Monday, August 29, 2011

Wild Child - Demo 2011

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Genre:  Punk / Rock / Hardcore
Release:  2011

A friend of mine sent me the link to his new band Wild Child a few days ago.  This demo is six short, fast and raw hardcore songs with a rock 'n roll vibe. Wild Child's demo reminds me a lot of an old band I use to play in called Crumbler and Donny likey.

Track Listing:
1.  Built To Sink
2.  Love Song
3.  Runaway
4.  See Headline, Page Six
5.  Charming Martyr Syndrome
6.  Low Light

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Five hardcore records that I love...

These are hands down the five most quintessential hardcore records for me.  I found the links to the songs through a quick Google search.  Some people will agree with me and many will strongly disagree with me.  Either way, here are five hardcore records that I love.  Please feel free to list the five hardcore records you love in the comments section.

Chokehold - Content With Dying
Released:  1995

When I think of mid-'90s hardcore, I think of bands that have substance and beliefs.  Bands that sing about unpopular opinions whether you like it or not.  To me, Chokehold exemplifies these characteristics whether they are singing about religion, veganism, woman's rights/pro-choice, mass media control or political and social topics.  The music is brutally heavy and moshy.  I have heard people say they are just "boring mosh-core."  I like to describe them as "mosh with a message," and they are anything but boring.  This download link also includes the Instilled seven-inch which is also awesome.  Another great thing about this download link is that all the tracks are individualized.  The original CD version of Content With Dying was four tracks consisting of the A-side and the B-side of Content With Dying as well as the A-side and B-side of the Instilled seven-inch.

Cro-Mags - Age Of Quarrel
Released:  1986

Anyone who likes hardcore would agree that Age Of Quarrel is a flawless hardcore LP.  The music is absolutely crushing and the lyrics are sadly still relevant to this day.  I say sadly only because you would think as a society, we would have advanced a little bit since the time of this recording.  The weakest song on this album absolutely destroys the strongest songs from most of their contemporaries. To me, Cro-Mags are the gold standard for New York Hardcore.  Most current bands try to imitate, but don't come close to duplicating.

Undertow - At Both Ends
Released:  1994

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

The first time I heard Undertow was through the split they did with Struggle on Bloodlink Records.  Musically, that split was like scratching an itch that just wouldn't stop itching.  Not until I heard the At Both Ends record did I feel satisfied.  The lyrics are very personal and emotional, which matches the intensity of the music perfectly.  In my opinion, Undertow disprove the very popular opinion that "good hardcore" was dead in the '90s aside from Mouthpiece.  At Both Ends has everything you would want musically from a hardcore record, ranging from fast parts to big chugy mosh parts.  Indecision Records released a complete Undertow discography titled Everything in 2009, which you can purchase here.

Earth Crisis - Destroy the Machines
Released:  1995

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

Of all the great Victory Records releases from the mid to late '90s, this is my favorite.  It is a real shame the label went straight to shit after Snapcase, Strife and Earth Crisis moved on to other labels or broke up.  When people ask me why I am Straight Edge, I usually recite the lyrics to the song "The Discipline" to them.  That song sums up every feeling I have about Straight Edge and it blows me away how relevant it still is to my life.  Every song on Destroy the Machines has a lyrical urgency I can only compare to a Vegan Straight Edge version of Age Of Quarrel.  You can purchase Destroy the Machines here.

Youth Of Today - Break Down the Walls
Released:  1987

Editor's note:  Since this is an album on a major label, there is no download link available.

The original version of Break Down the Walls on Wishingwell Records is the perfect example of youth crew New York style.  The lineup at the time of this record is a who's who of the New York Hardcore scene in the late '80s.  Craig Setari and Tommy Carroll of Straight Ahead played bass and drums.  Richie Birkenhead of Underdog played second guitar while Ray Cappo and John Porcelly sang and played guitar.  This version of Break Down the Walls has clearer bass guitar and a better mix than the version released by Revelation Records in 1988 and then remixed and remastered in 1997.   This record is ripped straight from the vinyl, which I feel adds the subtle characteristics of vinyl to the digital version.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Good Times - Demo 2011

Location:  Erma, NJ
Genera:  Hardcore / Punk
Released:  2001

Good Times are a South Jersey hardcore band that formed out of the break-up of Hood Rats.  The music is fast with a slight Right Brigade and lyrics about having a good time (go figure?).  The song P.M.R., or Positive Mental Rad-ittude, features Larry Wiechecki of Crumbler, Aneurysm Rats and Quiet Arcs fame on guest vocals.
Track List:
1.  Good Times / P.M.R.
2.  Again
3.  Alternate Destination
4.  Cum Dumpster
5.  No Laughing
6.  The O.C.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zero Mentality Fanzine #6

Zero Mentality Fanzine #6
Order Online:

My friend Evan does an awesome hardcore fanzine called Zero Mentality.  If you like punk, hardcore, reading, pizza, music or just plain chillin' you should get yourself a copy.  This issue features an interview with Waste Management, a reprint Agnostic Front interview from Schism # 7 and some record reviews.  Short, sweet and to the point is how Zero Mentality does it.  I love that Evan and many other people still do traditional print fanzines.  In all honesty I feel that the hardcore scene would greatly benefit from more people doing print zines.  Don't sleep on this and miss out on a great read.

Beware - Demo 2011

Location:  Philadelpia, PA
Genre:  Hardcore
Release:  2011

Beware are a new Straight Edge hardcore band / side project from the members of Mother Of Mercy, Stick Together, Daylight and Black Feathers.   The music has a strong Chain Of Strength feel with out the posi-mosh I always associated with Chain.  All the classic youth crew themes are covered from false friends, betrayal to friends moving on and changing.  The more I listen to this I get the impression that this demo was written in direct response to all the members of Force Fed breaking edge.  With that aside, I can see Beware in the fore front of the next wave of youth crew bands.

1.  Changing Face
2.  All I Need
3.  Turn Away
4.  Where Did We Go Wrong

Power Trip - Power Trip

Location:  Dallas, TX
Genre:  Hardcore / Metal / Thrash
Release:  2011

The newest offering from hardcore thrashers Power Trip is quite the banger.  Unfortunately this is a streaming only release until the official vinyl is pressed.  Opening this record is the song Devine Apprehension which sets the tone for this album.  All the necessary elements for a solid hardcore / trash album are in place blending the speed of Exodus and Anthrax with the heaviness of the Cro-Mags and Leeway.  The second track, Suffer No Fool, musically reminds me of the song Crush The Demoniac by the Cro-Mags.  This entire seven-inch has a very strong Cro-Mags Best Wishes vibe to it which I really dig.  To close this out they recorded a cover of the Prong song Brainwave.

1.  Divine Apprehension
2.  Suffer No Fool
3.  Brainwave (Prong)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Current musical obsessions

Anyone who knows me knows that when I like a band or a record, I tend to listen to that band or record until everyone around me hates it.  The more I listen to a record, the more I appreciate it and pick up on the subtle nuances in the music.  There are countless albums I have done that with over the years and to this day, I still do it.  One time when my old band One Up was going on a 10-day winter tour down to Florida and back, all I brought was Radiohead's OK Computer.  When I got home from that tour and got in my car, the first thing I did was put OK Computer into my CD player and that is where it stayed for a few more weeks.  That is just one small example of my obsession with music.

I currently have two records I can not stop listening to that I would like to share with everyone. Please feel free to leave your current musical obsessions in the comment section of this post.

Into Another - Seemless
Released - 1995
Download -

A lot of my friends would tell me how amazing this band was.  Almost everyone I would talk to about them would tell me they are/were the best live band they have ever seen.  This peaked my interest and at first listen, I was not really sold.  I also listened to the seven inches first which was a fatal mistake in hind sight.  After a month or so, I figured there must be something I missed when listening to this band, so I put in the Seemless album and was floored.  Initially, I thought this had to be their first album because it was so straight ahead and rocking.  Later on, I found out that this was actually their last record.  Coincidentally this was released on a major label and succumbed to the major label curse.  To me, this record sounds more how I imagined they would sound compared to Poison Fingers or the Creepy Eepy.

Handsome - Handsome
Released - 1997
Download -

I was introduced to Handsome about a year ago by my friend Jude Miller who writes the blog Slow Learner.  He was honestly shocked that I had not heard this record before and after looking at who was in the band, so was I.  This "super group" consisted of guitarists Tom Capone of Quicksand and Pete Mengede of Helmet and former Cro-Mags and Murphy's Law drummer Pete Hines.  The band was rounded out with vocalist Jeremy Chatelain who later joined Jets To Brazil and Eddie Nappi on bass.  The music sounds pretty close to what you would think this group of dudes would write considering their hardcore/post-hardcore backgrounds. The cover art even looks in the vein of something Helmet would have used for album artwork.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A few bands I play in or have played in...

Quiet Arcs - Morphine Derivatives

Quiet Arcs is the first of two bands I currently play bass in.  We play eclectic hardcore/punk with '90s hardcore and grunge undertones.  Our newest album Morphine Derivatives was recorded by William Yip at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA.  We self-fund all of our releases and give them out for free on our Bandcamp page.  The Bandcamp page also has our previous records Grim Business and Electric Throne.

Cop Problem - Demo 2011

Cop Problem is the other band I currently play bass in.  Our sound falls somewhere between hardcore, punk, d-beat and metal, which is hard to really pin down.  We just finished recording our as of yet untitled seven-inch at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA with William Yip.  As of right now, we have our two-song demo available for download on our Bandcamp page.

Accident Prone - Demo 2009

Accident Prone was a short lived Straight Edge hardcore band I did for about a year around 2009 into 2010.  The core musical influences the band drew from are the classic '80s and early 2000 eras of hardcore.  This demo was recorded at Studio 4 in Conshohocken, PA with William Yip. Unfortunately, this is the only recording we ever released.

Crumbler - Dirty Weeks

Crumbler is a band I was involved with right after One Up broke up.  We played fast hardcore with a slightly grungy feel.  We self-released a demo and Bottled Up Records released our seven-inch titled Dirty Weeks.   The members went on to form the bands Aneurysm Rats and Quiet Arcs.

One Up - The More Things Change
Bandcamp -

One Up was an active band from 2002 until 2005.  We played fast traditional Straight Edge hardcore inspired by the '88 and '97 eras of hardcore.  This band took me across the United States of America twice and I got to meet a lot of great people at that time.  The More Things Change is my favorite of our records and to me it is the best representation of One Up's sound.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Changes songs from Old Wounds split

Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Genre: Hardcore / Punk

Here are the Changes songs from the Old Wounds split.  The music on this record is absolutely brutal and some of their best material yet.  This recording however is not up to par with how good the band is and that is a little disappointing.  The riffs are so big and Sabbathy it is almost unreal.  A+ all the way.

Track Listing:
1.  High On Cult
2.  Black Blood
3.  World Revolts.  America Sleeps.

Snake Road - Severed E.P.

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Genre: Hardcore / Metal / D-beat

Three raging new songs from Philadelphia's own Snake Road.  These guys are my favorite local band right now and after listening to this E.P. you will know why soon enough.   They really have it all from fast punk parts to blazing solos to heavy breakdowns.    

Track Listing:
1.  Past, Present, Mirror
2.  My Undoing
3.  Revered And Venerated

Bible Thumper - Demo

Location: Point Pleasant, NJ
Genre: Hardcore / Punk / d-beat
Download: Mediafire
Band Page

Bible Thumper are a two-piece hardcore punk band from New Jersey.  I recently got the chance to see them play live and they did not disappoint.  I was a little shocked when I realized they were only a two-piece band.  There must be something in the water over in New Jersey because they keep pumping out solid bands.

Track Listing:
1.  Devout
2.  Amaranth 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Less Life - Today Will Be Ours

Location: New Brunswick, NJ
Genre:  Hardcore / Punk

Less Life is three-piece band out of New Brunswick, NJ who add a unique twist to the traditional three-piece band template.  Intense screaming vocals, pounding drums and a heavy guitar tone are the essence of Less Life's sound.  The guitarist makes up for this lack of low end by splitting his guitar signal not only into two half stacks, but also into an octave shifter into a bass amp to add crushingly tight low end live.  This two-song release captures Less Life's live show perfectly.

Track Listing:
1.  Cry Sea Wolf
2.  Who The Hell Am I To Have Expectations