Monday, November 28, 2011

Carry On - Roll With The Punches

Carry On - Roll With the Punches
Release - 2000

Story by Aram Arslanian, singer for Betrayed and owner of React! Records.

Editor's note:  The download link for this album has been removed due to label request.

The first time I heard the Roll With the Punches EP, I was staying at my friend Todd Tyler's house in California.  We'd met a few years previous when I was a roadie for Trial and we'd stayed in touch. Todd, Kevin Jaros from Collision (later Internal Affairs and Stand & Fight), Karin Frye and Ryan George all lived together in a little place just off Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.  They would let touring bands crash with them and so the band I was in at the time used their place as homebase for a week as we played shows throughout Southern California.

Carry On had just finished recording their new EP, and Todd had a copy on tape of the final mix.  Todd is an enthusiastic guy and I remember him giving me this crazy, bugged out look with this huge smile and saying something like, "DUDE!  Duuuuuude!  Do you wanna hear the new Carry On?  It's awesome!!!!!  Man it's awesome, but you can't tell ANYONE I played it for you.  Dude, you HAVE to promise!"  My memory might be making that more dramatic than it really was, but if you know Todd Tyler, then you know that I'm not that far off.  Anyway, a bunch of us were chilling in Todd's room and I was sitting right under a framed copy of the Uniform Choice poster insert that came with Screaming for Change.  Todd pressed play on the tape and those four hi-hat hits introduced me to a record that would go on to have a huge impact in my life.

The intensity of the record was undeniable, but what really stood out for me was the creativity of the songwriting and how in your face the lyrics were.  Those songs are bare bones HC, but are also really well written and break the mold of what you'd expect from that genre of core.  The lyrics were so angry and direct that I distinctly remember thinking, "Man, I'd never write anything that arrogant!"  But that's just it, it was that group of people in that time and place and they weren't trying to fit in with what was easy and safe.  Hell no, they were fed up with the landscape of either metallic mosh or ultra PC emo that was prevalent on the West Coast at the time.  They didn't wear makeup and didn't dress fancy, and they would have laughed in your face if you asked them to play a HC prom show.  Conversely, they didn't try and position themselves as ultra-liberal saviors and impress people with how much they cared.  The CxO guys didn't buy into any of that garbage, and weren't afraid to let you know it.  They were the guys that liked actual hardcore, that had X's on their hands and would call you a poser to your face if you didn't like Chain of Strength and Breakdown.  They set their own pace, made their own scene and said, "fuck you" to anyone that didn't like it.

After hearing the EP for the first time, I convinced Todd Tyler (I don't think I had to do too much convincing) to make me a copy.  That record was at the top of my play list for the rest of the summer, and when it eventually come out on vinyl, all legit core fiends knew what was up.  That EP went on to influence a lot of bands, including the bands I went on to do, and set the tone for the next few years on the West Coast.  Today I still list that as one of the most influential records of my life, and enjoy it just as much now as I did the first day I heard it.

During that week in California we grew close with the CxO guys and through them, we met a lot of people that went on to become amazing friends.  We've all changed throughout the years and some people have stayed tight while other have drifted.  Just like any group, there have been schisms that have broken friendships, people who've grown apart and some who are sadly no longer with us.  But no matter how much distance there is, I'll always look back on those days and see us as a family.  That was an amazing time in my life, and for me, Carry On was the band that first brought that together.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Afflictive Nature - 2011 EP

Location: San Antonio TX
Genre: Hardcore
Released:  2011

Beneath The Streets
Evil Doer II
Nothing Beyond
Let Down
Body of Two

Machete - Judgement

Location:  Adelaide, South Australia
Genre:  Hardcore/Punk
For Fans Of:  Death Threat, Terror
Year Released:  2011

Fast and aggressive hardcore from Australia with a lot of opportunity for hard pitting.  The for fans of description is dead on.  I totally hear Peace And Security era Death Threat with a little Lowest Of The Lower era Terror thrown in there.
Track List:
1.  Roses Fucking Suck
2.  Dead World
3.  Heart Attack
4.  Cry Wolf
5.  FTW
6.  Heaven

Friday, November 25, 2011

CIV at the Stone Pony from 1995

The next video is from the Shawn Christian Zappo collection.  CIV at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ from 1995.  The audio and video quality is amazing.  This is a real treat for me since I only got to see CIV at the second Warped Tour.  By that point, the second album just came out and Civ would play a tambourine for a song our two live.  Being young, into hardcore and seeing something like that was a total bum out for me.  I did how ever mosh extra hard for the songs they played off Set Your Goals that day. Another clear memory of that day was walking through the parking lot to get to the Warped Tour with my friend Jordan Clarius.  We were stopped by a Khrisna Devotee and asked if we were going to the concert.  My response was "no, I'm here to fight people" and we walked away.  Anyone that knows me knows the humor in that statement.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: Vegan Reich - Hardline

Vegan Reich - Hardline
Download -
Release - 1990

This is my first Vegan Thanksgiving, and I wanted to post something special for the blog so here it is... Vegan Reich.  Hardline is the record that created and defined an entire sub-genre of Straight Edge hardcore in the '90s.  It seems fitting to post this record today so here it is.  I also added the lyrics for the song "The Way It Is" for your reading pleasure. From Pizza Friends to you, Happy Thanksgiving.

The Way It Is
Fuck you, shut your fucking mouth
We didn't ask for your opinion
We're telling you the way it is
So sit back and listen

Your position is irrelavant
To this situation
It's black and white
You're wrong, we're right
And you'd better
Come to that realization...

Cos it's murder plain and simple
No justification
For the taking of a life
Without provocation
You'd be guilty of a crime
If the victim was human
You could face execution

Laid down in stone
There can be no other definition
Meat and dairy production
Is torturing, is killing
For no purpose
For your ego
For the taste
Their blood you're spilling
Belsen, Auchwitz, Dachau
The similarity is frightening
A master race mentality
Of liberty for those with superiority
Your moral civilized society
Where normality is insanity
And sane and extreme ideology
Like the resistance to Nazi Germany
We don't obey the laws of barbarity

So expect no fucking mercy
If you're guilty you will pay
No chances to discuss it
You're gonna fucking hang
Terrorists and hooligans?
Just you fucking wait
If that's the image of create of us
You ain't seen nothing yet

What did you think
This was a college debate?
This is WAR
So stay the fuck out of the way
We're coming through that door
And once we free those enslaved
We'll even up the score
Guilty of murder
You'll face the new law!

Equalizer - The Odds

Release:  The Odds
Location:  Ottawa Ontario Canada
Genre:  Hardcore
For Fans Of:  Stick To Your Guns, A Ghost Inside, Lionheart
Release:  2009

Track List:
1. Our burden
2. Conquer
3. History
4. An inch of gain
5. Stand together

Burning Bridges - Burning Bridges

Release:  Burning Bridges
Location:  Keene, NH
Genre:  Pop Punk
For Fans Of:  Spraynard, Fifteen, Joyce Manor
Released:  2011

Track List -
1. Butt Cheese America
2. I Am An Earthling
3. Pride Rock
4. You're No More Progressive Than Progresso Soup
5. No War On This Land

Hell Blitz - Little Remains

Release:  Little Remains
Location:  California
Genre:  Noise/Punk
For Fans Of:  Raspberry Bulbs, Ice Age, Bone Awl
Released:  2011

Track List:
1. In Times Of War
2. Little Remains

Axebomber - 2011 Demo

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Genre: Hardcore
Release: 2011 Demo

1. Back Pressure
2. Haka
3. Convenience
4. Thunderlips

Dead & Gone - Abandonment

Location:  Detroit, Michigan
Genre:  Melodic Hardcore
Release:  2011

Track List:
1.  Growing Pains
2.  Drowning But Not Dying
3.  Inside and Out
4.  Rapid City, South Dakota

Monday, November 21, 2011

Straight Ahead - Breakaway

Straight Ahead - Breakaway
Release - 1987

Story by Tru Pray, creator of Malfunction Records.

Editor's note:  The download link to this album was removed due to label request.

There used to be this chain of record stores in the DC area called Kemp Mill Records. Back then, CDs came in long boxes and anything that was remotely punk or alternative was in the imports section. I had no idea why they did that.  This was the same for LPs and cassettes.  Since vinyl was pretty much dead in the late '80s and '90s, Kemp Mill used to have a cut-out section for records they usually wanted to get rid of.

A friend and I actually found copies of the Straight Ahead LP for seven bucks.  Yes, that right.  Seven bucks!  Because the LP was so short, they called it an EP.  Since no one cared about stuff like that or were into buying vinyl, it was in the cut-out bin.  To this day, I still have that LP and I even own an open first press.  The only times I ever saw Straight Ahead live were at SOIA shows in NYC and when they got back together for the Hardcore for Hunger Benefit.  They're an incredible band to say the least.  PS, I saw a pic of the singer's daughter.  So hot!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Patriot Act - Demo 2011

Location- Middleboro, MA
Genre- Doom/Hardcore/Punk
Download -
Release - 2011

Track List:
1. None More Black
2. 3 Years
3. Mind Cuntrol
4. Derailed

Dagwood - Paradise

Location - Cheshire, CT
Genre - Punk/Pop punk
Contact -
Download -
Release - 2011

Track List:
1.  Paradise
2.  Guilt
3.  Bone Dry
4.  Planning/Projecting
5.  Closing Up
6.  No Brain
7.  Time Alone
8.  Time Apart
9.  Mental Cave
10.  Yesterday's Energy

Mouthpiece at Middlesex County College 1995 or 1996

This is the first of a series of videos filmed by Shawn Christian Zappo of Changes.  To kick things off right, we have Mouthpiece at Middlesex County College from 1995 or 1996.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Merauder - Master Killer

Merauder - Master Killer
Release - 1996

Story by David Hayter, guitarist for Vegan Straight Edge band Kingdom.

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

I was a metal head before I got into hardcore, and to me it was just like meaner punk, which was awesome.  I liked a few punk bands, but I hated shit like The Casualties and Anti-Flag because it was all poppy-sounding to my brutal ears.  Hardcore was finally the kind of punk I needed.  It was still super rough around the edges, but had the punk vibes/aesthetic I really admired.  I definitely had a barrier in my mind between the two genres though.

I'd always check out new bands on people's recommendation, or just hearing a dude at a show say something like, "Oh man, I was listening to X by X the other day.  So good," or, "I saw so-and-so last week.  They were so awesome!"  One of those bands I heard a lot about was Merauder, so I took it upon myself to figure out what this band was about.  I finally got a burned copy of Master Killer and sat down excited to hear it through.

When I started the Master Killer album, something felt different.  Not just the music, but the production made it sound even darker.  I'd heard intros to songs like the one in "Time Ends" before, with inverted power chords and mid-tempo drumming.  I figured it was just that: an intro.  I thought the song would pick up and a punk beat would kick in any second. Yeah, that never happened.  Instead, I was met with double-bass drumming and single-note riffing for 10 solid tracks.  There's not a single punk beat on the record.  I was confused at first.  Was this hardcore?  But how?  Listening to Merauder, I realized that there wasn't a strict division between punk and metal stylistically.  It is more aesthetic. It's more about how you carry your band, who you associate with, the kinds of shows you play and the overall vibe to your musical personality.  It was no surprise to me when I eventually discovered that Cave In, Converge, Botch and Coalesce were all considered to be in the same genre as Bane, Floorpunch and Slapshot.  I was having trouble writing "simple" punk songs for the first hardcore band I was starting, but then I realized, "Oh shit, I can play metal riffs, too!"  Thanks, Merauder!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Black Sabbath 11-11-11 Announcement

Black Sabbath released this video announcement yesterday.  Featuring the classic lineup, they are not only reuniting, but they are also going to record and release their first studio album in 33 years since 1978's Never Say Die!   This as-of-yet-untitled new album is being produced by Rick Rubin.  Black Sabbath will also be headlining Download Festival on June 10, 2012 with a worldwide tour to follow.

Psychic Teens - Teen

Location - Philadelphia
Genre - Post Punk
Contact -
Download -
Release - 2011

Psychic Teens' music is an interesting mix of alternative, goth, noise, post-punk and shoegaze.

Track List:
1.  Yung
2.  Kira
3.  CbbK
4.  Arm
5.  Dose
6.  Red
7.  Rose

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Vandals - Live Fast, Diarrhea

The Vandals - Live Fast, Diarrhea
Release - 1995

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

Today is Donny Mutt Day.  In observance, I would like everyone to listen to the song "Happy Birthday To Me" from my favorite Vandals album Live Fast, Diarrhea.  As an added bonus, I am posting the lyrics for your reading pleasure.

Happy Birthday To Me
It's my birthday and I'll do what I want to,
Fuck you it's my birthday.
A special holiday only for me, so do what I say,
It's my party, I'll make you cry if I want to...or leave.
Fuck you, it's not your birthday, so do what I say.

For 24 hours your wishing me well
364 days I'm in hell, Oh well.
Happy Birthday to me.

Alone on my Birthday,
I'm going to Denny's 10 times today
No Tip! it's my birthday, so do what I say
How could you forget my birthday?
That's really immature
Fuck you for forgetting my birthday
You didn't do what I say

24 hours no wishing well
Now 365 days I'm in Hell, Oh well.
Happy Birthday to me.

Happy Birthday to me, Spank Me!
Oh well, Happy Birthday to me,
I can't believe you forgot my birthday
It's my birthday and you're wrecking it
Now it's just like any other day
You didn't do what I say
How could you forget my birthday?
That's really immature.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Led Zeppelin IV turns 40 today

Led Zeppelin - IV
Download -
Release - 1971

Forty years ago one of the greatest rock albums of all time was released.  I really wish I had a cool story to go with this post.  The only thing I have is my old band One Up use to play Black Dog as a segue between riffs in one of our songs.  We always thought that it was so cool, but I do not think the audience ever agreed with us.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sham 69 - Borstal Breakout

Sham 69 - Borstal Breakout
Download -
Release -  1978

Story by Evan Vellela, writer of Zero Mentality Fanzine.

I guess this story starts when I was nearing the end of my term in middle school (so I was about 11 or 12). I had a vague interest in music, but like most kids that age, I didn’t know much of anything about anything remotely interesting or cool. My knowledge of music stemmed from whatever boring alt rock my classmates were into or the endless barrage of Beatles records being played for me by my older sister (both of which I absolutely hated). It was around this time however that I discovered punk music purely by chance.

I remember the moment perfectly because it was such a weird coincidence. I was running errands with my father, and while we were out, we had stopped at the discount store in the strip mall by my house to pick up something. While we were there, my eyes drifted to the tape rack by the registers. As I was quickly realizing that the shelves were filled with nothing but garbage adult alternative “classics” and religious audio texts, I came across something that didn’t quite fit. It was a tape comp that Rhino Records had released, entitled The Modern World: UK Punk II 1977-78. I couldn’t believe that something so seemingly cool would be here and that nobody had picked it up already. Without hesitation, I paid the $5 and waited in anticipation until I could listen to it.

When I got home, I played it from front to back for hours, absorbing every band and every line of info on the pro-printed insert. This was my introduction to bands like The Jam, Wire, X-Ray Spex, Buzzcocks and all the entry-level British greats. Among all of this, one track stood out to me: Sham 69’s "There’s Gonna Be A Borstal Breakout." I couldn’t stop listening to it, and must have rewound that tape hundreds of times just to hear that track over and over. It was the perfect mix of gruff punk attitude and melodic songwriting. I was hooked as soon as the track kicked in and the singers maniacal laugh rang out through my Walkman's headphones. It wouldn’t be until a little later that I would find the single for that track, which was paired with another of their songs, "Hey Little Rich Boy." This became one of my all-time favorite punk singles (and probably my favorite 7” picture sleeve), and because of that tape comp, I began my quest to learn anything and everything about this completely alien style of music called "punk rock" (and in the pre-Internet age, this was not an easy task).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crazy Train tv commercial

Maybe it's not to late to learn how to love and forget how to hate.