This is the online version of GIVE EM THE AX - the review section of GUILLOTINE..now 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....
NOTE TO READERS – Guillotine’s record reviews had always listed band contact info or label information, if this is missing in our current reviews that is solely because that info was not provided.
The Crooked Whispers – Satanic Melodies
For the record, I’ve never heard a crooked whisper in my life, to my knowledge. Satanic melodies? That’s open to debate. But this new LP/EP is quite interesting, and downright disturbing- in an Eyehategod kinda way…particularly with the use of disjointed, aurally abrasive sound bites. Sonically, this slab is as filthy as the bottom of a 5 year old unwashed ashtray that ticks off the usual bells and prerequisite whistles of most “stoner” shit these days – but the vocals here set this band apart from the pack. If Bon Scott were to come back as a comic book gremlin with a serious hangover ( and pissed off as all Hell), you’d get the idea here. Personally? It’s so oddball that I’d recommend it if you want something THAT FAR out of the usual box. Otherwise, fair consumer? Use your judgment wisely...
Venom – Sons Of Satan (Sanctuary Records)
Hey Mr Lant. Yea, Cronos - I’m talkin to you. If you are the force behind this slapdash horseshit, than you not only should be ashamed of yourself – you should be hogtied and horsewhipped by syphlitic whores, then be forced to service them!!! Why??? Allow me to explain…
15 tracks with only ONE choice nugget is a lot to ask record buyers to shell out for, ok? So let’s break it down for all and sundry… Tracks 1 thru 5 are from a “Church Hall Rehearsal “ from 1979 that sounds more raw than a boom box in a garage recording. Issuing stuff like this isn’t cool or “extreme” – it fucking stupid. And an insult to your fans!! As for tracks 6 thru 14, it’s all stuff we all have seen before. Demos from Impulse Studios circa 1980, the first set being the infamous “£50 demo”, and the other demos that surfaced as extra tracks on the “Welcome to Hell” CD, and on the retrospective box MMV. Track 15 was the total eyebrow raiser – the demo version of “At War With Satan”, a mere 13 minutes or so long – but the energy level and chemistry shown here is fearsome. It basically wipes the fucking floor with the LP version, which seems lumbering and docile in comparison.
So. One song outta 15? Not worth the cash. Well, with the 1980 demos all in one place, maybe it’s not a bad deal. But…. If you find a copy for a “five finger discount”?? Then by all means, darling – do it!!!
No Redeeming Social Value – Wasted For Life (Dead City Records)
Leave it to one of my fave NYC bands to finally drop a long awaited LP right in the middle of a pandemic. It’s actually perfect timing!!! With 10 tunes in 21 minutes, it’s lean, stripped down and straight to the motherfucking point. Lee Ving intro aside, “Don’t Tell Me” crashes into the room like a chair thru a barroom front window, showing that NRSV hasn’t lost touch with themselves one bit. The other thing that is obvious is that the production is SOLID - it’s even, crisp and the songs absolutely seethe, making this a joy to listen to!!!
So what we got to talk about since NRSV last laid it down? Hmmm…Beer!! Mosh pit masters! The perils of social media!! The inevitable trip down the aisle!! Anxiety!! And maybe one or 2 other things, but lastly – just being NRSV. And to be honest? I’ve missed this kinda stuff. And these guys sure as hell delivered the goods and then some…and not for nothing? It’s about fucking time!!!
So Dean, Kent, Glen and Mr Franko – thanks for once again rocking the party – and making these shitty times that much more bearable…and not that you ever left? But welcome home.
The Great Lie – Defying Extinction
One of Long Island’s stronger bands that represent a who’s who of LIHC bedrock, this six song ep has heavy sounding more modern HC Thrash style stuff – sitting alongside the more “traditional” HC style stuff, giving it an interesting balance. If that doesn’t work for you? There’s always the cover art – pretty damn stellar stuff. Standout tracks in particular are “Devilbox”, and “This Is Bullshit”.Keep an eye out for these guys, they definitely don’t disappoint.
To my understanding, this is a side project of Darkside (NYC) bassist Mark Sokoll , and it is quite the shock to the system. While elements of Doom and Hardcore rear their heads throughout this rather short 4 song EP, the main strain showing glaring prominance is the sludgy, speaker fraying, super amped metal that raises the eyebrows & the adreneline for sure. Definitely not for the weaker folks out there. You can score a copy thru Bandcamp, if yer brave enough...
Bastard Clan/The Arrogant Dream CD
(Dead City Records)
apocalyptic cover art by Sean Pryor
With members hailing from such bands as the Krays, Straphangers, Truents and All Out War how could you go wrong? Nine hard-hitting tunes that bear more than a little in common with the mid to late new wave of British heavy metal circa 1981-83 (think early Iron Maiden); with some of the thrashier elements of punk thrown in for good measure. Songs flow seamlessly into one another from start to finish, rounded off by John Kray’s trademark vocals.
Cro-Mags/Don’t Give In
(Victory Records – limited edition of 800)
(clear vinyl, comes with sticker and download card)
After a long legal battle this is Harley Flanagan’s first foray into reclaiming his Cro-Mags’name on vinyl and this is an amazing debut. Let’s start with the cover art, a city in flames or a skeletal face, your choice. “Don’t Give In” opens this three song EP with a lengthy slow dirgy instrumental before blasting out your speakers with some fast hard-hitting h/c metal mix, complete with Harely’s distinctive rough and gritty vocals, bringing a smile to any true Cro-Mags’ fans face. Side B keeps the tempo going with “Drag You Under”, a little less on the speed than “Don’t Give In”, but definitely straight up metal, heavy and hard, with Harleys’s distinctive stamp to it. The two songs flow seamlessly into one another, as we head into “No One’s Victim”, another hard and heavy tune. Lyrics are of a piece: stand up, don’t give in, fight for what you believe and you won’t be a victim. Words to live by! Thumbs up on this one.
[back ups on this EP are credited to Harleys’ two boys]
Deadblow Hammer/No Repercussions EP
(Patient Zero Records)
[6 songs listed but “Caught Me A Virus” is only available on the digital download]
Out of the ashes of Against The Grain emerges Deadblow Hammer, with original veteran bassist Rob Kabula (Agnostic Front, Cause For Alarm) on board you pretty much know what to expect – fast paced energetic with a mixture of hardcore and crossover along with AGs ability to cram as many words as is humanly possibly into one single song. Nice to see these guys still have what it takes to make the music happen. (Photo op is not the cheeriest of band pics, with everyone sitting around looking like they are waiting for the bomb to drop. EP comes in various colors including blue and white).
Defcon-1/Global Extinction CD
This four-song demo CD opens with an air raid warning which erupts into “Ground Zero”, a fast pace thrashy hardcore tune with raw screamed vocals. Some numbers reminded me of bands like Abject or Fed Up, but with harder, rawer vocals , while others had a Sheer Terror feel to them. This is a good intro into this band. Go see them live for the full effect.
DI/United We Slam EP
(Hand Grenade Records)
Casey Royer, veteran of the OC County punk scene of the 70s and the Adolescents, is still kicking it with DI and kicking hard. With Eddie and Joe Tater, on bass and drums respectively and Clinton on guitar, the band has put together an EP that slips in nicely with DI’s tried and true style. The lyrics are political, angry and bombastic; slamming you in the face with their critique on religious hypocrisy, the violent state of affairs in both the USA and the world at large, and yet have time for a little lighthearted surfing ditty. Side One opens with “Surf Punk In The USA” which has a definitive Adolescents feel to it, followed by “World At War” [not to be confused with the Black Market Baby tune of the same name], a darker, more rhythmic number that presents some stark imagery, ending with the sound of explosives and marching soldiers. Side 2 follows it up with “Hypo Christians”, a number with a keyboard segue into a fast paced tune with a message, and really the fastest of the four on this piece of vinyl. “Volatile Situations” ends the EP, with Casey Royer intoning “Such a good environment until you turn around. Don’t look back.” What follows is a pretty dark, Nihilistic wallop of a number – no fluff and happy melodies on this one, for sure. It is a record that leaves you thinking. You might not find a gem like “Richie Hung Himself” or “Hang Ten In East Berlin,” but you will find a record that is definitely worth listening to a number of times, as it starts to grow on you.
Future Terror/Plague LP
The first thing I noticed about this LP was the black and white cover art, a skeleton pointing a machine gun out into an apocalyptic scene of devastation, which appears to be a recurrent scene on records recently. In conjunction with the great artwork, the LP opens with an apocalyptic sound bite that leads into “Toxic Greed”, extreme vocals and the ever-familiar D-Beat on the drums. This pretty much sets the style for the majority of the LP. Vocals are often indecipherable, so it is a good thing there is an accompanying lyric sheet to not sing along to. The instruments tend to drown out the vocals to where it becomes a background roar and something that appears to be added as an afterthought. Sound bites are inserted intermittently throughout the record. If there is a better side, then A is it. If this style of music is your thing, then by all means this a keeper for your collection.
Gamma Ghouls/Unlicensed Material CD
When I first saw this band at Mother Pugs (SI), the first word that came to mind was Misfits. And so, it was no surprise that they hail from New Jersey. Or that their song titles are horror themed as well. The eight tunes on this cd are all catchy numbers that energize – particular faves include “Xenomorph” and “Red Death”, but they are all good. Live they have a distinctive stage presence that impressed me and the CD did not disappoint, bringing all that and more to play out the stereo speakers. Yes, no MP3s for this OG.
Geiger Counter/Nuclear EP
(Profane Existence/Ryvvothe Records)
(blood red vinyl)
Interesting black and white graphics on the inner sleeve make this the better part of my experience with this EP. Fast adrenaline rush metalcore but with the raw screamed vocals I would be hard pressed to be able to decipher the lyrics without the accompanying lyric sheet. This pretty much follows a style that is prevalent on a lot of the records I have reviewed through recent times. “Persistent” was the best tune musically, but the vocals could have been more distinctive. This Minneapolis based band is self defined as crust core but I felt them to be closer to grind, with vocals of the style made infamous by Ralphie Boy of Disassociate. If this is your style of music then by all means give them a listen.
The Great Lie/All Roads Lead To Where You Stand CD Demo
(Recorded at Silver Lane Studios, NY)
This Long Island band includes veterans John Lafata, former member of Mind over Matter, Deathcycle and Sheer Terror on drums, and Scott Martin, whose credits include Silent Majority, Mind Over Matter and Millhouse, on bass. With a rhythm section like that you kind of know what direction this band is heading in, even before you slip this CD into your deck. The music is a blend of hardcore, 90s post hardcore and straight up metal. The 5 songs are strong in your face tunes that reflect what you hear on stage. On this CD, though, Kerry’s strong vocals seem a little under represented but otherwise a good intro to this band. “Do More, Say Less” is personally my fave of the five.
Hammered Hulls/Self-Titled EP
Featuring Alec MacKaye (Faith) on vocals and produced by Ian MacKaye, who needs no introduction, you can’t help but anticipate putting this one on your turntable, especially if you are a long time fan of both bands. From the first note of “Written Words” the music draws you in, stylistically reminiscent of Black Market Baby, particularly in the vocals. “Self Inflicted” has a great haunting chorus, which ends the song before diving head first into “Looking After You”. There are elements of the old DC sound, particularly Government Issue and BMB, on the second two songs but more slowed down. After a few listens it makes you want to reach into your cabinet to put the classic Faith/Void LP on, but bear in mind this is not Faith, it is Hammered Hulls, and that too is a good thing. Check them out.
Ice Cold Killers/Laughing With The Sinners, Crying With The Saints CD
The best way to categorize this 13 song CD would be mid 90’s Oi style music with elements of Dropkick Murphys, The Pist or even the Deacons. At times it is a mixture of melodic rock and roll and others skinhead street rock, particularly noticeably in tunes like “Walk Through The Valley of Death”. And at others it is more of the country western brand of Oi in songs like “Fight For Freedom”. For the most part, all of the tunes are highly danceable one that you find yourself singing along to on the choruses. “Broken Bones”, (not to be confused with The Freeze song of the same name) features Anthony Communale of Token Entry/Killing Time on backup vocals. The hidden track is Cock Sparrer’s “Watch Your Back”, adding an unexpected yet pleasant surprise to the end of this highly enjoyable CD. Definitely a keeper.
The Outcasts/Stay Young EP
[hot pink vinyl –how PUNK!!]
The Outcasts, a Belfast based band that started out in 1977 with the likes of SLF and nearby Derry mates The Undertones, releasing their debut single “Frustration” in 1978. After a series of unfortunate setbacks, including the death of Colin Cowan in a car accident in 1982, the band split up in 1985 having achieved a certain amount of infamy due more to their ability to create chaos than for their catchy tunes. In 2011 the band resurfaced at the Rebellion Festival and began their slow climb back to the spotlight. The EP you hold in your hands features original members Greg and Martin Cowan along with Petesy Burns on bass and JP Dear Boy Moonie (a nod to Keith Moon) on drums.
After years of listening to and reviewing hardcore, thrash and 90s punk, this release took a bit of getting used to. Like their contemporaries the music is highly danceable mid tempo melodic tunes with catchy hooks and singalong choruses. And, yes, obviously they have long since learned to play their instruments. The guitar on “The Pressures On’ has more than a distinctive Micky Geggus influence to it, which can never be a bad thing. I actually had the urge to dance around the living room in my PJs on this one. “Rebel Rock Radio” was the one clunker, a slowed down rhythmic tune that had elements of Gary Glitter and early Decca years Cock Sparrer. In fact, my cat Gris Gris downright hated this one, waking up out of a sound sleep to give me an accusatory look, before coming over to me to give it the paws down!! Other than the B side ( ie. The throwaway side) I enjoyed this one..reminding me that not everything has to be played at lightning speed to be good.
RBNX/Surrounded By Sin CD
[comes with a lyric sheet]
This Poughkeepsie NY based band kind of patterns itself after the 90s Lookout Record bands on the Op Ivy take, but have cleverly self defined their own way with it. Songs range from “I,300 Miles” which has that old 80s Cali demo sound to I but with a rawness that reeks of hardcore and ends with a pisstake on an old FDR recording, to “Check Yo Self”, a distinctly reggae influenced tune. Each song contains enough variety to keep your interest. I found myself laughing uproariously to “90 Days”, a song that ranks right up there with GG Allen & The Scumfucks’ “Drink, Fight & Fuck”. “Blue Lies” was my absolute fave musically in that it had that mid 90s punk energy, with condemnatory lyrics on the men in blue. After listening to this CD I was even more miffed that I missed their set at Mother Pugs – and after all is said and done, what can you say about a band who hands out plastic boomerangs with their band name written on them individually with black marker right there at the show? Unusual…unique..and FUN. Check them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Scared Earth/Poisoned World LP - 45rpm
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Scared Earth’s LP features 10 heavy tunes, several of which are sung in Swedish (as noted in the accompanying lyric sheet). Side A is the more Discharge influenced side, opening with “War On War”, setting the tune lyrically for their political and socially conscious stance on the current world climate. Vocals are rough and gritting with that hard driving rhythm that would give any Clay Records fan an instant woody. It even got my cat to run rampant around the ole homestead. Not Side One is also not Discharge focused, some of the songs are a bit slowed down and more rhythmic, which might explain why the singer Sports a COC shirt on the back-cover photo. [as an aside, the last track on the Not Side A side has a typo]
Scooped Up/Self-Titled CD
My first experience with Scooped Up was at the Shillelagh Tavern in Queens. Their set was full of raunchy banter and poppy punk tunes and some of this is filtered into this three song CD. The music seems to be highly influenced by mid 90s like Digger, The Queers, Pansy Division or even the first Bouncing Souls EP, or any band on Fat Wreck Chords, Epitaph or Lookout from the 1994-96 era. While the music itself is highly melodic pop punk, dare I say bordering on bubblegum, the lyrics are of the raunchier, toilet humor, which is where Pansy Division comes in to play. Very danceable saccharine stuff, bringing a nostalgic tear to my eye for those great shows at the much-missed Coney Island High.
Too Many Voices/Catch Me If You Can CD
This Long Island based band, featuring Jeff Kaplan on bass (guitarist for Two Man Advantage), has managed to make quite a name for themselves already. This is their second CD, and features seven tunes, that are adult oriented, very well structured and well arranged. “Lost Boys” for no particular reason reminds me of The Proclaimers’ “Five Hundred Miles”, which is not a bad thing. There are parts, especially in the guitar, that contain the dissonance that have come to be associated with the post hardcore music period. Each song is distinctive yet blends into the full dimension of the CD.
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 Nihilistics..so PC afficianados..you might want to cover your eyes and ears ‘cause this one def ain’t for you…Thumbs up! -- 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
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]
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!!!
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…..
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!!!
FU MANCHU ep
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!!!
DISCHARGE / END OF DAYS
Well well...now 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 lightly...it'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!!
ZERO RIGHTS / OUR WORLD
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.
CARNAGE KREW / FRONT KICK TO THE FACE
...NEW HAPPENINGS...and MORE to follow!!!!