Archive for hardcore

Straight Edge Playlist

Posted in Playlists with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by Magadh

Few would term Mags and me as overly temperate. That said, we both have great love and respect for our straight edge brothers and sisters. This respect lead me to proposition walking musical encyclopedia and all around solid dude Rob Moran for 20 of the best straight edge songs of all time. His introduction and playlist are below.

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Here is the list of what I think are the best songs by various SxE bands. Now granted, I think about 5% of the people associated with these songs are probably still SxE, but who gives a shit…these are great fucking songs, they meant something to me then and they still do now. By no means is this any sort of definitive list, but rather a list of songs that stuck with me over the years.

Rob Moran

In no particular order:
  1. Inside OutNo Spiritual Surrender
  2. Minor Threat – Minor Threat
  3. Side by SideBackfire
  4. UndertowCutting Away
  5. Turning PointBroken
  6. 7 SecondsThis is the Angry
  7. Drift AgainDrag
  8. Uniform ChoiceNo Thanks
  9. JudgeFed Up
  10. Gorilla BiscuitsNew Direction
  11. SS DecontrolGet it Away
  12. SlapshotFire Walker
  13. UnityStraight on View
  14. Chain of StrengthJust How Much
  15. JudgeWarriors (Blitz Cover)
  16. Four Walls FallingHappy Face
  17. BrotherhoodThe Deal
  18. IntegrityHarder They Fall
  19. BaneCan We Start Again
  20. Dag NastyValues Here

Since Rob included Judge twice (not that we are complaining) and is such a modest chap this is my nominee for #20.

UnbrokenYou Won’t be Back

– Captain of Games

Nomads/Treacherouskin Split “Violent Fucking World”

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on March 10, 2013 by Magadh

Nomads/Treacherouskin

Violent Fucking World

Melotov Records

The Nomads demo got a lot of play in the bunker and we’ve been more than a little curious to hear the 7″. We’re proud to report Violent Fucking World finds both bands at their best.

Nomads

Nomads offer up 4 tracks of blistering d-beat with a generous helping of power violence. By way of a reference I hear plenty of WolfbrigadeNails and Totalitär without the band veering into overt tribute territory. The opening track, “Swine Flu” tackles the topic of police oppression (something near and dear to Mike’s heart; check out Wartime Collective or the ACAB tattoo over his left eye) over a punishing d-beat onslaught and some righteous guitar work. “Viking Funeral” and “Thank God” are both heavily influenced by Dis-bands. “Bullshit Propaganda” is a ripper which conjurers up images of the best of Swedish crust. Nomads continue to impress and I hope to hear more from them in the future.

Treacherouskin are a more straight forward hardcore band. Think Sick of It AllNegative Approach,Mouthpiece and Champion with some Helmet, Prong and Pantera tossed in for good measure. “Father of Lies” is a punishing metal core anthem with some tasty breakdowns. “Oblitus” is the standout track from Treacherouskin, sludgey riffs give way to some Meantime era Helmet.

All and all this is a solid release. We’ll be listening to this one for some time.

-Captain of Games

Review: Martyrdöd

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by Magadh

Perhaps no event has been so eagerly awaited here in the bunker as the arrival of the Paranoia, the new disc from those masters of Swedish d-beat, Martyrdöd. Those in that microset of humanity who actually read this blog with regularity will know that there is an obsession with Martyrdöd among the editorial staff here that really borders on the pathological. Imagine, then, the paroxysms of joy that arose when this disc found its way through the mail slot.

Having said all that, there was also a sort of trepidation at its arrival. This stemmed from the fact that Sekt, the band’s previous outing, had not quite lived up to the standard set by its predecessor. This is, in a certain sense, hardly a very trenchant criticism. In Extremis (2005) was a watershed moment in the history of Swedish d-beat. A new standard had been set. It was almost inevitable that whatever followed it was going to be something of a letdown.

Perhaps the difference between the two discs can be described as follows. The brilliance of In Extremis was that the way that it combined melody with extremes of downtuning. By my calculations, the guitars on In Extremis were tuned down to B (either that or they were using some sort of drop tuning but you get my point). As numerous bands have heretofore discovered, tuning down that far runs the risk of turning the music into indecipherable mush. Although the guitars on In Extremis could be a bit indistinct, they created a dark maelstrom over which the second guitar then spiraled compelling minor key melodies. These seemed to emerge out of a churning fog of d-beat thrash. Added to this was the fact that the melodies themselves often comprised six measures, rather than four, and the extra time that they took to resolve added a compelling tension to the music.

On Sekt, released four years later, many of the same features were in evidence. It seemed, however, that they were trying to move forward stylistically. Part of my problem with Sekt, from a personal perspective, was that I just didn’t like the riffs as much. That is a purely subjective assessment. From a more objective perspective, there was it was clear that the song structures were somewhat different than they had been on In Extremis. “En Demon” is a good example of this. The first thing that one notices is that the beat is a straight thrash tempo rather than the sort of the bracketed beat typical of d-beat drumming. The dark guitars churn away in their accustomed fashion, and after a while one hears one of Martyrdöd’s typical dark melodies. However, it is a more typical four bar melody and it disintegrates relatively quickly into a more straight ahead rock lead.

This is just one example, and there are many others that could be adduced. The point is not that Sekt is a bad record. Rather, it had the misfortune of having been released after a great record. If it had followed Martyrdöd’s self-titled first album, it might have looked a bit better. But it wasn’t, and it is what it is (or it was what it was). In any case, how then does Paranoia stack up?

Quite well as a matter of fact. Martyrdöd has managed to advance stylistically, while still retaining the features that made them great in the first place. There is a much more pronounced metallic influence in terms of style and production on Paranoia than on previous releases, but not the extent that it effaces the underlying hardcore impulse. The guitars are still tuned way down, but there is a crispness to the production not in evidence on earlier releases. The melodic overlays on Paranoia are far superior to those found on its predecessor, and rather than swelling out of a dark cloud, they now sit majestically atop precise and crushing riffage. The other elements that lifted Martyrdöd above the run of d-beat acts are strongly represented; from the jackhammer drumming to the singer who sounds like he’s shouting last words before his execution.

Verily, this is a record whose strains will be echoing around the hallways of the bunker for many weeks to come. It’s always really nice to hear a great band explore something new within a style that they have mastered. Martyrdöd have (once again) thrown down the gage to the d-beat bands thrashing in the ruins of the world? Who, then, will take it up?

Magadh

The Nightmare Continues: 7inchCrust Brings the Dead to Life!

Posted in Heads Up with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by Magadh
I’ll cop to being a bit of a collector nerd.  In fact, the bunker is rapidly giving itself over to vinyl storage at the expense of essentials like food and booze. However, even the most devoted collector is bound to miss out on the occasional gem. Thankfully, 7inchcrust is here to help.7inchcrust is a clearinghouse for hard to find crust, powerviolence, grind and political hardcore. As the name implies, the author restricts his offerings to those in the 7” format but still boasts quite an impressive catalog. Missing Antisect’s Out From the Void 7”? Not a problem, he’s got you covered. You weren’t born when Discharge’s Realities of War7” dropped? Look no further, it’s just over here! Each offering is well curated; essentials from the genre share space with rare gems from around the world.The blog also respects the hardworking bands and labels responsible for these records. They write:
“Some records may be are repressed and available again: if you are in a band, if you run a label and don’t want a record here or if you see any record that shouldn’t be posted, make a comment and the record will be removed”
When you’ve tired of rounding out your collection with these lost gems, do yourself a favor and dive into the impressive blog roll. The author has something for everyone’s taste and it’s easy to spend hours chasing links down the rabbit hole.The author is based in Greece and, due to the current political and economic situation in that country, the blog is periodically updated at best. Those of us in the bunker wish 7inchcrust all the best and appreciate his impressive contribution to our musical addiction.
– Captain of Games

Inherit the Wasteland: Sweden’s Misantropic

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by Magadh

Nausea Extinction Profane Existence Records/Selfless (re-issue)
Misantropic Insomnia Southern Lord

My first real musical exposure to Nausea (the band’s patches have always been ubiquitous) was in the fall of 1993.  I had bunked off a day of school to start my Thanksgiving break early and joined two friends on a road trip to San Francisco. Our plan, such as it was, consisted of couch surfing at various punk houses. These houses also served as a base of operations to catch some shows, visit friends, see the city and buy some records.

Having exhausted the stacks at Amoeba and Rasputin’s, I found myself at the legendary Epicenter Zone collective diligently dissecting their selection. In the course of my search I came across the Selfless reissue of Nausea’s Extinction Lp. The Selfless album was actually called Extinction The Second Coming and featured not only the classic LP but also the Cybergod 7” and various other tracks. Something compelled me to take a chance on it and I figured the re-issue gave me the best bang for my meager student buck. As longtime fans of the band will tell you, the reissue contains most of the post Neil Robinson catalog and the bulk of their strongest material. In my case I was hooked from the first bleak notes of “Tech-no-logic-kill”.

Nausea effectively fused the dark lyrics and soundscapes of Amebix, burly Discharge riffs and d-beats, and Motorhead inspired guitar licks with the potent 1-2 vocal punch of Amy Miret and Al Long. They also practiced what they preached with band members active in Food Not Bombs, ABC No Rio, the New York squatting movement and as participants in the Tompkins Park Riot. I found the whole combination compelling and, while it took me awhile to warm to their contemporaries in the crust scene, Extinction became a frequently played masterpiece in my growing collection of punk.

My love of late period Nausea drew me to Sweden’s Misantropic and I hurriedly snatched up the US release of their LP Insomnia on Southern Lord. One of the primary factors was Gerda’s vocal style and its striking similarity to that of Amy Miret. Matte’s vocals, when combined with Gerda, also conjure memories of Al Long. However, a fixation on this really does the band a disservice.  Nausea drew upon the likes of Amebix, Discharge and Motorhead, Misantropic invoke the might of Antisect, Doom, Wolfbrigade and Disfear. Their style has of less of the building bleakness of Nausea. Instead, they pummel the listener into submission with punishing riffs and rolling thunder for drums.

Their lyrics are standard fare for the genre but suit the music quite well. “Born to Die” focuses on the bloody images of the slaughter house, “Raise the Gallows” is class warfare set to a d-beat and “Lords of War” laments the millions lost in religious wars. In the case of “Lords of War”, Mistantropic’s discussion of the lyrics is refreshing. While so many bands focus solely on Christianity’s bloody history the band, via their website, remind the listener, “Too many people have died in vain under the sign of a cross or a moon crescent.” No Gods, No Masters indeed!

For fans of the genre, Mistantropic’s Insomnia is required listening. I wholehearted recommend you purchase the album from your local record shop or from the fine people at Southern Lord. The band is coming off a hiatus resulting from the birth of Gerda and Matte’s first child. I, for one, can’t bloody wait to hear what comes next.

– Captain of Games

NOMADS: Night​.​Owls​/​/​Mayhem​.​Aficionados​/​/​Death​.​Seekers

Posted in Gigs, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Magadh

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I occasionally peruse the website of Los Angeles based DIY clothing label Wartime Collective. During one of my recent visits I took a gander at their blog and encountered hard assed Angelinos Nomads, I was immediately blown away.

Nomads are a 5 piece who play d-beat hardcore in the vein of Anticimex and Skitsystem with a smattering of Nausea influenced guitar solos thrown in. Their tape/download release Night.Owls//Mayhem.Aficionados//Death.Seekers is unrelenting. The EP features 3 tracks of aural assault clocking in at just under 5 minutes. If you’re looking for something to rage to, Nomads are your huckleberry.

To learn more about Nomads, pick up the tape release, or download the EP come this way
If you live in Fullerton check them out here

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– Captain of Games

Review: Lentic Waters

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on June 17, 2012 by Magadh

Lentic Waters Lentic Waters Apocaplexy Records / React With Protest / IFB Records

Perhaps you have on a time found yourself listening to the Alpinist’s Lichtlaerm and thought to yourself, “Impressive though this is, it is too square in terms of tempo and tonality to satisfy the fondest desires of my soul.” Fear not, for you have but to familiarize yourself with the efforts of the doughty souls of Lentic Waters to know true peace and contentment.

What exactly does Lentic Waters mean? Well, I had to look it up. Lentic is a more elevated synonym for sluggish. You can work it out from there. Lentic Waters hails from western Germany (their bio lists their origins as Münster, Bielefeld, and Dortmund). Their self-titled record came out last year some time and was a gang release by Apocaplexy Records, React With Protest, and IFB Records. Reading the name, I sort of expected something along the lines of Shellac (if not the Bevis Fronde). Having come upon their record in the company of grind/power violence type music, I was curious enough to proceed.

The opening track starts out with a bit of jangly guitar, slowly building in intensity and distortion so it’s only toward the end that you really understand what’s in store. From the second track, they are well out of the gate and thrashing. As mentioned above, those who have heard Alpinist will notice distinct similarities. Lentic Waters features a bit more stylistic variation than Alpinist. Their songs tend to have rather extended arrangements and they are willing to bash every ounce of power out of every lick. Although the guitars are plenty heavy, they mix in some cleaner sounds which add to the atmosphere without detracting significantly from the power. There is a very dark vibe about this whole project, one that might remind one of bands like Tragedy or From Ashes Rise, but without the d-beat approach characteristic of those bands. Those desperate for a reference point might try to imagine how His Hero is Gone might have sounded had they headed in a slightly more power violence direction.

These guys really have the d.i.y. spirit. They did what seems to be rather limited vinyl release of this record, which must certainly be long gone by now. They have, however, uploaded it to bandcamp, for which they deserve props. All in all, this is another fabulous addition to human culture. They have a split with Planks due out on Apocaplexy soon, and on the basis of what we’ve heard so far I say that the expectations are pretty high.

Magadh