Breakout, “True Crime” 7-inch

cover - breakout true crimeGorgeous, wonderful hardcore, where pummeling downbeats meet vaguely positive guitar upstrokes. I had Breakout pitched to me as "Bad Brains meet the Ruts," and it's as accurate as anything I can come up with. There's a sense of 4/4 time, without anything ever being explicitly ska-punk -- listen to "All's Quiet" for a perfect example of that. However, there's also the stomping progression of "No Sooner Said Than Done," which comes in, walks into the room, punches you in the face, and clomps back out. However, there's "Fill Your Boots," which might just be the most perfect blend of punk rock's melody with hardcore's energy I've heard yet this year. It's a song that again, hearkens to something (I'm going to say Cocksparrer) without explicitly being a streetpunk song. The energy on this release had me chomping at the bit to put it on my turntable over and over since True Crime came in the mail. There's just something about the way the low end powerfully annihilates while at the same time the guitar manages to keep everything musically positive. With lyrics like "I stand accused/ Without a voice" from "No Sooner Said Than Done," this could've been a real downer of a record, but Breakout manages to latch onto a sense of getting something accomplished, whether by tooth or claw, and it comes through in each and every note. Breakout's True Crime 7-inch isn't Heartless, but neither is it New Bomb Turks. This quartet reminds me of nothing so much as the harder-edged version of Night Birds, who are pretty much the last band whom I heard and absolutely had to spin their single over and over and over again. Not coincidentally, that release was also on Grave Mistake, from whom you should buy this record. [embed][/embed] [embed][/embed]

Cretins, “Cretins EP” 7-inch

cover - cretinsIt'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. The collective effect is to result in an EP which takes Motorhead's speed and uses it to funnel the no-frills gutteral hate of old-school hardcore directly into your head. Let's be honest: this could have been "Tunnel Vision" as a postcard flexi, and I would've played it 'til it disintegrated. The way the breakdown loops and returns a couple of times in its fading seconds makes this the most mosh-worthy song of the last few years. It's a pretty amazing throwback jam Cretins have created here, right down to the absolutely terrible artwork which graces the cover. Punk rock pointillism is certainly unique, but it's like looking at some underground east coast band's single from the late '80s. I almost expected the cover art to be photocopied. It's even got the lyrics on the inside of the sleeve. You need this, so snag it from the Grave Mistake store.

Night Birds, “Born to Die in Suburbia” LP

cover - night birds born to dieWe've talked before about the inherently forgiving nature of the vinyl format, and how those pops and hisses can hide a multitude of sins. In this case, Night Birds gain a lot of power from vinyl. Listening to this band via earbuds or laptop speakers is not the way to go. Initially, I was worried that their new LP on Grave Mistake, Born To Die In Suburbia, had some audio issues while streaming it at Bandcamp or listening on my iPod, because it sounded ... thin. The fact of the matter is that the surf rock aspect of Night Birds' sound means that you really need to play this through stereo speakers. This is a band that benefits from something that allows nuances to shine through. I know what you're saying: "They're writing songs about Mick Foley. Where's the nuance in that?" Well, to begin with, shut up -- "Maimed for the Masses" is fucking great. Next, listen to "Nazi Gold" as a streaming track, and it's a huge wash of sound. If you throw it on a stereo, you still get that wash, but it's as part of the song, rather than the entirety of it. You can hear these fantastic changes in tone and pacing in Joe's bass work that don't otherwise come through. Think of it as the difference between a white noise machine and actually sitting at the beach. In one, you're just hearing the noise. In the other, there are gulls, boats, people -- in one case, it's a decent-enough reproduction, whereas with the other, it's an actual experience. Other notes to recommend a physical copy: the lyrics on the insert sleeve are handwritten and loaded with really explicit and violent pictures of people getting their dicks cut off. You can't see that via a digital download. Additionally, you don't get the coolness that comes with ending one side of a record with a dirgelike anthem such as "Nazi Gold," and then flipping it over to get the frantic surf workout of "Silver Alert." Come to think of it ... gold, silver -- that's fucking clever. And that's to say nothing of kicking each side off with an instrumental, and ending each side with a track with "gold" in its title. There was some serious thought gone into sequencing this record. It's not just "punkpunkpunkpunk." I mean, there's nothing wrong with this, but for chrissakes, man -- this is a record that I put on the turntable, and from the first notes of "Escape From New York," I was rocking back and forth, anticipating each and every chord change, trying not to jump around too much and make the record skip. It's been a long time since I've so thoroughly enamored of a band, but Night Birds hit all of my musical buttons. You've got catchy choruses in excess, a unique sound (seriously, you know a Night Birds song within three seconds of dropping the needle on any one of their tracks), and yet, the band still manages to surprise with every release. Much has been made of the slowed-down tracks on this record, like "Nazi Gold," but it's the dual shouting on "Villa Obscura" that really grabbed me. It's a basic track, but the force behind Joe and Brian's teamed-up vocals really make this song pop out of my speakers. cover - night birds born to die limitedMost everyone seems to have reviewed Born To Die In Suburbia immediately after the stream popped up on Spin's website. Having gone to the trouble of ordering the limited-edition vinyl, I figured I'd wait until my physical copy showed up in the mail. Well, there were pressing plant delays and so on, so it didn't show up until this week. That being said, I'm glad I waited. Alex at Grave Mistake was cool enough to get me a download of the album before I left for Seattle a couple weeks back, and I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop on planes, working out, and everywhere ever since. But -- and I'm fully aware of the elitist nature of this statement -- vinyl's the absolute way to go with this release. The limited-edition screenprint covers sold out in about 20 minutes, but there are plenty of standard copies left in the Grave Mistake store, where you can also pick up package deals, if you're late to the Night Birds party.

Barge, “No Gain” 7-inch

cover - barge no gainGrave Mistake Records label head Alex DiMattesa recently teamed up with Bobby Egger, owner of Richmond's Vinyl Conflict record store to relaunch the label of the same name. While formerly a subsidiary to No Way Records, it'll now be a sub to Grave Mistake, but will keep the original incarnation's "focus on Richmond Punk and Hardcore bands." First on deck for the relaunched label is Barge's No Gain 7-inch. It was pitched to me as "fast hardcore, like Infest / No Comment." Yes, yes it is. Holy fuck, it's fast. Eight songs in eight minutes. The first side blazes through so quickly and punishingly, you need that time it takes to flip the record over to brace yourself for what you know is about to come in the second half. Of course, what happens at the start of the second side isn't blazing hardcore, but a sickening stomper entitled "Where's the Violence," which makes up for the lack of proper punctuation by way of pummeling you with thudding riffage. The violence is in the song, which sounds like the soundtrack to stomping a mudhole in someone and walking that sumbitch dry (with apologies to Stone Cold Steve Austin). The squalling guitars on tracks like "Live For Pain" and "Plague Me" hint ever-so-slightly at crossover, and that's not a bad thing. Since when have you been able to air guitar to a hardcore record? You get the idea, listening to Barge, that they know what moves a crowd. There are something like three breakdowns on "Your Lies," and it's barely 46 seconds long. Snag it from Grave Mistake on either limited red vinyl or standard black.

The Sickoids, “No Home” EP

cover - sickoids no homeThe Sickoids have been name-dropped to me as a band to check out repeatedly over the last few months, so it was pretty great to have their latest EP, No Home, show up in the mail last week. The 12" is a split release between Grave Mistake and Sorry State, and it's loaded with visual imagery that clues you into what's ahead before you even have a chance to drop the needle. The cover of No Home is a photo of a 1965 tornado survivor sitting on the steps of what used to be his home. The back cover is an image of the skull of Phineas Gage -- a railroad worker, who in 1848 had a tamping iron driven through his cheek, exiting through the top of his skull, yet survived. These are not going to be songs of hope. These will be songs of survival. They're certainly not a band afraid of intensity nor unflinching lyrics. "Death," with its unflinching honesty regarding funerals -- "The funeral was beautiful/ The turnout was incredible/ And everyone's forgiven when you're dead" -- is but a sampling of the bleak worldview through which the bands filters its sound.
In terms of sonics, the old-school fuzzed-out guitar tone is what I love most about this record. It makes the whole thing sounds like a super hardcore Fear album, especially when you factor in Rob Fitzpatrick's shouted vocals. There's a little surf workout at the end of "Empty Death" that makes the Sickoids more than just a punk band, as well. It's an intense trip through No Home. It moves quickly, and each song flows into the next without respite. Your only chance for reprieve is flipping the record. Yet, you'll find yourself doing it more and more quickly the more often you listen to it. The clear vinyl with silk-screened obi strip is sold out, but black vinyl is available like crazy from the Grave Mistake webstore. sickoids side b Big props to whomever came up with the idea for the side b center labels, too. This has rapidly become my favorite record in terms of a comprehensive design aesthetic.

Big Eyes’ Kate Eldridge on their new album, “Almost Famous”

big eyes band header We've been big backers of Big Eyes for a good long while, going back to their debut 7-inch on Evil Weevil. Since they first released that collection of demos, the garage-pop trio has toured the country, released a slew of amazing split releases, and are now getting ready to release their second full-length LP on Grave Mistake Records, entitled Almost Famous. Frontwoman and guitarist Kate Eldridge spoke with us via e-mail about the new LP, touring, and more. BigEyes_AlmostFamous_4pOutThe new album, Almost Famous, is different from your debut, Hard Life, in that it's all previously-unreleased material, aside from "Half the Time." Was Hard Life re-recorded versions of prior singles for a reason? Hard Life had two songs from a limited edition single ("Why Can't I" and "Your Lies"), which was released as a teaser for the LP. The album also featured one song off our demo, "Since You Left." Almost Famous has a song from the demo as well, "You Aint The Only One Who's Lonely" as well as 2 songs from 2 different splits we did earlier this year, "Losing Touch" off our split with Mean Jeans (on Dirtnap Records) and "Half the Time" off our split with Audacity (on Volar Records). Before you released Almost Famous, you re-released your first 7-inch, which was a demo. Was the idea to show people how far you've come in such a short amount of time? We didn't really think it out too much, that record just hasn't been available in over a year and we finally got around to getting it repressed. Thanks for the compliment though, I never thought about it like that. :) BigEyes_Posed02What jumped out to me on first listen to Almost Famous was that your guitar tone seemed to be much thicker than before. Is this from a change in production, or equipment? Both. About a year ago I started using an SG as my main guitar instead of my Mustang. I also use a Marshall 4x12 cab now instead of the Fender 2x12 I used to use. We also put more effort and time into recording Almost Famous. I'm way happier with how the new LP came out. The whole record, really, just seems to be more rock 'n' roll than garage rock. It's like you took a lot musically from the likes of the New York Dolls, giving everything some heft in the low end. How do you get to a stomper like "The Sun Still Shines"? It's hard for me to pinpoint why or how my writing style changes. I've been listening to a ton of Blue Oyster Cult, Kiss and Alice Cooper in the last year or so, so I feel like the new LP has more of a hard rock edge than Hard Life. That yelped "LOSING TOUCH!" early on in "Losing Touch" is pretty emotional. Where does that emotional explosion come from? I don't want to get too in depth about it, but that song isn't about a romantic relationship like most of my other songs are. That song is about paranoia and mental illness. What prompted the move from East to West Coast (well, so much as Seattle can be considered West Coast)? I spent my whole life in NY and wanted to get a change of scenery. I first visited Seattle in 2009 and was always drawn to it, so I made the move. It's much easier to have a full time band out here. New York is too expensive. Big Eyes is now being feted by the likes of Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan. Are you inclined to dismiss so-called hipster websites, or are you glad to have the band out there in front of as many folks as possible? The more people that get to hear us, the better! You never know who is going to like your band until you put it out there for them. big eyes tourJudging by the photos on Facebook and Instagram, Big Eyes has a lot of fun on the road. It looks like the band takes advantage of touring to get out and do things, rather than living in a van. Is that the case, or are we just seeing the highlights? Big Eyes, big fun! Ha ha, we love to tour. It's not fun all the time, but definitely a lot of the time. The past tour we went on with Criminal Code was one of the funnest tours I've ever been on in my life. Great company, very stress free. When we have enough time we like to get out of the van and go swimming, check out parks, mountains, that kind of stuff. In September we went to Disneyland. Fucking ruled. While you just did a big tour with Audacity that crossed the country, then a short hop down the West Coast with Criminal Code, it seems like you've got most of your upcoming shows in Seattle. Why no big summer tour to promote the record? We are touring for 4 weeks in June, to the east coast. The dates will be announced soon. Almost Famous comes out May 14, via Grave Mistake. More information about Big Eyes can be found at their website and their Facebook.

Big Eyes, “Demo 2010” 7-inch (repress)

cover - big eyes demo repressGrave Mistake Records recently reissued Big Eyes' demo 7-inch from 2010 as part of a co-release with Evil Weevil, who originally put it out. When Alex at Grave Mistake told me that it'd been recut and repressed at a different plant, I figured this was a good time to sit down and compare the two releases. Demo 2010 (as I suppose the record is now known) has new art, new labels, and it's also cut at 45 versus 33. Everything's different, at least in terms of the physical appearance, but how does it sound? I'm one of those people who's not going to buy a record I already own just because it's got a new cover. Is it really worth getting a copy of this repress if you own the original? I'd say yes. "I'd Prefer to Be Alone" is far cleaner -- the guitars come through far better, and aren't overwhelmed by the bass as they were on the original. "Since You Left" is less a fuzzbucket bunch of instrumentation. On the original recording, it's just a wash of noise that it's only the occasional guitar lick cutting through to remind you there are seperate instruments, whereas on the repress, the various components are individually distinct, without losing that dirty aura of the garage. Seriously, you'll hear the opening to "You Ain't the Only One," and the guitar tone will knock you on your ass. It's astonishingly vibrant, compared to the muddiness of the Evil Weevil press. This is a garage pop record now, as opposed to a poppy garage record. If you slept on getting the original press -- or, really, even if you didn't -- you need this repress. You can grab in the Grave Mistake webstore.

The Shirks, “The Shirks” LP

cover - the shirks lpUnsurprisingly, this entire LP plays at 45 rpm. Frankly, the only thing that would make more sense were it to be a 78. We loved that last release from The Shirks. Their "Cry Cry Cry" single was a monster, but this self-titled LP is pure pedal to the floor rock 'n' roll. The whole thing is fuzzed-out, blown-speaker fury, and it is an intense ride. Thankfully, it's also a short ride -- the Shirks' style of rock 'n' roll, played as it is at 500 miles an hour, can seem like you're riding shotgun with a madman at the wheel. It's exciting, it's exhilarating, and it makes you feel more alive than you thought possible, but you're ready for a cup of tea and a lie-down when it's all over. The Shirks have become the heirs apparent to the New Bomb Turks' punk-flavored rock 'n' roll, and their boisterous swagger is a welcome respite from tough-guy hardcore, introspective indie rock, and the likes of which I've been listening to lately. The Shirks is simply blown-out garage, played fast, loud, and -- well, loud and fast, really. Personal favorite track? "Don't Tell Me," which sounds like nothing so much as AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" played at triple time, and loaded with so much nervous energy, you need to take a shot or two in order to take the edge off how keyed-up you are after its minute and a half of awesome has runs its course. It's available now from Grave Mistake Records on either red vinyl (limited to 100) or black vinyl.

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cover-big-eyes-backCould Big Eyes Expired Zithromax, write a bad song if they tried. I doubt it. Their Hard Life LP was one of my favorite records of last year, and the two singles preceding it were equally stunning. Expired Zithromax japan, And now, with the "Back From the Moon" b/w "I Don't Care About Friday Night" single on Grave Mistake, they've tightened their garage pop even further.

While the a-side is stellar, and a punchier version of what we've come to expect from the now Seattle-based trio, 200mg Expired Zithromax, it's the flipside that's the real treat. "I Don't Care About Friday Night" is sunny, but tough, Expired Zithromax. Like "Back From the Moon," it has even more melody than what Big Eyes brought in the past, Expired Zithromax ebay, but it's the crooned "ooh"s that grab your attention.

Kate Eldridge is my favorite voice in music right now -- not female voice, but voice, period. Her husky, Expired Zithromax paypal, raspy tone is powerful, but with a slight quaver of vulnerability that lends an element of realism to her lyrics. You believe Eldridge when she sings about broken relationships, 30mg Expired Zithromax, but you also believe that she's going to be all right.


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cover-bloody-gears-frozen-rainListening to the a-side of Bloody Gears Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline, ' "Frozen Rain" single is a gloomy experience. The downtempo, churning rhythm of the track gives the song a sensation of openness. Not the inviting openness of an embrace, but more like a field under a cloudy winter sky. It's goth as fuck, Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline usa, which is contrasted very effectively by the songs on the b-side, "Bite the Hand" and "Tragic Mistake."

"Frozen Rain" builds over the course of its five minutes, with the guitars remaining muted in the mix, never quite cutting through the muting drums and bass. 100mg Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline, The two songs on the flip, however, hit immediately. There's no build -- both songs start off full-tilt, and go straight on until the end, Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline. These tracks are less chanting, and more immediate. Although the bass is equally as important as the guitars, 30mg Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline, the guitar tone manages to come through, like a spot of sun coming through the cloud cover at day's end.

The vocals are probably the part on which I'm having a hard time using anything but facile comparisons. Essentially, 500mg Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline, it's Spencer Moody (Murder City Devils) meets Ian Mackaye (Fugazi) with a soup├žon of Ian Curtis (Joy Division). Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline, Think hoarse, declamatory, and insistent, all underlain with a sense of desperation.

Nice work from Grave Mistake on this one. The cover's equally as creepy as the music inside, and the big hole 45s they've been doing lately are just super. Comes with a download code, as always, Perioral Dermatitis Tetracycline uk, with 320 Kbps mp3s.


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