some Action or Teenage Head, good luck, kiddo…

The Wild Sounds Of The Lords Of Altamont -  Lords Of Altamont


If you like it grimy, fuzzed out and greasier than the thong of the scooter trash hanging with the local MC chapter around your way, then say Boy Howdy to your newest besties, the Lords Of Altamont. Originally championed by none other than the late Michael Davis from the MC5, the LOA have been grinding it out for awhile now, and this latest release (produced by Mr Paul Roessler)  might be a little more polished – The grittiness toned if only a little. Sonically, it’s a day at the office for these boys – the tunes coming off like cruising the desert roadway without headgear on a summer day. Heavy sounds for your riding pleasure… 

Queensbury Rules – Bristol Elite


One of the latest releases from United Riot Records, this 13 song LP has a feel as though the Templars were channeling a street rock feel thru an Iron Maiden filter – and the results are pretty interesting – in a good way!! Lyrically, they take no pains in to remind you that they are indeed Skinheads – all about the working class, Skinhead pride, how they wont run from a fight, they're here to stay, get in the way and you will get a beat down, Oi,Oi,Oi…having grown up a middle class kid, I know the sentiment well – back to front. But after a few songs, its like….dude…cmon now…enough!!! Recommended for seasoned hooligans and aspiring troublemakers around the globe…

Ascend/Descend – Murdock Street


Straight outta Boston come Ascend/Descend with a 7 song EP that wastes not one second with formalities – headed straight for the jugular with opener “Consequence”…matter of fact? The only breather you get is an uncomfortably discordant tune called ‘Rot” – and that even weighs more than a touch heavy on your being!! The only thing heavier than this EP is the experience of seeing these guys live….but if you cant make the gig? Then here’s your taste – and it’s not to be taken lightly.

Bloodclot – Up In Arms


Before we start? Sit down. You sitting?? Goooood…now pay attention, ok? Listen carefully…I’m only gonna say it once – sooo here goes : TO JUDGE A BAND ON THE COLLECTIVE MEMBERS PAST HISTORIES BEFORE YOU EVEN HEAR THE MUSIC DEFEATS THE POINT OF PROGRESSION…and? It makes you out to be a mental midget of the highest ranking order.
Ok…that being said, let’s get to the point…this LP is one of the bigger surprises for 2017, for sure!! There are times when you listen to a album and can get the immediate feeling that everyone involved in the process was having a blast creating and recording it – this is definitely one of those records!! 13 tunes that are Unashamedly thrashy and belligerently pummeling in equal measures, it’s pretty much like trying to stop[ a steamroller charging down a San Francisco hill.  And live? They are even better…but get this LP first, so you know what you're getting into. I'm just hoping this isn't a one off project – that would be a true shame of epic proportions. And as a note to all the members of the band? THIS is a profoundly positive step in all of your directions – hope you can keep it going…!!!

Chuck Berry – Chuck


I believe it was John Lennon that once said “If you gave rock and roll another name, it would be Chuck Berry”.There has never been a truer statement – like it or not. If not for Mr Berry being in the right place at the right time, I can assure you that things would have probably turned out a LOT different. His first recording since “Rockit” – a mere 35 years ago, you're NOT exactly gonna find Chuck breaking new musical ground – indeed a tough task when you basically built the highway? All the familiar themes are there – playful and still a touch bawdy – but thru the eyes of the elder statesman…while the ever so familiar music cruises just like that ol’ Coup DeVille you remember from “Maybellene” all them years ago . Sadly, Berry passed on before “Chuck” was to be released –  I'm sure he would have loved to see the final feather in his cap. But, alas…like the song said – “C’est la Vie, said the old folks/goes to show you never can tell…”
Roll on, Mr Berry… RESPECT.

Alice Cooper – Paranormal


In an age of constant changes, sometimes it’s a good thing that SOME things stay around to remind us of where we come from, to some extent…and for me, one of those things is the perseverance of someone like Alice Cooper. Not exactly needing an introduction, his iconic status is pretty much secure in the pages of Rock and Roll history – and pushing 70, he doesn’t seem to show many signs of slowing down. His newest LP is said to be akin to “12 separate episodes of the Twilight Zone”, but it’s more like ( at least from this writer’s perspective) an expansion of the snarky, pointed witticisms with only a slight update soundwise- keeping him more than a little solvent. After all, when you basically wrote your own ticket and defined a genre you pretty much created – why change?? To sweeten the pot, there’s 3 bonus cuts (depending on what version you get) featuring the guys from the ORIGINAL Alice Cooper group…let’s just say “Paranormal” is a win/win situation all across the board…

The Last Stand – This Is Real


Every now and again, the borough of Brooklyn throws me a musical curveball. In the last 25 or so years, there's been a few bands from that place that have made me realize that Kings County has more to it than a history of mental midget Guidos, disco, Saturday Night Fever, the Crazy Country Club and Lamours – the self proclaimed “rock capital of Brooklyn “…

The Last Stand’s new EP “This Is Real”  comes as a shock to my collective system – merely on the grounds that it outpaces previous works released by the band’s collective members. Musically sound foundation and structure, these songs show true conviction by the band playing them…there isn't a half hearted moment contained here on this release whatsoever.
I will say this much, and stand behind it – when a band truly loves what it does, the songs take on a power that will be seen AND felt. And “This is Real” has that power in spades. Buy or miss the boat and be forever blighted!!

Chesty Malone and the Slice 'em Ups –                        We're Still Dead


If you haven't yet had a close encounter with this band yet, perhaps it's time you should. “We’re Still Dead” is the newest release by the Brooklyn Torture Rock veterans, and deserves your attention. Why? Simply because of the fact that despite the artwork and band imagery, this LP is NOT what you'd perceive it to be…
Sure, it's thrashy, tastefully trashy and I'll admit – a lot of fun! They even have O.P. from Negative Approach playing drums, fer Christ sakes!! But  what sets “…Dead” apart from the pack is that there's more colors on the pallet than usual (without sacrificing any heaviness or musical identity), which is a pleasant surprise to the usual strum und drang that clouds the air pumping from my sound system. At times, the songs have an almost cinematic approach, kind of  like what you'd hear from the original Alice Cooper band – but only with Doyle of the Misfits playing the role of Glen Buxton. And? It actually WORKS. So…need a break from “chuggachuggayoyoyodragmyknuckleshawdcoreforLIFE,yo” kinda drivel??? Then pass go, skip past the bullshit and buy a copy of this record. The Zombie Relief Fund will love ya for it.

Ache – Fade Away
Coming from the ashes of bands like Dead Serious and Abject, Ache’s debut on Dead City Records is nothing to sneeze at in terms of a starting point. At times, it’s more of a wall of noise that seethes in a way that is quite uncomfortable to listen to – then again...dark music isn’t something that is taken lightly. Lyrically and otherwise, it’s quite a heavy release,  so  As long as you aren’t expecting a standardized metallic flavored LP, then welcome to your newest nightmare…..


Iconicide – Give Me Extinction Or Give Me Death
To cut directly to the chase, there aren’t many ways to pigeonhole Iconicide  - nor should one attempt to. They are an entity unto themselves, forever teetering the tightrope between the outer fringe and the abyss. Compromise? Not in their vocabulary or mission statement. But on other fronts, this release is one of their most listenable releases, half studio, half live, and the whole project dedicated to the memory of bassist Shane Keogh. If you want to see what unflinching devotion to unfiltered musical malignancy sounds and looks like, you’ve found ground zero.

RADIAC – 3 song demo


Released on a flexi-disc (yes, you read correctly…a flexi!!!)…Features former members of Dead Serious, and follows in the vein of angry, thrashable older style hardcore punk with Discharge type vocals. I'd love to see how this project progresses beyond these 3 cuts…definitely not a bad way to start off!!!


Future Transmitter / Slow Ride


Yes, the Fu Crew take a stab at Foghat's "classic" seventies schlock rock  staple- but with the typical Fu flair. The results are....well, you'll have to be the judge!! I was more in tune with the A - Side of this EP - which is the Fu that we all know and love - it sounds like an outtake from the last release "Gigantoid"...but I would recommend grabbing a copy from a shop  rather than thru their site - the shipping charge is more than the frigging record!!!



Well THIS was a release I was dreading and anticipating in equal measures!! But from the get go? This platter is a aural brickbat not to be taken's not the dying gasp of some old geezers trying to grab a fast buck - its an honest, legit release that pretty much keeps with the band's traditional sound - brutally uncompromising to the bone!!



 What we have here is primarily a lower level "super group" of NYC underground stalwarts from bands such as Caught In A Trap, Refuse Resist  and  Gangway ....8 songs that are solid and tight musically - pretty hard hitting with vocals that are upfront but a bit too much like Jeff Clayton (Antiseen) for comfort.  Overall, a good representation for what the climate in NYC is on today's musical front.


 More than a decade since their debut 'Killing Spree', the Sickos from Bronx NY are back with some Thrash Metal NYHC. Not for the PC crowd with 'Feelings are for Assholes', 'Up your Ass' and 'Instinct To Sin' they got some brutal songs. They also have some funny ass songs like Buyback, Pizza & Beer and Julio's Got No Visa about a ex band mate. The recording is top notch and the songs kick ass. Just when you thought NYHC got boring you get get a front kick to your face. For fans of S.O.D., No Redeeming Social Value and Crumbsuckers

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