Thursday, 10 December 2009


I might start posting more often with new content, let's see how things go. It's been a busy year, writing on here just fell to the wayside...

Anyway, here's some thoughts on 2009, the year in which we all got a bit older and a bit fatter.


2009 wasn't too bad. I'm not sure if this all came out this year, but I've really enjoyed:

SEX VID - Communal Living 12".
VEE DEE - Public Mental Health System 2xLP (probably my favourite album of '09).
FLYIN' TRICHECOS 7" and the Cuts And Cigarette Burns 7" comp they're on.
CRUDE - Just Go Go Ahead 7".
PAINTBOX - Trip, Trance and Travelling 2xLP.
DRY ROT taster 7" for LP, which I can't wait for.
EXTORTION - Terminal Cancer 7".
LOW THREAT PROFILE 7" (finally!)
FY FAN latest 7".

As for records not from '09, since I know everyone loves dull inpenetrable lists here's what I've spent the last half a year listening to a lot of:

LAUGHING HYENAS - You Can't Pray A Lie LP, loads of CRUNKY KIDS, BGK - Nothing Can Go Wrogn LP, POISON IDEA's entire discography, SONIC YOUTH - Evol LP, BATTALION OF SAINTS - Second Coming LP, INMATES - s/t 7". WOLFDOWNERS - Wolf It Down LP, SACCHARINE TRUST discography, SWA - XCIII LP, MINUTEMEN - Punch Line LP, What Makes A Man Start Fires? LP, Buzz Or Howl Under The Influence of Heat 12", & the Paranoid Time 7", WASTE MANAGEMENT: Get Your Mind Right 7", BUZZCOCKS - Singles Going Steady LP, REBEL TRUTH s/t 7", BREATHING FIRE - Years of Lead LP, INSANE YOUTH 7"s, GROUNDHOGS - Split LP, CAPTAIN BEYOND s/t LP, DARVOCETS discography, loads of BLACK FLAG naturally, MAU MAUS - Society's Rejects 7", early BLITZ 7"s, loads of SAINT VITUS, STOOGES - Funhouse 2xLP version with great outtakes, PERE UBU - Modern Dance LP, NO PEACE? 7", loads of DISCHARGE, loads of MAN IS THE BASTARD & NEANDERTHAL, CROW - Bloody Tear LP, loads of DINOSAUR JR, loads of NICO, CALE and REED solo stuff, FUNKADELIC various LPs, RUDIMENTARY PENI - Death Church LP and Archaic 10" especially, FIT FOR ABUSE - Mindless Violence 7", MOSS ICON - Lyburnum LP, WIRE - Chairs Missing LP, HUNCHES: Yes. No. Shut It LP, THE FIX discography, MEAT PUPPETS - In A Car 7", THE SAINTS: Eternally Yours LP, MOTORHEAD - various LPs including the underrated Just Another Day LP, ENGLISH DOGS - To The Ends of The Earth 12", THE SCAM - It All Ends in Rot 7", MIND ERASER - Glacial Reign LP, MOUNTAIN - Nantucket Sleighride LP, 13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS both LPs, THE DICTATORS - Go Girl Crazy LP, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS - Inflammable Material LP, RUINERS - Blank Your Life 7", THE BYRDS early singles and Notorious Byrd Brothers LP, BLASTING CONCEPT II comp LP, THRASH TIL DEATH comp LP, early to mid period HAWKWIND, DRY ROT 7"s, FRANK ZAPPA - Hot Rats LP, LIFE'S BLOOD - Defiance 7" atleast once a week...etc etc etc.

It's also been a year for giving much of the mid-to-late period SST discography a listen with fresh ears, discovering some real gems while still recognising that some music is best left behind (Zoogz Rift!)


I saw ANNIHILATION TIME on their last European tour. I missed them the last couple of times, for various economic and distance related reasons, so was glad to finally get the chance to see all the classics from the 'II' LP played live (their best record undoubtedly). Plus they covered TED NUGENT (was it Stranglehold or Stormtroopin'? I forget! It takes some balls to cover any song of that record and cover it well. AT succeeded though.)

I saw a band I thought I'd never get the chance to see twice this year - DINOSAUR JR. They were everything I'd hoped they would be, pretty amazing. They also did 'Chunks'.

I broke my MOTORHEAD hymen too, having seen them last month with THE DAMNED (who were also great) and GIRLSCHOOL (who were embarrassing, despite the early singles being great). MOTORHEAD predictably dominated and my ears hurt for days. The audience was an incredible mix too, a cesspool of the lowest rungs of humanity, MOTORHEAD lifers.

I saw SEX VID a few weeks ago. See a great flyer below for the show (by Stroid). They were the best hardcore band I've seen live this year, and probably the best current USHC band full stop.

I'm seeing LEATHERFACE in a week or so - I saw them years ago and they were good then, I'm sure they''ll be good now.


Saturday, 30 May 2009

Not a real new post...

Just a note to tell everyone to check out the new BRAIN KILLER 7" on Deranged and the new DESTINO FINAL (previously INVASIÓN) LP on La Vida Es Un Mus Discos.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Here is an interview I did a few months ago with the US band AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER. They sent their answers in the post, hand-written and all, and it's taken my a good while to get round to typing them up. I apologise. If you haven't heard AC, check out their 'Modern Advice' 7", great stuff. The 9 Shocks comparison gives you some idea of what to expect. Meat and potatoes energetic hardcore punk.

Answering the questions are James (singer), Jason (drums) and Steve (guitar). Photos stolen from their myspace.

As a sidenote, the interview was originally sent just to Jason the drummer, hence the last question solely being about drumming.

1. When did American Cheeseburger form? Are you all from the Georgia area? What was the scene like at the time you started playing?

James: We started in 2006. Only Jason is from Georgia. When we started playing, there weren't many fast bands. And there still aren't.
Steve: We started in 2006, we're from all over the place. Athens is a twee-pop orientated town, so it's not like there were any other bands doing the same thing as us in town. Every now and again another hardcore band would pop us, play, and then dissolve.

Jason: 2006. We have been playing about 2 years. No we are from all over, Georgia, Connecticut, Ohio and North Carolina.

2. When you started out what bands were key influences? Was there any band you were emulating or wanted to sound like, or did you just play and it came out how it sounded?

Jason: We have a million influences not all punk or hardcore, we just knew we wanted to play fast!

Jason and I started jamming out on pretty much anything. Classic rock tunes, Negative FX etc. My influences have been Japanese hardcore, some of the old Huntington Beach bands, old fast shit. We really just wanted to start a fun, fast band and not worry about what we were going to sound like.

James: I don't think we had any key influences except wanting to play fast. As we wrote songs, we noticed elements of Japanese hardcore and older Cleveland hardcore. We have never emulated any band.

3. Does being from the South alienate you perhaps from more 'active' scenes, on the coasts? (I am being presumptive there, since I have no idea what it's like in Georgia!)

Steve: It's never been an issue.

Jason: No, we tour constantly, so we are with it, we bring lots of awesome bands to Georgia. It rules, I hate overcrowded "scenes".

James: We aren't alienated because we tour so much. We don't play in town often, and when we do, it's usually with a band from somewhere else.

4. Do you think the internet has aided the growth of good hardcore bands or impeded it? With the downloadability of old bands, and the knowledge easily accessible at the touch of a button, do you think the imagination has gone? A band can just choose a band and say "yes let's play like this"... Ofcourse there's a reverse side to that, which is that more people get into good bands who may have been forgotten.

Steve: Exchange of information is how we learn.

Jason: I think the internet is weird but helpful. Yes, you don't have to work for it like in the old days but it makes things like touring a lot easier.

James: You seem to have answered the question for yourself. In my opinion the internet has helped hardcore bands tour successfuly AND i have seen a lot of worthless bands emerge from everywhere and attempt to gain publicity through myspace etc...

5. Where did the name AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER come from?

Jason: I thought up "cheeseburger" and James added "American" because we heard of another cheesburger. I was sick of every name like "Death System", "Bush Sucks" etc.

James: Jason was sick of all of the long-sinded band names emerging at the time. "As my sun Sets Dying" and shit like that. He said the next band he was in would be called Cheeseburger. Simplicity. We found out that there was some shitty band from New York called Cheeseburger, so I told Jason we should be audacious and call it American Cheeseburger. The epitome of stupidity.

6. When did you first get into hardcore? Can you remember the first band you EVER heard described as 'hardcore', and what was your first show?

Steve: I first got into hardcore around 15. I guess the Bad Brains were the first band I'd ever heard of refered to as hardcore. My first show was seeing the Ramones, and then a month later I saw Bikini Kill at a club in Connecticut called Studio 158.

Jason: When I was 12. 1986, I ordered Warzone, Final Conflict and Crucifucks from sk8 mags. My first show was in '88, I saw C.O.C., Wwwax, and Final Offering. It was great.

James: I saw the Ramones when I was 15. They are still the loudest band I've ever seen, I got bruises on my ribcage. Fought skinheads. That was hardcore.

8. What did your family/parents think? Also, was it via the metal route or punk route?

Steve: My parents hated punk to begin with, but one I started dying my hair and shit they REALLY didn't like it. I started out listening to death metal, and this girl on my street let me borrow the "apathy? never" compilation and "never mind the bollocks". I got into it.

Jason: My mom didn't like it but my dad was supportive, he took me to shows, the punk route for sure.

James: My parent's didn't like it. I was a metalhead before I was a punk.

9. List everything AC has released so far, and what's coming up...

Jason: We have a demo 7" on Tsunami, Modern Advice 7" on Rockbottom, split 7" with Canadian Rifle on Rockbottom and upcoming split LP with Religious As Fuck.

10. You recently toured, correct? How far did you go? How did the scene vary from city to city (or town to town)?

Jason: We went as far as Toronto. The whole thing was great in my opinion, one bad show ain't bad.

11. What was the worst thing to happen on tour (van breakdown, prostitute death, band fights etc?)

Steve: A few tours ago we wree on our way to play in Memphis and our van broke down in Mississippi. It was doing some scary shit. We ended up staying in this motel advertising "love tubs". The motel was attached to a dance club and all these eh "white boys" were hanging out outside of our room being creeps. We had to miss the show and cancel the Nashville date and drive all the way home in a vehicle that was falling apart.

Jason: Wost thing in 6 or 7 tours is missing 2 shows due to the van. Not bad.

12. Are you at all influenced by old Georgia bands, like NEON CHRIST or DDT? Are there any older folks around who saw any of those bands or were around in the earlier scene?

Jason: Yes, I love Neon Christ. I am older and saw their hybrid band with C.O.C. members called Final Offering. I saw the Neon Christ reunion. I was bummed.

13. Are you into classic Italian hardcore? Early NEGAZIONE, DECLINO, CHEETAH CHROME MOTHERFUCKERS etc? If so, what do you love about it? (personally I feel those bands are among the best. High in energy, manic vocally and completely twisted riffing)...

Steve: Me and Jason love the Indigesti, Wretched is really cool too. I like Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers and Eu's Arse also, they're pretty off the wall, energy wise.

Jason: Of course, Negazione, Indigesti, Raw Power, it's all essential!

James: You have answered your question again. All of those bands rule.

14. What are some of your favourite current hardcore bands going right now? Do you have a 'brother band' of sorts, who you play with a lot?

Steve: I dig: Godfodder, We Need To Talk, Double Negative, Iron Lung, Brutal Knights. Van Halen is our brother band.

Jason: Double Negative, Brutal Knights, Religious As Fuck, Iron Lung, Sex Vid, Conversions, Straightjacket Nation, Chronic Seizure, there are a lot of good ones.

15. You've often been compared to 9 SHOCKS TERROR - are you into those Clevo bands? PUNCTURE WOUND!

Steve: I love the H-100s, Cider, Darvocets etc and Jason Griffin is an honorary Clevelander, having played drums for 9 Shocks.

Jason: Yes my old badn Goat Shanty played with Puncture Wound. We love playing CLeveland. I actually played drums for a month long tour in 2001 with 9 Shocks. Wedge was getting married so I drove up and learned the set and filled in. Tour was great and so are those guys.

James: Yes.

16. Name your favourite Japanese hardcore bands ever, and explain why.

Steve: 1. GISM - Randy Uchida is godlike. 2. Systematic Death - You can't stop that shit. 3. Asbestos - the vocals are silly, like GISM, but they rule.

Jason: Lip Cream, Gauze.

James: Systematic Death, Jellyroll Rockheads.

17. Can we expect more saxaphone on the next records?

Steve: The Oboe is barely breathing.

Jason: No, I wish I liked it.

James: Yes. Steve just bought a sax.

18. Do you think bands have a responsibility to their 'fans' to stay reasonably consistent in sound? For example, a band can progress successfully (ala Flag, United Mutation etc) or unsuccessfully (Bad Religion: Into The Unknown)... Do you think you'd change your name before you start heavily using keyboards and having Avril Lavigne as a guest on your album?

Steve: I think bands should expand their options and get creative. I know we're not the most experimental band in the realm of hardcore, but if bands want to expand their horizons and create something challenging, they should. There's always going to be some people out there who won't get it.

Jason: No, I don't but I think when they change dramatically, they should expect that most times, fans will be mad.

19. Where did the photos on the back and insert to the Modern Advice EP come from?

Steve: We had this idea of a room full of people dressed like weirdos, so we had a party and crammed our friends into the bathroom of Jason's house and got some photos from up on top of the sink. It's kinda based off of this dream James had, and me and him kinda riffed on it.

20. How important do you think a DIY network is to hardcore punk, and how have you seen it change since you first got into it? Do you think there are more up-and-coming people who expect to start a band and become popular in a matter of weeks, not considering DIY etc...OR does it even matter?

Steve: I'm glad pogo punk is dead.

James: Bands will form and disperse, blossom and decay, play and quit. DIY means as many different things to people as punk meant to people 20 years ago. At this point, DIY and punk are empty labels. For every 20 worthless bands that surface, there are 3 bands you MIGHT hear that are genuine and the people in those bands are sincere, and if you see them that affects you as strongly as that first hardcore shwo you saw. It is an adventure to find good hardcore bands these days, and when you find them, it is extremely rewarding. I credit those rewards to an everlasting underground DIY scene.

Jason: Very important, that's what punk started and for real punks still is, doing things yourself: records, zines, shows. Everything grows but if you aren't involved on a personal level, it shows.

21. What's your dream 5 band line up for a show, bands from any time and place?

Steve: Black Flag w/ Keith, Scott Walker, The Stains, Mark Mallman, The Electric Eels

Jason: Geez that's tough. Black Flag, Minutemen, Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring premiere that caused all the riots, The Smiths and the Dead Kennedys. How about that.

22. Since you play drums, what drummers have influenced your playing style (if any)? Favourite hardcore drumming? (DEEP WOUND 7" is up there!)

Jason: Yes, the drumming by J. on the Deep Wound 7" is amazing. I would have to say Neil Peart from Rush, Lucky from Circle Jerks, George Hurley from Minutemen.

Steve: Lucky Lehrer and Jason Griffin fight it out with bowie knives!

Their myspace.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

DEATH SENTENCE: Death And Pure Distruction EP (1982) upload...

Here's the first post for awhile, and a salute to much neglected early British hardcore.

The original MRR review of this 7" said:

An interracial punk band that currently sounds too much like the EXPLOITED for its own good. DEATH SENTENCE are fast, loud, and a little rough around the edges, so they could come on strong if they develop more of an individual style - Jeff Bale.

While this does sound quite like the good Exploited singles, there's a heavy dose of Discharge to this. Overall it's an archetype UK82 record, leaning more towards the speed and aesthetics (WAAAAR) of the Clay Records bands than the Oi! influenced sound of contemporaries. It's primitive and simple, which is part of its appeal. Just look at that front cover - you can judge right then if you'll like this record or not.

The mid-paced song 'Victims Of War' reminds me of the Disorder classic 'Victimized', or Discharge's 'Aint No Feeble Bastard'. I'm a big fan of these early 80s UK dirgey and repetitive anthems, 'State Violence State Control' being the ultimate example. They obviously had a huge influence on the emerging Boston bands, who nearly all included a Discharge-esque dirge on their records.

I know very little about this band other than that they were on the same label as similar bands External Menace and Uproar, and were apparently from Leeds. If anyone knows any more (bands that followed for example), leave a comment.

Also, I wonder if the mis-spelling in the title was an 'accident', or rather a reference to their blatant worship at the church of Discharge. If the latter, it would surely be one of the earliest examples of a conscious Dis prefix (run into the ground by a million D-beat bands).

Download here.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

DYS live at Love Hall, Philly '83 MP3 upload...

Welcome to 2009 everyone. In celebration, let's all time travel back to 1983. Here's a really good DYS live-bootleg set that is apparently from a show on 28th May that year at the Love Hall in Philadelphia. It sounds like a soundboard recording. Although they're not my number 1 favourite early Boston band, in their prime DYS were so good - the speed and rage of songs like Brotherhood and Circle Storm, the moshy neanderthal beats of City To City and Wolfpack, the youthful enthusiasm of More Than Fashion... Even if you don't agree with their lyrics, it's hard to deny the POWER to their music. Staggering really. As a sidenote, I think the DYS LP has some of the best production on any hardcore record. Radiobeat was probably the best studio for early hardcore (listen to DEEP WOUND for further proof, or any of those early Boston records infact).

As you can see above, this show had an AMAZING line-up - SS Decontrol, DYS, The FU's, Jerry's Kids AND Antidote - with a ridiculous flyer to top it all off. With a line-up that solid you would have had no time to get food during any dud bands. As someone who "wasn't there and so doesn't know what they're talking about" I can imagine that even if each band played their at their worst - with half of SSD and DYS off secretely getting wasted backstage before playing their sloppiest and most embarassing sets ever - to an even worse crowd who only came because they saw the flyer and thought Manowar were playing, this would still have been an amazing show. Judging from this bootleg it probably was. I much prefer this DYS live set to the CBGBs one, where Dave Smalley's voice is much lower and sounds more forced/strained. On this set it's hardly any different than on the record, cracking all over the place. Also it includes an interesting live version of Escape, the dirgey Sabbath-heavy closer from their LP. I'm a big fan of the slow dirge tracks that all the Boston bands seemed to do, and it's cool to hear a good live version of this one.

Does anyone know if recordings of the other bands sets exist? It's also interesting that no local Philadelphia bands were on the bill. YDI?

If for nothing else, it's worth it for stage banter before 'Insurance Risk': "Brothers and sisters, you do not have to turn to drink. Coca Cola offers a viable alternative. Beer is the evil tool of communists, homosexuals and the devil".

DOWNLOAD HERE (I'm sorry that the tracklisting is messed up, I couldn't re-tag them with the correct titles)

Here's a video from Love Hall, Philly, not the same show though. See more in the user's related videos.