Thursday, September 29, 2011

Into Another - "Poison Fingers" video

I honestly do not know how I slept on this band for so long.

Stonewall - Demo 2011

Location:  Virginia Beach, VA
Genera:  Hardcore
Released:  2001

Fast hardcore from Virginia Beach, VA with equal parts mosh and melody.  I like how Stonewall utilize having two guitar players by adding melodic leads through out most of the songs.  The songs"We Deal In Lead" and "Gunslinger" are about Roland and the Dark Tower book series which rules.

Track List:
1.  Rough Start
2.  Ant Hill
3. Jesse Custer
4.  We Deal In Lead
5.  Gunslinger

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hitler finds out he is not on the Grey Area guest list

I found this posted on facebook before leaving for work.
Hitler bad, Grey Area good!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keyes - Therefore / Without

Location: San Diego, CA
Genre:  Post-Hardcore / Ambient / Screamo
Release:  2011

Keyes blend Post-Hardcore and screamo with ambient guitar work into a seamless melodic hybrid.  Listening to the Therefore/Without record I also hear a slight Shai Hulud influence in the guitar playing with out all the mosh parts.  I also absolutely love the album artwork for this release.

Track Listing:
1.  States Make Good
2.  Cities of Fog with Nothing to Love
3.  Snowglobe
4.  Eleanor Lamb
5.  Moon Follow Me

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nirvana's Nevermind album turns 20 today

Nirvana - Nevermind
Mediafire -
Release - 1991

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

I was 13 years old in 1991 when Nirvana's second album Nevermind was released.  Their debut video on MTV was for the song "Smells Like Teen Spirit". I remember being glued to the TV set the first time I saw the video.  Tattooed cheerleaders with anarchy symbols on their uniforms, slam dancing and stage diving from gymnasium bleachers, a creepy janitor guy and really cool looking guitars.  All of those things were so new and unique to me at the time.  By today's musical standards, this song isn't very special, but in 1991, those four simple chords turned the whole world upside down. Nirvana was the first band that I ever obsessed over.  After listening to this album all day every day for months, I started to teach myself how to play bass guitar.  At first, I learned all the Nirvana songs off of Nevermind.  Then, after getting my musical fill, I moved on to other bands like Rage Against The Machine, Faith No More and Green Day. From there, I started getting introduced to more punk, hardcore and metal bands like Rancid, Sick Of It All and Pantera.  My old band One Up even covered the song "Breed" from the Nevermind album on one of our winter tours down to Florida.  My love of discovering new music started in 1991 with this album and continues to this day.  I have owned five copies of Nevermind over last 20 years and I am sure I will own five more copies in the years to come.  Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Nevermind album below in the comments section.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rollins Band West Memphis 3 benefit w/ Keith Morris and Henry Rollins

Rollins Band w/ Keith Morris and Henry Rollins
Rise Above: West Memphis Three Tour
June 26, 2003 Denver, CO
Live Recording by SXPXDXCX

I was hanging out with my friend Tyler the other night from the band Changes in Brick, NJ.  My girlfriend and I went out there to get some food at Kaya's Kitchen in Belmar, NJ and to hang out with Tyler and his fiance Rebecca.  After dinner, we went back to their place and talked for a while about dogs, music, food, life and yoga among other things.  While sitting around, Tyler burned me a hand full of CDs filled with crucial jams he felt I needed to listen to.  Among that pile of CDs was a live recording of the Rollins Band set on the Rise Above: West Memphis 3 Tour from Denver, CO.  Keith Morris sings the first nine songs and then Henry Rollins steps up to finish the remaining eighteen songs.  At the end of the set, they throw in "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" and "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker" by The Ramones.  All the classics were played on this tour and done extremely well.  The poster to the left is not for the show that this recording is from.  This was the only show flyer or poster I could find online for the WM3 tour, so I decided to throw it up there.  It is a really cool-looking poster regardless of what show on the tour it is for.  While I was looking for a show flyer or poster online, I came across the blog where this live recording was originally posted from called That's The Thing About That.  If you are a fan of live recordings, you will find a ton of great live sets on that blog from the last two years.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Infest - Machoism

Infest - Machoism
Release - 1988

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

I purchased this record at the first hardcore show I ever attended in the city of Philadelphia.  Until this point, I had only been to local shows in the Upper Darby area. The lineup was a classic example of a mid- to late-'90s eclectic hardcore bill with Shades Apart, Damnation AD, Cast Iron Hike and Regular. All the bands sounded completely different, but fit perfectly together on this show.  It was a rainy day on Friday, April 26, 1996 when I first stepped inside the now legendary First Unitarian Church.  I have seen a lot of shows over the years at the Church, but this one has always stood out in my mind.  The only band I was familiar with was Shades Apart because they had a video on MTV for their cover of Soft Cell's cover of the Gloria Jones' song "Tainted Love."

As I rummaged through the Very Distro table between bands' sets, I came across this record.  The cover is what really caught my eye.  As you can see in the picture above, it is of a guy being held against his will about to get speared with a flagpole.  At the time, this was the most bad ass record cover I have ever seen and I had to own it.  I had no idea who Infest was or what they sounded like.  Until this point, my only exposure to hardcore were Revelation Records, Victory Records and local bands like I Hate You, 5.0, Manual Seven and Hate To Say It, who later became All Else Failed, who I would see play at local shows around town.

When I got home and put this record on, it completely blew my mind.  I haven't heard anything as fast or as pissed off as as this before.  I spent countless hours next to my turntable blasting this record and reading the lyrics sheet trying to learn all the words. When I think about how I came across this record now in 2011, it kind of makes me sad. I miss going through boxes of records of bands that I had never heard of before to find that one record that looks so cool I had to have it.  I think the Machoism seven-inch is definitely a must have for any fan of hardcore, punk, crust or grindcore music.  These songs were ripped straight from the vinyl and sound just as good today as the day I discovered this album.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget The Struggle...

WarZone - Don't Forget The Struggle, Don't Forget The Streets
Release: 1988

Ten years ago, I woke up at 10 AM, ate some cereal and then turned on my computer.  After logging into my Instant Messenger account, I was bombarded with IMs saying "Turn on your TV," "Holy shit..." and "I can't believe what just happened."  I had no idea what anyone was talking about, so I went into the next room and turned on my television.  What I saw was a giant building with smoke billowing out of its side.  After a minute or two, it clicked what had just happened. By the time I turned on the TV, hijacked planes had crashed into both the North and South towers of the World Trade Center and the South Tower had already fallen.  Shortly thereafter, the North Tower fell.  Around noon, I went out to Clifton Field to go for a jog to clear my head.  That was the most surreal run of my life.  The whole world stood still that day and the only sounds I heard besides my breathing were random cars out on the street.  I had no friends or family in New York City that day, which made me thankful for their safety.  There are many people that were not so lucky and my heart goes out to them.  On this day, I can only think of one album to post in remembrance of 9/11 and that is WarZone's Don't Forget The Struggle, Don't Forget The Streets.  I think a more appropriate title for today would be Never Forget The Struggle, Never Forget The Streets.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Count Me Out - 110 & Permanent

Talking with my friend Greg Polard through text message a few days ago started this whole debate: which Count Me Out record is the better record between 110 and Permanent?  Both recordings are exceptional and have their own defining characteristics.  In an ideal world, I would say that I love both records equally, but when I really think about it, I'm more of a 110 kind of guy.  Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comment section below on which album you prefer.

Count Me Out - 110
Purchase:  here
Release:  2000

Count Me Out are by far my favorite of the 2000-era Straight Edge hardcore bands.  Every time I listen to this record, it reminds me of the night I bought it.  I had booked the first Carry On east coast tour and the first night of the tour was at the M&M Hall in New Jersey.  At the time, I was playing bass for Carry On and I asked Count Me Out to do the dates with them and they did.  They were just finishing up a US tour to support their new album 110 and they extended it a few more days to play with Carry On.  They headlined the show and absolutely killed it.  At the end of the night, I bought this album and listened to it on repeat the entire way back to Clifton Heights, PA, where I was living at the time.  I listened to 110 non-stop, figured out all the guitar riffs, learned all the words and basically obsessed over how awesome it was.  I also gave this record a glowing review in my print fanzine Cut The Tension as well as an interview in issue #3.  The only thing I didn't like about this album is the re-recording of the song "What We Built."  The newest recorded version of "What We Built" sounded great, but I always felt cheated out of what could have been another amazing song.  I often wonder what that song would have sounded like had they just written one more song for the album.  I also dislike instrumental songs, but somehow the instrumental "Two" at the end of the record is the perfect closer for a perfect album.  In 2003, when it was time to start writing riffs for my own band One Up, I used this album as a sonic guide.  I loved the tension that playing power chords in a diminished scale pattern added to 110 and wanted to utilize that tension for my band.  This album helped to shape my writing style and guitar playing more than any other album.

Count Me Out - Permanent
Purchase:  here
Release:  2002

The first thing I heard from the Permanent record was the teaser MP3 Indecision Records posted on their website for the song "Stakes Is High."  In all honesty, I was not very impressed with that song when I first heard it.  It wasn't until I heard the song in context with the rest of the album that I was completely floored.  The music on Permanent is more mature without losing the intensity 110 had in spades.  This album came out around the time the drummer Colin was playing drums for American Nightmare as well.  I always felt that Permanent had a bit of an American Nightmare influence to it.  This was probably due to how much of a juggernaut that band became.  In all honesty, what band in 2001/2002 didn't want to sound like AN?  The only Count Me Out song that I don't like is on this album: "One More Reason Why."  I always felt that the song was always a bit of a clunker.  This factors into the equation since 110 is such a flawless album.  Permanent is an extremely strong follow-up to 110, but for my money, I am going to go with 110 as my favorite of the two albums.