Whereas every other d-beat record I’ve heard sounds like it was recorded inside a trash can, Ascend/Descend’s Murdock Street gains its power from the fact that this is hardcore recorded like high-end black metal: each aspect of the quartet stands out, shining brightly. The separation between everything on Murdock Street sounds streamlined, but by no means is that any kind of “not punk enough” slag on the Boston hardcore band. If anything, it makes everything that much more distinct.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 8/24/16
Over Labor Day weekend last year, I saw Olympia hardcore act G.L.O.S.S. play at a bar and grill in Kansas City. They played at the end of a five or six band bill, pushing the limits of when the show needed to be over. And at the time, all they had released was their five-song demo, but even with just those few songs, the place was packed. They pushed the guys to the back before the last song, and brought all the ladies to the front. G.L.O.S.S. doesn’t have patience for your hurt cis male feelings, guys – they’ve got bigger problems with which to deal.
Read all of the MV Recommends piece on G.L.O.S.S.’ Trans Day of Revenge at Modern Vinyl. Published 8/1/16
Man, if I’d heard Moment when I was 19, I’d have been a fan for life.
The manner in which Moment connects the disparate elements of East Coast punk rock from the late ‘90s and early ‘00s is amazing to say the least. It’s melodic, but rough-edged, and there’s this combination of catchy, hook-laden choruses with breakdowns which absolutely fascinate.
Read the entire review of Moment’s Thick & Unwieldy From All Our Layers at Modern Vinyl. Published 6/5/16
Lunglust‘s As Guilt Collects Dust cassette took a few listens to get a handle on. I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around what the band was trying to accomplish. However, it finally clicked one morning that the five piece is really letting these songs breathe. It’s not that they’re wide-open, jammy bits of hardcore — not at all. As a matter of fact, opening cut “Closed Casket” goes right into “Broken Idol” without much more than a slight dip in the music.
No, what Lunglust has done here is create a hardcore single that isn’t trying to play a mile-a-minute, with all the riffs crammed tightly into 45-60 second songs. Hardcore’s the rare genre wherein a two minute song can be considered “stretching out,” but such is the case. Every song on As Guilt Collects Dust let’s the instruments speak without the vocals jammed right on top of them, so you can hear the interplay between Jeff Sykes‘ harsh rasp and the band’s lurching, pounding rhythms.
A more appropriate record for holiday release, I can’t possibly imagine. Weak Teeth‘s sophomore full-length, So You’ve Ruined Your Life (out not from Tor Johnson Records) continues the anger and frustration the group started with on their debut single, and refines and focuses it even further than they did on What A Plague You Are.
The stark imagery of the cover gives a clue as to what you’ll find on the 12 inches of vinyl within the jacket. Weak Teeth rage against world destroyed by political infighting, but what really seems to come through is the yearning for something with meaning. “I’m Better Than OKay” sums it up best, with “a constant burden that you can’t know or understand” being the throughline of So You’ve Ruined Your Life.
It’s been a good long while since we last spoke with author Tony Rettman (going all the way back to podcast number twelve), but his new book for Bazillion Points, NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980-1990 is pretty amazing. We were lucky enough to interview Mr. Rettman for the Runout, and while we had him on the line, we had him play DJ for a few songs.
Thus, there’s nothing but New York hardcore on this particular episode, but it’s a nice mix of both classics and new, and all of it likely a bunch of stuff you’ve not ever heard. If you like what you hear, check out the full Spotify playlist Mr. Rettman put together for the book (and, conveniently, buy a copy of NYHC) at the Bazillion Points website.
Podcast #123, “Tony Rettman & NYHC”
Writing about instrumental post-rock is really one of the hardest things to do, which is a goddamn shame, because Death to Tyrants‘ new untitled 7-inch EP for Tor Johnson Records is absolutely wonderful. Maybe we’ll just talk about that. How does that sound?
Death to Tyrants work the whole hardcore angle of the various “post” genres more than anything else, but it’s the way in which the group takes it on that really keeps me putting this back on the turntable for another go-around. Each song has a groove around which the entire song revolves, and to which everything returns time and time again, working as the backbone and framework for the whole piece.
It’s become something of a cliche to say that a band has stripped away all the excess and reduced songs to just the necessary pieces. At first listen, Richmond’s Cretins seem to be reductive, but when you listen, you realize that they’ve stripped away nothing but the pauses.
Cuts like “Piss On Your Pieces” and “Last Path” demonstrate this pretty effectively, as they open each side with a blast of hardcore, blowing out of your speakers with an intensity that frightens. Whereas any other band would let their guitars feed back a little, generating a little anticipation before launching into the next verse or iteration of the chorus, Cretins chooses instead to cut everything short, and just power ahead.