PISSING CONTEST from Battle Creek, Michigan are a two piece band that has Matt Dilliner who is the co-owner of Say-10 Records and Skateboards handling vocals/guitars/drums, and Jake Morley on bass. They give us six songs that were recorded very quickly after getting together after only being formed on July 21, 2012 (National ‘Go Skateboarding’ Day) as a knee-jerk reaction to the frustration of our times. You would never think that they did this so fast as with only two guys in the band on this, they play very tight hardcore with nice hoarse, but clear vocals, very good production and a sense of things almost coming apart, but staying together. The lyrics are nice and pissed off views of how fucked things are and how pissed off they are and it sure shows! The lyrics are spit out with disgust at the crap that they see in the world and they really seem to be heart-felt and it’s great to see this kind of anger and energy not only from just two guys, but because they were hardly together for a long time, so I hope they keep up this in future releases. It’s out on a handmade cassette with only 77 made! Each one has spray painted tape case, is stenciled and handwritten, so grab one quick. (Rick E.)
http://www.pissingcontest.net/ https://www.facebook.com/PissingContest http://pissingcontest.bandcamp.com/ http://soundcloud.com/pissingcontestpunk http://www.say-10.com/
YOUTH OFFENDER is a three-piece from the Dublin/Brownwood area of Texas and have made two songs of theirs available to download for free, and now you can go get them for the effort of a mouse click…what a deal! They do some fairly straight forward hardcore with punk rock leanings and it’s not too bad at all. The two songs are “Conservative Eyes” and “I Wanna Be In Shut Up Sidney”, with the requisite snipe against right wingers and wanting to do anything to be in SHUT UP SIDNEY, a hardcore band from Houston. The production is fairly basic, not clean, but not so sloppy that it affects the enjoyment of this, with the lyrics still able to be heard and enjoyed and the band seems to be having a good time making some fun noise for us. This comes with lyrics so you can see that they aren’t just a bunch of jokers like their Facebook makes them seem, but they actually have pretty good lyrics. I was pleasantly surprised with this one and I’m glad that I got a chance to hear them and I’m looking forward to hearing more from them and hope the production is a bit cleaner next time, but hell, this is punk…right? (Rick E.)
Until I got their split with FORRÆDERI, I had never heard of these guys. Their sound is noisy while being direct and organized and massive at the same time. This 10′(on orange vinyl) is more of the same. This time around they offer 8 songs of manic time signature changes strung together by chaotic riffing that I imagine FUGAZI might sound like if they tried their hands at writing noisy crust along side dirty screamo-ish vocals. I don’t mean screamo in a whiney-please-shut-the-fuck-up-already way. Just strained passionate screaming broken up by even more angry yelling with occasional clean vocals. This is one of those albums that you might suspect Steve Albini had a hand it except that the production is a little dirtier, which adds even more sonic intensity. I can only imagine how much energy is created during a live set. Amazingly enough, I had completely forgotten that BARREN WOMB are a two piece. Holy shit! It’s just so heavy. Inside the album the lyrics are printed all crazy like on the insert, which fits the music, though the artwork is dark and simple. Grey images on black. The album is available for free at barrenwomb.bandcamp.com, but I highly recommend buying one of these hand numbered 10″ limited to 500. They don’t release a lot of material, so get what you can. (Jake)
This band from Bemidji, MN has a new E.P. out and it’s pretty damn good! Four songs that fly by in under five minutes and really make you want more music from them. It’s some really well produced hardcore/grind with more hardcore than grind and some growling vocals mixed with strangled vocals and shouted vocals. Everything is well laid out in the songs, really tight and clean sounding with lyrics that are mostly easily shouted along with and a feel of the band really loving what they do. This band is one to look out for and try to see if they come to your area because the rock pretty damn hard! I’m not sure where this is available from, but give them an email and hopefully they can hook you up with some tunes, I listened to this about fifteen times so far and really want more……hint, hint to the band. (Rick E)
‘Grave New World’ is an infamous Discharge album, released in 1986 that saw them go hair metal. High pitched vocals and cock rock riffs with a hint of the old Discharge riffs lurking underneath. Oh how we all roared, laughed or sat in disbelief at just how different this album was. But I have a confession to make, I unbeknownst to my punk friends started listening to it on my own. And started to actually like it, but would have flat out denied that at the time. Well here we are all these years later since that album and we have had D-beat and hundreds of Discharge ‘Why’ era style bands. But what if we were all wrong? What if we had denied what could have been a whole new wave!
Enter Thisclose who have finally turned it all on it’s head. Formed by some Scottish punks who have done time in various noisy punk bands throughout the years. But now wear their collective hearts on their sleeves and show just how things should have went after ‘Grave New World’. High pitched vocals, Discharge riffs and song titles like “Two Monstrous Distro Piles” and “But After The Rigs”, I’m hooked. Stand out tracks are ‘Sexcel’ for it’s heavy crunchy guitar sound with non stop manic singing and of course ‘Tear Up The Hedge’ which is GISM, which of course is a good thing. Available on cassette limited to a hundred for £3.50 including p+p in the UK. Forget D-beat this is the Grave New beat.
The first thing that caught my eye was the name MIKE IX WILLIAMS for being a fan of EYEHATEGOD. I was super excited to get home and listen to it right away. As the title track “Razorblade Express” starts off with really heavy guitars and then goes super fast into a fast as hell blast beat then slows back down then goes right back into it. Super intense beginning plus this track had the guest vocals on it. Next is “Messiah Whore” same thing super fast and super brutal track with crushing vocals all over that. Side A ends with “Holes in the Wall” and just like the last two tracks this sums up and amazing A side to the record. I flip this bad boy over and am pounded with another track with MIKE IX on it called “3rd Space Gorilla Generator” again a sweet track which is a little slowed down from the rest of the tracks, really heavy and doom sounding to start off this side then all of a sudden goes far left and let the grind begin. “Rat Factory” is next more of the grind with super fast and well put together guitar. Lastly there is “Slaughter Intelligence” which is the shortest track on the whole record, but it does not disappoint at all. For Fans of PHOBIA, EYEHATEGOD and EXHUMED. (XbezerkerX)
OI POLLOI – the Movie DVD
OI POLLOI is one of those bands we all love and that has quite a legacy and catalog of work. They are certainly one of the hardest working bands ever, especially from the anarcho-punk scene. It’s nothing shy of amazing that they have continued to release quality material for a couple of decades now. If there is a such thing as punk rock “hits” they have enough to fill a couple ‘best of” collections. They certainly have enough punk rock party sing-a-longs! In fact it is almost impossible not sing along with a smile on your face anytime the needle hits an OI POLLOI record. They are one of those bands that makes fighting the system so much fun! It is only fitting then that we finally get a video documentation of this highly influential and important band.
The main movie features numerous and informative interviews with the revolving cast of band members and only constant member, Deek. The long lingering question of how the band was named and what the name means is answered and documented once and for all. It was really cool to hear Deek, in his voice and in his person describe the formation of the band and it was very interesting to learn that they came together as a counter reaction to many of the more “hardcore” bands of the day that were starting to grind out a new direction for punk (ENT, Napalm Death…).
The second half of the movie follows our favorite “post-oi/street-crust” band on ‘Ar Ceol, Ar Canan, Ar-a-march’ European tour in 2006. It’s hear that we get a look into the recording of the only Gaelic speaking punk album ever as well as the stress of a DIY tour. They explain how touring Europe is different and more realistic for them than a US trek mainly due to the distances traveled but also due to the violence not just at US gigs but more so in US society. This is explained as they elaborate on stay at a house on a past US tour riddled with bullet holes from local gang gunfire. That’s not to say that touring Europe is comfy nights in beds of roses. There are ample stories of squats smeared in animal and human feces and urine and the difficulty of trying to get a nights sleep when the locals want nothing but to party all night at punk rock discos! We also get to experience the stress of swapping out bass players mid tour and having to learn the songs in the van between gigs. Ahhh…the life of “rock stars”.
There are certain bands that seem to evoke a sense of spirituality, a connection or a sense of being. For me those bands are limited but mainly include NEUROSIS, AMEBIX, MISERY, JUDAS PRIEST and most of all BLACK SABBATH. Watching this movie and getting this intimate glimpse into the world, lives and inner workings of this phenomenal band I really started to identify with a connection to the energy of OI POLLOI. It was easy to see this spiritual energy that surrounded the members of the band and I felt very lucky to be able to tap into a small piece of that. My feelings are apparently shared by some of the members of the band as one of the former members described a similar sense and even compared being part of the “family” to religious experience.
The DVD is littered extras that include the 1994 tour documentary (I got to see that on VHS years ago thanks to my buddy Val) as well as live clips and videos. At this point it’s almost not even necessary to impress upon you that this is a quality release and an important addition to your collection. If you are an OI POLLOI fan there is no excuse not to get this into your hands. (Josh Mosh)
Hailing from Seattle with members of SNUGGLE, LOST CAUSE and a few other bands is RATBITE. The first track comes in as raging thrashy poppy punk, though totally gritty at the same time. As the tape moves forward, their style switches up keeping the listeners on their toes. Just like listening to a COOTERS album, every song sounds a little different. Mostly male vocals with bits of raw angry female vocals, sometimes melodic sometimes raspy. Besides the COOTERS, they also have songs that remind me of FIFTEEN and Word as Law era NEUROSIS. While the drums and bass drive this psycho forward at a frantic pace, the guitar gets creative with melodies and noodly solos. The cover art throws me off a bit, though. But that’s just because I don’t have a solid grasp on all things artistic. It is a cut and paste style, which I like, but the theme goes over my head. The lyrics are in more of a personal style which allows for more emotion to come through while singing making it very exciting to listen to. Raw and angst ridden on a blue cassette for $4.99. This is another release that is limited to 100, so don’t wait too long. This is for folks who liked old school melodic dirty punk before it got shitty. (Jake)
Aborted Society Records / 1122 E. Pike Street #1377 / Seattle, WA 98122-3934 /USA
As I’m sitting in my semi dark basement blasting this fine recording, I feel the need to get my gripes(well, only one) out of the way. During the beautifully composed melodic intro, it sounds as if the two guitars are slightly out of tune with each other. Obviously not a huge deal, but worth mentioning. After that, I can’t think of a bad thing to say. The way the demo kicks off reminds me of a scene in 28 Days or 28 Weeks Later when things are looking extra bleek. The writing is captivating. It’s very busy, but not in a “mathy” way. All three stringed instruments twist in and out of each other while flirting with the same melodies and rhythms. It has elements of that style that TRAGEDY brought years ago, but with new life breathed into it. The power and detail of the drumming also bring this to a whole new level. I love hearing bands that push punk further and further instead of just playing the same things that they listen to. While this is happening, Chomsky and Zinn styled poetic hatred pour through the mics in the form of sincere anguished howling. Each set of lyrics has a bit of a back story printed along side them in a pocket size booklet that looks hand screened. Added bonus, a few stickers. Members from this band have been around for awhile in a number of different bands that we all know and love. This demo is limited to 100(looks like I have #100- yikes!), but have no fear, Yellow Dog from Berlin should be releasing this as a 300 press run LP. Totally worth hunting down. And, no, you can’t have mine. (Jake)
It would seem that everything that comes through my mailbox that has the Maloka Distro logo printed somewhere on it is really good. Now I can add ULRIKE’S DREAM to that list. The needle drops on the first track and I wait. It starts off calm, beautiful and melodic. After a few lines the distortion is fully kicked on, the double bass starts pounding, the bass lines rip and all hell breaks loose in a whirlwind hardcore attack! The lead(female) vocals have turned angry and sour setting a killer pace. Then they add some yin to the yang and start the second track off with a little reggae style that feels like it has a NAUSEA flavor to it, but it quickly jumps back into fast hardcore drive. Track 3, You Walk in Line is more vicious that expected. The writing is varied on this, which keeps it from getting stale. At times there’s full on “tough guy” chugging riffs, smoothed out ska, straight up speed metal (No Dead Desire) and some acoustic for even more variety. All the songs are socio-political in nature touching on squatting, getting trapped in the “system” and scenesters. The package is rounded out with great sound quality, spot on mixing and a clean layout with black and white band pictures spread out through the lyric sheet. Like I said, Maloka never disappoints. (Jake)
Maloka Records / www.malokadistro.com