NUX VOMICA might be every record reviewers worst nightmare. Not because they aren’t a good band, on the contrary, they are too awesome. Their sound is almost impossible to describe, as it does not fit neatly into any predefined genre or pigeon hole. Instead they draw elements from every great form of heavy music, including metal, punk, crust, and hardcore. The result is ultimately discursive, heavy, uniquely original and totally epic, loaded with intensity, passion, and excellent musicianship. The two songs on this record are no exception. To me it feels like maybe they were listening to a bit more black metal when they wrote these, but maybe not. They also incorporate a viola for an extra layer of epic atmosphere. The lyrics are, as always, intelligent, insightful, poetic, contemplative, introspective, and a bit confusing. The cover art is as bleak and epic as the music, with a barren, desolate, foggy, hopeless looking photo of a decaying, partially deforested landscape. This 7” is a European tour release, limited to 500 copies, pressed on grey/brown marbled vinyl, so get this while you can. Another great release by this innovative band. (righteous)
Aborted Society Records
This is such a short and intense album….so its getting a short and intense review. Link is reminiscent of Antischism but a little more on the organic and downtuned side. The first two tracks ripped though my head so fast and so precise I did not even realized that I had heard two songs until the third track, No Turning Back came on with a completely different approach. It opens with a slower pace, like a doomier Killing Joke that right when you get into the groove of this heavy riffing it takes you by surprise and stabs you in the face with a ripping pickup of pace. The fourth track “from Below” brings back the slower more doom laden pace that is borderline dirgy mournful guitar parts and heart wrenching vocals really turn this album around, then surprise attack the listener again with a blast of angst ridden hardcore. The final track , “Unhumanized” is the longest one here…..and not unlike the previous two tracks, its got the slow dark into that leads in a mind blowing aural attack. It does hold a surprise here, where the song drops the pace again….and proceeds to get slower and doomier until it fades into a an atmospheric trail of sounds that feels like the end of the world. Final note on this one…the artwork is AMAZING. Its so simple yet so striking and haunting. In gold on black there is a bird skull and dried wings surrounded by tree silhouettes. Said trees are echoed on the CD itself, and underneath on the underlying insert is a brittle sea star.(Cavewizard)
Halvfabrikat Records / Ringvägen 18 B / S-532 72 Axvall / SWEDEN //
I have no fucking idea how many songs are on this thing! There has to be at least thirty, if not more. All the songs are roughly 30-45 seconds long with only a four-count in between each one. This record is the last release(?) of this Houston, TX grindcore outfit. It was released in 2009 by 625 Thrash and is an unrelenting grind-your-fucking-face-off full on attack! There’s no way to tell what the song titles are, how many are on the record, or what the lyrics could be. There is no insert or list included with the record and the art is bare-bones. This release is one big fucking mystery apparently. I’m not the biggest fan of grindcore but this is just so intense that it’s hard no to like, even if its just a little bit. This release also has the novelty of being one-sided although there are grooves on the flipside. I guess the hiss of the needle is soothing after an assault on the ears like that. Shit. So anyway, being that this is a few years old you should try to get your hands on one.(JasonS)
From the dirty, rat infested, back alleys (or maybe out from under the beer crusted stage at the Hazmat) of OAKLAND comes KICKER. This punk rock powerhouse boasts members of FILTH, NEUROSIS and DYSTOPIA on their roster and even Pete the Roadie on vocals! But, this is quite a bit of a departure from their past bands. This isn’t some beyond insane toxic mixture of the previously mentioned bands. With KICKER they are going back to the roots and playing are proudly stuck in the 80’s playing 80’s hardcore. And they do it with a confidence that could only come from well-seasoned punk rockers that have been through the shit and have lived to rock another day. The sound is thick; the guitar is bass heavy and carries a beautifully, warm, fuzz through the three songs captured on this 7”. The title track is a somewhat humorous take on aging in the punk scene and well…organ failure I guess! Side two offers two ass kicking punk anthems, one of them being a fantastic cover of S.O.A.’s ‘Public Defender. This song fits their sound perfectly and it was exciting to hear this classic, it certainly brought back some memories! If I had to nail it down I would say they offer a potent mix of early BLACK FLAG and SUICIDAL SUPERMARKET TROLLIES. KICKER kicked it off in 2010, have released two previous eps and are planning to release an LP in 2012. If this 3 song sampling is a taste of what is to come the LP will certainly be one worth watching for. (Clusterfuxjosh)
Inimical Records / PO BOX 2803 / Seattle WA, 98111 /USA
Hailing from the prairie wastelands of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the STATE OF MINEFIELDS kids are a hard raging crust band that takes no prisoners! I first discovered them when my friend came back from tour with their first demo in hand. I was immediately hooked. Sadly, I’ve never seen them live – which sucks, because from all accounts, these kids totally kill it…sometimes with an accordion. But I digress. Here on this self-released disc, we have eight tracks of dark, heavy crust with some grind elements. I can definitely pick up a HHIG vibe in the music and song structures, with grind-ish vocals that at times remind me of Lana from THINK DON’T PRAY. I’ve played this band a number of times on my podcast, and I believe I will continue doing so for a long time to come, as these cats deserve to be heard by as many people as possible. Up the prairie punx! Oh, and by the way – these tracks will also be available on a couple of split 7”s that will hopefully be out early next year. Stay tuned. (Inbred)
First I’d like to say that I really like the clear green cassette. Easily amused like a cat. Anyway, inside this b/w photocopied j card are 5 female fronted hardcore blasts that at times remind me of a cross between DISRUPT and DESPISE YOU. The quality is a little rough, but it is a demo after all and it adds some charm to the experience. It looks lie there are a sampling of the lyrics printed inside, but a tease is all you get. It looks as though a couple of these songs are on there Fractured EP and their split with CHAOTIC NEUTRAL. The cassette is a limited edition release, but worth the grab. And if you’re a bit twisted, you’ll like that the B-side is played backwards. Good times. (Jake)
ratstorm.bandcamp.com / rodentcrust.blogspot.com
I wish I could read Japanese. I had a really hard time even figuring out what the band’s name was at first. It’s just the one character but it took a bit of research to find out how it was pronounced and what it meant in English.
KIBA, which translates to Fang, are a Japanese three-piece punk outfit. Since 1995 they have put out a few tracks on comps, a few splits, and Violent Liberty is their third “full length” release. The sick part is I haven’t heard anything from them before. I guess you either really have to do your research or have the records fall into your lap to find these more rare Japanese bands. I’m not even sure if this is available in the US or Europe yet, but it is still a fairly new release.
KIBA are more straight-forward punk rock but have that rad Burning Spirits riffing, as well as some gang choruses mixed in for good measure. The vocals are gravelly with a touch of reverb, there are pummeling simple bass lines, and the drums are constantly driving the music forward. I really like this style, especially when its done well. If you get a chance try to find a copy of Violent Liberty , KIBA has all the best elements of this style of Japanese punk. Good solid release.(JasonS)
MCR Company/ 157 Kamiagu Maizura/ Kyoto 624-0913/ Japan//
This is GET DESTROYED’s 3rd EP put out this Summer by 625 Thrash, Give Praise, To Live a Lie, and RSR. This is some fucking intense, stop-on-a-dime Powerviolence/Fastcore that’ll make your ears bleed. There are super-slow dirge parts, and peel-your-face-off mosh parts, not for the faint of heart for sure. The tempo changes on this record are epic; the vocals at times shouted, and at others: manic screams, also, there are guest vocals by Grace Perry. Fucking bad ass. I don’t listen to a lot of fastcore but I think this record will appeal to anyone who likes extreme music. The lyrics are also pretty fucking great. Some lyrics like that in “An Extension” are haiku, just a few spare syllables, but even with carefully chosen words the subject matter is profuse. These guys didn’t think of the lyrics last and it shows. There are eight blistering tracks on this EP which maybe lasts all of three minutes per side. Not too much, no too little. Well done. (JasonS)
Give Praise Records / PO Box 494 / Barnstable, MA / 02630 //
To Live a Lie/ c/o Will Butler / 2825 Van Dyke Avenue / Raleigh, NC 27607-7021 //
RSR / skrupel[at]web.de
Inimical Records has been doing a very good job of putting out some excellent bands. FRUSTRATION is by far, one of them. These Minneapolis expats now reside in Seattle and have been kickin’ out one brilliant track after another. This is their second 7” and from what I’ve gathered, they are working on an L.P., and an overseas tour. I can honestly say that these guys are one of my current faves. Not only because their great people, but the music they churn out is quite unique, honest and brutal. If you held a gun to my head and asked me to find an example of their sound, I would say a cross between Born Dead Icons and Quarantine. This record seems to carry more of a punch then their previous release, but needless to say, all music they do is WELL worth the investment. Colin’s vocals have evolved into something that has really brought this ensemble together. Gritty, loud and crystal clear with angst. These guys have been around the block quite a few times with previous bands like State of Fear, Calloused, Blackout, Fallen Graces, Cop on Fire…..you get the picture. I hope these guys are around for a long time. I have much anticipation for all they do. Cheers! (Leffer)
Inimical Records / P.O. Box 2803 / Seattle, WA / 98111//
Reborn from the ashes of MASSMORD, FUTURE RUINS is a massive d-beat entity of heavy driving entity of doom. Start to finish, this album is dense dark and driving. Though not quite as dynamic or dramatic as these bands, this brings to mind TRAGEDY or HIS HERO IS GONE, and this is a ripper from start to finish.
The whole albums kind of blindsided me at first listen…..I did not notice that there are a lot of subtleties that were missed until I gave this album my undivided attention. And that would be the ONLY fault that I would site about this album……that there needs to be a bit more variation in pace and tone and the breaks need to be a little more pronounced otherwise they get lost unless you are really dropping everything to listen to this record. Being that overall this is a thumbs up, its a small flaw I am willing to look beyond and say this is a great album.
“War Of Gods”, I would have to say is my favorite track on here. It has a more varied intro that the rest of the album that really stands out. Its got some nice heavy and slow dual rhythms that go back and forth from a sick siren like intro that weaves in and out of some good ol metal chugging that lead straight into their signature battle hymn that reminds me of a crusty ENTOMBED. The second track, “Kallocain” has also got some manic, intricacy goin on in the beginning that adds more depth to the albums onslaught of straightforward and constant drive. One more track I would like to note is “In The Shadow Of A Tyrant” that has all the elements of the album as a whole, but has some more doomy and almost psychedelic parts somewhat akin to bands such as KYLESA.
Packaged in a glossy digipack, this is rockin some good creepy artwork, featuring all the family favorites – claws, dragon wings, snakes, skulls, death and decay. And of course large ominous black birds in the back ground. Nice and grim. CD version is out now on POWER IT UP Records. LP releases are out on Halvfabrikat Records, Nakkeskud Records, and Social Bomb Records. (Cavewizard)
POWER IT UP / Zum Holzfelde 12 / 31226 Peine / Germany //