Monday, January 30, 2012

Rage Against The Machine - The Battle Of Los Angeles

Rage Against The Machine - The Battle Of Los Angeles
Released - 1999

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

Story by Brandon Gallagher, singer for Old Wounds.

As I begin to tell this story, please keep in mind that I'm only 19 years old (born in 1992).  With that being said, in the year 2000, I was in the 2nd grade, around 7 or 8 years old.  It was that very year, good old Y2K, that I would discover one of my future all-time favorite bands and a record that pretty much changed my life (probably for the worse).  A couple weeks into 2nd grade, a video game called Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 was released, which was the long-awaited sequel to the ground-breaking original.  On the first THPS, the soundtrack was flawless, which at the time was an added bonus being that I was such a young kid playing a video game that had no others like it.

When THPS 2 came out, I would play it with my friends religiously everyday after school.  There was one track that always stood out and I would get so stoked when it would come on.  That song was "Guerrilla Radio" by Rage Against the Machine.  It was maybe a couple weeks later that I had my mom take me to the mall to get The Battle of Los Angeles.

When I heard the opening track "Testify," I knew I had found something awesome.

From the day I went and picked up that record, till now, I still love it from start to finish. Tom Morello's riffs and Zack De La Rocca's screams ultimately led me to check out some harder bands, and even check out their back catalog, which yeah is still sick.

Rage Against the Machine was a huge part of my childhood, getting into hardcore, punk, metal, whatever.  I'm super bummed I never got to see them though.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snake Road - Severed EP

I have posted this album before back in August.  At the time, the Severed EP was only available online as a three-song teaser.  Here is the full seven-song release, which is now available for free download.  These guys are by far my favorite local band right now and after listening to this EP, you will know why.  They really have it all from fast hardcore/punk parts to blazing solos to heavy breakdowns and then some.

Location:  Philadelphia, PA
Genre:  Hardcore/Metal/D-beat
For Fans Of:  From Ashes Rise, Integrity, Tragedy, Victims, Black Sabbath
Release:  2011

Track Listing:
1. Immunity
2. Reminders
3. My Undoing
4. Loft
5. Past, Present, Mirror
6. Revered and Venerated
7. Still Breathing

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kingdom - Between The Stars

These songs came about due to Transitions, an amazing organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia that helps sexually trafficked girls heal from the past and reclaim their lives. Every penny made from these recordings goes to them.  The first pressing of tapes (99) will raise over $700 alone.  If you ever thought that hardcore doesn't, can't, won't, or never changed anything, you were wrong.  We're not a big band.  Never have been, never will be.  But even a little band like us can do big things.  Hardcore changes US, and through US can change everything.  Don't let this scene be just music.  It is so, so much more. Please check out the amazing work they do at:

Location:  Philadelphia, PA/Richmond, VA
Genre:  Hardcore
For Fans Of:  Earth Crisis, Raid and 25 Ta Life

Track List:
1. Between The Stars
2. Last Ship To Venus

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cult - Electric

The Cult - Electric
Release - 1987

Story by Shawn Christian Zappo, singer of Changes.

At the time of hearing Electric, I was a clean slate (so to speak) in regards to The Cult.  I would soon go on to know of their twisting history and sound prior to this album and see the full explosion of this English-based rock band first hand on the United States with the release of their biggest album, Sonic Temple, in 1989.

There was a skate demo sometime in 1988 at the then-local skate shop where I grew up in New Jersey called Impact Zone.  The reason I mention this is they literally played this record over and over and over all day. So not only do I have this memory of these local “older” guys killing a vert ramp all day, but my friends and I had sessioned the parking lot the entire day. This record happened to be the soundtrack for a great day.  At this point, I was primarily listening to punk, hardcore music, rap and stuff like The Cure. Rock wasn’t very cool to me at that time to be honest, but The Cult seemed to capture all of what was cool about rock 'n’ roll and avoided much of what seemed corny to me with many of rock bands in the '80s. Soon after that skate demo, I picked up a copy of Electric and I must have listened to that shit for two months straight.

Electric not only had the fucking balls of '70s bands like AC/DC or early Led Zeppelin with its big straight-forward drum beats or its blues inspired riffage, but vocalist Ian Astbury also seemed to infuse a summer-of-love vibe using obvious yet poetic lyrical sexual reference while exhibiting a vocal energy and style not unlike Jim Morrison.  There was yet another element to the band stemming from their early days with punk and its various offspring: a stylistic visual and musical aesthetic that connected with my love for many of the British bands of the late '70s, early '80s that may be considered post punk, goth rock and the like. With Electric, The Cult moved closer to that Led Zeppelin and AC/DC feel with the production work of Rick Rubin, giving them a more powerful feel then the previous album LOVE had exhibited.

Listening to this record now, I appreciate it more than ever although possibly not as purely as when I first heard it. This is easily one of the best rock albums of the 1980s. I put it on the level of Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction, which would come later, but certainly have another level of mainstream success then even The Cult had achieved following Electric with Sonic Temple. There is not one piece of what I would consider filler on the entire record.  Every song is a banger, even with a cover of Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” that not only matches but arguably may exceed the greatness of the original.  I still can find myself playing this record over and over and over some days.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Altered Boys - Demo

Altered Boys are a fast hardcore punk band from New Brunswick, NJ.  The five songs on this demo absolutely shred and their for fans of list is spot on.  At times, these songs sound like lost Shark Attack or Last In Lines songs from an unreleased demo.

Location:  New Brunswick, NJ
Genre:  Hardcore Punk
For Fans Of:  Early '80s and 2000s era hardcore, Shark Attack, Tear It Up, Negative FX
Released:  2011

Track List:
1.  Ask A Punk
2.  Timebomb
3.  Get Used To It
4.  Drug War
5.  Missionary Position

Bezoar - Wyt Deth

Bezoar are a female fronted three-piece Doom/Psyche/Prog/Metal band from Brooklyn, NY.   Their newest album, Wyt Deth, is an eclectic effects laden offering that touches the borders of space rock at times while remaining very heavy and moody.

Location:  Brooklyn, NY
Genre:  Doom/Psyche/Prog/Metal
For Fans Of:  Yob, Russian Circles, Yes
Year Released:  2012

Track List:
1.  Burn Everything
2.  Vitamin B
3.  Life On A Cross
4.  Are We Not Alone
5.  Nikola
6.  Friend Of My Enemy
7.  Clocktower
8.  Knight

Iron Reagan - Demo 2012

Iron Reagan are a new band featuring members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour. Sonically, they bring a strong '80s thrash meets '90s cross-over influence to their music. You can hear the bands hardcore/punk influences shining through with how short these songs are.  Before you know it, these five songs blow past you and you are hitting play again.

Location:  Richmond, VA
Genre:  Trash/Metal
For Fans Of:  '80s Trash/'90s Cross Over, Anthrax, Slayer, Cro-Mags, DRI
Released:  2012

Track List:
1.  Paycheck
2.  Eat Shit And Live
3.  Artificial Saints
4.  Running Out Of Time

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cop Problem - 2011 Demo

Cop Problem is one of the two bands I currently play bass in from Philadelphia, PA.  We play a unique mixture of melodic d-beat, crust, punk, hardcore and metal.  In the coming months, we will be releasing our debut seven-inch titled Blinded By Power with the help of a few record labels.  More information will be posted in a few days.  Until then, you can listen to and download our 2011 Demo for free online here.

Location:  Philadelphia, PA
Genre:  Crust/D-Beat/Hardcore/Punk/Metal
For Fans Of: His Hero is Gone, Look Back and Laugh, Chokehold, Catharsis
Year Released:  2011

Track List:
1. Hope With Out Reason
2. Answers To The Wrong Questions

Cop Problem (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Police & Thieves - Fracturing

Police & Thieves play fast, melodic DC inspired hardcore. They have just as much in common with Dag Nasty and Marginal Man as they do with later era Seaweed and Samiam.

Location:  Washington, DC
Genre:  Hardcore / Post Punk
For Fans Of:  Dag Nasty, Seaweed, Battery, Verbal Assault, 7 Seconds
Released:  2011

Track List:
1. Thieves Intro
2. All Saints
3. Urgency Of Now
4. Suburban Life Decay
5. Doubt Crusades
6. Campaigns
7. Race To The End

Kingdom & Wrong Answer European Tour 2012

Kingdom & Wrong Answer are gearing up to do an extensive European tour this February.  The tour was booked through No Decline Booking from Berlin, Germany.

Kingdom (Philadelphia, PA / Eulogy Recordings)
Vegan Straight Edge.

Wrong Answer (Philadelphia, PA / Harvcore Records)
Self proclaimed Naughty Youth Crew.

30.01.12 Lund, Sweden – Mengarden
31.01.12 Stockholm – Sweden – Skarpnäcks Kulturhus
01.02.12 Örebro, Sweden – KF Stationen
02.02.12 Västerås, Sweden – Växhuskällarn
04.02.12 Essen , Germany – Angry Youth Fest
05.02.12 Hamburg, Germany – Rote Flora
06.02.12 Mannheim, Germany – Tbc
08.02.12 Zagreb , Croatia – Akc Attack
09.02.12 Novi Sad, Serbia – CK13
10.02.12 Budapest, Hungary – Tbc
11.02.12 Vienna, Austria – Venster 99
12.02.12 Kosice , Slovakia – Collosseum
13.02.12 Warzawa, Poland – Punkt & Radio Luxembourg
14.02.12 Gdansk, Poland – Sesja
15.02.12 Poznan , Poland – Pod Minoga
16.02.12 Leipzig, Germany – Zoro
17.02.12 Hermsdorf, Germany – Jugendhaus
18.02.12 Ieper, Belgium – Ieper fest
19.02.12 Hasselt, Belgium – Carpe Diem
20.02.12 Lowesoft, UK – The Sea Breeze,
21.02.12 Birmingham, UK – The Actress & Bishop
22.02.12 London, UK – Star Of Kings
24.02.12 Wunstorf, Germany – Wohnwelt
25.02.12 Prague, Czech – Café Na Půl Cesty
26.02.12 Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia

Monday, January 16, 2012

Man Is The Bastard – D.I.Y.C.D.

Man Is The Bastard – D.I.Y.C.D.
Mediafire -
Release - 1995

Story by Davin Bernard, singer of Kingdom.

My first hardcore show was a monumental event in my life. I was an analytical, forward-thinking 12 year old female metalhead living in rural Maine- so out of place I was like a Polar Bear at a Costa Rican beach resort. But then I went to a hardcore show and I felt... right. It was like a home coming to a home I never knew I had. A local band called Polyglot played, and as they were the only hardcore band I knew I became infatuated with them. The singer, Jay (whose first name I’m using here like I know him but to this day I’ve never actually talked to him), worked at a local record store I hung out at called Bull Moose, and one fateful day I noticed their employee recommended CD shelf. I scanned frantically for Jay’s recommendation, hoping he would introduce me to more hardcore. I pulled the plain white case off the shelf, inspected, shrugged, and brought Man Is The Bastard’s DIYCD to the cashier.

Like all punk and hardcore kids, I had all sorts of unfocused slogans I half-understood rolling around in my mind. Us against them. Fuck the system. Smash your TV. And in my own 13 year old way I believed them all, but they didn’t satiate my disdain for the world. I hated vaguely, and hated broadly, and hated angstily. And then Man Is The Bastard came along.

First off, the music wasn’t like the hardcore I’d heard (mostly Hatebreed-type stuff, that was all there was in New England those days)- it was strange, raw, stripped down, angry, and intelligent. And it was challenging in every way. To see noise as music. To hear discord as melody. To see social issues as something relevant. To stand FOR something and not just AGAINST it. To be hateful while being caring. To be negative while being positive. These ideas, these contradictions, this stark black and white no-fucks-given love/hate hardcore/punk amalgamation, this wasn’t just music, this wasn’t just a record... this was a lifestyle. It was my lifestyle. It was an interconnectedness of hardcore, of punk, of ideas, of rebellion. It was anger with purpose. It plainly stated: this is who we are, this is how we feel, and this is how we live. And with a large collection of MITB records on one side of my room and two tattered MITB posters on the other, approaching 30 and still believing that hardcore/punk does and will continue to change the world, I still live it.

“Peace is coming.
Courtesy is king.
Love is power.
Take that to the fuckin bank!” - Man Is The Bastard

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Van Halen "Tattoo" video

I will start off by saying I am skeptical of a new Van Halen record, even with the legendary David Lee Roth back behind the mic again.  The first time I heard the new Van Halen song "Tattoo" was on Tuesday, January 10th when it debuted on my local rock radio station 93.3 WMMR.  In all honesty, I thought the song was complete and total dog shit on my first listen.  Today, while working, I heard "Tattoo" again on the radio and found myself tapping along on the steering wheel and actually enjoying the song.  I think what bothered me at first was the way DLR sang the first verse and all the goofy "talking parts".  On my second listen, I realized DLR has done plenty of goofy talking parts on previous songs like "Hot For Teacher" and "Unchained" in the past.  My final verdict on the song is that I can and will get down with it.  When the new album A Different Kind Of Truth comes out, I will definitely check it out.  As for the video for "Tattoo" I am surprised with how tame it is.  I guess when you have your son playing bass in your band you really can't get wild with sexy women and what not.  DLR still has so many moves it is unreal even if this is a choreographed music video.  Watching video of him really brings it home just how much Ric Flair borrowed from DLR's schtick.  Diamond Dave Forever!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Refused Are Not Fucking Dead!

This announcement is by far the best way to start off 2012.  Hopefully a US tour will shortly follow and I can finally get the chance to see Refused live. Check out the official Refused website for news and updates here.

Good Riddance - A Comprehensive Guide To Modern Rebellion

Good Riddance - A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Rebellion
Release - 1996

Story by Mike Riley, singer for Pulling Teeth.

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

I was a freshman in college in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD in 1994 and completely immersed in the Victory, Equal Vision, New Age and Revelation Records catalogs of the time.  I was a straight edge hardcore kid from New Jersey in a new place and in need of new friends as the kids I went to shows with were at other colleges around the country.  I befriended a kid who was pretty well-versed in the local punk scene, but didn't care for much hardcore, so by default of no one else to attend shows with, he was my bridge to the more melodic elements of hc/punk.  I first heard Good Riddance through Fat Wreck Chord's first sampler compilation, Fat Music for Fat People, which I was handed as my friend and I entered the (original) 9:30 Club to see NOFX, Face to Face and Ten Foot Pole.  "United Cigar" was their contribution to the comp, and while I liked the track, the attraction wasn't as great as the tracks from other bands that were new to me like Propagandhi, Guns 'n' Wankers and No Use For A Name. Nevertheless, I did enjoy it enough to pick up their second album, A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Rebellion, when it came out in 1996. From the opening sample and first few chords, I was hooked, and thus began a fifteen-year love affair with what would become one of my all-time favorite bands.

I think the thing that separated Good Riddance from the other Epi-Fat bands of the time were the lyrics.  While most of their peers' songwriting aimed at ten year-old schoolboy humor, Good Riddance was blasting politicians, white male privilege, drug abuse, occupation veiled as military intervention and American mediocrity, which were the types of lyrics that attracted me to hardcore in the first place.  In addition to that, they could write songs about relationships like no punk band I'd heard since the Descendents. Check out songs like "A Credit To His Gender," "Last Believer," "Favorite Son" and "Bittersweet" for prime examples or Russ Rankin's power with lyrics.  Musically, they played tight, fast melodic hardcore with that West Coast punk drumming style.  Probably equally influenced by Dag Nasty and Marginal Man as they were by Bad Religion and the Descendents. They were also one of those rare bands that could slow it down for a more melancholic song as well as they could bash through a ripper.

As a bonus to the great Good Riddance tunes, this album also features two excellent covers: The Kinks' "Come Dancing" and "Hall of Fame" by Government Issue (as the secret track).  As much as I've liked pretty much everything that this band released, A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Rebellion will always be my favorite.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Outlast East Coast/Canadian Tour

New Jersey's Outlast left for their East Coast/Canadian winter tour a few days ago.  If they are coming to your town you should check them out.

Monday, January 2, 2012

7 Seconds - New Wind

7 Seconds - New Wind
Download -
Release - 1986

Story by Andy Norton, singer for the band Praise.

My journey with 7 Seconds began in the summer of 1999.  I'll start by saying I heard 7 Seconds in skate videos and on tapes, but never really paid much attention to them besides that.  On our way up to the ‘99 Youth of Today reunions, we made a stop at Trash.  I remember walking into the shop and immediately getting great vibes.  It was just a cool shop and very welcoming.  I've been saving money for months, so I was ready to spend a lot of money on music.  As I was perusing the CDs, a friend of mine walked over and handed me two CDs: Uniform Choice's Screaming For Change and 7 Seconds' The Crew. I valued this guy's opinion on music, so I grabbed the CDs and kept looking for new music.  I remember buying a lot of stuff that day, but those were the two records that stuck.  On the way home from CT, I listened to The Crew on repeat, reading the lyrics over and over again.  A lot of great things happened that weekend, but really being introduced to 7 Seconds is the one thing that really sticks out.

Fast forward six years, I am in a van on tour and we get word that we are going to be playing 10 of the shows with 7 Seconds on their upcoming tour.  I had many emotions come over me.  What if I met these dudes and they turned out to be complete assholes? I kept playing out 7 Seconds lyrics in my head and getting scared that when I met them, all of those lyrics would become null and void because a bunch of 45 year olds just wanted to relive their glory days.

Up until the point of the tour, I had all the 7 Seconds records up until New Wind.  I loved New Wind, but not the way I loved The Crew or Walk Together, Rock Together.  The tour was great and the dudes in 7 Seconds ended up being some of the most legit dudes I had ever met. After that tour, I started listening to all the 7 Seconds records over again including everything after New Wind.  I would sit in the van listening to those records on repeat.  When I would get home, I would sit in my room and revisit the LPs and so forth. When the touring stopped, my reality changed and I hit some really low points that first year of getting back into the groove of a “normal” life.  During those moments, I remember putting on New Wind and finding a lot of comfort in it.  The record deals with real life, hardcore and so much other stuff.  Sure, it doesn’t sound exactly like the crew, but to be honest, the lyrics on that record were life changing to me in a different way then The Crew.  Songs like “Expect To Change,” “Somebody Help Me Scream” and my favorite, “The Inside” put into words the way I had been feeling for so many years.  Six years later, New Wind still has that effect on me.  To anyone who hasn’t listened to New Wind, I highly recommend taking the time to sit down, read the lyrics and listen to it in its entirety.