Thursday, August 25, 2005

Road Rage Record Reviews by Dave K.

Back again for more nonsense. It seems like this week’s topic on the message boards is how Hellfest was cancelled. Oh boo fucking hoo. This thing was obviously getting too big for itself. I never understood these big fests to be honest. I don’t get the appeal of them. Sure you get to see a lot of big bands and lots of smaller bands at one place, but when you have like three stages and limited stage time, it’s not fair to the bands and the audience. If you are one of the bigger bands with a large pool of material, how the hell do you choose what songs to play to make everybody happy. As a music fan going there, after spending the tons of cash getting there and getting in, what bands do you watch? Then go “What? I did all this to get here and you only play for 20 minutes?”

My big issue has always been the “corporate sponsors”. Apparently, this is what killed this year’s fest. I’d be more impressed with the organizers if they could pull this off without all of the corporate crap. That’s never been what this music has been about. At the very least, scale this back a little. A lot of people were disappointed from this disaster and lost a lot of money they probably could've spent elsewhere. Some people never learn. On to this week’s reviews...

The Iron Boots Weight Of the World CD compiles their collection of seven-inches recorded over the past couple of years. I heard a lot of things about this band, but musically I can’t see it. First off, the recordings are very flat sounding. Iron Boots comes off as a 3rd rate Warzone wannabe, with the singer obviously sounding like Raybees. Track 7 is called “Wardogs”, though it should be “Fighting For Your Country” because it sounds exactly like it. Again, people are digging this, I just don’t find it too exciting. Collapse Records

Thorp Records is at it again with a few releases. This week we will look at Down To Nothing’s Splitting Headache. This band’s latest starts out pretty decently with well put together mid-paced to fast hardcore, nice bass sound. The problem is it kinda falls off halfway through the CD. The first three tracks would be great on a compilation. Definitely an above average release, worth a listen…the bold packaging we have come to expect from this label, interesting artwork throughout. Thorp Records

Some records just don’t get out of the gate, These Days’s self-titled CD is one of them. A heavy HC band in the vein of Integrity comes off a little generic and dull. Everything about it seems forced. A large percentage of the lyrics deal with “the scene” and way too much F-word. These guys seem to have a lot of talent behind them, they are just playing a tired style of music. Life Long Tragedy’s Destined For Anything is a disc of deep vocals and mid-paced heavy HC with a 1990’s tinge. Lyrics are of a dreamy personal nature. Sadly, we have heard this all before. A tad generic and fails to get any excitement going. Both these releases can be found at This Blessing This Curse Recordings

Mike Scondotto has been around the NYC scene forever and a day. He knows he might be getting in deep for sending me a copy of his bands’, Inhuman The New Nightmare CD and for that he is a brave soul. They are pretty talented but most of the music here has that 1990’s NYC hardcore sound that gets a little dull after a while. Not to say Inhuman doesn’t have it though. Where this release shines is track 3 “Killing Me”. It has this Personality Crisis/T.S.O.L. sound that is great. If the record were more like this, I would be digging it a lot more. Ditto for the secret track, a cover of “New Rose” by The Damned. It is here where this band has it all together. Worth checking out: www.inhumanlegion.com

I think Revelation Records is trying to relive the glory days by releasing Generations: A Hardcore Compilation, a CD of newer and up and coming hardcore bands from around the USA. Some of the bands are Lights Out, Blacklisted, Iron Boots & Mental. It’s a decent compilation; many of the bands here will get a lot of attention due to this label’s prominence in HC music. The track, “DC”, by Snake Eyes is the best one here. I’m just really puzzled by Rev’s packaging. Why the hell on a modern 2000’s hardcore comp, do they have a nice collage of show flyers from days’ past? Don’t they have any faith in the bands they are pushing on this CD? You mean to tell me that none of the bands had flyers made that they could have used? Very strange to say the least. All in all most will buy this due to the popularity of some of the bands. Will it become a classic Rev comp? That we will find out in a few years. Revelation Records

Havoc Records has another CD/LP out. Sweden’s Martyrdod In Extremisis a disc of deep and dark scary apocalyptic hardcore, with some melodic guitar work thrown in. Some of songs blend in to each other, so it sounds like every song is the same. Not too exciting to me but this will destroy on the dark & moody crust circuit. Can’t comment on the lyrics since they are sung and written in Swedish. I can only assume they are about clubbing seals and raping farm animals -- just KIDDING of course! Nice minimalist artwork by Martina Friis Martydod will be touring the USA sometime in 2006. Havoc Records

Every once in a while, a record will just jump out you for no apparent reason at all. Pissed Jeans’s Shallow is one such release, though you wouldn’t know it by the packaging. It’s not a hardcore record, punk maybe, but full on noise yes. It’s like they have listening to those Black Flag instrumental records, GONE and later Greg Ginn stuff, studying them to no end and making a great studio record. I say a studio record because I cannot see this being pulled off live. The guitar feedback/solo sound like they are in a timewarp. The label is taking a big chance with this because it’s going to be hard to pigeonhole this to a market that needs everything classified in a category. An interesting release to say the least. Parts Unknown Records

Zine 101: Class today is “What not to do in your "zine" or "How not to embarrass yourself by making inane comments" When Ronny sent down the goodie box of music from the Posi Numbers fest, there was this zine in it. Since I’m an ex-fanzine editor, I always look at this stuff first. Fudgebun #2 (July 2005) is a small half-size hardcore music zine from I don’t know where because there is no mailing address (mistake #1). Now I don’t like to say bad things about younger folks starting up their zines but you really have to think before you put anything to paper. There are very short interviews with the bands Comeback Kid, With Honor and with somebody who works on Hellfest (mistake #2, you can’t have an interview with an anonymous person). Good Lord, now to make a few comments. Under his short "Fuck Reunions" blurb, "I mean, Underdog playing shows is cool because they’re kind of relevant because Mental got people interested in them." Dude, you have to be fucking KIDDING me. I never was the biggest Underdog fan (I really thought they were better when Carl sang for them.) but it’s not because Mental got people interested in them. It’s because they are FUCKING HARDCORE LEGENDS!! (As a side note, if you are not into Underdog, why would you use their classic logo lettering for your zines logo) Throughout the “Post Fest Preview” section, it seems the editor is really more concerned if a band is cool to mosh to instead if they are actually good and/or have something to say. His little blurb on Vegans is juvenile to say the least. Ack! Listen, I give the guy credit for trying but this needs more thought put into it. Flesh it out, don’t be in such a rush to get your zine out. Make it so that people will remember it (for the right reasons) at least a year later. You can e-mail Ken X at fudgebunzine@gmail.com to see if you can still get this.

This week’s moldy oldie: Wow! I swear a group of old hardcore types need to get together, go down to the offices of Parts Unknown Records and carry these people on our shoulders. I’m not sure when this was put out but I think it was recently. YDI was an old hardcore band from Philadelphia who like most got known well after the fact. Their records were on everybody’s want lists. Man, this CD, Out For Blood compiles their 15 track demo (which I never heard), The Place In The Sun 7", the two tracks off the Get Off My Back comp & the Lp Black Dust (another one that I missed). YDI were a good hardcore band, not great (I never really liked the vocals) but definitely deserves this CD. The packaging, simply put, is fucking amazing. Those pictures make you wish you could have been there for the fun. "I Killed My Family" is the best track here. Gotta love it. Get it at: Parts Unknown Records

Well more next week. I e-mailed a lot of labels this week, we’ll see if any respond. Remember, even I give your music a bad or lackluster review, you’ll get at the very least links to your website and if you have mp3 samples we link to them, so people can make up their own minds. Take care.

In Crust We Trust,

Dave K.

Send all CDs/mp3s/cassettes/demos/fanzines/DVD/books, etc… (if you can try, don’t bother sending the CD cases, save some bucks on the postage…dupes on CDR are fine to, just try to send info with it) to:

David Koenig
1990 Pinehurst View Drive
Grayson, GA 30017


E-mail me at: Grandnagus69@yahoo.com

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