Archive for January 29, 2013

R.A.M.B.O – Wall Of Death The System (For fans of Crucial Unit, DS-13, Municipal Waste)


When you think Philly hardcore, the first bands that probably come to mind are Paint It Black or Kid Dynamite… and rightfully so, those guys are fucking awesome.  One Philly hardcore band that often gets overlooked though are thrashcore dudes R.A.M.B.O, and their first full length Wall Of Death The System is a 28 song blitz that lasts but a mere 34 minutes.

With song titles such as “Ian Mackaye Is My Savior, Not Jesus” and “Circle That ‘A’, Motherfucker”, R.A.M.B.O isn’t exactly the most subtle band in the world. Playing thrashy hardcore in the veins of DS-13 or Crucial Unit, R.A.M.B.O focused on anarchist, cyclist, and skate themes in their lyrics.

Known for their insane live shows, unfortunately they called it quits back in 2007.  If you dig fast paced punk rock with a touch of humor, check out one of Philly’s finest.

MP3:
R.A.M.B.O – Ian Mackaye Is My Savior, Not Jesus

Rock Out With Your Black Bloc Out:
Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast
Crucial Unit – These Colors Get The Runs
Municipal Waste – Waste Em All

Buy:
625 Thrash

United Nations – Self Titled (For fans of Thursday, Glassjaw, Converge)


United Nations played a rare show in Philly earlier this week, and I missed it.  Oh well.  I can say I’ve been spinning their Self Titled pretty much nonstop since though.

A brief history:  United Nations is surrounded by secrecy with most of the official members identities kept hidden due to contracts, etc.  Founded by Geoff of Thursday, other rumored members involved with the project are members of Glassjaw and Converge.  In addition, the band has had legal issues with the actual United Nations, and also had the majority of retailers refuse to sell their debut Self Titled with the original artwork due to copyright issues (which featured a picture of Abbey Road with all of The Beatles on fire).  Needless to say, shit hasn’t been easy for them.

Musically, the band describes themselves as “screamo powerviolence” which essentially means take Thursday songs and give them a shit ton of amphetamines. Songs such as opener “The Spinning Heart Of The Yo Yo Lobby” or “My Cold War” are incredibly heavy jams that any hardcore fan can get behind while “Filmed In Front Of Live Studio Audience” is much more reminiscent of Thursday.

If you dig aggressive blast beat filled music, you can’t really go wrong with United Nations.

MP3:
United Nations – Resolution #9

More:
Thursday – Full Collapse
La Dispute – Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between…
Punch – Self Titled
Converge – Jane Doe

Website:
United Nations

Ghostlimb – Confluence (For fans of DANGERS, Graf Orlock, Ceremony)

As anyone who has seen my top 10 list of 2012 would know, I have recently discovered Ghostlimb and they have easily become one of my most listened to bands (and the only show I’ve been to so far in 2013). Their latest album Confluence placed 5th in my personal favorites released last year, and it’s one hell of a noisy, aggressive, album.

Ghostlimb usually plays a style that I could best describe as melodic grind mixed with hardcore.  On previous releases, Ghostlimb blended shredding guitars at with lightning speed drums with flashes of brilliant melodies.  While the melodies on Confluence are much more subtle, they are still there.

Lyrically the band tackles mostly political issues and social commentary often through the lens of history, making for a much more interesting listen than the usual “fuck the government” that seems to be the norm in punk these days.

With 12 songs in 22 minutes (and one of the most brilliant covers of a Hot Water Music song I’ve ever heard), Confluence is a must for those looking for something a little more heavy.

MP3:
Ghostlimb – Margins

More:
Ghostlimb – Bearing And Distance
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today
Graf Orlock – Destination Time Tomorrow

Buy:
Vitriol Records

Youth Of Today – We’re Not In This Alone (For fans of Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, Bane)


Last night I was watching that teen comedy Girl Next Door (don’t judge me), and halfway through I could have sworn I heard Youth Of Today.  Besides leaving me very confused, it has put me on a serious Youth Of Today kick, and I’ve been listening to We’re Not In The Alone pretty much nonstop today.

Recorded in 1988, We’re Not In This Alone is a hardcore classic.  Besides being one of the bands that really defined the whole youth-crew style of hardcore, Youth of Today played thrashier, more straightforward hardcore than any of their counterparts at the time.  The album consists of 13 songs that clock in around a measly 19 minutes, most never making it past 90 seconds. Lyrically, the band keeps it’s message positive with songs lashing out against racism and encouraging people to not accept mediocrity.

Easily one of the most influential hardcore albums ever written, We’re Not In This Alone is a must for any fan of hardcore.

MP3:
Youth Of Today – Flame Still Burns

We’re Back:
Scenester 101 – How To Be Hardcore
Ten Yard Fight
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today
Token Entry
Gorilla Biscuits

Buy:
RevHQ

Anchors – Lost At The Bottom Of The World (For fans of Propagandhi, Smoke or Fire, A Wilhelm Scream)

I’ve been meaning to check Anchors Lost At The Bottom Of The World for a few months now, but it got lost in my shit to review list (no, seriously… I have a playlist called “shit to review” and it has over a good 2 days worth of music in there.  I will never catch up, and that’s a good thing.)  It’s too damn bad that it took me so long to review, because Lost At The Bottom Of The World could have been a contender on my top 10 of 2012.

These Australian boys deliver 12 songs in just over a half hour, and the entire album completely rips.  Singer Brett Horsely’s vocal delivery reminds me a lot of 1208′s Alex Flynn while the guitars play intricate riffs over catchy melodies that are incredibly reminiscent of Propagandhi (which is NEVER a bad thing).

The album itself blends seamlessly in with the next, nothing feels out of place (besides for at some times the album feeling a bit long), and I find listening to Lost At The Bottom Of The World in it’s entirety to be the best way.  If you dig aggressive yet melodic punk rock, definitely give this one a listen.

MP3:
Anchors – Everything’s Amazing And Nobody’s Happy

More Punk Rock:
Propagandhi – Failed States
Crucial Dudes – 61 Penn
Smoke or Fire – This Sinking Ship

Buy:
Creator Destructor Records

NOFX – Self Entitled (For fans of Rancid, Bad Religion, Lagwagon)

NOFX have been playing punk rock before many of you were even just a wee zygote, and their latest Self Entitled marks their 12th studio album.  I know what a lot of you are thinking: “I bet it sounds exactly like every other album by them” and you would be absolutely right… however Self Entitled is their most punk rock album in recent years.

Besides the track “I’ve Got One Jealous Again, Again”, a slower continuation of “We Got Two Jealous Agains”, Self Entitled is a 12 song 29 minute skate punk assault.  Unlike their past few releases, you won’t find much of the experimental songs on here, just pretty straightforward punk very similar to their older work.

The album kicks off with “72 Hookers”, a catchy song about the motivations of terrorist, while “She Didn’t Lose Her Baby” has a more serious melancholy vibe.

I’ve seen a lot of hate on this album from fans but honestly, if you’re only listening to NOFX for a nostalgic purpose only, then just go throw on Punk In Drublic and get on with your day.  I don’t think the music on Self Entitled isn’t too different from any of their other older work, and if you were looking for something new, you’re not going to find it here.  Personally I dig their older sound, and so I love Self Entitled, so much so that it made my top 10 of 2012.

MP3:
NOFX – She Didn’t Lose Her Baby

It’s My Job To Keep Punk Rock Elite:
NOFX – Coaster
NOFX – War On Errorism
NOFX – So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes
NOFX – Punk In Drublic

Buy:
Fat Wreck

Ghostlimb, Plague Dogs, Heavy Medical Live In Philly (1/6/13)

Last night, I headed to Philly’s First Unitarian Church to catch melodic/grind/hardcore dudes Ghostlimb.  Originally, Reign Supreme was supposed to headline but they had to cancel due to a family emergency.  Instead R5 Productions said there would be a secret headliner, who turned out to be John Baizley of Baroness.  Honestly, none of it mattered to me (about Reign Supreme, new headliners, etc) as I was there for one reason only, and that was to see LA’s Ghostlimb shred shit up.

There were only about 30-40 people at the show, so the bands all played on the floor as opposed to the stage (last time I saw that happen at the church was at Armalite years ago).

Heavy Medical

Unfortunately I missed openers Xanax, but made it in time for Philly’s own Heavy Medical.  Heavy Medical consisted of a bassist and a drummer, and played very sludgy punk.  The band blasted through a relatively quick set with the final song adding another guest drummer (from Xanax).

Plague Dogs


I never heard of these Philly dudes before, but they completely tore shit up.  Playing aggressive crusty dbeat similar to Disfear, Plague Dogs played a damn enjoyable set, and definitely won over a new fan last night.  I’m a sucker for some solid dbeat.

Ghostlimb


At this point, it became apparent that the majority of people at the show were there for John Baizley, but I was beyond stoked to see Ghostlimb on what I think was their first Philly show.  As soon as they took the stage floor, I made my way to the very front, and I noticed they won over a few people in the crowd who were rocking the fuck out as well.

For those who don’t know, Ghostlimb is the brainchild of Justin Smith (Graf Orlock, Dangers), and where Graf Orlock is almost like a novelty band (humorous lyrics regarding movies), Ghostlimb tackles social issues often through the lens of history (which is appropriate, with him being a history teacher and all).

Ghostlimb ripped through a damn good set, with a few people singing (shouting?) along (ok… just me and one other dude) and mostly played songs off their latest Confluence, which made my top 10 of 2012.

Once the band was finishing up, I shouted one more song, to which other people joined in.  They said they weren’t the last band and couldn’t, however John Baizley was right up front digging them, and told them to definitely do one more.

I grabbed their setlist, I think it’s written in a lot of their working titles or ways the band knows them as opposed to their actual titles, but here it is as written:

Sacco
Confluence
B.L Metal
Sleep
Sludge
Dog
Two
Deth
Seven
DC
STD 2
STD 1

If anyone knows which songs things are referencing, feel free to tell us in the comments!  (I think I remember them playing Margins, and maaaaaybe Ocean Floor, but I could be making that up).

MP3:
Ghostlimb – Bridge Above The Water

“I’ll have the same unending ache of dissent and disgust”:
Ghostlimb – Bearing and Distance
Dangers – Self Titled EP
Dangers – Anger
Dangers – Demo
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today
Graf Orlock – Destination Time Tomorrow

Buy:
Vitriol Records

Top 10 Of 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, non-gender identifying people:  the moment you’ve all been waiting for since the moment you were born.  I present to you the Battle Of The Midwestern Housewives top 10 releases of 2012!

Obviously I didn’t get a chance to check everything out that I wanted to (Classics of Love, Hot Water Music’s new album, etc) and I ALWAYS wind up leaving something off the list that should have made it (like Punch’s Nothing Lasts EP would definitely be my #1 of 2011… ah well). In addition, I was saddened that some of my favorite bands didn’t make the cut with their latest (Bouncing Souls, Ceremony), and as good as that new Kesha song is, I spared you all.

10. Morning Glory – Poets Were My Heroes

If we’re going to be totally honest, I wasn’t expecting too much from the latest Morning Glory release.  Sure, I like Ezra’s (Leftover Crack, Choking Victim) project enough, but I thought everything with crack rock steady has been said and done already.  Boy was I surprised to hear strings, pianos, and all sorts of instrumentation on this album.  Clean production, poppy melodies, and punk rock snarl make Poets Were My Heroes one incredibly surprising listen.

Morning Glory – Shelter From The Spoon

9. Municipal Waste – The Fatal Feast

These Richmond crossover thrash kings have exploded over recent years, and I am happy to say that The Fatal Feast was a return to their aggressive, party fest sound that seemed to be missing from their lackluster Massive Aggressive.  Music to break stuff to.

Municipal Waste – Unholy Abductor

8. NOFX – Self Entitled (review coming still)

NOFX have been doing this punk thing for quite some time (30 years now) and they found the formula that works for them.  Some people say that they just release the same album over and over, but you know what?  I like that fucking album.  Sure, you won’t find anything too original here, but that’s what makes it so refreshing in a year that my favorite bands decided to try something new.

NOFX – She Didn’t Lose Her Baby

7. OFF! – OFF!

Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) is 57 years old with diabetes, and still rocks harder than a strong majority of bands who’s just a fraction of his age. With 16 songs in 15 minutes and aggressive punk rock without any of the frills, you’d think that this was actually recorded in the 80s.

OFF – I Got News For You

6. Best Practices – The EP LP

I don’t know much about the band except for the fact that this release completely kills it. Just like your mom, Best Practices takes a bunch of ingredients, throws it in a blender, and makes a much more delicious smoothie than anyone else who even tries.  Noisy, garage, melodic punk rock that you need to hear.

Best Practices – Future Cougar

5. Ghostlimb – Confluence (review coming still)

Even though I listen to member’s other bands (Graf Orlock, Dangers), I just discovered Ghostlimb this year, and holy shit am I glad I did.  Playing the most melodic hardcore, borderline grindcore imaginable, Ghostlimb turns up the aggression a notch on Confluence to make everything else you listen to just seem so passive.  If you dig Tragedy at all, check this one out.

Ghostlimb – Southeast First

4. Hold Tight/Direct Hit Split


It seems like pop-punk and hardcore have always been closely related, and nothing seems to prove this more than two pop-punk bands joining forces to release one fuck of a release.  Both bands were pretty active in 2012, but I have to admit, this is easily my favorite of any of their releases of the year.  Quick to the point hardcore.

Hold Tight – Always

3. Static Radio NJ – We Are All Beasts

Static Radio NJ is one of those very few bands that I’ve been listening to since the start, and have seen evolve, and actually LIKE their new sound.  Starting off as a straight up hardcore band, Static Radio evolved to playing more Lifetime-esque melodies.  Unfortunately the band called it quits this year, but that shouldn’t stop you from checking out their latest (and last).

Static Radio NJ – I Might Kill

2. Bomb The Music Industry – Vacation

When I first listened to BTMI’s Vacation, I hated it.  It was a complete departure from the ska-punk I know and love from the Brooklynites, but after a friend encouraged me to give it another chance, I completely fell in love.  They slowed it down a bit, and bust out some of the most heartfelt songs we’ve ever heard from them.

Bomb The Music Industry – Sick, Later

1. Propagandhi – Failed States

Propagandhi can do no wrong (well, except for Potemkin City Limits… I didn’t like that album).  The once skate punk now thrash champions return with some of the most aggressive, hard hitting music they’ve ever released… and it’s good… real good.

Propagandhi – Failed States

BONUS:

Just for the fuck of things, here’s a list of my favorite 5 shows I’ve been to in 2012:

5. Cock Sparrer, Street Dogs, Paint It Black @ Union Transfer
4. American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost) @ Webster Hall
3. Propagandhi, Comeback Kid, One Win Choice @ Union Transfer
2. Guttermouth, The Scandals, Tonight We Strike @ The Fire
1. Grey Area @ The Fire (1/28/12)

More End Of Year Lists:
Top 10 Of 2011
The Top 11 Albums of 2010
The 10 Best Albums of 2009
Best Of 2008
Best Of 2007

Holy Fuck How Is It 2013 Already (A Mix)

2012 was a pretty busy year for all of us, we survived 2 apocalypses, had an election, and personally I did a decent amount of traveling on a shoestring budget which I’ve been wanting to do in my life.

Musically, there were shitloads of good releases (still narrowing down my top 10 of 2012, stay tuned…) and a damn good amount of live shows which was sweet.

Here’s a little new year’s mix for you all.

MP3:
Thursday – Jet Black New Year
Bouncing Souls – The New Thing
The Lawrence Arms – 100 Resolutions
Bedouin Soundclash – New Year’s Day
Armalite – New Years
Cloak/Dagger – New Years Resolution

This is my year for sure:
Scenester 101: How To Be A Modern Day Street Punk
How To Be A 3rd Wave Ska Dork
How To Be A Skinhead
How To Be a stereotypical Hardcore kid in a few easy steps!