Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Road Rage Record Reviews by Dave K.

A lot more material this time out. I'll have even more next time. Next week, I’ll be in New Jersey for one last time (my father and sister are moving down here so no “real” reason to go up after this). I'm going to try and get into the city too. It’s going to be weird for me to be back. I’m so locked into the laid back Southern lifestyle (yeah right) that New Jersey has been forgotten. It’s going to be good to see Brett and others, been awhile. You are all going to have come down here and get a taste of some good ol’ Southern Hospitality. So there probably will not be another column until the week after. I just heard that the owner’s of the building where CBGB’s is located has put in eviction notices. Hilly says he is going to fight it in court. I think they really need to give up. There are only so many “benefits” that can happen before everyone gets tired of them. People are going to lose interest. CBGB’s was a big part of my life, but sadly all things must come to an end sometimes. If anybody has at least the MP3 to either of the Circle Jerks live sets at CBGB’s this past weekend, please let me know. I couldn’t get on the live stream. Onto to reviews...

State of Mind Recordings has a new release out by a band called This Is Hell. There is some powerful chaotic guitar work here, plus screaming vocals that don’t quit. It’s a little above the pack but in the long run, not very memorable. Great Jack Kirby-eqse art by Jeremy Wabiszewicz, which to be honest made me want to listen to this CD. State of Mind Recordings

Demo Time: A few demos to talk about. Just a general comment, it’s always in your best interest to be patient and put a few songs on your demo. When you only record like three tracks, it’ll never give anybody a handle on your sound or what you are about. A CDR demo from a Canadian band called About To Snap is short but luckily sweet. Powerful early ‘90’s North American styled HC with a fantastic production. This could have been a 7”, no question. Only 5 songs left me wanting more, had to play it a few times for fulfillment. Contact: for info on the demo and stuff. Worth your time. Black Spot is from New Bedford, CT and has 4 songs coming at ya. The music is some basic punk/HC with good vocals, nothing too exciting either way. Contact: Received some pretty mundane material from All Sense Aside. The recording is weak as hell, music is dullsville. The next couple are winners. Drop Out plays some weird punk/HC, screaming vocals with a fuck you attitude. Not sure why I really like it, but it is definitely worth checking out. You can get it at Parts Unknown Records. Here’s another 5 song demo which leaves you wanting to listen to more: Riff Raff plays fast hardcore with good snotty vocals, these songs stay with you awhile. This one was in the tape deck quite a bit. I don’t need to say more. Go get it at Eating Rats Records. Expired Youth needs a few more songs (and a new name for sure) on their demo. As it stands, it sounds a little generic (fast posi-core, good recording) and needs more time before they can impress. If you're intrigued, e-mail them at: Bands...send more demos!

Set To Explode has a seven inch out which I wouldn’t have mentioned (there was no contact info or anything) but it’s well above average. They play some really good grindy 1980’s inspired HC. Very good vocals and backups. They are definitely not afraid to be a little sloppy, which is refreshing in this over produced, music spot-on age. Worth a listen or two.

Zine 101: Got some fanzines this time out for you. We will start with the best of the lot. Stop, Look And Listen #1 is of such a high quality, I’m wondering if the editor has been involved with ‘zine projects before. Interviews with Rasaraja Dasa (Rob Fish for you laymen out there) of 108, Restless Youth, Lion Of Judah, Dead and Gone Records and Luke Wolagiewicz. I like the fact that the interviews are with different types of people and bands, and that the questions are well thought out. There are also many opinions, articles and music reviews. The ‘zine is offset printed and nicely laid out. There is an article which appears on the webzine, Bystander about Absolution which is great. You should check out the companion interview with Djinji at the Bystander Fanzine site. Good job, there is no address (something I don’t like) but an e-mail contact Get it. New America #7 Summer 2005 is a cut and paste Xeroxed ‘zine with a couple of interviews, Ink and Dagger & Integrity and some other stuff. Nothing incredible but these guys are probably doing more than you. No contact address, not smart guys. I see those guys and gals out in Goleta are still plugging away. Heartattack #46 has interviews with Zegota, Caustic Christ, Wow Owls!, Back When, New Winds and Tradition Dies here. You also get the standard reviews, columns, etc. The cover is great. Glad to see they are charging more money for this. They really should stop worrying about the demise of print ‘zine and less advertising revenue and raise the cover price to at least a dollar. It’s totally worth it. Last we have Double Rabies #4 July 2005. It has interviews with Cold World, War Hungry, Iron Boots and Condition. There are reviews too. It’s a cut and past affair, a little sloppy but readable. Get this one from: Becky Miller 147 ½ South Main Street Taylor, PA 18517

One thing I like about hearing new stuff is that while you get disappointed most of the time, every once in a while a surprise comes your way. Now I have no idea who this band is other than the fact they are from the DC area, but a CD with some new stuff by The Hate Crimes was sent in. What a release. There is some solid early 90’s hardcore here (I can hear a big Mouthpiece influence) mixed in with later 90’s sounds. Not all the same throughout, as a couple of the songs do veer off into slight indie rock territory. But this is not a bad thing. The recording is great and the music is kicking. Since this was a CD (13 tracks) with no lyrics or any kind of packaging I don’t know if it is a future record or demo. Maybe one of the band members can let me know as this is definitely worth your time.

Music to fall asleep by: I recently was sent an independently released CD from Canada’s The Maloney Crew In a way I feel bad to be so negative about this one, but music is so non-descript & plodding and the recording is totally flat. They need to punch it up a bit. The latest two from Throp Records really knocks you out, though not in a good way. How It Ends’s CD “Beloved” has that whole modern heavy metal/hardcore thing going on with the standard “evil” vocals. It’s a decent one, but by song 4, you are like “Ok we get the point!”. Whoever they have at Throp doing the art and packaging knows how to present things. The cover art is really quality stuff. Fordirelifesake has a CD called “A Daydream Disaster”...Disaster is really more like it. I don’t know, some “post-modern” HC w/melodic guitars throughout & screamed vocals. In other words, a mess. The music is too all over the place and just uninteresting. Throp has a large stable of bands, these two though are hopelessly average. Thorp Records

Moldy Oldie pick of the week: I must say Dan over at Mad At The World Records helped me out deciding what to pick this week for your classic punk and hardcore obscurity. Two important re-issues here, both pretty obscure New York City Hardcore bands from the early 1980’s. The most recent is the Major Conflict “Sounds like 1983” CD. Major Conflict was one of those bands who were a bit more diverse that some of the other bands from that era. Because of this, they got overlooked by most who just like more straight forward stuff like AF and The Abused. Record collectors will tell you though even that they don’t really like their 7” too much, it’s a must have record to complete their NYC HC era stuff. After listening to this CD, they were a much better band than I remember (usually that is the other way around). Other than the 7”, there is a lot of live recordings, which are of very high quality and some other recorded material. The layout is simple, but effective. Liner notes by Wendy Eager (of Guillotine Fanzine), band lyrics and photos. The one issue I have with this is it’s one of those multi CD that has band videos too. I had problems running it on my computer, though I was able to figure it out. Nonetheless, this is essential, a must. Next is the Urban Waste 7” re-issued on CD. This re-issue is a couple of years old, but like I’ve said before good music never ages. I was telling Dan that it’s funny that Urban Waste has been re-issued and bootlegged many times & it seems that people still really don’t know anything about them. A simple re-issue, the first time this is legitimately released on CD (The earlier re-issues that I know of is the Big City Records 12” (a rare record itself) and a Lost and Found bootleg CD). Nice little layout with the lyrics and photos. This is a great record, a classic punk/hardcore sound through and through. You should grab both of these re-issues and have a 1983 retro NYHC party! These and other things are available at Mad At The World Records.

Selfless self-promotion: I’m sure everybody reading this already knows -- The Hardware Fanzine Collection CD has been out since the first of the month. It has all the issues of Hardware in PDF format, plus lots of other stuff like some of the unreleased #10. See what it’s all about. Check it out at the link above, or go to:

Be sure to look under "Other Items"

Or snail mail $7.50 USA ($10.00 world) to my address below. This is the first release, next up will be a biggie, so stay tuned.

From The East Coast to the West Coast,

Dave K.

Send all vinyl/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 too, just try to send info with it) to:

David Koenig
1990 Pinehurst View Drive
Grayson, GA 30017

E-mail me at:

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